Whenever we go camping, I like to bring along an outdoor-themed book or two. Here are a couple of my favourites:
Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O’Dell
It’s a kids book from 1960, but it’s still one of my favourites! It’s the story of a young girl from a Pacific island whose tribe faces war and other hardships. They are eventually ‘rescued’ by European settlers to North America, but unfortunately she is forgotten on the island by herself. The book revolves around her struggle for survival all alone. It is rumoured to be based on a true story.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
This is the memoir of a young woman’s struggle for self-forgiveness and redemption by hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Cheryl finds herself in a bad place — her mother has just passed away, she has started using heroin and she is a chronic adulterer. In order to focus and straighten out her life and emotions, she decides to hike the PCT. Alone. Without any back-packing experience. This book is happy, sad, funny and scary at times. Cheryl is brutally and refreshingly honest — she makes mistakes, faces them and overcomes them. And she uses wilderness to accomplish this.
One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey
The true story of Richard Proenneke, a retired military man and diesel mechanic, who in 1968 at 53 years of age decides to build his own cabin near Twin Lakes Alaska and become completely self-sufficient. This book contains many of his journal entries, as well as several photographs that he took (they’re pretty impressive for 1970’s!). His determination, work ethic, photography skills, craftsmanship and genuine appreciation for nature are awe-inspiring. He doesn’t do it to prove anything, he just wants to get away from the rat-race and become one with nature. His cabin still stands today.