Backpacker Radio #139 | David “AWOL” Miller

In today’s episode of Backpacker Radio presented by The Trek, we are joined by David “AWOL” Miller.  If you know anything about the AT, then that name is likely already familiar to you as AWOL is the author of not one but TWO of the most popular books related to the Trail, including Miller’s Memoir, “AWOL on the Appalachian Trail”, and “The AT Guide” which AWOL has since sold.  We talk all about Miller’s writing process, the incredible amount of work that went into bringing The AT Guide to life, why he decided to sell the guidebook to Anti Gravity Gear, what he’s been up to since, and much more

We close out the show with a chaotic series of segments, including a triple crown of grocery store aisles followed by listener voicemails which somehow devolves into a conversation about the Mason Dixon line of sperm potency. 

But first. 

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Interview with David “AWOL” Miller sponsored by Good To-Go 

Time stamps & Questions

00:05:32 – QOTD: What’s the worst recent injury you’ve sustained? And… What is your weird pet peeve? 

00:10:02 – BPR Announcements: Badger Sponsorship Results, Internship Apps have closed, & Trail Days 

00:12:45 – Introducing David “AWOL” Miller 

00:13:05 – How much trail press have you done? 

00:13:44 – Who were you before you became “AWOL”?

00:15:06 – What was your hiking experience prior to hiking the AT? 

00:16:02 – Were you in Florida prior to your AT hike? 

00:16:42 – Are there any mountains in Florida? 

00:18:00 – What was the official title of your guide? 

00:18:27 – Any favorite stories from your journey? 

00:19:53 – What was the AT culture like in 2003? 

00:21:56 – Did you plan on writing your memoir prior to the hike? 

00:23:06 – Did you save the newspaper clippings?

00:23:17 – Did you use your articles in the memoir? 

00:24:33 – Do you have a specific writing methodology? 

00:25:40 – Was it challenging to open up in your memoir? 

00:26:43 – What were your thoughts on “A Walk in the Woods”? 

00:28:10 – Is your book the second most popular of AT books? 

00:30:48 – What was the writing process like? 

00:35:33 – How did the partnership with Amazon work? 

00:37:14 – What goes into a good guide book? 

00:40:20 – What are the logistical steps to make a guide happen?

00:41:31 – Are you using a digital mapping system?

00:42:20 – How did you approach all the changes that happen to the trail?

00:44:08 – What does it take to get the non-technical information

00:46:56 – What percentage of the year was dedicated to guide research?

00:47:37 – Tell us about selling the guidebook 

00:49:28 – How did you see the book evolve? 

00:52:48 – Tell us about your other hobbies (golfing, ballroom dancing, etc.) 

00:54:09 – Future book topics 

00:55:20 – What’s your exercise routine like these days? 

00:57:23 – What does the new digital guide look like? 

00:59:55 – What’s your take on what the next big thing will be for trail guides? 

01:03:05 – What are you focusing on now these days? 

01:04:52 – Thank you! 


Trek Propaganda: 

Voicemail Segment: Leave us one here! 

Triple Crown of grocery store aisles 

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