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[at-l] books to carry on the trail offered by the ATC

The most appropriate book depends on where you are hiking, as well as your 
comfort level. The ATC guidebooks are divided by sections that are not 
necessarily a single state nor a whole state. For instance, Georgia, NC and 
TN are divided into 2 sections, with each guidebook containing the Great 
Smoky Mountain National Park. Virginia is divvied into 3 sections of 
Southwest, Central and Shenandoah. And so on. Each book may have 2 or more 
maps associated with it, as part of the price.

I used to carry the guidebooks, maps and books on flora and fauna. 
Occasionally, I've found other books to be of similar or better help in 
describing the area, but usually weigh more. The Databook is a slender book 
that gives bare information related to mileage regarding road crossings, 
water, campsites and shelters, and towns with nearby services. The ALDHA 
publishes a book and gives it away free for the download as a set of PDF 
files, similarly divided by sections as per the ATC. It gives excellent 
information about support services in towns and road crossings, as well as 
general helpful info on the trail.

Before I hit a section, I copy the portions of the guidebook that detail 
the section and add notes from the Databook. If I am industrious, I'll 
write it into a PalmPilot to aid with planning and journal writing. I also 
print out the ALDHA's book and carry the important pages, or at least write 
the phone numbers and info into my Palm. I carry the maps, but I really 
only find the elevation profile map to be of any real use. I suspect one 
could make a really helpful map with one of the CD ROM products the ATC 

I have found that bringing the guidebook is a waste of weight. Reading it 
never has gotten me up a hill or into town quicker. Someone always has one 
in the shelter, and I am never too proud to ask to get a quick read of 
tomorrow's walk. I do like to know something about the history and geology 
of an area, but I prefer to prepare with that info before the walk. Of 
course, YMMV (your mileage may vary).


At 02:46 PM 6/26/2001 -0400, atboi wrote:
>which of the books would be MOST appropriate for carrying on the trail that
>the ATC offers? also i understand that the maps come in state sections only,
>is that correct?