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  1. #21
    Registered User Wolf - 23000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Uriah View Post
    You certainly don't need much in terms of navigation to hike it. Google Maps and a printer will no doubt do the trick for towns en route, while a free-to-download GPS track will keep you on route, if you possess a GPS unit. I've met folks hiking with just the data book (as I did my first time), while others have had trail maps, guidebooks, larger maps and GPS. The trail takes all types! With today's single best resource (the Internet) at your fingertips, it's hard to go wrong. I prefer not to spend much on books or maps or town-guides, so I can continue to afford the adventures themselves! But, that said, I am sure never to pester others for a glance at their maps or guidebooks, and I don't go unprepared.

    You CAN become lost on the CT--I and others have--but it requires some work!
    Uriah,

    I've actually thru-hiked the CT once before but it was a long time ago. I'm also not a big fan of relying on others. My backpack maybe small but I'm very self-reliant.

    I don't think I will be carrying a GPS or a smart phone. If there was a good reason then yea but really why. As long as I have a basic idea where the trail is then that what is really needed.

    Wolf

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    One thing i have done is photograph maps, and carry them in my camera, if i dont expect to need them much at all, or only for gross details.

  3. #23
    Registered User Wolf - 23000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    One thing i have done is photograph maps, and carry them in my camera, if i dont expect to need them much at all, or only for gross details.
    MuddyWater,

    I know people do it but it is not my style. It is one thing if someone provides their data out freely, it another thing to steal it.

    Wolf

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf - 23000 View Post
    MuddyWater,

    I know people do it but it is not my style. It is one thing if someone provides their data out freely, it another thing to steal it.

    Wolf
    Actually im referring to my own maps, or maps posted at trailheads.

    But someone elses works as well i suppose.

  5. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf - 23000 View Post
    This summer Iím during the Colorado Trail! The hiking community is full of people who have really done a great service to help others. Thank you! At the same time, others seem like they are more out to make a living off of the hiking community.

    I was looking at the books available. Just my hiking style but I donít really look at maps unless I have to figure out which way to go. Town Maps: I might visit 3 or 4 towns to resupply at a grocery store. Are the towns really that big a detail map is needed??? That leaves the miles on the trail something several sites already offer for a small fee or free.

    Iím not against paying a few bucks but it seems like everything is really over price for what is needed to hike the trail. There not as much information on the Colorado Trails as other trails such as the Appalachian Trail or the Pacific Crest Trail but there still seems to be enough information to thru-hike for a few hours of work and a printer.
    So what do other things think? Am I wrong?

    Wolf
    So - it looks like you've got your answer. Some people are able to hike the trail with minimal map resources.

    For myself, I was happy to purchase a guidebook and read about the trail. I agree with you that maps can be very expensive, so I purchased Erik the Black's mapbook for the CT which is lightweight and provides maps for the entire trail. I like the format very much, as it also shows vertical rise/fall and has nice maps of supply cities. I think his book is quite reasonably priced.

    I will be hiking the trail this summer and will have a gps, the mapbook, and a kindle version of the CT trail guide. More than I need, I think, but luxurious to have all those riches!

  6. #26
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    I liked Erik the Blacks map book as well when I did the first six sections in 2012. He is going to update his map book those summer/fall to include the collegiate west part. His was not too expensive and better than the CTF's mapbook

  7. #27
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf - 23000 View Post
    It is a matter of what you are getting for your money is why Iím asked the question. There are some books that are very good at a fair price. Others seem, well over price for what is needed to hike the CT.

    Wolf
    In your opinion. Other people say otherwise with their dollars. Good to have choices.

    Never mistake opinion for fact.
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  8. #28
    Registered User Wolf - 23000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mags View Post
    In your opinion. Other people say otherwise with their dollars. Good to have choices.

    Never mistake opinion for fact.
    Mag,

    It a fair statement to say there are some books/videos/maps that are a good value for the money, while other are over price and not worth the money. All of us have an opinion on what is good and what is bad and yes it is good to have choices.

