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2018 Hammock Bucket List

2018 Hammock Bucket List

Here is a list of some awesome hammock spots you should try and get to this year! We kept it in the United States, would you guys want a list of places outside the Country? 

Zion National Park, UT

Why it makes the list: It is such a different environment at Zion National Park. If you have ever been to Southern Utah you know how beautiful and different the red rock is. It truly is a must see. Bring your hammock and have an awesome hang. 

When to go: Really honestly go anytime just be aware that there is a significant increase in traffic during the summer months. I headed down around March when there is still a little snow on the red rock and no one in the park and it was glorious! 

Angeles National Forest, CA

Why it makes the list: Get a beautiful view of downtown LA by heading up to Angeles National Forest. I love the idea of getting a gorgeous city landscape view from my hammock away from all the crowds. The view from Mount Wilson Observatory seems to be the best! If you are headed to LA this year, you might give this one a try.

When to go: Head up in the evening to catch the sunset then stay to watch LA light up the horizon. 

Lake Tahoe, CA

Why it makes the list: Crystal blue water and gorgeous granite mountains make this one hard to pass up. Not to mention all there is to do. Plenty of hiking and views if you want to stay off the beaten path. However, there is plenty of great tourist activities too! Catch a ride in a mountain gondola or a hot air balloon, or spend the evening at a nice restaurant. There is something for everyone and seriously, that view is just gorgeous. 

When to go: March to May is the season when Tahoe will be the cheapest, and least crowded. Although the temperatures will only reach the 60’s. 

Havasupi, AZ

Why it makes the list: At the base of the Grand Canyon you will find the beautiful oasis that is Havasu Falls. With the red rock and blue green waters it is a remarkable sight. It is quite the adventure to reach the falls so you will need to come prepared. However, it is so worth it!

When to go: You will definitely need to make plans for this lengthy backpacking trip.You will need to get a permit and reserve a camp spot. Many prefer to go in spring or even late fall to avoid the crowds and hot temperatures.  Check out this post for some more information. 

Moraine Lake, Banff Canada

Why it makes the list: It is said that Moraine Lake is simply breathtaking. You will actually find this lake on the back of the Canadian Dollar Bill. It is a glacially fed lake that appears almost turquoise. I have not yet been to Banff, but this is the top of my list for 2018!

When to visit: The lake actually remains frozen until late May. Late June – August is the time to visit for the best view of the lake. 

Skyline Drive, Shenandoah National Park

Why it makes the list: It is just one of the best fall views ever. Just look at that, how could it not make the list?!

When to go: Fall! Growing up this was one of my favorite ways to appreciate the beauty of fall. Head up there with a hammock for a truly beautiful hang. Find out more here

Olympic National Park, WA

Why it makes the list: This is one of the most unique National Parks I have visited. It is a massive park with so much to see and so much variation. I think I could go back 10 more times and there would still be more to see. There is beach, rainforest, mountain views and more. Definitely worth a visit this year. 

When to go: Although the summer is crowded, it is such a large park that it wasn’t too much of a bother. Just get going early! 

Clearwater, FL

Why it makes the list: If clear blue water and white sand beaches are your cup of tea, this should definitely be on your list. It is an awesome family beach. Just well taken care of and gorgeous. There are also a lot of lesser known beaches in the area that are less of a tourist destination. Try Caladesi State Park or Honeymoon Island State Park. 

When to go: Probably summer unless you don’t care for the crowds. Just avoid hurricane season! 

Although I can’t go into tons of details about all of these there are so many more I thought of:

  1. St. Simons Island, GA
  2. Glacier National Park
  3. Yosemite National Park
  4. Uinta Mountains, UT
  5. Acadia National Park
  6. Laguna Beach, CA
  7. Redwood State Park, CA
  8. Mt. Rainer National Park

Can you think of others? What is on your hammocking bucket list for 2018? We want to know!

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New Year’s Resolutions for the Outdoor Enthusiast

New Year’s Resolutions for the Outdoor Enthusiast

So maybe you are into making New Year’s Resolutions and maybe you’re not. But personally, I am all for making new goals and trying new things and New Year’s Resolutions are a great way to do that.

