[pct-l] PCT Atlas - Clarification Please

Pea Hicks phix at optigan.com
Wed Feb 6 16:14:18 CST 2008

for what it's worth, i mentioned to erik that my main criticism of his 
otherwise very useful-looking book is that, compared to the data book 
(which was my main source of at-the-ready info on my pct thru-hike), 
there are significantly fewer landmarks, and therefore longer distances 
between them. since i only looked at the maps to clarify particularly 
confusing situations, i preferred to have as many data book landmarks as 
possible, to give me a more continual sense of orientation, and perhaps 
most importantly, a sense of my pace. i got really good at predicting, 
down to the minute, how long it would take me to walk any given 
distance, and this was due to the comparatively short distances (on 
average) between landmarks in the data book. i found that when the 
distances between landmarks got, say, above 2.5 or 3 miles, i would tend 
to get a bit frustrated, because for me that meant an hour or more 
between landmarks. in the data book, i think probably the longest 
distances were maybe 7 or 8 miles (and these were rare), whereas in 
erik's book, those sorts of distances (and more) appear to be pretty 

erik mentioned to me that he had the opposite view of the data book, and 
had been frustrated by what he felt were too many minor landmarks. and 
it's true that on any given page there's a percentage of ambiguous 
landmarks (ie, "2nd good jeep road") that, unless you're paying really 
close attention (or are taking the time to look for clarifications in 
the guide book), are likely to go right past you...

obviously, because of the maps and other info in erik's books, there 
would probably need to be fewer landmarks anyway, even if he had wanted 
to include them... but nevertheless, i prefer to have more landmarks 
rather than less... and for that reason i'd still use the data book on a 

in most other respects, erik's books look great. i especially appreciate 
the elevation contours, which is something i REALLY wanted badly in the 
data book- not just lines between landmarks, but a continuous, analog 
elevation profile, illustrating "hidden" climbs, etc. and i'd probably 
opt for erik's maps over the guide book's maps.


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