Best camping books according to redditors

We found 208 Reddit comments discussing the best camping books. We ranked the 54 resulting products by number of redditors who mentioned them. Here are the top 20.

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Top Reddit comments about Camping:

u/garmachi · 35 pointsr/AdviceAnimals

Not OP, but I am an author with a book in Kindle Unlimited. The rate Amazon pays authors varies from month to month based on how many subscribers KU has, but it averages around half a penny per page.

The number of pages per book is "normalized" because the number of pages varies based on which Kindle you have, what font size you use, etc. They don't tell us their algorithm, but using mine as an example, it's 690 normalized e-pages. (The paperback is 338 as a reference.) Which means that every time someone reads my book on KU I get a little more than $3, which is close to what I see from every ebook purchase.

u/mdzealot · 26 pointsr/Ultralight

I mean, you can drop 15 pounds just by changing your tent, backpack, and sleep system without sacrificing any comfort. It's more of a money thing for those items. After that, it's an issue of "do I really need this" or "is this overkill?" than it is "am I losing comfort?"

You really don't start sacrificing much comfort until your load is well under 10lbs. You're just getting rid of weight that isn't necessary until that point.

For instance, you have a great setup with your titanium cooking pot and spork.. but then you have a 16oz stove. Why? You could use a Pocket Rocket that weighs 3oz that does the same thing and that would save you close to a pound.

I suggest you read Mike Clelland's Ultralight Backpacking Tips. It will help you a lot.

u/ItNeedsMoreFun · 16 pointsr/Ultralight

I'm a big fan of books. Here's two books I quite enjoy that I don't think have been linked yet (lots of good books already linked by others, so check those out too!):

u/vectorhive · 16 pointsr/Ultralight

Ultralight Backpackin' Tips: 153 Amazing & Inexpensive Tips For Extremely Lightweight Camping

u/ecp12 · 14 pointsr/boardgames

I really enjoyed Backpacking Light. The articles are okay but the forums are absolute GOLD. All of the users are super passionate about backpacking, especially about backpacking "lightweight." Aka, trying to carry as little as possible so you can walk faster and further/save your knees in the process.

It's a bit daunting to get into, I'll give you that. I also found this book to be super helpful.

u/MaidenATL · 14 pointsr/Ultralight

They started out as a ultralight backpacking company. They were successful at that and had some of the best gear out there.

They abandoned the designs that they started with, and replaced them with gear that I really didn't even consider ultralight. I'm not sure if they got rid of the breeze, and cave because Jardine owned the designs or because they didn't fit their new business model.

Even after the Jardine era some of their gear was quite nice, and still pretty light. But over the next few years they seemingly decided to compete with companies like The North Face, started selling 'lifestyle clothing' and things like that.

If you need proof that they completely abandoned their original mission check out their history page.
They go out of their way to not mention Ray Jardine, or Beyond Backpacking/the pct hikers handbook. In fact they use the phrase "lighten up" which IMO is a cheap way to plug this book as opposed to anything Jardine may have in publication.

And besides how can a company called Golite have a founder who is overweight?

u/ieatfishes · 13 pointsr/askscience

It is mostly contained in the books I've read. I have been out of the backpacking scene for a while so I may be a bit rusty on the exact details and perhaps his methods have fallen out of favor. Some of his weight cutting techniques are a bit extreme by my taste such as only taking an umbrella and tarp instead of rain gear and tent. However, my father and I cut quite a bit of weight in our week long trips. We were starting with packs around 40 pounds and wearing big hiking boots and eventually got to around 20-25 pounds and would just wear a nice set of running or trail shoes.

Some of his books:

This site mentions him and a quick Google search with his name and 'water filter' brings up quite a few references as well: He's by no means an end-all authority but the ultralight backpacking he pioneered was pretty widely known.

u/Dogwoodhikes · 13 pointsr/Ultralight

UL is not just about gear! Get him/her a class on GPS and/map&paper navigation, Wilderness FA, wild edibles(get him started locally),..They can be less than $50 through Backpacker, REI, an outfitter, etc.


Get him a subscription to BPL.


If he doesn't have it Mike Clelland's Ultralight Backpacking Tips.


Get him a Zelph's alchy stove.

u/amymcg · 12 pointsr/boston

There are loads of hiking trails in the White region, and several primitive camp areas. I highly recommend one of these books to get started. They will tell you the hiking difficulty and have very good maps.

White Mountain Guide: AMC’s Comprehensive Guide to Hiking Trails in the White Mountain National Forest

AMC's Best Day Hikes in the White Mountains: Four-season Guide to 60 of the Best Trails in the White Mountain National Forest

Also this website has some great info and resources:

My favorite short hike is Mt Willard. The summit has a beautifully stunning view of the notch and the highway below. It’s the best bang for the lowest amount of effort.

Please do not underestimate the weather in the Whites. Even in the summer the high peaks can get very cold and experience sudden weather changes. If you see signs at a trail head warning to be prepared, make sure you are. People require rescue every year.

That being said, enjoy yourself and good luck

u/gamerx11 · 10 pointsr/Ultralight

I really enjoy Lighten Up! and Ultralight Backpackin' Tips as well. Those two really helped me think about what I was carrying on my trips. It made me a lot more weight conscious.

u/Bhelkweit · 9 pointsr/LifeProTips

My brother gifted me this book one year for christmas. I highly recommend it. Filled with tips like OP. Helped me drop my pack weight to 20lbs for a 5-day trek. And that was actually too much food.

I can practically run all day fulled loaded.

u/Teabag1 · 9 pointsr/AppalachianTrail

Reading Trail Journals is always nice because you're getting a day by day account of how hiking operates rather than a stylized narrative. Just at cursory glance, I saw few guys I hiked with who should have pretty accurate journals:


Frankenstein - I hiked around him for a good portion of the hike. Pretty detailed and should give you a good idea of life on the trail.



That's not to say a stylized narrative isn't pleasing to read and get's you hyped for your trip. A Walk in the Woods gets some shit from thru-hikers but it's a book about the Appalachian Trail for people who are not thru-hikers-so you!

