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4 Reviews
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book but doesn't translate that well for non-US readers, 28 Jan 2012
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I came across this book after reading a review on a blog I like (Hiking in Finland). I liked the book however there are some caveats that I might be useful for people thinking about purchasing it.

Firstly the good stuff, the pictures and diagrams are clear, fun and interesting. The writing is straightforward and informal. A lot is common sense but there are some very nice little tips and ideas scattered through out. It's also nice to have a concise guide of the things to remember during the process of preparing for a backpacking trip and it's useful whether you're going ultra-light or not. I'm actually not an ultralight backpacker (probably mid, maybe lower, light) but I'll still be trying to incorporate a decent number of things from this into my future trips.

However there are a few things that don't translate that well to a non-US audience (I'm sure it wasn't aimed at us, but there isn't anything on the cover/summary blurb that indicates how US-centric it is). For a start the bear tips are completely meaningless in most of the rest of the world I'd imagine, certainly in the UK anyway. I felt some of the tips would not do so well in the UK due to very different weather systems (hot/dry weather with odd heavy storm vs continual rain, very little sun, mild temperatures) but at the same time it does make it clear in the book that you should plan according to the weather you're likely to see (not that you should need a book to tell you that). There are also a variety of words that I assume make perfect sense across the pond but I had no idea about (eg Tyvek). This is especially bad in the food section where it almost seems like a foreign language. Another thing that is bound to drive some people up the wall is that all measurements are imperial, in the UK depending on the type of measurement or on your age that might be ok, but everywhere else you're going to be looking up conversion rates and doing mental arithmetic all the time. Also regarding the food ideas at the back, if you have nut allergies or just don't like them, then you're not going to get as much out of it (although there are still useful tips in there) as I think all the recipes have a lot of nuts in various forms in them.

In summary, the book is good but if you're not from the US you're going to get a little bit less out of it and you're going to have to work harder for it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Far too super, 12 May 2013
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lots of great advice, found the writing style started to (super) grate after a while

don't buy for the kindle the cartoons come up too small to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent ideas, 26 Nov 2012
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I bought this to give me some ideas how to lighten my pack for expeditions. Whilst some are a bit extreme for me it gives excellent practical advice on what can be done and gets you into the right mind set to prepare for an expedition and not having to carry unnecessary clothing or equipment.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tip-tastic, 29 April 2013
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N. Shepherd - See all my reviews
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Packed full of great little tips that will serve to help you on your way to getting rid of the ounces (which make up pounds, which make for pain).

If you don't hike any where near bears there are a few tips you won't need but the overall philosophy will make your hiking so much more enjoyable.

Mike's cartoons are informative as well as entertaining.
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