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  1. #1
    Registered User Guyler's Avatar
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    Default Awol Guide - 1s & 0s or tree pulp

    This post presupposes that taking the publication "Awol on the Appalachian Trail" guide is a reasonable and good idea, so please feel free to critique that as well.

    The main questions here is, paper or digital? I'll have my phone already and carrying a digital version seems like an easy way to save weight (and a little money). What do you think the upside and downsides are? My biggest concern is just having to look at my phone a lot (even if it's on airplane mode) because a subgoal of the trip is to be somewhat disconnected. I'm not particularly worried about my phone dying and being left without a map since as many people pointed out here it's a pretty well-trodden path (should I be?).

    Has anyone who has done this, or thought about doing this and decided not to, comment on how it worked out or why they didn't?

  2. #2
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    Actual both is best, paper alone is next for good reason.

    I had both during my thru, and used the phone version a lot but sometimes I couldn't. When it rains the touch screen would not respond when wet. This also made it difficult to use to the point of giving up trying when the summer heat hits and the sweat starts pouring down. Also there is the ever present possibility of accidentally leaving the phone off airplane mode and inadvertently running the battery down.

    Having one single guide in paper does meet in full the need for paper (and you only need the pages for the week or so, picking up the rest down trail at a post office or something). Have as many electronic guides as you wish, they do help.

  3. #3
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    FWIW, I'm a section hiker and I don't carry the book. I do, however, take a pic of the section I'm hiking and refer to that. I also use Guthook's App and find it very useful on the trail.

  4. #4
    Leonidas
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    I use a combo of the AWOL .pdf and Guthook.
    AT: 471 mi

    Pinhoti Trail: 254 mi

    @leonidasonthetrail

  5. #5
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    I had both versions of the AWOL guide but found myself using the paper guide at the end of the day or in the morning before departure. Then the Guthook app during the hiking day. I also wrote notes in the guidebook as I planned rough daily mileages to estimate the number of days to potential resupply points. I don't think I ever actually used the PDF version!

  6. #6
    Registered User colorado_rob's Avatar
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    Even though I thoroughly subscribed to 1's and 0's *** for most things, I took the paper AWOL, separated into sections of course to save weight.

    I did this primarily because I used the AWOL margins to make notes on the trail, a kind of journal, stating where I stayed each night, who I met, any significant waa-hoo's, that sort of thing. So even though it was a few ounces extra (carrying the 1/4 AWOL quide), it had a dual purpose. Also saved phone battery life.


    (*** An applicable quote: "There are 10 types of people in the world, those that understand binary arithmetic, and those that don't")

  7. #7
    Registered User Guyler's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post

    (*** An applicable quote: "There are 10 types of people in the world, those that understand binary arithmetic, and those that don't")
    10100111001

  8. #8

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    Getting both is only slightly more expensive and having it on your phone weighs nothing.

    I also use the Guthook App, and probably use it more than the AWOL guide on paper, and for sure more than the PDF.

  9. #9
    Registered User Guyler's Avatar
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    Whoa, $60 for all the AT maps on the Guthook app.
    Sounds like a lot of people thought it was worth it, though. Does seem way better than a PDF.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyler View Post
    Whoa, $60 for all the AT maps on the Guthook app.
    Sounds like a lot of people thought it was worth it, though. Does seem way better than a PDF.

    It is worth it, when I thru'ed there was a simular AT app to Guthook, IIRC it was AT trails, it has been since discontinued. I bought them one at a time, sort of a celebration of getting to a new section. That app had something like 23 sections, each about $4 IIRC. It also helped divide up very long sections such as the state of VA. Guthook charges more per section but has fewer of them.

    Also this past summer I hiked El Camino in Spain. After trying a few apps for it, none worked well, I decided to see if Guthook had that also, which it did and was a very happy clam.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyler View Post
    Whoa, $60 for all the AT maps on the Guthook app.
    Sounds like a lot of people thought it was worth it, though. Does seem way better than a PDF.
    Yea, but who knows, you might not end up buying all the Guthook sections. You can get them as you go along. It's still worth having the Companion or AWOL guides in print too. I find the printed guides easier to work with for planning, be it for the next trip or for the next couple of days or week on the trail. Really, one supplements the other.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  12. #12
    Registered User Storm's Avatar
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    Awol Guide, don't leave home without it.
    "The difficult can be done immediately, the impossible takes a little longer"

  13. #13
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    Guthook for the phone.

    Official AT "paper" map for that section.

    Appropriate section from Official AT Section Book removed and taken with.

    Suunto A10 compass.

    Any notes from research, I've scribbled in the margins of the Section Book...

  14. #14
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    I make my living off of 1s and 0s which is probably why I wouldn't trust them with my life in the woods. I do carry a smart phone but not for navigation. That could change. I try to keep an open mind about it.

  15. #15
    Registered User jjozgrunt's Avatar
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    I'm just going to use the AWOL pdf and Guthook. Back up battery and I should be fine. Should the worst happen I'll just have to suck it up and ask to see someone's paper version until I can get to a town. Big departure for me as I would never travel the aussie trails without a map, but then I've gone days on some of our tracks or in some cases the whole trip without seeing anyone, which makes it hard to borrow anything.
    "He was a wise man who invented beer." Plato

  16. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyler View Post
    10100111001
    i wouldn't say that

  17. #17
    Registered User dzierzak's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyler View Post
    This post presupposes that taking the publication "Awol on the Appalachian Trail" guide is a reasonable and good idea, so please feel free to critique that as well.

    The main questions here is, paper or digital? I'll have my phone already and carrying a digital version seems like an easy way to save weight (and a little money). What do you think the upside and downsides are? My biggest concern is just having to look at my phone a lot (even if it's on airplane mode) because a subgoal of the trip is to be somewhat disconnected. I'm not particularly worried about my phone dying and being left without a map since as many people pointed out here it's a pretty well-trodden path (should I be?).

    Has anyone who has done this, or thought about doing this and decided not to, comment on how it worked out or why they didn't?
    It may be obvious, but don't confuse "Awol on the Appalachian Trail" with the guide. Two different things.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Guyler View Post
    10100111001
    Nerd ALert.jpeg

    ...............!!!
    "Adam & Eve are the first two persons who failed to read the Apple Permissions & Exclusions."

  19. #19

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    Paper, electronic and Guthook.

    I sectioned my paper guide into 6 sections and drop boxed them to hostels/stores that I thought would be interesting to visit, so the weight wasn't annoying and I didn't have to worry about post offices being open. I used the paper to route plan, to plan for provisions based on the next likely resupply point easily accessible to the trail. Used it to help out other hikers for a quick visual reference. I used it as a journal to mark dates, what progress I planned, vs. progress I actually made, noted hostels/stores/services I used.

    I'd almost skip the electronic version, but... it was cheap, and I saw a few hikers with waterlogged bits of guide with missing or unusable pages. I also used it for a few week where my daughter forgot to mail the paper section. I had it stored on my Kindle, so it was readable.

  20. #20

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    I did paper AWOLS and guthook on the phone. IMO AWOL is good for towns, Guthook better for on trail. I didn't send sections, I just brought the whole guide and ripped out pages as I completed them. Makes good backup TP and/or fire starter


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