Resources for Light Weight Backpacking
Part of Mark Verber's A
Guide to Light Weight Backpacking
Community & Publications
In 2000 this was the best site for people who wanted information about
light weight backpacking. In the last few years I feel like they have
been stumbling a bit (ugly UI / too many ads, etc) as they have tried to figur out how to be profitable.
This site has a mix of articles that are free and availible to a
paid subscription, and a forum community which is
free. This is one of the best places to learn about what is on the
cutting edge of backpacking, be in new materials, gear, or
technique. The subscription is worth it if you are in the process of
trying to lighten your load.
Forums... one of the oldest forums focused on light weight backpacking
Backpacking... a place with a lot of good information that is carefully
moderated. I dislike the ban on including links to outside resources, but lots of valuable info here.
- WhiteBlaze.net... Dedicated
to the Appalachian Trail, but there are sub forums which cover topics which are widely
- ALDHA: Appalachian Long Distance Hikers Association and American Long Distance Hiking Association - West: Organizations which advocate for long trails in the US.
- Trail Journals: Community site where people who are hiking long trails keep journals / diaries
- Backpacker: Log standing magazine in the USA about backpacking.
- Outside Online: Good general magazine about outdoor pursuits
- Hiking and Backpacking by Buck Tilton. Part of the Knack: Make it Easy series. Easy to follow with plenty of pictures. I tend to go a bit lighter weight than what this book discussions, but it's a good, gentle introduction.
Backpacker's Handbook by Chris Townsend
(now in 4rd edition)
is the best general book I have found.
Balanced and informative without being as voluminous as The Complete Walker.
I wish I could find a shorter book that I could recommend.
- Allen & Mike's Really Cool Backpackin' Book by Allen
O'Bannon is a humorous introduction to backpacking with funny
illustrations. I personally found Chris Townsend's books
more useful that this. I thought Townsend's Pocket was easier and
clearer to read, and his Backpacker's Handbook has a much richer discussion
about gear selection.
Lighten Up! Complete Ultralight Backpacking by Don Ladigin is the best
book to help someone who is a traditional backpack thing about lightening
their load. If I could write well, this is exactly the sort of book I would
hope to write. Rather than getting bogged down in specific products which
would become dated, Don looks at general principles which are easy to apply.
Lightweight Backpacking: A Field Guide To Wilderness Equipment, Technique,
and Style by Ryan Jordan. If you like my general outlook, you will
like this book. Ryan is one of the founders of backpackinglight.com
which has had a large influence to my current backpacking style.
- The Complete
Walker IV by Colin Fletcher is the classic book, comprehensive, through.
Great discussions about techinque. Interesting discussions about gear. My only regret is that ultra-light
gear (other than tarps) are not covered well.
Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills edited by Steven M. Cox, Kris
Fulsaas is the classic guide to mountaineering. Pack full with useful
information about mountain environments, snow techniques etc.