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Wilderness Pleasures: A Practical Guide to Camping Bliss

Overview

All of the thrills with none of the spills.

Praise for Kevin Callan's The Happy Camper:
"Comprehensive, easy-to-read... [Cal/an] displays the assurance and economy of a true woodsman, and applies humor as well."
- San Francisco Chronicle

This colorfully illustrated, highly entertaining, truly informative sequel to The Happy Camper looks at...

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Overview

All of the thrills with none of the spills.

Praise for Kevin Callan's The Happy Camper:
"Comprehensive, easy-to-read... [Cal/an] displays the assurance and economy of a true woodsman, and applies humor as well."
- San Francisco Chronicle

This colorfully illustrated, highly entertaining, truly informative sequel to The Happy Camper looks at why people love the wilderness and how everyone from rugged canoe-trippers to family car-campers can derive more enjoyment from their time outdoors.

This is the perfect book for those who love camping except for "that one part" (which may be packing, portaging, bugs, bad weather, second-rate food, sleeping bags, rocks, uphill hikes, downhill tumbles, tippy canoes, life without a toilet or, let's face it, other campers).
With his trademark mix of comic timing and expertise, veteran guide Kevin Callan reveals the secrets to smooth paddling and pleasure-filled camping.

Topics include:

  • Choosing and planning the right trip
  • Camping companion harmony
  • Best camping equipment, gadgets and clothing
  • Sleeping softly on hard ground
  • Traveling light but eating well
  • Bush martinis and other wilderness spirits
  • Close encounters of the wildlife kind
  • Campside saunas, skinny-dipping, and how to make love in a canoe.

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Editorial Reviews

www.paddling.net/store
The perfect book for those who want the thrills with none of the spills. Delivered in his trademark good-humored style, Callan gives novice campers all the information they need to make their first camping experience one that will make them want to do it again. More experienced outdoor types will be reminded of why they go "out there" in the first place.
The Calgary Herald - Emma Gilchrist
Wilderness Pleasures is a practical and humorous guide to spending pleasurable time in the outdoors... Callan mixes comic tales with expertise, revealing the secrets to camping companion harmony, how to sleep softly on the ground, bush martinis and last, but certainly not least, how to make love in a canoe (apparently there are six steps)...lt's all packaged in a colourful picture-packed 238-page paperback, which makes for an entertaining read.
The Salt Lake Tribune
Most how-to books lack a sense of humor....That isn't the case with this slightly whacked book offering all sorts of information on camping...Some great little sidebars add to the fun... All of these little touches, coupled with good color photography and the author's great sense of humor, make this book a step above the average how-to guide.
National Wild Turkey Federa Women in the Outdoors
New to camping and need a little advice? Author Kevin Callan, veteran wilderness guide, provides good-humored tips and information that will make the camping experience more enjoyable.
Grand Rapids Press - Howard Meyerson
Callan's newest book does not disappoint. It is funny, informative and makes for good reading if you are a camper who aspires to leave the car behind... "Wilderness Pleasures' has tips for experienced trippers, but is most geared for introductory and intermediate wilderness campers. It is more discussion than dissertation, more playful than profound.... Outdoor prudes may want a little fan to cool themselves. Most others will find Callan's humor and expertise a true pleasure to read.
The Muskoka Sun - Kim Good
Don't let the word "wilderness" intimidate you. Letting go of the refuge of your car is easier than you think and to help you along is a new book by Kevin Callan.... Wilderness Camping: A Practical Guide to Camping Bliss will ease your mind and convince even lifelong car campers to give wilderness camping a try.... Callan is known for his light-hearted writing style...and while misadventures add an element of humour to the book, they also serve to instruct us on what to do.... Although Callan has an obvious love of the outdoors that comes through in his writing, the over 130 colour photographs depict the enjoyment of wilderness camping better than any written description could.... Wilderness Pleasures is a camping resource you don't want to be without.... Even if you're not ready to give up car camping just yet, the tips and techniques in Wilderness Pleasures will add to your camping enjoyment... "It's my favourite book and I had a blast writing it," say Callan, who has an enthusiasm for wilderness camping that experienced campers can relate to and [that] novice campers will find contagious. For yourself or any camper you know, Wilderness Pleasures provides a humorous look at what keeps campers coming back.
Washington Herald - Sharon Wootton
Kevin Callan walks a fine line between the must-be-miserable-in-the-wilderness crowd and those that love their guilty pleasures.... He wants readers to have the experience while still feeling comfortable, and for the most part he manages to walk the line.
Explore (Toronto)
The latest book from one of Explore's contributing editors shows there's much more to camping than just baked beans and bug bites.
Chronicle-Journal (Thunder Bay) - Linda Turk
[Callan] likes canoeing and he likes camping, and he's put together a helpful book of advice that will benefit anyone who wants to spend time outdoors.... His tips on what to pack and what's worth investing in are excellent, and the recipes for camp cooking alone are worth the price of the book.... Novice or veteran traveller in the bush, you can benefit from Callan's helpful and practical advice.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781550464979
  • Publisher: Boston Mills Press
  • Publication date: 9/12/2008
  • Pages: 240
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Meet the Author

Kevin Callan is the author of 11 books, including The Happy Camper and the popular A Paddler's Guide series. A key speaker at major North American canoeing and camping expos for 20 years, he is the recipient of three National Magazine awards and four film awards, including top award at the prestigious Waterwalker Film Festival. Callan lives in Peterborough, Ontario, birthplace of the modern-day canoe.

