I read as much as I can about the philosophy and experiences of walking. This is my reading list, in order of inspiration impact.
- The Old Ways, The Wild Places – Robert Macfarlane – resonates strongly with my experiences, I read sections again and again. Robert presented an excellent documentary on BBC Scotland about…
- Nan Shepherd – The Living Mountain – just astonishing
- The Art of Travel – Alain de Botton – it’s not where you go, its why you go.
- Clear Water Rising – Nicholas Crane – my wife would perhaps draw the line at a year away.
- Walking Home – Simon Armitage – the ending left me perplexed if ever I meet Simon on the path, I need a proper explanation.
- Map of a Nation – Rachel Hewitt – awestruck by the determination of the early Ordnance Survey pioneers. Trig point collectors bible.
- Richard Long – Art made by Walking in Landscapes. Not a book, but conceptual art which I can relate too, likewise
- Stephen Taylor paintings – Not a photograph, but a painting. Capturing the changing seasons.
Plus some backpacking reference books, which only tempt me to spend money, but are very valuable sources of information nonetheless. Reading these led me into the world of the lightweight backpacker, mostly with a US perspective, suited to walking for extended periods in the wilderness. It seems timely that I now have an opportunity to lighten the load for my age, which I hope will extend my walking years.
- Ultralight Backpacking Trips – Mike Clelland – like the cartoons
- Lightweight Backpacking – Ray Jardine – serious stuff
- The Backpacker’s Handbook – Chris Townsend – Pretty much the reference to all aspects of backpacking
All will help you achieve backpacking nirvana and a <10kg total pack weight. Of course, if you are not camping or backpacking and are using B&B’s and YHA Hostels, you pack should already be lightweight – right?
Sometimes I think it might be more cost effective to lose some weight. For that, I need to go walking, Catch 22 eh?