Walking Softly in the Wilderness
Paperback, 528 pages
66 b/w illustrations
This is the groundbreaking guide that first taught backpackers how to enjoy a genuine wilderness experience that leaves nature undisturbed-the "ultimate manual" for wilderness travelers and campers. Since it was last revised in 1998, backpacking gear and practices have undergone many changes, subtle and large-all noted and expertly evaluated by author John Hart in this new edition. The quest to go "ultralight," for example, has introduced new gear choices, such as plastic boots, frameless packs, single-walled tents and shelters, and "softshell" garments that keep you dry as well as warm. Backpacking has also embraced the information age, with downloadable maps, navigation by portable GPS devices, and a world of information available online.
A sure-footed guide to this changing scene, Hart remains in touch with its deeper realities. The qualities that established this guide as the bible of camp and trail have been polished and honed: its level-headed advice on gear selection, packing, and trip planning; its insights for getting the most from a wilderness trip, whether a challenging mountain scramble or a leisurely outing with family; its wisdom about dealing with the unexpected, from bears to flash floods to injuries.
This edition assumes that twenty-first century readers are aware of the importance of "walking softly"; here they will find guidance on the skills needed to safeguard the wildlands they use. Most important of all, every line remains imbued with the joy and satisfaction of travel on one's own two feet in the great outdoors.
Helpful line drawings illustrate topics ranging from selecting gear to bearbagging to rigging a tarp shelter. Extensive resource listings include wilderness agencies, gear suppliers, and online information sources.
John Hart is a veteran conservationist, poet, backpacker, and climber, and the author of Hiking the Great Basin, Hiking the Bigfoot Country, and (with David Sanger) San Francisco Bay: Portrait of an Estuary. He lives in San Rafael, California.