The Appalachian Trail, also called the AT, meanders 2,175 marked miles between Katahdin in Maine and Springer Mountain in Georgia. How is that for a hiking challenge? Every year, many people from all walks of life hike the AT, some with the goal to hike the entire trail either in a single hike or in many hikes over the course of many years. Those who desire more than a one-day excursion will benefit greatly from reading Michelle Ray’s 2009 book “How to Hike the AT: The Nitty-Gritty Details of a Long-Distance Trek”
The author has logged thousands of miles on the Appalachian Trail since 2005, and her enthusiasm for hiking has brought her to trails in every state. Her long-distance hiking “how to” book includes information on conditioning the body, determining an itinerary, finding the right gear, making a budget, and more to help the hiker properly prepare for the journey. Then, while actually hiking , “How to Hike the AT” contains advice on packing, eating, drinking, resupplying, personal hygiene, first aid, bounce boxes, trail etiquette, dealing with the weather conditions, and much more. Making this book realistic, Michelle Ray addresses many of the extreme needs and the not-so-rosey conditions endured during nearly every long-distance hike.
As indicated by the title, “How to Hike the AT: The Nitty-Gritty Details of a Long-Distance Trek” provides much more than a guide to the Appalachian Trail. This book will help any person or group planning any long-distance hike. Michelle Ray wrote this comprehensive AT long-distance hiking book in part because she could was unable to find a complete resource for her first AT hike in 2005.
Examples of Detail in the Book
The Flora and Fauna chapter notes that all hikers share the trail with the insects. In order to minimize exposure to the many pesky bugs, every hiker can wear light clothing, long sleeves, long pants, and boots with gaiters. In addition, repellant uses vary for different hikers; this chapter contains helpful information on all kinds of natural and chemical based repellants.
The Injuries, Illnesses and First Aid chapter helps hikers avoid or deal with common foot problems such as blisters, heel spurs, stress fractures, plantar fasciitis, and more. Do you know how super glue might help a hiker’s calluses? The way a hiker’s foot lands on the ground each step is called pronation. This chapter also provides information and ideas to help those who either overpronate or underpronate avoid foot injury.
More About the Book
“How to Hike the AT: The Nitty-Gritty Details of a Long-Distance Trek” is 272 pages and retails for 16.95. The book includes an index, a section on trail terminology, and a list of trail organizations. In addition, the final chapter covers lightweight and ultralight backpacking, a special class of long-distance hiking that may interest some. Amazon currently ranks it among the top 15 bestsellers in two separate Hiking & Camping categories.
Readers on Amazon give a high 4.8 rating to “How to Hike the AT: The Nitty-Gritty Details of a Long-Distance Trek.” Here are some of their comments – edited slightly – found at http://www.amazon.com/How-Hike-T-Nitty-Gritty-Long-Distance/product-reviews/0811735427/ref=dp_top_cm_cr_acr_txt?ie=UTF8&showViewpoints=1 :
* This book answered questions I did not know I should ask.
* This guide to how to prepare for a Thru Hike is one of the best I have seen, except for the information on the pack.
* She did the research and product testing so you do not have to.
* She manages to convey a sense of adventure and excitement…. She combines her own experience as a thru-hiker with a wealth of information into a very readable book.