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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

4.6 out of 5 stars 84 customer reviews

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Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
The bestselling author of "Encyclopedia an Ordinary Life" returns with a literary experience that is unprecedented, unforgettable, and explosively human. Hardcover | Kindle book
$14.95 FREE Shipping on orders with at least $25 of books. In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.
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Frequently Bought Together

  • Allen & Mike's Really Cool Backpackin' Book: Traveling & camping skills for a wilderness environment (Allen & Mike's Series)
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  • Lighten Up!: A Complete Handbook For Light And Ultralight Backpacking (Falcon Guide)
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  • Ultralight Backpackin' Tips: 153 Amazing & Inexpensive Tips For Extremely Lightweight Camping
Total price: $34.42
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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

Written by two guys who spend half their lives in the woods, this book will give beginners a comprehensive guide and old hands a few more tricks. From the guys of Telemark Tips Book and Backcountry Ski Book fame.
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Product Details

  • Series: Allen & Mike's Series
  • Paperback: 168 pages
  • Publisher: FalconGuides; 1st edition (April 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1560449128
  • ISBN-13: 978-1560449126
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (84 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,971 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Profusely illustrated by Mike Clelland, Allen O'Bannon's Allen & Mike's Really Cool Backpackin' Book is a superbly presented guide for traveling and camping in a wilderness environment. All the relevant issues are covered including dressing and packing for the outdoors, choosing proper equipment; navigating with map and compass; setting up camp; dealing with wildlife; reading the weather; and basic backwoods hygiene. The informative text is enhanced with appendices on low-impact camping technics and an extensive gear checklist. Wether for a day-trip hike or an extended outdoors expedition, Allen & Mike's Really Cool Backpackin' Book is thoroughly "user friendly" and especially recommended for the novice camper and those new to the wilderness experience.
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Format: Paperback
The author shares his substantial experience with the reader in a uniquely entertaining manner, and the illustrator complements the light-hearted style of the author with [occasionally] hilarious visuals. The character of this book will attract everyone in the household; even those without camping or backpacking experience will find it easy-to-read and interesting. For those already bitten by the 'outdoor bug', new insights presented by the author force us to reconsider our position on a variety of subjects.

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.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Reading this book reminds me that it's possible to learn from all types of backpackers. The book is well written and illustrated. The illustrations have ideas that are not always in the text.

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.
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Format: Paperback
I've read a gazillion backpacking books, and this one is the best. Far and away the best. I don't quite grasp how something so concise can be so thorough. But it is. And entertaining. And up to date.
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Format: Paperback
I'm a Scoutmaster with a troop that wants adventure and backpacking is high on their list of things they wish to do. I picked up this book because I loved the illustrations (Mike Clelland learned to draw from reading MAD Magazine). I can't remember the last time I had a book that was so interesting that it compelled me read thru it every day for weeks. I'm using it as a teaching aid to help my scouts understand backpacking concepts ie. Loose the tent and use a tarp, Choosing types and quantities of food. And the scouts like the pictures. It's a great book for beginners young and old.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although there is plenty of good advice here, the book leans towards traditional backpacking, i.e. with heavy loads (e.g. he mentions a max pack weight 40% of body weight...this would kill me!) The author talks a fair amount about lightweight techniques but all too often disregards his own advice, i.e he seems to accept needing heavy loads as normal.

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.
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Format: Paperback
And a really cool book it is! Don't be deceived by the small number of pages; it contains a wealth of information presented with great wit. Illustrations are perfect and appropriate; chapters progressing from start to end and even making using a compass seem doable!

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!
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