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Lighten Up!: A Complete Handbook For Light And Ultralight Backpacking (Falcon Guide) Paperback – May 1, 2005
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From the Back Cover
About the Author
Mike Clelland is a NOLS instructor and illustrator who studied Mad magazine rather than go to art school. He has numerous books with his name on them, including Allen & Mike's Telemark Tips and Allen & Mike's Really Cool Backpackin' Book.
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This book should be required reading before buying a backpack.
Since I have read this book, I have upgraded some gear that was really unsuited to backpacking and have gone from an 80 liter pack that had a base weight of over 50 pounds down to a 50 liter pack that has a base weight of 20 pounds. My feet and my knees thank you Don.
I now enjoy the walk, instead of dreading it. Instead of praying for the campsite to come into view, and dumping the pack with a groan/sigh of relief, and collapse for a while until I muster up the energy to set up camp, I now arrive with plenty of energy and feel great. I no longer carry all kinds of "just in case" items, and now I look at each item and decide if it is really worth bringing along, and I have found I do just fine, in fact I do even better, without all the unnecessary gear.
I needed this book. It has given me a fresh look at how I can make hiking fun instead of barely bearable.
It is a treasure house of information for getting along with less and multiple uses for many items we commonly carry. It also challenges why we are bringing some of the things we commonly bring, and find we never use. It will be hard to give up my do-everything Wave knife, but if I want more creature comforts, like a sleeping pad, I have to give up weight in other areas.
If you are serious about hiking, camping out, or searching for lost people, this is a great source for information. It is important to be both safe and comfortable and this book would prepare you to be both.
His suggestion were some things I never thought about but made perfectly good sense.
If you just want some good reading or want to lighten your pack then this is one good book to read.
I was a little disappointed that he did not discuss Hammock Camping since I prefer a hammock. I found a lot of useful hints in The Ultimate Hang by Derek J Hansien on hammocks.
Not to say that others would not benefit from the material in this book, as it is well organized, not too brand specific, and very accessible. But it is not a treatise, and not a reference book. Just a great way to pick up some concepts quickly and enjoyably.