It was 1998 and I had just finished my first year of backpacking with a pack that weighed in at 45+ pounds. Then I read the book, the Ray Way, a guide to ultralight backpacking, and instantly became a devotee. His wisdom lead to my quest for ultralight backpacking and ultimately this blog. He and his wife were able to get their packs to 9 pounds on a PCT trip while the rest of us where still hauling 5 times that much.
Without doing a lot of history research, I figured Jardin was the father of modern lightweight backpacking, since legends like John Muir, who carried a rucksack with a few hard biscuits, must have been the original “father” back at the turn of the 20th century.
In any case, Jardin published a book in 2009 I just discovered: “Trail Life, Ray Jardine’s Lightweight Backpacking” with the subtitle: 25,000 miles of trail-tested know-how.
Seems like a no-brainer as a must-read for anyone who wants to lighten their load.
A interesting note: Jardine was age 50 when his original book came out. He is now pushing 70. No doubt he is still on the move.
Be light. Be safe. Be one with the pack.