Three Hundred Zeroes

Three Hundred Zeroes
Do you know what a “trail angel” is? Or a “zero day”? Or the “Triple Crown of Hiking”?

Dennis Blanchard’s engaging book, Three Hundred Zeroes: Lessons of the Heart on the Appalachian Trail, is his personal account from his hike on the entire 2,200 mile stretch of wilderness. You’ll learn why he took 300 “zero days”, his insights gained from introspection during the journey, and how he fulfills a promise to his late brother.

After reading Bill Bryson’s A Walk in the Woods about Bryson’s experiences hiking the Appalachian Trail, I came across Blanchard’s book and just had to read it!

What I really enjoy about Three Hundred Zeroes are the fun (and sometimes terrifying!) personal accounts of his encounters with inclement weather, snakes, 39 bears, and of course the various hikers he meets and befriends along the way.

Blanchard also does an excellent job of keeping the reader engaged by sharing tidbits, such as females have comparatively more stamina than men on the trail! Most women also lose weight, but not as dramatically as the men who hike the AT. Plus, the abundance of pictures makes the reader feel like they are part of his AT thru-hike.

Hiking Lady Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

I also enjoy catching up with Dennis Blanchard’s blog, where he continues to share insights, fun and useful things like knot tying skills, and links to his radio interviews and more. It is refreshing to hear his continued positive and inspirational outlook on life. As Blanchard says, “You cannot change your past, but you can change your future.”

Have you thought about hiking the AT? Or perhaps you’ve already done so. I’d love to hear your thoughts on your experience, this book, or anything else in the comments below!

Happy trails!

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  1. Melanie Hurley says:

    Hiking Lady…I could not find your emails (sad face) so I sent my address to “ask Hiking Lady a Question” please let me know if you receive it

  2. Hiking Lady says:

    Hi Melanie! You won the February contest! I tried to email you 3 times and I have received your email, but mine must be going to your spam box?! If you see this please try to contact me again, perhaps through facebook? Or try to find my emails in your spam box. Happy trails!

  3. Melanie Hurley says:

    Hiking lady Thank You for another amazing book recommendation!

    K1 thank you for your advice! I so enjoyed your book, I laughed hysterically several times throughout your book…watch out for those squirrels. Jane sounds like she really had you ready with the rice and other assorted animal contact. I am impressed with your reason to hike the trail and returning from major heart surgery to finish…amazing story!

  4. Melanie: Thanks for posting a comment here and waking me up to the fact I haven’t looked here in a VERY long time. Hiking Lady does such a nice job with this site, I feel guilty!

    Keep us posted on your section hike. I commented in the book that I think it is tougher being a section hiker, in some ways, than being a thru hiker. Those that do the entire trail in sections never get their “hiking legs,” and suffer the whole way with blisters, sore muscles and so on. The thru-hiker builds up a resistance after a few weeks and adapts. Don’t let that scare you, it is just a fact of life.

    If you haven’t set one up, consider a journal on or It makes it easy for us to follow you.

    Enjoy the book, and feel free to comment here about it, I’m sure Hiking Lady would welcome your comments.

    Dennis “K1” Blanchard

  5. Donna says:

    Wow! This all sounds so exciting. I wish that I could walk the AT someday.

    So many things to do and so many places to see. Thank you Hiking Lady for your reviews.

  6. Hiking Lady says:

    Hi Dennis,
    Thanks for the recommendation of Bill’s book! I wish you the best of luck this summer on the Camino de Santiago. I can’t wait to read about your journey when you’re back. 🙂

  7. Bill “Skywalker” Walker is too humble to mention it, but he also has an interesting book: HIGHS AND LOWS ON THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL. Reading it, I found the contrast between the Appalachian Trail and the PCT to be quite dramatic. They both have their beauty and dangers and are very different hikes. Both also have their share of intrepid women.

    Thanks Hiking Lady for this site and I highly encourage the readers to use the links on this site to pick up their new books. Going to Amazon via a link from here helps fund this site’s efforts.

    Later this year the woman in my life, Jane, and I, will be walking the Camino de Santiago in Spain. We’ll be certain to report back on that experience. Those of you that have already read THREE HUNDRED ZEROES will recall she is an inveterate prankster so I will have to be on my guard for the entire time!

  8. Hiking Lady says:

    Thank you for your comment, Bill! I’m thrilled to hear you’re seeing more women out on the trails! I see a pretty good mix backpacking in the Sierras, and I’m hoping that Jen and other women inspire more women to take on the challenge of a thru hike! Happy trails!

  9. Bill Walker says:

    Women now make up 57% of college graduates. Currently, I would estimate they are about 30% of the Appalachian Trail hiker population. I welcome other estimates. The PCT, on the other hand, women probably only make up 20%. Nonetheless, both figures are significant improvement from twenty years ago.

    Websites like this, and the publicity from Jennifer Pharr Davis’ epic upcoming attempt at breaking the AT record, can only improve those statistics.

    You go girls!


  10. Hiking Lady says:

    Hi Nina!
    That is fantastic that you have thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail! I would love to someday. I’ve read so much about it and I know that it would be such an amazing, life changing experience. What was your favorite part?
    Thanks for commenting, and hope you enjoy Dennis Blanchard’s book as much as I did.

  11. Nina says:

    I have thru-hiked the AT. It was an amazing experience and changed my life. Looking forward to reading Blanchard’s book.

  12. Leigh says:

    I admit to knowing very little about the Appalachian Trail – mostly because it feels geographically distant.. But I love a challenge and this book might just make me think more seriously about adding it to my ever expanding wish list.

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