books about thru hiking

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books about thru hiking


Thru-hiking is a tough yet rewarding experience. It takes a lot of strength and willpower.

Books about thru hiking offer guidance and inspiration for any aspiring adventurer. They provide tips and personal stories from experienced hikers. These books are a must-have for anyone doing, or wanting to do, a thru hike. Each book is unique and offers a different perspective on the experience.

“Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart” by Carrot Quinn is an emotional account of her Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike.

Prepare for a journey that will make your feet hurt and your spirit soar with these amazing books about thru hiking.

Top Books about Thru Hiking

To discover the top books about thru hiking and find inspiration and guidance, explore this section with the best books that fit the bill! Learn about “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed, “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson, “Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart” by Carrot Quinn, “Appalachian Trials” by Zach Davis, and “Hiking Through” by Paul Stutzman.

“Wild” by Cheryl Strayed

Cheryl Strayed’s memoir, “Wild“, is a critically acclaimed piece of literature. It doesn’t just describe her hike on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), but also deals with grief and self-discovery. Her vivid descriptions and candid introspections make it a compelling read.

Strayed’s 1,100-mile journey on the PCT is detailed in her prose. She captures the beauty of the trail and its surroundings, providing readers with an immersive experience. Through her emotional recollections, she turns this wilderness adventure into something extraordinary.

Grief therapy, drug abuse, and single parenthood are also discussed. The book encourages readers to reflect on how people deal with life-changing events.

“Wild” by Cheryl Strayed is highly recommended for anyone looking for thru-hiking adventures or inspiration to take their outdoor expeditions to the next level. Its honest and vulnerable narrative style makes it easy to connect with her personal journey, serving as ultimate inspiration to pursue one’s goals despite adversities encountered along the way.

“A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson

Bill Bryson’s renowned book, ‘A Walk in the Woods‘, is an absolute must-read for all hikers and nature lovers! It takes readers on a humorous and informative trip down the famous Appalachian Trail.

Bryson’s witty writing style entices readers, showcasing the duo’s various hurdles while thru-hiking. This makes it a great choice for anyone looking to go on a thru-hike. Plus, Bryson also sheds light on the trail’s history and culture, giving readers a deeper appreciation of its significance.

In conclusion, ‘A Walk in the Woods’ is a must-read for any aspiring thru-hiker! But, beware – reading ‘Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart‘ may cause emotional blisters. Be careful!

“Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart” by Carrot Quinn

Carrot Quinn’s Thru-Hiking: A Heartbreaking Journey takes readers on an inspiring journey of long-distance hiking. She candidly shares struggles and reveals the raw realities of her Pacific Crest Trail experience. Quinn uncovers lessons in resilience, physical endurance and inner strength.

Her narrative is unique; she invites readers to explore her psyche and emotions. Quinn captures the beauty and fragility of the planet. Mental health, vulnerability and leadership are all discussed, offering valuable insights for hikers and non-hikers alike.

Thru-Hiking: A Heartbreaking Journey is an excellent read for adventurers and armchair travelers. It discloses lesser-known truths about thru-hiking, and celebrates the art of walking.

Pro Tip: Before your next thru-hike, take time to research options. Physically prepare and carefully choose your gear. Happy trails!

“Appalachian Trials” by Zach Davis

This acclaimed book is highly acclaimed in the hiking world for offering a comprehensive guide to prepping both mentally and physically for long treks, like the Appalachian Trail. “Appalachian Trials” by Zach Davis provides readers with real advice on how to dodge regular errors while discussing the mental challenges that come with long-distance hiking.

The writer gives insight into his own private fight through his thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, highlighting the value of mental strength and perseverance for trekking triumph. You can anticipate finding sincere and applicable stories from other hikers, alongside handy tips on what equipment to take, food to eat, and how to manage their time wisely when on a long-distance hike.

A distinct aspect of this book is it deals with not only physical prep but emotional readiness too, making it a must-have tool for anybody thinking of taking on a long-distance hike. Its fame among expert hikers and devotees suggests that this book should be a must-have in any hiker’s library.

