Forum Index » Philosophy & Technique » Book: "Hiking Light" by Marlyn Doan, Mountainners 1982!


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Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Book: "Hiking Light" by Marlyn Doan, Mountainners 1982! on 10/22/2013 15:37:22 MDT Print View

I found this book the other day in a thrift store and it shows some of the early stages of modern UL hiking. I have included some quick snapshots of the table of contents. I think it is interesting that the 1982 copyright predates Ray Jardine's first book on UL hiking, "Pacific Crest Trail Hikers Handbook" by a mere FOURTEEN years (1996). Doan covers and echos much of the current UL orthodoxy: lists and weighing, using tarp shelters, CCF pads and all the rest. Of course some of the weights have changed due to new fabrics-- her tarp is 2 pound 9 ounces-- but the techniques are unchanged.

"Hiking Light" by Marlyn Doan, Mountainners 1982!

"Hiking Light" by Marlyn Doan, Mountainners 1982!

"Hiking Light" by Marlyn Doan, Mountainners 1982!

"Hiking Light" by Marlyn Doan, Mountainners 1982!

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Book: "Hiking Light" by Marlyn Doan, Mountainners 1982! on 10/22/2013 15:41:12 MDT Print View

What a fabulous find! Thanks for sharing.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Book: "Hiking Light" by Marlyn Doan, Mountainners 1982! on 10/22/2013 16:16:09 MDT Print View

Yes, nice find, Dale. Lots of us explored the same ideas in the early 80's. Other people had done so much earlier. I did no-tent, no-stove, no-sleeping bag, 9-day high-Sierra trips with a skin-out total weight including food of 29 pounds. The biggest difference between what I did then and now was the pack - I used an external-framed Kelty. Secondly, as you point out, tarps are lot lighter now. Thirdly, CCF or self-inflators are lighter now than the original, orange Thermarests. Those three tweaks would have gotten me down to 23 total pounds for 9 days.

The other thing lacking 30 years ago was easily accessible info (e.g. the internet) to trade tips and philosophies. A lighter this, a DIY that, leaving some things out altogether, etc, collectively have cut my base weight in half.

spelt !
(spelt) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Book: "Hiking Light" by Marlyn Doan, Mountainners 1982! on 10/22/2013 16:25:06 MDT Print View

Dale, this is awesome. Thanks for posting.

Jim Colten
(jcolten)

Locale: MN
Re: Book: "Hiking Light" by Marlyn Doan, Mountainners 1982! on 10/22/2013 16:37:32 MDT Print View

Yet another "there's nuttin new in the world" story! Thanks for sharing.

Readily available at acceptable cost thru Amazon ... will be a fine addition to my historical library.

Barry Cuthbert
(nzbazza) - M

Locale: New Zealand
And not to forget the Backpacker Mag July 1982 article on lightening up on 10/22/2013 17:57:00 MDT Print View

Download link to article here:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=33657&startat=20

1982 was a great year for UL knowledge being published.

Charles G.
(Rincon) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
Book: "Hiking Light" by Marlyn Doan, Mountainners on 10/22/2013 19:20:47 MDT Print View

The Sierra Club published a book titled " Going Light With Backpack or Burro" in about 1953. The book proposed many of the more recently "invented" lightweight ideas. The main difference between then and now is technology. Lightweight backpacking is really nothing new.

Dean F.
(acrosome) - MLife

Locale: Back in the Front Range
Only $3,889 on Amazon! on 10/24/2013 09:24:48 MDT Print View

Some nut wants $3,889 for a hardcover edition on Amazon...

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Only $3,889 on Amazon! on 10/24/2013 18:00:35 MDT Print View

"Some nut wants $3,889 for a hardcover edition on Amazon..."

Nobody ever went broke underestimating the American Public. Somebody'll snap it up.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Re: Book: "Hiking Light" by Marlyn Doan, Mountainners 1982! on 10/24/2013 18:06:31 MDT Print View

May I check that out of your library Dale? I'll pay shipping both ways.

Jim Colten
(jcolten)

Locale: MN
Re: Only $3,889 on Amazon! on 10/24/2013 20:43:16 MDT Print View

"Some nut wants $3,889 for a hardcover edition on Amazon..."

Nobody ever went broke underestimating the American Public. Somebody'll snap it up.


As a matter of fact, that'd be me!

not really ... $0.01 + $3.99 shipping is closer to my price point.

Jim Couch
(JBC) - M

Locale: Cascade Mountains
Light is right on 10/24/2013 23:41:58 MDT Print View

Climbers have been onto lightweight gear for decades.

In the late 70s Yvon Chouinard's book, CLIMBING ICE recommended to "Leave most of the 'ten essentials' and other impedimenta behind..." the idea being to bring only what is absolutely needed, substituting skill and speed for gear.

In 1982 John Bouchard published an article on lightweight climbing, using the phrase "Light is Right: http://www.wildthingsgear.com/blog/portfolio/heritage-light-is-right/

Tony Ronco
(tr-browsing) - MLife
Another 1982 Lighten Up Jewel on 10/25/2013 10:03:16 MDT Print View

In July 1982, Backpacker magazine (yes, Backpacker magazine) devoted most of an issue to going lightweight, with the center piece being on a story about Chuck Kennedy & Fred Williams doing a 5 day, 95 mile hike in the Three Sister's wilderness with base weights of 5.7 lbs, and starting carry weights of slightly less than 15 lbs.

That story & gear list revolutionized my world.
Too bad the lightweight movement back then didn't stay in the mainstream very long.
1982 Cover

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife
Re: Another 1982 Lighten Up Jewel on 10/25/2013 18:20:25 MDT Print View

That's the article that Barry links above.

Tony Ronco
(tr-browsing) - MLife
Re: Another 1982 Lighten Up Jewel on 10/25/2013 19:30:00 MDT Print View

Thanks Ken!
I breezed through this thread too quickly. Following that link, I see you're a fellow enthusiast old enough (wise enough) to have been influenced by that article.

Interestingly, the pdf scan that Sam posted was from me ... it was a topic of discussion between us at the 1st BPL-BSA training session to certify BSA UL leaders.
(My son is in Scouts, so I am involved too. Sam was one of the BPL instructors on that session.) Good class campfire discussions on how to implement UL into Scouting. Unfortunately the "BSA cert" from that class took a year & half to be issued to me, and it was only good for the Montana's BSA Council ... not a lot of credibility elsewhere but that's another topic.

Nice to see that the article lives on in google docs. It certainly helps debunk the "it's only a fad" myth.

BTW, somewhat off topic, Doug Robinson was a slightly earlier pioneer from the same period. His early writings that touched upon going light were rather cutting edge (= about a 12 lb base) ... at the time, my hiking buddy and I spent many hours trying to figure out how he managed to shave a Jensen pack down to 17 oz. Met him years later, and found out: he made his own out of a much lighter material. (doh! so obvious in hindsight)

Edited by tr-browsing on 10/25/2013 19:45:00 MDT.

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
Book: "Hiking Light" by Marlyn Doan, Mountainners 1982! on 11/25/2013 17:04:40 MST Print View

A great find.

If you search around, there are few used at various booksellers for $4 on up.

I would certainly like to read that one for history reasons and would actually buy it from one of the dealers if I wasn't already reducing my library and moving to electronic books.

I doubt it would ever be available in electronic format.

Don Morris
(hikermor) - F
Early BPL Books on 11/25/2013 18:28:16 MST Print View

Another source were the late 1950s catalogs from Gerry. The current technology and materials weren't available then, but the concept was very current. And going even further back into the mists of time, what about Nessmuk et al near the turn of the century?