A little over two years ago, I read and reviewed my first travel book aimed squarely at the female population. Despite having “lipstick” and “women” in the title, I found it to be perfectly suitable for men as well.

When I was offered the chance to review Chelsea Duke’s first book, High Heels and a Head Torch: The Essential Guide for Girls Who Backpack, I figured why not? Since I’d learned with the lipstick book to take titles with a grain of salt, it wasn’t Duke’s cover which tipped me off that this would truly be a book geared for women. Nor was it the feminine, cursive typography sprinkled throughout the text. Not even the little pair of illustrated, strappy high heels underneath the page numbers gave me that ah-ha moment.

It was when I started chapter one, “First Things First,” which details putting one’s kit (or backpack and belongings) together, that I realized I’m in for a steady dose of the female perspective. I noticed there was an inordinate amount of time spent on clothing and accessories, and not just which items to bring, but how to ensure maximum opportunities for coordination. I learned, among other things, that make-up can melt and make a mess in hot weather.

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  • David Lee

    In late 2007, I quit my job and left the comfortable life in the USA for the open road with nothing but a 20-pound backpack, a …

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