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1992: Handbook gives tips for long-distance hikes

Handbook gives tips for long-distance hikes

The Bend Bulletin - June 4, 1992by Greg Bolt

A LaPine man with more miles under his boots than most people have on their cars has reduced thousands of miles of long-distance backpacking experience into a few hundred pages with The PCT Hiker's Handbook.

Ray Jardine has hiked the full 2,700 mile length of the Pacific Crest Trail twice with his wife Jenny Jardine, traveling from Mexico to Canada in four months. His book is a distillation of those experiences, a compendium of hard-earned trail knowledge and advice.

Jardine assemble the book in response to the prodigious drop-out rate among PCT through-hikers. Some 80 percent of those who embark on the journey turn back, often after just a couple weeks, victims of poor planning, inadequate training or unrealistic expectations.

Admittedly drawing on his own store of mistakes, Jardine has taken the dream of back-country adventure and seasoned it with the reality of long-distance hiking. His firsthand experience with both should help smooth the way for those who follow.

The Handbook focuses on the Pacific Crest Trail but is not a mile-by-mile guide to the PCT. Instead, it acts as a valuable resource for anyone planning an extended backpacking trip, regardless of which trail they choose.

The book covers a variety of subjects, from trip planning and preparation to equipment to on-trail injuries. It addresses training, water, clothing, pack weight, illness, weather and a long list of other topics.,

In addition, the Handbook offers four standard PCT itineraries, ranging from 5½ to four months, with start and finish dates, mileage between resupply stations and food amounts needed for each section. It also lists the appropriate places to resupply, including hours of operation and amenities in the area.

The book even goes beyond the mechanics of hiking to discuss what Jardine refers to as "the art of long-distance powerhiking.": Advice also is offered on less tangible aspects of hiking such as style, attitude and mental preparation.


Publisher's note: "The PCT Hiker's Handbook" has gone out of print, and has been replaced by "Beyond Backpacking - Ray Jardine's Guide to Lightweight Hiking".

Publisher's note #2: "Beyond Backpacking" has gone out of print, and has been replaced by "Trail Life - Ray Jardine's Guide to Lightweight Backpacking".

The story has 26 pages. This is page 11.
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