appalachian trials tag

On Health

Remember wayyyyyy back in February when I moved to San Francisco to embark in a new chapter of my existence?  Well much like the construct of Appalachian Trials, this chapter was pithy.  And now, like my favorite movie starring a golden retriever, I’m Homeward Bound (sorry Air Bud).

In many ways, the past nine months has been the most exciting, fulfilling, and surreal period of my life.  I published a book.  People didn’t hate it (including one of my idols).  I’ve crossed public speaking off the “gives violent diarrhea” list, and instead added it to the “am moderately comfortable” file.  Hell, I got to give a half hour Appalachian Trail presentation in front of Tony Hsieh (the CEO of Zappos & billionaire mastermind behind a massive rebuilding of Downtown Las Vegas).

I had the privilege of entrenching myself in a city brimming with culture, technology, ubiquitous intelligence, and world class restaurants.  And my personal favorite, I got to live in an area of the country whose beauty is second to none.  Northern California is hands down the best backpacking country I’ve ever been exposed to; Yosemite, Emigrant Wilderness, Big Sur, Big Basin, Mt. Tam State Park, John Muir Woods, Salt Point State Park….you are immaculate (AT still has a monopoly on my heart-space however).

All this being said, 2012 has been, by far and away the most challenging year of my life.  The sole cause being my health.

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the Good Badger Live, Uncut, Unraveled, Uncensored, Unlocked, Uncle, Unnecessarily Long Title

Hey team,

I ran out of un’s.  If I missed any, feel free to throw them in the comment rectangle at the bottom of this weblog.

BUT THIS POST IS MUCH BIGGER THAN UNS.  This post is about REI, YOU & ME. 

If you live in the Bay Area, you have the rare opportunity to see the Good Badger in front of a projector screen, taking you inside the mind of a thru-hiker, talking about running away from serial killers, and of course, showcasing the half-year evolution of a ManBeard.

Here are some relevant details:

When: Tuesday, August 7th; 7:00 – 8:30pm.  The talk is 60 minutes.  The Q&A is 30, or until someone forces me to go home.  I will warn you, I’m very strong.

Where:  REI – Saratoga. 400 El Paseo de Saratoga, San Jose, CA 95130.  They call it Saratoga’s REI.  The address is San Jose.  Your guess is as good as mine.

What:  This is the description REI is using:

“In March 2011, Zach Davis set out from Springer Mountain, Georgia, to hike the length of the Appalachian Trail-2,181 miles to Mount Katahdin, Maine; he’d never backpacked before. Tonight, Zach will share his perspectives on making a successful thru-hike, including highlights from his new book, “Appalachian Trials-A Psychological and Emotional Guide to Successfully Thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail”. As Zach shows images of his journey northward through the spectacular wilderness lands of the East Coast states-Great Smoky Mountain and Shenandoah National Parks, White Mountain National Forest, and more, he’ll discuss the nuts and bolts of gearing up for an adventure of this magnitude, as well as the remarkable impact of the trail on the body and the spirit. If you register for this free presentation at www.rei.com/stores, we will hold a seat for you until the scheduled start time. Seating may be available at the door, even if registration is closed.”

Here’s my description:  Do you want to know what it’s like to walk ~2,200 miles without actually having to doing it?  Ok, come to the talk.

Why: Because you’ll surely get your money’s worth.

Cost:  Free.

If you know someone who lives in the Bay Area who enjoys doing things, can you please pass this along?  Have them tell me you sent them, and I will give them an uncomfortable bear hug in front of everyone.

Also important, if you do plan on going, you must register for the event.  Not only does this get the planner person off my case, but it ensures that they save you a seat.  Win, win.

[SIGN UP HERE]

Also, I’ll be selling some copies of Appalachian Trials (at a discount), followed by my scribbling in your book upon request.

I think that’s all the relevant information.

Truly yours,

Zach

The Good Badger on Camping Gear TV

camping gear tv and the good badger

You’ve heard a lot about The Dusty Camel and Ian Mangiardi, both on this site and in Appalachian Trials.  Ian played a huge role in my thru-hike preparation, and ultimately, the book.  For this I am forever grateful.

