- Paperback: 399 pages
- Publisher: Adventurelore Pr (January 2009)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0963235974
- ISBN-13: 978-0963235978
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 8.2 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Trail Life: Ray Jardine's Lightweight Backpacking Paperback – January, 2009
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Top Customer Reviews
Trail Life is an updated version of Beyond Backpacking which is an updated version of Pacific Coast Trail Hiker's Handbook. I'm not sure why Mr. Jardine thinks it is a good idea to keep changing the title. As far as I can tell it is more or less the same content somewhat edited and updated. Overall I like the book, or at least I like Ray Jardine. As a backpacker It is hard not to respect this man who has hiked over 25,000 miles and help to change backpacking in some fundamental ways, Mr. Jardine having been one of the `pioneers' of light weight backpacking.
Trail Life can be enjoyed by anyone who loves to hike and backpack, but I would be hesitant to recommend this book to beginners. Primarily because the book appears to be an all inclusive `everything you wanted to know about backpacking' kind of backpacker's bible - but it's not. There are many sections discussing gear or skills where Mr. Jardine leaves out several pertinent pieces of information. For example; there is a thirteen page chapter on water discussing dehydration, purification, etc. Included are a few paragraphs on boiling and using iodine. Nothing on chlorine dioxide products (e.g. Aquamira) or ultraviolet pens (e.g. SteriPEN). This type of omission makes it obvious this book was not updated enough.
Mr.Read more ›
For a little perspective, I've been backpacking since 1974. At that time the "hiker's bible" was Colin Fletcher's "The Complete Walker". Fletcher should probably be given credit as the father of modern backpacking. Most hikers in the '70's had read his book, probably even Ray. Fletcher recommended the use of tarps, carefully weighing and selecting all equipment to be carried, and the general idea of thoughtfully considering every ounce of equipment you are putting in your pack and on your back.
Anyone reading the Jardine books should keep one thing in mind, something Ray himself emphasizes, the gear and techniques he advocates are what work for him. Over the years, I've used a lot of different equipment and hiked in many different environments, from the Alps of Switzerland to the Wrangell Range in Alaska, the deserts of Utah to the pine forests of Florida. Some of Ray's techniques work for me, some don't. I'll point out just a few, not as criticism of Ray or his book, but as information for prospective readers.
Running shoes don't work for me. I just need more foot and ankle support when carrying a pack, especially in rough terrain, even with one of Ray's light loads.
I notice a lot of backpackers I meet have also rejected Ray's prejudice against down sleeping bags. I don't know what Ray did to those bags, but his experience is not my experience.Read more ›
The book is written to be "understood" by people new to backpacking, but a lot of the things he talks about require you to have an existing understanding of backpacking...
Overall this is a really good book for people who want to get away from traditional backpacking, and into ultralight (which i highly recommend) It really is a goldmine of information.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
What can you can? Ray Jardine remains the premier spokesman for lightweight backpacking. Some of his ideas and recommendations are a bit nutty, but then, even Ray admits that... Read morePublished 3 months ago by K. Feucht
great book, every utralight backpacker i know lives by this bookPublished 8 months ago by Brenda Thompson
Filled with readily usable information for backpacking. I wish I had this book when I first started camping back in Boy Scouts. Read morePublished 13 months ago by Amazon Customer
WOW, this book goes from the useful to the absurd. I can understand cutting your equipment to reduce weight, but chopping up your shoes or going barefoot is a bit over the top. Read morePublished on April 18, 2014 by james c alair
The ultimate Zen backpacking guide. Not just about saving weight, its all about unweighting your life...your mind.....You. I love it.Published on March 5, 2014 by Aaron G. Yaris
I'm just getting back in to backpacking and ordered this book to give me ideas on cutting some weight out of my pack. This book did that and much more. Read morePublished on March 5, 2014 by barbara j brown
I had skimmed an older edition, and while finding some parts of it interesting, dismissed a lot of it as totally impractical for the average hiker. Read morePublished on February 13, 2014 by David N. Westfall