    What I get annoyed with is when writers/instructors put out information that is straight wrong or pose to be an expert their not. If someone is giving advice on how to hike the AT but haven't hiked the trail themselves, that to me seems wrong. If someone is posing as an "expert" repeat hiker and still needs to ask others what they are carrying, that seems wrong to me. A repeat hiker is going to see the same gear over and over and over and over and over again until they know every piece of gear by heart. And yes, there have been times I've actually had to step in when a hiker was in trouble (freezing) and had her leader tell her "there was nothing she could do. Just keep hiking."

    You have a lot of experience too. I believe it is a fair statement to say you too have seen hikers charging money for their "expert advice", only to see they are really clueless themselves. Books/videos are not different. There are some good ones, while others not so good.

    Wolf

  9. #29

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    Maybe the question for someone buying a trail guide should be whether the person who wrote the guide has actually hiked the trail it is written about. That would get rid of a few of the independent publications, but certainly not to the books sold by the CTF.

  10. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf - 23000 View Post
    Mag,

    It a fair statement to say there are some books/videos/maps that are a good value for the money, while other are over price and not worth the money. All of us have an opinion on what is good and what is bad and yes it is good to have choices. What I get annoyed with is when writers/instructors put out information that is straight wrong or pose to be an expert their not. If someone is giving advice on how to hike the AT but haven't hiked the trail themselves, that to me seems wrong. If someone is posing as an "expert" repeat hiker and still needs to ask others what they are carrying, that seems wrong to me. A repeat hiker is going to see the same gear over and over and over and over and over again until they know every piece of gear by heart. And yes, there have been times I've actually had to step in when a hiker was in trouble (freezing) and had her leader tell her "there was nothing she could do. Just keep hiking." You have a lot of experience too. I believe it is a fair statement to say you too have seen hikers charging money for their "expert advice", only to see they are really clueless themselves. Books/videos are not different. There are some good ones, while others not so good. Wolf
    Despite the myriad of grammatical blunders, we all get your gripe, Wolf. It's a legitimate one, this tainted information. (And we now see your initial post was comprised of a rhetorical line of questioning.) But when it comes to purchases, we all vote with our dollars (or quite often without them). And, as Mags said, choices are good (even if too many of them, as we're often faced with in a free-will, free-market society like ours). We can support who or what we wish to, and thus we should. Many people here, for example, support this otherwise free site, by donating dollars. While I tend to think those funds would be better donated to the AT Conservancy (and other organizations like it), who am I to say? (Just another anonymous Internet denizen!)

    And as far as the self-proclaimed "experts," you should be used to them by now, at your age and experience level. They're everywhere! And in particular, on the Internet. Does it bother me that someone claims to be something he or she is not? And that someone might believe it and support that self-professed expert? Perhaps. But time tends to weed them out. As does indifference. Self-proclaimed experts hate being ignored, for theirs is perhaps not just a cry for dollars, but for attention and recognition. So be it. We should all feel needed and respected.

    I'll pose one last thought for you, regarding the statement you made and which I have boldly put in bold font: there are coaches in sport who have never played the sport they coach. And yet they know how to win (and have indeed won). Championships. Superbowls. Olympic medals. Athletes put their trust, and their careers, in their hands. How is this? Could it be possible to be an expert without possessing what's perceived as needed experience? Hordes of humans have hiked these long trails, each in his or her own way. More are doing it now, whilst we sit here and type! As such, I'm sure you're well aware that there are many ways in which to skin the proverbial cat. And with all these different ways in which to get the job done, it can get confusing. So what makes an expert?

  11. #31
    Getting out as much as I can..which is never enough. :) Mags's Avatar
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    I think I see the gist of the initial post...

    It is not so much that the guidebooks are overpriced, it is that the person(s) making the guidebooks are charging too much for the "expertise".

    That brings up two thoughts:

    1. Again, people will pay if they they think the person has the "expertise". That, again, comes down to a matter of opinion if the "expertise" is worth it. Dollars, or lack of as Uriah stated, vote the best if the opinion is worth it or not.

    2. But the crux of the matter: Ah..the expert designation. A slippery slope. I can't disagree that there are people whose alleged expertise is lacking. But, that is found in every aspect of life.

    First...what is an "expert"? Miles hiked? Bag nights? Trails hiked? Off-trail jaunts? More than just backpacking skills? Know how to use an iPhone app for a long trail? Ability to give information in a good way (the coaching metaphor Uriah mentioned)?

