In continuing with my mini series on camping for beginners, I want to share with you a few of my favorite outdoor reference books. While the internet is full of blogs and forums and websites dedicated to providing you with a wealth of outdoor information, books are a great resource to use as well.
Camping for Dummies
If you think of all the things you do in a day, the For Dummies series has probably written a book on most of them. Targeting a specific audience, the Camping for Dummies book is a great way to learn the basics of everything camping, and then some. It has 350 pages filled with useful information, supplemented with pictures and diagrams for the more confusing subjects. The writing style is quirky and funny, making it a joy to read. It’s the quintessential book for anyone looking to take up camping as a hobby.
The Ultimate Hang
This book also has a very specific audience- hammock campers. Hammocks are a great cost effective and easy way to kick off your camping years. The book small enough to put in you’re pack or trunk when you go out for the weekend, so you don’t have to worry about forgetting anything when you set up camp. This book is filled with just about everything about hammocks, and like the For Dummies book, has over 200 illustrations to help you figure things out. Between two pieces of cardboard, it pretty much sums up all of the Hammock Forums website. The author of the book- Derek Hanson- is actually a member on the forums.
The Ultimate Hikers Gear Guide
Andrew Skurka, a world renown hiker and lightweight backpacker wrote this book. With literally thousands of miles under his feet, you know this will be a very informative book. I had an opportunity a few years ago to attend one of the number of speeches he does around the country, and was able to get my hands on the signed copy of this book. If his speech doesn’t sell you on how well he knows his stuff, his book certainly will (even of it’s not the signed version). Everything is split into three sections- why people backpack, the tools and techniques they use, and sample gear lists. In less than 230 pages, he has written about everything there is to know about lightweight backpacking. While this subject may be a little advanced for beginners, it will still offer an enormous amount of useful information.
The Boy Scout Handbook
No outdoor reference list is complete with out this one, and it’s pretty self explanatory why. The Boy Scout motto is to “be prepared” and the handbook encompasses this and so many other things in its pages. Though it is written in a different format and with a different purpose (rank advancement) than a normal book, it will provide very informative writings on things like navigation, wilderness first aid, cooking, and shelter making. Perhaps the best thing about this book is that you can find used ones for less than a dollar at your local book store.
-The Urban Outdoorsman
Follow on Twitter
Pictures were obtained from respective author’s web pages.