Whether a bucket list item or a deeper calling, many people have a desire to spend time in the backcountry. But if you didn’t grow up in an “outdoorsy” family, don’t have friends who have knowledge of backcountry travel, or are a member of a community that has been marginalized from these types of experiences, getting started can feel daunting.
I remember my own beginner questions, which ranged from how do I brush my teeth without a sink to how will I know where I can camp? Sometimes we can feel embarrassed by our beginner questions, especially when the outdoor industry can come across as exclusive, full of experts already “in the know”. Even if we’re not beginners, we might have questions on ways we can improve our nutrition or training, or whether the blues we’re feeling after a trip is normal (by the way, it is, and there are things you can do to help yourself through it).
This is all to say that… wouldn’t it be nice if we could all have a compassionate, knowledgeable adventure buddy in our pocket for whenever we needed some backcountry guidance or encouragement? Well, now we can! Meet the new book release, Adventure Ready: A Hiker’s Guide to Planning, Training, & Resiliency by Katie Gerber and Heather Anderson.
Heather Anderson with her latest co-authored book.
One of the key factors that sets Adventure Ready apart from other trip planning or backcountry education books is its authors. Both Katie and Heather have completed impressive outdoor feats, including multiple thru-hikes, which they share in their opening stories to the book. But what they also both share are stories of starting out as beginners. They talk about how those first experiences changed them, motivated them to keep going, and ultimately led to this book. Their compassionate, expert advice shapes the book into a trail companion you won’t get sick of after many days and miles on the trail later.
Co-author Katie Gerber on the CDT.
Given how comprehensive, yet accessible this book is, it’s a winner for all skill levels. Beginners will appreciate the chapters on preparation, covering everything from setting an itinerary and selecting gear to researching likely conditions and keeping safe in the backcountry. More seasoned backpackers will benefit from the book’s physical and mental training chapters, touching on topics like nutrition, gut health, training programs, and self-care.
In fact, everyone should read its final chapters on mental and emotional preparedness and reintegration. These topics are often left out of trip planning literature, but are so important. It’s refreshing to see a book in this genre acknowledge that there’s more to backcountry travel than prepping gear, routes, and the like—we need support after these big trips too and can do some emotional prep work to ensure a better transition back to frontcountry living.
With a detailed index and list of additional resources at the end of the book, this guide will quickly become a friend you return to time and time again for wisdom. If you’re looking for a new favorite companion for your hikes ahead, definitely grab a copy of Adventure Ready!