Lightweight Camping by John Traynor

The Unofficial Rules of Camping.
Nothing is unbreakable.
Tent problems only develop in the rain.
Airbeds only collapse when you’re asleep.
Sleeping bag zips only ever jam when you need a pee – desperately.
Bottle openers are camouflage experts.
Gas usually runs out 10 minutes before your food is cooked.
‘Sleeps 4’ means ‘Sleeps 2 normal-sized adults’.”



These oh-so true words come from the introduction to this nice little book, which is written in a series of bite-size pointers in 6 chapters.
Having read the book and learning a couple of things myself, I’m of the opinion that it’s best read by one of two people:
– Those who like the idea of camping and want to take the plunge.
– Those who already enjoy camping and want to do more of it in different ways.
It’s not really aimed at those who already do lightweight camping, or outdoor experts.
That said, the book does cover a range of camping experiences from motorcycle touring through kayak touring and backpacking.
Where the author (a man with decades of experience in the outdoor industry, both at manufacturers and magazines) excels in is his useful snippets. The book has a set of appendices which cover Buying a Tent, Repairing a Tent and Camping with Kids, amongst other things – very useful for those who like to shop online or in outdoor warehouse type shops, rather than specialist retailers.
The book is also interspersed with nice little anecdotes of real camping experiences; from the couple who spent 4 months camping in a safari park with fridge and all, to the benefits of choosing the right backpack.
If you find the array of tents, sleeping bags and cookers on the market slightly bewildering, then this is the book for you. It gently explains how and why different types of tent work, what to look for in a sleeping bag and how different types of camp cookery work. It’s full of large colour photos and references to manufacturers’ websites for more information.
SUMMARY: This is a well-written, easily digestible book which goes into enough detail to be an education to anyone new to camping, or those who want a bit more out of it. With austerity being a modern theme in vacations, the book helps narrow down what kit you’ll need for various types of trip, why you’ll need it, and more importantly what you won’t need. It’s full of handy hints and real-world anecdotes. If you’re thinking of getting any new gear this year, or of planning a new type of camping experience, then give this book a read and you might just save yourself some pennies, some time and some cold, uncomfortable nights. Not for outdoor experts or seasoned backpacking campers.
rated as for novice campers
Price: £12.95 (GearWeAre readers get 20% Discount on ALL Cicerone books – see discounts page (link above))


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