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.
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.
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.
Table of Contents
THE ART OF ANTICIPATION: Getting Ready for Your Trip
GOOD CAMPING COMPANIONS
COOL CAMP GADGETS AND FASHION STATEMENTS
ALL THE THRILLS WITH NONE OF THE SPILLS: How We Get Around
FEELING AT HOME IN THE WILDERNESS
BUSH MARTINIS AND OTHER WILDERNESS SPIRITS
GETTING CLOSE TO WILDLIFE -- BUT NOT TOO CLOSE!
WATCHING THE WEATHER
EXPLORATION: The Joys of Living to Tell the Tale
INTRINSIC VALUES OF WILDERNESS