Top Ten Books [and literary works] for Outdoorsmen (and Women)
I am a severe outdoor enthusiast in addition to my book obsession- and I love it when I get to merge the two passions. Really that is every other weekend when I’m healthy, because I always pack a book (the real kind, made of paper) on any excursion, so I can take reading breaks. Here is my (short) list of essential outdoor enthusiast reading material.
- Walden by Henry David Thoreau
A early naturalist and supporter of the “back to nature” movement in the us (he even served as a surveyor for the government in his later years) Walden is a must read for those who feel they belong in nature- granted it is important to remember Thoreau’s little experiment at Walden Pond didn’t last terribly long.
- The Complete Works of Emily Dickinson
Ms. Dickinson was clearly fascinated by the wonders of the natural world, and spent a great deal of her work examining the physical aspects of natures beauty, along with the spiritual benefits to those who were in nature. Her poetry is also generally short, making it perfect for rest breaks on the trail.
- The Poetic Works of Robert Frost
Possibly the most famous poet who ever wrote about walking down the trail, Frost came at a moment in American literature that allowed him great influence in both city dwellers yearning for a natural experience, and a great appreciation for homesteaders in the West who were living in it.
- National Geographic’s Guide to National Parks of the United States
Regardless of your nationality, or your current place of resident, you will be able to appreciate the American Parks System… really it’s one of the few things we do right- and there are magnificent places to hike, bike, climb, and camp- if you just know where!
- Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer
A true life story of Christopher Johnson McCandless, a young man seeking the great truths of the universe and himself by setting out into the wilds of Alaska. Christopher abandoned the comforts of a secure life at university and instead hiked into the wintry wilderness, living largely off the land. A modern Jack London tale.
- To Build a Fire by Jack London
A lesser known work from the author of The Call of the Wild, this novel examines the struggle between human instincts and the power of nature. Filled with London’s signature descriptions and the reality of the discomfort of Alaskan life.
- The Swiss Family Robinson by Johann D. Wyss
One of my favorite stories as a kid, a family deserted on an island, living amoungst nature- this novel is much more friendly to the younger set, or the “I don’t want to be depressed on vacation” group.
- The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
How could I not include the very best outdoor adventure book of childhood? As Huck and Jim explore the river and experience life in nature I dreamed of a life where running away was actually an option, just so I could go!
- 2012 Emergency Response Guide Book (or current edition, if you’re reading this in the future) by The US Department of Transportation and Transport Canada
The trouble with nature is that sometimes it isn’t entirely natural. It’s best to know what you’ve encountered when running into a truck on an old logging road, or a pipeline running through the forest. Especially if said man made obstacle is leaking, burning, or off gassing.
- The US Army Survival Manual: FM 21-76 by the US Department of Defense
The preeminent survival guide that everyone (including some of our sworn enemies) uses… Regardless of what you think about the US Military, they do know how to survive in the event you are stuck in the woods all by yourself.
This regular feature here at A MaeDay Life is a part of The Broke and the Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday’s. This week’s theme was “Top Ten All Time Favorite Books If You Like X