For free-wheeling campers, Franz and Havens offer a breezy antidote to the air of hardy virtue that frequently surrounds their subject. The recipes don't begin until p. 192 of the 260-pp. text, and what comes before is as much personal anecdote as hard advice. This is all refreshingly unpompous, but backpackers concerned about weight might wish for a less loquacious guide. The least useful chapter, on foraging, consists almost entirely of a funny story (Franz, the first person speaker throughout, does not tell a funny story) about the pair's night of terror after eating unidentified mushrooms. Still, it's clear that considerable experience, thought, and ingenuity is behind their engagingly proffered advice--whether it's on turning a bandanna into a portable spice rack, improvising a sleeping-bag ice chest, avoiding plastic bags for leftovers (they're fine in a fridge, but only hasten spoilage in warm weather)--or on more routine matters like purifying water, managing the dish-washing detail, or equipping a backpackers', colonizer's, or RV kitchen. And if the recipe section is not extensive, it is lovingly selective. There are directions for making tortillas or culturing yogurt on the trail (also, ""whipping up a batch of mayonnaise never fails to impress fellow campers""); for sun-drying fruits and smoking fish; for catering to taste buds with chili sauces and sashimi dips (and to energy needs with oatmeal or rice drinks); and for making authentic cowboy coffeee--""preferably in a blue or black chipped enameled cowboy coffee pot."" The cartoon illustrations are funny too.