Written by an expert hiker himself, “Appalachian Trials” offers invaluable insights into pre and post-hiking activities. These enhance the hikers’ mind-set making them more successful at achieving their goals along demanding terrains with breathtaking views.

If you’re searching for a book to motivate you to quit your job and embark on a months-long hike, look no further than ‘Hiking Through‘. It’s the perfect excuse to shirk responsibility!

“Hiking Through” by Paul Stutzman

Paul Stutzman’s emotional journey is detailed in his book. He hikes the Appalachian Trail after his wife’s death from cancer. The author reveals his physical and mental struggles, and the meetings with other hikers. “Hiking Through” is an inspiring memoir. It encourages readers to keep going during tough times.

The book tells of Stutzman’s growth. He faces injuries, illnesses, and wildlife. His struggles teach him closure and strength.

The book shares an intimate point of view of a hiker on a big journey. It’s relatable to anyone seeking personal growth or overcoming hardship.

Research shows that hiking has great physical and mental benefits (Mental Health Foundation). Reading thru-hiking memoirs could make you cancel your plans to hike instead!

Memoirs about Thru Hiking

To understand and immerse yourself in the world of thru-hiking, the memoirs about thru-hiking can be a perfect solution. ‘Memoirs about Thru Hiking’ with ‘The Barefoot Sisters Southbound’ by Lucy and Susan Letcher, ‘Becoming Odyssa’ by Jennifer Pharr Davis, ‘AWOL on the Appalachian Trail’ by David Miller, and ‘Walking to Listen’ by Andrew Forsthoefel, gives you a personal account of the journey, the challenges, and triumphs of through hiking.

“The Barefoot Sisters Southbound” by Lucy and Susan Letcher

Lucy and Susan Letcher’s narrative, “The Barefoot Sisters Southbound”, tells of their journey from Maine to Georgia. They hiked barefoot and faced challenges along the way. The power of sisterhood, reliance on nature and fellow hikers helped them overcome these.

They share their success and failures. They explain how barefoot hiking affected them – something other hikers may not know. This unique approach rewarded them with adventure and self-discovery.

Their memoir can be an inspiration. It offers insights into long-distance hiking that can help prepare for a thru-hike. Always have open communication with your hiking partner(s) and accept variations in individual approaches.

Jennifer Pharr Davis’ Appalachian Trail journey makes me want to hike. But it also makes me want to stay away from the wilderness.

“Becoming Odyssa” by Jennifer Pharr Davis

Jennifer Pharr Davis presents a personal tale in her book, “Becoming Odyssa“. She captures the profound encounters she had along the Appalachian Mountains. Her work highlights how hiking is a means of self-discovery and growth.

It’s from a female’s viewpoint, offering life lessons, such as understanding small things, meeting new people, conquering fear, and recognizing resilience. Her account of daily routines, trail etiquettes & ethics, and backpacking gear makes this piece helpful for hikers.

Anyone who wants to explore nature and push their limits should read her writing. The depth of her experiences along with the emotional roller coaster of Failure, Fear, and Regret will be appreciated.

Hiking could uncover a lot about yourself! Pick up “Becoming Odyssa” and see what you could discover.

“AWOL on the Appalachian Trail” by David Miller

Thru hiking has been an adventurer’s popular activity. David Miller’s memoir, “AWOL on the Appalachian Trail,” captures the essence of it. In his book, Miller narrates his experiences over 2000 miles across the Appalachian Trail. He provides an in-depth insight into the challenges faced and perspectives of hikers.

Miller’s captivating storytelling and vivid descriptions allow readers to join his journey. They brave treacherous terrains and inclement weather with him. He recounts crossing high mountains, deep valleys, and encountering wildlife. His account makes for an exciting read.

Miller’s work is one of the most accurate portrayals of thru-hiking life on the Appalachian Trail. He offers practical advice on equipment preparation, physical and mental preparation, budgeting strategies, campsite booking, etc. It’s a useful guide for hikers planning similar expeditions.