It makes me excited to get out and go when I have goals I am achieving. So we put together a list, and maybe something will strike your fancy for a goal for 2018. 

1. Do something new

When it comes to getting outdoors I think we all have our favorite things to do. Mine include hammocking, hiking, backpacking, and canoeing and kayaking when I get the chance. 

You never know what new favorite hobby could be waiting for you if you don’t give something new a try. Have you tried bouldering? Paragliding? Snowshoeing? There are so many fun ways to get outside, give something new a try this year!

2. Explore your hometown

I don’t know about you but sometimes I get so busy living my life I forget about all the awesome things I have to explore in my own hometown. 

I have had this list of hikes I want to do for years and somehow I just never seem to get to them. Adventure doesn’t have to be huge, it can be an afternoon appreciating the beauty right outside your door.

Hammock Time!

3. Find an awesome place to hang

This most certainly had to be on the list for the new year. I am putting together a hammock hanging bucket list for 2018. Check in next week to read the post all about it! Meanwhile, head over to our social media to post your favorite spots from 2017!

4. Volunteer!

Pay it forward this year by helping take care of the places you love to visit! If you are a hiker or biker help with some upkeep on your favorite trails. Are you a runner? Volunteer your time at the next race.

You can even donate some of your used gear to a good cause, or sell your gear and donate the proceeds to your favorite outdoor programs. 

5. Get out of your comfort zone

Push yourself to do something this year that you wouldn’t do last year. Climb that route you wouldn’t last year, jump off that cliff you wouldn’t last year, ski the run you were afraid of last year, or run a marathon. Just keep pushing yourself!

6. Travel to one new place

I love to travel and see new things, but some years are just tough. You don’t have the money, or you have a new baby, or you’re going to school, but if you set your sights on one new place I think you can do it. 

Maybe this year it’s a cheap cruise to Mexico, or maybe you can finally make your dream vacation a reality, but either way see one new place this year!

7. Leave the camera and phone at home

Or at least in the car, cause you know, you just never know. But really I have been meaning to do this forever. Go on an adventure and experience every moment for you. You might just be inspired the second the screens aren’t there to distract you.

8. Get outside daily

If you sit in an office all day this is an especially good goal for you. Just take 15 minutes and walk around. Get your blood flowing and think about something else for a short while. 

If you don’t work in an office still try and get outside daily! Go on a morning or evening walk. Or a bike ride. It’s pretty crazy how much less important some things seem after a good walk. 

9. Visit a new National Park

Honestly, this is one of my favorite goals I set for myself every year. I love seeing the beauty in this country. Visiting a National Park can get a little overwhelming with the amount of visitors they get.

My favorite thing to do is find a trail that highlights the beauty of the park and go at a time that not many other people are there. I have great memories of the Grand Canyon at sunset, Yosemite’s Half Dome in March, picnic lunch at Crater Lake, and Angel’s Landing in Zion just as the snow is starting to melt off the red rock. 

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The difference we made this year

The difference we’ve made this year

We’ve always known we have awesome customers but seriously, we can’t believe the math! Over the past two years we have been able to do so much to help the homeless population, and it is all thanks to your support. 

For those of you who are new around here, for every purchase you make at Hobo Hammocks, a meal is donated to the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake to help the homeless population. There is more information about this process here. Or watch the short video below with founder, Jake Anderson explaining our Mission.  

Over the past two years we have donated close to 5,300 meals to the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake. That means that we have fed one person three meals a day for close to 5 years. Or, one person one meal a day for 14 years. 14 years?! Again, we cannot understate how much we appreciate your support of our mission. 

What to expect in 2018

We want to continue to provide this amount of support to the homeless population in 2018. With your help, I know we can! We will continue to offer an awesome product at a great price and hopefully continue to find customers who care about our mission as much as we know you do. 

We wish you all the best in the new year, and want to thank you again for the difference you made this year!

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How to save weight and stay warm while backpacking

Save weight & Stay warm

This is any backpackers biggest struggle come cooler temperatures. How to keep your pack light, but make sure you have all the gear you need so you’re not freezing all night.

