Lightweight Backpacking and Camping (Backpacking Light)

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9780974818825: Lightweight Backpacking and Camping (Backpacking Light)

The days of carrying monster packs into the wilderness are officially over!

New Book Completely Redefines How to Enjoy Backcountry Travel


"Backpacking should be comfortable, safe, and fun."

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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About the Author:

Ryan Jordan Ph.D., is the co-founder and Publisher of Backpacking Light Magazine. His doctoral level engineering background allows him to analyze gear and proclaim the gospel of ultralight backpacking in a rationale and safe manner. An Eagle Scout and former BSA High Adventure Program Director, Jordan lectures regularly to outdoor education leaders, search and rescue organizations, and land management agency staff about the gear and skills required to go light.

More important, Jordan walks the talk. He's not just a casual enthusiast interested in "writing a neat book". His idea of a good time: trekking several hundred miles through vast sections of remote wilderness with an ultralight pack – eliminating the need for resupply.

Jordan's approach to gear testing is unrivaled in the industry, blending hardcore field testing in the deep snows of Montana's wintertime wilderness with objective laboratory science and engineering evaluations that expose the most subtle flaws in poor product design.

About Backpacking Light

Backpacking Light Magazine is the outdoor industry’s most recognized, authoritative, and controversial voice about lightweight hiking and backcountry travel. Backpacking Light Magazine is published as a quarterly print magazine and a comprehensive subscription-based Website. Both feature editorials, advice on technique and training, travel journals, and in-depth scientific gear reviews. In addition, hosts reader forums and gear reviews, gear buying guides, and a co-op style gear shop that sells some of the most innovative – and lightest – gear on the planet.


"...after reading this book my pack weight plummeted and I've entered a new league of lightweight experts." -- Mike Clelland! National Outdoor Leadership School

"This is a rigorous, thorough, sober treatise...many will lighten up and enjoy the outdoors with more confidence and safety." -- Demitrious Coupounas, CEO & Founder, GoLite

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