Appalachian Trials by Zach Davis

Appalachian Trials

Each year, it is estimated that more than 2,000 people set out to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, yet seven in ten ultimately fall short of their goal. Given the countless number of how-to books and websites offering information about logistics, gear, and endurance training, one would think that more people would finish this 2,200 mile trek. Why then, do so many hikers quit prematurely?After successfully thru-hiking the AT in five months with ze...

Details Appalachian Trials

TitleAppalachian Trials
Release DateFeb 1st, 2012
PublisherGood Badger Publishing
GenreNonfiction, Travel, Environment, Nature, Adventure

Reviews Appalachian Trials

  • Christie Bane
    This a great book, in a category of its own apart from trail guidebooks and how-to books focused on logistics. I've read a lot about thru-hiking the AT, and this is the only book I've found that is all about the mental aspects of being a thru-hiker (including what sounds to me like really good advice for taking what you've learned on the trail and applying it to real life, and also for how to "come down" off the trail and re-enter the real world)...
  • illcookforyou
    You can choose to duplicate Zach’s adventures and hike the Appalachian Trail, or you can use Zach as an example as to how to put your life into perspective.Whether or not you plan on hiking the Appalachian Trail, I highly recommend reading Zach’s book. This book is a MUST READ for the prospective Appalachian Trail hiker or the average Joe/Jodi who has never hiked a day in their life. This book is funny, it’s motivational, but most of all, i...
  • Marcella Wigg
    There are many guides to Appalachian Trail thru hiking: the trail segments, hostels, and physical challenges along the way. But the hardest aspects of hiking 2,200 miles are the psychological challenges of sticking with it, even in the toughest of times, even when life outdoors becomes less than novel. Zach Davis, a successful 2011 AT thru hiker, offers a lot of valuable advice for any prospective hiker in this quick read, including strategies to...
  • Bob Wallner
    Not at all what I expected. I don't know much about the author's background other than what he shared, but this book was a fun read that could have been about how to succeed at any of life's challenges - The AT was just a nice example of a challenge. You could have easily put in, relationship, career, family, or really any goal. Much of what Zach talks about seems like echos of what I have read in the past by some of the best goal setting authors...
  • Adam Nutting
    I am preparing for a 2013 NOBO Thru-hike. I have been reading any book I can get my hands on to help prepare me for the adventure that lies ahead. I have yet to read a bad book however this is the first one that really speaks to the truth of the trail. Many people try to "sell the trail" and only provide the best parts of the trail and what worked best for them. Very few folks actually write about what they did that did not work. This book is 100...
  • Kevin Fanning
    I got a bunch of Appalachian Trail books from the library b/c someone I follow on twitter (Rahawa Haile) is thru-hiking and it's so inspiring? And I wondered what's involved, how difficult it is to plan and do this. I have no interest in thru-hiking the entire AT, but, idk! Maybe a tiny bit of it? Some day? It's sounds interesting. Anyways this is less of a "how to" and more of a "You can do it dudebro!". It's pretty casual and jokey in a way tha...
  • Gail Gray
    It’s not often we see a Good Badger execute somersaults. But one, who chose to share his antics on the Appalachian Trail, did. In Appalachian Trials (be sure to notice the vowel shift) Zach Davis, the owner of the trail name, Good Badger, rolls from funny and glib to serious and profound, proving to be a complex person, as many are who attempt the AT and make it. Hikers and their families are lucky he chose to write such a book, an honest and a...
  • Debra L
    I am a 59-year-old overweight and under-exercised (read: computer-addicted) lady who is fascinated with mountains and hiking (although I have done every little myself). Since I read "Following Atticus" recently, and "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed, I was drawn to and added Zach Davis' amazing book Appalachian Trials to my was satisfying on so many levels! So many times I had to just sit back and savor what he said, because it was so what I ...
  • Allison
    Excellent perspective on how to prepare to thru hike the AT.
  • Molli
    Loved this book! Best one I've read to prepare us for our hike(and I've read a lot!). I was laughing out loud while learning lots of new stuff that we need to know. Thanks, Zach!
  • Julie