Making these decisions can be all about personal preference as well. A seasoned backpacker learns how to pack from years of experience. It will take some time to determine what is worth packing for you. We do have some general tips for you though! 

The four essentials

To save the most weight, you need to make sure the four biggest items you pack are as light as possible. 

  1. Sleeping Bag – Especially in cooler temperatures, where you need a more bulky bag, this can be quite the weight in your pack. Down material is the lightest option, so the best for watching your weight, but it is also the most expensive. 
  2. Hammock – Because camping hammocks are so lightweight, these are a great option if you are trying to save weight. 
  3. Pack – This will likely be the heaviest thing you bring. To bring this weight down you can consider purchasing a smaller pack, or a frameless pack. 
  4. Pad or Underquilt/Overquilt – If you are looking to stay warm while hammock camping, an underquilt and topquilt are your best bet although they may be heavier than 

Smaller tips

Change your clothes before bed – After hiking all day, your clothes will be saturated with sweat, snow, rain or just the humidity in the air. To stay warm at night change into your dry pair of clothes. Keep the wet pair with you in your sleeping bag to dry them off as much as possible during the night. 

Think through every item in your pack – There may be areas that don’t initially think you can save weight, that you actually can. For example, can you make your toothbrush any smaller? Are you using an alcohol stove?

You can bring one item that serves a lot of purposes. For instance a bandana can serve as a headband, a pot holder, a tourniquet, or a towel for dishes. Rather than a bulky pack cover, insulate the inside of your bag with a garbage bag. 

Water – Water is one of the biggest weights you will carry. Try to drink as much as possible when you fill up your water and only carry a liter of water with you on the trail. 

Clothing – Cotton is absorbent so it will get stinky, and is useless in the cold, we recommend you leave the cotton items at home! Merino wool is a great material for your shirts and socks. For warmth, wear a base layer with a fleece pullover and a lightweight down jacket. You could also think about bringing a lightweight waterproof rain jacket. However, don’t get carried away bringing more clothes than you need. It takes up space, and adds weight to your pack. 

There are some great articles out there all about this subject, check out a few we loved. This one from man makes fire, and this one from green belly. 

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Hobo Hammocks: the stuff we’re made of

The Stuff We’re Made Of

All included!

So here is a run down of exactly what we are made of and, more importantly, why it matters! We create our hammocks with the hammock-er in mind. Each piece of our hammock is chosen for a very specific reason, now read on to find out why.

Straight Gate Carabiners, are pretty standard carabiners that simply do their job. They are strong, and very easy to use. They easily open, and close automatically when released. As they are made of steel, which is very durable and will keep you hanging just as high as you dare to hang. 

Size, specifically Double Hammock size. So size of hammock is a big factor that differentiates hammock companies. At Hobo Hammocks we want you to be the most comfortable in your hobo hammock, so we made sure you have plenty of room. Our hammocks measure 10ft x 6.5ft.  

Parachute Nylon is a popular fabric used in camping hammocks, and for a great reason. It is a very strong fabric, ours has a load capacity of 540 lbs. It also has a nice stretch to it and a soft texture which allows you to feel exceptionally comfortable in your hammock. 

Stuff Pouch, this is a very convenient part of your Hobo Hammock. You never need to worry about losing your stuff pouch because it is attached to your hammock. You can easily fit your hammock, and tree straps for your carrying ease. 

Tree Straps, are included in your purchase of a Hobo Hammock. Each tree strap is 10 ft long so there is no restrictions on where you hang. 

Red and Orange Hammock
Hammock Straps

The Extras

So there you have it, that’s the stuff we’re made of. In addition to this we also offer a lifetime warranty on your hammock and we donate a portion of your purchase to the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake to help feed and provide lodging to the homeless. Happy hanging in your Hobo Hammock! (Don’t forget, use code hhblogfollower for $7 off your order)

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Best Stocking Stuffers Under $30

December is right around the corner and the Holiday craziness is quickly approaching! Whether you have all your gifts taken care of, or you haven’t started (totally me), we have you covered with the best stocking stuffers for everyone on your list. 

