Years ago I read his first, PCT hiking book, and visited his web site. He was a fresh voice with a unique new approach, as I recall it. He inspired me and many others to get onto the now familiar ultralight path.
I ordered his then new book, Beyond Backpacking directly. Disappointingly, it was a re labled, slightly edited version of the book I already had. No doubt further modified in later editions I don't have. I never ordered any of his other publications. I can't see a book on tarp camping. It's just not that complicated, and well, he described it in detail in the two books I own.
If he is indeed in some kind of personal decline, that is very sad, and I wish him a happy farewell into whatever retirement and leisure he can find and enjoy. His ideas were terrific, but in all fairness, they're highly dated at this point. His PCT hiking system is fundamentally unchanged, through several books, through the Golite period, and through the kits for his rather clunky, bulky current iteration of them.
He is evidently highly concerned about plagerism and "theft" of his concepts and designs, which is as it may be from his point of view. I think it is a misplaced, if not irrelevant concern since these ideas have been common knowledge for many years. Others have long since generated ideas and products which are leaps in concept, materials and evolution, far beyond the homemade quilt and tarp ideas which worked so well for the Jardines on the triple crown trails.
Jardine is certainly no philosopher, but he, as all of us, must arrive at a condensation of philosophy, some set of guiding ideas, for our own lives. He is vague (on his site at least) about his actual guiding ideas. He advises going down a personal path and avoiding undue influence by commercialization and mass culture. Not much to criticize here.
I think his most admirable accomplishments are he and his wife's triple crown through hikes, and their most amazing kayak trips in Northern climes. Quite something, deeply inspiring and far beyond all but a few of the rest of our ambitions. That is enough for me. It's an awesome record.
Best, Todd in CC.