At last, time for Smarter Backpacking

As many readers already know, I have been quite busy this fall with my first book in English. I am happy to say that it is now available at Amazon. But books are a plenty, so what's with this one?

By Jörgen Johansson

The book is called Smarter Backpacking or How every backpacker can apply lightweight trekking and ultralight hiking techniques.

To me lightweight backpacking is not about the hiker who can survive rolled up in the tiniest piece of GladPack. Lightweight backpacking is something that everybody than nibble a bit  from, or swallow great chunks of. No matter what you do, it will make your life and your hike lighter.

It is up to every individual what corners to cut and which ones to give a wide berth. I just want to make as many backpackers as possible that there are more possibilities to lighten the load than many are aware of. I am happy to say that from some of the endorsements I have had for the book, this message seems to go through:

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

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

The book is divided into chapters taken from my gearlist and alphabetically ordered. Meaning that everything concerning the backpack is found under the chapter heading Backpack. I'm sure you can guess the rest.

For a more full blown presentation I recommend the website There you can also read what people other people in the hiking community have has been kind enough to say about the book.

However, the main thing about the website Smarter Backpacking is that it is a large part of the book. The book itselve contain no photos in order to keep size, prize and of course weight(!) down :-)
You will find lots of material under each chapter heading at the website. For the full content of photos and extra material on every chapter you will however need the book to access the password protected parts of the website.

I also couldn't help myself, while hiking this fall, but filmed some scenes for a 'commercial'. Since I made it in my basement I boldly present it as an underground commercial, which will no doubt enhance the artistic value. Anyone with 36 seconds to spare should take a look at this:

If you like the film, send the link to someone you like.
If you do not like it, send the link to someone you do, sorry it's almost Christmas :-)

The first copy of the book was delivered to me on December 14 from They deliver within 7-10 days. As from December 16 the book is 'in stock' at, which means you'll have it in 1-2 days. So the chances that you receive it before Christmas if you order now are good, I am told. And if not, we all need some après-Christmas indulgence as well, I guess.

Click here for the living part of the book on the net, the website Smarter Backpacking

PS. For Swedish readers; this is a revised version of my book Lättare packning från A till Ö that has been expanded with lots of photos on the website.


  1. Congratulations Jorgen! I'll be ordering my copy in the morning!

  2. I've just noticed that at the start of the Gossamer Gear video for the G4 pack, Glen Van Peski is reading Fjäderlätt Vandring. Why not get a bit of "product placement" for this one too? I'm looking forward to reading your new book.

  3. Eiran,
    Yeah, I heard from Glen that they used it in a video they were making, but have not seen it myself. He or his wife has some Swedish ancestry back along the line, so he's probably practising on his Swedish :-)

  4. Good luck Jörgen - I'll want a signed copy of course...

  5. Thanks Maz. Next time you're in Stockholm :-)

  6. Jorgen,

    I ordered Smarter Backpacking from Amazon US and read it one sitting. Good job!

    The only perplexing part is that you recommend the first word on page 10 as the password for entering parts of your website. In the U.S. version, the page is completely blank. I tried entering "blank" but no go. Could you provide an alternative page? Thanks

  7. Doug,
    That was fast! And thank you.
    Also thank you for pointing out the strange password page. This was in fact changed about a week ago to page 43, and now the old default from the developement stage is back. Very strange, I'll talk to the webmaster right away.
    However, if you use the first word on page 43 you should be able to access all the material. At least I was 5 minutes ago. If it does not work get back to me at

  8. Jorgen,

    The book had an imprint on the last page "Brenigsville, PA USA, 08 December 2010" so it must have been hot off the presses. Thanks for the change, and I was able to log on successfully.

  9. Doug,
    Great that everything seems to be working. Since you're probably one of the first using the compleat websit, please let me know if there are any kinks that need to be managed.
    I checked my copy (ordered from Amazon UK), which I sort of think has a good chance of being the first copy shipped. It has Milton Keynes, UK and December 02 on the last page.
    These first copies will no doubt be worth a fortune in a hundred years or so. To bad neither of us will be able to cash in on that :-)

  10. Looking forward to my copy ..soon out of stock ;-) bestseller ..

  11. Hi Jorgen

    I’ve recently taken delivery of your book, the 343 and the eradication of superfluous items philosophy is excellent. What is personally even more pleasing is, your book has made me realise I’ve been subconsciously been trying to do this for some time.

    I wish there were at least a few pictures in your book and I’m not entirely comfortable with constantly having to refer to the website more info, I think it disrupts the flow of the book.

    I’m having fun exploring your website, and it has become one of the sites I visit most days.

    I do have one question, why is it on the Smarter Backpacking website does the list of contents stop at Maps?

    Regards Geoff Edwards

  12. Hi Geoff,
    Thanks for your comments.
    Putting all the photos and bonus material on a website is of course an experiment. That is why feedback is valuable for me. The pros with book+website are:
    -Lower production costs for the book/cheaper book
    -Continous updates are made possible as I experience new gear etc. The printed book gets a longer life.

    The cons with the system are:
    -More difficult for readers to jump back and forth all the time which might detract from the reading experience/satisfaction.

    Since the idea as such is pretty new (at least I have never heard of it) feedback is of course extremely valuable. If I ever publish another book it might be a good compromise to have some photos in the book and the majority on the web.

    I do not understand your comment about the website ending with Maps. As far as I can see it ends with Windshirt. On

  13. Yes, I thought it was rather strange, but I've now reloaded the the webpage page and it seems to be ok.

    Regards Geoff


Post a Comment