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  1. #1

    Default Jan D. Curran's AT books

    " The AT-How to Prepare for and Hike It" by Jan D. Curran has to be one of the best books I have read so far to alert the potential thru-hiker to the reality of what one must be prepared to experience and endure in order to complete their thru. I know some people find Curran's books boring and/or rigid in his writing style, however I have read his books and was wondering what other's thought's were about this book and, or his other two books which detail his two season hike from Georgia to Maine.

  2. #2

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    I bought this book before I knew about Wingfoot or the ALDHA book or any other book on the AT. l liked the non-specificity. An easy read, a good primer on the basics. Considering the quality of this site and others, it is hard to see a continuing relevance, but it served me well.

    Also, liked the quotes at the top of the chapters. If remembered correctly, one was: "Plans are useless, planning is indispensable." Pres. Eisenhower. Being part of a group who made and broke at least 4 plans a day, that quote is a mantra.
    Yahtzee

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    Personally, I don't think "How to Prepare for it and Hike It" is very good, but perhaps that's just me.

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    Rain Man's Avatar
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    I have his two books about hiking the trail, the south half, then the north half.

    Yes, his style is a bit pedantic and uninspired, which is curious since a lot of his commentary is about seeking spiritual inspiration. That also contrasts with the fact that he packed a pistol (and a short temper?) both years. Carrying a weapon and seeking God. To me, weird, but to each his own. He made it, completed his physical trek, to his credit. Not sure if he completed his spiritual journey, but that's okay, perhaps that's not a journey to complete.

    While they are not as boring or nearly as sloppy as some, I probably would recommend several other AT books ahead of these two.

    RainMan

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  5. #5
    Registered User Peaks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Tarlin View Post
    Personally, I don't think "How to Prepare for it and Hike It" is very good, but perhaps that's just me.
    I'll agree with Jack here. I thought that Christopher Whalen's book was better, but thought there was room for improvement. I guess each of us has their own ideas.

    (Jack, any thoughts about publishing your own how to book?)

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    Furlough's Avatar
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    Somewhat like Yahtzee, Curran's books were the first ones I read in reference to the AT. The writing style did not bother me (might have to do with 20+ years in the Army) and reading them from the authors prespective I enjoyed all of them. But then again I have enjoyed every book I have read on this subject. I think the primary reason for this is just with Curran's books I try and read books of this nature from the authors point of view and try not to get wrapped up in technical and critical critiquing.

    I would not use Curran's book or any other "How To" as a sole source of info - there is just way too much info available for sole sourcing to be prudent these days.

    Furlough
    "Too often I would hear men boast of the miles covered that day, rarely of what they had seen." Louis L’Amour

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    Registered User vanwag's Avatar
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    since you're asking for opinions...

    In "The Appalachian Trail, a Journey of Discovery" his judgmental attitude toward fellow hikers (he seemed to consider himself superior to all others) really bothered me. His self-described 'type-A' personality made it impossible to like him, and his references to his 'impressive' military career were mentioned too frequently... I'm former military and I grew tired of his inflated sense of self worth in this regard.

    He also skipped a section of the AT (North of Damascus) and took the VA Creeper Trail and justified it by questioning the actual route of the AT as being tougher than it needed to be. This just really bothered me, and I kept reading just to see if he actually claimed to hike the whole thing at the end. Unfortunately this entailed buying part 2 which I cannot do.

    I normally believe that if you don't have anything positive to say, keep your mouth shut! But this book affected me in such a negative way I felt compelled to share my pain. If you're looking for some inspirational reading to motivate you to hit the trails, save your money and don't buy this book.

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    Peakbagger Extraordinaire The Solemates's Avatar
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    i've read all three of his books. i would give them 2 out of 5 stars. not very impressive, but at least i was able to get through the books and not abandon them.
    The only thing better than mountains, is mountains where you haven't been.

    amongnature.blogspot.com

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    Peakbagger Extraordinaire The Solemates's Avatar
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    Whalen's book was good, but he basically copied Dan Bruce's older version of the same book without giving wingfoot any credit.
    The only thing better than mountains, is mountains where you haven't been.

    amongnature.blogspot.com

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    Curran's "A.T. how to prepare & hike it" seemed somewhat outdated but was decent book. I do not recall the published date.

    I recently finished Curran's "The A.T.: Journey of Discovery" and it was a tough read. He was very opinionated and quick to judge all ....even his fellow hikers. Confrontation seemed to be his first reaction to handle any situation. Maybe it was the pistol he was packing.

    Curran seemed to have an irrational fear of Southerner trail town folk that bordered on racism. He never missed a chance to stereotype most locals as lazy, ignorant, and not to trusted. I would avoid this book unless to learn how not to treat others.

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    Registered User sailsET's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by prolifichrr View Post
    My guess is that you are terribly lost, and have no idea how to the use the internet.
    Come sail away, come sail away, come and sail away with me.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wf3yw...ure=plpp_video

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    Quote Originally Posted by sailsET View Post
    My guess is that you are terribly lost, and have no idea how to the use the internet.
    I am thinking of borrowing this as my new signature line.......
    Last edited by Sailing_Faith; 06-24-2012 at 23:59.
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    Favorite quote;
    Quote Originally Posted by sailsET View Post
    My guess is that you are terribly lost, and have no idea how to the use the internet.

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