When Nature Calls

Camping is nature’s way of promoting the motel business.

Dave Barry

It’s that time of year again. Summertime, when nature calls. The lure of the great outdoors is almost irresistible, and it tends to bring out the inner adventurer in a lot of us. For some people, that means heading to the cabin or to parts unknown. Some prefer a trailer, others a tent. Then there are those hardy few who march into the wilderness with only a knife and some matches. Me, I reach for my handy list of books. Here are a few of my choices when staying home is more than half the fun.

  Going to the lake is as much a part of summer as sunscreen for some lucky people. Cabins and cottages provide the comforts of home with all the advantages of being away. Life at the cottage moves at a different pace, providing us with memories that keep us going through the long winters. When it comes to writing about life at the lake, nobody does it better than Charles Gordon.

   For those who get restless staying in the same place for more than a day or so, there’s always that perennial favourite – the road trip. Whether you’re hauling a trailer or setting up a tent, Canada is filled with places to discover and explore. Beauty Tips from Moose Jaw is the book to read when you want to find out more about our home and native land. Will Ferguson provides all of fun of being on the road, without all of the hassles. See Canada from coast to coast, top to bottom, tiny towns to colossal cities,  Will’s been there and done that, and he’ll make your sides ache with laughter as he tells his tales.

  Staying closer to home doesn’t mean that you’ll be giving up the chance to explore some of the best nature has to offer. Manitoba Wild: Scenic Secrets of Manitoba and Manitoba Picnic Perfect will you take you to stunning spots that are so close to home you won’t believe that you’ve never been there before.

  While I am most definitely not an outdoorsperson, as you’ve probably already guessed from the quotation at the top of this blog, I really admire/wonder at people who have the drive and the skills to survive in the wild. I like to think that by having read these books  that I, too, am prepared for anything Mother Nature can throw at me.

For example, you never know when you’ll encounter a herd of stampeding elephants in the Whiteshell…

The Ultimate Worst-Case Scenario Handbook

or the living dead in the Interlake…

The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead

  For those rainy day when you can’t get outside, or if you’re stuck in the city, books can provide the perfect getaway. Reading one of Jake MacDonald’s books is the next best thing to being there. Or in some cases, even better than actually being there, since his books don’t have any mosquitoes and it’s far less likely that you’ll come face to face with a very large wild animal. You can’t go wrong with anything he’s written, but for what it’s worth my favourites are Houseboat Chronicles: Notes from a Life in Shield Country and Grizzlyville: Adventures in Bear Country.

   Ah, yes, summertime and the great outdoors. There’s nothing like it. Where will you go when nature calls? I know where I’ll be heading – to the hammock in my backyard, book in hand.


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