Book Review: Ultralight Survival Kit, by Justin Lichter (AKA: Trauma)

P1030384Justin Lichter (AKA: Trauma) has hiked over 35,000 miles since 2002. Besides this, he also ski’s, rides mountain bikes, swims, snowshoes, and just about anything else that he can think up that involves being outdoors. And when he’s not out playing, he can be found working as a ski patroller. So, it’s safe to say that Justin has a lot of outdoors experience under his belt, and he has decided to yet again share some of that info with us in his new book, “Ultralight Survival Kit.” 

Some may remember that Justin also authored a book just a couple of years ago called “Trail Tested.” This book covers basic gear advice, as well as some tips on how to best choose, and use, various types of gear, and of course, how to maintain said gear. As well, he also shared some basic tips and advice on backpacking itself. Not only that, there are also some really good photos found throughout the book. All in all, it is a great book, and if you haven’t picked one up already, I suggest anyone (from newbie to advanced hikers) to pick this book up and add it to your collection…

But that wasn’t enough… just recently his new book, “Ultralight Survival Kit” was released. This book is a bit different from his previous book though. Instead, this is a smaller book, which is actually described as “pocketable.” At only 4 & 1/4 inch wide, 7 inches tall, and just over 1/4 inch thick, this 106 page guide does indeed fit in my back pockets pretty well. And at only 3.7 oz, well, I hardly notice it’s even there…

I don’t feel like I am wrong to say that this book is more of a quick reference type of guide-book; at least this is the feeling that I got when reading through it. “Ultralight Survival Kit” is filled with Justin’s tips, suggestions, and advice to deal with all sorts of things that one could encounter while on the trail. As well, when presented, Justin gets straight to the point and provides only the necessary info on the given subject, but in an easy to read and easy to understand way. This allowed Justing to cram this tiny book full of useful info!

P1030386 I will admit, while reading through the book, there were a number of things that I was already familiar with, but, there were also a number of other things that I was not. One thing that I really appreciated out of this book was the page with all the different animal tracks (pictured below). Identifying tracks is something that I am not exceptionally well at doing, but this little visual that he has put together should help me plenty!

This is but just one example of helpful things that are found throughout this book. And while this book is described as being “perfect for backpackers from beginner to advanced” I do feel like this book will benefit newbies at bit more than the more advanced hikers… obviously. I can definitely say that I wish I had something like this (as well as his other book, “Trail Tested”) when I first started backpacking just a few years ago, as I feel like it would have really made a difference in some of my first decisions. But don’t get me wrong either, I think that even those more advanced backpackers would also find this little book worth having!


Anyway, I think that Justin has managed to put out another incredible book, and I will be recommending it to others. Justin has a passion for being outdoors, as evidenced by all the time that he has spent living in the outdoors. And I feel like he has done an exceptional job at transferring some of that passion into this book.

In the “Introduction” section of this book, Justin says:

“My goal is to get people outside. We need to reconnect with wilderness and value the remote places that we have left. I want you to have fun and experience the backcountry safely so that you aren’t too intimidated to head out…”

I feel like Justin has done just that with this book…

Thanks for stopping by!


Disclaimer: I paid for this book with my own money. I have no affiliation with Justin Lichter, am making no money for writing this review, and have no obligation to write this review. The statements within this post are of my own opinion, which I formed after reading his books.



About Stick

My blog is essentially a record of my hiking career. Through it, I, and others, can see how I have evolved from a heavy weight backpacker, to a smarter, more efficient, lightweight backpacker. Through the use of video, still photos, and of course writing, one can see my progression, as well as check out some of the places I hike, and not to mention some cool, lightweight gear options. For me, my blog is a journal, but for others, I hope that it is an interactive learning tool to aid them in their own progression towards lightweight backpacking.
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4 Responses to Book Review: Ultralight Survival Kit, by Justin Lichter (AKA: Trauma)

  1. Pingback: Book Review: “Long Trails, Mastering the Art of the Thru-Hike” By Liz Thomas | Stick's Blog

  2. Daniel25 says:

    I agree with those who have spoken before me. It is very hard to differentiate your book from those that came out before yours. Writing about new technology is a good way to differentiate your book, as well as puting your own spin on things, sharing some of your own advice and experience.
    Thank you for writing the review, it was nice to read about the book!


  3. Russ says:

    Always like seeing what people are putting out and how they’re differentiating themselves from the other books that are out there. Seems its getting harder and harder to find something unique – some interesting personal tips here and there, sure, but it’s hard to come out with something ground breaking these days – a lot of us are stuck in our ways as chokapi said before in the comments.

    Interesting to get a look at the book though, I like to pick these up from time to time. At the very least, maybe they’re talking about new technology or gadgets or something that are helpful on the trail. Thanks for the write up.


  4. chokapi says:

    Hey, Stick, love your blog, and your posts on backpacker. I gotta say, though, that this book sings to the choir, and asks those who can’t sing to join. Probably won’t read it, but at near 50, if it ain’t killed me yet…


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