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Outdoors In

Let's face it, you just can't always be out having adventures. That time came for me last year when my right knee required ACL reconstruction surgery--a wonder of medical science, but a long-term adventure sideliner.

I'm now back to a mostly normal routine of hitting trails and pedaling the bike. But for nearly 5 months I got real friendly with the couch.


I don't have cable, so TV was a short-lived source of distraction. Then I found Into the Wild sitting on my shelf, half read. The adventures of McCandless led me to want more outdoor/adventure stories. If I couldn't be the one out in the mountains, why not follow the stories of those who were? These stories kept me motivated through physical therapy and excited about getting back outside!

Which books get you the most amped about the outdoors? Inspired about the next adventure you can take? Here are a few of my favorites:


·     Wild Trees, by Richard Preston

·     Three Cups of Tea, by Greg Mortensen  

·     Hitching Rides with Buddha, by Will Ferguson





Posted on at 5:49 PM

Tagged: adventure and books

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ryan the adventurer

The Places in Between, by Rory Stewart is a good read

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Starving to death in the back of an abandoned bus is pretty epic, dude. On that note, I recommend any book with real-life SAR (Search and Rescue) stories. Most SAR calls - rescues and body recoveries - are avoidable situations that are much less likely to happen to people who are educated and prepared for their activity or trip.


I loved the book Hatchet, by Gary Paulsen: fiction, but so real you live the adventure while reading it. Great motivation for young teens to take up Scouting and learn some practical outdoor wisdom (so you don't suffer like the poor kid Brian, who has no real tools for survival besides a hatchet). Its sequel is excellent too (Brian's Return)... plus its "other sequel", which explores what might have happened if Brian had not been rescued before the Canadian winter really set in...

On a lighter and less "extreme survival" note, I also loved Bill Bryson's book A Walk In The Woods, supposedly about hiking the entire Appalachian Trail but he soars away on fascinating tangents about pollution, politics, Little Debbie snacks, etc.

Anything by Patrick McManus is great too, but don't read that book while your campmates are sleeping. You'll wake everyone by laughing so hard. Start with A Fine and Pleasant Misery, move on to They Shoot Canoes, Don't They?, and you'll be hooked.


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