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Ultralight Backpackin' Tips: 153 Amazing & Inexpensive Tips for Extremely Lightweight Camping

4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  170 ratings  ·  23 reviews
Short, to the point, and humorously illustrated by famed outdoor illustrator Mike Clelland, this book presents everything hikers and backpackers need to be safe, comfortable, and well-fed while carrying a very small and lightweight pack.
Paperback, 144 pages
Published May 3rd 2011 by FalconGuides (first published January 1st 2011)
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Kerrie
Dec 29, 2011 Kerrie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: UL newbies
After a couple years backpacking with traditional (read: heavy) gear I really need to get into ultralight, especially when I go on solo trips and the gear weight can't be divided with the BF. As the author points out several times, ultralight is not just a matter of gear weight but a mindset: Do you NEED this item, or do you just WANT it? He does encourage "crossing the line" into scary territory, such as only taking just enough food that you need and possibly going hungry the last day. I was as ...more
Jennifer DeJonghe
I've been doing ultralight and lightweight backpacking for about a decade. Back in 2002 I thruhiked the Appalachian Trail and pretty quickly bought into the "going light" mentality. At the time I relied heavily on internet forums and Beyond Backpacking: Ray Jardine's Guide to Lightweight HikingRay Jardine, as well as the advice of other hikers. Many years and many hikes later I bought this book by Mike Cleland as a way to see if there are any new tips and tricks I could benefit from compiled in ...more
Eloise
Besides a few minor aesthetic annoyances (the exclamation point in the author's name, the tips being in a somewhat random order and the cover design almost made me not pick it up) this is an excellent and thorough introduction to the UL world.

The order of the tips makes a little more sense once you finish and see that the pre-trip stuff is at the beginning, on the trail stuff is in the middle, and specific situations (bears, snow) happens at the end. However, it would have been nice to see, for
...more
Sara Petsch
First off I am biased since I know Mike and think he is awesome and everything he writes and illustrates is awesome!! But besides that, this book is funny, fun to read, and for me very helpful since I am getting into lightweight backbacking now that I have bad (arthritic) knees and need to do everything I can to save them, without giving up backpacking! Great book!
Denny
This book totally revolutionized backpacking for me. Instead of carrying huge packs 10 miles in boots and being exhausted, I'm happy to stroll 20 miles with a much lighter pack in trail running shoes. Checked it out from the library and like it so much I bought it. Now I share it with friends whenever possible. Love it!
Dana
"If you have snow available, you will have a stupendously clean bunghole! No foolin'-snow has all the properties that make it the creme de la creme of natural butt wiping." Oh gosh, five stars for the section on Pooping in the Wilderness. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time!
Mike
This book, along with backpackinglight (used to be free, now they charge for the forums, bleck) helped me shave about 20-30 pounds off of my backpacking gear, and forever change my outlook on the activity. I highly recommend a read. It was easy to follow, simple, and engaging.
Mike Green
Wipe your ass with a rock eh? Can't wait to try that one out. All kidding aside. This was an easy read with a lot of really good tips. Hopefully I can put some to use soon.
Marcie
Clelland's writing is concise and he has a sharp wit. His cartoon art is fantastic and he does drawings for all or nearly all of his 153 tips. The illustrations help a lot in understanding his modified gear and set up. Ultralight is defined as sub-8lbs (including the pack, sleeping gear, shelter, cooking kit, first aid, and extra clothes) before adding food and water. Clelland has tips about every item needed for backpacking, how to pack it, and how to use it. He provides information about how m ...more
Jillian Stinson
This book was full of wonderful information. It was factual but also had some humor and I love that Mike is a Vegetarian hiker and I can use his ideas without compromising my own beliefs. Most books offer up tuna and beef jerky as great options and I love that this goes a different route.
Karen
I love this book. A fun, simple guide for ultra light backpacking. I like a few luxuries, so UL is not for me, but this guide helps to lighten my pack.
Terry
really good book on ultralight backpacking. great overall backpacking tips I'm already integrating.
Anoma
Awesome! Delightful, very practical tons of useful information!
Alisa Banda
Very informative some really good tips not only in gear but mindset.
Godo Stoyke
A very good book, though definitely opinionated! :-)
Hans de Zwart
A perfectly executed short little book explaining how to go camping comfortably and safely on the trail with as little stuff as possible. We don't have nature here in the Netherlands, but this book had my longing to try out an overnighter underneath the stars of the Ardennes. The book is complete, covering planning, gear, food (recipes), sleeping, etc. What makes the book very special is that is conveys a philosophy as much as it does the practicalities. Loved the drawings too.
Chris Bumpas
This was a pretty quirky book with lots of ideas I'll never consider and a few super-hippie tips like not taking too many leaves from one plant and not swatting mosquitos that I found ridiculous. However, it was a fun easy read and does have some things I can incorporate to lighten my pack.
Michael Neiman
Lightweight or Ultralightweight backpacking is an artform. Everyone has an opinion, and the "right way" to do it, but this book has 150 great tips to learn from. Some you may use, some you may not, but its a fantastic starting point to learn more!
Rick
I really enjoyed this book. As far as getting to the point on the subject of ultralight backpacking this books does it and keeps you smiling. If you start using just one or two tips from this book it is well worth it.
Daniel

Great book on getting into the ultralight backpacking scene. Very concise and funny. Quick read. Will get you geared up for the outdoors for sure.
Matthew Carruth
A good intro to the thought process and ethos of ultralighting, but not a one-stop resource
Bruce
Very informative and easy to read.
Connor Williams
Connor Williams marked it as to-read
Nov 23, 2014
Sarah Jane
Sarah Jane marked it as to-read
Nov 20, 2014
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