Backcountry Library

One Pan Wonders: Backcountry Cooking at its Finest

by Teresa "Dicentra" Black

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, 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

by Sarah Svien Kirkconnell

Another back­coun­try cook 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

by Andrew Skurka

Supreme long dis­tance hiker, An­drew Skur­ka, shares his ex­per­tise on out­fitt­ing your­self for a trip to the back­coun­try. This guy has hiked over 30,000 miles so he pro­ba­bly knows what he's talk­ing about!

Trail Life: Ray Jardine's Lightweight Backpacking

by Ray Jardine

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

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!

Long-Distance Hiking

by Roland Mueser

In 1989, Roland Mueser hiked the App­a­la­chian Trail con­duc­ting ex­ten­sive in­ter­views of the peo­ple he met a­long the way. He uses the in­for­ma­tion he gath­ered 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

by Earl V. Shaffer

Earl Shaffer com­plet­ed the first thru hike of the App­a­la­chian Trail at a time when some peo­ple still be­lieved the feat im­pos­si­ble. This small, light­weight book is an in­ter­est­ing his­tor­i­cal read dur­ing your own back­coun­try ad­ven­tures.

AWOL on the Appalachian Trail

by David Miller

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. =)

Appalachian Impressions

by Mark Flagler

Hands down, the best doc­u­men­ta­ry you'll find about thru hik­ing the Ap­pa­la­chi­an Trail. Al­though this is a doc­u­men­ta­ry a­bout the Ap­pa­la­chi­an Trail, you'll find the same kinds of chal­leng­es and ex­per­i­enc­es on any long ­dis­tance trail.

The Way

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.

A Walk In the Woods

by Bill Bryson

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. =)

A Tale of Two Trails

by Ryan Carpenter

Yes, this is my to­tal­ly self serv­ing book about my hike a­long the West Coast Trail and Juan de Fuca Mar­ine Trail. The soda can stove and cookset used on this web­site are the same ones I used on this hike. But the book isn't real­ly about them.... It's about the trails!