Long-Distance Hiking: Lessons from the Appalachian Trail / Edition 1

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"The definitive guide to long-distance backpacking. With diligence and creativity, Mueser has gone about answering questions that no one else has even asked. Virtually all the material appears nowhere else and will delight both experienced hikers and the novice with only a dream of setting foot down the trail." Larry Luxenber, author of Walking the Appalachian Trail

In April 1989, avid hiker Roland Muerser set off from a shelter at Springer Mountain, Georgia. His goal: to hike the entire Appalachian Trail, interviewing hikers on everything from clothing and gear to coping with loneliness and fatigue. In Long-Distance Hiking he draws on those extensive interviews, presenting hikers' candid responses to questions both practical and philosophical:

  • Which brand of backpack do most long distance hikers prefer? (page 54)
  • How much money will I need? (page 135)
  • Is a walking stick an advantage or a nuisance? (page 76)
  • What percentage of hikers wear underwear? (page 70)
  • Is it safe to hike alone? (page 19)
  • Which brand of camp stove is most efficient and easiest to pack? (page 57)
  • Is there sex on the trail? (page 147)
  • How many miles do most hikers' boots or shoes hold up? (page 46)
  • What are the most difficult aspects of long-distance hikeing? (page 138)

Both literate and entertaining, this book is a must for anyone considering a long-distance trek.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780070444584
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill Professional Publishing
  • Publication date: 11/1/1997
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 457,517
  • Product dimensions: 9.20 (w) x 7.34 (h) x 0.47 (d)

Meet the Author

Proving that no sacrifice is too great in the name of science, avid hiker Roland Mueser once devised a controlled experiment and carried it out during blackfly season in the woods and swamps near his New Jersey home: He ran a 4-mile course through the woods wearing DEET repellent on alternate days, and tallied the number of bites sustained during each run.

Roland is the author of several books, and his articles have appeared in Appalachia, the Colorado Mountain Club magazine T&T, and other outdoor journals. A retired physicist, Roland is a former member of the engineering research faculty at Harvard University and Pennsylvania State University and was a research scientist for Bell Laboratories. After retiring, he thru-hiked the 2,100-mile Appalachian Trail in 1989.

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 The Thru-Hiking TraditionChapter 2 Why Thru-HikeChapter 3 Who Hikes with WhomChapter 4 Older HikersChapter 5 Physical Condition and InjuriesChapter 6 Trail NamesChapter 7 FootwearChapter 8 Packs, Tents, Stoves, and GuidesChapter 9 Sleeping on the TrailChapter 10 Clothing and RaingearChapter 11 Comforts and AmenitiesChapter 12 How Fast, How FarChapter 13 Water: Its Joys and PerilsChapter 14 Food, Calories, and WeightChapter 15 Animals on the TrailChapter 16 Insects and Repelling ThemChapter 17 Along the TrailChapter 18 Trail PeopleChapter 19 Looking BackAppendix 1 The Questionnaire and Its StatisticsAppendix 2 Questionnaire SummariesAppendix 3 Survey ParticipantsBibliographyIndex

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted April 15, 2009

    An Easy Read

    I found this book informative and easy to read. I was a little dissapointed that the gear recommendations were not current, but I should have checked the copyright date. Otherwise, I enjoyed this book for its coverage of the subject.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2003

    Lear the Lessons befrore you set out

    A wealth of information anyone truly intent on completing a long distance hike should read. Weither thru hiking the AT or just out for a weekend walk on a local trail the statistics, collective knowledge and tails of the trails found in this book will increase your enjoyment, knowedge and chances of a safe and happy trip.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 31, 2012

    Interesting way to look at the trail, a bit dated.

    The author has done detailed surveys of thu hikers on the AT and presents his findings along with his own experience. It was interesting to see how the numbers worked out, and there were very detailed questions. Since the trail itself changes and so does equipment, the book, published 15 years ago a bit dated. I found it valualble, but with that caution.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 28, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews

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