My son-in-law is hiking the Appalachian Trail next year. It will take six months and is over 2,000 miles! He gave me this book to read (I think in hopes of persuading my daughter to go with him!) and Bill Bryson, the author, is hilarious. On the other hand, I don't know if Bryson intended to paint such a scary view of the possibilities of hiking one of America's longest trails, but this book, despite it's humorous approach, defines many of the real hazards of hiking through a wilderness. Bryson has a way of making stories out of the most simple situations. Recommended for oudoor enthusiasts or those who dream of being such, as well as those who just want to laugh at funny characters.