One Pan Wonders ~ Backcountry Cooking at its Finest
You'll find a billion and one books with recipes for backcountry eating, but this one stands out since the recipes only require one pan to cook. My cookset only has one pot (or the less giggly term, 'pan'), and if you're serious about keeping your pack weight down, you'd do the same. Which makes a book about cooking with one pot particularly useful.
Freezer Bag Cooking: Trail Food Made Simple
Another backcountry cooking book that stands out for its simplicity—cooking a meal is nothing more than boiling water and adding it to a freezer bag containing your dehydrated food. The cat food can stove is perfect for these types of meals.
The Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide: Tools and Techniques to Hit the Trail
Supreme long-distance hiker, Andrew Skurka, shares his expertise on outfitting yourself for a trip to the backcountry. This guy has backpacked over 30,000 miles so he probably knows what he's talking about!
Trail Life: Ray Jardine's Lightweight Backpacking
Ray Jardine's book is a cult classic for keeping your pack weight down and covering big miles with ease. My favorite section is about sewing your own gear which inspired me to pull out a sewing machine and make my own stuff sacks and a backpack.
Kindle Wi-Fi, 6" E-Ink Display
Kindles are a backpacker's new best friend! Pack all sorts of books with you in just one little device. The battery on this thing lasts for weeks between charges, it's small, and it's light. Other brands and models (such as the Nook) might work for your purposes as well, but for backpacking purposes, the important thing to look out for is an e-ink display. Color displays suck up battery life much faster than e-ink displays, not to mention that the color displays have a worse glare outdoors than e-ink displays. So regardless of the specific make or model you choose, make sure it uses e-ink!
In 1989, Roland Mueser hiked the Appalachian Trail conducting extensive interviews of the people he met along the way. The material he gathered he uses to answer all sorts of questions from what percentage of hikers wear underwear to how many miles do most hikers' boots or shoes hold up. Some of it is now a little dated, but the book has a huge amount of information you'll find nowhere else.
Walking With Spring
Earl Shaffer completed the first thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail at a time when some people still believed it was impossible starting a thru-hiking craze that continues today. This small, lightweight book is an interesting historial read during your own backcountry adventures.
AWOL on the Appalachian Trail
One man's journey along the Appalachian Trail, and a good example of what it's like to do a thru-hike. And, okay, I have a disclaimer: I got a one-sentence blurb in the book. I'm the fellow stamping into the registers with the green turtle stamp. =)
Hands down, the best documentary you'll find about thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail. While this is a documentary about thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, you'll find the same kinds of challenges and experiences on any long-distance trail.
This is a fictionalized account of hiking along the Way of St. James (a.k.a. El Camino de Santiago) starring Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez. It was filmed on location in France and Spain and shows a very different kind of long-distance trek than simply being out in the woods. It's a heart-warming story, though, and well worth watching even for those who don't care about hiking.
A Walk In the Woods
It seems like most thru-hikers hate this book if only because they despise Bill Bryson for not completing the trail, but this book is laugh-out-loud funny—at least the first third of it is. (It does get a little dull once Bryson gets off the trail.) But I don't care, I still love this book. You won't learn much about long-distance hiking, but that's not the point of this book either. It's just meant to be fun to read, so get in the spirit and enjoy it! =)