There are two movies coming out this year based on books supposedly about hiking. As previously discussed the Bill Bryson books "A Walk in the Woods" and now "Wild" by Cheryl Strayed. Both are presented as hiking movies and both are about things other than hiking.
I was very disappointing with the Wild book because I felt it was more about her problems which she failed to address than actually finding redemption on the PCT. Struck me as "are you bragging or complaining?"
The Bryson book was written for humor rather than a story about the AT. I generally enjoy Bryson but as a backpacker I was offended because folks think it represents actual backpacking.
The movies are to make money. I do not think anyone gives a "xx" about accuracy or depicting actual backpacking. The "wilderness" is just the backdrop.
It is similar to the now trendy "extreme sports". The participants are simply engaging in an athletic activity with the wilderness as a backdrop. A few weeks ago while backpacking a fellow passed me the opposite direction- he was running the JMT and only had on skimpy little running shorts and one small water bottle/belt. That was it! He was redder than a beet! Another backpacker behind me chuckled, and said "that is taking UL to the extreme". At times like this I would love to see the skies open up, thunder and lightning, hail and buckets of rain.
I was crossing my forearms across my face when the third person who had NEVER hiked before told me about the book and movie, "Wild," during the Holidays.
I read "The Last Englishman" this past summer and thought it was a great account of the PCT, by who was literally the last Englishman, or last person for that matter, to finish the PCT that year. A great and amusing read.
This summer we're camp hosting near a spot often used by PCT'ers to R&R on their way north way into the hike. It's at Diamond Lake in OR near Mt. Thielsen. Will be interesting to see if that 'pop' book "Wild" increases the traffic. It's way past the half way point so they should be serious about it if they get there. My wife and I want to play trail angels on our days off from the campground.
I enjoyed the Bryson book for its humor. One of my favorite passages was where he described how he he and his buddy were chucking their over-loaded gear over the side of the hill on their first climb I'm thinking this summer might be good for scoring discards from newby Wild-wannabees in various hiker bins along the PCT. Or maybe just half way up the first real climb.