For the moment we are all spending a lot of time indoors, some of us are spending this time dreaming about future outdoor adventures. We’ve been looking back over some of our favourite writers and adventurers to inspire ourselves, here are three of our favourites, all well worth a read or a watch.
A fascinating outdoorsman, Proennekee enlisted in the Navy the day after Pearl Harbour, after being discharged he spent some time travelling across the country and eventually moved to Alaska where he trained as a diesel mechanic. In 1968 he built a cabin at Twin Lakes in Alaska on his own, using almost exclusively materials from around the area. Amazingly he recorded this on 8mm film, and the videos are incredible, and most are available on YouTube, he built the whole thing by hand and lived there for 30 years, working on and off for the Wildlife service. Unfortunately, he never really wrote a book, but books have been written from his journals. There was a good documentary made about his life called Alone in the Wilderness, his cabin still stands and is on the US National register of historical places, you can still visit it today.
A British writer who focuses on the natural world. Two of his books in particular are worth reading (although they’re all good): Mountains of the Mind and The Wild Places. Mountains of the Mind considers how mountains are both psychological and physical, why humans are drawn to them, despite their danger, and how they can lead to obsession and ruin. The Wild Places explores the parts of Britain that are still wilderness. He begins by visiting far flung areas -- islands of the Scottish Highlands and Llyn Peninsula in North West Wales, for example -- but towards the end of the book he changes his perspective and starts to find wilderness closer to the world of man.
There is also a BBC documentary based on his work https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00qsxy5
He’s a British national institution, I think most people will be familiar with him. He originally became famous for his tv show “Ray Mears World of Survival” in the late 90’s but he’s had so many different tv shows over the years, all focussing on bush craft, survival skills, wild food or the wilderness. There’s something for everyone in his back catalogue, he’s also a surprisingly prolific author and has written thirteen books over the last 30 years. If you’ve never watched him, he is truly fascinating and has a very heavy grown up boy scout vibe.