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  1. #1
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    Default minimal reference info for AT

    my first solo NOBO on AT begins next May. what would you bring with you to get you critical info on local towns along the way without bringing too much reference material?

  2. #2

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    Applicable pages out of awols guide, while rest is bounced forward

  3. #3
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    Default minimal reference info for AT

    Yes, AWOL's has everything you really need to know regarding nearby towns, very comprehensive. You can even download it to your phone, if carrying the physical book is not in your wheelhouse. For the info given, it's incredibly cheap too!

  4. #4
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    I'll agree with the others... AWOL has basically all you'll need and the addition of the phone app can be a plus

  5. #5

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    I would say you want a map of the white mountains, just because its confuseing. At isnt AT.
    And ATC maine maps, because its ...big .
    Other maps are nice to have, but if you get off trail you go downhill and you will stumble on river, forest road, and people eventually. the ATC meanders like a creek. Sometimes NOBO is south, east, west, any direction but north. To actually know where you are in relation to towns and roads, you need a map. but no one looks at them.

    Guthook probably suffices too today on AT. Ive only used it on CT and Long Trail. I found it good for some things, llike determining position. Lacking in other area. I really preferred the Long Trail map (excellent...all maps should be that good) and the CT guide.. Only using guthook to determine actual position with gps occassionally.
    Last edited by MuddyWaters; 09-09-2017 at 16:56.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    I would say you want a map of the white mountains, just because its confuseing. And ATC maine maps, because its ...big .
    Other maps are nice to have, but if you get off trail you go downhill and you will stumble on river, forest road, and people eventually. the ATC meanders like a creek. Sometimes NOBO is south, east, west, any direction but north. To actually know where you are in relation to towns and roads, you need a map. but no one looks at them. Guthook probably suffices too today.
    Good point about the whites. A map would definitely be handy with the amount of intersections and scarcity of water/camping options at points. I do most of my hiking in the whites and on a regular basis run into thru hikers asking if I've crossed any tent spots... not always easy

  7. #7
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MuddyWaters View Post
    I would say you want a map of the white mountains, just because its confuseing. At isnt AT.
    And ATC maine maps, because its ...big .
    Other maps are nice to have, but if you get off trail you go downhill and you will stumble on river, forest road, and people eventually. the ATC meanders like a creek. Sometimes NOBO is south, east, west, any direction but north. To actually know where you are in relation to towns and roads, you need a map. but no one looks at them.

    Guthook probably suffices too today on AT. Ive only used it on CT and Long Trail. I found it good for some things, llike determining position. Lacking in other area. I really preferred the Long Trail map (excellent...all maps should be that good) and the CT guide.. Only using guthook to determine actual position with gps occassionally.
    These maps for maine are the best I've seen

    https://www.matc.org/store/

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by kibs View Post
    my first solo NOBO on AT begins next May. what would you bring with you to get you critical info on local towns along the way without bringing too much reference material?
    Nothing. Buy the AT Data Book, that's all you need.

    Source: that's all I needed.
    Back to the Earth I screamed, and no one listened.
    Back to the Earth I lived, and they all followed.
    https://smokebeard.wordpress.com/about/

  9. #9
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    Default minimal reference material for AT

    Quote Originally Posted by AllDownhillFromHere View Post
    Nothing. Buy the AT Data Book, that's all you need.

    Source: that's all I needed.
    Thanks to All for your expert advice! I didn't realize Maine could be that confusing and will take extra precautions. The Data book is something I just ordered. Thank you again!

  10. #10
    Registered User ldsailor's Avatar
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    For planning purposes, AWOL's guide is the best. However, on the trail, I depend on the Guthook app. It has almost the same information as AWOL. In some cases Guthook has something AWOL doesn't have and AWOL has something that Guthook doesn't have.