    "Expert" is a nebulous term and one that really can't be rated in the outdoors. I could hike 10,000 miles on the AT but that does NOT make me an expert in backpacking. I could sleep outside every night on my deck and still brag about how much I spend outside... You get the idea.

    When I was promoted from desktop support to a jr sysadmin a few jobs ago, my mentor (the sr. sysadmin...good guy who I learned A LOT from. I still talk to him a lot), left for a more lucrative job.

    I went from the guy who repaired your $100 hard drive to the guy who managed your email. But, the role was new to me and I was not qualified to be the main (senior) sysadmin.

    The replacement senior, on paper, was very qualified. Certs out the wazoo. A couple of semesters away from graduating with a Masters in IS.

    However, when he asked me how to create an email account, myself and a team member were perplexed. It would be the equivalent of a Triple Crowner asking how to adjust a compass for magnetic declination (of course, for many Triple Crowners, their biggest skill set now is using an iPhone..but I digress ).

    Turns out that the alleged sr sysadmin did not know, as my blunt and colorful mother would put it, his *ss from his elbow.

    Similar incidents happened like that over the next few weeks.

    The final straw was when he killed the executives iPhones from working with our email server.

    His *ss, and his elbow for that matter, was fired.

    In the same way, so-called hiker experts can only get by so much on bluff. Sure, some will get more street (trail?) cred than deserved perhaps. But maybe they present a product well. Again, people will vote with their dollars, and mouse-clicks, if something is worth it.

    If people are making money off of hiking, and people are willing to pay what they charge, so be it. Obviously if something is selling, it can't be too overpriced for many.

    The ones who have something good to sell will do OK. The ones who don't will eventually go away.
    Last edited by Mags; 05-15-2015 at 16:47.
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  12. #32
    Registered User Wolf - 23000's Avatar
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    Uriah,

    Before you did your first long-distance hike, you figure out what equipment you were going to use, miles you were going to hike per/day, the right foods, etc. How did that work out for you? Most likely, as you gain experience, your plans changed. Some who has hiked a long distance trail is going to have more experience than someone who has never thru-hiked. If you are paying someone money for their advice, and will be shelling out some serious $$$, don’t you think they the person you are paying should have experience to help you make wise choices?

    Some coaches, as you pointed out, may have never played the game but they know how to win. The coach also knows what to look for in their players to win. The key part is knowing what to look for. An instructor who has never thru-hiked before does not have the skills to know what to look for. They might ask other hikers but what questions do they ask? Each hiker hikes different. If you ask 9 different hikers what gear they use, you are going to get 9 different answers.

    Wolf

  13. #33

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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    I think Erik the blacks CT atlas, combined with map covering collegiate west is the best option for CT, based on my limited research into guidebooks.
    I dont carry a smartphone thingy, and I think the CT foundations data book without real maps is a poor execution of a good idea. Their large map book is not made with hikers in mind. I have no idea who they had it in mind for.
    Limited research, indeed.

    When I hiked the CT I carried CTF Map Book maps. I chose them because the maps reminded me a great deal of Half Mile's Maps for the PCT, which, BTW, are the same size. I carried just the map pages for the particular segment between supply points that I was on. The longest segment I hiked on the CT between re-supplies was from Denver to Breckenridge, which was a little over 100 miles. The maps for this part consisted of seven sheets of paper printed both sides, and looking at my journal, weighed a whopping 9/10 of an ounce, and folded up into a really managable size. The 8-1/2 " X 11" size format is the most common one used for other long trails. Maps for the CDT, PCT, and AZT are all that size, and they are definitely made "with hikers in mind".

    The CT maps show every waypoint on the trail at a very managable scale and show all of the GPS waypoints along the trail. Very hard to beat.