Ray Jardine's Trail Life is indispensable for preparation. Even if you don't agree with all of his points, he gets you thinking and presents the organization of gear in a straight forward fashion. It was so hard to get a direct answer out of anyone online in regards to gear; every question was greeted with "just do what works for you!" I had no hiking experience and wanted something of a base to start from. Trail Life at least gives you a starting point to experiment with. I would say this is the most important book for practical preparation you need to make.

Honestly, not much you can read is going to help a ton, the AT doesn't need that much prep work. Here's a pre-hike check list that I would suggest.

  • Save up $4500 - You can do it on much less but hurting for money on the trail is no fun. It's not that I wish I had more money on my hike, living with an overwhelming lack of funds gave me one of my most poignant learning experiences, but it allows you more freedom-you can be on the trail longer and actually replace your shoes instead of wearing them until you find a newish pair in the hiker box.

  • Go on weekend test hikes once you have enough gear to go backpacking - There where little details I didn't like about pieces of my gear that I would never have noticed unless I used them for an extended period of time. Find out now that ENO straps sink you to the ground or that your sleeping pad doesn't insulate enough for a March start.

  • Go through your guide book and circle things you think might be interesting - I compulsively looked through my guidebook when I was bored and checked a lot of things I didn't want to miss. It's nice to open up to a town and already have the buffet circled and the cheapest resupply marked down.

    Be prepared for the AT to be very different than you expect. Be confident and social with everyone you meet. Meet Ms. Janet! Immerse yourself in the whole experience and don't think too much about home.
u/mt_sage · 8 pointsr/Ultralight

I had a similar conversion about 10 years ago, also after a long hiatus (due to injury). Hauling big weight really starts to lose its charm as you age.

I used a scattershot approach (and it was rather hit and miss) until I got Mike Clelland's book, "Ultralight Backpackin' Tips", which had just been published. It's the smartest $14 I ever spent on backpacking gear, and it dropped weight from my BPW faster and better than I could have believed. He gives you a comprehensive approach that is not just about gear but also about mindset and technique. It showed me how to evaluate every single item in my pack from the perspective of a very experienced UL backpacker.

I was able to drop my BPW in half rather quickly -- without doing a lot of gear buying -- and then chip away at it one piece of gear at a time, picking and choosing what was next in a logical progression. Just about everyone one in transition finds that they achieve a "plateau" BPW that is not bad at all (well under 20 pounds) fairly quickly, and then it takes work to approach the "magical" 10 pound BPW.

It looks like you've already made some good choices. Keep up the good work.

A note on your pack; some years ago, UL backpackers often used packs that are considered to be "high volume" today -- about 60L, like your GG pack. You pack your bag/quilt, down puffies, and soft insulated items uncompressed, and that way they fill up the volume of the pack. It preserves the optimal shape of the pack for the best carrying behavior, it makes the entire pack soft and slightly squishy, and hence very comfortable to carry, and it makes packing up in the morning quick and easy. As a bonus, it makes your insulated gear last much longer; extreme compression is tough on gear, be it down or synthetic.

u/delawalk · 7 pointsr/CampingGear

When I crossed over, my parents bought me a lot of outdoor gear. It was all exciting and cool and I loved it, but most of it was heavy, designed for car camping, and ended up going unused, like the snakebite kit and bright red fanny pack and campfire toaster. I’d encourage you to help support your new Scouts to go backpacking and go lighter - give them tools and knowledge and inspiration.

  • A good-quality map of a backcountry area near you to help them plan an adventure, $20-$30.

  • A pair of Darn Tough wool socks - they don’t stink, keep feet dry and warm in winter and cool in summer, and come with a lifetime guarantee, $15-$20.

  • An annual pass to your local state park system, $20-$30.

  • A practical how-to lightweight backpacking book, such as one by Mike Cleland, $10. ( Ray Jardine’s Trail Life is great as well, but may be a little advanced for some.

  • A lightweight cathole trowel, like the Deuce of Spades, $20.

  • Sewing lessons and some fabric to start with. Seriously. Get them on the path to making their own gear and they’ll be set for life. (h/t to /r/myog).

  • A good wool watch cap from your local surplus store, $10.

  • A wool Buff, $13-$22.

  • A lightweight packable daypack, like REI’s Travel Stuff Daypack, $30. It’s boring-looking but larger, lighter and cheaper than its more popular cousin the Flash 18.

  • A digital kitchen scale for weighing their gear, $10.

  • A hammock is a great idea. Even if they have troop tents, hammocks add versatility and flexibility. You can find serviceable ones for $20 (don’t forget to add straps).
u/blackbodyradiation · 6 pointsr/Ultralight

I've found Backpackinglight's forum very helpful. In the gearlist section, people post their lists and get comments on them. Lighten Up is a short and simple book on the topic if you are completely new to lightweight backpacking. Also, "ultralight" is a loaded term. It implies a base weight (all the gear without food and what you're wearing) in the single digits. If this is what you really want, check out Ultralight Backpackin' Tips Otherwise, a baseweight in the teens are usually considered "lightweight" backpacking.

Also, don't just stick with stuff from REI. There are a lot of cottage industry stores that sell quality backpacking products. A few that I can think of off the top of my head are: Tarptent, Gossamer Gear, Six Moon Designs, Jacks R Better, ULA, Feathered Friends, Nunatak, Tenkara, and Bushbuddy. Of course, they are a bit more expensive, however, they are all well tested and trusted by a lot of backpackers.

Get your backpack last.

u/AK47Uprising · 6 pointsr/preppers

Pizza's idea of the Sawyer was an excellent suggestion and would be one of my top recommendations as well. To hit some other categories for ideas:


u/armchairbackpacker · 6 pointsr/Ultralight

Before you buy anything I would recommend you read this book. It might save you some time , money and trouble.

u/OffTheRivet · 6 pointsr/Ultralight

Gear is expensive so I'll give you a range, from cheapest you may find to very expensive but awesome.

Pack - get one that fits or face the back pain consequence - $50 for an ASolo UL to $500+ for Custom bag.

