Book Review: Backpacking 101 by Heather Balogh Rochfort

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This book review of Backpacking 101 by Heather Balogh Rochfort contains affiliate links to The book was provided for possible review by the publishing company. Opinions are my own. 

Backpacking 101 by Heather Balogh Rochfort

Backpacking 101 book by Heather Balogh Rochfort - Book Review by Kam of Campfire Chic

Maybe you’ve been a day hiker for years and you’re ready to take the leap to backpacking. Or perhaps you’re new to the trails entirely, and you’re looking for a fun way to get some exercise in the fresh air. Whatever your experience level, Backpacking 101 is all you need (besides youre gear) – Back cover, Backpacking 101

You may know Heather as the blogger behind Just a Colorado Gal. She’s been sharing her outdoor and international adventures since 2005, including trips to Iceland, Jordan, and New Zealand. She is a backpacker, skier, trail runner, and recently announced that she is expecting a new member to the family in early October!

I really enjoy backpacking and wish I spent more weekends on the trail. I know I can always learn something new when it comes to being outdoors, so I was happy to check out Heather’s first book. You can purchase the book on Amazon in paperback or digital for Kindle.

About the book

This 200+ resource is a great pick for those of us who enjoy having information all in one place. I know that many of us get our information about new outdoor activities and places to explore from various blogs and websites, but piecing together information from different sources can take a lot of time and get you to a point of information overload.

Backpacking 101 is broken down into different chapters, which makes it easy to jump back and forth depending on what information you need. There are the basics like packing your backpack, different kinds of footwear, and appropriate clothing for your adventures. There are also other chapters on necessary topics that don’t always get covered because some people may consider them “common sense” and not as important as the basic topics covered above. These chapters include backcountry etiquette, setting up camp (including your kitchen), making your bed, and emergency situation. Heather also included a few appendices at the end, including one for trekking with dogs.


As I worked my way through the book, there was information that I already knew based on my own experiences outdoors, but there was also information I know I can learn more about. You know those things you should do in life but don’t do because you’re lazy/uninterested/comfortable doing what you’re already doing (like having one spot for my taxes so I can add things to it throughout the year, updating my resume even though I’m not necessarily looking for a job, etc.). I was reminded that I need to really focus on getting better at packing my bag and take a course on navigation.

One thing I like about the book is that Heather included Chapter Summaries at the end of each chapter, which highlights points she covered throughout the section. Generally, there is space on this page under the summary to include your own notes. It’s not lined like one of the appendix sections, but I think it would be a good spot to include notes as you are learning about backpacking.

If Heather decides to put out a second edition of this book or make another resource, I hope it’s about finding backpacking trips to take. The planning portion can be the hardest part for me when I’m trying to piece together information from blogs and there is information missing. I like Heather’s writing style and feel like she would be able to give some good information on the topic.

You can order a copy of Backpacking 101 by Heather Balogh Rochfort from Amazon. 

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