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Trail Tested: A Thru-Hiker's Guide To Ultralight Hiking And Backpacking Paperback – May 21, 2013
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“One of the most comprehensive looks into the world of hiking ever created by one of the sport’s most accomplished athletes. Trail Tested is an excellent guide for any hiking enthusiast from beginner to expert. Learn in one exciting read what it took Trauma thousands and thousands of hard-earned miles to learn.” –Eric Larsen, Polar Explorer, Educator, and Lecturer, Outside magazine’s Eco All Star (2008)
“A must-add gear guide for your backpacking book collection.” –SectionHiker.com
“Not your typical how-to book… [Trail Tested will] give you all of the tips and advice you need to get out there and experience what the great sport of hiking and backpacking has to offer.” --Trailspace.com, 4.5-star review
"There is no one I would trust more than Trauma to give valuable and experienced advice on hiking. In my opinion, Trauma offers the right compromise between comfort and necessity when it comes to ultralight hiking. His methods and experience will allow you to go as light and far as possible without exposing yourself to undo risk in the backcountry in the US and abroad." --Jeff Knight, Granite Gear CEO, Co-founder, and Designer
"Equally at home on a coffee table or as an educational tutorial, Trail Tested is a must-read for anyone passionate about outdoor pursuits and exploration. Through a stunning array of striking photography, personal anecdotes, and definitive know-how, Trauma's comprehensive manual sets a new standard and reaches audiences from the novice camper to the intrepid trekker, impelling them to seek wild places on their own." --Shawn "Pepper" Forry, Triple Crowner, Outward Bound Lead Instructor
"Trail Tested is a visually stunning foray into the realities of long-distance hiking. Justin Lichter's 35,000 miles of hiking experience and trail-tested wisdom come through in every page. Trail Tested is great for both day hikers and hikers that will be out for many days!" --Lawton "Disco" Grinter, Triple Crowner, directed and edited The Walkumentary, author of I Hike
"Is there another man who has torn up, slashed, split, and/or ripped up more gear in so many varied environments in his lifetime? I don't believe so.... This book is probably the most important outdoor field guide that has come off the presses ince the first release of The Complete Walker, by Colin Fletcher, in 1968. The information contained within these pages will save you time, money, and many exhausting nights of confusion from surfing mindless Internet threads. Trauma... I tip my old and faded Tilly hat to you for a job well done." --Winton Porter, Georgia Author of the Year 2010 for Just Passin' Thru, owner of Mountain Crossings at Neels Gap on the Appalachian Trail
From the Back Cover
Vibrant images from Trauma's treks will entice all readers of all skill levels to get out and enjoy the backcountry. You'll learn why getting the right gear and learning outdoor skills are integral to making the most out of your next backpacking trip. Some topics included in this guide are:
* Gear advice, including backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, ultralight shetlers, and clothing
* Gear maintenance and repair
* Ultralight tips for novices to gram-counters
* Low-impact camping and hiking
* Campsite selection
* Hiking with dogs
* Navigating the backcountry
* Winter camping
* First aid
* Weather forecasting
* Advanced techniques for creating routes, cross-country hiking, fording rivers, multi-sport adventures, and animal encounters
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Top Customer Reviews
While there are some mildly useful tips, some impressive stories, and lots of really nice pictures, the book feels more like the author's attempt to promote his sponsors than anything else-- many of the images feature primely placed logos or products, and, more irritatingly, there are full color ads from several gear companies on the last several pages. It's obvious who the sponsors are, and this calls in to question the author's intent and objectivity; it was hard to tell when the author was giving viable, objective advice and when the author was plugging a sponsor's name. (In contrast, Ray Jardine sometimes suggests his commercial kits in his books, but he's extremely clear on when and why he's doing so).
I expected this to be a book that emphasized ultralight hiking, both because of the title and because I bought it through a purveyor of ultralight gear, but it wasn't really very specific to that end. In fact, some of the content was at least a little contradictory: In the section on backpacks, the author says not to worry about buying a 3 pound or heavier (empty) pack. Yet, in the section on water, he illustrates how much more pounding the feet take when carrying just a little more water than is needed for a given trail section. Why wouldn't I apply the same logic to my pack, especially considering how easy it is to get a sub 2# pack? In fact, why wouldn't I apply the same logic to everything in my pack? Could it be that the author didn't wish to compromise potential sales of some of his sponsors' (heavier) products?
My wife, unsolicited, picked up the book, began reading through it, and rapidly came to the same conclusion as I did: This book feels more like a catalog than an instructional source for lowering pack weight while staying comfortable and covering more miles.
My wife and I keep re-reading the book (it's a very quick read), hoping to find something that makes us feel better about it, but we keep coming away irritated at the lack of substance.
Given the availability of other similar books, such as (the far better) "Ultimate Hikers Gear Guide", I have to wonder how the book even managed to pick up a publisher.
If you haven't read some of the other (better) sources, such as those mentioned above (to which I'll add "Lightweight Backpacking and Camping from BackpackingLight"), you may find some useful information. If you're already an ultralight hiker, there's very little here, other than the author's impressive resume.