Sleeping bag - consider a quilt instead - All depends on where you live. I have a $35 dollar bag and a $450 bag I use one in the tropics on one in the alpine or arctic.

Tent - If you're camping alone, in a treed area, get a henessey hammock. They're $150 or so. You can also get a tarp ($50) and bivy ($100 used) combo. Don't lug a 4 person tent around for 1 or 2 people.

Next purchase - Stove. Make (check r/myog or cat food camp stove for info) or buy. You can also get a bomb proof msr stove for $35 + fuel.

Getting a pack that fits is the most important thing. A sleeping bag will fit in any pack because it's just fabric and fuzz.

Tent basics:
Big Agnes, TarpTent are the reasonably priced and best performing UL tents.
If you are 1 person get a 1 person tent. If you are 2 people, get a 2 person tent.
Look into hammock, bivy/tarp, and tent options and pick the one that suits where you'll be camping.

You'll want a 50-70L pack for trips longer than a weekend.

Mike Clelland has a really cheap and great tip book, he was a NOLS leader forever and knows his shit, and explains it with cartoons.

u/zorkmids · 6 pointsr/Ultralight

I'd recommend either Andrew Skurka's book or Dan Ladigan's book.

Andrew Skurka's website is also a good resource.

The Backpacking Light forums are excellent.

Ten Pound Backpack is pretty helpful for gear comparisons, once you know roughly what you're you're looking for.

u/MungoParkplace · 5 pointsr/Ultralight

Buy these books before you spend any more money on anything else. They can save you a lot of money over the course of your upcoming months of gear-nerding out.

u/mattymeats · 5 pointsr/Ultralight

Start with a good book or two. I recommend Beyond Backpacking, Lighten Up!, and The Ultimate Hiker’s Gear Guide. Any of these books will give a good 50,000-foot view of the world of things you should be thinking about when introducing yourself to backpacking.

u/sargon2 · 5 pointsr/Ultralight
u/xueimel · 5 pointsr/motocamping

I'm a big hammock fan, so I'm sorry if I get long winded. Been through a few hammocks in search of perfection (never worn one out). I started with this one, have the most experience with this one, most recently started using this one. Used hammocks to cover the south half of Wisconsin's state parks in 2013 on a CB750 wearing this backpack.

Finding trees the right distance was (impressively) never a problem for me. I've been thinking there should be a way to hang one side on the motorcycle should the need arise, but haven't yet had to test it. I'd really like to be able to hang from the motorcycle on one side and the frame on that pack on the other side, but don't know if the pack will support a person (hasn't been warm enough to test since I thought of this).

In terms of rain, I started with a generic big blue tarp from a hardware store. This was a bad idea, thing was bulky, loud, and inflexible to the point of being hard to work with. Now I use this and it does the job pretty well. I used a large size of this tarp for a while, but the one I got was too big and ultimately heavier than needed.

I'm sorry to bust your bubble, but hammocks can get cold at night. I used this sleeping pad, after a while added this to keep the shoulders warm. Sleeping on what feels like a massively oversized menstrual pad never felt right, plus they get a little awkward in a hammock. Everybody I've heard from recommends underquilts for proper insulation, and it took me until this year to bite the bullet and get one (they're not cheap). I just got this yesterday, and intend to test it tomorrow night.

This book has been widely recommended. I haven't read it yet, but at $4 for kindle, that's not a bad price. You can read it on a smartphone or computer with the kindle app (which is free).

It wasn't until I typed this all out that I realized how much money I probably spent on all this stuff. I didn't buy it all from Amazon, just convenient links.

u/eggnoggin0 · 4 pointsr/wmnf

I'm currently away from my maps, so these areas will unfortunately be general, and the first things I come up with off the top of my head. If you'll be staying in the area longtime, there is a guidebook/map pack you can buy that is Bible for hiking in the Whites.

  1. The Mahoosucs in Maine are considered the hardest part of the Appalachian Trail. I haven't done them myself, but I hear there's some boulder scrambling, rugged trails, and few people. I hear the views aren't that great though.
  2. There are a variety of great itineraries in the Northern Presidentials, and the hiking there is some of my favorite in the world (King Ravine, Castle Ravine, Six Husbands Trail). The key is to stay off the AT on the main ridge, as that's the most heavily trafficked. If you can stay at Crag Camp, you'll likely have some other guests with you, but that is my favorite hut in the Northeast. Some of those steeper ravines I mentioned aren't fit for hiking with an overnight pack, so read some trail descriptions and make your own judgement. That being said, King Ravine is my favorite hike, and absolutely worth the day hike. You could probably do a really good loop from Rte 2, over and south into the Great Gulf Wilderness, back up and over the ridge to Rte 2.
  3. Honestly, Maine is much less trafficked almost everywhere between the NH border and Mt Katahdin. Could be worth the trip, if you can do some more research. I'm personally less familiar with the area.

    Hope that helps!
u/sissipaska · 4 pointsr/Ultralight

In addition to what others have already said (weigh everything and make a lighterpack/trailpost), also look at what other people are carrying. The sub is full of trip reports which all have gear lists. Compare those lists to what you're carrying to see what to leave behind and which items would benefit most from lighter replacements.

Just few examples from the sub:

Stumbled on those after just few minutes of browsing through the top submissions.

Also Cam Honan's articles on the gear accomplished long distance hikers carry are pretty useful:

And Mike Clelland's book Ultralight Backpackin' Tips can't be recommended enough:

u/justinlowery · 4 pointsr/Ultralight

I'd recommend picking up a few books. Ultralight Backpackin' Tips by Mike Clelland, and Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide by Andrew Skurka for starters. These will help you a ton.

Then, what was just said, ask yourself with each item, "Am I packing my fears?" "Do I really need this?" and "What would realistically happen if I left this at home?" I'm seeing a ton of unnecessary and/or redundant stuff, not to mention all the heavy stuff.

