There are two kinds of outdoors people. Those who separate people into two kinds and the others. No wait… Those who repair their own gear and those who ask (or pay) others to do it for them. Backpacker Magazine supports the DIYers with the Complete Guide to Outdoor Maintenance and Repair by Kristin Hostetter.
Hostetter has been a gear editor at BM since 1994. That's a lot of time in grade, and now we all get the benefit of her experience in 200 pages of solid gold gear advice, not just for maintenance and repair but for buying decisions as well. In fifteen chapters she covers everything from fabric, zippers and the myriad uses of duct tape to all the hiking and camping specific gear basics.
The book benefits from magazine-quality color photography, and the level of detail is good to great. Three repeating devices are used throughout to good effect: Tips from the Field (just what it sounds like), Pro Fix (when to call in the Pro from Dover), and Splurge! (buying advice). The Splurge sections are up-to-the-minute on state-of-the-art gear technology, and we only wish there was a table of contents just for these tidbits. That and a section on first aid kits, which is conspicuously missing. Still, dogear the pages, my flogging friends, and study this book before you need it, it's mandatory reading for GearFlogging 101.