Hike Your Own Hike

Hike Your Own Hike: 7 Life Lessons from Backpacking Across America is about Francis Tapon's thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail and what it the adventure can teach you about life.

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There's now an audiobook and ebook version of the book!

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Hike Your Own Hike book cover by Francis TaponSummary of the book

You'll start in Maine and walk to Georgia, picking up seven lessons along the way. Each lesson is neatly woven into the fabric of the story. This true story combines the desire to reorient one’s life with an exciting tale of adventure and a bit of humor. It’s about 75% self-help and 25% trail narrative. It is not a book about how to backpack, but rather how to live.

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Who would enjoy this book? Anyone who:

  • Loves reading outdoor adventure books.
  • Has a good life, but wants to have an amazing one.
  • Wants to learn more about the Appalachian Trail.
  • Dislikes preachy self-help books, but doesn't mind getting some useful ideas presented in a light tone.
  • Is stuck in a rut and is looking for some inspiration to make important changes.
  • Likes to support starving writers.

Unlike the typical self-help book, Hike Your Own Hike:

  • Provides an entertaining, flowing tale as a backdrop.
  • Draws all its lessons from the adventure of walking the entire Appalachian Trail.
  • Doesn't take itself so darn seriously!

Unlike the typical travelogue, Hike Your Own Hike:

  • Is not all about the author, it's about what YOU can get out of the story.
  • Delivers practical ideas that help you squeeze more out of life.
  • Recounts a challenging southbound thru-hike versus the typical northbound thru-hike (less than 10% hike southbound).

Has two color maps, including an ultra-cool 3-panel foldout map of the Appalachian Trail!

The AT will teach you the Seven Principles on how to get the most out of life:

  1. Hike Your Own Hike.
  2. Beware of Summit Fever.
  3. Hike with Passion.
  4. Learn from Trail Lore.
  5. Eat Well, Walk Hard, and Sleep Soundly.
  6. Perform Trail Magic.
  7. The Hike is Too Important to Take Seriously.

Each chapter in the book is devoted to each concept. Chapter One starts in Maine where Francis Tapon learned the First Principle. Chapter Seven ends in Georgia where he learned the Seventh Principle.

Dust Jacket

Clicking on the image below will pop up a PDF of the Hike Your Own Hike dust jacket!

Dust Jacket of Hike Your Own Hike: 7 Life Lessons from Backpacking Across America by Francis Tapon

Hike Your Own Hike endorsements7 Principles/Lessons from Backpacking Across America

“Don’t expect a dull trail log. Don’t expect a boring self-help book. Instead, expect to laugh and learn as Hike Your Own Hike weaves practical wisdom with an epic journey as the backdrop.” — Dave Roberson, President and Chief Operating Officer, Hitachi Data Systems

“Hike Your Own Hike is a helpful, fun book that combines everyday life with the outdoors.  Walk the Appalachian Trail with Francis Tapon and learn practical insights that will get you ready for your own hike.” — Harv Erickson, Chairman of the Board, Continental Divide Trail Alliance

“It’s hard to imagine a book could combine the strengths of Bill Bryson’s Walk in the Woods and Stephen Covey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, but Hike Your Own Hike has done it!” — Marco Iansiti, Harvard Business School Professor

“This is definitely not your ordinary Appalachian Trail thru-hike memoir.” — Brian T. Fitzgerald, Chair, Appalachian Trail Conservancy

“Francis Tapon’s book is a marvelous addition to the very best outdoor and personal development books available. Against the backdrop of a rich and unique journey along the Appalachian Trail, Hike Your Own Hike offers the reader a wealth of practical how-tos blended masterfully with the wisdom of the ages. This isn't another boring hiking guidebook, it’s a wonderful guidebook for life.” — Kim and Demetri Coupounas, Co-Founders, GoLite

“The great outdoors is one of the best classrooms we’ll ever have.  It overflows with life lessons, as Francis Tapon so clearly and passionately explains in this wonderful book.” — Hal Urban, Author of Life’s Greatest Lessons

