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The Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide: Tools and Techniques to Hit the Trail [Format Kindle]

Andrew Skurka
5.0 étoiles sur 5  Voir tous les commentaires (1 commentaire client)

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Descriptions du produit


I wrote this book from the perspective of an unapologetic Ultimate Hiker, which I define as a backpacker who simply loves to walk. We maximize our on-trail comfort by packing light; we move efficiently from dawn to dusk; and we consider the physical and mental challenges inherent in this style as part of our backcountry experience. Our antithesis is the Ultimate Camper, who hikes only a very short distance in order to do something else, like fishing, journaling, or birding. Neither approach is superior to the other—it’s simply personal preference—but our contrasting styles have major consequences for our gear, supplies, and skills.

My target reader is one who at least sometimes wants to be more like an Ultimate Hiker. You need not take this approach on every future trip or take it to the extreme that I do, but you must want to enjoy the hiking component of your back- packing trips more. This book may be most valuable for beginners and intermediates, who are too often relegated to the status of Campers-by-Default. These backpackers lack the knowledge and skills to pack lightly and move efficiently, which makes hiking more strenuous and less fruitful than it should be. To avoid a sufferfest, they instead opt to camp.

I have intentionally refrained from describing this text as a “lightweight backpacking” book. Although weight is an important consideration for the Ultimate Hiker, we must also be concerned with the comfort, safety, durability, efficiency, and best use of our gear. Moreover, it’s possible to go “stupid light,” whereby desperate weight savings can have adverse effects.

My hope is that this book will become the go-to manual for back-packing how-to, a modern successor to Colin Fletcher’s The Complete Walker. An original 1968 copy of that classic sat on the corner of my desk for inspiration while I wrote this manuscript. I wanted my book to be credible, informative, and occasionally just a good read. And while my recommendations are based on my extensive hiking experience, I’m not a backpacking guru—remember that you must always exercise your own judgment in evaluating the applicability and utility of the information in this book based on your own ability, experience, and comfort level. I readily admit that there are alternative tools and techniques that will achieve similar outcomes.

At the risk of outdating this text quickly, I felt that it was important to include specific brands, products, prices, and weights. On numerous occasions, I advocate the use of unconventional items—like frameless backpacks, tarps and tarp tents, and alcohol stoves—that are not made by conventional out- door companies or sold by conventional outdoor retailers. But by focusing on the gear type—not on the specific product—I hope that the information in this book will remain valuable long after the prod- uct itself disappears from catalogs and store shelves.

Revue de presse

"[Andrew] Skurka, Outside magazine's 2010 'Adventurer of the Year,' packs his comprehensive guide with practical information about the best clothing, footwear, trekking poles, backpacks, sleeping bags, knives, shelter systems, and cooking gear that will help you plan your next trip."
--Scouting Magazine

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Commentaires client les plus utiles
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Awesome book 12 mai 2014
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
For a beginner or even a pro consumer, you need this. For you, others, etc, any doubts about something, have a look! Well explained, not expensive. I read it often, bits by bits.
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Amazon.com: 4.5 étoiles sur 5  162 commentaires
121 internautes sur 130 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Truly Useful 28 mars 2012
Par Clarke Green - Publié sur Amazon.com
My first backpacking trip was a hike to a trail shelter in Shenandoah National Park in the early seventies. My brother and I carried frame-less canvas backpacks with webbing shoulder straps that my dad padded with upholstery foam. I don't recall the sleeping bags or much else about the gear we used because my brother and I were much more interested in the creek near the shelter.

Dad poured over Colin Fletcher's new book The Complete Walker and so did I. We studied his techniques and emulated them. We wrote away for catalogs and made a few pilgrimages to Vienna Virginia from our home in Fall's Church to a backpacking and camping gear shop (what was the name of that place?) to buy what we could afford and that wasn't much.

Forty years later we are inundated with a torrential stream of gear and advice making the `right' choice of either nearly impossible. Colin Fletcher's simple gospel has fractured into dogmatic schisms, each with their holy book, magazine or website. Now there are backpackers, lightweight backpackers, ultralight backpackers and many flavors in between. I've read many backpacking books, tons of articles and blog posts and have grown tired of their often circular logic, rehashed advice and wondered if advertising dollars skewed their opinions.

Andrew Skurka's new book The Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide will change the way how we sling a pack on our backs and hoof it into the wild just as Fletcher's Complete Walker once did. Fletcher's first books recorded his monumental treks (The Thousand Mile Summer and The Man Who Walked Through Time) and these expeditions resulted in The Complete Walker. Skurka's stunning 30,000 miles of trekking over the past decade have resulted in The Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide. His writing is as focused, practical and essential as his twenty pound pack - there's nothing in it you don't need.

Skurka's writing may lack Fletcher's prosaic warmth but it's a great counterpoint to a lot of outdoor how-to books that, in their attempt at warmth, become cloying and unfocused.

The first section of the book asks and answers the questions that many don't think to ask until they are out on the trail with too much and/or too little gear, blistered feet, and soaking wet with no hope of getting dry; why am I doing this? Skurka uses his first real backpacking experience (a through hike of the Appalachian trail!) to explain what you are getting yourself into. He offers direction and advice that, if heeded, will save readers a great deal of discomfort.

An extensive analysis of the construction, function and use of gear follows. Skurka explains why and how things ought to work in a way that makes choosing gear relatively painless. While he does mention of specific models and manufacturers he goes well beyond the model number. The final section of the book offers gear lists for several different environments.

