Sunday, September 29, 2013

Becoming Lighter

I wonder how much all my backpacking books weigh? Maybe not as much as Colin Fletcher's backpack, but it's definitely a lot. Fun question, but I'll save the library weigh-in for another day because right now I want to briefly sing the praises of Mike Clelland's delightful little (10 oz) book, Ultralight Backpackin' Tips. If you want to enjoy backpacking more, you simply must get this book! Seriously.

Don't let the title fool you. Ultralight Backpackin' Tips is much more than 153 random tips. I have found it to be nothing less than a hiker's manifesto for lightweight, carefree travel. While the outdoor industry encourages us to lighten our load while simultaneously buying more and more gear, Mike urges us to get serious about lightening our load so we can enjoy our time on the trail.

Although Mike seems to assume you are already a backpacker, I would encourage even the novice to buy this book first. It's that good and that complete. For one thing, Clelland's book is not primarily about stuff. Going light is as much about how we think and operate as it is about buying a titanium cookset. If the ultimate goal is to enjoy walking in wild places, this book will book will help you do it.

Ultralight Backpacker

For a quick glimpse of what's in Mike's bag, check out this video.

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