Hiking, backpacking and most things outdoors are hard to learn in books. My suggestion is to find an organization that teaches the kinds of things you want to learn. In California, I always recommend avid hikers / people interested in becoming avid hikers to look into joining a volunteer Search and Rescue team in their area.
SAR teams are run by County Sheriff's Departments here -- not sure how it is in your area. The members are almost 100% volunteers. They train and practice outdoor skills including navigation, first aid, etc. etc. -- all good stuff for an individual wanting to further their knowledge in how to get by in the outdoors.
I like the applied approach -- philosophy and theory are nothing without doing something.
I've run California-wide trainings for SAR volunteers and the primary goal is always to make the volunteer searcher self-sufficient and able to care for themselves and others in the field. This is good stuff.
"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf." [B][COLOR="Sienna"]-Orwell[/COLOR][/B]
"Treat people like a million bucks... but always have a plan on how to kill 'em." [B][COLOR="DarkOliveGreen"]-My Boss[/COLOR][/B]