[pct-l] newbie with guide question

Diane at Santa Barbara Hikes dot com diane at santabarbarahikes.com
Thu Jan 7 14:35:23 CST 2010

On Jan 7, 2010, at 12:06 PM, pct-l-request at backcountry.net wrote:
> I'd like the voice of experience: what is the single best guide to  
> both plan and get out there with?
> I'm also open to any suggestions/advice the trail hardened may want  
> to share....
> Moab Mike

You'll probably get a lot of opinions. I don't know what the single  
best guide is. For planning, I used the Data Book and the "official"  
wilderness press guide books. There was resupply information,  
including how to get from the trail to the town, in the guide books  
and maps of the trail plus wordy descriptions that I found helpful in  
knowing what to look for at tricky junctions. The Data Book just made  
the guide books easier to read.

To get a better sense of what towns had what services, I found a few  
useful web sites that also helped:

I admit this isn't a "single" suggestion, but it is what I used. I  
guess after the investment of all the guide books, I really didn't  
want to order yet another book.

My trail-hardened advice is that if you are like me and planning is  
not one of your strengths, take some comfort knowing that you can  
almost just pack up 5 days of food, carry the wilderness press books,  
step onto the trail at the Mexican border and wing it from there.  
Most of the other books just augment the information in the  
wilderness press books, or make it clearer or easier to use. So  
something between a detailed plan and a total wingin' it plan will be  


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