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The Advanced Backpacker: A Handbook of Year Round, Long-Distance Hiking [Paperback]

Chris Townsend
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

1 Sep 2000
You already know the basics of backpacking. Now your goal is to hike the entire Appalachian Trail, make a solo trip through Denali, or see the far corners of the globe on your own two feet - you're ready to wander right off the map. No matter where in the world you aim for - the Sierra Nevadas, Scandinavia, or beyond - there's a good chance that Chris Townsend has been there before you. With over 20,000 long- and short-distance hiking miles to his credit, Townsend shares with you the secrets he's learned while backpacking the world's most challenging and rewarding terrains: Nepal, the desert Southwest, the Scottish Highlands, the Yukon, the Pyrenees, and much more. "The Advanced Backpacker" explains everything there is to know about hiking on terrains from the desert to the arctic and in all kinds of weather. It gives you the tools you need for group or solo hiking on the long trail, the trackless wilderness, or the most remote and exotic corners of the planet.Praise for "The Backpacker's Handbook": "Townsend's time-honored recommendations draw extensively from his often intense field experiences ...Every imaginable topic is covered thoroughly and engagingly." - "Backpacker". "A clear and comprehensive primer." - "Sierra". "Belongs in every bookcase dealing with outdoor topics ...Chockablock full of useful, practical, common-sense info ...If you tramp the outdoors, get this book." - "Maine Sportsman".

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Ragged Mountain Press (1 Sep 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071357564
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071357562
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 18.6 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 881,132 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

More About the Author

Chris Townsend is passionate about mountains, wild places and long distance walking. He writes regularly for TGO magazine and has a blog at http://www.christownsendoutdoors.com.

His long distance walks include the first hike along the length of the Canadian Rockies, the first continuous round of all the 3000 foot summits in Scotland, the Pacific Crest Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, the length of Norway and Sweden, Land's End to John O'Groats, the Pacific Northwest Trail, south to north through the Yukon and the Arizona Trail. Chris has also led ski tours in Norway, Spitsbergen, Greenland, Lapland and other areas and treks in Nepal.

Chris is involved with several outdoor and conservation organisations and served as the President of the Mountaineering Council of Scotland. Chris lives near Grantown-on-Spey in Strathspey in the Cairngorms National Park.

Product Description

Book Description

Chris Townsend is one of the world's best-known and most successful long-distance, rough-terrain hikers, with thousands of miles covered in North America, Europe, and Asia. He is also author of Backpacker's Handbook, Second Edition. The Advanced Backpacker is a comprehensive handbook for the serious backpacker that will provide both inspiration and information, with detailed dicussions on everything from researching and choosing a location to planning, equipping, and supplying oneself en route. Townsend will cover how to prepare both physically and mentally for the challenge as well as considerations for hiking in deserts, mountains, arctic tundra, and other isolated wilderness areas - as well wel hiking, camping and surviving in extreme heat, cold, and wetness. He will discuss cultural considerations for third-world travel, emergency first aid, advanced navigation techniques, solo hiking, safety and health considerations, and how to select the best equipment for the trek you plan. Townsend, whose hikers include a 1,600-mile trek the length of the Canadian Rockies, a 3,000-mile hike from Canada to Mexico along the Continental Divide Trail, 1,000 miles across the Yukon, the lengths of the Grand Canyon and Pacific Crest Trail, as well as shorter (relatively) adventures in Europe and Asia, will also discuss strategies for reentering society after lengthy trips. The Advanced Backpacker also offers thumbnail descriptions of major world hikes, and a detailed resources section. The book will feature a detailed how-to art program along with evocative photographs the author, an acoomplished photographer, has collected on his adventures.

From the Back Cover

You already know the basics of backpacking. Now your goal is to hike the entire Appalachian Trail, make a solo trip through Denali, or see the far corners of the globe on your own two feet--you're ready to wander right off the map.