For example, paracord, multitool, lantern, lots of heavy stuff sacks, an ultra-heavy water reservoir, full bottle of soap (you only need a few drops of that stuff), 3 heavy knives (a tiny swiss army classic or even a razor blade would do the trick), tons of excessive, heavy and redundant clothing (use a simple, versatile layering system with no redundancy), etc. Your first aid kit weighs almost 13oz! You can easily make a good one for under 3. You have a space blanket and two redundant fire starters (emergency only items) when you are carrying a gas stove and a sleeping bag (actual versions of the things your survival kit is supposed to improvise). The list is quite long.

Also, I'd take a serious look at some of the UL/SUL hammock guys on YouTube and get some ideas from their videos on how to dramatically simplify and lighten your hammock system. It seems incredibly complicated and heavy to me, esp. based on what I've seen online from other Hammock guys. For instance, a +6oz gear pouch? A suspension system that weighs more than your actual hammock? Yikes. Definitely take a look at lots of the lighterpack links you see in people's flairs on here too and just get some ideas for how to simplify, reduce, and eliminate items in your gear list. YouTube is your friend. There are tons of UL and SUL guys on there who camp in Hammocks. Learn from their experience and save yourself from having to re-live their mistakes.

Good luck and have fun! I know it probably seems overwhelming now, but just whittle down one thing at a time and you'll get there. You're already off to a good start with having all your gear in a list online to create accountability and show you the true weights of everything. It's fun to see how light you can go with your gear list and your back will thank you for it!

u/anonmarmot · 4 pointsr/CampingandHiking

no pic. here's a link to what I had in 2011, not sure how outdated that is but it'd give you a sense. I did it again in 2013 or so and added a pound or two to my pack, mostly in the form of a 1p tent. I MUCH preferred a single person tent. I got one of those Solong ones made for tall dudes.

re-reading that list there's nothing I brought that I didn't end up wanting. Lots of lessons in general, mostly stemming from this book. Essentially think about the need, and alternatives to fill that need. Think about overlapping items and how to pare it down. Think about how happier you'd be hiking 200+ miles if you left 5lb of stuff at the trailhead and try to find ways to do that.

u/BriB66 · 3 pointsr/hammockcamping

This book, The Ultimate Hang, is the absolute bible on hammock camping. I can't recommend it enough. Make sure to get the 2nd edition.

u/[deleted] · 3 pointsr/hiking

Ray Jardine's book is another popular one. I just preferred Skurka's. Both guys run websites too. Jardine has some resources on making your own gear and Skurka blogs regularly about various hiking-related topics.

u/eidnarb · 3 pointsr/Hammocks

Check out: The Ultimate Hang: An Illustrated Guide To Hammock Camping by Derek J Hansen

u/l_one · 3 pointsr/zombies

For the machete a Cold Steel kukri is an excellent option.

Field strip the MREs: here's how.

Get the Chinese military shovel instead, it's really awesome. Here's one link to buy it.

Would advise a Camelbak or other mini-backpack style hydration bladder, much better for mobility.

For the rope: get milspec 550 paracord.

Gorilla brand duct tape is advised.

For the multitool either SOG or Leatherman are excellent choices. A couple of good picks from each: SOG PowerAssist and PowerLock as well as the Leatherman MUT and the Charge TTi.

Check out 4Sevens for excellent quality flashlights - really these guys are among the best in the flashlight market.

For the gun I would advise a Ruger 10/22 with a folding stock for compactness. Add some 32 round interlocking magazines and a box or two of ammo (.22LR is cheap, they come in boxes of 500 or so).

I would also recommend a Red Cross multifunction solar/crank radio.

The SAS Survival Handbook and of course the Zombie Survival Guide would make good additions.

u/ElusiveReverie · 3 pointsr/camping

Side-sleeper-in-a-hammock here. You can do it, if that's your only reason not to. The key is to lay diagonally, like this I only go to ground if there are no trees :)

The book that image is from is awesome, and so easy to digest. I highly recommend it.

Best night's sleep on the trail, bar none. And of course, shout out to /r/hammocks

u/SuperJoan · 3 pointsr/AskReddit

I think there should be one of these in every purse/backpack. Good reading when there's nothing to do and you're bound to learn something useful.

u/upvotes_cited_source · 3 pointsr/Ultralight

> Any required reading for someone not necessarily looking for a budget list?

Relevant no matter your budget.

u/cwcoleman · 3 pointsr/CampingandHiking

Here are a few:

Ray Jardine's Lightweight Backpacking for general techniques and 'ultralight' ideas

Freezer bag cooking - a method of cooking I prefer

More mountaineering than basic camping/hiking - but a SOLID reference book is Freedom of the Hills by The Mountaineers

Real experience is really your #1 learning tool for these sorts of skills. Preparing is key - but at some point you need to get outdoors and practice what you've read. Start with small trips, even around your neighborhood (with a full pack) works. Then work up to the longer / overnight adventures. Ask questions!

u/montaukwhaler · 3 pointsr/GoRVing

I think that $2.50/gallon average fuel cost is low. Canada, Mexico, and much of the west coast USA is more.

Traveling in Mexico with a trailer will make you anxious, guaranteed. You will want to travel on the toll highways (autopista) because they usually give you a wider lane width as well as (usually) a better quality road surface. Tolls can get expensive. The "libre" (free) roads are much slower, much more interesting, but can be VERY rough on your suspension and tires (Mexican mechanics are very talented at suspension work and tire repair though). You need to plan your routes carefully through towns because many roads become VERY narrow (be prepared to back up on occasion, it's happened to me several times in a full size truck even without a trailer). The payoff is that Mexico is an awesome and incredibly beautiful place to visit and people are genuinely happy that you are enjoying their country. Another advantage is that Mexico is very inexpensive if you travel outside of the tourist areas, especially when buying food at local markets (though there are also plenty of inexpensive super market chains as well as Walmart and Costco). You won't meet many other American campers, but you will definitely meet European and South American campers. Download the ioverlander app and buy the most recent edition of Mexico Camping by Church & Church that you can find.