But the catalyst to all of the AT goodwill began even before Ian took the reigns of Zach’s pre-trail therapist.  It was Josh Turner of Camping Gear TV who got the ball rolling, not only by putting me in touch with Ian, but also introducing me to many of the sponsors of his show (including Hi Tec, Eureka!, and Innate Gear).

The good folks of Camping Gear TV have dealt another bout of good fortune to the Good Badger (three goods, one sentence – the grammar equivalent of two girls, one cup.).  They decided to let me talk about living in the woods for a half year.  On video.  And they posted it.

If you’re into the outdoors in any capacity, I highly recommend subscribing to Camping Gear TV (either through RSS, Facebook, YouTube and/or Twitter accounts).  If REI and Santa made a superbaby, this superbaby would be Camping Gear TV.  In other words, they give you awesome camping equipment for freeGet some.

- Side Note of Awesomeness -

Guess which book recently got a positive endorsement from Tim Ferriss (read the comments), author of New York Times NUMBER 1 Best-Selling The 4-Hour Workweek and The 4-Hour Body?  Hint: I wrote it.  The cover is currently getting a slight makeover.

Appalachian Trials- Available in Print!

Appalachian Trials by Zach Davis

HOLY HOT DAMN

Five words:

Appalachian Trials, Available in PRINT

“Sorry, I couldn’t hear you, can you say that again please?”

Sure.  I said…

MOTHER-F*#(NG APPALACHIAN TRIALS, AVAILABLE IN MOTHER-F(&!NG PRINT.

Sorry it sounded like there was golden joy sauce pouring directly into my ear cavity.  Maybe you can say that one more time?”

Appalachian Trials: A Psychological and Emotional Guide to Successfully Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail, as of today, February 8, 2012 is available in print.

Here’s a short video on why you might enjoy reading it.

Read the first chapter for free

To make good on my promise, for those who purchased both the Kindle version, as well as the print version by February 15, 2012, I will send you a signed copy of the book, on the (Good) Badger.  E-mail me both of your receipts at theGoodBadger@gmail.com, and I will dedicate your book in any way you like (I’m a pretty good artist.  And when I say good, I mean laughably bad.  I’m the Nickleback of artists.  But some people like Nickleback.  Those who don’t, can at least laugh at them.  That’s the equivalent of my artistic ability.)

For those who may have noticed, the Amazon sell page isn’t completely filled out yet.  Apparently that takes a few days (Amazon’s doing, not mine).  Eventually, all of you fine folks who left wonderful reviews for the e-book version (by the way, THANK YOU), will show up on this page as well.  Again, you are doing me a huge favor by doing this.  I’m sincerely truly, truly grateful for all the wonderful words you guys have left thus far.   To be clear, I would never ask you to leave a dishonest review.  Appalachian Trials only wants to earn your 5-star review.

I’ve consumed a lot of coffee so I’m going to continue to ramble. Feel free to jump ship to the Appalachian Trail book page whenever you want.

So some of you may be wondering why the reviews matter so much?

Honesty = Best policy.

Aside from being a heavy ranking factor in Amazon’s search algorithm, it’s what fellow Amazon shoppers use as their gauge for making a purchase.  I will paint out each of the following scenarios for you:

Scenario 1 – Only a few reviews:  Badger gets few reviews on his book revealing a mixed opinion on quality.  Some think it’s garbage.  Some think it’s compost (which is only slightly better than garbage).  Appalachian Trials dies in its tracks.  Zach’s aspirations to become a word writer on published paper dies along with it.  He’s forced into the only other career path available to him (eye brow model: see intro picture).

Zach has many great years flexing his forehead muscles on the catwalk and on prominent billboards, but his true passion for life, expressing the insanity that lies behind the eyebrows, never gets fulfilled.  He grows bitter and recklessly decids to spend all of his eyebrow wealth on purchasing the first HondaCopter (Honda’s first car/helicopter hybrid).  Because Zach is impatient, he arrogantly believes he can fly his HondaCopter without formal training.  Turns out he can.  Right into a tree.  Zach survives, but must spend the next half year in a hospital bed.  The nurse brings him some reading material to help pass the time.  It’s the latest New York Times Best SellerPacific Unrest – A Psychological guide to hiking the PCT.

NOOOO!!!!!!!

Scenario 2 – Lots of happy reviews:  Zach makes a modest living talking about HondaCopters and making lots of awesome new friends in the process.  The end.

It’s up to you.