    Lots of useful information. Upbeat, but not overly cheerful. Pragmatic approach to the mental game. The other side of preparation for 2,200 miles of walking.
  • Gail
    Truly authentic and realistic description of the challenges and joys of the trail.As a section hiker I have always dreamed of a thru-hike - - - some day :-)
  • LB
    3.5 / 5 stars ratingThis review is also posted at hiking the Appalachian Trail is meant to be enjoyed. All of life is meant to be enjoyed.Zach David thru-hiked (with a pit stop in Silicon Valley apparently) the Appalachian Trail in just over five months. Hot dang. From my (albeit limited) research, that's a bit faster than average, especially when you take into account contracting West Nile (doesn't tha...
  • Cindy Stavropoulos
    This book was shared with me by one of my AT Trail Angels, “Lemonade Stan”. We are not Thru Hikers but we are Section Hikers. I, in fact, face a real fear of solo section hiking the AT. “Lemonade Stan” thought this was a great read for me and he was most definitely going the correct direction on the compass with his advisement to read it. I wish I had read it long before I had my first step on Springer Mountain in Georgia. This book is a ...
  • Nikki
    Purchased this book as it is a staple of the thru-hiking community. This is not an adventure book detailing all of the things that happened on "Badger's" hike, nor it is a extensive guide to the AT. Rather, it is a book about how to prepare yourself mentally for such a big challenge, since thru hikes are transformative experiences but by no means are they all sunshine and roses. I read this book in one sitting at a backcountry campsite, as I am h...
  • Steve Shogren
    Short and sweet, with some useful information. Maybe an hour read. Overall I think really has helped me think through the hardest part of this project: what's between my ears. Before reading this I was going to thru-hike because my wife and a friend really wanted to (even though it was my idea, I'd cooled considerably on the subject), but now I'm pretty sure I'll do it alone even if they drop out or get injured along the way. This book caused me ...
  • Lance Clarke
    I've read dozens of books on long distance hiking, and had been told that this is the most essential for doing the AT. It is not. While it is good, and had a few thoughts I hadn't seen before, I'd say it was over-rated. Mostly common sense. However, your experience may differ if you have absolutely no experience, and haven't done a lot of research into thru hiking yet.It is also quite a short book. So go ahead and read this book, it's not a terri...
  • Michelle
    Love the authors voice in this book. Excellent, amusing, and a quick read. Definitely good advice for any major lifestyle challenges that you want to pursue. I read this in preparation for a completely different challenge other than hiking and found it honest, motivating, and inspiring. Though he absolutely convinced me that hiking for months through the woods is not for me. Lol. Which is good information to have!
  • Rebecca
    Started reading this book 4 weeks prior to starting the trail which is a good time in my opinion... there are many things i already thought about as well as different lists I made which I now got reminded of. And I was really happy reading something not much related to gear for once, I got really tired of it. This mental prep was a good read, I can gladly recommend it
  • Kevin O'Brien
    Definitely a more unusual take on hiking the AT. Author could have used an editor but overall the style came off as accessible and honest. Some good nuggets of wisdom as I look more into doing the AT myself.
  • J. Scott Calder
    Seems like solid adviceBut I have not hiked the AT yet, so time will tell. Easy read with good advice. The gear advice was weak I thought, but the psychological advice is worth reading.
  • Eileen Winfrey
    A little self-help guide to preventing and combating the mental stress of through hiking the Appalachian Trail from one through hiker’s perspective and experience. An interesting take on the topic with some helpful tips and tricks.
  • Kelly
    Amazing book. Well written. A must read if you are considering through hiking.
  • Lea
    It was great but it was too short. I wanted more.
  • David L King
    Good readLearned a lot reading this book in preparation for hiking the AT next year. This is information I had not found anywhere else.
  • Katharine Rudzitis
    Great job pinpointing the importance of mental conditioning. No amount of gear will get you there if your attitude is wrong.
  • Gabe
    Eh. 2.5 stars
  • Mike Reinking
    Short book on the psychological aspects of hiking the Appalachian Trail. Some good points but also a bit weak in spots - self published, so good for him!
  • Jordan
    Super helpful!
  • Nikki
    A must read for any AT thru-hiker, so I would think.