If you don't think this sounds like anything new in one way you are right; there isn't much new information in the guide because you don't really need new information. When the Complete Walker was published forty plus years ago there were only a handful of books on the subject; now the amount of information out there can bring your trip planning and gear research to a standstill of indecision.

In this age of limitless information I value expert advice and observation presented between the covers a book. Those covers ward off distractions and focus our attention on information that really matters.

The Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide is my new go-to resource for backpacking gear information: it's truly useful.
33 internautes sur 34 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Worthwhile for both beginner and experienced hikers 23 mai 2012
Par Michael Brochstein - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Broché|Achat vérifié
I had my doubts when I first bought this book. My background is that I am an experienced hiker / hike leader (but not backpacker), long time avid reader of Backpacker magazine (and other relevant material), WFA graduate etc etc. I figured that the parts of this book that covered topics relevant to hiking would simply be review for me. I was wrong. While I was familiar with a fair amount of what is covered in the book, there was more than enough that I learned to make reading it worthwhile (and it is a fast reading book).

This book should not be thought of as a complete guide to hiking, the only book you'll ever need. It concentrates on gear and clothing (hence its name). It will not teach you how to read/use a trail or topographical map or a compass, GPS, Wilderness First Aid, physical conditioning, and plenty of other types of knowledge that could be worthwhile to know when one is hiking or backpacking.

One other reviewer thought that a lot of the text was like reading "techno babble" and yes, a fair amount of the text discusses the technical and practical attributes of various gear and clothing options. This is, after all, as the title says, a book about gear. Likewise, Consumer Reports doesn't simply say that item X is better than item Y, it also explains the issues that led to their ratings. I think that most people interested in learning about the various gear and clothing options for hiking/backpacking will find the level of "techno babble" to be both reasonable and worthwhile (but your mileage may vary). Overall I think the author is very very good at explaining in plain english the relevant technical aspects of the gear/clothing discussed. If you're making the gear/clothing decisions then the material in this book is quite relevant.

The author has strong opinions about clothing and gear (he tends towards the ultra-light end of gear preferences) and at times will share them with the reader while he explains various gear and clothing options. While the author certainly has more experience than I do and is quite reasonable and logical with his reasoning about his preferences I believe that while some of his preferences may indeed be best for him, there can be excellent reasons why someone else (including me) could make different choices. Fortunately, the author is good at fairly discussing the various options even if he seems to have definite preferences.
35 internautes sur 38 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 A New Benchmark 6 mars 2012
Par Anonymous - Publié sur Amazon.com
I read, last year on Andrew Skurka's webpage, that he was attempting to write an update to Colin Fletcher's "The Complete Walker". I was surprised at the audaciousness of his goal, but now I have read his new book and I feel that he has succeeded in setting a new benchmark for the first time since Fletcher. Whether a beginner or an experienced hiker, Skurka's new book should be the next hiking-related purchase that anyone makes. It can save you years of trial-and-error and thousands of dollars in less-than-optimum gear purchase decisions.

"The Ultimate Hiker's Gearguide" succinctly relates the current state-of-the-art in hiking gear and skills. Although he is not bound by it, Skurka is definitely a student of the "ultralight" school of hiking. Started 25-30 years ago by Ray Jardine (who is still active and still sells kits to make his excellent equipment designs; [link deleted by Amazon]), the history and current state of this movement is well documented in a recent series of seven essays by Ron Moak ([link deleted by Amazon-- see the website for Six Moons Designs]). For those who wish to continue the "old school" (I am about half and half, myself), Fletcher and others are still available, and the outdoor industry is still selling heavy boots, double-walled tents, and zippered sleeping bags.
48 internautes sur 59 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Reads like stereo instructions. 23 février 2012
Par Emil - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format:Format Kindle|Achat vérifié
First off it is a fantastic book for those just getting into backpacking. It is packed (pun intended) with information. In fact, I now know more about goose down vs synthetic fill than I may have ever wanted to.

Overall, reading this book cover to cover is tedious. Andrew's first hand accounts are few and far between, but when they do occur are like a breath of fresh air. His "Skurka's Picks" are the highlight of the book. Everything else just reads like techno babble for the uninitiated. I was really hoping for more of his insight not indepth fabric specs that most of those with atleast some gear experience are already aware of.

Also, it is very short for an "ultimate" guide, less than 300 pages. If it was more entertaining I would have finished it in a few hours. I purchased the Kindle Fire version and I wonder if the book was even looked at by an editor. There are many errors in the text and the format doesn't seem very professionally done.

For ten bucks I would still make the purchase again, there is a lot to learn here depending on your skill level. My expectations were just too high.
12 internautes sur 13 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 Broad coverage, lacks depth 16 mars 2013
Par Amazon Customer - Publié sur Amazon.com
Overall I liked this book. The single most important thing to take away is that you need to know your outdoor style - "Are you primarily a Hiker or a Camper?"

Once you know that, your gear choices start to fall in place. The book is very easy to read and one of the things it does very well is that it explains the meaning behind a lot of product material jargon that gets thrown at you when you are trying to decide on gear. Skurka also explains his own system of managing logistics while on longer trips and that was very interesting. I wish it covered more depth. If you are new at hiking/camping, this book is a must-read before you make expensive purchases.
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