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The Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide: Tools and Techniques to Hit the Trail (Anglais) Broché – 21 février 2012

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Description 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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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: 4.6 étoiles sur 5 247 commentaires
63 internautes sur 65 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.
7 internautes sur 7 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Teachings of a Master Hiker. 13 mai 2016
Par BigOakTree - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
I have researched a lot of information on hiking, camping, and distance hiking over the past years and in my searches I happened to stumble across Andrew Skurka. This guy is one of the baddest ultra hikers I have come across. Starting out on the AT in 2002 Andrew quickly began honing his skills to become one of the worlds best.

I came across his google talk and skills clinic concerning some of his many adventurous hikes and the skills developed and applied along the way. The Sea to Sea Route (from the Tip of Maine to the Tip of Washington State) that he solo hiked blew me away. I think it was 7200 miles or so. He averaged 33 miles a day hiking from sun up to sun down completing the unbelievable journey in 11 months.

In this great manual he is walking me through all of the things that he has learned about gear, weather, terrain, environments, food, safety etc. It is packed with his approach to ultra light hiking, and the skills necessary to grow proficient and capable of the same. Of course he has a gift for such travel but the skills and knowledge that he shares will benefit even the novice to the most seasoned hiker. Put it like this ..."I am sure that after 33,000 hiking miles I can believe what Andrew has to say."

This is a National Geographic constructed manual with beautiful illustrations and chock full of great personal stories that help to explain his perspective about gear to use in various hiking, and ultra light hiking scenarios. I am so glad that I found this great book. And thank you Andrew for writing it.

I strongly recommend it.
20 internautes sur 21 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
3.0 étoiles sur 5 I'm conflicted on this one 10 mars 2015
Par Antonio Cangiano - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Format Kindle Achat vérifié
Overall, Skurka has written a fairly enjoyable and useful gear-oriented book. The reason for my three stars has nothing to do with the occasional piece of gear no longer in production, the lack of "war stories", or him being opinionated with a strong slant towards light packing. Even though these all hold true. Furthermore, Andrew comes across as a likable character whose adventurous feats are impressive. He clearly has the knowledge and experience to back up his opinions.

My main issue with the book is that it's really aimed at young, fit hikers who intend to cram as many miles as possible in a given day, over the course of many days, weeks, or months. If you are about to take on the Appalachian Trail, this book will definitely come in handy. However, for regular people interested in day or weekend hikes, you'll find that the book quickly loses value and only few bits are really relevant to you.

I find this focus on "ultimate hikers" a little too narrow. The title can be misleading as well, as it can be read in either of two ways. It's easy to read the word "ultimate" and assume that it refers to the book, as in, "this is the ultimate guide to the best gear for hikers". That's the book I would have loved to read. The ultimate in the title is instead tightly coupled with the word hikers to mean, "this is a gear guide for people who are ultimate hikers". This difference of interpretation yields an entirely different book.

There isn't too much of an emphasis on safety either. If I search my Kindle edition for the words, "flare", "banger", "horn", "bear bells" I get zero results. I'm not asking for a long winded explanation of what to do in case of wildlife attack, but discussing basic gear around the topic would be beneficial. Instead, the only mention we get is on the usefulness of bear spray and the fact that he doesn't like/need to bring guns. Plenty of people reading this book will also hike in snake country, for example, and the book doesn't address the topic of snake proof boots or gaiters, even just to say that they are not a good idea if that's his opinion. (Instead, speaking of gaiters, the book recommends currently out of stock, lightweight gaiters to keep dirt out of your socks). These are just some, perhaps not that useful, examples of how the book's focus on mileage has a negative impact on coverage of topics that might really interest hikers (even if they fall in the category of beginners over preparing and over worrying about dangers which are not really a concern).

This is fundamentally a good book, particularly if your goal is to hike as fast and efficiently as possible over long periods of time. If you are not an "ultimate hiker" however, I believe you can save the money, watch his lecture at Google (just Google it :)) and you'll get the gist of his opinion on the topic.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 A valuable guide from an expert with some questionable ethics 7 mai 2017
Par Nonaligned - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
First of all this is a great book. Skurka is an incredibly experienced, elite backpacker and he gives the sort of direct advice about gear that you rarely get from backpacking books. Still, he's a driven and fanatical niche backpacker who has no problem with leaving behind essentials on New England trails because the routes are busy & OTHER PEOPLE WILL BE CARRYING THEM. This is a "gram weenie" who is willing to let you carry his emergency gear so that he can pack as lightly as possible. He also believes that his phenomenal skill (and his skills *are* excellent) and experience allows him to take preposterous chances. He hikes in the winter with so little gear that if he injured himself and his beacon/radio didn't work he would *definitely* die. Little of this creeps into this book, however--so you're going to get sound guidance from it. Just keep in mind that the man comes from a risky perspective with the sort of arrogance you can expect from the very elite who are try to break records.
1 internautes sur 1 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 I really liked that it doesn't truly focus on specific brands / ... 11 octobre 2016
Par JBaranda - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché Achat vérifié
Outstanding book. I really liked that it doesn't truly focus on specific brands / models (even though Andrew does provide his "Skurka picks") but rather on the pros and cons of each material or type of gear, allowing you to make the call on which to pick depending on the situation. The info in this book allowed me to complete my gear set for a Yosemite backpacking trip (which, btw, I planned using the first chapter as a guideline).
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