Makes you feel the pain and joy of an Appalachian Trail thru-hike . . . In vivid colors, David paints a picture of his memorable journey. -Larry Luxenberg, president of the Appalachian Trail Museum SocietyIn 2003, David Miller left his job, family, and friends to fulfill a dream and hike the Appalachian Trail. AWOL on the Appalachian Trail is Miller's account of this thru-hike along the entire 2,172 miles from Georgia to Maine. On page after page, readers are treated to rich descriptions of the valleys and mountains, the isolation and reverie, the inspiration that fueled his quest, and the life-changing moments that can only be experienced when dreams are pursued. While this book abounds with introspection and perseverance, it also provides useful passages about safety and proper gear, showing a professional hiker's preparations and tenacity. This is not merely a travel guide, but a beautifully written and highly personal view into one man's adventure and what it means to make a lifelong vision come true.
David Miller's Top Five Items You Might Not Think to Pack for a Long-Distance Trek (But Will Wish You Did) Scissors:
Scissors are better than a knife for common tasks like opening food packaging, cutting moleskin, or trimming your mustache. I carry the Leatherman Micra, which has a very functional pair of scissors and a knife blade. Suntan Lotion:
The AT is known for rain, cold and for long walks through the "green tunnel." Yet every year, especially before the trees regain their leaves, hikers will get sunburned. Chafing powder:
Hikers disagree about whether hiking uphill or downhill is more demanding, but they all agree that hiking with chaffed, burning skin is less tolerable than the ups and downs. Body Glide is another popular treatment. Trash Bag:
Pack it in; pack it out... and remember to have something to pack it out in. A gallon-sized zippered bag usually suffices. Belt pouch:
Backpack manufacturers have caught on, and many now offer packs with accessible pouches sewn onto the straps on their packs. If your pack doesn’t have belt pouches, buy add-ons. Keep your camera in your belt pouch, and you’ll take many more pictures than you would if your camera was in your pack. Also keep your spoon at the ready; you never know when your hiking partner might leave his food unattended.
Photos from the Appalachian Trail Click to see larger images