I’m about half way through Cheryl Strayed’s Wild, and will go ahead and recommend it to you. It would have to get really bad in the second half of the book to offset how good the first part is, so I feel confident in making this recommendation. If you’ve done even a little backpacking, there is much to enjoy here. And maybe it’s the trail greenhorns like the Mellowcat and friends that would nod most knowingly at the backpack stuff. I know, the book’s not just about backpacking, but that part of it is well told. Most of the book is about emotional crises, failure, loss and redemption. But there’s some really useful guidance about pack weight as well. She came up with this equation when deciding what she’d pack:

If I added up all the things I needed in order to go backpacking, it would equal a weight that I could carry.

Sounds reasonable. You’ll have to read the book to see how this worked out. Anyway, it’s been a year since we’ve been on the trail and this read is making me want to get back out there. Here’s the Resident Expert heading out to Lyell Canyon last June.


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