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Wilderness Wisdom

Author : John Gookin
Published : 2012-07-01

"Anyone who tells you portaging is fun is either a liar, or crazy, or maybe both."

That's hard wisdom from the late Bill Mason, a legendary canoe paddler, naturalist, and author, to dispute. It's just one of the gems to be found in the second edition of Wilderness Wisdom, a pocket-sized book of inspiring quotations well-suited for the outdoors.

Edited by John Gookin and published by the National Outdoors Leadership School, this wonderful companion sorts quotations by topic, such as Conservation, Environmental Ethics, Friendship, Hiking, Paddling, Self-Awareness, and so on.

Some of the quotes are well-known, such as this one from Theodore Roosevelt:

"The nation behaves well if it treats the natural resources as assets which it must turn over to the next generation increased and not impaired in value. Conservation means development as much as it does protection."

And this one from Wallace Stegner:

"We are the most dangerous species of life on the planet, and every other species, even the Earth itself, has cause to fear our power to exterminate. But we are also the only species which, when it chooses to do so, will go to great effort to save what it might destroy."

And then there are also wonderful nuggets from notables such as Mark Twain:

"Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do than the ones you did. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."

And some from relative unknowns, such as Abram T. Collier:

"Men go back to the mountains, as they go back to sailing ships at sea, because in the mountains and on the sea they must face up, as did men of another age, to the challenge of nature. Modern man lives in a highly synthetic kind of existence. He specializes in this and that. Rarely does he test all his powers or find himself whole. But in the hills and on the water the character of a man comes out."

And this gem from St. Bernard of Clairvaux:

"Believe an expert: you will find something far greater in the woods than in books. Trees and stones will teach you that which you cannot learn from the masters."

In short, this little book has a wealth of knowledge waiting to inspire you. All you need do is turn the pages.


Looks like a great book. I'm adding that one to my list. Thanks for the review!

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