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I just read Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills. There is so much amazing stuff in it! I haven't finished it yet but I've had it checked out of my local library for quite a while now.
The whole first section is just basic outdoor how to stuff. I've always felt like I was missing some sort of knowledge that is why I have turned to Trailspace to figure out how to do some things. My posts aren't long or super detailed, but I've lurked quite a bit and learned so much. This group has a lot of knowledge and quite a few unique characters. As I was reading it I imagined quite often having Bill S in my backpack and being able to pull him out and ask a question then put him back again.
Freedom of the Hills has been awesome to read. It has tons of detailed information about whatever you are curious about. I don't think I'll ever be a first class mountaineer. The best I've ever done is hike to Kings Peak, it was great, but I really didn't know what I was doing.
I'll list out a few of the cool things I read about in this book:
- Descriptions of clothing layering systems
- How to pack your pack
- Advantages and disadvantages of different tent types
- How to navigate with a compass
- Stove types and their advantages
- Waste disposal
- How to navigate difficult terrain like scree, talus, boulder, snow and rivers,
- Food planning (not just ramen!)
- Chapter 22: How to stay alive
- Leave no trace
I've been restraining myself and deleting all the exclamation points I wanted to put in this. It really has a ton of information. The middle sections on ice and rock climbing are pretty cool too but I don't do that much.
I thought that this book made me a better backpacker and has given me a good foundation to have a lot of fun in the future.