Wildwood


Pocket Protection

The Wilderness Pocket n’ Pak Library is a set of 5 small books containing essential wilderness survival skills created by Dennis Bleything and Ron Dawson. The collection of books was first published in 1972 by what was then the authors’ company Life Support Technology. The set of books comes in a fold-up plastic sleeve that protects them while stuffed in a backpack or back pocket while out in the woods.

If you want a set of these excellent books you could probably find them used online or something, or instead you could try to order them from this 1974 issue of Backpacker. Its your choice but either way you should probably have these pocket sized lifesavers with you next time you hit the trail.



Richard Brautigan – Trout Fishing in America
November 27, 2011, 9:09 pm
Filed under: Angling, Books | Tags: ,

An excerpt from Richard Brautigan’s “Trout fishing in America.”

“I threw out a salmon egg and let it drift down over that rock and WHAM! a good hit! and I had the fish on and it ran hard downstream, cutting at an angle and staying deep and really coming on hard, solid and uncompromising, and then the fish jumped and for a second I thought it was a frog. I’d never seen a fish like that before.

God-damn! What the hell!

The fish ran deep again and I could feel its life energy screaming back up the line to my hand. The line felt like sound. It was like an ambulance siren coming straight at me, red light flashing, and then going away again and then taking to the air and becoming an air-raid siren.

The fish jumped a few more times and it still looked like a frog, but it didn’t have any legs. Then the fish grew tired and sloppy, and I swung and splashed it up the surface of the creek and into my net.

The fish was a twelve-inch rainbow trout with a huge hump on its back. A hunchback trout. The first I’d ever seen. The hump was probably due to an injury that occurred when the trout was young. Maybe a horse stepped on it or a tree fell over in a storm or its mother spawned where they were building a bridge.

There was a fine thing about that trout. I only wish I could have made a death mask of him. Not of his body though, but of his energy. I don’t know if anyone would have understood his body. I put it in my creel.
Later in the afternoon when the telephone booths began to grow dark at the edges, I punched out of the creek and went home. I had that hunchback trout for dinner. Wrapped in cornmeal and fried in butter, its hump tasted sweet as the kisses of Esmeralda.”



Curt Gowdy and The American Sportsman

The American Sportsman was a television show that aired from 1965 to 1986. The show, which was probably one of the first to depict outdoor adventures, showed hunting and fishing trips by the show’s host along with celebrities such as Bing Crosby and Andy Griffith. The tv show got it start as 20 min segment on the Wide World of Sports which followed Curt Gowdy (who went on to host the show) along with the legendary Joe Brooks on a fly fishing expedition in the Andes Mountains. The eventually went on to become The New American Sportsman which covered all types of sports, and in doing so lost the appeal of the original which focused on outdoor adventures.

I recently found the book,The American Sportsman Treasury, which is basically the hardbound version of the original tv show. The book contains more stories and excellent photos from various fishing and hunting trips of the past by experienced outdoorsman. More of the images can be found here.

 



Cabin
September 7, 2011, 7:45 pm
Filed under: Architecture, Books | Tags: , , ,

A bit over two years ago we posted here  about Lou Ureneck’s journey to build a cabin in rural Maine which he documented on a blog through the NY Times website. The construction of the cabin and the subsequent blog wrapped up sometime last year and now the full story of his experience has be read in a book he wrote appropriately called Cabin.

The cabin itself turned out beautiful however obviously there is a bit more to the story then simply the building of a cabin, like the opportunity to the reconnect with his brother, which he hints at in his final post on the times blog when he says, “It has been a gift to me in my 50’s to have spent a year with my brother in the woods, creating a space that we can return to, year after year, for fishing, talking or planning the next project.” I look forward to reading the book. For more up to date reports from the cabin deep in the wilds of Maine check out Lou’s blog here.



Henry B Kane

Its hard to find much information on Henry Bugbee Kane. The illustrator who lived from 1902-1971 provided some of the best illustrations to editions of outdoor classics like Thoreau’s Walden and The Maine Woods, along with other classics like Cache Lake Country by John Rowlands.

 

While you might have copies of these books already, if you find an edition with Mr. Kane’s illustrations its worth picking up, there isn’t a collection of just his prints out there…yet.

 



Pleasure Packing
September 9, 2010, 7:31 pm
Filed under: Books, The Great Outdoors | Tags: , ,

I found this book, Pleasure Packing by Robert S. Wood, the other day on the way home from work. Just outside my office is a book store who frequently leaves free books out front for the taking. Most of the books aren’t so great, however yesterday I found this one in the pile.

The illustrations and helpful hints in this book are pretty great, more to see here.



Buckshot
June 27, 2010, 3:15 pm
Filed under: Books, Friends | Tags: ,

Buckshot

This is the last time I write about birds. Birds, who cares about your wings? Who admires your feathers? Who keeps you from entering my windows? I do. Birds, with your distinct calls, and your disregard for my birthday, and your nests all around. Where were you when my salad sucked? Where were you when I headed out of town? You have let me down.

For the hunt I take hats. My rubber boots, too. I eat flapjacks in the smoky haze of my pipes, my corncob pipes. I clean guns, and check things. I hunt in the night, like a blind alligator, like a stunned mouse.

Goodbye, all you sounds, all you flaps, all you guns. Goodbye to my deer stand, glowing in the light of the things I have done.

poem by Natalie Lyalin




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