Official website of author Bruce Hampton

Soft Paths: Enjoying the Wilderness Without Harming It

softpaths1When David Cole, a U.S. Forest Service research scientist, and I teamed up in 1988 to write Soft Paths, I was working as a senior staff instructor with the National Outdoor Leadership School, the world’s premier wilderness school. We weren’t sure how the public would receive a book about what backcountry travelers can do to minimize their impact in wilderness, but over 100,000 copies later, it appears readers were ready. This is a how-to book, packed with techniques, science-based explanations and recommendations.

The first edition of Soft Paths was chosen as an Outdoor Book Club Selection. The best reward, however, was when I recently discovered a hiker packing a dog-eared copy of our book deep in Yellowstone National Park.

Soft Paths is presently in its fourth edition, co-authored now by Rich Brame and David Cole. Although the powers-that-be at the school graciously offered me the opportunity to write the most recent edition, I declined due to the fact that I’m no longer as current on new techniques as present-day instructors. After three editions, time for a new generation! I included the earlier edition here for readers who may wish to search for it on ebay or other used book venues. The Amazon link in the sidebar will take you to the most recent edition.

“This readable and practical guide to getting around in the wilderness without degrading it is a must for every hiker, backpacker, and conservationist. The authors have done a great service to protecting our great outdoors.” – George Frampton, The Wilderness Society

“A Backcountry MUST!! This book provides all the information you need to make decisions in the back country that help preserve nature and keep it clean for future generations to enjoy! The book covers practical solutions regarding back country travel in every environment from desert to arctic and everything in between. A great tool!” – M. King Amazon Customer Reviews

* Softcover: 173 pages
* Publisher: Stackpole Books; 4 editions (1988-2011)
* ISBN: 0811722341