Best Stocking Stuffers Under $30

For the Dog Lover

  1. Musher’s Secret Paw Protection Wax – Keep those paws looking and feeling great with this paw protection wax. ($12.25)
  2. Pocket Pet First Aid Kit – Feel more confident on the trail and at camp with this pocket pet first aid kit. ($12.00)
  3. Collapsible Dog Bowl – Easy to bring with you, lightweight, and collapsible. The perfect bowl for your adventure buddy. ($9.99)
  4. Walking Harness – Reduce the strain on your pets neck and ($19.95)

For the Hammock Lover

  1. Hobo Hammock Shirt – This is an awesome stocking stuffer (for only $10) to show your Hobo Hammock love. 
  2. Extra Hang Straps – For those that have shown some serious love to their hang straps, get them a new pair. ($10)
  3. Indoor Hang Kit – Hammock all year round with the indoor hammock hang kit. ($10)
  4. Rain Fly – Just barely over our $30 mark, this fly is a necessity for any serious hammock camper. ($39)
hammock straps
Rain Shield Hammock Rain Fly

For the Adventurer

  1. What Happens at Camp Stays at Camp Shirt – Don’t forget to add this to your list from North Face for ($25.00)
  2. Yaktrax Traction Cleats – These are awesome for walking around the City in icy conditions or maneuvering icy, snowy trails.  ($16.38)
  3. Microfiber Towel –  These are great for backpacking and travel. They are quick drying and super light which makes carrying them along easy. ($13.35)
  4. Tenacious Tape – This tape is great for jacket, backpack, and tent repairs!($4.52)

For just about anyone

  1. 30 oz. YETI Rambler – Score this awesome tumbler for anyone on your list. ($29.99)
  2. Smartwool Unisex Socks – My favorite cold weather outdoor socks hands down. ($18.95)
  3. Seasonal CLIF Bars – Am I the only one who is just finding out about these now? They have Iced Gingerbread, Hot Chocolate, and Spiced Pumpkin Pie and all will be added to my stocking this year. (12/$20.30)
  4. Adventure Enamel Mug – Great for the early mornings by the campfire. ($11.95)

So there you have it, the best stocking stuffers under $30 for anyone on your list. What is your favorite thing to get in your stocking? Happy Hanging, holiday style!

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2017 Gift Guide for the Outdoor Junkie

Here is a gift guide that is perfect for anyone who likes spending time outside. We think you will find something for any outdoor lover on your list. Check it out and let us know what you think!

1. Camera Backpack

Lowepro Photo Sport BP 200 AW II

This is a great gift for an outdoor lover. Especially one with a love for photography. Lowepro has tons of backpack options so you are sure to find the perfect one for your outdoor photographer. 

2. Hobo Hammock

Army Hammock
(DOUBLE) Green and Brown Hammock – Survivor

Hammocks are an awesome gift for someone who loves the outdoors. This double hammock will give you plenty of room and the hanging straps are included! For Black Friday you can purchase this hammock for only $44 with code HHFriday.

3. Guide Book

A guide book is a great gift for an outdoor adventurer. Secrets of the National Parks is great for those interested in getting beyond the crowded attractions in our National Parks. (You could also give this guide with an annual National Parks Pass). You might also consider The Ultimate Hang: An Illustrated Guide To Hammock Camping for those new to hammocking. 

4. A Camp Stove or Cooking Set

A propane stove is such a convenient way to prepare meals while camping. If you do not currently have one with your camping gear, I highly recommend it! You might also consider this smaller option. In regards to cookware, check out this set

5. An Outdoor Subscription Box

Cairn Monthly Subscription Box Example

There are tons of outdoor subscription boxes out there all at various prices. Cairn is a great option at $29.95/month. If you are looking for camp food, Fireside Provisions will tailor your meals to your adventure. Little Hiker is a box specifically tailored to your littles. It includes an item for you, snack items, and something to help your littles explore. 

6. A Book

Books are awesome to bring camping, or backpacking. A few weeks ago we put together a blog post full of our favorite outdoor related books. If you are looking for recommendations check out that post

7. Camp Kettle/Coffee Pot

For those outdoor adventurers who can’t go without their tea or coffee, get them a pot for the road! Here is an awesome coffee press you might consider. 

