Attention all Gearfloggers, now hear this: run – do not hike – to the link below to get your copy of Andrew Skurka's Ultimate Hiker's Gear Guide, Second Edition. Skurka is a renowned distance hiker and adventure athlete who knows whatof he speaks. He's also got the organizational skills of a anal-retentive accountant. We're talking lots of tables comparing gear this and gear that. It did our OCD heart good.
Skurka emphasizes that he is a hiker, not a camper, and he wants to be most comfortable on the trail as opposed to in camp. He is not, however, a proponent of "stupid light" but instead tailors his gear to the objective, the route, and the conditions. His overall strategy is to use the lightest gear that allows him to hike faster for more hours per day.
His thinking is built around his "core 13" clothing list, consisting of items that can be mixed and matched to suit conditions and exertion levels on the trail. Skurka doesn't believe in packing extra clothes at all. One table for clothing compares polyester, wool and nylon on eight different variables. That's what you're getting here.
TUHGG is just a fantastic resource that distills the hard-earned experience of one of the world's top hikers into 240 pages of oh-my-god-this-is-so-useful text, tables, and pictures. Everything is here: clothing, footwear, stoves, tents, sleeping pads and bags, hydration, you name it. Along the way you'll get educated on what vapor barrier clothing does (one of the best explanations I've ever read), tarps versus tents, how to packraft, tips for nutrition, etc. And throughout are packed stories and anecdotes that illustrate key points he's making. It's the gift that keeps on giving. Pick it up today.