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Backpacking the Light Way: Comfortable, Efficient, Smart

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This is not another backpacking gear book. Backpacking the Light Way is for both beginner and advanced backpackers who want to pack more efficiently, carry less weight, still be fully prepared for contingencies, and have more fun in the backcountry. It will benefit instructors and guides by giving them methods to teach their clients, and it will help them refine their risk assessment and trip planning techniques.

This book presents field-tested, proven methodologies including gear organization, modular packing systems, and creating gear lists that work. Assessing conventional gear currently owned and understanding the mindsets of both conventional and ultralight backpacking. Navigating the mindset shift required to seriously lighten up and redefining each gear system to meet your needs. Dealing with winter conditions and packing to minimize frustration. Assessing risk, effective trip planning and much more.

249 pages, Kindle Edition

Published September 21, 2015

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5 stars
8 (28%)
4 stars
14 (50%)
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5 (17%)
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1 (3%)
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Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 reviews
Profile Image for Vỹ Hồng.
66 reviews24 followers
January 2, 2020
This is a book about transitioning from traditional backpacking to ultralight backpacking. The author promises that this will not be another gear review book and the advice here will transcend generations of new gears. From what I can tell, the main message here is "know what's important to you, save every ounce possible and be creative about it".

The book's content is mainly drawn from the author's own experience in moving to ultralight backpacking. Towards this end, the author compares the pros and cons of ultralight gears vs. conventional gears, often with his own gears as example. Additionally, the book also contains some sections on fundamental backpacking tips, such as how to plan for a trip, how to stuff your backpack, etc.

Speaking as someone whose experience with backpacking is limited to online articles and a half-finished backpacking book, I find this an easy-to-read and very informative book.
50 reviews
June 20, 2019
I found this book to contain useful information although in my opinion there was some waffle, writing that really didn't need to be there. The book contains stuff about dealing with winter backpacking (snow etc.) and leading groups. Hence there are aspects to this book that most people wont find of any use.

Overall it made me think about the items I put in my backpack and now I'm considering how to reduce weight. A good book to read but really it's a lot of words to simply say: Don't carry so much weight!
Profile Image for Jonathan.
37 reviews2 followers
August 27, 2020
This book about ultralight backpacking is surprisingly accessible to the average, or even beginner backpacker. It contains the right combination of theory, preparation, decision trees, and gear recommendations to meet anyone's demands.

The only downside to this, and why it is getting 4 stars is because it is a little _too middle_ of the road. There is much to be said for beginners getting into ultralight backpacking, as well as experienced backpackers who want to see what a deep dive into ultralight looks like. Those are missing from this book in an attempt to be as accessible as it is.
Profile Image for Walter Underwood.
289 reviews19 followers
July 13, 2019
Interesting approach to lightweight and ultralight packing, similar to my own. Skills and planning weigh nothing, so use those to pack the right stuff. Use "bridging" gear to move from conventional to lighter packing. And before all of that, know why you are leaving the trailhead and plan for that goal.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
56 reviews
December 19, 2019
For a beginner backpacker like me, this was a good introduction to the world of ultralight backpacking, although much of the book was too wordy and theoretical for my tastes. At the end of the book are some case studies about actual treks the author has led, with much detail about what went wrong and how they dealt with the situations. That was unexpectedly useful and interesting reading.
Displaying 1 - 6 of 6 reviews

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