8. Shoes to take you places!

  1. Snowshoes – These are so much fun and you can find them pretty decently priced. There are even some adorable kids versions so the whole family can enjoy the snow. (You could also give these snow goggles). 
  2. Camping Slippers – Slip these on and snuggle into your sleeping bag to keep your feet extra toasty. 
  3. Running Shoes – A nice pair of running shoes and this cool flashlight would make the perfect gift for the sporty outdoorsman. 
  4. Hiking Shoes – Every outdoor person needs a good pair of hiking shoes, preferably waterproof. Check out this pair.

9. Solar Charger

Goal Zero Guide 10 Plus Solar Kit

Going for a long adventure without a power source? Bring along this awesome solar charger and never worry about loosing power. 

10. Waterproof Bluetooth Speaker

This is an awesome gift for anyone really. I use my waterproof bluetooth speaker what seems like daily. Great for music in the shower, or bring it camping without worrying about the elements ruining it. 

Hopefully you found something on this gift guide that peaked your interest. We here at Hobo Hammocks hope you have the best Thanksgiving and Holiday season. Happy Hanging!

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Black Friday Deals for Outdoor Enthusiasts

There are so many Black Friday deals out there that sifting through them can become a daunting task. So we thought we would make your life a little easier. Check out the best gear deals available!


So up until November 17th Amazon does a countdown to Black Friday event. There are lightning deals, and sales available before Black Friday. Below are some killer sales on outdoor gear available this week. On November 17th Amazon will post a doorbusters list that we will add to this post. They will also post a Cyber Monday ad on November 25th. 


Both Target and Walmart always have great deals on electronics so if you are looking for a new camera to document your awesome adventures, check out Target’s DSLR package they are advertising. They also have a deal on the new Go Pro Hero 5

Hobo Hammocks

Obviously we have a killer deal going on for Black Friday. Use code HHFriday on Black Friday for $15 off your order. 


Walmart has Fit Bit’s at $50 dollars off making them just under $100. Find them here. They also have a deal on an Ozark Trail Premium Soft Sided Cooler. These soft sided coolers are my favorite to bring camping or to keep in your car for road trips. 

Dick’s Sporting Goods

Dick’s has some great deals on athletic clothing, including $15 off $60. They are also offering up to 50% off select camping gear and cookware. Some of their sale is already live, head over to check it out!


Cabela’s is having some great sales including, 25% off camp Chef stoves, 30% off camp furniture, and 20% off Keen Footwear. Check out their ad here!

Additional deals

While REI is closed during Black Friday because they want their employees to #optoutside, they have a pre-Black Friday sale that is live now! They are offering up to 30% off plus additional discounts for card members. 

Columbia is known to have some great discounts on doorbusters but they have not released their ad yet, so we will update this post when their ad goes up. 

Field & Stream has an offer for 25% off Yeti Ramblers. Check out their ad here

Mountain Hardware will offer 25% off in stores and online as well as additional sales at Backcountry. We will also link to the Backcountry ad as soon as it is posted. 

There are some awesome Black Friday deals for the outdoor enthusiast. Let us know if there are any awesome deals we are missing. Happy hanging! 

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How to Have the Best Outdoor Thanksgiving

How to Have the Best Outdoor Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving has to be one of my favorite holidays. Some of the best people crowd our table and we eat way too much delicious food and laugh way too hard. I’d say the only way the day could get much better is if we spent the time cooking and laughing and eating outside. 

If this is your plan for Thanksgiving, here are some recommendations and tips as well as some delicious recipies, check it out!


1. If you can make your life easier, do it!

You are not cooking in the comfort of your own home so easy tasks there will be much more difficult while cooking outside. If you can cut corners, bring it already made, or prepare it before, your life will be that much easier. Try store bought pie, boxed stuffing, and canned cranberry sauce. It will still be an awesome outdoor Thanksgiving. 

2. Start early

Leaving yourself plenty of time is never a bad idea. There are lots of unexpected things that can happen while cooking outdoors including the weather. 