But in all sincerity.  Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you for everything thus far.  You don’t have to do anything, I’m already indefinitely grateful for all of the support I’ve gotten.  You guys have made this an insanely fun journey.  Without you, I would be a paralyzed eyebrow model.

Thank you.

Also, I would like to give special thanks to the following people.  Without you, this book would either not exist or exist in a much shittier fashion.

Co-Editor: Michele Weiner-Davis

Some may refer to you as the best-selling author of Divorce Busting, I of course, refer to you as “mom.”  Although we often did not see eye-to-eye on this process, you refused to quit on me- even when I was an intolerable ass (see: often).  Thank you.  I love you.

Co-Editor: B. Hanson MacDonald

B- to put it bluntly, you are fucking amazing.  Not only did you make this book a much, much, much, much more polished version than the one I handed you, but your consistently kind feedback and passion for this project fed right back onto me.  You deserve so much credit in this.  Thank you!!!

Cover Design: Paula Murphy

Paula, flat out, you’re a genius.  You too had to put up with my volatile mind-changing antics, but in the end, the finished product is one that makes me very proud.  I hope you feel the same.  For those looking for some highly professional and creative design work, PLEASE check out: branditarians.com

Website Design (coming soon): Adam Nutting

Although you haven’t seen it yet, we have a new website for the book coming out very shortly.  It was designed by Founder of Hiking the Trail, Adam Nutting.  Adam gets shit done.  Adam is a great support.  Adam is a great guy.  Thank you for everything thus far Adam!  (side note: more big news coming out of the new site – stay posted!)

Contributors: Ian Mangiardi, Aubby Duggan, and Miss Janet Henley

Ian- I’m done talking about you.  The only name that exists in the book more than my own, is yours.  I kid.  You are a living manifestation of benevolence.  Without your help, it is quite likely I would have joined the 70% of hikers who fall short of Katadhin.  Without your help this book wouldn’t be possible.  Thank you.  (Side note: check out Ian’s site The Dusty Camel.  He has an amazing PCT documentary coming out later this year – I got a sneak peak.)

Aubby (Cayenne) Duggan – Your story adds an emotional layer to this book that would otherwise be missing, but even aside from that, I am truly glad our paths crossed on the trail.  I am very proud of you for sticking to your goal.  You are a badass and a kind soul.  Thank you.

Miss Janet – It is spirits like you that make the AT the surreal experience that it is.  Aside from the wonderful words of wisdom you offer in this book, the countless others that you help along the AT makes you a trail angel in every sense of the word.  Thank you.

By clicking here, I acknowledge that I will be linked to the greatest Appalachian Trail book ever written. 

Last note, this book is written for:

  1. Aspiring thru-hikers
  2. Those on the fence about hiking the AT
  3. Those who want to know what goes on inside of the head of an AT-thru-hiker
  4. Those following loved ones on the trail.
  5. Those looking for inspiration to accomplish a major accomplishment in their life

Although the book will make you laugh (I hope), it is by no means a comedy.  It is also not a “Zach Davis hikes the Appalachian Trail“, although there are stories about my hike.  The most accurate description is the book’s subtitle: A Psyschological and Emotional Guide to Successfully Thru-Hiking the Appalachian Trail.  If you’ve enjoyed this website, you will enjoy the book, but I wanted to be clear about our expectations here.

I am fielding suggestions for the next book :)

Good chat.

Love,

Zach

Appalachian Trials Available On Kindle!

Appalachian Trials: "Hi, I wrote a book"

After months of writing, editing, formatting, fighting with myself and others (mostly myself), and designing, the day has finally arrived….

Appalachian Trials is here!!!

Assuming “here” means “available in e-book form”

So the print version is still a little ways away (days, not weeks), but the Kindle Version of Appalachian Trials is up & active:

APPALACHIAN TRIALS on KINDLE

Reasons to buy the Kindle (e-book) Version Read more

Ryan Mogan, The Proud Owner of Appalachian Trials’ Last Page

Ladies and gentleman, we have a winner!

So about a week ago, we ran a promotion auctioning off the last page of my upcoming book, Appalachian Trials.  The highest bidder won the right to input their name on the last page of the book.

