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L is for Lantern

Illustration by Les Kouba From The New Way of the Wilderness — a beautiful little book from the 50's that covers the basics of backcountry camping. Author Calvin Rutstrum wrote 15 books, mainly how-tos and personal narratives based on his experiences growing up in Minnesota and spending time outdoors.    As the outdoor world continues to embrace the benefits of technology and innovation, there's something to be said for an awareness of how things were done "back then"—even only 60 years ago. An understanding of this kind of history allows those principles and practices to still have an influence in our modern outdoor experiences and ideally remove some of the cruft that makes it harder to disconnect when we are out seeking for something deeper. Perhaps...

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P is for Petzoldt

Having lived now in Wyoming and Montana for nearly 8 years, I've come to really appreciate and love the climbing history that surrounds me. I recently finished a wonderful book called "Teton Tales and Other Petzoldt Anecdotes", which is a brief memoir of sorts from Paul Petzoldt. It was a quick read, but only because the stories were so close to home, and so comfortably shared by the man who lived them. Petzoldt started climbing pretty early and had a good common sense approach to safety and order which manifested itself in the climbing commands still in use by climbers today around the world ("On belay!"). He pretty much set the standards known today as minimum-impact camping, and taught those principles...

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