Hiking in Finland

Climbing, bikepacking, skiing & packrafting in the north

Book Corner: Lighten Up by Don Ladigin

The next installment of the book corner, this time with one of the most amusing books on lightweight and ultralight backpacking: Lighten Up! by Don Ladigin and with illustrations by Mike Clelland.The latter makes this such a great book to read, because his illustrations are interesting, humours and informative. This was the first book I bought, back in the spring of 2009, and I found myself going back to it times and again.

Lighten Up!: A Complete Handbook for Light and Ultralight Backpacking

Its 187 g of knowledge, and helps you understanding what are the principles of lightweight backpacking, how to lighten up your big three, gives insights on clothing and the small stuff we carry around, and gives tips on walking on the trail (and off-trail). Its very well written, and Don Ladigin knows what he's talking about, as he's been going light since 1975.

harttj, one of the readers, asked me about which 10 things I took away from the Trekking Ultraleicht book (check the comments there if you'd like to know), and I will in future always list the 10 (there needs to be a limit somewhere =) things I took away from the book I presented to you. Thank you harttj for the suggestion!

So, from Lighten Up!I took away:

1. What's base weight, pack weight and skin-out weight
2. After a trip, check what you really used, and what didn't get used
3. A step-by-step approach to lightening up is better than a all-in-one-go approach
4. The big three are the best starting point to lighten up
5. A lightweight (UL) backpacker needs to own a (digital) weight scale!
6. How to attach a sleeping pad or put it n the backpack
7. Sleeping socks are awesome!
8. The benefits of using a wind shirt
9. Plastic bottles make great, cheap water containers for backpackers
10. The Quick Start

To wrap it up, a very recommendable book. I think the illustrations help enormously in understanding the text, which is written in an easy way. It has an index for quickly looking up something, and a gear checklist for your trips. I can't find anything faulty about it, and in my opinion it is 10€ well invested, for beginners and pros alike. Both thumbs up from me!

Disclosure: I have an Amazon Affiliate account, and if you click on the link and buy the book I even might earn a few euros - for more books! If you're living in Germany or Europe, you can buy it hereor if you're in the USA you can get it here.