3. Assign everyone a piece of the meal

Keep everyone feeling included and make sure the meal gets done by assigning everyone a portion of the meal. Don’t feel like you need to do it all alone!


This is just the tip of the iceburg when it comes to Thanksgiving camping recipes. If these aren’t quite what you are looking for (or you are looking for some vegetarian options) Fresh Off The Grid has some excellent recipes. 


This for me is always the most intimidating part of cooking Thanksgiving dinner. These recipes make it super simple and promise amazing results! Just remember to leave yourself plenty of time. 

Campfire Roasted Thanksgiving Turkey – 50 Campfires
This recipe is great if you have a large Dutch Oven. If not, check out the recipe below. 

Smoked Turkey – Camp Chef
Throw some wood pellets into your smoker and wait for the delicious result! 


Easy Potatoes in Foil – Damn Delicious
These look awesome and great to make over the campfire. For more even cooking, try wrapping them in individual serving sizes. 

Spicy Cinnamon & Honey Sweet Roasted Potatoes – Marking My Territory
A delicious take on the classic sweet potatoes. 


If you know you are going camping for Thanksgiving, I say make your life easy! Bring a pre-made pie and keep it in your cooler or warm it over the fire. 

Dutch Oven Apple Cobbler – Fresh Off The Grid 
The perfect dutch oven dessert for your Thanksgiving meal! 

Nutella Hot Chocolate – Fresh Off The Grid
Make a pot of this deliciousness and the party will be happy and warm while cooking!

There you have it, how to have the best outdoor thanksgiving! Hopefully you enjoy the holiday whether you spend it indoors or outside. Happy Hanging! 

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10 Books That Inspire Adventure

10 Books That Inspire Adventure

There are few things better than spending time in your hammock relaxing, and reading a good book. With the weather getting colder and the holiday’s approaching you may be spending less and less time outside. So we put together a list of some of our favorite outdoor books to inspire your next adventure. Some are informational, some are inspiring, but we promise all are worth a read. 

The Alchemist

Summary: Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the mystical story of Santiago, a shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure. His quest will lead him to riches far different—and far more satisfying—than he ever imagined. Santiago’s journey teaches us about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, of recognizing opportunity and learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, most importantly, to follow our dreams.

Summary: In April 1992 a young man hitchhiked to Alaska and walked alone into the wilderness north of Mt. McKinley. His name was Christopher Johnson McCandless. He had given $25,000 to charity, abandoned his car, burned all the cash in his wallet, and invented a new life for himself. Four months later, his decomposed body was found by a moose hunter.  How McCandless came to die is the unforgettable story of Into the Wild.

A Walk in the Woods

Summary: The Appalachian Trail trail stretches from Georgia to Maine and covers some breathtaking terrain–majestic mountains, forests, and lakes. Bill Bryson is surely the most entertaining guide you’ll find. He introduces us to the history and ecology of the trail and to some of the other hardy folks he meets along the way. A Walk in the Woods will make you long for the great outdoors.


Summary: At Walden Pond, Henry David Thoreau reflected on simpler living in the natural world. By removing himself from the distractions of materialism, Thoreau hoped to not only improve his spiritual life but also gain a better understanding of society.

In Walden, Thoreau condenses his two-year stay into a single year, using the four seasons to symbolize human development. A cycle of life shared by both nature and man. A celebration of personal renewal through self-reliance, independence, and simplicity, composed for all of us living in “quiet desperation,” Walden is eternal.


Summary: In August 1914, explorer Ernest Shackleton boarded the Endurance and set sail for Antarctica. He planned to cross the last uncharted continent on foot. In January 1915, after battling its way through a thousand miles of pack ice, the Endurance became locked in an island of ice. Thus began the legendary ordeal of Shackleton and his crew of twenty-seven men.

For ten months the ice-moored Endurance drifted northwest before it was finally crushed between two ice floes. With no options left, Shackleton and a skeleton crew attempted a near-impossible journey over 850 miles of the South Atlantic’s heaviest seas to the closest outpost of civilization. Their survival, depended on their small lifeboat successfully finding the island of South Georgia.

In Endurance, Alfred Lansing brilliantly narrates the harrowing and miraculous voyage that has defined heroism for the modern age.

