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Publisher's Summary

Disillusioned by the corporate lifestyle, David finds himself unemployed and desperate for change. Bradley, his older, more adventurous, and slightly-wreckless college fraternity brother presents an enticing offer. Just a few weeks later, the two inexperienced hopefuls abandon society and plunge into a soul-searching sojourn to thru-hike the Pacific Crest trail, a 2,650-mile Mexico-to-Canada footpath - barefoot. At the trail’s mercy from day one, the two hikers face the endless pains of walking, rising tensions, and falling behind to the coming winter.

The Trail Provides is a thru-hiking memoir filled with stories about companionship, lessons learned, dreams and reality, and leaving everything behind for the desire of transformation, insight, and self-discovery. Now, let’s begin the journey....

©2018 David Smart (P)2019 David Smart

What listeners say about The Trail Provides

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Good Story

took me a while to get started. the author's voice is your stereotypical San Diego stoner surfer but at 1.4 speed hes a productive member of society lol


I would recommend this to anyone looking for an adventure

5 people found this helpful

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Hiking with Napoleon Dynamite

I've enjoyed a variety of long-distance hiking stories since subscribing to Audible. Despite the fact the general stories are the same (person attempts to walk X-number of miles along X-trail in X-amount of time) each story becomes its own animal due to each writer having different experiences along the way. And even when an author encounters similar experiences to other writers, their reactions are their own and the outcomes personal.

David's story of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail becomes far more personal than most of the PCT books I've listened to. There is a lot more personal growth here and he does a fine job weaving those experiences in with the description of life on the trail. David is, in my opinion, a very good writer. However, he is not a great narrator.

I would usually condone the concept of a writer reading his own memoir as I feel it adds honesty to the narration, but in David's case perhaps a professional narrator would have been the way to go. David's method of speech, which often sounds bored or monotone like Napoleon Dynamite, comes across as a series of questions as his voice rises amid points in his sentences. For instance, this line from early in the book comes across as follows:

"It was the small hours of the morning. But I somehow? Managed to lift my head? From the rickety trailer floor? Where I had slept the past two nights? And glanced toward the other end of the trailer. There sat Bradley. Sitting cross-legged beside his backpack? At the foot of his bed? Eyes closed."

So if this speech pattern doesn't bother you, then I would recommend giving this a listen. Otherwise, I would suggest picking up a physical copy and allowing your brain to envision David's voice.

5 people found this helpful

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excellent book !!

several times I listened to the sample of this book , and didnt buy it. Because I was unsure of the narrator's voice. But recently decided to take a chance , and so glad I did !!! I loved this book and the adventure !! and got teary eyed along with them as they finished. ❤

3 people found this helpful

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Take the journey!

I was glued to this story and couldn’t wait to hear what happened next. Thank you David for letting us in on your journey.
Ron Sixkiller

3 people found this helpful

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Entertaining

I listened to this twice. Nice story it felt like I was there. Hopefully some day I can do this journey.

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I loved it!!

The Narrator reminded me of my Son and friends. I liked that the younger men took in the older men. You don't see that much outside of the trail. I hope the people in the story remember that and I hope the older people do the same. I would like to see and hear more. I was sorry when it was over. But, will listen several times in the future to come!

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The best book for aspiring thru hikers!

A must read for thru hikers and the aspiring. Accurate and heartfelt description of life on the PCT, through the eye's of Stay'n Alive. Thanks David. This brought back so many memories. Love you brother,
-Transformer-

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beautiful and inspiring

First- thank you, David, for sharing your story. I'm sure being so open and vulnerable to the world was difficult and challenging at times. Congratulations on furthering your growth after the trail ended.
The book is well written and heartfelt. The narration is honestly a little stiff, but it was brave for the author to read his own words. I enjoyed his honesty and the sharing of fun adventures he had along his journey. I felt that the author did a great deal of introspection and reflection during his journey. He sounds like someone that gets along well with almost everyone. In summary, this was a great book for inspiration and for entertainment.

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Hiker Hunger

As a future PCT thru hiker wanna-be, I seek out every trail log I can find journaling the experiences of hikers on the PCT and AT. Living vicariously until my time arrives, I enjoy hearing about the various perspectives gleaned and growth attained from each hiker’s sojourn. David’s account of his thru hike was honest, authentic, and very relatable. While there are some criticisms of his narration (his voice tone and speech cadence), for this very personal story I much prefer hearing directly from the author rather than from a polished professional narrator. His writing was also very good conveying both the monotony and the magic encountered during his long walk from Mexico to Canada. I typically don’t write reviews but I appreciate the effort it must take to synthesize the cumulative experience of a thru hike and to produce something enjoyable for those of us hungry to experience it for ourselves. Thanks David and happy trails!

