Forum Index » Gear Swap » WTB: Ray Jardine's "Trail Life" book


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David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: Drift on 12/17/2013 23:54:29 MST Print View

For decades, I knew Colin Fletcher's The Complete Walker was a classic and had a significant effect in publicizing and popularizing backpacking to the masses beyond the cadres within the Sierra Club, AMC, etc. but I hadn't read it. When I did recently (I read two different editions), I was impressed by how advanced his strategies were in each edition - he was ahead of the curve on many UL techniques, weighing and measuring everything before selecting gear, and field-testing the bajebbers out of everything. With the kind of miles he did, he had to find efficiencies where he could.

There was, for me, a nostalgic aspect of reading reviews of 20- and 40-year-old gear (packs, stoves, etc) that I grew up with and later upgraded too. And, even with hindsight, I'd agree with almost all of his recommendations of specific makes and models.

Of more general interest and a classic by anyone's definition is his "The Man who Walked through Time" - the story of his 6-month trip, the first ever documented, of the entire length of the Grand Canyon.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Re: Drift on 12/18/2013 00:18:37 MST Print View

All his books are great. Especially the one you mentioned, and his last book "River" where he is very conscious that this might be his last big adventure (turns out it was), and the river becomes a palpable metaphor.

He was very good with both the big and small things. In particular I recall him simply describing in detail what he did when backpacking in a whopping big rain storm, from what was going through his head, and the sequence of step he went through setting up hi tarp, and slowly getting out his core gear and checking things and putting on layers, and making something warm to drink. Somehow he made it riveting. Possibly the little details that drew you in, like how cold and worried he was when he first started and the sensations, both physical and emotional, when he finally knew he was over the hump and was starting to get warmer. It sounds like it should be the most boring thing in the world, but he somehow made it engrossing in a way I'm pretty sure even people not directly interested in backpacking would respond to.

As for the gear, I read III in I guess about 1999 or something, and I remember looking all over the place for "visclamps" to make a DIY tarp, only later discovering that they pretty much had disappeared long before.

Edited by millonas on 12/18/2013 00:28:06 MST.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Drift on 12/18/2013 00:47:59 MST Print View

I feel sorry for the OP, in a sense, but perhaps the drift will open some exploration -- I hope so.

Mark, I have 8 of these left. At one time they were easy to find. Haven't seen them in decades.

Visclamp1

visclamp2

Tony Ronco
(tr-browsing) - MLife
RE: Jardine's Book & More Drift on 12/18/2013 02:09:19 MST Print View

IMO, Jardine's book (Pacific Crest Trail Hiker's Handbook, 2nd edition) managed to have broader impact because ...

1.) he wisely marketed to a specific, dedicated small group of early adopters: PCT thru-hikers. He had creditability with them because he was a thru-hiker himself with multiple thru-hikes.

2.) in 1999 Golite made his designs available to the general backpacking masses (who couldn't or wouldn't sew) and was able to astutely market its benefits to them.

3.) in 1999 ADZPCTKO was started and provided a forum for the sharing of thru-hiker knowledge from those early adopters.

4.) in 1999, Jardine published Beyond Backpacking which broaden the application & marketing of UL to the more general backpacking masses ... the book was also marketed & sold by Golite.

Here's a bit of trivia: In 1992 1st edition Jardine's base weight was 18 1/2 lbs. It his 1994 PCT thru-hike, later documented in his 1995 2nd edition where his base weight was substantially reduced.