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Readers of this review should be aware that `The Bluffer's Guide to Hiking' identifies me as a hard-core hiker with a death wish. I have been a mountaineer-climber since first climbing Pillar Rock in 1954, I have lived in the Lake District most of my life, and regularly visited Scotland and Wales, plus mountaineering in Alps and Pyrenees, and rock climbing in the sun in Spain and France. I admit that my hiking has usually been the necessary walk-in to reach a crag for climbing.

I read `The Bluffer's Guide to Hiking' expecting a totally spoof approach lampooning hikers with numerous witticisms and wisecracks, and high degrees of ridicule and satire. I was not disappointed as the text is delightfully light-hearted and full of humour - but it is also genuinely informative and it stresses the very real benefits of hiking. Excellent advice is offered on such matters as navigation, safety etc. and practical recommendations are included on footwear, clothing, equipment, guidebooks etc. plus both restrictions and `right to roam issues. For a small book it is far-reaching.

Two minor criticisms - I would have stressed use of 2 climbing poles rather than single (to avoid twisting spine), and no mention is made of the Cumbria Way (Ulverston to Carlisle) which starts ½ mile from my home - though there is a helpful list of other long distance hikes. Even so, I believe `The Bluffer's Guide to Hiking' is worthy of a 5-star rating.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICEon 10 October 2013
This is not an introduction to hiking for a new starter but an enjoyable read for someone who already walks as a hobby and will recognise themselves and others in the anecdotes and stories contained within the book. It would make an excellent present for a hiker who will find it written in an amusing manner and with lots of nuggets of information and stories which they will immediately wish to share with others to show how much they know about their chosen hobby. The author obviously knows a lot about hiking and is able to convey information and stories in an easy to read manner.

You probably wouldn't read this through from cover to cover but it is fun to dip into and read a section at a time. It's the sort of book that might live in the loo or in a guest bedroom. It is not a reference book but it does cover most aspects of hiking.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a review.
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on 3 July 2011
Great little book. Very quick and easy to read and parts of it are oh so true.

The chapter about outdoors shops really hit the nail on the head, every time I go to one of those shops I just quietly smile to myself as I look at the shop assistants doing exactly what they book says they do.

Its a quick read but one you may want to pick up again and again.
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For me a great excuse to buy another pair of shoes, well boots (hiking ones) to be exact. That does not count as a normal day to day pair in my eyes.

The book is only 113 pages in length with extra pages for any notes you want to make, great for putting into your pocket or bag. A super funny present for any one who has hiker friends for popping into their stocking at Christmas, which stockings well read the book to find out.

Laughs a plenty in our house with this book, the reason why. I do not HIKE but on page 64 it does say that a hiker has four season walking boots. Another three pair to go then I am a seasoned hiker. All from the comfort of my own home.

Reading it laughs a plenty, already sorted that I am an ambler (one who wears slippers to walk in). If that includes going to the bin outside then I am an ambler. Called other half this and the looks, well he might have thought I really had gone off hiking and been replaced by some other mad woman.

No, joking apart it explains in plain English just how to go about hiking (or appear to know how to go about it). At least I will not choose a rucksack that makes me look like a tortoise. Different than does this make my bottom look big.

If I see any ramblers (we do have a lot our way) with a trowel and loo roll, well I will never want to see what some person may dig up there not knowing. All I am saying is that it makes me look at them in a different light.

As long as you are not into halves of beer, scampi or bottled beer your hiking trips to the pub will be ok, that is unless someone else who has not read this book is ordering those items. You can tell a seasoned hiker by what they order in the pub. Myself, I would order what made me look as though I was in the know, then scurry back to the car for the chocolate fix. God only knows all that walking you have to keep up the strength even if I am an ambler.

These are a fun collection of books that do make light reading for visitors to have a look through too and you will hear some giggles along the way.
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on 17 March 2015
Although Hiking is one of my least favourite activities, I have been roped into a few paths with dire consequences so I thought this book would be helpful for future occasions like those before. Loved the humour like in all of the rest of the bluffer's books, some parts were dry for me but that's purely because the topic doesn't interest me as some of the other bluffer's books. Overall though, I would recommend it for someone who enjoys hiking as it also makes fun of those that are a part of it as well as novices.
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on 16 February 2012
Yep the gear shop chapter is spot on. Are the staff aware they are under such scrutiny? Have you spotted the ones with the industrial sized caribineer on their belt? Good fun. Keep it in the glove box for when it's raining.
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VINE VOICEon 24 May 2013
I remember the Bluffer's Guides from way back, and was intrigued to see what this new incarnation of them would be like. Being a hiker (though I prefer to call it walking) myself, this was the one that caught my attention. The book is funny, not side splittingly funny, but enough to bring frequent smiles to my face. Although primarily a funny book, it does contain accurate and useful information. For example, there are the usual sections on maps, route finding, equipment, safety etc. The problem for anyone trying to use it as a 'how to' book on hiking is disentangling the useful stuff from the funny stuff, so if you really want to go off into the wilderness you'll need a bit more than this.

Bluffing is, I suppose, the art of passing yourself off as an expert on a subject of which you are really ignorant. On that basis you might suppose that this book is aimed at those who know nothing about hiking. I would suggest however that it will be appreciated most by people like me, who don't need to bluff but just want a good, relaxing read. Buy it as a gift for your hiking friends. A good read, but at £5.99 and just over 100 (small) pages, it's a bit thin for the price, so one star deducted.
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on 15 April 2014
Cute, good size to take along on hiking. bought as a gift for someone doing Kili this year and they loiked it. has a few references to the UK but some nice quotes too
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on 27 August 2014
There's more information about maps and navigation packed in this book than in many instructional guides - and it's funny as well!
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on 25 March 2014
This was a light hearted easy read for the train journey. Resaonbly experienced walker, but picked up a few bits and pieces.
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