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Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction

THE ART OF ANTICIPATION: Getting Ready for Your Trip
Doing the Research
Map and Flap Parties
Lightweight and Fancy Free
Routes Less Traveled
Camping in the Backyard
Spending More Time Out There

GOOD CAMPING COMPANIONS
Taking the Kids Camping
Dog Paddling
How to Make Love in a Canoe
The Zen of Solo Tripping
Women Only, Please

COOL CAMP GADGETS AND FASHION STATEMENTS
Homegrown Gadgets
Understanding My GPS Manual
Traditional Gear that Still Works
Good Fashion Sense
The Perfect Camp Hat

Green Gear

ALL THE THRILLS WITH NONE OF THE SPILLS: How We Get Around
Mr. Canoehead
Kayaking
Car-Camping
Mountain Biking
Walking in the Woods

FEELING AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS
The Birth of the Therm-a-rest
Staying Warm and Cozy
Keep It Clean
Pooping Perfectly in the Woods
Sauna Sweat Is the Best Sweat
Skinny Dipping

EATING WELL
Recipe Contest
Baking in the Bush
More S'mores

BUSH MARTINIS AND OTHER WILDERNESS SPIRITS
Perfect Bush Martini
There's a Blackfly in My Chardonnay
Hot Toddies
Single Malt
Whisky
Irish Camp Coffee

GETTING CLOSE TO WILDLIFE — BUT NOT TOO CLOSE!
Common Camp Critters
Who Pooped Behind My Tent?
Lynx: Encounter
Running with the Moose in Northern Ontario
Catching a Trout on a Fly

WATCHING THE WEATHER
Keeping Warm and Dry
A Wise Sailor Once Said
Lightning Does Strike Twice
Watching the Night Sky
Moon Magic
Northern Lights
Somewhere Over the Rainbow

EXPLORATION: The Joys of Living to Tell the Tale
Knowing Trips Worse Than Yours
River Paddling
Loving to Portage
Sharing Bear Stories
What We Really Fear Is

INTRINSIC VALUES OF WILDERNESS
That Special Place
Campfires
Living Primitively
Wilderness and the Art of Deception

Bibliography
Index

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Preface

Introduction

I went along to iron out the wrinkles in my soul. — Omond Solandt

I SPEND A LOT OF TIME WRITING ABOUT THE UNPLEASANTNESS and discomforts of camping — stories of biting insects, nuisance bears and bad weather. I'm not sure exactly why. For some reason they're always the first tales to be told when I return from a trip. I guess, truth be told, misadventures usually make for better narratives. But what gets me out there in the first place, and what keeps me going out, is definitely not the discomfort. The pleasures of wilderness travel have always been the main attraction for me and, I have to assume, except for a few masochists, the same goes for most other campers out there. There are many ways to get comfortable out there without spoiling the experience. That's the reason behind this book. I thought the time was due for me to highlight the good things, not the bad. Or find the good in the bad. Call it an act of responsibility if you will — this is my way to tell people who haven't gone camping before about the many wonders waiting for them out there, and a way to strike a chord with others who have already gone and experienced them.

Don't get me wrong. I'll still come back and tell tales of grueling trips, and enjoy every minute of it. But there are moments when we all need to consciously seek out and then recall feelings of delight, happiness and contentedness. Times when just the smell of a pine tree, the sound of a loon call, the touch of a cool breeze, anything joyful, really, draws us back to wilderness. That's what this book is all about. A reminder of why we really go out there in the first place.

Seriously, aren't we generally out camping to have fun? I know I am. I get great pleasure out of planning a perfect trip and traveling with good companions; I enjoy my moments of solitude; I'm delighted when mixing a good martini or baking the perfect s'more; I'm jealous of others who have packed along better luxury items or own a more technically advanced camp gadget but proud of my own homemade gear; I'm obsessed with the idea of making love in a canoe at midnight or taking an early morning skinny dip; and I'm absolutely thrilled to spot a bear out on a trail, and even more elated to spin a tale about the close encounter when I return home.

There are, without a doubt, a lot of pleasures to be derived from heading out into the great outdoors, and I greatly anticipate my next trip because I enjoyed the last one. This is the basis of my happiness while camping, and my contentment in life in general. It's what this book is all about — the pleasures found while camping.

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