These 9 outdoor themed-books will ensure your summer campfire is a cozy one.
Reading at camp is one of the best ways to pass the time. Here are nine must-read books to take on the trail to camp this summer.
1. “By Cheyenne Campfires” George Bird Grinnell
Whether you find yourself in the wilderness of the Rocky Mountain backcountry or the wilds of your own backyard, an evening with Cheyenne folk tales is sure to entertain and encourage your imagination. George Bird Grinnell vaults your mind into the thick early morning fog that hung low on the heads of prairie grass when the Great Plains were truly a wild landscape.
Discover the Cheyenne relationships they held in regard with the world that surrounded them, recount times of conflict and peace, while letting your mind wander into the past and the legends that accompanied it. Get your copy here.
2. “The Autobiography of Teddy Roosevelt”
No outdoor-oriented book list would be complete without an account of President Theodore Roosevelt. Penned by his own hand, “Theodore Roosevelt: An Autobiography,“ is an inclusive account of his political ideologies, his fondness for the west, and his love of the great outdoors.
The father of the modern conservation movement addresses various stages of his political career with an honesty and candidness befitting his reputation and personality.
3. “A Sound County Almanac” Aldo Leopold
Perhaps the most prolifically quoted outdoor author, Aldo Leopold, “A Sand County Almanac” is a definite must-read, reread, and reread again for any hunter, fisher, or outdoor enthusiast. Leopold’s position on conservation and ethical sportsman practices established a standard that is aspired to even today.
This piece of literature is a how-to guide , a series of biological essays, and a scientific translation for how the natural world works sandwiched conveniently between two covers.
4. “Hunting Elk the West, the Eastman Way” Mike Eastman
If summer is up to bat, then fall is on deck just on the horizon. Fall means cool crisp mornings, vibrant aspen groves filled with color, and bugling bull elk. Mike Eastman, offers up generations of western elk hunting tips and tactics in this descriptive and informative hunter’s manual.
Pictures fit to adorn any hunting lodge wall or outdoor magazine cover accompany the thoroughly descriptive chapters. Western state hot spots, accurate field judging, and scouting strategies are just a few of the topics covered between the covers.
If elk hunting is on your fall agenda, then “Elk Hunting the West, The Eastman Way” should find its way to your fireside perch this camping season.
5. “Open Season” C.J. Box
If fiction is more to your liking, this suggestion is likely to start an addiction with 14 additional offerings in the series available to curb the desire.
“Open Season” follows Joe Pickett, a Wyoming game warden, into the Big Horn Mountains of central Wyoming to uncover the cause of a local outfitter’s death. Deception, coverups, and endangered species intertwine to create a true page turner that will leave you entertained and ready for more.
Author, C. J. Box, creates a character in Joe Pickett of simple sophistication reminiscent of old Western heroes like the Lone Ranger and the Duke, but the setting is that of modern day society. This mystery/crime drama will be certain to warm your summer nights, that’s a great quality considering you will find yourself so involved that you will forget to throw another log on the fire.
6. “Practical Paracord Projects” Instructables
Next to duct tape and super glue, paracord has become the outdoorsman’s greatest fix-all. “Practical Paracord Projects” serves as an interactive read that provides step by step instructions for numerous useful projects.
Inevitably, you will forget something and probably won’t discover it until its needed at the campsite. Chances are, some weave or braid of this popular DIY staple will work in a bind. If your watch band breaks, guy wire snaps, or you forgot your favorite camp chair, “Practical Paracord Projects” has a solution.
7. “The Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine” Steven Rinella
Hunting television personality, podcaster, and the long lost offspring of Julia Child and Aldo Leopold, Steven Rinella embarks on a year long journey to recreate the 45 course meal originated in Auguste Escoffier’s 1903 food filled adventure, “Le Guide Culinaire.”
In Rinella’s “The Scavenger’s Guide to Haute Cuisine,” the reader follows Steve from Alaska mountain ranges through the midwest to the Florida coast gathering ingredients necessary for the duplication. What is unique about Rinella’s authorship is the experiences, people and memories he puts on paper.
Stoke the fire, grab a cocktail, and let the pages turn as you live vicariously through Rinella’s account of his journey.
8. “They Shoot Canoes, Don’t They?” Patrick F. McManus
When scary campfire stories won’t tuck the kids into their sleeping bags for the evening, a chapter from famed outdoor humorist Patrick F McManus’s “They Shoot Canoes, Don’t They?” will be sure to have the whole family rolling with laughter.
Stories told through the eyes of McManus at various stages throughout his life are truly side-splitting tales that could only have occurred when being a kid meant lots of self-discovery (no parental supervision). McManus has a flare for finding the hilarity in disasters that accompany camping trips, hunting adventures, and fishing excursions of the most accident prone outdoorsman, whom we can all relate to at some time or another.
9. “The Journals of Lewis and Clark”
Diving into history can provide the reader with a sense of the surreal that can be hard to comprehend. “The Journals of Lewis and Clark” is that piece of literary history that will bring you along on the greatest camping adventure and exploration our country has known.
As you roast a marshmallow or refill you evening coffee, follow Lewis and Clark as they navigate the route over the Great Plains, through the Rocky Mountains, to the Pacific Ocean and back again. The trials and accounts will add perspective to your own experience and foster irreplaceable respect and admiration for what the expedition’s team underwent.
These are the best books to make you feel even more adventurous and outdoorsy while you are at camp. Read with the glow of the campfire, you’ll be sure to love these books.