Skills Books

The best skills books, reviewed and curated by the Trailspace community. The latest review was added on April 18, 2018. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.

Recent Skills Book Reviews

Pacific Adventures Press The Hungry Spork

rated 4 of 5 stars This is a very practical and useful book focused on long distance hiker meal planning, but is also just as useful to anyone who goes out on multi-day trips. I have never been a real foodie, so when I go out on multi-day trips I generally don't spend much time planning for what food I'll bring which means I end up with tortillas, energy bars, nuts and candy bars, etc.  I also stopped bringing a stove a long time ago to save weight, so I don't have any hot food or drinks during a trip. For the longest… Full review

Random House The Complete Walker IV

rated 5 of 5 stars THE Classic Compendium of Backpacking. In the 1970s Colin Fletcher inspired a generation to get outside with his books The Thousand Mile Summer and The Man Who Walked Through Time. He then started the "Complete" series and told us the nuts and bolts of doing it.  The newest revision (now only 16 years old but still seems surprisingly current) has a new format where Colin and his co-author Chip Rawlins do a back-and-forth on various topics, which may put off fans of earlier editions. I found… Full review

Backpacking Food: Recipes, Rations, Stoves and Storage by Andrew Skurka

rated 3.5 of 5 stars Recipes, cookware, and tips for the UL-minded, much of which will also prove useful at other comfort levels. Ultra-hiker Andrew Skurka condenses his many thousands of miles worth of trail food wisdom into this little (37 page) book. I am reviewing the "Pre-edition v2" which I purchased as a $5 pdf file in early 2016. As of June 2017 the project still seems to be in the pre-edition phase (you can get the pdf here). The book opens with brief, first-person accounts of some "food-related mistakes" Skurka… Full review

The Mountaineers Books Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills

rated 5 of 5 stars This is an excellent resource for information related to general mountaineering, but also for a broad range of topics from basic backcountry equipment and navigation, to rock and ice climbing, and a number of other associated topics. The most significant aspect of this book that sets it apart from other mountaineering/climbing references is not necessarily the specific material within the book, but how that content comes into being. This book is a great resource for any experienced back country… Full review

The A.T. Guide (2016 Northbound)

rated 4 of 5 stars "The AT Guide" by David (Awol) Miller is one of the most comprehensive and easy guides I have used. The guide lists services to get you to Georgia and local hostels and services to get you home from Maine. It lists the water sources and has detailed maps of towns for resupply and rest. It also lists shuttle suppliers and outfitters to exchange or repair gear. Kennels close to the trail are listed for those with hiking buddies.. It's revised yearly because costs change from service providers. It's… Full review

Globe Pequot Lipsmackin' Backpackin'

rated 2.5 of 5 stars Lipsmackin' Backpackin' is a look at the recipes and menu planning of the Long Distance Backpacker. The book takes you from Breakfast to Drinks and all in between. The recipes are easy to follow and instructions, but the key item you will need is a dehydrator to put together your meals. They also have a page on meal systems for people who like to plan by the day. CopyRight: 2000  ISBN:13-978-1-56044-881-5 I've had Lipsmackin' Backpackin' for well over a year. It's been one of the many cookbooks… Full review

Falcon Guides Backpacker The National Parks Coast to Coast: 100 Best Hikes

rated 4.5 of 5 stars A great resource for 100 of the most iconic hikes in our National Parks. Excellent skills sections. Beta on each hike from finding the trailhead to GPS coordinates. With the celebration of the 100th anniversary of our National Parks this year, it is timely to see the publication of the hiking guide The National Parks Coast to Coast, 100 Best Hikes. I was quite intrigued to see what hikes would be considered 100 of the best hikes of our National Parks. This nicely organized book starts with a two-page… Full review

Justin Lichter Trail Tested: A Thru-Hiker's Insights Into Hiking and Backpacking

rated 4.5 of 5 stars An informative read into a unique travel style. The book offers great tricks and insights to try out the next time you hit the trail. Justin's many miles of experience manifest themselves in humility and pragmatism. He makes you realize that he's just a dude, and if he can do it, you can too. The book is divided into well organized topics related to long-distance ultralight thru hiking. Justin then gives suggestions from experience, on the best gear and/or techniques to use related to the topics. Full review