Interestingly, Miller named his trail name ‘AWOL‘ because he took time off work to embark on this trip. Andrew Forsthoefel’s journey proved that the best way to find yourself is to get lost on a long hike – preferably without phone signal.

“Walking to Listen” by Andrew Forsthoefel

Andrew Forsthoefel’s ‘Walking to Listen’ is a narrative memoir that takes readers on a profound journey. He explores diverse backgrounds and discovers himself in the process. This book dives deep into human connection beyond norms.

Forsthoefel walks thousands of miles across America with only a backpack. He immerses in unfamiliar places, being vulnerable, open to new ideas, and redefining life.

The mix of travelogue, autobiography and spiritual journey makes this book a must-read for those who seek inspiration through nature. It shows that unusual paths can lead to self-realization.

This book is a guide for readers seeking transformation. It teaches us to listen with humility and be present in every moment.

Non-fiction books like this help us understand different cultures better. Such literature creates empathy for fellow humans by enhancing our horizons and breaking stereotypes.

Guidebooks for Thru Hiking

To plan your thru-hiking experience, use guidebooks. The Pacific Crest Trail by Brian and Jackie Johnson, The Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker’s Companion by The Appalachian Trail Conservancy, and The Continental Divide Trail by Martin Werner are essential guidebooks for thru-hikers. Each book provides valuable information and details specific to the trail, allowing you to curate your trip to better suit your needs.

“The Pacific Crest Trail” by Brian Johnson and Jackie Johnson

Thru-hikers planning to trek the Pacific Crest Trail should consider “our guidebook” by Brian and Jackie Johnson as essential. It analyses trail conditions, terrain features and supply points, as well as providing topographic maps of trailheads and landmarks.

It’s important to remember that conditions on the PCT change. Parts of the trail may require advanced skills or special gear, so hikers should always check up-to-date info from reliable sources.

The PCT has been a popular draw for ambitious hikers for many years. According to National Geographic, over 50% of thru-hikers complete the trail (source). For the Appalachian Trail, The Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker’s Companion is the perfect companion.

“The Appalachian Trail Thru-Hiker’s Companion” by The Appalachian Trail Conservancy

The Appalachian Trail Conservancy have created a must-have guidebook for those looking to complete the Appalachian Trail. It includes details on water sources, towns, and resupply points, as well as maps and elevation profiles.

This guidebook is unique, in that it provides cultural and historical information about the regions along the trail. This helps hikers understand the areas they are travelling through.

The Conservancy have published this guidebook annually since 1973. This makes it a well-respected resource for hikers.

When it comes to hiking the Continental Divide Trail, Martin Werner’s guidebook is incredibly useful. It holds a wealth of information – almost like a Swiss army knife, but without the Swiss chocolates.

“The Continental Divide Trail” by Martin Werner

Martin Werner’s guidebook is essential for anyone tackling the Continental Divide Trail. It reveals expert advice on the terrain, preparation and gear needed for a successful 3100 mile thru-hike from Mexico to Canada. It also contains trail maps, elevation charts, weather info and more.

Unique insights include resupply points, possible trail closures, personal anecdotes, and regional culture tips. Such details can truly enrich the experience beyond the logistics.

Only about 150 people a year finish this incredible trek. So, grab the guidebook and start your own epic journey!

Adventure Fiction about Thru Hiking

To discover thrilling stories of thru hiking, check out adventure fiction about thru hiking. “The Trail Provides” by David Smart, “The Last Englishman” by Keith Foskett, and “North to Katahdin” by Eric Pinder are great options to begin with.

“The Trail Provides” by David Smart

This adventure fiction tells of the joys and struggles of thru-hiking. The protagonist meets nature head-on when taking on this challenge. Without distractions from technology, they find spiritual awakenings and self-discovery. As each obstacle is conquered, the trail generously rewards determination and endurance.

Thru-hiking requires much planning and tiring effort. The story shows how it builds strength, balance, mental health, and friendships. David Smart’s ‘The Trail’s Provisions’ shows the importance of respecting and caring for the environment to protect wildlife habitats, ecosystems, and resources.