With a high bid of $203.50, Ryan Mogan is our winner! Read more

Get YOUR NAME in MY BOOK: And More Delicious Appalachian Trials Info

Get YOUR NAME in Appalachian Trials

Hi team,

So, my Appalachian Trail book, is finished (official launch coming soon).

Well, almost…

I have every page written, except for the last.

That’s where YOUR NAME goes.  Only your name.

Yes, I’m serious.  No, I’m not drunk.

Imagine flipping through the final pages of this soon-to-be-released Appalachian Trail super-book, and the last thing you see – the reader’s final impression – is your nameThat’s what’s happening.

I’m going to auction off the last page of my book on eBay.  The highest bidder wins their name, and their name only, on the last page of the soon-to-be-announced-release-of-Zach-Davis’-first-book-Appalachian Trials.  It’s easy as that.  I will start the auction at $0.05 with no reserve.

100% of the proceeds will go to the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (eBay takes their cut because they’re capitalists*)

* – “9.0% of the item’s total cost to buyer with a maximum charge of $100.00.” (Every penny that eBay doesn’t take from Zach will go straight to the ATC).

Here’s how you can get YOUR NAME on the last page of Appalachian Trials:

  1. Go to this link to view the auction page
  2. Bid to get your name in the last page of Appalachian Trials
  3. The auction will end on January 31st, 2012 at 10:00 AM CST.  When it does, the high bidder wins their name in the last page of my book (sorry for sounding like a broken record).
  4. That’s it.

Some notes about the promotion:

  • As you know by now, I get a good chuckle out of potty humor, but I won’t put a dirty word on the last page of the book.  Sorry, I don’t believe that your name is “Farty McBallSlap“.
  • Appalachian Trials will be released both as a print and e-book.  Your name goes in both.  One name, two formats.
  • I have contacted the ATC about this promotion (still waiting to hear back).  Those who know me already know that I wouldn’t ever try to pull a Bernie Madeoff on anyone.  For those who don’t know me, know that at the conclusion of this promotion, the ATC will be expecting a check from me.  If I would try to pull a fast one, they would very quickly make this public and then Zach would be forced to live under a bridge for the rest of time.

Reasons Why This Promotion is Worth Your Bid

  1. I had to write 40,000 words to get my name in it.  You can accomplish the same thing with ~39,998 fewer words.  That’s a good deal.
  2. High upside.  I’m pretty confident that we’ve got a winner on our hands here (really).  Getting your name in a book that could potentially be popular within this very beautiful niche, is an exciting proposition.
  3. It’s ridiculous.  Your name would stand alone on the last page of Appalachian Trials.  I haven’t taken the time to research if this has ever been done before, but considering most books go through traditional publishers, and traditional is Latin for boring, I’m guessing not.  (Side note: Appalachian Trials is currently scheduled to be released under Good Badger Publishing (aka self-published).  If in the future a traditional publisher wants to give me a cruise ship full of cash for the rights, I won’t let the last page with your name on it fall by the wayside.  It’s there for the long haul.)
  4. It’s funny.  Is it not?
  5. It’s for a good cause.  Did I mention that 100% of the proceeds goes toward the ATC (the wonderful volunteers and workers who maintain our beautiful 2,181 mile path of wonder, mystery and love)?
  6. Good Advertising.  I will announce the winner of this contest on this website.  Ultimately when someone reads the book and searches “Appalachian Trials + [your name]” the post announcing your victory will be what shows up in Google.  They will see that your donation went to the ATC.  In addition, I will let the winner write a short statement and link to the website/cause of their choice.  That’s right.  In-book advertising.  What is that worth to you/your company?  (*Note*  No URLs in the book itself, only in the victorious post, which will still be seen by a lot of people.  Also, I’ve had people ask if they can pool their money together and then make a fake name- YES.  I love the creativity.  Just no potty words, offensive phrases, or competing products.)

So, go check out the eBay bid, throw a couple dollars at the idea of your name being on the book, share the promotion with others (like this page, retweet it, e-mail friends, shout it at strangers) so we can help raise more money for this worthy organization.  And then probably consider checking out Appalachian Trials.

Last note- I will announce the winner on this site and the Good Badger Facebook Page.  I suggest “liking” it so I can let you know when you win YOUR NAME on the last page of Appalachian Trials.

Questions? E-mail me at theGoodBadger[at]gmail[dot]com.

Here is the link to the auction page.