Trail Life back in print

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  • #3731600
    BPL Member


    never got a chance to flip thru the first edition, back in 2009 i was too broke and the local library wouldnt order it. just got my copy of the new edition, apparently the only change is this ones in b&w, and enjoying it immensely so far. big expansion on beyond backpacking for sure, very cool. picked it up off their website, kinda wishing i grabbed the two book package that comes with their tarp book too. anyways, i know the jardines are at times a divisive topic, but i think the wealth of information and strong anti-consumerist DIY vibes packed into this book make it a pretty important read for backpackers today.

    anyone else notice and pick one up yet?

    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member


    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    googled it –

    I read Beyond Backpacking.  Great book.  A lot of good ideas in MYOG that I used.

    Trail Life is an updated version of Beyond Backpacking.

    I tried to copy/paste a bit from that website but for some reason it won’t let me.  Hmmm…  Jardine is sort of paranoid about people copying him, maybe he set up the web page to not allow copying.  Or I’m just and old person barely able to use these new fangled devices : )

    BPL Member


    Locale: Northern California

    I recall Ray Jardine writing, “If I’m on the trail and discover I forgot something, why then I don’t need it!”.  And that made me recall a dream I had the other night, where I was backpacking and realized that I’d forgotten my sleeping bag.

    what would Ray do?

    He also pitched duff as being just remarkably comfy. No need to bring anything beyond a thin blue pad.

    Ummm, Bollocks, as the Brits say.

    I loved Beyond Backpacking and learned a lot from it.

    Diane “Piper” Soini
    BPL Member


    Locale: Santa Barbara

    I read the PCT Thru-hiker’s Handbook. I think it’s still somewhere in this house. I look for it now and then but never can find it. There’s an essay in the back of it on Status Security and Comfort. I’ve wondered if that essay is in Beyond Backpacking or Trail Life.

    Rex Sanders
    BPL Member


    Ray Jardine’s thinking definitely evolved. Like many things in life, there’s good and less good, such as his infamous corn pasta. Influenced my path tremendously, especially when books were still a big deal.

    I’m a complete klutz at MYOG. But because of Ray, I’ve modified most things I carry, and almost never eat pre-packaged backpacking “food.” Glad to see his work back in print.

    Thanks, Ray. Though I’m pretty sure he doesn’t lurk here.

    — Rex

    Steve Thompson
    BPL Member


    Locale: Southwest

    I don’t think I do anything the “Ray way”.  Still his Beyond Backpacking helped me shed 20lbs from my base weight.

    Elliott Wolin
    BPL Member


    Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia

    jscott wrote:

    “He also pitched duff as being just remarkably comfy.  No need to bring anything beyond a thin blue pad.

    Ummm, Bollocks, as the Brits say.”

    I have to disagree, I’ve slept on nothing but thick forest duff and it was uber-comfortable.  It was in the Adirondacks in the summer in a thick pine forest.  The layer of needles on the ground was many inches thick, probably over six inches, maybe more.

    But unless I had really good local knowledge I wouldn’t plan on finding such a ground cover.

    BTW “Beyond Backpacking” was critical in getting me back into backpacking after a long hiatus until our kids became teenagers.  Jardine convinced me that 1) I could make my own gear and afford to outfit five people, and 2) I could drastically lower the weight compared to the monster loads I carried when I was in college, so I owe him tremendous gratitude for that.  The book also indirectly brought me to BPL.  Further, I found “Trail Life” excellent as well, you just have to take some of Jardine’s quirks with a grain of salt.


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