Grand Adventures

Summary: So what’s a GRAND ADVENTURE? It is the most life-changing, career-enhancing, personality-forging, fun adventure of your life.

Alastair Humphreys shines a spotlight on the real-life things that get in the way. Stuff like time, money or your other commitments. Grand Adventures is also crammed with hard-won wisdom from people who have actually been there and done that. By boat and boot, car and kayak, bicycle and motorbike. People who had one epic trip then returned to normal life. Or, who got bitten so badly by the bug that they devoted their life to the pursuit of adventure. Young people, old people. Men, women. Mates, couples, families. Extraordinary, inspiring people. People like you.

Saving your pennies, overcoming inertia, generating momentum, getting out the front door. If you want it enough, you can do it.

A River Runs Through It

Summary: Maclean grew up in the western Rocky Mountains in the first decades of the twentieth century. As a young man he worked many summers in logging camps and for the United States Forest Service. The two novellas and short story are based on his own experiences. The experiences of a young man who found that life was only a step from art in its structures and beauty. The beauty he found was in reality, and so he leaves a careful record of what it was like to work in the woods when it was still a world of horse and hand and foot. Populated with drunks, loggers, card sharks, and whores, the stories concern themselves with the complexities of fly fishing, logging, fighting forest fires, playing cribbage, and being a husband, a son, and a father.


Summary: At twenty-two, Cheryl Strayed thought she had lost everything. In the wake of her mother’s death, her family scattered and her own marriage was soon destroyed. Four years later, with nothing more to lose, she made the most impulsive decision of her life. With no experience or training, driven only by blind will, she would hike more than a thousand miles of the Pacific Crest Trail. From the Mojave Desert through California and Oregon to Washington State—and she would do it alone. Told with suspense and style, Wild powerfully captures the terrors and pleasures of one young woman forging ahead against all odds on a journey that maddened, strengthened, and ultimately healed her.

No Shortcuts to the Top

Summary: For eighteen years Ed Viesturs pursued climbing’s holy grail. To stand atop the world’s fourteen 8,000-meter peaks, without the aid of bottled oxygen. No Shortcuts to the Top is as much about the man who would become the first American to achieve that goal as it is about his stunning quest. As Viesturs recounts the stories of his most harrowing climbs. He reveals a man torn between the flat, safe world he and his loved ones share and the majestic, deadly places where only he can go.

A preternaturally cautious climber who once turned back 300 feet from the top of Everest but who would not shrink from a peak (Annapurna) known to claim the life of one climber for every two who reached its summit, Viesturs lives by an unyielding motto, “Reaching the summit is optional. Getting down is mandatory.” It is with this philosophy that he vividly describes fatal errors in judgment made by his fellow climbers as well as a few of his own close calls and gallant rescues. And, for the first time, he details his own pivotal and heroic role in the 1996 Everest disaster made famous in Jon Krakauer’s Into Thin Air. 

In addition to the raw excitement of Viesturs’s odyssey, No Shortcuts to the Top is leavened with many funny moments revealing the camaraderie between climbers. It is more than the first full account of one of the staggering accomplishments of our time; it is a portrait of a brave and devoted family man and his beliefs that shaped this most perilous and magnificent pursuit.

Grandma Gatewood’s Walk

Summary: Emma Gatewood told her family she was going on a walk and left her small hometown with a change of clothes and less than two hundred dollars. The next anybody heard from her, this sixty-seven-year-old great-grandmother had walked 800 miles along the 2,050-mile Appalachian Trail. By September 1955 she stood atop Maine’s Mount Katahdin, sang “America, the Beautiful,” and proclaimed, “I said I’ll do it, and I’ve done it.”

Grandma Gatewood not only hiked the trail alone, she was the first person to walk it twice and three times. At age seventy-one, she hiked the 2,000-mile Oregon Trail. Gatewood became a hiking celebrity, and appeared on TV with Groucho Marx and Art Linkletter. The public attention she brought to the trail was unprecedented. Her vocal criticism of the lousy, stretches led to bolstered maintenance, and very likely saved the trail from extinction.

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