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The Last Englishman: A 2,650 mile hiking adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail [Kindle Edition]

Keith Foskett
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £9.95
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Book Description

SHORTLISTED FOR 'OUTDOOR BOOK OF THE YEAR 2012' BY THE GREAT OUTDOORS MAGAZINE

The Pacific Crest Trail stretches some 2,650 miles from the Mexican border to Canada. It meanders through the scorching deserts of California, the dramatic Sierra Nevada, the volcanic landscape of Oregon and the vast forest of Washington.
Every year around 300 hikers attempt to walk its entirety. Four in ten give up in the first month alone and only two will reach Canada. Extremes of heat and cold, the toughness and roughness of the trail and encounters with an assortment of potentially deadly creatures stretch walkers to their absolute limits.
It’s a lesson Keith Foskett soon learns the hard way, having to deal with blisters and other physical ailments, as well as his inherent phobia of snakes, spiders, bears, getting dirty and camping in the woods after dark.
With the harsh winter looming, he enters into a desperate race against time, facing a dangerous, physical and very real threat to become the last Englishman to complete the greatest long distance walking trail on Earth.

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More About the Author

Having hiked around 10,000 miles in the last few years, Keith Foskett holds a deep respect for the outdoor spaces of this world. He has written 3 books on long distance hiking, where his passion lies deepest.
Keith was nominated for 2 awards in The Great Outdoors Magazine Awards 2012 and 2014 - namely Outdoor Personality of the Year and Book of the Year for The Last Englishman.
Partial to a decent bottle of Rioja, down sleeping bags and woollen underwear, he now divides his time between walking, running and the odd cycle ride.
He was born, and still lives in West Sussex, England.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Walking COmpanion 21 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The Last Englishman: A 2,650 mile hiking adventure on the Pacific Crest Trail [Kindle Edition] - Completed 13 May 14

I selected this book as my primary reading material on my recent abortive attempt to cross Scotland on the 2014 TGO challenge. I knew that the book had been shortlisted for the ‘Outdoor Book of the year 2012’ by TGO magazine and I follow Fozzie’s highly entertaining blog though I had not read his earlier book of hos walk of the Camino de Santiago (though I have since commenced it). I must say that this book was extremely enjoyable and I must have completed it in record time.

The book tells the Story of Foskett’s completion of the 2650 mile long Pacific Crest Trail from the Mexican to the Canadian Border through California, Oregon and Washington States. Although over 300 hikers start this walk every year the dropout rate is very high - according to the book’s blurb more people have stood on the top of Everest than have completed the Trail. When one reads the book it is easy to see why as through hikers have to cover a high average daily mileage in order to hit the Canadian border before the onset of Winter – Foskett himself only just makes it and that with a re-jig of his planned route in order to cover the harsher hills and conditions of Washington State early – though I shan’t spoil the story. For a reader in the UK the scale of the walk only comes across when Foskett points out that the length of the Californian section of the trail alone is 500 mils longer than a walk from Land’s End to John ‘o’ Groats!

Foskett tells an excellent story with humour throughout; he tells of meetings with other hikers – both those with whom he becomes friendly and also those he dislikes.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! 2 Mar. 2013
Format:Paperback
I really enjoyed this book - it's a first class read. Keith Foskett writes well and I felt like I was with him all the way.

"Fozzie" concentrates on the trail itself and the people he encounters. He takes a pragmatic approach to the many problems which beset him and despite those problems his sense of humour is never far away. Even in his darkest moments he retains his appreciation for the wilderness and for his good fortune to be out in it. I do a bit of long distance backpacking (though not on this scale) so I was able to identify with elements of this book and I loved both the book and the writer's attitude. I've already ordered his other book.

