- Hardcover: 864 pages
- Publisher: Knopf; Revised, Updated, Subsequent edition (April 2002)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 9780375403521
- ISBN-13: 978-0375403521
- ASIN: 0375403523
- Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.8 x 9.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 109 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,331,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Complete Walker IV Hardcover – April 30, 2002
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From the Inside Flap
For the first time since 1984, we have a new edition of the classic book that Field & Stream called ?the Hiker?s Bible.? For this version, the celebrated writer and hiker Colin Fletcher has taken on a coauthor, Chip Rawlins, himself an avid outdoorsman and a poet from Wyoming. Together, they have made this fourth edition of The Complete Walker the most informative, entertaining, and thorough version yet.
The eighteen years since the publication of The Complete Walker III have seen revolutionary changes in hiking and camping equipment: developments in waterproofing technology, smaller and more durable stoves, lighter boots, more manageable tents, and a wider array of food options. The equipment recommendations are therefore not merely revised and tweaked, but completely revamped. During these two decades we have also seen a deepening of environmental consciousness. Not only has backpacking become more popular, but a whole ethic of responsible outdoorsmanship has emerged. In this book the authors confidently lead us through these technological, ethical, and spiritual changes.
Fletcher and Rawlins?s thorough appraisal and recommendation of equipment begins with a ?Ground Plan,? a discussion of general hiking preparedness. How much to bring? What are the ideal clothes, food, boots, and tents for your trip? They evaluate each of these variables in detail?including open, honest critiques and endorsements of brand-name equipment. Their equipment searches are exhaustive; they talk in detail about everything from socks to freeze-dried trail curries.
They end as they began, with a philosophical and literary disquisition on the reasons to walk, capped off with a delightful collection of quotes about walking and the outdoor life. After a thoughtful and painstaking analysis of hiking gear from hats to boots, from longjohns to tent flaps, they remind us that ultimately hiking is about the experience of being outdoors and seeing the green world anew.
Like its predecessors, The Complete Walker IV is an essential purchase for anyone captivated by the outdoor life.
About the Author
Colin Fletcher was born in Wales and educated in England. He moved to California in 1956 after serving in the Royal Marines, farming in Kenya, surveying in Zimbabwe, and prospecting in northern and western Canada. He is the first man to have walked the length of Grand Canyon National Park within the canyon’s rim. He is the author of numerous books on walking and the outdoors, including The Thousand-Mile Summer, The Man Who Walked Through Time, River, The Secret Worlds of Colin Fletcher, and three previous editions of The Complete Walker. He now lives in California.
Chip Rawlins has worked as a guide, outdoor instructor, range rider, firefighter, field hydrologist, and scientific editor. A former Wallace Stegner Fellow at Stanford University, Rawlins has written previous nonfiction books—Sky’s Witness: A Year in the Wind River Range and Broken Country: Mountains and Memory—and poetry, with a recent award-winning book, In Gravity National Park. He served as president of the Wyoming Outdoor Council and on the board of directors of the Greater Yellowstone Coalition. He lives in Laramie, Wyoming.
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The Complete Walker series, and especially The Complete Walker IV, are different books in that they specifically talk about gear. Colin Fletcher references specific items that are, with very few exceptions, obsolete. However, I would still recommend reading this book here in 2012. Fletcher has a really great prose style that is entertaining. He also captures the spirit and the passion for hiking. Chip Rawlins adds a lot of technical information that Fletcher was not completely up to date with at this point in his life.
This book is not for someone who is looking for specific gear recommendations.
If you really like this book, I would also recommend getting ahold of the earlier editions. It's very interesting to see how the gear had developed over the 30-odd years. It's also interesting to see how Fletcher's own opinions and theories about hiking have changed.