The abundance of available information about the Appalachian Trail can overwhelm the prospective thru hiker or curious outdoors enthusiast. Listed below are sources I found to be most helpful as I began preparing for my AT thru hike.
Resources to help prepare for a thru hike:
- The Appalachian Trail Hiker: This book provides a thorough breakdown of various types of gear along with the pros and cons of the goods and strategies to taking on long-distance hiking.
- Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers’ Companion: To put simply: You must have this book. If you are thru hiking or long-distance hiking a section of the AT, this book is your survival guide. It has detailed charts for the 14 states the AT runs through — providing important details, such as the locations of the AT shelters, exactly where streams and rivers are located to resupply water, road crossings and so much more.
- Edible Wild Plants – A North American Field Guide: This book provides a detailed guide on how to identify and prepare edible plants you’ll stumble across in the woods.
- Appalachian Trail Conservancy: This Web site offers an abundance of information, ranging from a brief history of the trail, to current trail notifications (bear problems, trail closures, weather concerns, etc.), to advice for planning your hike.
- WhiteBlaze.net: Think of this site as a giant forum where current thru hikers, past thru hikers, family and friends of thru hikers, and basically anyone interested in the AT can ask questions concerning the trail, share information and connect with other AT enthusiasts.