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NO SWEAT

Bogged-down primer

Wilderness Basics San Diego Chapter, Sierra Club The Mountaineers Books, $19.95

June 22, 2004|Emmett Berg

This primer for first-timers, now in its third edition, is a good entry to hiking or backpacking. But there's not much signage at the trailhead.

Developed from the long-running Wilderness Basics Course at the San Diego chapter of the Sierra Club, the book covers wilderness ethics, backcountry travel, how to pack for a trip and even provides sample menus for multi-day trips.

There is at least a snippet of information on a wide variety of relevant topics, but reading it front to back could be an exercise in repetition, and the table of contents doesn't provide much help other than crediting more than 30 contributors.

If I were a rank newcomer, I might not know where to start.

With excessive verbiage at the beginning, the text reads more like training modules stapled together than a revised and sleeker version of an old favorite.

-- Emmett Berg

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