No matter where in the world you aim for--the Sierra Nevadas, Scandinavia, or beyond--there's a good chance that Chris Townsend has been there before you. With over 20,000 long- and short-distance hiking miles to his credit, Townsend shares with you the secrets he's learned while backpacking the world's most challenging and rewarding terrains: Nepal, the desert Southwest, the Scottish Highlands, the Yukon, the Pyrenees, and much more. The Advanced Backpacker explains everything there is to know about hiking on terrains from the desert to the arctic and in all kinds of weather. It gives you the tools you need for group or solo hiking on the long trail, the trackless wilderness, or the most remote and exotic corners of the planet.

Praise for The Backpacker's Handbook:

"Townsend's time-honored recommendations draw extensively from his often intense field experiences. . . . Every imaginable topic is covered thoroughly and engagingly."--Backpacker

"An clear and comprehensive primer."--Sierra

"Belongs in every bookcase dealing with outdoor topics. . . . Chockablock full of useful, practical, common-sense info. . . . If you tramp the outdoors, get this book."--Maine Sportsman


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The first bright rays of the sun are just touching the jagged rim of the mountains silhouetted high above as you open your eyes. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I bought the book as soon as it was released. It follows on where the 'backpackers handbook' left off. Not a book for beginners. If you are planning a long hike or are just curious then this is the book for you. All essential topics covered, food+water, shelter, equipment, preparation.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
24 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent descriptions from experience 7 Jun 2002
By Jim Morrison - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The author's experience in long distance backpacking is obvious when he shares his knowledge in an honest and enlightening way.
The section on inspiration and reality is well worth reading. He gives a nice little description of the long trails, with his comments and experiences. His food choices and ideas alone make the book worth the price. He includes the best description of chemical purification I have seen in some time. He covers boot fitting (one of the most important items, I think, in backpacking) like no one else I have ever read. Not a rehash of what has already been written (I admit I haven't read his other books), but some critical and important original views on the subject.
This book delivers excellent information for the long-distance hiker.
23 of 26 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars unnecessary? 19 Mar 2002
By tim - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
The first time i glanced at this book I thought that i was looking at 'The Backpackers Handbook', also by Townsend. This seemed, and still seems to be, more or less a duplication of that previous guide. If you don't own the 'Handbook', then definitely check this out, I really like Chris' open-minded writing and hiking style.
The only new information in 'Advanced Backpacker' is brief; and can be found on the internet or in your library for free. But if you really want a wholesome guide to carry with you, then this should be the one.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent advice but somewhat outdated 5 Jun 2010
By Lizard - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I disagree with the other reviewer who compares this book to Townsend's "Backpacker's Handbook." The Handbook covers the basics of hiking equipment - in this book, Townsend assumes you know the basics, and covers only the adjustments to gear necessary for a long hike. Even with that caveat, there are some simply excellent discussions here - for example, its got the best breakdown of boot fitting I've come across.

More importantly though, Townsend uses this book to discuss at length topics aimed at, for lack of a better term, "advanced backpackers." Things like how to prep and plan for a thruhike. How to plan an extended route through an area where there are no trails, based only off the information available on maps. How to do menu and resupply planning for a multimonth hike. Snow camping and travel in early season mountainous terrain. It is discussions like these where this book shines. Townsend's expertise comes through to differentiate this book from the many others targeted to weekend hikers. I first picked this book up after my PCT hike in 2000, and immediately recognized it as the book I was looking for before my hike. It would have saved me unnecessary pain.

With that being said, the book is somewhat dated today. While much of Townsend's advice still holds, these days, its much easier to access information. Hundreds of former thru-hikers are immediately available through discussion forums to answer questions, and incredibly detailed posts are freely available on any bit of hiking minutiae you can think of. Like the other "advanced hiking" books by Roland Mueser and Karen Berger, this book is sadly somewhat of a relic these days. If you consider yourself an "advanced backpacker" though, its still worth getting ahold of, to access the author's expertise on some relatively esoteric subjects.
5.0 out of 5 stars Lots of new and good information in this one. 9 April 2014
By Pilot Mark in Arizona, USA - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is older by copyright, but the information is still relevant. I value Chris's experience, and enjoy his books.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book! 27 Nov 2012
By Tracy Huffstetler - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is very informative from a very experienced backpacker it is an easy read with lots valuable information on what to do and not to to on long distance trails and what to pack and how minimize weight without giving up some comforts.
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