This novel emphasizes the resilience gained from thru-hiking. It encourages applying survival techniques to everyday life. It carries a message: that every thru-hike has unique experiences worth sharing with family and friends for generations. Keith Foskett’s ‘The Last Englishman’ proves that anyone, regardless of gender or nationality, can take on the Appalachian Trail.

“The Last Englishman” by Keith Foskett

Pack your bags! Eric Pinder’s ‘North to Katahdin’ by Keith Foskett takes you on an epic 2,650 mile journey along the Pacific Crest Trail. Get ready for an adventure that will take you to new heights.

“North to Katahdin” by Eric Pinder

Eric Pinder’s adventure-fiction book titled ‘North to Katahdin’ follows a group of thru-hikers as they journey from Georgia to Maine. It suggests the ultimate destination – Mount Katahdin.

The hikers face unpredictable weather, bear encounters, and challenging terrain. They also discover themselves in the process. Pinder’s vivid descriptions bring the beauty of nature to life.

This book has an emphasis on character development. Each hiker has their own backstory and motivations for taking the hike. It adds complexity to the plot beyond just a point A to point B tale.

It’s noteworthy that this book was inspired by real-life events. Eric Pinder hiked the Appalachian Trail in 1995 and drew upon his own experiences and those he met on his journey. Remember, it’s better to read about someone else’s exhausting hike than having to do it yourself!


Thru-hiking is a tough feat that requires physical and mental strength, passion, and preparation. Books about thru hiking illustrate the adventure, the beauty of nature, and the difficulty of taking on such an expedition.

These literary works offer insight into experienced hikers’ lives, provide helpful advice, and motivate aspiring others to pursue their dreams. Readers looking for knowledge and inspiration can explore various genres including memoirs and guidebooks.

Memoirs by well-known thru-hikers like Bill Bryson’s “A Walk in the Woods” or Cheryl Strayed’s “Wild” emphasize the emotional journey. Guidebooks such as “The A.T Guide” and “John Muir Trail Topographic Maps” offer essential info on logistics. Titles featuring diverse trails around the world, like “Walking Home: A Pilgrimage from Humbled to Healed,” describe pilgrimage trails in Europe and Canada.

Books about thru hiking can teach navigation techniques, outdoor survival skills, risk management, and environmental stewardship. It is important to select books that fit one’s interests, goals, and skill level.

One incredible story is that of Emma Gatewood, who hiked more than 2,000 miles at age 67, becoming the first woman known to hike the Appalachian Trail solo in 1955. Her amazing tale is recorded in Ben Montgomery’s book, “Grandma Gatewood’s Walk.”

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is thru hiking?

Thru hiking is a form of long-distance hiking that typically involves hiking an entire trail from start to finish, often taking several months to complete.

2. What are some popular books about thru hiking?

Some popular books about thru hiking include “Wild” by Cheryl Strayed, “A Walk in the Woods” by Bill Bryson, and “The Appalachian Trail: Celebrating America’s Hiking Trail” by Brian King.

3. What can I expect to learn from reading books about thru hiking?

Books about thru hiking often offer insights into the physical and mental challenges of long-distance hiking, as well as stories about the people and places encountered along the way. They can also provide practical advice on gear, food, and other aspects of hiking.

4. Are books about thru hiking only relevant to experienced hikers?

No, books about thru hiking can be enjoyed by anyone with an interest in hiking, outdoor adventure, or personal growth. They can be especially informative for those planning their own thru hike.

5. Are there any memoirs specifically about women thru hikers?

Yes, there are several popular memoirs and books of essays about women thru hikers, including “Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart” by Carrot Quinn and “Walking to the End of the World” by Beth Jusino.

6. Can reading books about thru hiking inspire me to take on my own hiking adventure?

Absolutely! Many readers have been inspired by the stories and experiences shared in books about thru hiking to plan their own adventures on hiking trails around the world.

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