Rating: 5 / 5
Ray has done it again!
This is the best and most comprehensive introduction to lightweight and UL backpacking around.
While "Lighten Up" provides a brief, humorous introduction to how UL works, and "Lightweight Backpacking and Camping" is excellent for certain types, no other book can take a skeptical beginner or traditional backpacker and convert them to an UL enthusiast as well as "Trail Life."
Jardine has clearly taken criticisms of his previous book, "Beyond Backpacking", to heart. Gone are the contentious passages and occasional preachy tone. In "Trail Life" he just nails it. He makes it abundantly clear that he is describing what works for him and Jenny, that it took a lot of experimentation to get there, and that everyone should figure out for themselves what works for them.
Once I started I couldn't put this book down (even after having read "Beyond Backpacking" twice, and there is a lot of overlap).
I found the book delightful, and some of the sections were absolute gems. Whether you are a beginner thinking about your first hike, a traditionalist looking to go lighter, a budding through-hiker, or an experienced UL'er, there is something in "Trail Life" for you.