A Conversational Guide To Backcountry Equipment
A Conversational Guide To Backcountry Equipment
An insightful handbook to choosing & using backpacking gear & clothing: Packs, tents, sleeping bags/pads, stoves, water treatment, &...
An insightful handbook to choosing & using backpacking gear & clothing: Packs, tents, sleeping bags/pads, stoves, water treatment, &... Read more
"A Conversational Guide To Backcountry Equipment: How to choose & use your gear & clothing" is a nonfiction book, written to help people significantly learn about and use the gear we tote and the clothing we wear. My years in the backpacking and outdoor industry have made it clear that people want and need a resource that actually teaches them how things work, focusing both on tiny details and how those details play into the broader scheme.
Instead of just talking about a few styles of tent, for example, we’ll go through every step of pitching a tent, from figuring out where the poles go and how to attach them, to how to get the rainfly on, use the guylines, and how tent stakes work and how to properly use them. We’ll talk about why different types of shelter exist, where they excel and where they won’t, and also get into figuring out your own needs and budget priorities.
Detailed, full-color photos support the text. And when a task has several steps, there’s a photo for each step and a caption that helps you bring that step to life.
This is not a gear guide or catalog to specific models, but is instead written and illustrated to help you evaluate and use whatever backcountry equipment you might encounter. Anyone thinking about buying new gear will find guidance that makes the process easier, while also saving time, money, and headaches.
For example, people have routinely asked me, “What’s the best backpacking stove?” The most honest answer is, “It depends.” It depends on what kind of cooking you’ll be doing, how many people you’ll be feeding, how you’ll be traveling, and what kind of temperatures you’ll expect. The length of a trip, fuel availability, ecological considerations, and weight of a cooking system are all factors that play into selecting and using a stove. It sounds complex, and it is, but I’ll brush aside the irrelevant stuff and make the important points easy to understand.
I use the word “Backcountry” in the title because the book covers tips, tricks, techniques, and products common to a wide range of outdoor enthusiasts and professionals. While backpacking is the central concept, canoe trippers, bikepackers, winter campers, and hunters all rely on some aspect of the material we cover, as do many others.
Anyone wanting to know more about the gear they own, or wanting to learn how to use gear most effectively, will benefit from this book. Anyone looking to pick up some insightfully seasoned, practical tips will find them aplenty. Although not exactly written as a text book, I believe that Scout groups, outdoor recreation programs, and serious retailers would all benefit from using this book as a training tool.
The internet sea of information can be hard to navigate, but I’ll help you negotiate the waters. I firmly believe in supporting local brick-and-mortar shops, and also realize that internet commerce has dramatically changed the way people outfit themselves, challenging them to sift through a dizzying and confusing array of options and terms. As a retailer it was common for me to discover that people had wasted hours researching and even buying products that were inappropriate or unreasonable for their needs. This book will help shoppers decipher the information overload.
Maybe you’re still wondering if this book is for you. It’s an eclectic group of people looking for new ways and means to explore the world. Maybe you’re out of shape and looking to lighten your pack load just so you can make it a few miles from the trailhead. Maybe you’re in peak condition and looking for ways to maximize your performance or push your limits. Bicycle (and even motorcycle!) tourers seek compact but versatile and effective equipment to create their homes away from home. World travelers need ways to wander the corners of the globe with less clothing and equipment, even squeezing everything they need into a carry-on. Kayakers and canoeists are always looking for ways to enrich their experience. Hunters need to stay warm and dry, and need equipment that can help compensate for the weight of extra gear or game.
Young families can learn how to outfit themselves in a way that can even get their toddler into the woods, without overburdening anyone. I meet retirees who think they can’t get out there anymore… and I’ve shown them how they can! Women and men, young and old, have found a sense of freedom and independence using my techniques and guidance. I wrote “A Conversational Guide to Backcountry Equipment” to help people make educated decisions, and am confident that it’ll make your time outside more enjoyable.
The good news: The book is written, photos taken, edited, and pages formatted, ready to roll at a little over 4oo pages. All I have to do is hand the files over to a printer & book binder. The bad news: It hasn’t been printed yet. But hey, that’s why we’re here! The point of this campaign is to raise money to cover printing, publishing, production & distribution costs. The physical book will be a 6x9, full color, perfect-bound paperback. Let’s make it happen!
Want to know more? Check me out on the web at:
Risks and challenges
The biggest risk with a book project is normally in bringing the concept to life, actually getting it written and illustrated... In this case, however, the book is print-ready. If there's enough feedback during the campaign requesting an index, creating an index would be the only thing left to do.
The next significant challenge is creating the physical book. I've shopped book printers, obtained quotes, and researched reputation and quality of production, and have found a printer with a solid reputation and reasonable rates. The printer is conveniently only an hour's drive from home, so if there are production problems that need my attention I can easily and promptly get there. This will be the first time I've published and printed a book, so although I believe I've addressed all the important steps and prerequisites, I could conceivably run into unexpected snags such as formatting issues or other printing concerns.
I'm a one-man show, and don't know what to expect in terms of volume or response to the campaign. If it really takes off, my biggest problem could potentially be keeping up with the flow of information, email responses, etc. I've tried to structure rewards befitting the campaign, but again could face some challenge in terms of responding to unexpectedly enthusiastic support.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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