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Zero Days: The Real Life Adventure of Captain Bligh, Nellie Bly, and 10-year-old Scrambler on the Pacific Crest Trail Paperback – November 29, 2007


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Zero Days: The Real Life Adventure of Captain Bligh, Nellie Bly, and 10-year-old Scrambler on the Pacific Crest Trail + Skywalker: Highs and Lows on the Pacific Crest Trail + A Blistered Kind of Love: One Couple's Trial by Trail (Barbara Savage Award Winner)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Wilderness Press; 1 edition (November 29, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0899974384
  • ISBN-13: 978-0899974385
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.3 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,328 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"Then again, if you've ever taken kids camping for a weekend, you may want to pick up "Zero Days"..." -- San Jose Mercury News, November 2007

About the Author

Barbara Egbert, a.k.a. Nellie Bly, is an experienced hiker, backpacker, and travel writer. An English major (and proud of it!), she has worked in print journalism for more than 30 years. She lives with her husband, Gary Chambers (Captain Bligh), and daughter, Mary (the famous Scrambler) , in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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See all 19 customer reviews
It was very well written.
Joan M.
A great true story on what it takes to thru hike the PCT as a family.
Dean
It's truly remarkable what they achieved.
John Sims

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Kathy Miedema on March 4, 2008
Format: Paperback
Reading about their adventure is inspiring and informative -- Barbara almost makes me think I could do something like this with the proper attention to details, she's so matter-of-fact about the incredible amount of planning that goes into an awesome journey such as this. "Scrambler" seems to have the same attitude about accomplishing undeniably incredible feats. I'm sure much credit goes to the Captain, for taking each step forward and leading his girls so well. A very enjoyable read, whether you've looked at the areas they talk about on the map or actually walked parts of these trails, let alone aspired to do something similar. I admire them! From Kathy Miedema in the East Bay
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Tom M. on April 6, 2008
Format: Paperback
If you like backpacking, hiking or camping, you will love "Zero Days." I couldn't put it down. Without a doubt, it's the best backpacking book I have read. This book has challenged me to push my limits on the trail this coming Summer. It is well written and brings to life the joys and hardships of walking a few thousand miles--with a 10-year-old--who is stronger and braver than most people of any age.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Marq Lipton on February 2, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is a delightful book, written with humor and humility. Although the "Blighs" adventures are beyond anything that I think I will ever experience, this book definitely has me thinking that it's about time I got back into the great outdoors, even if its just for a picnic in the woods. I would recommend it to backpackers and backyarders alike. Entertaining, funny and informative.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Susan Alcorn on March 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
The story of "Zero Days" is far superior to what parades nowadays as "reality" programming. I am a backpacker so I've had a taste of the 2,650-mile Pacific Crest Trail that Captain Bligh, Nellie Bly, and 10-year old Scrambler set out on, and I know that it's not a stroll in the woods. The extremes of weather--from desert temperatures in the triple digits to rain, hail, snow, and sleet in the mountains--are enough to dissaude most people from setting out. Add to that the necessity of making 20-30 mile days in order to finish the trail within the hiking season. Consider the challenges involved in crossing flooded streams and ice-covered trails. Add in the creatures -- bears, snakes, mosquitoes, etc., and you have plenty of challenges to hikers of any age.

It is utterly amazing that a family with a 10-year old would undertake such an adventure. What's perhaps more amazing is that "Scrambler" (Mary Chambers) consented to the trip, and flourished! An inspiring story!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Chaotic_Fox on March 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
I throughly enjoyed this inspiring book. Barbara Egbert writes with great intelligence, humor and love, for both her family and the great outdoors. Without preaching, she gently offers a convincing argument that vigorous exercise and a connection to nature are both essential ingredients for a healthy, happy, lifestyle. After reading this true adventure story of a family's six month trek from Mexico to Canada, never again will I whine about not getting a "close" parking spot.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Doris Blanchard on August 19, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This was a good book and I did enjoy it a lot. I expected more of the interesting or exciting days in a chronogical order. It seemed to be written in sections ie one section was about the people they met that would not have bored me if they were written more about on the day they met. There were a few spots (the mention of Mensa meetings) that gave me a sense of snobbishness. All in all a good book.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Joan M. on April 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
A friend loaned me this book. I enjoyed it so much that I bought a copy for my son from Amazon. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys hiking, adventure, or the outdoors. It was very well written. It reveals aspects of the Pacific Crest Trail such as the wonderful trail angels and the characters with whom hikers share the trail. This wonderful tale of Barbara, Gary, and Mary was a fun read for both myself and my husband.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Fritz R. Ward TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Most travelogues detailing distance hikes (usually on the Pacific Crest Trail or the Appalachian Trail) are chronological affairs. The hike began.... But a far more interesting approach is to look at life on the trail in a topical manner. Food, bathing, interactions with other hikers, life in towns, etc. The first book to utilize this organizational structure was David Brill's classic description of the Appalachian Trail As Far as the Eye Can See. Barbara Egbert's 'Zero Days' is in the same mold, but with an interesting twist. Ms. Egbert, aka Nellie Bly, did not hike alone, or even just with her husband. They also took along their already veteran hiker and 10 year old daughter Mary in their quest to complete the trail.

This is a delightful book from several angles. First there is the fascinating story of Mary herself, alternately a young adult and then a child again as she grows and matures on the trail. A nice touch are the reproductions of Mary's journals, which made for great reading. (As an aside, I wish all 5th graders were such good spellers!) Planning a hike like the PCT is not easy, and doing it with a 10 year old provides several extra challenges, such as which stuffed animal must come along for the trip. The author also describes the town stops (the title is derived from these) and explains some of the problems that come with brief returns to civilization, including the tendency to quit hiking. And there are the 'usual' traumas which people who do not hike for distance may not even think of.
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