Guidebooks on the Go: Turning a Closet Full of Print Guidebooks into Searchable PDFs

Over the years I've accumulated a fair number of of guide books.  They're a mix of peak guides, rock climbing guides, and the occasional small print book covering the history or fauna of a particular area.

While I personally feel the sources available on the internet have surpassed most of the old print guides I do find that many of them still contain valuable information. For example take Andy Zdon's Desert Summits.  While I find it to be a very frustrating book due to the lack of maps and a few other design choices it does have information on a lot of peaks you won't find elsewhere.

The problem I had with my collection was that I was rarely sitting at home with access to my bookshelf when I wanted to plan trips. In fact I had several really interesting books that I tended to forget about for years at a time.

So for a while now I've been contemplating doing something about this situation. For me the ideal was something digital I could access anywhere on my computer, phone, or tablet. (I have had a few books in digital format for example RJ Secor's Sierra guidebook but the DRM included with the legal purchase disallows copying or printing and most other guides just were not available in anything but paper.)

Enter the great guidebook scanning project of 2018!

Kaweah Group Heads Up Sierra Peak For The First Outing of The 2019 Wilderness Travel Course!

February 10th, 2019
Sierra Peak (3,045')
15 miles, 3,000'
[Pics] [Caltopo] [Map]

Those that follow this site know that I'm a volunteer instructor for the Sierra Club Wilderness Travel Course down here in Orange County. I run Kaweah Group which is one of three groups in the area and so my schedule tends to be dominated by the class in the January to April timeframe.

The class began on January 22nd and we have had three of the ten Tuesday night classroom sessions so far but we'd yet to actually get outside with the new crop of students. That all changed this weekend with a full day hike excursion to Sierra Peak.

We'd originally planned on Mount Wilson from Sierra Madre but the seemingly endless series of storms we've been experiencing this year resulted in temperatures in the 30s, high winds, and 3-5 ft of snow up top. That the prospect of a steep trail with a big drop off to the side less than ideal so we ended up changing at the last minute.

So off we went to Sierra Peak with a forecast of temperatures in the high 40s, high winds, and rain pretty much throughout the day.