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Backpacking one step at a time Hardcover – 1972

4.4 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

YA Current information on hiking gear and clothing plus all of the essentials of striking out into the wilderness on one's own. Not only does the book clearly explain how to enjoy hiking and walking, but also how to minimize the impact of this popular activity on the natural environment.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

From the Inside Flap

Recent innovations in backpacking gear and clothing are all covered in this new revision which continues to contain everything you need to know to strike out in the wilderness. Illustrated. A classic! --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 356 pages
  • Publisher: REI Press; 1st edition (1972)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0006C3S4W
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,535,693 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Keith R. Bridgman on January 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
I purchased one of the first editions of this classic way back in 1973 or 1974. I still have that book, dog-eared pages and all and consider it the best book on the subject ever written. The hilarious cartoon drawings hit the nail on the head in how they demonstrate visually what the author was trying to convey in words. My edition is somewhat dated now, but the concepts and techniques never really change. This book in my opinion set the standard. During those times I am confined to house and home, I often pull this book off the shelf and thumb thru it. Just looking thru it is enough to get one fired up about getting out. It is a well done...well thought out book with wonderfully creative writing highlighted with comical illustrations. It goes beyond the mechanical technical aspects of backpacking and explores the how and why of the endeavor. I most highly recommend this book for the beginner or experienced hiker.
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Format: Paperback
I have tried numerous backpacking books and this is the best one. It has a lot of information and should help you get started in backpacking.
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Format: Paperback
Before I ever set foot into the wilderness, I read Harvey Manning's book cover to cover (several times). It prepared me for a lifetime of low environmental impact adventures in the ever more crowded wild parts of the country. Though the equipment advice may now be dated, his approach to living and playing in the great outdoors is timeless. "TAKE ONLY PHOTOGRAPHS, LEAVE ONLY FOOTPRINTS" is more important now than ever before. Mr. Manning's book teaches/reminds us that there is a limited amount of wilderness out there to be enjoyed by an always growing number of people. Following the advice in this book will help prepare the reader for a more safe, comfortable and, ultimately, more enjoyable experience outdoors.
Sure, there are more up-to-date guides on equipment. Buy the ultimate hiking boot and six months later there's a new, improved model available. Equipment guides are that way. The wilderness, however, is different. Trash a meadow, cut down a 500 year old tree, scrawl your name on a rock face and the special feeling that you are in a pristine, untouched place is gone. That place has been ruined for every backpacker and hiker who follows. This book shows how to enjoy what is out there without destroying the reason we escape into the wilderness in the first place!
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Format: Paperback
Ok, I wasn't sure how to rate this item. Yes it is outdated (I think the last (updated) printing was 1985, I have that one and the First Edition). Nevertheless, like the artwork of an old master, it's beauty isn't spoiled by time. In addition, certain things haven't changed at all. Sure the manufacturers would like you to think you can hike with only expensive state-of-the-art gear, but that simply is not so. Manning has a pleasant writing style so you can read this cover to cover, or you can use it as reference since it is very well organized. The cartoons are splendid. He gets into technical aspects to an adequate degree without dragging down the flow of information. Now Fletcher/Rawlins' "The Complete Walker IV" (2002, Knopf)is an excellent reference also, but treats the subject from a different perspective, so while it duplicates much of Manning, it doesn't cover everything Manning covers, at least in the same style. So in conclusion, you can't go too far wrong with Manning's "Backpacking one Step at a Time" as your guide to backpacking. If you want to know more up to date information you can find all that on the internet at hundreds of sites and forums.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Equipment information is out of date now, but is still an excellant book. For an attitude for getting out there for the complete novice, I thought Harvey Manning made an excellant contribution. Contains a thought provoking forward by Jim Whittiker.
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Format: Paperback
This book has been the stepping stone into backpacking for nearly a generation. It doesn't such much as tell you what to do, as talk to you on what you should do. Manning's style is like that of a favorite uncle, sage, wise, with a bit of mischief. While some parts of the book are outdated, like the amazing amount of stuff you used to be able to get at Army Navy surplus stores, the other aspects of the book are solid and timeless. Much is made on making as little impact on the land as possible, and Manning tells us how to do it in a simple easy to understand style. He warns of the danger of over packing, on how to take kids with you (from burden to porter stage and beyond), the ins and outs of equipment.

My copy is nearly 30 years old, but the lore and knowledge contained within are still valid. I'm due for a new copy, as mine is falling apart.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Bought this for my 27 year old son who slowly finds himself turning into me. He wanted to do some backpacking to I bought him a couple books that I used when I was younger. Very up to date and a good introduction to a life-time activity.
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Format: Paperback
I love this book and am fortunate enough to hold an original first printing. I love to read it from time to time. As a matter of fact, I'm currently reading it now and lost count as to how many times I've already read it. Though dated, This is a great book whether you enjoy backpacking or want to read about it. The illustrations are enlightening and hilarious at the same time.
Overall, this is a great book.
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