Beating The Pre-Hike Winter Blues: Books, Blogs, And Movies

If you’re anything like me (and I sincerely hope you’re not!), you’re sitting at home waiting for the big day to come when you finally leave for the Appalachian Trail.  Given that my start date is still two months away and it’s -3 degrees outside, I’m trying not to go crazy – or at least trying to slow the process of losing my mind.  So here are some media options to keep you interested in the trail while saving you from stressing out over every little tiny detail.  Let’s face it, there’s only so many times you can pack and repack your equipment.  And yes, your pot cozy still weighs 2.1 ounces… and for all things glorious, just take it with you!  You can always get rid of it later if you find you don’t need it. PSA: please dispose of it in a proper way!  Please don’t leave it in the shelter thinking that another visitor will want it; they won’t.  They never want anything anybody leaves behind in the shelter; or in the back, on the side, or hidden under the shelter.  So please pack it out!

Here is my list of favorite AT-related books, blogs, movies, YouTube videos, and podcasts. There are many other options; these just happen to be a few of my favorites. Read, watch, and enjoy some (or all) and, hopefully, this will ease the pain of waiting for your start date and get you to stop weighing things again and again!

This will be my last entry until I actually start walking. I’ve got some packing and reading to do! See you in March!

YouTube Channels


  • Well, you obviously know about The Trek. There are a bunch of great writers.  Spend some time poking around the site and you’re sure to find someone you’ll want to follow
  • A Limp in the Woods – 2013 AT Thru Hike


  • “Ten Million Steps,” Nimblewill Nomad Best trail book EVER!
  • “Where’s the Next Shelter,” Gary Sizer Sizer does a great job with this book. I read it twice and listened to it on audio book!
  • “Just Passin’ Thru,” Winton Porter
  • “Walking with Spring,” Earl V. Shaffer This is my second favorite AT book. Shaffer is the man.
  • “Between a Rock and a White Blaze,” Julie Urbanski Urbanski actually wrote three books. She co-authored the third with her husband, Matt.  If you want to read them in order start with “The Trail Life,” and move to “Between a Rock and a White Blaze” and then “A Long Way from Nowhere.” It’s fun to follow along as the Urbankskis blast their way to a triple crown. These ultra-athletes are incredibly inspiring and I used a chapter in their third book as motivation in training for my first marathon.


  • The Long Start to the Journey” Chris Galloway
  • Thru Story” Shane “Jester” O’Donnell
  • National Geographic Documentary – Appalachian Trail 2009 *available on or on YouTube channel

         All the DVDs are a must watch. “Thru Story” is one of three short films done by TBW Productions. All of them are a great watch.


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