View Full Version : AT Data/Guide books question

04-26-2006, 15:29
(Sorry if this has been asked before....I dug around but couldn't find a previous post on this.)

My personal situation seems to point towards a 2010 NOBO.
After seeing responses and comments I have come to the conclusion that
I will be using one of the AT data/guide books for planning and executing my thruhike.

My question: How long before one hits the AT should one pick up a book?
Since nothing is more constant than change I'm wondering how accurate a
book will be if picked up say.....now...as opposed to waiting until early 2009. What has been your experiences re: age vs. accuracy of you data/guidebooks? :-?

Pacific Tortuga
04-26-2006, 16:10
I do not think you can buy any or all the books too early.Having them in hand you can read journals ,books and watch AT movies with a better understanding of your future hike and I believe it enhances your awareness of towns,miles, shelters places of interest to you and much more.When your dream looks more like a realality you can buy the more up to date ones. The articals here on WB are top notch and you can use them in place of guides also. The good news is what ever your needs are, someone here will have it covered in..... detail.

04-26-2006, 17:04
You can shop around on Ebay or the ATC site and get an older guidebook for primary planning and then buy the up-to-date ALDHA Companion which comes out in late January/early Febuary just before your hike in 2010.

Or better still, use the online Companion until you need a hard copy.


04-26-2006, 17:20
With the amount of time between now and 2010 there will be lots of changes. That said ...if it was me and I was sure about my upcoming plans, I would go ahead and get one of two books (or maybe both if your budget allows) : the ALDHA Companion or the Thru-Hikers Handbook. They are generally updated and released in time for the Spring northbound departures.

Read it/them over and start putting together your plans and developing your list of questions. Then in early 2010 I would go ahead and buy the new one(s) and refresh your knowledge based on the updates/changes.

It's a lot of information to digest and the more you know ahead of time the better position you'll be in to ask the right questions when your departure date draws near.

For what it's worth ...the wife and I are talking about another thru in 2010 also. Might see you out there.


04-26-2006, 17:32
What Slogger said is what I would do.

Even after buying the 2010 guides, be prepared for changes mid trip: trail re-routs, businesses closing/opening, water sources drying, etc.


04-26-2006, 17:54
Dang, 2010 sounds like a long way off in the future...but it's not!

TJ aka Teej
04-26-2006, 18:55
Since nothing is more constant than change I'm wondering how accurate a
book will be if picked up say.....now...as opposed to waiting until early 2009.
A quick look at the Companion's Maine '02 and '06 sections shows key changes in lodging, maildrops, PO hours, shuttles, shelter location, Baxter State Park info, and resupply. I'm sure there're similar differences in WF's books. The DataBook from '02 to '06 has miles and miles of relos, water source updates, new shelters, etc.
You can plan with old guides, but buy the new ones before you go hike. And get to some of the Rucks or Gatherings if you can.
>Name drop alert<
When it came up in conversation with Earl Shaffer that I was writing for the Companion he told me he thought AT guidebooks weren't worth spit. At best, said he, they're a fair report of last year's trail, and they shouldn't pretend to be more. So I changed the subject :D

04-26-2006, 19:01

04-26-2006, 19:17

04-26-2006, 19:19
Your first attempt works, second doesn't

04-26-2006, 22:33
Thanks to all for your quick responses and opinions. And a special thanks to you, S.o.G. for the map link...the first one worked fine. Looks like I will be making some book purchases real soon.