Central America is also incredible, but I wouldn't drive it while towing a trailer. Roads are very narrow and often very steep. I saw very few full sized pickup trucks in Central America, let alone travel trailers. I have a full size Chevy truck with pop-up camper and was too wide for some streets, which is nerve-wracking when you have to back up in traffic (luckily locals were always helpful in getting me out).

You will need to pay a temporary import tax (TIP) on your vehicles when you enter Mexico, and will get this refunded when you exit. You also need to buy Mexican vehicle liability insurance, shop for this online, it's not expensive.

u/CaptCuke · 3 pointsr/AppalachianTrail

Where's the Next Shelter? (Green Giant Travels Book 1)

u/Tvcypher · 3 pointsr/Hammocks

The Ultimate Hang is considered the premiere work on the subject. You should be able to order it online.

u/JaxHiker · 3 pointsr/Hammocks

Pick up a copy of Derek Hansen's The Ultimate Hang ( Sometimes it takes some experimentation to find the right combination for you. Keep at it. I don't know if I know anyone that's gone back to the ground after trying out a hammock.

u/azoeart · 3 pointsr/Ultralight

What do you already have? Not everything needs to be replaced. A list with weights is always helpful. We like to weigh stuff, and we are obsessed with that (okay, not everyone is).

There are two books that really helped me Lighten Up! and Ultralight Backpackin' Tips.

u/aggietau · 3 pointsr/backpacking

Check out for a gear list. It has some ultralight ideas with pack weights on one of the pages. It's divided by ounce so you can get a feel for utility vs. weight. You may want to buy lighten up the book with cartoons to understand where you'll need to invest and what's really important. It's easily readable in a night or two and really fun too!

u/myotheralt · 3 pointsr/science
u/jack4allfriends · 2 pointsr/Ultralight

Read Skurka gear guide before you buy anything & Ultralight Backpackin' Tips to get you in "UL mode', there rest will be sort of easy..

Learn to love trail runners - it changed everything for me

u/OnlyFactsNoContext · 2 pointsr/Mountaineering

There's a really good series of cartoon books about lightweight backpacking and mountaineering by a few guys from NOLS which really helped me adjust what I thought was "necessary".



General Backpacking

I had a really solid mountaineer once tell me that the key to success on the mountains is camping like a champion. If you're poorly rested, poorly fed or angry with your partners because of a crappy camp setup, you're less likely to achieve your goals.

I mostly do ski mountaineering with some summer stuff thrown in for kicks (I'm in the Canadian rockies so "Summer" is relative). Typically I'll have my ski touring day pack 35L+ and my wife carries a 45L+ bag (she tends to carry but not wear more layers) on any trip where I'm based out of a base camp or hut. We'll drag our gear in on a pull sled or we'll both bring our 65 or 85L bags (depending on trip length) to camp, then ditch em.

u/littlejohnnyjewel · 2 pointsr/bayarea

Get a copy of Tom Stienstra's "California Camping"

It has descriptions and directions to every public campground in the state…there are sites in every county. Many are free, or low fee.

u/atetuna · 2 pointsr/camping

As /u/cwcoleman said, that's a long trip, especially for a newbie. The biggest issue with long trips is food. Many new long distance backpackers have found that what looks great on a spreadsheet turns out terribly after a few days of trying to eat it.

What is the nature of your trip? Are you hiking all day, every day? Short hike to a site you'll stay at all week? Something else? It makes a big difference in what you'll want to pack and eat. Either way, I highly recommend going on your camping diet for a few days at home. Look into freezer bag cooking and dehydrating your own meals. That can give you tasty meals that are easy to make and have virtually no cleanup.

Please post a gear list of what you already have. Share your budget too if you're looking for gear recommendations. I hate giving recommendations for good reasonably priced gear, only to find out that the budget calls for free gear and buying a few things from Walmart.

I really like that you know about not eating where you sleep.

Ray Jardine's Trail Life has some really good tips about camp site selection. It makes a huge difference. He has some oddball ideas in the rest of the book that can work, but you probably shouldn't follow them exactly. For example he's a big fan of corn pasta, but the same thing he was using doesn't really exist anymore, so you won't get the same dietary benefits. It's still a great book for getting you to think creatively though.

u/Derporelli · 2 pointsr/AskReddit

SAS Survival Handbook. Not a novel, but definitely a useful real. It doesn't hurt to know a little about survival.

edit: spelling

u/DontWorry-AboutIt · 2 pointsr/Ultralight

Check out the book Ultralight Backpackin' Tips by Mike Clelland. He put together a pretty comprehensive and digestible, and really nicely illustrated book that breaks everything down and explains the reasoning behind each technique and suggestion.

Andrew Skurka's book is also really well written, but Clelland's really emphasizes the fun and grooviness of ultralight technique.

u/SeattleHikeBike · 2 pointsr/CampingandHiking

Sounds like a lot for a beginner with a short time to prepare. Im assuming you are in excellent physical conditjon as well.

I practice ulralight hiking, using light equipment and careful selection of everything packed to keep the load to an absolute minimum. It is possible to have a kit that is 3kg excluding food, water, and fuel. My typical weekend kit is about 10kg with everything. Ryan Jordan's book is very good:

You can learn more at The forums there would be helpful.

The Mountaineers is a US based organization. There must be some Australian outdoor organizations with classes too. My concern is that you have so many skills to aquire in a few months: navigation, first aid, gear selection and use, back country cooking and food selction, shelter and site selection, clothing layering techniques, insect and wild animal protection, etc. Get busy!

u/MissingGravitas · 2 pointsr/WildernessBackpacking

First, yer gonna die. I say this only partially in jest, because your question indicates you haven't done the initial research on your own, and I can make a fairly good guess at how the story will play out, particularly if you were to attempt it this late in the year.

