View Full Version : Erik The Blacks Guidebooks

Chaco Taco
03-23-2013, 07:51
Anybody used this guys guidebooks for any of the trails? Looks like the ideal book. Anyone got any experience with them?


03-23-2013, 09:37
I have his JMT version for my hike this August. Of course I have not used it on the trail as of yet but it appears to be well done. It gets good reviews on the JMT Yahoo group site.

03-23-2013, 10:14
My wife and I used his JMT guidebook on our '11 thru hike. I also had the Harrison maps and chose to take Erik's book on the trail with me. It is well done and has valuable info. It is small enough to but in a side pocket in your pants or in your water bottle pocket of your pack. One thing that some may have issue with is there is very little info off the trail. Connecting trails are shown, points on the trail that could be used to bail are pointed out, but some people might feel the need to carry other maps just in case of injury or resupply off the trail. At the front of the guidebook he included maps of the larger towns people might resupply at and whatnot. I would recommend them.

03-23-2013, 10:18
I used his JMT book on in September and it was all that I (and my wife) needed to hike that trail --- lightweight, fit in a cargo pants pocket (too tall to close the pocket, but it worked). A fine choice.

I used his very first attempt at the southern section of the PCT in 2008 and it was good too, though the elevation profiles could at times be a little misleading (perhaps they are always misleading, this happened with the AT guidebook I used too on occasion).

The eBook purchase option at lower price is an interesting option, depending on what you have to view it on; personally, a terse, efficiently packed info page is something that I want in hard copy. Maybe someday when we have better viewing options that are easy-to-use and very light, but unless carrying a full-sized tablet (which I wouldn't do), I suspect the pages would be difficult to view. I'm speculating there, however, don't take my word for that.

For the PCT, I have mixed feelings relative to the alternatives. If I were doing the CT or TRT, I would go with his guide, and was glad to have done so for the JMT.

03-23-2013, 10:20
Used his guidebooks for the PCT. This was the first version in '08. Subsequent editions are much improved. Found them very hiker friendly when combined with Yogi's town guide.

03-23-2013, 11:44
If you have the CT maps you can print off for your section why bother?

Chaco Taco
03-23-2013, 14:00
If you have the CT maps you can print off for your section why bother?
I like to have the town info

03-23-2013, 19:19
I like to have the town info

Perhaps it's just me being old school, but how much town info you really need to hike the CT? :)

Chaco Taco
03-24-2013, 07:59
Perhaps it's just me being old school, but how much town info you really need to hike the CT? :)
I dont know, Ive never been to Colorado :) You are probably right, I just want to make sure that we get in and out of town as quickly as possible so we can mazimize trail time

03-24-2013, 17:53
I realize my reply was unintentionally flip. Mea culpa..

What I should have said is that unlike the AT, the towns are relatively small (other than the ski towns like Breck, Frisco, and Silverthorne) and not as many choices. Knowing where the town is and what services are avail seems to work well.

But, some people do like a bit more town info to make choices.

All good.

Chaco Taco
03-29-2013, 08:41
got my copy the other day, Its all nice and simple. Great book

03-31-2013, 13:18
I used the PCT ones in 2009. Everyone that year was generally happy with it. Hikers in the following years complained about them (bigger snow years in the Sierra). Which I can understand since they didnt' show enough of the terrain surrounding the PCT to be of much use in cross country navigating. Even though I generally praised them (though they had their faults as well such as price, elevation profiles missing climbs, etc)), Yogi had enough complaints about them that she removed any mention of them from her PCT guidebook by me and others. Which is a shame. As long as you know their limitations they are pretty complete all-in-one books.

Erik has been improving his maps since I bought one, so I'm sure they are even better now. If you aren't hiking in alot of snow burried trail, they should more than meet your needs on the trail, if you feel the price is right.