Bill Bryson’s book, A Walk in the Woods, was made into a movie this past year.
The movie, which you can borrow from the library as well as the book, is based off of author Bill Bryson’s actual life events of hiking the Appalachian Trail. Robert Redford portrays the author in this humorous movie.
I’ve actually read the book and watched the movie and they were both laugh out loud funny. He enlists his friend Katz, played by Nick Nolte, to be his companion on the trail. Having no prior backpacking experience and not knowing what they were getting into is what made this movie completely relate-able to me.
My husband and I went backpacking a few years ago in the Smokey Mountains, we were very unprepared and with high expectations. Although it was interesting, it was very, very hard work. We had only gone
for 4 days and 3 nights instead of the several months on the trail as Bill and Katz did in the story. Because of my trip, some of the things they went through and experienced…I knew exactly what they were thinking and feeling. It’s one thing to talk about backpacking…but it’s quite another to actually go through with it.
My husband and I were very close to the Appalachian Trail, also known as the AT, and had originally put it on our hiking agenda. But by our 3rd day, when it was time to go to the AT, we decided that
we had maybe been a tad enthusiastic when we had made our agenda and stuck to a closer proximity. Hiking a trail to your next campsite that was only 7 miles away, seemed like it would be an easy feat…however, road miles and up-hill-all-the-way-on-a-mountain miles are quite different.
It was an eye-opening experience and also a great feeling of accomplishment. It was cold, snowy and not at all what I had expected but so worth it at the same time. We went to celebrate with a night in Gatlinburg when we had finished our 20-mile hike.
I’m sure the locals had us pegged as hikers since we were walking bent over with a been-on-the-trail-awhile stagger. I feel lucky to have had the experience and my husband and I made a great team, which is very important to have.
If you want a taste of the backpacking experience without actually stepping foot on the trail or if you want maybe a little motivation, read this book or watch the movie, it will definitely be worth your time.