Please suggest a book for my wife.
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Jeremy Greene
(tippymcstagger) - F

Locale: North Texas
Please suggest a book for my wife. on 09/14/2008 19:25:41 MDT Print View

Not a chapter for women but a whole book. Must address comfort as well as...I don't know what else it must address. That's why I need a book.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: For hiking? on 09/14/2008 22:25:49 MDT Print View

There are a couple out there that are ok, but nothing really great. How old is your wife? Reason being is there are great books for mature women (say 45+)....but most of the newer books are dumbed down for suburban ladies wanting to (teehee) explore the wilds.

If for getting used to the outdoors in general a book aimed at both guys and gals would be just as good. All the newer girls-in-the-wilds-books add is how to pee and look pretty in the woods. And most people can figure out the peeing ;-)

As for comfort...what is it she wants to know? Besides the usual's of periods, bathroom time and camp baths? Let her know that the forum on Whiteblaze for ladies is a good start! So can be the ladies forum on BP.com - and hey, free is good!

Jeremy Greene
(tippymcstagger) - F

Locale: North Texas
Yes, but gender issues are not "how to" on 09/15/2008 11:30:03 MDT Print View

Age 27. She enjoys walking and being outside.

She has trouble sleeping comfortably then carrying the pack comfortably on day 2. Base camping is not an ideal solution due to its lack of privacy. But there are issues beyond this technical problem.

Her profession is apparel design for women. Ever-changing decorative details are important. There seems to be an aversion to descent into functionalism and lack of daily variety inherent in efficient backpacking. It precludes "girly" (her word). She mentioned she may have to write this book herself.

sarbar, I'll mention those forums to her. Thanks.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
a book for my wife on 09/15/2008 17:45:32 MDT Print View

LIGHTEN UP!

By Don Ladigin

Available here, on this site...

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Yes, but gender issues are not "how to" on 09/15/2008 17:59:36 MDT Print View

Lol....well, honestly? She just needs to get out and get dirty. I know, that sounds dumb - but it is true.

I am at home, as an example, a clean freak. The long shower type, love dressing up, etc - on trail my husband won't be seen with me as I am well known for not caring how bad I stink after a couple days, covered in dirt. Wearing the same outfit for a week - none of which matches of course.

So yeah.....unless she can get over the needs she has (and hey, I have empathy!)...well, there isn't anything wrong with super long dayhikes. ;-)

As for sleeping comfy - this is where the money should be spent. And if it weighs a tiny bit more, so be it. Her sleeping pad needs to be the best you can get, if she needs a pillow, do it. Her sleeping bag as well. A good nights sleep is a hard thing to do without.

I think there can be a good line between ultra UL and comfy light ;-) A person just has to find it.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Wife on 10/15/2008 16:38:16 MDT Print View

Texas women, what can you do with 'em? As far as the sleeping, I'd get her a 2-1/2" inflatable pad from POE, or Big Agnes. As for the rest.......well, good luck with that!

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
book for wife on 10/15/2008 17:24:31 MDT Print View

if people want to argue over which pad is more comfy, knock yourselves out... :)

this book will show you there is a completely different approach, and it isnt rocket surgery OR brain science.

http://speerhammocks.com/Products/HammockCampingBook.htm

hyoh!

Edited by mikeinfhaz on 10/15/2008 17:25:45 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Yes, but gender issues are not "how to" on 10/15/2008 17:38:52 MDT Print View

> Her profession is apparel design for women. Ever-changing decorative details are important. There seems to be an aversion to descent into functionalism and lack of daily variety inherent in efficient backpacking. It precludes "girly" (her word). She mentioned she may have to write this book herself.

Tell her she can't write the book without 'getting to know the enemy'. Tell her there is a challenge there: how to go lightweight backpacking and look pretty with daily variety at the same time.

Mind you, if she takes to backpacking, she may eventually realise the shallowness of the fashion world ...

Cheers

David J. Sailer
(davesailer) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
A couple of ideas and a plug from me too. on 10/15/2008 17:59:36 MDT Print View

OK, some of this is going to sound crassly commercial and way off topic, but maybe not. I mean well.

But first, the sleeping. Check out hammocks: Hennessy, Speer, et al. Provide under-hammock insulation (important!) and you can't beat it. Or make your own. Some ideas are at "Risk’s ultralight hiking" (http://www.imrisk.com/) and Ray Garlington's site ( http://www.garlington.biz/Ray/ ).

I have a book on stoves that some women might like. No, I'm not crazy. It's informative but fun in a crazy way. It even has some recipes, from my own family, and one of the characters is Citron Ella Schmelling, who speaks from the female side of things.

"Fire in Your Hand" ( http://www.amazon.com/Fire-Your-Hand-Ultralight-Backpacking/dp/1438211945/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1212695584&sr=1-1 or http://www.lulu.com/content/2064420)

If she likes food you can try "One Pan Wonders" ( http://www.onepanwonders.com/ ). Again, not a women's backpacking guide, but there's more at Dicentra's site than just food.

Blog ("The Ultralighter") at http://ultralighter.blogspot.com/

David J. Sailer
(davesailer) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
OK, so I missed the obvious too... on 10/15/2008 18:10:55 MDT Print View

Idiot that I am, I'd forgotten I did a blog post on this subject.

Books for Hikers is a pretty little site. It is well designed. It is simple, and to the point. The owner is Linda "eArThworm" Patton.

