Each year, it is estimated that more than 2,000 people set out to thru-hike the Appalachian Trail, yet seven in ten ultimately fall short of their goal. Given the countless number of how-to books and websites offering information about logistics, gear, and endurance training, one would think that more people would finish this 2,200 mile trek. Why then, do so many hikers quit prematurely? After successfully thru-hiking the AT in five months with zero prior backpacking experience, author, Zach Davis, is convinced he’s discovered the answer. Aspiring thru-hikers, Davis tells readers, are preparing the wrong way- sweating on the StairMaster, meticulously plotting each re-supply box, or obsessing over the perfect sleeping bag or pair of socks. While the AT undoubtedly presents extraordinary physical challenges, it is the psychological and emotional struggles that drive people off the trail. Conquering these mental obstacles is the key to success. This groundbreaking book focuses on the most important and overlooked piece of equipment of all- the gear between one’s ears. Filled with first-hand, moving yet light-hearted vignettes and down-to-earth advice that instructs and inspires, Appalachian Trials gives readers the mental road map they’ll need to hike from Springer Mountain to Mt.Katahdin. In Appalachian Trials readers will learn: • Effective goal setting techniques that will assure you reach Mt. Katahdin • The common early stage pitfalls and how to avoid them • How to beat “the Virginia Blues” • The importance of and meaning behind “hiking your own hike” • 5 strategies for unwavering mental endurance • The most common mistake made in the final stretch of the trail • The top method for staving off stress • Tips for enjoying rather than enduring each of the five million steps along the journey • Strategies for avoiding post-trail depression and weight gain In addition, the Bonus Section of Appalachian Trials includes: • A thorough chapter on gear written by thru-hiker of the AT and Pacific Crest Trail, and professional backpack gear reviewer • Information about the trail's greatest and most unknown risk and how to guard against it • 9 tips for saving money before and during your thru-hike • A thorough FAQ section including information ranging from how to obtain sponsorship, to the best stove for the trail, to avoiding chafing, and much more!