One for the Road: The Complete Walker

Colin Fletcher, author of the “hiker’s bible” died this past Tuesday at the age of 85. His bestseller, The Complete Walker, first appeared in 1968 and has sold more than 500,000 copies. Known for popularizing hiking and backpacking in the US because of his books on the subject, Fletcher has been called ‘the father of modern backpacking”.

Born in Wales, Fletcher was educated in England and served in the Royal Marines. After spending time in Kenya, Zimbabwe and Canada, he moved to the US in 1956. Two years later he walked the length of the state of California, a journey that was chronicled in The Thousand Mile Summer. In 1963 he became the first man to walk the length of the Grand Canyon below the rim, which he wrote about in The Man Who Walked Through Time. Backpacker magazine printed a touching eulogy, and here’s a short interview done with Fletcher ten years ago.