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  • Appalachian Trials: A Psychological and Emotional Guide To Thru-Hike the Appalachian Trail (Volume 1)
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Appalachian Trials: A Psychological and Emotional Guide To Thru-Hike the Appalachian Trail

209 customer reviews

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  • Appalachian Trials will prepare you for the mental challenge of hiking everyday
  • Learn Goal setting techniques that will assure hikers reach Mt. Katahdin
  • Learn to avoid the common early stage pitfalls
  • Learn how to beat "the Virginia Blues"
  • Learn the importance of and meaning behind "hiking your own hike"
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Product Description

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 zero prior backpacking experience, author, Zach Davis, is convinced he's discovered the answer. Aspiring thru-hikers, Davis tells readers, that they are preparing the wrong way- sweating on the StairMaster, meticulously plotting each re-supply box, or obsessing over the a synthetic or down sleeping bag or perfect pair of socks. While the AT undoubtedly presents extraordinary physical challenges, it is the psychological and emotional struggles that drive people off the trail. Conquering these mental obstacles is the key to success. This groundbreaking book focuses on the most important and overlooked piece of equipment of all- the gear between one's ears. Filled with first-hand, touching yet humorous vignettes and down-to-earth advice that both instructs and inspires, Appalachian Trials gives readers the mental road map they'll need to hike from Springer Mountain to Mt.Katahdin.Discover 5 strategies for unwavering mental endurance.Discover the most common mistake made in the final stretch of the trail.Discover tips for enjoying rather than enduring each of the five million steps along the journey.Discover strategies for avoiding post-trail depression and weight gain.Includes a BONUS SECTION.Which includes a Gear Review by a well known thruhiker and.How to avoid the Trail's most unknown risk and what to do about it.Money saving tips and much more..About the Author - Zach's very first backpacking trip was a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail. Despite lacking in any skills necessary to complete such an endeavor, much less eve...


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  • ASIN: B00PVFJBH2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (209 customer reviews)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

57 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Adam Nutting aka HikingTheTrail on February 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
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% from the heart no BS straight up telling it how it really is. I had heard that the mental trail is harder to hike than the physical trial and after reading this book I feel absolutely no questions asked prepared to take on the trail both mentally and physically. Thanks Zach for writing this book.
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36 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Kat Wickstrom on February 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Anyone will tell you that a long-distance hike isn't purely a physical feat but mainly a mental one. But even with that common knowledge, I had yet to see a book about long distance hiking that emphasizes the mental process that a hiker goes through on his/her journey, until I picked up Appalachian Trials. Appalachian Trials focuses on those psychological pressures that a person could face while hiking the Appalachian Trail. It is singularly the most important part of the journey, yet rarely touched upon in most prep books.

Zach Davis' wit and humor bring his story and advice alive, creating a pleasing and entertaining read. I would certainly recommend this book to anyone planning a long-distance backpacking trip, not only for the mental exercises contained within, but also for the bundle of laughs his humor excites.
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34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By HikerGirl on February 6, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
There are a lot of hiking books out there, especially for the Appalachian Trail, but this book focuses on the psychological challenge a thru-hike presents. It talks about the mindset needed to complete the hike and gives you exercises (mental, not physical) to complete before and on the trail. Personally, I found this really helpful in my planning process.

And don't worry, for all you gear junkies out there... there is also a section devoted to this very topic. There is a contribution from an hiker who has completed both the AT and the PCT. He shared his vast knowledge, complete with a gear checklist.

I definitely recommend this book if you are considering any long distance hike.
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Omega on February 20, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased this book on Kindle a few days ago and actually took notes. The wife is asking if I feel OK(I've never taken notes of anything I've read since completing college and didn't take many then). This isn't just a "Hiking the A.T." book. This is a book on living life to it's fullest and how to laugh in the face of misery. Do as Zach says, not as he sometimes does(read the book)!!
I live about 45 minutes from Springer Mtn. I'm in these woods often doing short 4-5 day section hikes by myself(my preference). Have met many people on the trail. Everything Zach talks about in the book resonates truth. There's no sugar coating or embelishing life on the trail in this book. I couldn't tell you how many books I've read on hiking, gear, nature and social aspects of life on the trail. Never have I picked up a book like this one(read the book).
I often dream of doing a thru-hike while reading these stories. Living vicariously through the eyes of the author. I say that because I'm 50 years young. In descent shape for an old fart, have a job, wife, daughter in college(not cheap). It's just not the thing a responsible dude does, right. Wrong! After reading Zach's book, I've got a fire lit under my bum like never before.
Many of the lessons, and daily rituals Zach talks about(read the book), I currently practice. ie: meditation, acceptance, this too shall pass. I learned them from a little group I belong to that will remain anaonymous.
Well Zach, thanks for the shove. I'm doing this! I have the gear; I'll make the time; I've been section hiking for several years, and now, after reading your book, I know I have the mental fortitude to laugh in the face of misery.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Sara Barlow on February 7, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a must read for anyone who plans on doing a thru-hike or lives along a trail and helps the hikers (Trail Angels)!! Actually, anyone interested in hiking should read this! Mr. Davis's ability to convey the psychological and emotional challenges of a long distance hike are like nothing else I have read. It is amazing,informational and intriguing! He has an uncanny way of making you want to hang on every word until you reach Mt. Katahdin. I really opened my eyes to the intensity of a thru-hike beyond the physical. Appalachian Trials is the BEST book I've read in a LONG LONG Time!!! And BONUS... the Appendix is just as enjoyable as the book. I learned so much and will be referencing this book when I plan my PCT hike!
Pick a copy up for yourself or send it as a gift to your outdoorsy friends!! I can hardly wait to get my hands on the paper copy, in fact, I might need more than one... one for my guest room, one for my bookshelf and one to carry when the battery on my phone dies and I can't open my Kindle app!
Well Done, Zach Davis! Thank you for sharing your brilliance and insight on an aspect of hiking that is just as important, if not more important, than your physical strength.
LOVED LOVED LOVED this book!!!!
Appalachian Trials: The Psychological and Emotional Guide to Successfully Thru-Hiking The Appalachian Trail BUY IT! :)
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