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Ultralight Backpackin' Tips: 153 Amazing & Inexpensive Tips For Extremely Lightweight Camping Paperback – May 3, 2011
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From the Back Cover
Written in the tradition of the successful Allen & Mike’s Really Cool Telemark Tips, with 153 trail-tested tips full of solid advice, as well as more than 100 humorous and helpful illustrations, Ultralight Backpackin' Tips is the ultimate guide for backpackers serious about traveling ultralight. Just a few of the top ten tips expounded upon in the book:
* Use a scale.
* Comfortable and safe are vital!
* Make your own stuff, and making it out of trash is always the best!
* It’s okay to be nerdy.
* Try something new each and every time you go camping.
* Know the difference between wants and needs.
About the Author
Mike Clelland is an instructor with the National Outdoor Leadership School and is an illustrator who studied Mad magazine rather than go to art school. He is the author or coauthor of numerous books, including Allen & Mike's Telemark Tips and Allen & Mike's Really Cool Backpackin' Book (both FalconGuides).
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Top Customer Reviews
Pretty much my only point of disagreement is going into the wilderness without a knife. The author advises just carrying a single edged razor in your kit. Is this fine for most trips? Almost certainly. But if you are like me, and most of your travels take you deep in the wilderness far from any help, going without a good knife is irresponsible at best. Remember Murphy.
On the other hand, I have no intention of going without a knife and a roll of toilet paper. Call me unreformed.
Still this is a great little book, and fun to read. Give it a try.
An update on 3/2012: I still carry that roll of toilet paper, but I've since been converted and I'm now officially ultralight at 8#. I've also re-read Clelland's book and I've found it to be wonderful and helpful on a second pass. Highly recommended, as this is likely to be the best money you spend on a backpacking book.
- Good mental framework for going UL: Question every piece of gear to see if you can find a suitable UL replacement or simply leave it at home. One of the biggest challenges of going UL is the shift in mindset required to do it successfully.
- Good understanding presented on "systems" versus "gear". It is helpful to approach UL from the perspective of systems: shelter system, food system, etc. The author leaves out one of the most important systems: the survival system (addressed below).
- Some good specific guidance on weight reduction gear piece-by-piece. Take what works for you and ignore the rest.
Even if UL is not for you, going lighter should be a constant quest for every long-distance trekker. I am not a UL trekker, but the base weight of my pack drops with every trip (currently at 25 pounds minus consumables).
One other option to going truly UL is to condition your body and mind to handle extra weight. I do many local day hikes with an overweight pack (up to 60 pounds) as training for true wilderness treks. Once you have humped around a 60 pound pack your 25-45 pound pack feels light as a feather. Being in shape for trekking is just as important as your gear.
What I do not like about this book:
- Going UL/minimalist should not mean sacrificing safety. The goal is to enjoy the wilderness and come home alive. The author ignores the absolute necessity of the survival components of your systems/gear. The advice to take a razor knife into the wilderness is irresponsible and dangerous in my opinion. I do take one - in my first aid kit. I also carry a full-tang, high quality knife. It is gear essential item #1. After all, with a knife I can more easily make shelter, fire, hunt, etc.Read more ›
Well, three years on I find myself a full convert to ultralight hiking and I now really enjoy sharing these ultralight ways with others. What has changed? Gone are the four pound (each) Zamberlain leather hiking boots, 6 pound (empty) backpack and the 4 pound tent. My trail runners are now 12 oz, pack 22 ounces, tent 15 ounces, and at the ripe old age of 45 I now easily kick out 20+ mile days in tough terrain and approach 30 miles per day in the easier stuff. My base weight (pack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, first aid kit, cooking pot, water purification, stove and all clothing) is about 12-13 pounds and with 8 pounds food and fule for four days of hiking i come in at a mere 20 pounds. Best yet, I am comfortable, dry and feel extremely safe with my simple gear. I am also well fed as ever as Mike's recipies (in his book) are healthy, hearty and fun to assemble and serve.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was a great book. It provided me with enough info to get started in preparing for not only my first backpacking trip but to do it as light as possible. Read morePublished 4 days ago by Kate D
Some really good tips. All the tips you read here and there, in one book.Published 18 days ago by Off books
This is the book that took me from standard >40 pounds backing to lightweight <30 pounds backpacking. Read morePublished 26 days ago by Sysop
Potentially dangerous. Great if you're sticking to the populated trails when help is in ear shot, but foolish if you are heading into the "back country". Read morePublished 1 month ago by r.p.m.
Best for beginners, not only for hiking but also ski touring or kayaking or other multi-day outdoor pursuits. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Henrik Rammer
Entertaining book with some good tips. Hopefully most readers will take the advice given with a big dose of common sense. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Russ I
Brilliant. Informative and actually the funniest book I have read for awhile. It gets the tips across to you very well. It is a must.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer