12 Steps To A lighter Pack - Book Review
Time to add some real content to this blog now that my introduction is out of the way. Since I am stuck inside for the next few days, the wife has job training; I will start off with a simple book review.
A little Background
12 Steps to a Lighter Pack is written by Steven Lowe, an outdoorsman looking to reducing his pack weight. Having served in the Military I can relate to always carrying around a heavy pack and the desire to reduce that weight. So on a whim, and needing something new to read, I borrowed this book through the kindle lending library for free (as an eBook). There are 65 pages, which provide a quick and easy read. However, this book is clearly a book meant to build excitement over the author’s next full book, which as far as I can tell has not been published. This is a good book but not necessarily a great book. You can also check out Steven's website at www.swlowe.com, but it is a little light on content at the moment.
Aims and Purpose
The book provides general information for creating a lighter pack/reducing your packs weight, and frequently repeats “every ounce counts”, which seems to be the motto of many in the ultralight hiking community. The author intends for the reader to view the steps as a thinking exercise and create strategies of reducing weight through the use of dual purpose items, lighter items that perform the same job, and leaving non-useful items at home. Teaching the reader to streamline their pack is the key point to this book through and trial and error and a maybe using a little fore thought. Once the individual has a few trips under their belt, this system is intuitive and can help determine items that are not used. When using the strategy described above the positives of this book far outweigh the few negatives of the book.
A Few Negatives
The author provides some suggestions for decreasing weight, but many of the suggestions are expensive, minuscule in weight reduction, or odd, but if “every ounce counts” eventually you can get a little lighter. Furthermore, many of the ideas presented can be found easily with a quick Google search. Finally, my largest issue with the book is that it appears to tell readers to stop packing certain safety items if not used throughout the trip. This includes compass, first aid kit, sunscreen, and bug spray. I feel like the author meant to retouch the importance of these items but it just did not happen.
Now for my soapbox moment, never leave an item, especially for the sake of minor weight reduction, which could prove valuable to your safety/survival, even if it is rarely used.
I would recommend this book to all the beginners looking to reduce pack weight just not highly recommend it. Seasoned hikers will probably need to look elsewhere.
I purchased the reviewed copy and received no compensation.