Now that that's out of the way, I suggest you start with these two books:

u/SNAFUBAR · 2 pointsr/collapse

The SAS Survival Handbook is a good one. There's a broad range of material covered; in just one book.

u/pretends2bhuman · 2 pointsr/camping

I just finished reading this book. May give some of you some ideas.

u/-709 · 2 pointsr/teararoa

South Island navigation is much easier than North Island road walking navigation. Far less chance of getting lost. Good idea on the non waterproof, goretex just keeps the moisture inside your shoes. Quick draining shoe/sock setup is where it's at, as you will litteraly be hiking for days in rivers. If you want to take it to the extreme, thin dress socks drain and dry even quicker than merino (merino for me though)

I hung with an EE revelation 20 quilt and a gossamer gear thinlight hammock pad, using my rain jacket as a pillow and it was plenty warm for the whole trip. Only had to sleep with all of my clothes on a few times. In the colder, more exposed areas there are usually huts.

I highly recommend this book for just all around becoming more smart about thru hiking:

u/doh_tee_horne · 2 pointsr/hiking

Buy this book and read it before you spend any money. This will give you a great idea of how to squeeze a lot of enjoyment out of hiking & backpacking (IMO). It might not all appeal to you, but there are some real great tips and philosophies in here that will help a new hiker.

ultralight backpackin’ tips

u/PoundNaCL · 2 pointsr/AppalachianTrail
u/seemslikesalvation · 2 pointsr/hammockcamping

Check out Derek's technique for split skins in his book; it works great, and bonus: it keeps your tarp from getting super wrinkled when you just cram it into the skin.

u/seanomenon · 2 pointsr/onebag

This is something I've thought about a lot. I've only managed it for overnight trips, I like clean underwear too much. But if nothing else, it is a fun thought experiment and helps you get the bag even lighter. Your list of things that you absolutely must bring gets a lot shorter if it's all going in your pockets.

You might find some interesting info in the world of ultralight backpacking. It's very different, but oddly the same.

These are people who go wilderness camping with a 10lb or less base pack weight. (Base weight = not including the food and water you'll consume during the trip.) You don't need to bring food, bedding and shelter, so you're a step ahead.

One ultralight trick is to repackage toiletries, to bring just enough toothpaste, deodorant, hair gel, etc., for the trip. Small bottles and contact lens cases are great for this.

The best book I've read on it is Ultralight Backpackin' Tips. It's fun and funny but is also full of cool ideas.

u/Benny_Lava · 2 pointsr/Hammocks

I purchased an inexpensive hammock (ENO Double Nest) as a test. I put a couple of heavy-duty lag screw eyes in my bedroom ceiling, for a "test hang" in the privacy of my home, without worrying about weather, bugs, etc. That was six months ago, and I still sleep in it every night.

I do intend to get a different hammock for camping, and all the related gear (tarp, whoopie slings, bug net, etc.)

Have you found Hammock Forums yet? One of their members wrote a book on hammocks, that I've found invaluable. It's called "The Ultimate Hang", by Derek Hansen. I got my copy from Amazon.

u/DonGeronimo · 2 pointsr/AskReddit
u/CourierOfTheWastes · 2 pointsr/zombies

i actually posted about the bible.

>Ignore the bible (Unless you're religious, then add whatever scripture you like. Make sure it's waterproof or at least compact. Ill have This Book)

And you're probably right about the bible.

And cash is great in the first few days after SHTF. If stores wont take it, some idiot will. Money, even today, is only worth what we believe it is worth. Otherwise it is still cloth paper....but even after the dead rise, SOMEBODY will believe it worth something.

u/GemJump · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

Lighten Up! - A book about effectively preparing backpacking gear to prevent injuries and strain.

Thanks for the contest /u/Internal_Cannon!

u/fireflygirlie · 2 pointsr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

These aren't under $5, but definitely worth getting and HAVING. I've been increasingly interested in surivalism (as a result of hanging out with my paranoid dad), so definitely get these books:

u/grantizzle · 2 pointsr/Hammocks

Buy this book

it is a very quick and informative read and it will answer all your questions. seriously.

u/Kiarnan · 2 pointsr/myog

We were tagging three 4000 footers somewhat near Zealand falls... First night we night hiked and climbed Mt. Hale, then we continued night hiking til almost 3 am lol...there was almost a full moon and coming through the section of the AT where it meets the Zeacliff trail was epic at 1am with almost a full moon shining on the talus fields below Whitewall Mountain. We then camped for the night a little past that section after an exhausting bushwack looking for a legal spot off trail. We spent the next night at an overflow spot off of the AT and waited out most of the rain that day. The next day the weather cleared and we climbed Mt. Tom and Field. Was a great trip :D

Ya you should definitely give hammocks a try sometime! A few tips to ensure that you have a chance at good nights sleep in a hammock...make sure that you are using a hammock that is at least 10.5 feet long...11 foot is even better. Anything shorter than that is only really good for lounging in, not sleeping (in my and many other's opinion). You need a proper length hammock to get a good diagonal lay, which is the position that most people find the most comfortable. With a good diagonal lay, you can get your body almost completely flat (as opposed to laying in the hammock like a bananna, which is not comfortable for most folks). You will find that you have a dominant side that you like to position your body which usually corresponds to your dominant for example, I am left handed and I find it most comfortable to have my feet to the left and my head to the right. A lot of right handed people find that laying the opposite (feet right, head left) is more comfortable for them though. You just have to play around to figure out which position works for you.

Hang angle is also very important in achieving a comfortable position. Your suspension should typically be around 30 degrees to the tree, although I find I like my head end a few more degrees than that. Make lots of micro adjustments to find what is ideal for you. Also, most folks find it more comfortable to have the foot end slightly higher than the head end so that you are not slipping down towards the bottom of the hammock all night. I like to find trees that are spaced about 7 paces between them.

Some sort of bottom insulation is quite necessary to stay warm unless it's around 70 degrees or above. On the ground we lose heat due to conduction, but when hanging we lose heat due to convection. A simple CCF or inflatable pad will do the trick for sure but nothing beats an underquilt for comfort and simplicity...pads work but there is much more "fiddle factor" involved in getting them where you want them, and that process starts over when you get out and back in... but it's totally doable and not that bad... but an underquilt will forever spoil you after using one.

I highly recommend reading Derek Hansen's book The Ultimate Hang before embarking on a journey into the world of's a fun, easy read and will give you all of the essential info that you need.

