Friday, January 25, 2013

this warmed my heart

an excerpt from the amazon's book reviews

This review defines 
the very reason I wrote the book!

So I finally got in shape and decided I wanted to start some meaningful hiking trips again. So I made a trip to the hiking store to investigate new gear. And lo and behold ....I bumped into Mike's book by dumb luck while browsing at the book section of the outdoor store. At first I thought the book was totally weird and put it back. But something drew me to return to the bookshelf and I ended up buying the book - almost for more of a gag. I would read a section or two to my wife in the evening before drifting off to sleep and we would make fun snickering at all of the odd and screwey tips such as: use snow to wipe your backside, buy Dirty Girl gaiters, don't leave home with a backpack that weighs much over a pound (my Gregory pack weighed six pounds - empty!) weigh everything on a digital food scale and push for a "base weight" of ten to eleven pounds.

Well, three years on I find myself a full convert to ultralight hiking and I now really enjoy sharing these ultralight ways with others. What has changed? Gone are the four pound (each) Zamberlain leather hiking boots, 6 pound (empty) backpack and the 4 pound tent. My trail runners are now 12 oz, pack 22 ounces, tent 15 ounces, and at the ripe old age of 45 I now easily kick out 20+ mile days in tough terrain and approach 30 miles per day in the easier stuff. My base weight (pack, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, first aid kit, cooking pot, water purification, stove and all clothing) is about 12-13 pounds and with 8 pounds food and fule for four days of hiking i come in at a mere 20 pounds. Best yet, I am comfortable, dry and feel extremely safe with my simple gear. I am also well fed as ever as Mike's recipies (in his book) are healthy, hearty and fun to assemble and serve.

So I say give Mike's book a try and then let his ideas percolate one-by-one into your hiking kit. When you reduce your first hike weight from 45 down to 35 pounds (using just a few of Mike's tips) you will like it. When you then get your pack down to 30 pounds you will love it. When you get all your gear down to 20 pounds (food included!) you will be fanatical about it. After your first hundred mile four day hike (which you will easily complete) you will be eager to spread an appreciation of Mike's book to other overburdened fellow hikers.

For those of us that used to be able to do 20 miles a day with a 50 pound pack back in 1983, but then saw our distances fade to 18, 15, 12 miles per day over the years, this book is a real treat, because now 30 years later we silver foxes can now again easily do the same 20+ mile distances (and even more!) and arrive less tired in 2013 than we ever did in 1983. I expect to have some 30+ mile days in 2013 - all thanks to Mike's book!

          Happy trails!
          - James


Hey, If anyone knows J. Magee from Tacoma,
 give him a HUGE thank you from me!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

I get featured in a newspaper article!

From the Bellingham Herald:

The fastest way to backpack weight loss


From the article:
The first and most important step to lightening your load is purchasing a scale. When I told Clelland that I use my bathroom scale to weigh the entire pack, I got a scolding.

“Go get a scale — or the next time you call, I won’t even answer the phone,” he said, presumably joking. “I’m serious.”

 So I bought a $19 scale and started weighing everything in my pack.