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Allen & Mike's Really Cool Backpackin' Book: Traveling & camping skills for a wilderness environment (Allen & Mike's Series) Paperback – April 1, 2001
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Top Customer Reviews
Unlike so many of its kind, this book is comprehensive without being obscure; no lessons on building water bucket baskets or how to skin and dry moose meat for the winter. This handbook addresses the basics of backpacking with enthusiasm, and it proves contagious for the reader.
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.
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.Read more ›
If you are a beginner, this is the book for you; if you're experienced, this also has some good tips you may not have run across. (If passing horses on a trail, go downhill ...) The emphasis is to cover the high points, why they are the high points, enough to get you out and back, share some of the mistakes you are wiser to do without, and make the outdoors experience better for both you and those who follow after you.
I got the book for the tent and tarp sections - I read all of it just because it was so well presented and fun. Buy it!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very informational book for noobs or for old timers. Really like the illustrations.Great book overall, worth the money. Just get out there people!Published 4 months ago by Zach Files
Excellent book. I love this whole book series. Great for all ages. I especially like that the illustrations add their own information to the book and don't just serve to illuminate... Read morePublished 6 months ago by Keith
This book is my backpackers bible. There are some really great tips here - no secrets but good tips.Published 6 months ago by Dillon
Belongs on the bookshelf of every backpacker. The tips given help you lighten your load, pack more efficiently, and have a better time when you're out in the wild. Read morePublished 7 months ago by HCI Media