(Note: I was unable to find the link for this book again, although I know I got it during one of the “special free offers” from Amazon.com. You may have to search for it…)
I just finished reading the ebook version of Timberrr!!! Or, How I Fell Down the Appalachian Trail by Amy “Timber” Hiusser. This was an interesting book to read, as it is essentially a copy of the author’s travel journal while she attempted her Thru Hike of the A.T. Yes, I said attempted. More on that later.
The book is a bit odd to read in one respect, though. It starts out with a journal entry, which introduces you to the author’s style of writing and a bit of her personality. Then the book ventures off into the realm of the how-to, as Timber describes her preparation tactics, choices she made (or did not make…), and some of the factors she considered when selecting her gear. Note to self: These chapters, while interesting, do not really apply to me, as I do not live where she lives and have more access to stores than she had. Then there are a few chapters on each item of gear – one on backpacks, one on sleeping systems, one on shelters. An entire chapter on her clothing choices, and the difficulty she had in finding suitable items. Some of it was interesting and informative, but again, it seems it was aimed at a complete newbie. Nothing bad to say about it, just not what I needed.
The book then takes you through its guidebook course, covering pretty much every topic from first aid and flora/fauna to weather and crime. I will be honest – I skipped through much of this. I have never liked reading page after page describing animals, plants, bugs and such, unless I had a need to learn one specifically. Timber does do a good job of researching and describing each item, but this information was not what I was looking for. Perhaps later, I will reference back to it.
Finally, after about half of the book, Hiusser starts to give her account of her hike. This was the “meat and potatoes” I was looking for! I hope I am not alone when I say that reading other people’s travelogues is very similar to living vicariously through them.
As I mentioned earlier, this book covers an attempted thru hike. The author is up front and honest about not making it the entire way, which is very refreshing. Not that there is anything wrong with the books out there, but many are books of success. Timberrr! is an account of a valiant effort of which the ultimate goal changed, resulting in a shortened hike. It was thought provoking to read the mishaps and thought processes that she underwent, bringing forward a few of my own insecurities and, dare I say, fears that I have for my own Thru Hike attempt.
The next book on my “read now” shelf is Appalachian Trials by Zach Davis. I have been anxiously waiting to read this, so I am sure I will zip right through it. Probably more than once, before my Thru Hike is started.
I would love to hear from you, whether it is about this book or another one you recommend. Please send me a comment below, or use the Contact Me page up top.
Until next time, remember to “Spin the Compass.”