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[at-l] Re: (no subject)

Now THAT was a useful post (to myself being a newbie).  Can't we all 
agree that even though each individual sale of Wingfoot's book does not 
directly benefit the AT (through a portion of that sales going directly 
to the trail) the trail may benefit indirectly?

I wonder, how many members of the ATC were members before they first 
hit the trail vs. how many signed up as members after their hike?  
Wouldn't it then not matter too much which book one selected for hiking 
the trail if a percentage of those same people became members after 
hiking the trail and then providing more funds to the ATC then just a 
percentage of a single book sale?

Besides, in any environment, this one included, competition is always a 
good thing.  From the sounds of it both books are excellent sources of 
information and doesn't that push both publications to provide better 
and more accurate information year after year?

Doesn't everyone benefit?


On Apr 13, 2005, at 1:47 PM, Jim Bullard wrote:

> Weary thinks Wingfoot's handbook is better because "Most long distance 
> hikers I've heard comment,... seem to think Wingfoot's continued 
> efforts are more accurate and valuable than the Companion".
> The truth is we don't know which sells more or which is more accurate 
> or which is more "valuable" to any given hiker since that is all 
> highly subjective. I doubt Weary regularly meets the majority of 
> thru-hikers every year. I also doubt that the thru-hikers he does meet 
> checked every listing in both for accuracy and being human probably 
> tend to remember errors more than accurate information. The relative 
> value of the information and the way it is presented is subjective 
> beyond any possible analysis.
> For the newbees benefit be it known that there are three books you may 
> wish to consider carrying:
> The ATC "Databook" <http://www.atctrailstore.org/>
> The Companion" also <http://www.atctrailstore.org/>
> "The Thru-hiker's Handbook" 
> <http://www.trailplace.com/portal/display.php?page=handbook>
> The "Databook" is primarily point-to-point mileages from North to 
> South (if hiking S>N you read it backwards) with code notations on 
> such facilities as shelters, water (or lack thereof), Post Offices, 
> groceries, etc. If you are a member of ATC (highly recommended) the 
> book is cheaper than for non-members. Either way (member or not) your 
> purchase helps support the AT.
> The "Companion" is compiled by volunteers from ALDHA 
> <http://www.aldha.org/>. It has mileages between shelters S>N and more 
> detailed information and some maps of trail towns showing the 
> locations of the facilities described. It can be had for free (digital 
> version which you must print out yourself unless you plan to take your 
> computer on your hike) or in print from ATC's Ultimate Trailstore (see 
> above) where, like the Databook, it is cheaper if you are a member of 
> ATC. Also ditto on support for the AT resulting from purchase.
> The "Thru-hiker's Handbook" is a South to North guide combining the 
> mileage of the Databook and more detailed facility information a' la 
> Companion. The Handbook may be purchased directly from Dan Bruce AKA 
> Wingfoot at the URL above. There are no discounts. His is not a NFP 
> organization so there are no 'memberships' to be had and no direct 
> support for the trail in terms of oversight or maintenance results 
> from your purchase.
> As you have undoubtedly surmised by now there is considerable 
> disagreement over the relative merits of the Databook/Companion option 
> VS Dan Bruce's "Handbook". In truth you could probably hike the entire 
> AT with no guide book. Just follow the white blazes and leave the rest 
> to your sense of adventure. It has been done that way successfully in 
> the past and probably will again.
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