[pct-l] Which PCT guidebook would you take?

Trekker4 at aol.com Trekker4 at aol.com
Fri Sep 29 09:09:48 CDT 2006

    Matt, Scott Parks says to buy the Guidebooks and Data Book from Amazon. 
He is recommending taking advantage of a trail made possible by the PCTA, but 
not helping to support the existence of the very trail he is hiking. That's 
pretty shortsighted, and I'd normally use other words, but will refrain and be 
    It's just as shortsighted, perhaps even more so to not join PCTA, which 
gets you a discount on the books; you wouldn't be hiking the PCT without PCTA 
and it's Guidebooks. Join and support the PCTA; otherwise you're expecting 
others to subsidize your priviledge of hiking the PCT. Buy the 4 books from PCTA; 
if you're trying to save $30 at the beginning or skip part of the education 
process, you don't have enough money to do a thru hike anyhow. PCTA also makes 
it possible for members to get a permit to cover all necessary permits for any 
planned hike over 500 miles, including an inexpensive Mt Whitney stamp if you 
plan to do Whitney.
    You also need Yogi's book; her info is different and invaluable; and she 
works her tush off for the PCT; she may make about $1/hr for her efforts; and 
she's a triple crowner who's done the PCT about 3 times (with maybe a 4th 
coming up next spring - she's said she'll be back hiking in 07). The Muir maps, 
and book?, are also invaluable I'm sure; I'll be buying them before spring for 
my planned Agua Dulce to CA/OR border section hike. Trails Illustrated also has 
excellent maps of all the National Parks along the way, better than what's in 
the guidebooks.
    Read and study all the books cover to cover. Carefully cut out or 
separate the guidebook pages you need for each segment of your hike, and carry only 
what you need. I use 9x12 zip bags to protect all paper I carry from water or 
moisture, along with the technique below for copy paper.  
    Photocopy the Databook pages, 2 to each side of a 24 lb, 8.5x11 sheet of 
copy paper, soak them in Thompson's wood sealer, dry them in the sun on 
clothespins, to avoid carrying the whole Data Book. I saw one guy at the 05 ADZ... 
who reduced the databook page print size to get about 8 per sheet side; I think 
he had the whole Data Book on 2 pieces of paper. I copy Yogi's small pages 2 
per side, 4 to a sheet the same way.
      I freely admit that it always irritates me when people post questions 
on this list without, when the answers are in the basic reading above; I 
immediately delete those posts. It also irritates me when people want to hike a long 
trail without supporting the organizations that make them possible. I'm a 
lifetime ATC Member, waiting on the Colorado Trail to come up with a lifetime 
membership, and at some point I'll scrounge together enough money to become a 
lifetime PCT member when they come up with such a membership category. IMHO, that 
should be every thru or section hiker's goal for any trail they complete.  

Humbly, as always (yea right, say a handfull of you),
Bob "Trekker"
Big Bend Desert Denizen
Naturalized Citizen - Republic of Texas

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