The Ultimate Hiking Skills Handbook is a British book that came out in 2006 (Edited by Chris Bagshaw). While not the deepest book on the outdoors it covers wide range of topics from getting in shape, to getting out to first aid and beyond.
The color photography and drawings are gorgeous, leaving it an easy to use book.The section on winter hill walking is particularly helpful, showing ice ax arrest methods clearly. Many books either don’t touch winter or tend to be words over photos. I am one for photos – it shows you clearly what you need to learn. The first aid section is also well laid out in photos.
(It helps that I am a sucker for the term ‘hill walking’, a term not heard much in the US.)
The book does gloss overbackpacking and food but that is fine, the other subjetcs in the book are more important and there are many other good books out there solely on backpacking – and hey you can learn about food from us 😉
If you have a friend who would love to get into hiking this would be a great gift. At 144 pages it isn’t overwhelming and will hold their attention.