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414 Lighten Up - Review 2011-06-08

Lighten Up book

Lighten Up, written by Don Ladigin and illustrated by Mike Clelland is filled with tested methods to lighten your backpacking load. Gone are the days of having to carry a fifty pound pack, with today's gear that is available, under twenty pound loads are easily attained.

As a review, these are samplers of advice from each of the seven parts of the book ...

Part 1: Understanding Lightweight Backpacking - Weigh absolutely everything and then choose the lightest to put in your pack.

Part 2: The Big Three - Sil-Nylon is not flame retardant. Keep it away from fires.

Part 3: The Efficiently Dressed Hiker - Add water repellency to any wind shirt for a lightweight rain jacket.

Part 4: The Major Consumables - Choose lightweight water containers. There is no need to add to the weight of water, it is heavy by itself.

Part 5: The Small Necessities - Use povidone-iodine to reduce odor causing bacteria. A treatment lasts for a few days.

Part 6: On the Trail - Practice the quick start. Get up, pack and start walking. After some distance, stop to eat breakfast.

Part 7: Back Home Again - When unpacking at home, sort the gear you had in the pack into three piles - items used daily, occasionally, and not at all. Make sure the 'not at all' items don't make it back into your pack on the next trip.

The book strikes a compromise between the hard core ultra-light backpackers and the traditional backpacker. If you are still unsure whether you are ready to get rid rid of the cast iron skillet and Kelty D7 external frame pack, this book will get you started thinking, 'maybe, I don't need to carry an eighty pound pack..."

Also, Mike Clelland's illustrations are great, as usual.

Lighten up and hike further and faster. It puts the fun back in backpacking.

Happy lighter trails


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