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745 Ultimate Hiker's
Gear Guide

Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide - book cover

Over the last ten years or so, an adventurer by the name of Andrew Skurka has emerged as the ultimate hiker. In 2005 he was named Backpacker Magazines "Person of the Year" (sorry couldn't find a link) and in 2007 he was named National Geographic's "Adventurer of the Year." Finally, he wrote a book, but not about his adventures, instead the book tells the secrets as to how he did it - how to be an Ultimate Hiker.

After an introduction, the author immediately jumps into the heart of the matter - are you a hiker or a camper?

Ultimate Hikers love to hike. Hikers wake up and begin hiking and hike until the end of the day. They carry a light pack because they do not need all of the amenities necessary to establish a camp. Ultimate hikers only stop to rest so that they can gain enough energy to hike all the next day.

Ultimate Campers love to camp. They don't want to hike any further than they have to. In fact, the Ultimate Campers carry so much gear that they can't hike far, but once at camp ... well, they love to camp and they have the gear to make it comfy.

Whether you are an Ultimate Hiker, an Ultimate Camper, or somewhere in between, the Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide will be an interesting read.

A few Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide tips ...

The book is a starting point to learn to reduce the weight in your pack.

By carrying less, you will be able to hike further.

As you learn how to hike for a longer period of time each day, you will spend less time in camp and need less gear.

Skurka details his planning procedures. He explains how he decides what to pack on a trip. He definitely does his homework. Not only is he the Ultimate Hiker, but he is also the Ultimate Planner.

Skurka reviews and recommends all of the gear needed for a hike. From tarps, to stoves, to underwear, to salve he explains the gear's use and debunks many advertising claims.

In the last chapter are the gear lists he uses. The lists match the criteria of a specific trip. The lists help teach how to plan a trip.

Throughout the book are Tried & True tips and stories from his adventures. Just wished there were even more.

The greatest asset of the book is showing the importance of planning and gear choice.

Finally, my one complaint - I read the book on an iPad using the Kindle Reader. I was disappointed in the formatting of the ebook (not the authors fault), especially since the book was published by National Geographics. Sometimes, the formatting was even confusing. I would rather have seen the exact duplicate pdf pages of the content, than the chopped up ebook formatting. (Oh, I do not need to increase font sizes to read, though.) Regardless of the formatting, I still really enjoyed the book.

Amy (my wife) said the book might not have the formatting problems if it was viewed on a Kindle - instead of an iPad using the Kindle app.

As a last minute Christmas gift, this would bring a smile to any adventurer. REI still offers guaranteed shipping (until the 21st - I believe) and Amazon has the books on Kindle for an e-Gift.

If you don't get the book for Christmas, you should put it on a wish list to buy as soon as possible. It is that good.

Happy Ultimate Hiker trails


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