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Monkeywrench
07-14-2008, 14:33
I believe there are at least three different data books out there nowadays. Which is your favorite, and why? I realize this could be very subjective, and that's cool. I'm just curious which one folks prefer, and their reasons for that preference, even if it's just something intangible like the color of the cover or the type font used, or whatever.

Blissful
07-14-2008, 14:55
I liked the ALDHA thru hiker companion (used it last year and thought it more comprehensive for town needs than the thru hiker handbook - which we also used when our first was lost). Have heard Appalachian Pages are good as well.

angewrite
07-14-2008, 15:14
I believe there are at least three different data books out there nowadays. Which is your favorite, and why? I realize this could be very subjective, and that's cool. I'm just curious which one folks prefer, and their reasons for that preference, even if it's just something intangible like the color of the cover or the type font used, or whatever.

I like the format of the Thru-hiker's Companion.

Nest
07-14-2008, 17:47
I am using the Appalachian Pages this year on my thru hike and love it. I've also noticed that it seems to be the most popular one this year, and everyone that sees another hiker with it says they wish they got it. The elevation profile is the big selling point. It's just so nice to pull out the one book and get your mileage, and an idea of the terrain. Plus knowing what side of the mountain the shelter is on is great at the end of a long day.

TJ aka Teej
07-14-2008, 17:51
I like the way it smells of OFF and campfire smoke.

:sun

Bearpaw88
07-14-2008, 19:16
I am using the Appalachian Pages this year on my thru hike and love it. I've also noticed that it seems to be the most popular one this year, and everyone that sees another hiker with it says they wish they got it. The elevation profile is the big selling point. It's just so nice to pull out the one book and get your mileage, and an idea of the terrain. Plus knowing what side of the mountain the shelter is on is great at the end of a long day.

I used the pages this year as well. I actually got rid of the companion for it. I later regretted this decision.

I found several inaccuracies. Just one being the stated location of Jones Falls (about 7 miles difference if I remember right from where it actually was) I also found the profile to be worthless. Because the amount of miles on each page differ the profiles can be "smushed" or dragged out. You may get a general idea of when are going up or down, but it is not a great profile to get an accurate feel of the terrain ahead.

Next time I will stick with the companion. It also contains interesting background information about the trail.

I have never used the 501 but have heard good things about it as well.

Jim Adams
07-14-2008, 19:30
I like the way it smells of OFF and campfire smoke.

:sun

The Philosophers Guide was my favorite also just because it had info from other hikers, some of it quoted that just seemed to make the reading and the info more meaningful and entertaining.
I do / did truely enjoy using WF's book.
Now days I usually just use the small, plain Data Book because of size.

geek

rafe
07-14-2008, 20:53
As a section hiker, the ALDHA guide was invaluable -- primarily because I could print out just the pages I needed for that section. The pages have the same form factor as the AT maps, so I just put them in the same bag as the maps.

Undershaft
07-15-2008, 07:55
I prefer the ALDHA Companion as well. It has a lot of detailed info, and I like the layout.

10-K
07-15-2008, 16:20
What I do is photocopy pages from the Thru-Hiker's Handbook and Appalachian Pages relevant to the section I'm hiking and take 'em both. I think they compliment each other pretty well.

Since most of my hikes are in the 100-175 mile range it amounts to a couple of extra sheets of paper.

Roots
07-15-2008, 16:54
I originally used the Thru-Hiker's handbook by Wingfoot. I like this book. When I saw Appalachian Pages--before my section in April--I ended up taking it. There were quite a bit of discrepancies(water sources not listed,wrong mileage-nothing major but enough to notice-and a few other things that have slipped my mind), but I still love it for the lay out. It is much easier, as a sectioner, to use. I like how the town info and everything you need is listed to the left of the trail info. I LOVE the elevation profiles. This is a nice thing to have.

I spoke with them at Trail Days and they were asking for people to give input on the book and to let them know of any problems. With a few nips and tucks, I truely believe this book will always be my main guide.

warren doyle
07-15-2008, 16:57
The Data Book.

