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Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Lightweight Backpacking Long Ago on 12/08/2009 17:46:16 MST Print View

I'm sure I'm not the first to see this, but I found a great book called "Going Light With Backpack Or Burro" that was published way back in 1951. It is truly amazing how much of what we discuss now was around back then. Available for free viewing here: http://www.archive.org/details/goinglightwithba002640mbp

Any other "old school" knowledge or interesting backpacking history available out there?

Charles G.
(Rincon) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
Lightweight Backpacking Long Ago on 12/08/2009 18:47:04 MST Print View

Yeah, I have a copy, bought it when it first came out. I used a lot of the ideas in the book when I thru-hiked the JMT in 1954.

Chris W
(simplespirit) - MLife

Locale: WNC
Re: Lightweight Backpacking Long Ago on 12/08/2009 18:53:05 MST Print View

Horace Kephart had Camping and Woodcraft published in 1906.

I got a pristine 1941 copy off ebay a while back.

John Whynot
(jdw01776)

Locale: Southeast Texas
Re: Lightweight Backpacking Long Ago on 12/08/2009 18:54:05 MST Print View

>>Any other "old school" knowledge or interesting backpacking history available out there?

The Backpacker by Albert Saijo from 1977, focused on lightweight and simplicity.

Brian Camprini
(bcamprini) - MLife

Locale: Southern Appalachians
Lightweight Backpacking Long Ago on 12/08/2009 19:19:59 MST Print View

Charles--jmt class of 54 huh? I'll bet you laugh at us young'uns with our supposedly newfangled gear...lol.

Cool stuff--I'll check out some of these other books.

I was surprised that they talked about twin aluminum stays in a rucksack, inflatable pads, etc, 60 years ago. I really thought those were innovations in the 70s and 80s. I guess we really aren't all that smart nowadays--just have some better materials to work with :-0

Edited by bcamprini on 12/08/2009 19:23:23 MST.

David Olsen
(oware)

Locale: Steptoe Butte
Re: Lightweight Backpacking Long Ago-Nessmuk on 12/08/2009 19:35:56 MST Print View

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_W._Sears

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Lightweight Backpacking Long Ago on 12/08/2009 23:23:10 MST Print View

Henry David Thoreau got the Less is More philosophy down in 1845. Then again, the African Bushmen and Native Australians would kick our butts and make change.

Richard Gless
(rgless) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Lightweight Backpacking Long Ago and Now on 12/08/2009 23:38:38 MST Print View

A lot of it is about innovation around materials and how to use them. My first attempt to "lighten up" was to get a magnesium frame instead of aluminum on my first CampTrails pack. Then the space age nonslip rubber made it to climbing shoes and the standards went way up. Then silnylon and cuben came along. Just needed someone to try it out. What is/will be the next step in UL materials?

Chris Nott
(ChrisN) - F

Locale: Canada west coast
Re: Lightweight Backpacking Long Ago on 12/09/2009 12:54:19 MST Print View

"Going Light With Backpack Or Burro" was reprinted in the Sierra Club annual for a while. I have a 1968 copy which contains the full text (makes up 2/3 of the book), a list of upcoming trips and some more gear advice done in a very rough draft format that is interesting to read. I also have a reprint of Horace Kephart's "Camping and Woodcraft" and the Albert Saijo book (though my copy is from '71). Also in my collection is a first edition first printing of Colin Fletcher's "The Complete Walker" ('68), a 2nd printing of Harvey Manning's "Backpacking: One Step At A Time" ('76?) and another book that I can't remember the name of from 1977. I have some magazines including Backpacker #8 (winter '74) and a few from 1979. I love reading about early backpacking. The one thing that impresses me is that the average pack weight hasn't changed - people just carry more or more complex gear.