View Full Version : Any good books?

03-21-2006, 12:46
Do any of you future thru-hikers have any recommendations for thru-hiking guides? There are plenty on the market; I was just wondering which ones are worth buying.

I'm not looking for a "data book" or anything like that, but more like a book that desribes the whole planning process involved in a thru-hike.

Thanks to all your suggestions!

John B
03-21-2006, 14:11
I have quite a few books on planning and found all of them to be restatements of what I'd just read. I don't have the titles with me, but if you want them, you can have them at no charge other than the cost of postage. I read them through once -- other than that, they're new.

Let me know if you want them.

03-21-2006, 15:15
Planning a hike really depends on where you're starting from. If you don't know the difference between stuff sack and a backpack, you're going to have a little bit of a harder time than somebody looking to plan maildrops.

So, where are you starting from? What do you know now? You only get smarter by realizing what you don't know and then learning it.
Deep, eh?

Start here:

Read all of that, you'll learn a lot.

03-21-2006, 15:54
Read them:

03-21-2006, 16:00
I know plenty about hiking...and have completed several overnight trips by myself along the trail. I know the basics of cooking and all that, plus I have maybe 75% of the gear I'll need for a thru-hike. I'm just more interested in learning things like budgeting for the trail and how to use mail-drops.

03-21-2006, 16:18
I enjoyed reading this book by Edward Garvey before I went out in 1999. May be read not only as the story of a hiker at age 75, but also as a practical, "how-to" guide for backpacking the AT. Pages 176 through 267 offer Garvey's nuts-and-bolts advice for thru-hiking the AT, including finding and hiking the Trail (pp. 176-92), and his recommendations for food (pp. 193-216), equipment (pp. 217-36), clothing and footwear (pp. 237-57).


The Solemates
03-21-2006, 17:22
there are several good "workbook" type books that help with planning maildrops etc. one is written by wingfoot (trailplace.com), the other by chris whalen (www.atc.org). then there are several on food planning as well.

03-21-2006, 17:25
A good book is also " On the beaten Path: An Appalachian Pilgrimage" by Robert Alden Rubin---------- Also "As far as the eye can see", by David Brill. Two good reads. Right now I'm reading "the Appalachian Trail Reader" by David Emblidge--not too far into it but seems quite interesting>>>>>

03-21-2006, 17:43
there are several good "workbook" type books that help with planning maildrops etc. one is written by wingfoot (trailplace.com), the other by chris whalen (www.atc.org). then there are several on food planning as well.

I picked up the wingfoot workbook from my library. As much as I'm not a wingfoot fan, this was a great planning tool. Saved me from reinventing what others have done for years and years. It helped me just to start visualizing the types of issues I should be thinking about. It was about 10 years old, but the worksheets are pretty basic and shouldn't be very different (if at all) for a hike next year. Takes you through the logical steps: (1) how many meals, (2) what do they consist of, (3) how much will 50 mac n cheese dinners cost if each is .50, (4) when does each drop box need to be mailed to get to the post office on time, etc... oh, and then all the gear weights and gear lists. Well, not the weights, but a worksheet for you to fill in the weights. I was shocked that my essentials with food, water, and 1 luxury item (16 oz camera) weighed 45 lbs. About 8-10 pounds more than I'd hoped for.... Good luck!

03-21-2006, 18:16
Start with your local library, that way you may not have to buy anything. Dewey decimal # 796.51, I think, as a starting point. Also check out the electronic card catalog under 'hiking' and 'appalachian trail'. There should be several books on hiking, planning hikes, and probably a couple memoirs of thru-hikers. There are several threads here on WB about books about the trail including some links to bibliographies people have compiled.

As you learn about planning your hike you may want to keep a notebook and take notes from your library sources and from whiteblaze--you will often find apparently conflicting information.

But overall, you have already discovered your best source for information.

03-22-2006, 16:39
The Adventure of a Lifetime book written by Ed Garvey and copyrighted in 1971. Library of Congress Catalog Card Number 70-146063. ISBN 0-912660-01-5. The more things change, the more they stay the same. I was lucky to find this book at a neighborhood Goodwill store but should be available at local libraries and bookstores. About 400 pages.

03-22-2006, 16:56
The ferryman is right, Garvey's book is good enough to get anyone by. I made it with just that book. Any more reading or study is imo too much. Just get out and do it and learn as you go, Learn too much and it takes all the fun out of it. Basically you are just out for a walk and have to survive along the way. The smoother your hike is, the less memorable monemts you will have.


03-23-2006, 15:06
i don't have any of my books with me. i gave them to my brother in hopes of stirring up some interest. for the longest time i was getting any and all books about the AT & hiking in general, but there's only so many books you can buy before the information starts to repeat itself. so i'd say just pick up a few that look interesting and go from there.