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  • Black Dog & Leventhal

The Forest Life: A Classic Guide to Canoeing, Fishing, Hunting, and Bushcraft

George Washington Sears

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Camping & woodcraft

Forest bathers, readers of Cabin Porn and Your Cabin in the Woods, rejoice! This illustrated collection of Sears' odes to the outdoors is your perfect escape into nature.

Forest Life collects George Washington Sears' timeless writing about the joys of exploring the wilderness, edited for a modern audience. In text both practical and inspirational, Sears' provides enduring wisdom about trips into the woods and lakes, including equipment, campfires, fishing, camp cooking, traveling light, and canoes.

The original "forest bather," Sears wanted others to enjoy the woods as he did. His published Woodcraft in 1884 to help prepare skillful, self-reliant woodsman and to extol the restorative power of nature, writing "There are men who, on finding themselves alone in a pathless forest, become appalled, almost panic stricken. . . And there be some who plunge into an unbroken forest with a feeling of fresh, free, invigorating delight, as they might dash into a crisp ocean surf on a hot day." In addition to Woodcraft, Forest Life contains many of his articles from Forest and Stream, as well as his nature poetry.

Sears is especially eloquent about canoeing, which he helped popularize with published tales of his adventures. In 1883, when he was 61 years old and suffering from tuberculosis, he used a 9-foot, 10-1/2 pound canoe to travel 266 miles through the Adirondacks, writing, "The easy, gentle rocking of the canoe was the best incentive to drowsiness I ever found, and by night or day was nearly certain to send me into dreamland. A score of times I have gone to sleep drifting on deep, wide water, to be awakened by the pressing and bumping of the little craft among the dead balsams and spruces that make [up] half the shorelines of all the lakes in the North Woods."

This two-color gift book, illustrated with period etchings of scenes, people, flora, and fauna of the Adirondacks, is the perfect gift book for the outdoor enthusiast. This handsome, affordable collection will be especially appealing to the millions who canoe, camp, and fish.

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