The ATC also offers the best, most comprehensive online store for books, maps, and other materials related to the AT. Here's a quick update on what's new for the 2012 season:
Step by Step: An Introduction to Walking the Appalachian Trail
is a free 36-page guide that outlines the basics of planning an AT hike, including an overview of the different sections, a primer on equipment, and details on weather, trail etiquette, Leave No Trace techniques, and more. You can download it as a pdf
for easy desktop reference.
2012 Appalachian Trail Data Book and 2012 Thru-Hikers' Companion
Updated every year, these two references are once again fresh for the planning. The Data Book
($6.95) lists trail distanc
es between shelters, road crossings, and other significant landmarks in a slim pocket-size volume. The Thru-Hikers' Companion
($14.95) is a succinct overview of the entire trail, including planning, highlights, and amenities along the way.
New State Guides
A new edition is available this season for the North Carolina/Georgia Guide and Maps
Cool AT Apparel and Accessories
The ATC offers a full range of AT shirts and other apparel.
One of the more amusing is the new "More Miles, More Smiles" T-shirt
, which documents the ever-growing length of the trail.
The trail actually grew almost two miles last year. As of 2011, the AT is now 2,181 miles, 1.9 miles longer than it used to be (see my January 2011 post for more info
). You can stay up to date with a new 2,181 decal ($1.95).
Another personal favorite is the 3-D, raised relief map of the entire AT as seen from space
($49.95, more if framed). Seems like a very absorbing motivator, memento, or just a very cool thing to hang on your wall.
” is an AMC Outdoors
blog, written by Matt Heid.