The cover of the new 2014 Thru-Hikers' Companion, which provides A.T. hikers mileage data, info on town services and detailed maps to give hikers visiting town the lay of the land. New for 2014: Professional trail profile maps showing elevations at 23-mile intervals.
































































The Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association

An off-trail family of hikers, dreamers and friends of the trail working

to preserve, protect and promote the long-distance hiking community.

 The Companion
Every hiker needs a Companion!

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  • Click the play button above to watch a video of ALDHA Coordinator Kip Redick explaining why you should carry the new Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers' Companion on your next hike of the A.T., whether it's for a few days or the long haul.

    The Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers' Companion is an A.T. guidebook to shelters, water sources, town services and other useful information that is compiled and published every year by ALDHA with help from staff from the Appalachian Trail Conservancy. It contains up-to-the-minute knowledge of the A.T. from current hikers and trail maintainers and provides essential information on hiker-oriented services on or near the trail.

    It is available for sale online in a size that will fit inside a quart-size Ziploc type of baggie, making it much easier to pack in your backpack. The book is edited by Robert "Sly" Sylvester with research by more than three dozen thru-hiker volunteers in 14 states, backed by the first-hand information of the trail's volunteer and staff maintainers and managers and extensive information from the current edition of the A.T. Data Book. There are 296 pages with maps, illustrations, equipment-makers' toll-free numbers, and trail town post office hours. Price: $14.95, $13.45 for members of ATC. Visit The ATC's Ultimate Trail Store to buy this book online using PayPal or a major credit card. Purchases directly from the ATC will get you a FREE set of digital profile maps showing trail elevations.

    Or you can get a low-rez PDF version of just the Companion for FREE by joining ALDHA. See details below.


    The Digital Companion

    Join ALDHA now and get a free PDF version of the current edition of the "Appalachian Trail Thru-Hikers' Companion." Nonmembers can get the PDFs for $8, sent via PayPal. Follow the directions below.


      Email your name, address and the email address you gave us when you signed up, to and include the phrase "Digital Companion Request" in the subject line. If you are unsure which email address you gave us, just consult your copy of the Membership Directory.



      Become a paid member of ALDHA for only $10 a year and you will be entitled to receive the Companion PDF for free. Join for $10 (our annual dues) and download the PDF in two steps, starting with the button below:




      To purchase the Online Companion for $8 and download the PDF without joining ALDHA, click on the button below and it will take you to a secure website where you can pay the fee with Paypal, or with a major credit card. (Note: A new Companion is published every January.)




      If you would like to purchase a hard copy of The Companion, you may do so online, through the Online ALDHA Store. The price is $14.95.



      If you have any questions, contact the Companion editor, Robert Sly, at You will need Acrobat Reader to view PDFs. You can download a free version here, off the Adobe website.


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  • 2014 Jordan Retro
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  • How to Become a Field Editor
    Volunteers are the backbone of the Companion. A field editor's responsibility is to gather information about the trail, shelters, water sources, post offices, lodging, hostels, groceries, restaurants, laundry, campgrounds, doctors or hospitals, veterinarians, outfitters, other trail-related services and points of interest along the trail, with the purpose of enhancing all hikers' A.T. experience whether they're a day hiker, section hiker or thru-hiker.

    We are looking for energetic field editors amenable to travel a section of trail and update the current information, verify hours of operation, note any changes in rates, and add any new information for inclusion in the next edition. A field editor's visit creates good relations with the communities adjacent to the trail.

    Are you someone who is willing to go the extra mile? The Companion can always use your help. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer field editor or are willing to assist with the next edition of the Companion, please contact the editor, Robert "Sly" Sylvester, at

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    ALDHA logo

    The 21st Edition of the Companion

    It was during the summer of 1993 when then-ALDHA Coordinator Frank Logue asked fellow Georgia residents Joe and Monica Cook to oversee the compilation of a new guide for A.T. hikers. It would be called the Appalachian Trail Companion and it would be made up of reports from a slew of volunteer field editors who lived up and down the general A.T. corridor.

    The Appalachian Trail Conference (now the Conservancy) had been publishing a guidebook for A.T. hikers since The Philosopher's Guide by Darrell Maret in the early 1980s. It continued publishing a guide when Darrell handed over editorship to Dan Bruce. In 1993, "Wingfoot" decided to publish a guidebook on his own, so ATC cast about for a new editor to continue its publishing tradition.

    Enter Frank Logue.

    The ALDHA coordinator had just been chosen for a new at-large seat on ATC's Board of Managers in the summer of 1993, so the folks at ATC asked him if the members of ALDHA would be interested in taking on editorship of a guidebook for thru-hikers.

    He didn't have to be asked twice, and so the first Companion was created with the help of 16 field editors. The name has since been expanded (it's now the Appalachian Trail Thru- Hikers' Companion), and the format has changed (from a tall, spiral-bound booklet to its present shape, able to fit in a quart-size plastic baggie), and it has had an impressive run of editors (three of whom went on to become ALDHA coordinators).

    The book continues to prosper under current editor Robert "Sly" Sylvester and has proven to be a solid confirmation of the evolving partnership between the ATC and ALDHA.

    So happy 21st edition!