    There is a new app out there for Android (don't know about the Iphone) called Hikerbot. It is crowd supported, which means it encourages hikers to add to it. I downloaded it for free plus a couple of the maps and am going to try it next week as I hike the AT in Pennsylvania. It has a lot of information about the trail and off the trail - maybe more than Guthook.

    The advantage of an app over paper is less weight and easier to access. Both Guthook and Hikerbot work with your phones GPS, so you can put the phone in Airplane mode to conserve battery. You might want to consider trying one or both apps in planning your hike while on the trail.
    Trail Name - Slapshot
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  11. #11

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    Spend a few evenings with maps and your favorite guide (eg. AWOL,) make a list of useful trail towns or trail-side resources and the mileage of each of these from your start point. It'll fit on two or three pages. One or two sheets of paper. There are really only a few dozen towns to consider. Maybe double that if you add every last hostel, mini-mart and hot dog stand along the way.

    Simple, rough math: typical thru hike is 150 days, if you do a town stop every 4 days, that means about 38 town stops total.

  12. #12

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    If you want a real minimalist guide , use the ATC Appalachian Trail data book (is it still available though?). It just lists mileage between shelters and some way points and that a town is xx miles away to the right or left at a road crossing. All it tells you about the town is if it has a P.0., groceries, Lodging or meals. (PO, G, L, M )

    That's all I used back in 1987/88 to hike the AT. Every town was a new adventure, never knew exactly what I'd find or where to find it.
    The AT - It has it's ups and downs...

  13. #13

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    Comments on Guthook app were the best for can get more up to date info then what's in AWOL


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  14. #14
    Hiker bigcranky's Avatar
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    Either the AT Guide ("AWOL") or the Thru-Hiker's Companion for a useful printed reference. I would just carry the whole book for a thru-hike. The Atlas Guide ("Guthook") App is also useful if you have a smartphone - you download all the maps and data so it's usable without cell service (but your GPS knows where you are).
    Ken B
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  15. #15

  16. #16
    Registered User Engine's Avatar
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    Just hiked the trail with a PDF of AWOL's guide and Guthooks on my phone. Never missed having a hard copy... zero extra weight.

    Sent from my XT1585 using Tapatalk
    “He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” –Socrates

  17. #17
    Registered User Kaptainkriz's Avatar
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    Off the Whiteblaze front page - this guide has a bunch of info: https://whiteblazepages.com/

  18. #18

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    My $.02, coming from an old dude:

    The problem with all the guides and apps is that by the time you get to a town, or a shelter, or a cool thing on the trail, you have already heard about it from a hundred people. The experience of exploring a town and talking to people for directions etc is gone. You end up with an over-documented, always-on, Facebook-live experience, vs. a journey.
    Back to the Earth I screamed, and no one listened.
    Back to the Earth I lived, and they all followed.
    https://smokebeard.wordpress.com/about/

  19. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by AllDownhillFromHere View Post
    My $.02, coming from an old dude:

    The problem with all the guides and apps is that by the time you get to a town, or a shelter, or a cool thing on the trail, you have already heard about it from a hundred people. The experience of exploring a town and talking to people for directions etc is gone. You end up with an over-documented, always-on, Facebook-live experience, vs. a journey.
    Flip side is you learn of cool/helpful things available in a town you wouldn't have known otherwise


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  20. #20
    Flip flop, flip flopping' LASHin' 2000 miler LDog's Avatar
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    Default minimal reference info for AT

    I bought Awols unbound version. And I used a bounce box for extra food and supplies that might be hard to find along the way - lithium batteries for my headlight, spare tent stakes, meds ...

    I’d carry just the half dozen pages I needed to get to my box. Folded in half, with the days hike on top, they fit in a pint freezer baggie, and it went into my shorts cargo pocket. I kept notes on the pages, dates where I spent each night, what I saw... When I got to my box, I put the old ones in, and took the next section out.

    When I was done, I put them all back together, and bound them. An indispensable reference to where I was, and when. Has a place of honor on my bookshelf.


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