Friday, June 18, 2010

Hikers take note

Guidebook features history and hikes with kids

Express Staff Writer

“The Day Hiker’s Guide to Sun Valley & Ketchum” by Scott Marchant. Published by Hiking Idaho. $19.95. 172 pp.

Scott Marchant loves to hike. His affection for nature and mountains was discovered in his late 20s after leaving his native Florida.

"Once out West, I knew I would never live east of Denver again," said Marchant. "Hiking is my passion and for me it's spiritual."

To his credit, Marchant's passion has led him to researching, writing and self-publishing two guidebooks for day hiking in Stanley and Sun Valley and Ketchum.

"I lived in Stanley and there were not whole lot of resources," he said. "I also wanted to write a hiking book for hiking with kids."

Marchant is the father of four ranging in ages from 5 to 11. Marchant said the books include hikes for all levels and abilities including serious 15-mile hikes.

"I took a tremendous amount of time and accuracy and when I say nine miles—I hiked every mile," Marchant said.

Marchant said each hike he includes in his books is unique and poetic because he wanted to convey to the reader the experience they can have by following his observations.

"Each hike is a living and breathing organism," Marchant said. "I include advice, water availability and lots of detail. Time is so valuable to people so if someone wants a view, a lake or creek they can read about. They can also read about going off trail."

Marchant's books include clear, detailed maps for visualization as well as all the important information of time, distance, elevation, difficulty and coordinated for GPS systems. Throughout the book there are pictures too.

"Hiking with children is very important," he said. "Kids need to get emotionally involved. When there is a stream crossing, it helps for them to find their own way across so they develop cognitive thinking."

Marchant includes small hikes for kids but with destinations and features that will encourage kids to want to hike. In addition, he explains historical elements such as mountain names.

"This is not a peak bagger book," Marchant said. "It's a hiking book. I would love to know every trail in Idaho."

Marchant's book is available at all Atkinsons' markets, Chateau Drug, Backwoods, Elephant's Perch, Formula Sports, Chapter One Bookstore, Iconoclast Books, Silver Creek Outfitters, Sun Valley Lodge gift shop, Lost River Outfitters, PKs, Albertsons, The Picket Fence and Ts and Temptations.

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