Preparing for the AT Part II: Appalachian Information

companionBetween shameless trips to REI and when I’m not futzing with my scale, I am sponging up any and all information remotely AT related. First thing when I wake up in the morning- visit Last thing I do before bed- read forums on Any free time in between- I’m on I’m pretty sure this behavior is bordering on addiction. Whiteblaze is a “Community of Appalachian Trail Enthusiasts.” It’s loaded with information from hikers. If I have a question about the AT, it’s been asked and answered there.

Not surprisingly, I get sucked in by AT thru-hiker journals at I particularly enjoyed Late 4 Dinner’s 2012 trail journal. (Late 4 Dinner would be a trail name.) I came away from reading that journal not only with a greater enthusiasm for the trail, but with a stronger connection to my own faith. Some other websites I lurk on are, the Appalachian Trail Conservatory website,, and many, many more gear and backpacking sites. I’ll list some in the resources section soon. Oh, and I absolutely devour gear reviews. And yes, I do enjoy reading about lyme disease and blister prevention. I super do not want to get lyme disease. Do not not not want to get lyme disease. I also read all the personal AT blogs that I stumble upon, plus books and documentaries that I pick up from the local library. My favorite book thus far is Zach Davis’s Appalachian Trials: A Psychological and Emotional Guide to Successfully Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail. Best. stuff. ever. I’ve got the Kindle version of this one which means I’ll have it with me on the entire trail. Davis writes that he feels responsible for my success as a thru-hiker. I don’t think this means I can blame him if I don’t make it though. Maybe I will anyway.

Let’s not forget the Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker’s Companion. This book details shelter information, town services, mileage, elevation, landmarks, water sources and more. This book comes with me on the trail. I think I can get a .pdf version. That’ll save another few ounces.

For me it’s all AT, all the time. It’s hard for me to find many other topics as interesting, except for farming. I can always talk farming, but when given the choice I’d really rather talk about the AT. I sense for some people that this is getting old. Sorry people.

So, got any AT info you think I need to see? Delicious trail recipes? Places I need to visit? Advice on poison ivy treatment? How to speak bear? Bring it on.




Preparing for the AT Part II: Appalachian Information

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