Frequently asked questions
Below are some questions we are often asked: click on a question to see our answer. If your question does not appear, or if you need more information, please contact us.
- What do you mean by waterproof?
- How long does delivery take?
- Tell me about optional extra maps.
- Why should I subscribe to your newsletter?
- How do I find out when a new title is available?
- How do I send a book as a present to a friend?
- How can I buy if I don't want to pay by card?
- How can I obtain a review copy of a book?
- Why did Rucksack Readers sponsor Xtreme Everest?
- 1. What do you mean by waterproof?
Our books are printed on paper treated with waterproof varnish that withstands the wet, unlike normal paper which quickly turns to pulp. Covers (including maps) have matt laminate on both sides. Drops of water can be brushed off the surface and text, map and photographs will all remain usable even in heavy rain.
However, our books are printed on biodegradable paper, not plastic, and water can seep into the edges of each page if moisture is persistent. The whole book will suffer if submerged in water or subjected to continuing wetness that penetrates under the varnish or laminate. On more recent books, we describe them as "water-resistant", rather than "waterproof", to emphasise this point.
If your book has suffered unduly from rain/snow during bona fide use, please return it to us with a brief statement of the circumstances (including date of your hike) and we will replace it with a pristine copy: NB this offer applies only to customers who buy direct from us.
- 2. How long does delivery take?
It depends on the destination country as well as how quickly we can process your order. UK orders go by letter post which generally takes 1-4 days. All others go by Air Mail, and generally arrive within 5-14 days. Processing an order takes up to 24 hours, more if you place it at a weekend, often less if you order on a weekday before noon (UK time). Overall, most orders arrive within 7-14 days, but please allow 21 days outside UK (10 days within UK) before thinking that something has gone wrong.
If timing is critical, please email or phone us and we will always try to solve your problem. Our own books are always in stock here, but if your order includes maps, and if we have just sold out, then it could slow things down while we restock.
- 3. Tell me about optional extra maps.
Rucksack Readers sells selected maps from other publishers, as a service to customers. On Scottish routes, we offer waterproof strip maps from Footprint wherever available (scale 1:45,000 approx) at £5 (20% discount). On English routes we sell waterproof strip maps from Harvey's (scale 1:40,000 approx) at £11 (£2 discount). On other routes, we offer map packs based on Ordnance Survey Explorers (1:25,000) at a discount. The price reflects the number of sheets needed (ranges from 1 to 4) but is always discounted. Details are shown on the book's own page and summarised on our Order form.
On our Irish routes we sell OSI Discovery map packs at a discount. For the Causeway Coast Way, we sell the OSNI Glens of Antrim map (£6.50).
- 4. Why should I subscribe to your newsletter?
You'll always know if there's a discount, which routes have updates and which titles are forthcoming. We never send out a newsletter unless we have something to say (usually 3 things!) and you can unsubscribe at any time. Expect about 6 issues a year if you subscribe. Click "View the latest issue" on our Home page for a sample.
- 5. How do I find out when a new title is available?
Sign up for our newsletter, send us an email or request our leaflet. We are always pleased to hear from readers with ideas for future titles, ideally by email.
- 6. How do I send a book as a present to a friend?
Simply Buy online as normal, but enter the friend's name and address on the Rucksack Readers order form (tick UK box if delivery is to UK). The email address must be your own. After confirming, you will reach a WorldPay payment screen: enter your own name and billing address for verification there.
If you want a greetings message included, email us before ordering if possible. There is a special category "Christmas delivery/greetings" for emails on our Contact page. (If you ordered before reading this, email or phone right away and if we haven't posted the goods we will do our best.)
- 7. How can I buy if I don't want to pay by card?
You can pay using your PayPal account, or in cash: we accept euros, US dollars and pounds sterling. Most countries have a signed-for Air Mail service that makes posting cash secure. Alternatively, in most parts of the world you can buy through your local bookshop just by telling them which distributor is active in your part of the world, e.g. Craenen BVBA of Herent for Europe or Interlink for North America. Check our Links page for distributor details.
- 8. How can I obtain a review copy of a book?
Contact us with the requested title, preferably by email, giving your full details and the name of the publication or website in which your review is scheduled or expected to appear. We will send you a book in the expectation of a clipping of the review in exchange.
- 9. Why did Rucksack Readers sponsor Xtreme Everest?
Several of our treks, and all of our Seven Summits series, involve high altitude, so we need to offer the best advice on preventing and managing altitude sickness. This project was the first large-scale, systematic study of how healthy people react to altitude gain, and promises to refresh and deepen our understanding of this important topic. Also, we thought it would be fun!