Nest
07-15-2008, 19:38
I spoke with them at Trail Days and they were asking for people to give input on the book and to let them know of any problems. With a few nips and tucks, I truely believe this book will always be my main guide.

That's what I think will make them the best selling, and best guidebook in a couple years. AWOL and ATTROLL were at the booth with pad and paper writing down everything people told them. They wanted to know everything hikers had to say about the book, good and bad. I did notice a few mileage problems, but I think that can be expected for the first year of a book.

the goat
07-15-2008, 20:38
i'll ditto warren, the data book is nice.

it's accurate, has no b.s. that you don't need, and is small.....what more could you ask for?

joeframbach
07-25-2008, 15:40
I'm using the Handbook right now. I like it because it has more data points than the Companion. The Companion can go 10-15 miles without a data point, where the Handbook will list 4 water sources and 6 roads in that stretch.
The only complaint I have with the Handbook is that it is 1/4" too tall to fit in a quart-size ZipLock. The quart-size ZipLock is the most common piece of equipment on the trail, and the book is just shy of fitting in it. Go figure.

Red Hat
07-25-2008, 17:19
I bought Appalachian Pages Southbound edition, mostly because I liked the fact that the town info was across from the trail info instead of at the end of the book. I also liked the topos. However, that said, I did find that the Thru Hiker's Handbook had more detailed description of the trail, like road crossings and such that are not mentioned in Appalachian Pages. The more detailed descriptions give you short term goals for planning your day, which I like.

Best was having maps, as the Maine maps give very accurate description of the trail on the back. Should you need to get off the trail, they are very helpful.

Mrs Baggins
07-25-2008, 19:09
I prefer the Companion and the Pages. Don't like the Trailplace book. The new owner is making improvements on it but it's still not the book for me. I like to tear out the pages of the Companion and Appalachian Pages that pertain to my section and take them all with me. I love (and sometimes truly hate!) the profiles that the Pages has.

Kirby
07-25-2008, 21:01
Required.

knicksin2010
07-27-2008, 20:38
I found the data book plenty sufficient to complete the trail: It’s short, accurate and simple.

Pedaling Fool
07-27-2008, 20:47
I believe there are at least three different data books out there nowadays. Which is your favorite, and why? I realize this could be very subjective, and that's cool. I'm just curious which one folks prefer, and their reasons for that preference, even if it's just something intangible like the color of the cover or the type font used, or whatever.
This is a super-subjective issue, for the most part. So just taking a poll and picking the guidebook with the most votes will not necessarily direct you to the Bible of guidebooks.
Buy all three and use them all for your various planning/research of the AT. All have mistakes and all have redundant info and all have info the others don't have. Then you can pick which one will suit your needs for your hike.

Yahtzee
07-27-2008, 22:14
Data book, exclusively. I found the Companion to be frustrating if my experienes did not meet the expectations formed from reading the book. Good historical info, tho.

ALDHA, to my mind, is only different from the companion in form. They may offer some different info in a different manner, but I find them essentially the same. Again, good info offered.

However, I think the data book, along with registers and word of mouth, is more than sufficient.

trailfoot
07-27-2008, 22:34
I am using the Appalachian Pages this year on my thru hike and love it. I've also noticed that it seems to be the most popular one this year, and everyone that sees another hiker with it says they wish they got it. The elevation profile is the big selling point. It's just so nice to pull out the one book and get your mileage, and an idea of the terrain. Plus knowing what side of the mountain the shelter is on is great at the end of a long day.

I used the Companion and did see the Appalachian Pages and did like them. I agree with the elevation profile being handy. It can also play mind games with you. Sometimes the elevation isn't as bad as the pages make it look and also vise versa. As far as knowing what side of the trail the shelter is on the Companion gives you that info.

Pedaling Fool
07-27-2008, 22:55
I believe there are at least three different data books out there nowadays. Which is your favorite, and why? I realize this could be very subjective, and that's cool. I'm just curious which one folks prefer, and their reasons for that preference, even if it's just something intangible like the color of the cover or the type font used, or whatever.