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Absolutely Loved This Book

The book was amazing. I loved David’s point of view and the way the book was narrated. It really put a cool perspective on all aspects of the trail and experiences he had on the trail. It makes me want to pursue doing the trial myself. It’s been a goal for me. And after enjoying this book, I am definitely starting my planning. Thank you David for sharing your journey!! I Highly recommended this book !

1 person found this helpful

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  • Jon234
  • 05-30-20

Excellent book

The best trail related book I’ve heard so far (much better than ‘Wild’ and ‘A Walk in the Woods’ which have had films made of them) and I’ve listened to quite a few. The narration does take some getting used to though (I honestly wondered what he meant by what I heard as ‘Organ Challenge’ as opposed to what he meant to say (Oregon Challenge).

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-30-19

Fantastic

A great insight into the PCT, and I'm gutted I've finished it! Highly recommended.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Reuben
  • 08-06-19

An honest window into the the truth of the trail and life

A brilliant story of hardships and joy that is filled with nuggets of hard won wisdom.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Matt Worth
  • 04-18-21

Dangerous advice for new hikers

I was really looking forward to this audiobook but the moment the Author started talking about he and his mate decided to hike the PCT barefoot in order to be 'closer to the healing electromagnetic energy of the earth' I was out. One of the biggest reasons people get into trouble in the wilderness is because they don't bring the correct gear with them so advocating that Hikers shouldn't use a piece of equipment as basic as footwear is like telling them to dress in cotton and climb a mountain in a rainstorm. Its reckless, especially given that this is the type of book that may appeal to new hikers. God knows how many people a year either die or get into serious trouble trying to emulate Christopher McCandless and his 'Into the Wild' nonsense without the proper training, gear and knowledge, the last thing we need is anyone adding to the problem.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 03-02-21

Very good

An honest and unpretentious account. Must read for hikers or hikers to be. Stick with the narrator it took a while to get into but its so worth it.

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  • Alpago
  • 12-23-20

What a journey!

Absolute loved listening to this - recommended for anyone that fantasises about walking any of the massively long walking trails (but, like me, prob won't), especially when we're all stuck inside in various versions of lockdown. David has an extremely distinctive voice (both literally and figuratively) so it was prob more enjoyable listening to it rather than reading.

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  • Martyn Dawes
  • 11-13-20

A decent listen

Once I got use to the drawl of the narrator / author I enjoyed this book.

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  • Kim Brantenaar
  • 09-15-20

Great story!

It was an absolute pleasure to join David on epic journey. I loved the adventurous feel of it, couldn’t believe some of their choices but rooted for them all the way!
I listen to my audio books while hiking short day hikes. That makes for a pretty immersive experience, lol.

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  • Farrah Herbert
  • 09-06-20

brave or stupid, not sure but definitely inspiring

Great story and well written.

As someone who really wants to walk the PCT, it's inspiring to know it can be done without spending a fortune on a tent and having a bunch of kit.

I definitely will not walk it barefoot lol.

Thank you Staying Alive

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  • ecologist
  • 08-18-20

I really enjoy this book but I’m a hiker

I’d say this is a good book for other hikers. The voice was pretty weird but I got used to it.

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  • Ms
  • 07-23-19

Stick with this - it has great rewards

I nearly missed how good this book was because I was a bit put off at first by the monotone voice of the reader, (sorry David!). I wondered how I would be able to listen to the whole thing when the voice made me tune out, at first listen.

However, I had a complete turnaround during the listening to this book. The author has a very distinct way of thinking and talking which reminds me of long-haired, Californian, avocado-eating, peace-lovers. Truth seekers come in all shapes and sizes and I soon realised this guy was very sincere about learning lessons and trying to understand his experiences. He has a great deal of courage, not just the courage to undertake a months-long hard trail, but also to look within and see the gnarly bits of his own humanity. By a third of the way through the book, I just adored hearing him speak. He also gave lots of detail about hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. I hope he writes more as he is a fearless explorer and it is really interesting to share in his journey.

I whole-heartedly recommend this book.

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  • Fiona
  • 05-11-19

Very good

I thoroughly enjoyed this very interesting PCT adventure which is beautifully narrated by the author.