Lightweight Backpacking & Camping: A Field Guide to Wilderness Hiking Equipment, Technique & Style



Lightweight Backpacking & Camping: A Field Guide to Wilderness Hiking Equipment, Technique & Style
So say the backcountry experts at Backpacking Light Magazine in their new book, Lightweight Backpacking & Camping: A Field Guide to Wilderness Equipment, Technique, and Style. And they should know: Backpacking Light Magazine is recognized as the outdoor industry's leading authority in lightweight hiking and backcountry travel, and has helped thousands of outdoor enthusiasts discover the joy of going light.
'The notion that you need to carry 40 or 50 pounds of gear into the backcountry to be comfortable and safe is absolutely ridiculous,' says the book’s Editor, Ryan Jordan, who is also the Publisher of Backpacking Light Magazine and the outdoor industry's chief proselytizer of today's exploding lightweight backpacking movement. 'Gear manufacturers continue to contaminate the market with too much gear that is overbuilt, overdesigned, overpriced, and overweight. Backpackers deserve to be told the other side of the story: that you can do more with less, and that a pack weight of less than 15 pounds (not including food and water) is easily accessible even to beginners.'
A book about lightweight backpacking should be smart, fat, and heavy.
This new book redefines modern day backpacking as safe, comfortable, and fun – but with a much lighter pack. And, it doesn't take a casual approach to the topic: 436 pages of content educate backcountry users of all levels about the gear and technique required to make them experts.
Lightweight Backpacking & Camping fills major gaps in existing outdoor literature by offering:
- Multiple, balanced perspectives that appeal to a wide range of experiences, skills, and personal styles.
- In-depth content that provides basic, intermediate, and advanced discussions of skills that grow with the reader.
- Up-to-date information about the best lightweight gear and apparel, including the manufacturers that make it and the retailers that carry it.
Lightweight Backpacking & Camping is the most comprehensive and rigorous text ever published on the subject. In addition to chapters about gear and basic skills, consider its more advanced topics: why the biomechanics of walking justifies the use of running shoes instead of boots; how an examination of thermoregulation science suggests why today's high-tech synthetic clothing is too heavy and poorly engineered; how super-ultralight backpacking with a five pound pack can allow someone in average physical condition to hike a 30 mile day, and why some inclement weather conditions can be ideally suited for sleeping under an ultralight tarp, rather than a heavy tent.
Lightweight Backpacking & Camping not only sets the standard for backcountry education, it raises the bar to heights never before seen in the outdoor industry. Unlike other texts, Lightweight Backpacking & Camping justififes its claims with good science, proper technique, and rationale discussions: not marketing, hyperbole, and guesswork.
Yes, lightweight backpacking works for everyone.
Lightweight backpacking (often, with a pack weight of less than 20 pounds) is the fastest growing trend in backpacking. Going light makes backcountry hiking more accessible to families, Boy Scouts, and aging baby boomers – groups normally excluded from enjoying the backcountry because of their inability to carry absurdly heavy backpacks.
Lightweight Backpacking & Camping is targeted not only to 'heavy school' backpackers trying to get the motorhome off their back, but also to advanced wilderness travelers trying to do more with less. To that end, the volume is as well-suited for beginning hikers as it is to elite mountain athletes.

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