This is a super-subjective issue, for the most part. So just taking a poll and picking the guidebook with the most votes will not necessarily direct you to the Bible of guidebooks.
Buy all three and use them all for your various planning/research of the AT. All have mistakes and all have redundant info and all have info the others don't have. Then you can pick which one will suit your needs for your hike.
I'll get off my soap box and answer your question now.

Appalachian Pages: I'm not too impressed with the profiles on the pages, so I wouldn't buy it for that feature. I do like the perforated pages, it was a pain cutting out my pages from the TH Handbook. I also like that they have a SOBO version. I like them giving the quick-reference distances to the next two shelters. The Appalachain Pages seem to attempt a merging of the best attributes of the Handbook and Companion. However, I understand, only from word-of-mouth, that there are some issues with accuracy, but I think those problems will be fixed and I believe my next hike I'll probably be carrying this book.

Thru-hiker's handbook: Gives the most data, i.e. springs, crossings, landmarks, ect. I Like the format. However, it does seem to get less accurate the further north you go. Anyone else notice that?

Thru-hiker's Companion: All three guidebooks directly copy mileages from the AT Data book for base information for distances to the shelters, major landmarks and points of interest, but the Companion does not add to that like the Handbook or A. Pages does. I like the privy/shelter info in the Companion also the Companion seems to give a little more town information than the Handbook.

TJ aka Teej
07-28-2008, 08:38
ALDHA, to my mind, is only different from the companion in form.
ALDHA is the group that produces the Appalachian Trail Thru-hikersí Companion for the ATC.

Frolicking Dinosaurs
07-28-2008, 09:24
I tried out all three this year - the Thru-Hiker Handbook was by far my favorite. It was much more accurate than in previous years and contained enough detail to assure I could find campsites and springs that were not easily found (the main reason I didn't like Appalachian Pages) and didn't contain a lot of info I would never use on the trail (the main reason I'm not giving equal billing to ALDHA's Companion).

Pedaling Fool
07-28-2008, 11:03
ALDHA is the group that produces the Appalachian Trail Thru-hikersí Companion for the ATC.
I forgot, meant to point that out also.

Pound Hound
08-03-2008, 14:48
When do the guidebooks get published? In other words, since we are starting the AT in Feb '09, will the 09 books be out yet or should we plan on using 08 books?

Kirby
08-10-2008, 20:09
When do the guidebooks get published? In other words, since we are starting the AT in Feb '09, will the 09 books be out yet or should we plan on using 08 books?

You'll be fine with an 08 if the 09's are not out yet.

Kirby

Pedaling Fool
08-10-2008, 20:40
You'll be fine with an 08 if the 09's are not out yet.

Kirby
Kirby's an expert now:sun You need to go back and look at ALL your questions about all the different guidebooks :D

RBoone
08-10-2008, 20:44
Appalachian Pages.

Awol2003
08-11-2008, 03:51
When do the guidebooks get published? In other words, since we are starting the AT in Feb '09, will the 09 books be out yet or should we plan on using 08 books?

App Pages (northbound edtion) shipped 1/17 last year, and we expect to be on a similar schedule in 2009.

fiddlehead
08-11-2008, 08:51
However, I think the data book, along with registers and word of mouth, is more than sufficient.

Right on! Keep it simple.

Thousands of thru hikes were done with just the data book. It wasn't until around 1990 that you even had these other "how to hike the AT" guidebooks.

TJ aka Teej
08-11-2008, 14:18
It wasn't until around 1990 that you even had these other "how to hike the AT" guidebooks.

How does the Philosopher's Guide fit into your timeline, fid?

dmb658
08-14-2008, 12:41
i took the app. pages, and yes i do agree that there are a few mistakes and that the profile was not proportional, but it did show you what you had in store and where about the shelter was. i also liked how easy it was to read it. once i got used to it, i loved it!

PUSHER

max patch
08-14-2008, 12:46
How does the Philosopher's Guide fit into your timeline, fid?

And even before the PG was published you could call the ATC and they'd send you a mimeographed list of info.

I actually had one of these years ago and somehow managed to lose it when I moved. Still bothers me today.