I've read two other (American) accounts of PCT hikes but neither of them were as good as "The Last Englishman". Great travel writing.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Captivating 23 Feb. 2013
Format:Paperback
My reason for reading this book was primarily due to the fact that my son is embarking on the trail this year and as an avid hillwalker who loves wild places this was a captivating read. It was so well written I was feeling the pain of the blisters, the heat of the desert and the icy cold temperatures of the torrents. I have done a few 'tame' long distance walks but I am becoming drawn to doing something like this - not sure my son would want my company or whether my husband would fancy 2600 miles though.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent read 20 May 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A good book is one that you find difficult to put down. I had to force myself to take a break from this one every so often. Even so it only took me just over one day to complete the 335 pages. The Last Englishman recounts Keith Foskett’s 2,650 mile trek along the Pacific Crest Trail, from the Mexican border to just inside Canada.

It was compelling reading from beginning to end. Keith even had to battle to get to the USA, with the Icelandic volcanic eruption throwing his travel plans into disarray. Getting to the start was an adventure in itself. Very quickly we are introduced to the trail and its tribulations. Blisters, body odour and dirt are constant companions. The fear of snakes and scorpions are a nagging reminder of being in the wilderness and away from civilisation.

The Last Englishman is an honest and personal account of what it takes to do a long distance thru-hike. You won’t find much in the way of descriptions of the majestic landscape. What you will find is a cast of vivid characters (or nutters) who chose to hike the PCT and an impression of the intense camaraderie (and occasionally friction) that the trail engenders.

Every day is a constant battle to do the miles, find water, eat enough to keep going and find shelter at the end of the day. Managing the toll that the trail takes on body and mind is a ever present challenge. Despite this, there is an overwhelming feeling of joy and freedom, with life stripped back to its basics.

There are continual questions as to whether characters will reappear in the story or disappear forever. There is the growing worry as to whether Keith will be able to finish before the winter snows arrive. I kept thinking “don’t take that zero” (a zero is a rest day).
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Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really did enjoy this book but would have liked a bit more info on the practicalities of navigation. More info on navigational difficulties and how walkers managed that would have been of interest. Its a long hike - navigation is a huge part of it but that gets little by way of any detailed coverage in the book.
There is a great description of passing through deep snow - up to waist level at high altitude- on some mountain passes. it would have been useful if the author had provided more detail so that a reader could get a handle on how difficult the terrain was in real life. Would a walker need much experience in winter mountain hiking - particularly if they happened to be alone on that particular day?.
Also of interest to anyone in the UK or Ireland would be some info on coping with the high temperatures and high altitudes - both features of the PCT and both well out of the norm in terms of what would be experienced in this part of the world.
Outside of the comments above its a really enjoyable read and fair play to anyone who completes the walk. I have just purchased a book about the AT written by the same author - so looking forward to that.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read
My girlfriend bought me this for my birthday, and I'm so glad she did. I've not read much travel writing before, but within a few chapters I was hooked. Read more
Published 5 days ago by Edward Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent read.
If you love the outdoors then you must read this book, if your not the outdoor type then read it anyway! Read more
Published 2 months ago by mr R J Evans
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable read
Really enjoyed this book and would recommend to a friend
Published 2 months ago by paul leonard
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Good book and goes well with the authors you tube blog of the hike.
Published 3 months ago by delme thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Really enjoyed the book
Published 3 months ago by Mrs E C
5.0 out of 5 stars Really enjoyable read.
A really enjoyable read.
Published 3 months ago by R. W. Sherman
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Realy enjoyed highly recommend .
Published 4 months ago by A.S.Baillie
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling read
Fozzie takes you on the journey with him you can relate to the story by the way he tells it, compelling from start to finish it makes you want to get up and do it yourself.
Published 4 months ago by s jones
5.0 out of 5 stars A highly recommended reading!
So much better than Wild! Fozzie leaves nothing out when describing his trek along the PCT. Blisters, bears, food (a top consideration! Read more
Published 4 months ago by Mrs Lesley Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars Must read
Thank you Fozzie for a great book - I loved it! I'm actually not a hiker but the PCT intrigues me. What a fantastic achievement - can't wait to read your other books. Read more
Published 5 months ago by JG
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