Hiking in Finland

Climbing, bikepacking, skiing & packrafting in the north

Book Corner: Allen & Mike's Really Cool Backcountry Ski Book

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Time for another book review, it even fits with the season and your upcoming needs. Allen & Mike's Really Cool Backcountry Ski Book, the "Revised and Even Better!" version, is a superb, humours read worth your time. It doesn't take long to read cover to cover - I needed an afternoon, and English ain't my mother tongue - but you will go back many times to look up the great illustrations and useful advice.

The book has 120 pages full of the funny & informative illustrations of Mike Clelland and the knowledge of Allen O'Bannon. Both have been working for NOLS for many years, and know how to be warm and comfortable in winter. I have been out in winter plenty of times, but still picked up some useful advice from their book - I for example wasn't aware of the way to keep water unfrozen overnight in the snow. The highlight for me is likely their extensive section on how to build snowshelters - from quinzees over dugloos to doghouses.

Even if you belong to the folk who carry a double-wall tent in winter, the book will have some tips for you. My list of useful tips which I took away:

1. Avalanche safety
2. How to sh!t in the snow
3. How to build a comfy snow shelter
4. How to build a pimped-out kitchen in the snow, including a place to keep water from freezing
5. Backcountry manners in winter aka Minimum Impact & Backcountry Ethics
6. Snowmobilers are morons (OK, I knew this already!)
7. Snow camping tips & tricks - how to dry wet gear & useful pockets in undergarments
8. Basic ski techniques
9. A shovel in winter can be a very useful tool

If you're planning to be out in winter, in the backcountry, on skis, snowshoes, splitboard or snowboard, I think this is a great book to have read. Besides that the two authors know how to disclose information in an easy and understandable way, the illustrations clear up some questions which you might have and make you smile.

To get your paperback or Kindle copy, click the underneath photo or link (Updated link to an affordable copy!)

Disclosure: If you buy the book via the link I will earn a couple of cents, as I have a Amazon Affiliate Account.