  14. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wolf - 23000 View Post
    Uriah, Before you did your first long-distance hike, you figure out what equipment you were going to use, miles you were going to hike per/day, the right foods, etc. How did that work out for you? Most likely, as you gain experience, your plans changed. Some who has hiked a long distance trail is going to have more experience than someone who has never thru-hiked. If you are paying someone money for their advice, and will be shelling out some serious $$$, don’t you think they the person you are paying should have experience to help you make wise choices? Some coaches, as you pointed out, may have never played the game but they know how to win. The coach also knows what to look for in their players to win. The key part is knowing what to look for. An instructor who has never thru-hiked before does not have the skills to know what to look for. They might ask other hikers but what questions do they ask? Each hiker hikes different. If you ask 9 different hikers what gear they use, you are going to get 9 different answers. Wolf
    Coaching--guiding--athletes is not entirely incongruous with guiding prospective thru-hikers. If a coach can lead his team or his athlete to victory, without having ever played the game (an example we've witnessed multiple times, even non-sport fans like myself), there's no reason an author cannot lead a hiker successfully into--and through--the forest or desert. Who's to say the author doesn't know what to look for? Me? You? The "experts"?

    Here's a scenario.

    Let's pretend for a moment that the author is wheelchair-bound, wishing nothing more than the capacity to hike the AT or the Colorado Trail. But he's unable, or "disabled" as we've pussified the phrase. The wheelchair limits him to paved places and/or smooth stretches. The poor guy can't even use staircases, and curbs scare the hell out of him. But his dream just won't die, so he decides to live vicariously through the experience of others. Many others. He studies guidebooks, maps, trail journals and the accounts of others: those who've succeeded and those who haven't. He pours over Internet forums, and becomes an A+ student of the activity, of thru-hiking and all that it entails. And he does this for years. He knows more than most those who've thru-hiked: compass declination, map-reading skills, weather-reading skills, about birds, edible plants, geography, geology, migration patterns, you name it. He just can't walk. But his friends become thru-hikers, and are thru-hikers. They hike the trails in his honor, with his assistance. You know, since he cannot.

    Would I trust this wheelchair-bound author for advice as much as someone who's walked the path? Abso-frickin-lutely. Because he's gained experience through MANY hikers and many other sources, not purely via himself, like so many of us do. (And he's sure to study the commonalities of those who've walked the walk, not just their differences...whether it's their choice of gear or whatnot.)

    It all seems pretty believable, pretty feasible, if you ask me. (And even if you don't!)

    Your inclination seems to lean otherwise, and that's perfectly acceptable and is your prerogative. As we all know, and have already alluded to, there are more ways than one to hike a long trail. Or, for that matter, to learn to hike a long trail.

    PS: For what it's worth, I know I wouldn't spend my money on poorly-written or poorly laid-out guidebooks or trail guides, but I do tend to study all that I'm interested in ad nauseam, even learning from the "bad" sources. I have learned from MANY (like Mags and those before him), not just via myself (an untrustworthy learning source if there ever was one) and hope to continue to do so.

    In this sense I not only head out the door to 'Hike My Own Hike,' as they say, but to hike the hike of those who helped me learn.

    Enjoy your weekend!

  15. #35

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    You can download all the way points for the CT...me personally, I'd pay the rate, buy the map book a la carte and call it a day and be happy to have it. So, No, I don't think it's over priced, but then I like the opportunities a free market brings...YMMV

    http://www.shop.coloradotrail.org/Co...ok-MAPBOOK.htm

    http://bearcreeksurvey.com/but_ct_waypoints.htm

  16. #36
    Registered User Drybones's Avatar
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    I wish the Data book had re-supply town maps, I like the format better than the Atlas I just spent too much on just to get town maps, don't really care for the Atlas format.

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    A expert is someone who can point out issues that are counterintuitive. Everyone else just has a varying degree of experience, from lots to none.

  18. #38
    Registered User Drybones's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drybones View Post
    I wish the Data book had re-supply town maps, I like the format better than the Atlas I just spent too much on just to get town maps, don't really care for the Atlas format.
    Went back to compare the Data Book and the Atlas to understand why I don't like the Atlas...the Atlas print is too small and the pages are too busy, my eyes start hurting trying to read it...the town maps are a disappointment also.

  19. #39

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    If you want a good town guide check out Yogi's.

  20. #40
    Registered User Wolf - 23000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearcreek View Post
    If you want a good town guide check out Yogi's.
    Google Maps does a great job too and they are free. Like most CT thru-hikers, I only plan on stopping by 3 - 4 towns. I don't see the value of spending $$ for something that is already free.

    Wolf

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