When it comes to hiking and backpacking, many books are written by and for Americans or Europeans. While that doesn’t discount any of those books as a source of valubal information, being from Canada, it’s rather nice to have access to information that is tailored to our unique climate and landscape. Enter The Canadian Hiker’s & Backpacker’s Handbook by Ben Gadd. Ben has been backpacking the Canadian Rockies for over two decades, and brings a wealth of knowledge and know-how to readers with this informative and often entertaining 356 pg manual on getting around in Canada’s great outdoors.
I absolutely LOVE this book, and it’s not unusual to find it in my vehicle or backpack at any given time. The tone in which it is written is designed not only to educate, but to amuse the reader, with a mix of information and personal anecdotes. The book covers everything from how to properly load your backpack, to handling bear encounters without becoming an entrée. It includes gear recommendations, getting fit in the off-season, first-aid and emergency response, and some special attention to hiking with kids and dogs. That really only covers a tiny portion of the contents this book has to offer.
Expressions like “simulated foraging ventures” and “the posture of a vulture” make this book read like a conversation with a good friend.
We were certainly glad that we’d read his advice on proper walking/hiking techniques, as it saved our knees a ton of abuse during our trek in the backcountry last month.
If I had to recommend just one book to backpacker’s and hiker’s in my home country, this would be it.