Praise for Smarter Backpacking

New book!! "Smarter Backpacking after 50" in Kindle format. Click here for more info

About "Smarter Backpacking":
"Jorgen Johansson has a no-nonsense, non-preachy approach, based on his 40 years of wilderness ramblings, designed to help average backpackers shave weight, not comfort or safety, from their loads"
Kristin Hostetter, gear editor Backpacker Magazine

"Any backpacker wanting to lighten their load could learn much from this book."
Chris Townsend, outdoor writer and long distance hiker, gear editor of TGO Magazine and author of The Backpacker’s Handbook

Most backpackers can in fact shave pounds and pounds from their loads, while believing that they can only shave ounces.

If you love the outdoors you know that carrying a heavy pack up a steep hill is not the best part of backpacking. Most of us are not there because we like to carry stuff, but because we love the natural world. And it is a lot easier to enjoy the sunset if your neck, back and feet are not aching.

The good news is: Backpacking can be easier than you ever imagined.

A really light pack can be had by everyone. And is it ever a joy if you want to get further into the backcountry during a weekend hike.

Or go on overnight trips with kids without having to carry absolutely backbreaking loads.

Or maybe you want to repeat the ascents you did 25 years ago with the same spring in your step as then?

Click here to buy the book on Amazon

Click here to watch the 36-second film about Smarter Backpacking on Youtube

Do you already have the book? Click here for photos and bonus material for every chapter

To the left you can see the contents, every chapter of the book. They are in alphabetical order to make everything easier to find. Here on the web, lots of photos and regular updates will be available for all readers. The first chapters are open to everyone, the rest (marked with an *) are open only to readers of the book. Take a preview of what you get when you buy Smarter Backpacking at Amazon!

There are many things you can do to lighten your load, but some are more important than others. Smarter Backpacking means that you focus on what is most important. Here is a sampling of what you'll get.
  • Using the 3 for 3 method to take a quantum leap towards a lighter pack
  • How to make your step oh so much lighter - without taking anything from your pack
  • How to actually save money by using lighter gear
  • How to know when buying right is buying cheap
  • How to know when buying cheap is not buying right
  • How to adapt your gear and load to circumstances
  • What gear you do not need to bring
  • How to use warm socks, dry socks, wet socks and waterproof socks in an unbeatable combination
  • Weight advantages of different fuels for your stove
  • How to choose light clothes that still keep you warm and dry

I started applying and testing different lightweight hiking techniques in the early years of this millenium. This was after 30 years as a tradtional backpacker. Since then I have taken 11-12 kilos (25 lbs) from my pack. And I am still just as warm, dry and well fed as I used to be with my heavy pack. It sounds like a miracle, but really is very simple. You just have to know how.

Lots of people have done the same and of course you can do it as well and enjoy the same rewards that we have. People reading my books and blog repeatedly write me and tell of how they have lightened their packs and how this has changed their life on the trail.

What the backpacking community says about Smarter Backpacking:


"Jorgen Johansson has a no-nonsense, non-preachy approach, based on his 40 years of wilderness ramblings, designed to help average backpackers shave weight, not comfort or safety, from their loads"

Kristin Hostetter, gear editor Backpacker Magazine

"Some authors have a guru approach that's too specific to their personal hiking style, while others fail in offering practical advice because they're too generic and theoretical.  Smarter Backpacking achieves a happy-medium: Jorgen Johansson shares his personal preferences and opinions, but he knows that backpacking is not a "one size fits all-activity" so he is sure to qualify his views and to recognize the views of others."
Andrew Skurka, renowned long-distance adventurer and a National Geographic "Adventurer of the Year" and Backpacker "Person of the Year"

"Jorgen Johansson distils the complexity of wilderness travel into its simplest core concepts, allowing us to enjoy the freedom of backpacking rather than be encumbered by it. His approach is not only a simpler one, but a vastly smarter one."
Ryan Jordan, Founder, BackpackingLight.com

"Smarter Backpacking aims to make better hikers through use of ultralight hiking techniques, rather than create more ultralight hikers. The spot-on advice is presented in an easy-reading conversational style, rather than a lecture, like you were sitting around a campfire with Jorgen Johansson."
Glen Van Peski, Founder and Chairman, Gossamer Gear

"Most lightweight backpacking books are American and the techniques and equipment described do not always work that well in the wild weather of Northern Europe. This book contains useful advice and techniques for going lightweight in places like Scandinavia and Scotland. Any backpacker wanting to lighten their load could learn much from this book."
Chris Townsend, outdoor writer and long distance hiker, gear editor of TGO Magazine and author of The Backpacker’s Handbook

"If you finish a walk with tired limbs, sore back or blistered feet, then this book is for you. Each stage of the journey is covered beautifully, and as you finish each chapter, question your choices and resulting experience. Step away from the marketing hype, the heavy tough stuff does have its place, but is it in your pack?"
Bob Cartwright, evangelist at www.backpackinglight.co.uk and award winning Podcaster at www.theoutdoorsstation.co.uk

"I started hiking the Appalachian Trail in a pretty traditional way and came home being a different hiker. My pack would never be that heavy again. I learned a lot about ultralite hiking from 68 year-old hikers Billy Goat and Nimblewill Nomad. Ultralite hiking is not something cool for hardcore hiking kids. It´s just making life easier for everybody. For people interested in changing from a heavier to a lighter pack this book is definitely a good starting point."
Carsten Jost, German long distance hiker, aspiring for The Triple Crown (Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail done... Continental Divide Trail brewing)

"Smarter Backpacking is an accessible source of theory and technique for lightening your pack. Jorgen Johansson is an experienced lightweight backpacker whose calm and practical presence comes through in his writing. I heartily recommend Smarter Backpacking for experienced lightweight backpackers and newbies alike."
Carol Crooker, former editor-in-chief of Backpacking Light magazine.

"By a few rules of thumbs, Jorgen Johansson puts the finger on the few parts of the equipment that matters, the simplicity of hiking, and the freedom of making the "experience of the wild outdoors as lightweight as possible."
Glenn Mattsing, editor-in-chief, Outside Magazine Sweden.

"I've had the pleasure of hiking with Jorgen Johansson, and the book nicely reflects his own  personality - innovative and thought provoking, without taking itself too seriously. Read  it. You'll be a smarter backpacker when you're done."
Don Wilson, former gear editor Backpackinglight.com

"This guide simply delivers what it promises, a straightforward guide to lighter and safer backpacking. You could spend hours and hours searching out this advice and guidance on the net. Or you could save a lot of time by acquiring this book.  No-nonsense advice and guidance. No messing!"
Andy Howell, experienced UK hill walker who has made the move into lightweight backpacking, described in his blog "Must Be This Way".

"Jorgen Johansson approaches each piece of gear from the perspective of a heavyweight packer gone lightweight. “Smarter Backpacking” is basically like having your own personal expert giving you gear advice in a straightforward, honest way. I learned a ton from this book. The more miles I get under my belt, the more I find myself agreeing with him."
Brian Doble, ultra light and sometimes super ultra light long distance hiker (Triple Crowner, AT yo-yoer and lots more)

Go to the book on Amazon


Click here for the 36-second film about Smarter Backpacking