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Allen & Mike's Really Cool Backpackin' Book: Traveling & camping skills for a wilderness environment (Allen & Mike's Series) Kindle Edition
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As with any sport things change and new items come along after a book is printed and I think this is the reason he did not manage to discuss a few things.
The few things that were not discussed , Camping in a Hammock , The use of an alcohol stove to save a lot of weight and even the wood burning camping stove to save the fuel weight since you gather the wood as you walk along.
Two other books to read with this one are Lighten Up by Don Ladigin would be a useful book along with the Ultimate Hang by Derek Hansen ( Hammock Camping ) Using the information from those books a person could set up a good backpack at the start.
Since it was published in 2001 the lightweight/ultralight revolution was in full swing and there was plenty of lightweight equipment and techniques available. Perhaps his intent is to cover all aspects of backpacking, including mountain climbing with lots of climbing gear, but if so he doesn't make this clear.
This might be a good book for beginners to learn about more traditional backpacking with a fair amount of discussion of modern approaches. But then definitely read a more up-to-date book, e.g. Trail Life by Jardine, Lighten Up by Ladigin and Clelland, Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide by Skurka, or for hard-core ultralight, Ultralight Backpacking Tips by Clelland. Or perhaps it might be useful for experienced backpackers to pick up some interesting advice here and there.
Even better, just skip this book and get Trail Life by Jardine. Despite all the good advice in this book I just can't get past its acceptance of seriously over-heavy equipment, and I'm not an ultralight purist by any means. I think all the other reviewers who gave it five stars don't know that much about modern lightweight techniques, same as me a while back.
These days there's absolutely no reason to exceed 15 lbs base weight (i.e. pack plus basic gear not including food/water/fuel) for normal three-season backpacking. Using 1 1/2 lbs food per day for (say) 6 days adds 9 lbs, carrying 2 liters of water at 2.2 lbs each gives 4.4 lbs, add 1 lb (a lot) of fuel and you get a grand total of 15+9+4.4+1 = 29.5 lbs. I can't imagine why anyone would need to carry more for a normal trip, and it is really easy to lower this by 5 lbs to about 25 lbs for 6 days: carry 1 liter of water, less fuel, and decrease the base weight to 13 lbs (easy).
And with a much lighter load you can now take something else and still have an easily manageable load: lightweight fishing gear or bigger camera or whatever.
I'm new to backpacking, and haven't camped for about 15 years. When I did camp it was in the west coast deserts, or redwoods. I'm now in the hot and humid Georgia terrain. I was pleased to find information on all types of trips from desert to ice, and everything in between. Also there is a resource page for any information that would go beyond what they wanted to cover.
I even enjoyed reading information I already knew. But most of all, I enjoyed finding a bunch of information that I didn't know.
This book is a great resource for the beginning backpacker.
Allen O'Bannon clearly is not in the lightweight backpacking camp, which I am. O'Bannon writes about heavy pack loads (how to properly put on a heavy pack) and leather hiking boots. The book is loaded with ideas that will be interesting to all backpackers. I wouldn't recommend the book to someone just starting out with backpacking. For those readers I would give it just two stars. However, I would recommend it for a current backpacker that wants some fresh ideas or a fairly new backpacker that has read a couple books on lightweight backpacking first. The book isn't loaded with a lot of fluff that can be found everywhere. It is also easy to read and not nearly as boring as many backpacking books.