Regarding the weight issue, while it is true that you will be probably be able to go the absolute lightest with a ground setup using something like a torso length GG CCF pad and minimalist tarp etc., you can go pretty darn light with hammock setups these days using something like a hammock made of the 1 ounce per yard fabrics like Hexon 1.0 with a partial bug net (a Dutchware Half-wit or an add on net like the HUG available at Arrowhead Equipment) , Dutch's new Dyneema 2.0 straps, whoopie slings and an 11 ounce partial length underquilt like a Hammock Gear Phoenix 40 degree. That is essentially my setup at the moment (with a few different tarps that I swap out depending on weather conditions). I've been rocking my whole setup in a GG Kumo with no hip belt and am usually right under a 10 pound baseweight for warm weather loadouts. The slight weight penalty that my hammock setup incurs over ground setup has been totally worth it to me because it has translated into a very consistent sleep experience and has really opened up so many new camping locations. I find that a hammock setup under a tarp is so much more enjoyable when having to ride out a storm as well...the hammock can be used a super comfortable seat to do all sorts of camp chores from. If you take one side of the hammock and fold it over on itself it makes super comfortable seat (you do this to avoid the feeling of the hammock pressing into behind your knee when sitting in it normally). Poor drainage is not as much of a concern as well in a hammock setup which is another huge plus.

My last tip would be expect that your first few trips using a hammock are going to be learning experiences and you may not get it right the first few times. It can take a few trips to get your setup dialed in, but once you do, it's amazing! I'd be happy to answer any questions that you have and I am sure that many of the other hammock users around here would as well. Happy hanging :D

u/meommy89 · 1 pointr/Ultralight

I found the inspiration in this book: Ultralight Backpacking Tips , Mike Clelland

If you go this route. Measure twice, cut once. I snipped a couple straps that probably could have stayed.

u/Fidel_Astro · 1 pointr/vandwellers

Whoops here ya go

u/fuckthepatirarchy · 1 pointr/CampingandHiking

So first of all pick up:


It will answer a lot of your questions.


Second of all I can't speak for Big Sur or Sequoia but in my experience you can often get away with camping in Los Padres or Inyo in real car camping sites without paying for anything. Kinda found out by accident that at least mid week there's no one around to take your money. You're expected to have a wilderness pass but we didn't and nothing ever happened.

u/thermidorian · 1 pointr/preppers

SAS Survival Handbook

Wilderness Medicine

Where There Is No Doctor

First Aid For Dogs

These are the ones I have. The SAS Survival guide is great for general survival know-how. Wilderness Medicine and Where There Is No Doctor are both great resources on field medicine and first aid. I got First Aid For Dogs because I probably wouldn't go anywhere without my dog and I want to be able to take care of him like he's part of the family.

If you buy all these off Amazon, then they will give you many more suggestions on good resource books. These are just the ones I keep ready and good overviews of many different scenarios.

u/urs7288 · 1 pointr/Ultralight

Take this along:

and you will read about "trail shock". Don't worry.

I usually keep myself so busy hiking, cooking, setting up camp, breaking camp, hiking on, taking pictures, no time to feel lonely or homesick, just busy busy and then dead tired...

I avoid music or any urban entertainment. Listening to the noises of nature and enjoying the generally more quiet environment is part of why I hike.

HAPPY trails then!


u/ChiefMcClane · 1 pointr/Random_Acts_Of_Amazon

I recommend surplus Army .50 ammo cans for your cache! Those are fantastic.

People that have robbed banks have used those to store weapons and money in remote caches I'm the woods.

I recommend either
U.S. Army Ranger Handbook: Revised and Updated Edition by Army


SAS Survival Handbook, Revised Edition: For Any Climate, in Any Situation by John 'Lofty' Wiseman

u/travellingmonk · 1 pointr/CampingandHiking

You may want to check out the "Dummies" or "Idiot's" books. Not to say you are either, just that they really are good books... it's unfortunate that there's a stigma attached to them. You might want to go to B&N or your local library and just read through them rather than ask someone to buy them.

Camping for Dummies

The Complete Idiot's Guide to Backpacking and Hiking

The Backpacker's Handbook has been recommended, but I haven't read it myself.

The Complete Walker; I read this 30 years ago(?) A great reference.

And of course Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills

M:FotH is a comprehensive tome, which may be a bit advanced for someone who is starting out with some car camping. As the name implies, it's aimed towards mountaineers, with sections on rock climbing, belaying, first aid, mountain safety... as a beginner you might pick up some invaluable information, but most of it may be far beyond what you need, it might be a bit overwhelming. Though you may be the type that just loves to soak up everything you, in which case it's a great reference.

If you want to check it out, the Kindle version of the 8th edition has a "Look Inside" which lists the sections and chapters, and has a bit of the first chapter. The latest 9th ed doesn't have the "Look Inside" yet.

u/biggyww · 1 pointr/CampingandHiking

This is a topic that is incredibly well covered by everyone who has ever slept an evening in a hammock. You should have read something, anything, about hammock camping before you tried it. I struggle to muster any sympathy, and all I'll do to offer help is [this] (

u/yamichi · 1 pointr/preppers

I'm newer to this but also live in WA state and intend to "bug in" rather than out in a shit scenario.

SAS survival guide is awesome so far. I'm reading through it and I got a spare copy to keep in my SHTF can.

As a nooby hunter, I grabbed this one too- "Basic butchering of livestock and game"

also "A guide to canning, freezing, curing, and smoking meat, fish, and game."

I'd say that Ed and Jack there are a bit overzealous. You SHOULD have these books and be reading them before SHTF but the idea that books are worthless is... stupid, frankly. In the first 72 hours? Sure. You need to KNOW what you're doing to make it through the first couple days. But if the power goes out or something, what else are you going to do? You're gonna get bored and keeping your mind busy is a big step toward not going crazy. Keeping your mind busy on stuff that will HELP rather than sudoku makes a lot more sense to me.

