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Top 5 Outdoor Books To Bring With You On Your Camping Trip

Camping season is finally here. Before you start eagerly loading up the camper or the vehicle to head out for an adventure, make sure to pack a good book to sit around the fire or curl up in the tent with. I've put together a list of five outdoor book recommendations to take with you on your next camping trip. From fly fishing in the Bahamas to remote cabin life in the Adirondacks, there's plenty of adventure to inspire your next outdoor trip. 

1. The Emerald Mile by Kevin Fedarko

With a bit of history and a lot of adventure, the Emerald Mile is a stunning story of the fastest ride in history through the heart of the Grand Canyon. This book tends to remain in my top five list of outdoor book recommendations for friends. The author Kevin Fedarko has extensive experience in the Grand Canyon. Fedarko worked as a river guide and hiked 750 miles in a sectional thru-hike in 2015. He has undoubtedly dedicated his life's work to sharing the historical history of the Grand Canyon and the people and stories that fill the space in between the immense walls. Fedarko takes us for a ride through the historical discovery of the Grand Canyon, the influential people and policies that crafted it into what it is today, and last but not least, the anticipated story of a couple of individuals enjoying the adventurous...and, yes, fastest ride down the Grand Canyon. 

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2. Body of Water by Chris Dombrowski

Body of Water is just as much about fly fishing for bonefish in the Bahamas as it is about the people and culture who started the sport. In my opinion, the author Chris Dombrowski cleverly crafts a meaningful and thoughtful story, just as well as he does casting for bonefish.While fishing is the focus, you don't have to be an angler to enjoy this book. The story focuses on David Pinder, a bonefishing guide in the Bahamas, and his family's role in the development of sporting resorts in the Bahamas. There are numerous takeaways and parallels to how tourism, fishing, and resort growth have impacted local communities. 

3. Woodswoman by Anne Labastille

I first stumbled onto this book while strolling the aisles of my local used bookstore near home. I'm not sure if it was the weathered paper cover, the word 'Woodswoman,' or a combination of the two that I felt like I had just found a hidden treasure among a row of books. Once home, I flipped through the first pages and was quickly mesmerized by Labastille's words and approach to life. Every now and then, you stumble upon stories of courageous, tough, passionate women who are invested in their community and environment. Anne Labastille is one of those women. In her Woodswoman book, she writes about living in a small hand-built cabin in the remote Adirondacks with her two German Shepherds. While reading about isolated cabin life may seem uninteresting to some, I assure you it is anything but mundane. She was an ecologist, photographer, author, and devoted conservationist during her life, not only in the Adirondacks but across the United States and internationally. I often find myself lingering at the end of a thoughtful sentence, not quite ready to let it fade away. Her independence and determination to craft a life of her own are inspiring. 

4. Desert Solitare by Edward Abbey

This book graces the bookshelves of many outdoor enthusiasts and professionals across the West. While Abbey didn't intend to become a leader or common name associated with the West, he certainly did so with his thoughtful portrayal and description of the Western landscape. Even if you don't live in the West, there are lessons intertwined within Abbey's words that can apply to many other regions of the world. I will follow up this book recommendation with one more; All The Wild That Remains by David Gessner. In addition to Edward Abbey, Wallace Stegner was an icon of the American West. David Gessner does a beautiful job of comparing Abbey and Stegner's perspectives on finite resources and continued expansion.

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5. A Place In The Woods by Helen Hoover

This book hits close to home. I was introduced to Helen Hoover recently after I had moved back home to Northern Minnesota. Along with many other talented authors who called the Gunflint Trail home, Helen Hoover and her husband Adrian settled in the Northwoods in the mid-1950s. Hoover wrote many books throughout her life while living near the Canadian border. However, A Place in the Woods paints the picture of their decision to move from a life of comfort and financial security to a slower and certainly more remote lifestyle in Northern Minnesota. If you want to escape into cabin life in Northern Minnesota, Hoover will paint you an accurate and endearing picture. 

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