"Ol' eArThworm is a university reference librarian, retired. Her new career is all trails-and-hiking related," she says. She sounds busy, doing part-time trail maintenance, being a hike leader, working for the Florida Trail Association, and serving as head of an Appalachian Trail Museum committee.

Full post: http://ultralighter.blogspot.com/2008/05/got-bookworms.html

Books for Hikers ( http://booksforhikers.com/ )

"From Ol' eArThworm" blog ( http://trailsbib.blogspot.com/ )

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Hammocks on 10/15/2008 20:27:59 MDT Print View

I think you guys should load up your hammocks and bring them out where I live. We'll see who is most comfy! Caffin's advice was probably the best.

te - wa
(mikeinfhaz) - F

Locale: Phoenix
hammock books on 10/15/2008 21:23:08 MDT Print View

well, if you have trees in North Texas, youre all set!
there is absolutely nothing wrong with trying a hammock, it may change your ideals of backpacking. At any rate, there is pro'lly some great useable info in the Speer book. The guy's been at this for much longer than many of us. And dont listen to the haters.

Edited by mikeinfhaz on 10/15/2008 22:15:30 MDT.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Hammocks on 10/16/2008 10:19:55 MDT Print View

Not saying that hammocks aren't comfy,just saying that in a lot of parts of Texas, you have to carry your own trees with you.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Sleeping and comfort on 10/16/2008 12:39:49 MDT Print View

Sleeping well is probably the most important part of comfort, IMO. I highly recommend Exped DownMats; for the ultimate in comfort, the 9 Deluxe is stellar. Weighs almost 3 pounds, but it's one luxury I feel I need. Might help her quite a bit.

For those of us on the site, peeing and such in the woods isn't a second thought. For a girly girl trying to get into it, you might get her one of those Freshettes (female flow director)... Maybe try some of that No-Rinse shampoo. Shoot, the Sea to Summit pocket shower holds 10 liters and weighs about 4 ounces--you could even use it as a dirty water bag, maybe rig a gravity-feed filter.

Double-wall, "real" tent is usually perceived as more conventional, therefore at least psychologically more comfortable for her.

Every woman in my life has positively glowed about comfort when she crawled into one of my 800+ FP down bags. If you have an ultralight, 30ish degree bag for yourself, many women are concerned about getting cold. Maybe pick up a warmer 10-20 degree bag? Zipping together is good. Maybe get a UL down quilt.

A sample size deoderant stick might help her ease into it. Clothing wise, when I work with fashion-minded gals I stick with the layering concept. In other words, even though you only have one (maybe 2?) t-shirts/baselayer, you can layer different things over that in a combined stylistic and functional manner. If she chooses good "outfits," she won't need to bring too many clothes but stay happy. Maybe think aloud about how some feature of your jacket is awesome or stinks, try to get her thinking about how well her layers are working for her.

A few thoughts to get you started anyway. Cheers-

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Further free advice on 10/16/2008 13:55:30 MDT Print View

The best book by far is Allen & Mike's Really Cool Backpackin' Book (Mike is Mike Clelland, who recommended another of his books above). The authors' theory is that everyone should develop his or her own backpacking style. That's best done by trial and error - take her on a few short, easy trips (Lost Maples in the Hill Country maybe) before recommending any book. Be sure there's an easy bailout if things go wrong. See if you can find out what it is about backpacking that she likes - solitude, sleeping out, top mileage, lightest load, whatever. Then work on what she can contribute to that style with her fashion background. Don't be doctrinaire - I guarantee that it won't be much fun for her or you if she's required to adhere to someone else's preferences.

Linsey Budden
(lollygag)

Locale: pugetropolis
A book suggustion for your wife on 10/16/2008 19:10:33 MDT Print View

While not an UL technique book, she may enjoy "Backcountry Betty: Roughing it in Style". Not to suggest that your wife is high maintenance (or that that is a bad thing), but this book is geared for the novice high maintenance female camper/backpacker and includes all the usual info but with style tips that add panache to the backcountry experience.

Disclaimer: While I enjoyed reading this book, I do not own it and am the antithesis of high maintenance.

Monty Montana
(TarasBulba) - MLife

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Morefurther free advice on 10/17/2008 00:50:19 MDT Print View

All of the above and be sure to introduce her to Merino; tell it's the fashionista thing. And not only that, it don't stink. Girly girls don't like to stink, they like to glow. I bet even Sarah wouldn't be able to pit out Merino...it's the bomb (as you are too, Sarah).

I remember reading a book about a couple who were cycle touring every continent. "Miles From Nowhere" I think. Anyway, when they got to the Continent Down Under they met up with a local who was also touring...wearing high-heeled shoes! Ain't life grand?

Richard Lyon
(richardglyon) - MLife

Locale: Bridger Mountains
Another vote for merino on 10/17/2008 08:47:33 MDT Print View

Merino is an excellent suggestion; the Icebreaker and Ibex websites and gear are as chic as can be - as well as highly functional.

Jeremy Greene
(tippymcstagger) - F

Locale: North Texas
thanks for all the great leads on 10/17/2008 09:33:44 MDT Print View

It took a little while to warm this conversation. I appreciate the thought put into this. The diversity of topics and suggestions is helpful. Even summaries on Amazon of books mentioned here have spun new questions.

My ILLiad que now has more books on this topic than my studies.