Oh, happy day! I finally have my copy of the 2016 Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers' Companion. This reference book is compiled annually by the great folks at Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association (ALDHA) and Sly Slyvestor. They work with the great folks at the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC), which publishes this tremendously helpful resource.
In my travels writing about the Appalachian Trail -- from North Georgia to Monson, Rangeley and Millinocket, Maine, and all points in between -- the Companion is my primary guide to trail heads, hostels, restaurants, outfitters and more.
Everything hikers need to travel on foot from Springer Mountain to Katahdin is listed. Maps of the Trail, local towns, where to find water, shelters, motels, pizza and "cold ones" reside in its pages.
Day-hikers, section hikers and anyone looking for short or long hikes along the Appalachian Trail would be wise to purchase a copy and follow the directions therein.
Are there flaws? Well, a couple. The easy-to-read mileage maps indicate the Trail is 2,174.0 miles long, not the official length of 2,189.1 miles. The publisher's info on the Companion states there are 288 pages, but my copy only has 266.
Worried that the 15 missing miles were among the MIA pages? Pfft. What's 15 miles out of 2189? Look on the bright side! If you get hopelessly lost in the woods, at least you'll have a great book to read until you're rescued or eaten by bears.
I don't leave home to hit the Appalachian Trail without my Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers' Companion. I trust that it will never steer me -- or you -- wrong.
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For every thru-hiker, there are 1,000 hikers who hit the Trail for shorter distances. All could benefit from the Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers' Companion.
Yes, friends. Even men hiking the AT are bad at asking for directions. That's why they should all purchase 2014 Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers' Companion.
David "Awol" Miller wrote "The A.T. Guide: a Handbook for Hiking the Appalachian Trail" after completing his own thru-hike. This resource is priceless.
Make plans to attend the 33rd Annual ALDHA Gathering in Williamstown, MA, October 10-12, 2014, if you love hiking and you would like to meet other hikers.