Long Trails

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  • Thru hiking bible
  • Comprehensive tools for careful planning and successful finishing
  • Gorgeous photos of life on the trail
  • Learn about lesser-known long trails
  • Winner  National Outdoor Book Award


Long Trails offers trial-proven advice from one of North America’s leading experts on long-distance hiking. If you’ve ever dreamed of doing a thru hike, Liz “Snorkel” Thomas, former women’s speed record holder for the Appalachian Trail and a veteran of twenty long trails, gives you the tools needed to successfully make your dream a reality.

Liz walks you through everything you need to know including route planning, scheduling, budgeting, resupplies, gear selection, and training, complete with gorgeous photographs of life on the trail. Along the way, enjoy sneak peeks into not only the big three trails, but also lesser-known long trails throughout North America. Sidebars written by other experienced hikers offer alternative ideas and strategies.

This thru-hiking bible is literally brimming full of practical advice for backpackers planning to spend weeks to months on the trail. If you’re planning a section or thru, this is the one book you must read to help you prepare. For the rest of us dreamers, there’s plenty to learn from this accomplished Triple Crowner (AT/PCT/CDT) that can easily be applied to weekend to week-long trips. Some of the topics included in this guide are: 

  • Defining the dream
  • Scheduling and budgeting
  • Getting in shape
  • Route planning
  • Resupply strategy
  • Gear selection
  • Life on the trail
  • Trail etiquette
  • Safety, injury, disease, first aid
  • Savoring the experience



On my first long trail, it took me until Damascus, Virginia, (450 miles up the Appalachian Trail) to learn much of this information—and through countless bouts of painful and expensive trial-and-error. Reading this book will get you miles ahead in your preparedness and planning for the trail—and proper prior planning prevents poor performance!

–Justin Lichter, author of Trail Tested, over 35,000 miles hiked, and first person to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail in the winter


Liz Thomas has to be the most unassuming super-hiker I have ever backpacked with. There is nobody better to discuss the all-important topic of life on the trail. I love her emphasis on hike your own hike, empowering people to discover the right way to hike a long trail for themselves.

–Glen Van Peski, Founder and Chairman of Gossamer Gear


Liz Thomas unpacks the secrets and strategies of how to be successful on a long distance trail. She offers professional tips and personal stories that will help novice hikers and recreational backpackers transition into accomplished thru-hikers.

–Jennifer Pharr Davis, author of Families on Foot, founder of Blue Ridge Hiking Company, and former record holder on the Appalachian Trail


Record-setting Triple Crown thru-hiker Liz “Snorkel” Thomas lays out hard-won practical advice. This book gives the aspiring long-distance hiker the fundamental knowledge and confidence to embark on a life-changing journey.

–David Money Harris, author of many Southern California hiking guidebooks and Pacific Crest Trail section hiker


Long Trails is the most inclusive guide to thru-hiking and long distance backpacking out there. Liz's experience and attention to detail will prepare you not only to plan your own hike but to provide you with inspiration to explore trails you probably didn't even know existed.

–Heather "Anish" Anderson, unassisted speed record holder on the Pacific Crest Trail, Appalachian Trail, and Arizona Trail


Smart, entertaining, and chock-full of useful information, Long Trails is for anyone who wants to backpack for several days or several months. Liz Thomas has hiked farther than most have ever imagined possible but, lucky for us, she still remembers what it was like just starting out. With clever ideas and useful tips for experienced and inexperienced hikers alike, this book belongs on every outdoors person's bookshelf.

–Peter Olsen, Interim Executive Director, American Hiking Society


About the Author

LIZ “Snorkel” THOMAS broke the women’s self-assisted speed record on the 2,181 mile Appalachian Trail, besting the previous record by almost a week, in 2011. She has completed the Triple Crown of Hiking – the Appalachian Trail, the 2,650 mile Pacific Crest Trail, and the 3,100 mile Continental Divide Trail – and has backpacked over 15,000 miles across the United States on 20 long distance hikes, including the pioneering traverse of the Chinook Trail across the Columbia River Gorge and the pioneering traverse of the Wasatch Range, which she did solo. Liz has been featured in Backpacker magazine, The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo! News, Outside Online, and Gizmodo. She is Vice President of the American Long Distance Hiking Association-West and one of four ambassadors for American Hiking Society. She currently works as a staff outdoor writer at the New York Times.



Publication: 4/14/2017

Pages: 328

Binding: Paperback



Due to its heavy weight, this book will ship USPS Media Mail to addresses in the USA when Ground Advantage is selected and will be delivered in a separate shipment from other items on the same order and may take a little longer to arrive.