After doing a minuscule amount of hiking on the Appalachian Trail (about 1% of it), and making my way through Bill Bryson's, A Walk In The Woods (a fantastic book, with a reviewing hopefully coming soon) - I got interested in how one actually hikes all 2,100 or so miles of the trail.
How much prep work do you need? How long does it take? How do you manage food drops? What kind of gear do you need? What are the biggest challenges?
These are strictly armchair adventure questions, as I can't imagine dedicating 6 months to a year of my life on nothing other than this one task.
I was hoping that reading Walking The Appalachian Trail, by Larry Luxenberg, would clear up these questions. Alas, it really hasn't.
Larry's approach to the book is to essentially survey hikers who have made the treck and to document their opinions and responses to various topics. This definitely gives you authoritative responses, but I found that the book never really went into depth. It was good at covering the high level aspects of the trail (e.g., it will feel more like a job, than a carefree adventure), but I found the book lacking in details.
If you know little to nothing about the AT, this may be a good place to start. But, if you want to know specifics, I think like me, you'll be left with lots of questions. I give the book a 6 out of 10 - it's somewhat entertaining, but for me, misses the mark.