View Full Version : Goodbye " TheThruhikers Handbook"

Just Plain Jim
2007-08-11, 14:05
I guess by now most have heard that Trailplace.com has bit the dust.The worst part is losing "The Thruhikers Handbook". Everybody may not agree but it was the hiking bible to me. I bought an update every year and now 2007 will be the last.I would take my oldest book,slit out the pages for my next section hike, update any info and have them laminated.

SGT Rock
2007-08-12, 19:32
It was a good guide. The ALDHA Companion is getting better. For my thru-hike next year I took the data from the ALDHA companion available digitally and trimmed it down, re-formmatted it, and made it what I wanted in a guide. I think that a database where you can do something like that will be the future of trail guides.

2007-08-13, 08:20
I have to wonder if a wikipedia style guide, with information from many sources, might be the future of guides.

SGT Rock
2007-08-13, 09:09
There is already something like that in a project started by Snowman,


Just Plain Jim
2007-08-13, 20:15
What is the ALDHA Companion and what do the letters stand for?

SGT Rock
2007-08-13, 20:37
Appalachian Long Distance Hiker Association.

It is a group that is made up of quite a few long distance hikers. They created a long distance AT guide that was originally supposed to be a "Companion" to the data book. It is created and updated by a system that uses a series of editors for each area along the trail. These editors are all long distance backpackers that live in the area they cover. The can go to the various locations and check on updates for information about the trail, service providers, and also get a chance to talk to places along the trail to advocate for changes to services that can best affect long distance hikers. ALDHA members check their areas and make regular updates to the Companion. The cost of the companion is about $12 if I remember correctly, and the proceeds partially go to ALDHA (all editors are volunteers) and some go back to the ATC to provide trail support (you can even buy this from the ATC store). It has been around for years but only recently started getting the mileage data from the ATC to include in the book - IMO this is when the Companion really got better than the thru-hikers handbook and since then I stopped using the Thru-Hikers handbook.

Compare that to how WF would call from this living room to the trail services he knew about and was often out of the loop on mileage changes until he threatened the ATC with a lawsuit to get the mileage because he hadn't hiked the trail since the 1980s and was unfamiliar with the changes over the last couple of decades. The proceeds when to support him and the book cost about 2 times as much for the same information.

Back to the Companion

The other cool thing is they post it in its entierty on their website (for free) so you can use the data to plan before you buy one, on the honor system that you will somehow give back to either the ATC or ALHDA by some means in the end. Here is a link: http://www.aldha.org/comp_pdf.htm

Anyway, I have used both and I am fine with the Companion.