Anyway- First aide, food, resource storage/gathering, and defense are the ways to go, IMO.

u/darkmooninc · 1 pointr/AskReddit

Something like this

u/Mr_Wendal · 1 pointr/AskReddit

If you go into an outdoors/sportsman outlet, you could ask some of the employees where you can get some lessons in your community, or find a local orienteering club. Learning from a text resource gives you the foundation, but you should not try and get lost to see if you can find your way out with that sort of knowledge. By working with the right people and equipment in a real life environment you will learn many strategies and tips, and may even pick up a new hobby. "Survival for dummies" actually has quite a good orienteering section in it for instrument use, and "oh shit i don't have a map or compass" situation.

EDIT: here is the book. Im a fairly experienced outdoorsman and found this book quite helpful in some areas. Especially on finding direction with no compass, and how to deal with psychological factors of being in a survival situation. They have it in the iTunes book store. Could be a good one to have on the iPhone if you happen to have that with you.

u/GCanuck · 1 pointr/AskReddit
u/Freelancer47 · 1 pointr/zombies

Zombie related: The Zombie Combat Manual by Roger Ma. The Walking Dead By Robert Kirkman. Zombies( by Don roff

Survival Related: The SAS Survival Guide, The Ultimate Sniper by (Ret.) Col. J. Plaster, The Emergency-Disaster Survival Guidebook.

I know it's not a book. The Colony is an interesting watch if you ever get some time to sink in information.

u/Natural_Law · 1 pointr/Ultralight

That's just a free image floating around on the internet draw by Mike Clelland.

I HIGHLY recommend his Ultralight Tips book. His illustrations are hysterical and he's been a NOLS instructor all his life (so he knows whats up). I actually learned to telemark (backcountry) ski and winter camp using some of his older books (and amazing drawings).

I don't get any money from anyone for recommending it, but I bought mine here:

u/xrobin · 1 pointr/Ultralight

This is the early edition I have, which is the one I'm referring to in terms of historical context. Years later he released an updated edition of it with some changes and a different title. If I remember right, it's less focused on PCT planning and more about taking his philosophy on any trail. Then years later he released a version of that one with color photographs and a few more updates and a new title. So it depends on if you want the version with historical interest or the one with more updated info or the one with updated info and color photographs.

u/drama-guy · 1 pointr/AppalachianTrail

I dream about it daily... family and financial commitments hold me back... for now.

Steve Adams (Mighty Blue) was in your position when he hiked it in 2014. He wrote a book - Hiking The Appalachian Trail Is Easy: Especially If You've Never Hiked Before. The ebook is $2.99 or if you comb through old episodes of his podcast (Mighty Blue on the Appalachian Trail) he reads the entire book over the course of several episodes.

u/amazon-converter-bot · 1 pointr/FreeEBOOKS

Here are all the local Amazon links I could find:

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u/FIRExNECK · 1 pointr/Ultralight

Trail Life? That sounds familiar, OP!

u/kinohead · 1 pointr/backpacking

Congratulations! I think it's very cool that you're going to be setting out to do this. I've thought about it. I don't think very many people have thru hiked this trail. There's a book about a couple who did it that might be worth trying to hunt down. The name escapes me, but it obviously has "Bruce Trail" in the title.

I would really suggest trying to go light weight with gear. Check out r/ultralight. I've found it MUCH tougher to go ultralight with gear from Canada than the States. I suggest giving this book a read for consideration:

Also, here's an interesting article about someone who thru hiked it:

SO much more, but good luck!

u/ajtrns · 1 pointr/Ultralight

Yes. In excessive detail:

While squatting over a cathole, 6" or deeper, you shit into the hole, then you wipe most of the shit off your ass with a smooth stone, clump of foliage, or paper product. You deposit that in the cathole with the rest of the shit.

Then you scoot to the side a bit and use water to wet your hand (for modern humans, usually the right hand -- left hand holds the water bottle), with the cathole catching the rinse water. With your wet hand (index and middle finger usually) you wipe your anus, rinse your fingers, wipe, rinse, repeatedly. Anus is now as clean as it would be after taking a soapless shower or using a bidet. Which is to say, more clean than just wiping with paper (the old saying: "if you got shit on your arm, would you just wipe it with toilet paper and call it good? no, you'd wash it off.")

Then you've got your right hand. Two fingers are rinsed off but not hygienic. Dry that hand with a bit of paper towel or grass, dry your ass, deposit in cathole. Then disinfect your hands. Some people use wet wipes for this and other parts of the process. I use alcohol gel, hospital-style. Hit the outside of the gel bottle and the water bottle while you're at it. Other people use soap and water.

This is roughly Clelland's method from "Ultralight Backpacking Tips".

(All this is somewhat beside the point. Cholera usually spreads through poorly managed drinking water, not human-to-human fecal-oral contamination.)

u/ovincent · 1 pointr/WildernessBackpacking

This book is the best intro resource I’ve found to teach beginner’s the essentials.

If you don’t have any gear or friends to go with, you might want to try getting a hotel near a destination and doing some day hikes, or try a car camping trip.

Otherwise, just make sure you’re not getting in over your head - don’t go somewhere you don’t know, make sure you have the essentials especially navigation, and have fun!

u/Gnall · 1 pointr/AskReddit

I'd rather have this.

u/VaughnTomTucker · 1 pointr/minimalist

Of all things, the book "Ultralight Backpackin' Tips" (available here, is what inspired me to start down the path of minimalism. It showed me what was truly important to have in that particular hobby, and general tricks on how to look at things and see what's important and why. Once I pared down, I experienced the happiness that comes with having little, yet still what I needed. That snowballed into paring down all my possessions.

Random, but if you like backpacking, could be a good catalyst :-)

u/digit0 · 1 pointr/AskReddit

I would be most concerned with the following:


u/imwillim · 1 pointr/Survival

You may think this is funny, but I really got a lot out of the book Wilderness Survival for Dummies: .
I have started inventorying my survival gear:

This is my "Get Home Bag" with many items that can be used for camping: .

u/windpower10 · 0 pointsr/worldnews

People going for a "drift in a small boat" in the Pacific Ocean generally prepare first