Sunday, October 4, 2009

Outdoorsy folk

I have a feeling that there are more than a few people in this community who - for some inexplicable reason - enjoy spending great amounts of time outdoors in the wilderness. It's probably something to do with living in Alaska. At any rate, we have a couple of new books that might appeal to the outdoorsy sort.
Geocaching: hike and seek with your GPS by Erik Sherman instructs readers on an activity that is hugely popular down south. This is an all-encompassing guide. He covers geocaching sites on the web (I did a quick check on, and there are 4 caches listed for the Ketchikan area). He also talks equipment: GPS, maps, compasses, cell phones, 2-way radio and altimeters. Learn how to prepare and stash a cache, how to find a cache, and some variations on geocaching. Scout camp, fitness group, family fun or for educational purposes, geocaching can be tweaked to many situations. In fact, you don't even have to go in the woods to have fun - you can cache in the city, with a GPS in one hand and a latte in the other.
The Happy Camper: an essential guide to life outdoors is by Kevin Callan, a canoeing expert from Ontario. He touches on all the aspects of camping outdoors: substitutes for toilet paper, how to de-skunk a dog, spooky songs for the campfire, and the definition of an F-stop (although, if you've got a nice enough camera that you're able to control the F-stop, shouldn't you know what that means?). There are recipes for camp cooking, essential knots you should know, what to include in a first-aid kit, how to use a compass, and an entire chapter on camping in the rain. I'm not sure he provides in-depth enough information for dealing with the Alaskan wilderness, which can be pretty dang harsh, but it's a fun overview that might be entertaining for Schoenbar students.

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