Random House The Well-Fed Backpacker

rated 5 of 5 stars Great cookbook for the backpacker! I wouldn't use the term 'glamping' to describe our backpacking outings, however we do put a great deal of thought into our meals while on the trail. I have other books that mainly discuss the use of a dehydrator, this book is different. June Fleming discusses backpackers needs from top to bottom: nutrition, packing, cooking, camp setup. She discusses where to get certain ingredients and how to use them in conjunction. This book doesn't have a massive amount of… Full review

user rating: 5 of 5 (5)
The Mountaineers Books Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills Climbing
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (2)
Justin Lichter Trail Tested: A Thru-Hiker's Insights Into Hiking and Backpacking Camping/Hiking/Backpacking
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
Pro-Knot Outdoor Knots - Waterproof Plastic Fan Pack Camping/Hiking/Backpacking
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
Falcon Guides Backpacker The National Parks Coast to Coast: 100 Best Hikes Camping/Hiking/Backpacking / Guidebook
user rating: 2 of 5 (1)
Falcon Guides Ultralight Backpackin' Tips Camping/Hiking/Backpacking
Lodge A Skillet Full Cookbook Cooking
Northern Lights Publishing Pocket Guide to Animals / Tracks Plant/Animal Identification
The Mountaineers Books Rock Climbing Anchors - A Comprehensive Guide Climbing
The Mountaineers Books American Alpine Journal 2014 Climbing
The Mountaineers Books Day Hiker's Handbook Camping/Hiking/Backpacking
Wilderness Press Another Fork in the Trail: Vegetarian & Vegan Recipes for the Backcountry Cooking
Falcon Guides How To Climb 5.12 Climbing
$15 - $19
The Mountaineers Books The ABCs of Avalanche Safety First Aid/Safety/Survival
The Mountaineers Books Snow Travel: Climbing, Hiking, and Crossing Over Snow Camping/Hiking/Backpacking
Falcon Guides How To Rock Climb Climbing
Coghlan's First-Time Camping Guide Camping/Hiking/Backpacking
$2 - $3
Patagonia 100 Favorite North American Climbs Climbing
The Mountaineers Books Canyoneering: Beginning to Advanced Techniques Climbing
American Alpine Club Accidents in North American Mountaineering Climbing
Falcon Guides Lighten Up! A Complete Handbook for Light and Ultralight Backpacking Camping/Hiking/Backpacking
The Mountaineers Books Accidents In North American Mountaineering 2012 Climbing
Liberty Mountain Ice Climbing Pennsylvania Climbing
Northern Lights Publishing Pocket Guide to Emergency First Aid First Aid/Safety/Survival
Falcon Guides Mixed Climbing Climbing
Trango The Rock Climber's Training Manual Climbing
Three Rivers Press The Backpacker's Field Manual: A Comprehensive Guide to Mastering Backcountry Skills Camping/Hiking/Backpacking
American Alpine Club American Alpine Journal - 2005 Climbing
Random House Wild Edibles: A Practical Guide to Foraging Cooking
Patagonia Beyond the Mountain Climbing
$18 - $29
Chicago Review Press Kids Camp! Camping/Hiking/Backpacking
NOLS Wilderness Medicine
Wilderness Press Fixing Your Feet - Preventions and Treatments for Athletes First Aid/Safety/Survival
Random House The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids Camping/Hiking/Backpacking
Morris Publishing Trailside Navigation - Map & Compass Camping/Hiking/Backpacking
National Audubon Society Field Guide to Wildflowers - East Plant/Animal Identification
Falcon Guides Birding for Beginners Plant/Animal Identification
The Mountaineers Books Glacier Travel & Crevasse Rescue First Aid/Safety/Survival
The Mountaineers Books Crag Survival Handbook Climbing
$16 - $19
Random House The 2 Oz. Backpacker: A Problem Solving Manual for Use in the Wilds Camping/Hiking/Backpacking
Backcountry Access Avalanche Research Field Book First Aid/Safety/Survival
Falcon Guides Building Your Own Climbing Wall Climbing
NOLS Backcountry Cooking Cooking
Alaska Mountain Safety Center Snow Sense: A Guide to Evaluating Snow Avalanche Hazard First Aid/Safety/Survival
NOLS Expedition Planning Camping/Hiking/Backpacking
The Mountaineers Books Accidents In North American Mountaineering 2009 Climbing
Wiley Be Expert with Map and Compass Camping/Hiking/Backpacking
The Mountaineers Books The Avalanche Handbook First Aid/Safety/Survival
Northern Lights Publishing Pocket Guide to Hiking/Backpacking Camping/Hiking/Backpacking
Morris Publishing Knots for Climbers - 3rd Edition Climbing
Stackpole Books Common Edible and Poisonous Mushrooms of the Northeast Plant/Animal Identification
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