Book Reivew: Thru-Hiking Will Break Your Heart by Carrot Quinn
I should start by saying that I haven’t listened to the podcast episode yet. It was honestly one of those moments where a blogger/podcaster/human on the internet who I think has good taste said, “hey this is cool!” and I’m over here throwing my money at whatever it is…and I’m glad I did.
I wasn’t following Carrot online at the time and I didn’t read the synopsis before hitting the ‘buy now’ button, but I had a feeling I would like this book. I read I Hike and A Walk in the Woods and have watched several documentaries put together by thru-hikers (including Embrace the Brutality by Jester), so I kind of knew what to expect when it came to reading about hiking long distances, the common stops along the Pacific Crest Trail, and the lingo that came up in the book. I’m the ideal audience for this book.
In this book you’ll follow Carrot her trailer in Portland, Oregon to the trailhead of the Pacific Crest Trail. She doesn’t seem to have a lot of experience with long distance hiking, let alone going on a months-long adventure on her own. She has some trouble along the way, learns how to take better care of her feet, starts calling her sleeping quilt her “fluffer puff,” and eats the amount of ice cream coach potatoes like us can only dream of. She doesn’t hold back in her descriptions and keeps it real: thru-hiking isn’t easy and isn’t for the faint of heart.
Don’t read this book if you’re looking for an elaborate story about some romantic version of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. This isn’t about a woman who intentionally goes looking for companionship as she walks from the Mexican border to the Canadian border. This isn’t about somebody showing up at Carrot’s tent with flowers and asking her out for a date. There’s some snuggling, that’s for sure, but don’t expect romantic love to be a heavy theme throughout the book.
Read this book if you ever considered disconnecting from the world for a few months and being a way more prepared version of Wild as you take on the Pacific Crest Trail.
Read this book if you like reading journal entry style books and want to hear about a hike that takes months to complete. It’s a modern day adventure that you can feasibly tackle! In fact, it inspired podcast host Nicole Antionette to solo hike the Oregon portion of the Pacific Crest Trail, which after reading Carrot’s book sounds like the part of the trail that I would would like to hike the most.
Honestly, just read this book. If you like hearing about the adventures of your favorite Instagrammers (or even just me!) and want to dive into a story about leaving behind your life and living out of a backpack for a few months, this is for you. If you ever find yourself looking up ways to lighten your backpack for hikes and how to train to be a better hiker, this is for you.
Can you tell I liked it? I will admit that it took a few days for me to get into the story, but as soon as Carrot got to the Annual Day Zero Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off event, I was hooked. Why? Because I was there the same year that Carrot was there! She mentions getting new socks and I whispered out loud, “what if I was the one who gave her those socks??” and I recognized one or two of the hikers she described meeting along the trail from the event. I was so in.
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