Resources for Future Thru Hiker:

This is a list of resources that I have compiled for anyone who is thinking about or currently planning a thru hike or other long hike! Let me know if there are other awesome resources I should add. And of course, check out the resources on this here blog by going back in time and looking through our archives.

Useful Websites:

PCTA – The PCTA’s website and everything PCT.

ATC – The ATC’s homepage and everythig AT related.

CDTC – The CDT’s website and all the information you could ever want about the CDT!

Plan Your Hike

  • Has all the information you need about every different aspect of thru hiking!

The Hiking Life

  • All sorts of information about hiking, backpacking and trail etiquette.


  • Everything vegans need to know about hiking and being vegan at the same time.


  • The go to forum for AT thru hikers, also a site where many thru hikers have blogs!  You can create new threads with your questions and have them answered or go back and look at old threads.


  • Another common place for thru hiker blogs (all different trails).


  • One of the most popular AT blogs, and he wrote a book: Appalachian Trials, All Things Appalachian Trail!

Hiking Dude

  • All kinds of good information about long distance hiking and good for shorter backpacking trips as well.


  • About backpacking in general.


  • There are all sorts of pages about the AT and I’m sure the other trails as well.  I am a member of Appalachian Trail which is basically an ongoing forum of facts and advice about everything.  Great for someone planning a thru hike who wants a lot of different opinions!  I am also a member of a group called Gear Talk which is focused specifically around gear.


  • Just google any trail and any thru hike and SO many blogs and websites will pop up

Maps and Guidebooks:

Halfmile’s Maps

  • Halfmile (a thru hiker) has spent many months creating and updating these maps so they are usually considered the most current and accurate ones available for the PCT.

Wilderness Press Guidebooks

  • Guidebook for the PCT and available for digital download.


  • Another guidebook option for the PCT.

AWOL’s AT Guidebook

  • The only AT guide worth it in my opinion.  Do not buy the maps, the guide book is enough by itself.

Useful books:

Appalchian Trail Thru-hikers Companion by Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association

  • Sometimes used as a guide but not commonly, not a bad book to buy and leaf through before hand.

How to Hike the AT: The Nitty Gritty Details of Long Distance Hiking by Michelle Ray

  • What I read before thru hiking the AT, great book.

The Pacific Crest Trail: A Hiker’s Companion by Karen Berger and Daniel R. Smith

Novels about thru hiking:

Wild by Cheryl Strayed

A Walk in the Woods by Bill Bryson

Thru-hiking Will Break Your Heart by Carrot Quinn

Appalachian Trials: All Things Appalachian Trail by Zach Davis

A Thru-Hiker’s Heart by “No Way” Ray Echols

Long Distance Hiking: Lessons From the Appalachian Trail by Roland Mueser

Tangled Roots: The Appalachian Trail and American Environemtnal Politics by Sarah Mittlefehldt

Becoming Odyssea: Epic Adventures on the Appalachian Trail by Jennifer Phar Davis

On the Beaten Path: An Appalachian Pilgrimage by Robert Aldin Ruben

Stumbling Thru: Hike Your own Hike by A. Digger Stolz

Hiking Through: Finding Peace and Freedom on the Appalachian Trail by Paul V. Stutzman

A Blistered Kind of Love: One Couples Trial by Trail by Angela Ballard

AWOL on the AT by David Miller

Barefoot Sisters Southbound by Lucy Letcher and Susan Letcher

Websites about food preparation and dehydration:

Backpacking Chef

Adventure Alan

Wild Backpacker

Dirty Gourmet

Backpacking Recipes 


Websites where you can buy backpacking meals:

Wilderness Dining

Backpackers Pantry

Food Storage 

Harmony House Foods

Packit Gourmet 

Yeti Food Outfitters

Mountain House 

  • Many of these prepackaged freeze dried or dehydrated meals are also available through your Costco or REI.

First aid information:


  • WMI and WMA are the preferred organizations to get your WFR through.

Helpful Gear Websites and Great Companies:

Outdoor Gear Lab

  • Great gear review website that has side by side comparisons of all types of different gear and clothing.

Gossamer Gear

  • Smaller cottage company who has a great blog and a whole section of their website that is devoted to “how to go lighter”.


  • Probably my favorite cottage company that makes some of the lightest weight gear on the market.

BlackwoodsPress again…

  • A specific entry on Blackwoodspress that directs you to some of the best cottage companies out there.

Trail Designs

  • Great for those looking for really light stove options.

Yama Mountain Gear 

  • Another cottage company not listed on the above Blackwoodspress directory.

Backpacker Article

  • A great article in Backpacker about smaller and lesser known gear companies.

Section Hiker

  • Good article about lightening your pack weight.

Appalachian Mountain Club

  • More articles about losing weight out of your pack!

6 thoughts on “

  1. For history’s sake you really should recommend Colin Fletcher’s “Complete Walker” and “A Walk thru Time”. Very old school and probably outdated in several ways. Still foundational enough to be important.

    1. Yes! I own and have read complete walker! Technology does seem to be moving at a speed that makes it hard to keep up in book form but all the fundamentals are there.

  2. I have found a great place for nylon, zippers and down. I have not built their kits, but I sewed four baffled down bags buying their bulk products. Useful hint, see them on a pool table, stuff them in a large tent (easy to vacuum).

Leave a Reply