Yesterday I posted Four Inspiring Long Hike Movies, an easy post in that there are so many great movies about hiking the long distance trails. Not so easy, however, are finding good books to get inspired in the same way. Probably my favorite book having to do with long distance hiking is Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods: Rediscovering America on the Appalachian Trail (which itself was made into a not very good movie, at least based on the 10 minutes or so I watched before turning it off), and that’s not really a book about thru-hiking, is it? The guides and how-to-prepare books have their charms, but somehow a well-made documentary beats any personal written accounting of time on the trail.
Why is that? Are there just no well-written books about hiking long? The best I’ve found are magazine articles, which might just be okay because they are so much more brief than the books. It’s not that I haven’t been looking – I’ve picked up copies of books at the library, started them, but inevitably stopped. Even when I’ve read a book through, I don’t have the same sense of excitement about hitting the trails as I do after seeing a well-made documentary.
So, I need some recommendations. Tell me a book that inspires you to plan, that makes you feel like you’re actually there, that makes you WANT TO GO. (And don’t say Wild by Cheryl Strayed, I found her a horrible person and put the book down very quickly.)