6 Bestselling Handbooks for Backpackers – An Ultimate Guide

6 Bestselling Handbooks for Backpackers – An Ultimate Guide

Handbooks for backpackers may seem incredibly outdated in today’s world of blogs, websites, forums, and apps. However, it is still worth exploring some of the best handbooks for backpackers on the market so you can be better prepared before your own backpacking trip.

However, handbooks are great for any kind of traveler because they provide reliable information that is often difficult to find online or through other sources. For backpackers planning their first trips, it would be a great suggestion to own a couple of handbooks designed specifically for backpackers.

Six of the Best-Selling Handbooks for Backpackers on the Market Today

1) The Backpacker’s Handbook by Chris Townsend

The Backpacker’s Handbook | Image Source – Amazon

This book is a comprehensive guide to backpacking that covers everything from choosing gear to planning routes and coping with emergencies. Townsend has been backpacking for over 40 years, so he knows what he’s talking about!

The knowledge shared in this book by Townsend is immense. He covers a wide range of topics in this book from the basics, such as map and compass techniques, to more advanced topics like how to ford a river. The book even includes information about how to choose a good route through untracked terrain.

This is one of the best books on backpacking if you are new or relatively new to backpacking because it has been used by many readers over the years. There are two editions available: The Backpacker’s Handbook (Publisher: Mountaineers Books) and The New Backpacker’s Handbook (Publisher: Mountaineers Books).

Buy to here: The Backpacker’s Handbook by Chris Townsend

2) Camping & Wilderness Survival by Paul Tawrell

Handbooks for backpackers
Camping and Wilderness Survival | Image Source – Amazon

This book covers everything that backpackers need to know before embarking on their trips, from choosing the right gear to wilderness first-aid.

Tawrell has been a backpacker and camper for over 50 years, so his advice is definitely worth listening to. He has also written other camping-related books, such as The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Camping and Hiking (The Complete Idiot’s Guide series).

Moreover, Paul Tawrell is a registered nurse, making his advice on the subject of wilderness first-aid really reliable. In addition to backpacking basics, this book also covers topics such as route planning and estimating safe distances between campsites.

The handbook offers readers a wealth of information from someone who has been there and done that! The 7th edition came out in 2011, so its an up-to-date resource for backpackers. There used to be two editions available: Camping & Wilderness Survival (Publisher: Stackpole Books) and Camping & Wilderness Survival Handbook (Publisher: Globe Pequot Press), but only the former is currently available.

Buy to here: Camping & Wilderness Survival by Paul Tawrell

3) Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival by Dave Canterbury

Bush Craft 101 | Image Source – Amazon

This book describes itself as a field guide for surviving in the wild. It covers topics like building shelters, finding food, and making fire.

Canterbury has been teaching survival skills to others through his outdoor skills school, Pathfinder School, since 1990. He’s also an active member of several outdoors organizations, including Backwoodsmen Educational Research & Resource Organization (BERRO) and The Pathfinder Club.

Dave Canterbury has written several books on outdoors-related subjects, including Bushcraft 101 Field Guide to Wilderness Survival (Publisher: Ragged Mountain Press), The Complete Guide to Edible Wild Plants (Ragged Mountain Press), and Surviving the Unexpected Wilderness Emergency (Stackpole Books).

Moreover, this book doesn’t just focus on the basics of survival. Canterbury also provides information on how to be creative with your resources in order to make the most of your situation. This makes the book a more well-rounded read for backpackers.

Buy to here: Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival by Dave Canterbury

4) How to Shit in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art by Kathleen Meyer

How to Shit in the Woods | Image Source – Amazon

This book is a humorous read that takes a look at what it means to truly be “wild”. The emphasis of this book is on being green and practicing resourcefulness, as well as learning not just how, but why things need to be done a certain way.

Meyer has been a backpacker for over 20 years, so she knows the subject matter very well. She also runs an online group called Greenfeet which focuses on environmental issues and conservation.

Further, Meyer doesn’t just focus on the basics of “wild” defecation. She also provides readers with information about Leave No Trace Principles, which backpackers should be familiar with. These principles emphasize the importance of minimizing one’s impact on the environment.

Buy to here: How to Shit in the Woods: An Environmentally Sound Approach to a Lost Art by Kathleen Meyer

5) Outdoor Survival Skills by Larry Dean Olsen

Outdoor Survival Skills | Image Source – Amazon

This is another guide for backpackers to help them survive in the wilderness. It’s written in simple language and covers subjects such as water procurement, backcountry cooking, and building shelters.

Olsen has been a member of Backpackers Pantry since 1980, which is an online community for outdoor enthusiasts. He’s also written books like The Ultralight Backpacking Bible (CreateSpace) and How to Shit in the Woods (see above).

That said, Outdoor Survival Skills doesn’t just cover basic survival skills; it also deals with skills that are necessary for safety purposes. For example, it covers what to do if you get lost or meet with an accident while traveling. This book is definitely worth checking out if you’re after detailed information about the subject matter.

Buy to here: Outdoor Survival Skills by Larry Dean Olsen

6) The Mountaineering Handbook by Alan Blackshaw

Mountaineering | Image Source – Amazon

This handbook is for climbers who want to summit mountains – it’s not meant for backpackers. However, it still provides some useful information about the topic of mountaineering that backpackers might find of interest.

Blackshaw has been climbing mountains since a long time. He’s also climbed extensively in North and South America, Europe, and Asia.

That said, The Mountaineering Handbook doesn’t just focus on describing how to climb a mountain. It also delves into subjects like preparing for a climb, gear selection, and safety procedures. So, if you’re a backpacker who’s curious about mountaineering, then this book is definitely worth checking out.

Buy to here: The Mountaineering Handbook by Alan Blackshaw

In conclusion

The six handbooks featured in this article are all must-reads for backpackers. They provide valuable information on a range of topics related to the outdoors, from survival skills to Leave No Trace Principles. So, if you’re looking for some good reading material before your next backpacking trip, then be sure to check out any of these titles! Further, it would be advisable to watch some of the best survival skills in reality shows prior to planning your next trip in the wild. Carrying the right equipment for camping would be essential too. This way, you will be well-informed and you will have a better idea on what to do if any emergency were to arise.

Luu Duc Hoang

Luu Duc Hoang

I am just a simple man, carrying around his laptop in a backpack. “Traveling combined with volunteering is always what I aim for”

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