January 04, 2016

Test: What are the best Hiking Guidebooks?

Admittedly, this article's title is a bit misleading because there is no "best hiking guidebook" as such. Every outdoor enthusiast is different and hence there can only be a best hiking guidebook for a the individual, also highly depending on the kind of outdoor activity: family walks, easy to moderate day hikes, strenuous backcountry hikes, multi-day treks, camping week-end etc.

To find out what is the best hiking guide for YOU, we've compiled a list of six publishers which offer a series of outdoor, hiking or camping guidebook, analyzed their books and came up with a recommendation. Here's list with the publishers: Lonely Planet, Moon, Fodor, National Geographic (all pictured above), FalconGuides, Frommer.

1) Lonely Planet
Publisher's statement: Lonely Planet authors are experienced, insightful travel experts. They personally research the places they write about - both in the first and in subsequent editions - and provide essential travel details along with a wealth of insider information and first-hand tips. [...] All Lonely Planet books provide context and advice on travelling sustainably and responsibly.

2) Moon
Publisher's statement: "Moon Outdoors guidebooks provide adventure travelers, day hikers, cross-country RV campers, and weekend campers with well-researched information, trusted advice, insider tips, and all of the necessary tools to head outdoors. Experts on recreation and adventure travel, our authors make outdoor travel a cinch."

3) Fodor
Publisher's statement: "Fodor's helps you unleash the possibilities of travel by providing the insights and tools you need to experience the trips you want. [...] Resources that you'll want to read as well as reference, our guide books and website offer current and discerning shopping, dining, hotel, and culture recommendations [...]."

4) National Geographic
Publisher's statement: National Geographic is a global nonprofit organization with a passionate belief in the power of science, exploration, and storytelling to change the world.

5) FalconGuides
Publisher's statement: For more than 30 years, FalconGuides have set the standard for outdoor recreation content. With contributions by top outdoors experts and enthusiasts, we invite readers to experience the endless adventure and beauty of the great outdoors. [...] With books and content covering the entire spectrum of outdoor activities, ranging from hiking and rock climbing guides to environmental preservation and wildlife identification, our objective is to outfit your mind with the best possible information on where to go, how to get there, and what to see once you arrive"

6) Frommer
Publisher's statement: We at Frommer's want to help you explore your travel destinations the way locals do. Whether you're venturing close to home or across the globe, whether your budget is limited or limitless, we strive to live up to your discerning approach to travel by delivering the most candid and reliable information on this Web site and in our guidebooks and products.

Evaluations to come:
- availability of online resources
- apps
- # and kind of guides
- writing style
- price