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Spring 2006 Issue
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    Keeping Up with the Jones'
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    No More Doom and Gloom!
    Olympic Dreams: Skiing to the Limit
    Catching Dreams
    Lighten Up! with Lightweight Lexicon
    Book Reviews
    - Snowstruck
    - Wilderness Navigation
    - Wilderness Ethics
    - Lighten Up!
    - Lightweight Backpacking & Camping
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Lighten Up!: A Complete Handbook for Light & Ultralight Backpacking by Don Ladigin with illustrations by Mike Clelland!
Reviewed by Mike Clelland!

Carey Clouse is a NOLS Instructor who knows Don Ladigin from teaching a college level ultra-light course at the University of Oregon. I mentioned that I was working with Don on a book, and she got sort of misty eyed and said, “Don is so wonderful.” True enough.

Don started camping with his parents in 1945 — that’s 60 years to hone his skills! Did Don have an impact on Carey’s ideas about backpacking? Well, Carey hiked 1,200 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail with a 12.5-pound pack!

The thought of carrying a fully-loaded backpack weighing less than 20 pounds might seem foolhardy to the uninitiated. That’s where this book shines; it carefully explains how to shed those pounds off your back in a simple and non-intimidating way. It can be done, without sacrificing the essentials for safety and comfort.

This book is short and easy to use, a perfect introduction to a very empowering experience. Exactly 100 pages and surprisingly small given the info crammed between its covers, it is illustrated with cartoons drawn by me, and I worked hard to keep them cute and funny. The text is direct and to the point, without any “rules” or heavy-handed dogma. Don is a zealot, but he’s never preachy.

If you want an introduction to these advanced camping techniques, this book works wonderfully. It makes a great companion to Ryan Jordan’s more comprehensive tome, reviewed here too.

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