“Hike Your Own Hike won’t just inspire and motivate you; it’ll amuse and delight you. Francis Tapon transforms the wonders and wisdom of the woods into sound, useful principles.” — Peter Oorebeek, President, Advance Group

"Francis Tapon shares the useful insights he gained after hiking over 2,000 miles in the wilderness. Hike Your Own Hike is not a book about how to backpack, but how to live. It will reawaken your spirit and energize your soul." — Liz Bergeron, Executive Director, Pacific Crest Trail Association

“Hike Your Own Hike delivers helpful and sage advice for life on and off the trail. It is an extremely engaging and entertaining book.” — Bruce Ward, Executive Director, Continental Divide Trail Alliance

“Lisa Garrett, Francis Tapon’s hiking partner, will inspire women throughout the world. She exposes her frailty and emotions, but never runs away from confronting them. It’s fascinating to watch her draw deep into her incredible inner strength to overcome her fears. In some ways she’s a superwoman because she is able to walk over 2,000 miles in less than four months, but she’s also so human. Together, Lisa and Francis will motivate you to rise to a new level.” — Susan McKee, National Sales Director, Pristine Water Treatment

"As his teacher, it is tremendous to see what Francis has learned about himself and about the world around him. The great thing about working with young people is that you get to see the future through their eyes...and you get to see yourself as you once were and can be again." - Joseph B. Lassiter III, Harvard Business School Professor of Management Practice

Hike Your Own Hike book reviews

  • Bella Online, "Hike Your Own Hike Review," by Dr. Joy Madden. She says, that the book "is a wonderful self development and self help book that shows you why walking is so powerful for your mind, body and soul, as well as covering life lessons that will change our life with increased self empowerment, emotional health and emotional wealth."
  • SectionHiker's review wrote: "But what Hike Your Own Hike is about, is giving yourself permission to take a break from the everyday groove that you've worked yourself into, to try something different that might make you a lot more happy. It's about reducing the level of fear we all experience when we question our life-course and consider alternative options."

  • OutsideWays review wrote: "The material is excellent and the advice is sound. The book is designed such that it can be put to use by anyone no matter what their passion or their stage of life."
  • The BootsnAll Travel Network said in their review: "It is hoped the book becomes a catalyst for a new trend in the reader's life. Mr. Tapon has done his part well. He has provided numerous tools. The value lies in what the reader chooses to take from it."

  • The Midwest Review concluded: "Hike Your Own Hike is very strongly recommended for all readers searching for an engaging tale of remarkable encouragement, creative entertainment, and informative endeavors, particularly ideal reading for novice hikers aspiring to take on the Appalachian Trail themselves."

  • Redding.com, "With each step begins a journey, a chance to hike your hike," Thom Gabrukiewicz. "His book worth reading, for anyone and everyone unsure of their current path.... The 351-page book has helped bring focus to my own journey. I'm confident it'll help you, too."

  • Dream Traveler Jess review, "I have no interest in backpacking and ... I was nervous it was going to be a hard read for me. After reading it, I discovered that the lessons he learned and wrote about can relate to everyone... it's an awesome book that everyone should read."
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Take a sneak peak inside!

Download the Table of Contents, the Introduction, and the First Chapter for FREE! (Adobe Acrobat PDF format, 1.4MB)

Download the detailed 3 panel foldout map of the Appalachian Trail that is included in the book! (PDF 1.4MB)

(Can't read PDF files? Install Adobe Acrobat Reader for free.)

Where to buy

The best place to buy the hardcover is at the WanderLearn Shop because:

  1. You can get 60% off when you buy it with other stuff.
  2. You can get an autographed copy!
  3. 100% of your money goes to the author (instead of the retailer).
  4. 30-day money back guarantee!

However, if you prefer the ebook, then buy the Hike Your Own Hike ebook at Amazon. Amazon has the exclusive right to sell the ebook. What if you don't have a Kindle ebook reader? Just download the Kindle App on your prefered ebook reader and see it there. 

For book nerds: ISBN-10: 0-9765812-0-5 and ISBN-13: 978-0-9765812-0-8