What’s not to love about the Appalachian Trail, the venerable 2,180-mile pathway through the woods and mountains from Georgia to the summit of Katahdin, a hiking trail that not only connects 14 states but untold numbers of hikers and backpackers and the hearts and minds of people of all stripes around the U.S. and the world.
So when the catalog for the Ultimate Appalachian Trail Store showed up in the mail the other day, well, I got pretty excited, it being Christmastime and all, and the catalog being chock full of everything AT-related one could possibly want.
Even better, all sale proceeds go to supporting the preservation and promotion of the Appalachian Trail, a most worthy cause amongst us outdoor lovers. Surely you or someone or ten people you know and love need some cool AT merchandise, right? Absolutely!
Like the full set of eleven AT guides and map sets covering the entire trail, plus a bunch of AT planning guides, like the venerable Data Book, Thru-Hikers Companion, Thru-Hike Planner, Food Planner and many other how-to selections.
How about an AT memoir, like the classics by Espy, Shaffer or Brill? If you haven’t read The Trail of My Life, Walking with Spring or As Far As the Eye Can See, well, you must. And if you have, then buy them for a hiker friend.
There are the contemporary classics by Alt (A Walk for Sunshine) and Pharr Davis (Becoming Odyssa) too. Biographies of Benton MacKaye, AT geology, aerial photos of the whole trail… So many good books, so little time!
Too lazy to read? Try the DVD, “Five Million Steps,” for a mind-numbing, tear-jerking look at thru-hiking the AT. My favorite for sure, but there are several other really good ones as well.
Always there’s a slew of kitschy stuff, the AT magnets and decals and coffee mugs and such. And no home or office wall is complete without AT posters, maps and the official AT calendar! And no pack is complete without an AT patch, like the classic blue, gold and white one.
Tarma Designs makes some terrific AT jewelry, so do check out the Trail Marker, Blaze and Logo pendants, and other unique trail designs.
Any hiker worth their salty sweat needs an AT T-shirt and hat; get them in a variety of designs and colors. I like the “Same Shirt, Different Day” Tee and the simple forest green ball cap that says AT on it.
All this good stuff and there’s a whole lot of holiday decorations to boot for home and tree. Nice.
So buy some AT goods this holiday season (or anytime during the year for that matter) from the Ultimate Appalachian Trail Store and help support our beloved Appalachian Trail.
And while you’re at it, become a member of the Maine Appalachian Trail Club and the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (or please renew), two great organizations working hard 24/7/365 to protect and preserve the AT.
Have a safe and happy merry merry season!