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Trail Life: Ray Jardine's Lightweight Backpacking Paperback – January 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 399 pages
  • Publisher: Adventurelore Pr (January 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0963235974
  • ISBN-13: 978-0963235978
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #89,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Ray Jardine does it again with his updated guide to lightweight backpacking.
W. Isenberg
I highly recommend everyone who loves backpacking and would like to learn some new tricks read this book.
barbara j brown
The one place where an editor would have helped is for historical perspective.
Doh

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

80 of 84 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 20, 2009
Format: Paperback
When I found out Ray Jardine was publishing a new edition of Beyond Backpacking I went to his web site and ordered a copy immediately (it not yet being in stores at the time). Beyond Backpacking having gone out of print quite some time ago, I was eager to read this book so many backpackers talk about. Perhaps the anticipation caused me to have expectations that were a bit too high. Don't get me wrong, it is a good book, with some great ideas and information, I was just expecting, well...more.

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.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By W. Isenberg on September 9, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Ray Jardine does it again with his updated guide to lightweight backpacking. This book is pretty definitive. Whether you are interested in trying backpacking or have years of experience, Jardine has useful information. Almost every facet of backpacking is covered from shelter and sleeping gear to clothing and innovative ways of staying dry. Jardine also emphasizes that the most expensive gear is usually not the best solution. He also discusses DIY projects for outdoor gear. If you want to start backpacking or if you'd like to find ways to reduce your packweight while increasing your mileage, this is the source.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By mk on September 26, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As new to UL Backpacking I wanted to read what many consider to be the orginal source. Almost 400 pages detail his experience, gear, and thoughts during thousands of miles of backpacking. Sure, there's controversial stuff, tarps, quilts, organic food. But that's the whole idea to see what he's thinking and why. And, it doesn't come from nowhere, plenty of experience talking. I rate this 5 stars with the caveat to "absorb what is useful" train of thought and an excellent introduction to UL Backpacking from someone who seems to haev started many of the original ideas found today.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Eric Solomon on December 7, 2009
Format: Paperback
I have been backpacking for many years, usually with a 45+ pound pack. This last summer I decided I wanted to go ultralight, and Ray knows his stuff.

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.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By James L. Creek on December 8, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Remember that great book "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance"? In it Robert Pirsig relates specific things such as a stripped screw to larger universal topics in a beautiful manner. While Mr. Jardine stays pretty specific in the brilliant manner in which he strips equipment, hiking, and camping down to its basics, you can't help but have your own thinking affected by his friendly naturalness and powerful way of looking at the world. This updated version is my second copy, I'll be sending the orginal version of this book to my brother.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harnfield on January 18, 2013
Format: Paperback
Ray and Jenny Jardine have adventured across the world by foot, cycle, canoe and sail. This book is about "ultralight" equipment and techniques that they have developed for walking long-distance trails all in one go. They describe how to obtain minimal pack weight which significantly extends daily distance, thereby reducing injury. This also minimises the number of days, so minimising supply cost and detours made necessary to obtain such supplies. They advocate Tarps (tarpaulins) that allow natural ventilation instead of Tents (and Bivi bags) that cause build-up of moisture, and explain why tents are usually colder than tarps. An umbrella keeps one drier than an anorak, except in the heaviest of downpours. They describe their clothing system, and how to camp with minimal impact on the environment.

Ray and Jenny claim 25000 miles of trail-tested tips, and I have adopted their approach and equipment for 2000 miles with complete satisfaction. I could not have done these without them: The UK Pennine Way in 2 weeks (Sep07), St. Olav's Way in 3 rainy weeks from Oslo (Jul09), the Via Francigena in 11 weeks from Canterbury (Aug-Nov10) and the UK Coast to Coast in 12 days (May11). I made my rucsac, tarp and other equipment from kits available from Ray and Jenny's website (search on RayWay). For clothing, I use the original range from Rohan ("bags" shorts and trousers, shirts and Olfio).
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