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Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Lost in the Wild

In the wilderness, one false step can make the difference between a delightful respite and a brush with death. Survival  stories are one of my favorite genres.

On a beautiful summer afternoon in 1998, Dan Stephens, a 22-year-old canoeist, was leading a troup of  boy scouts deep into Ontario’s Quetico Provincial Park. He stepped into a gap among cedar trees to look for the next portage—and did not return.

Three years later, Jason Rasmussen, a third-year medical student who loved the forest’s solitude, walked alone into the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness on a crisp fall day. After a two-day trek into a remote area of the woods, he stepped away from his campsite and made a series of seemingly trivial mistakes that left him separated from his supplies, wet, and lost, as cold darkness fell.

Enduring days without food or shelter, these men faced the full harsh force of wilderness, the place that they had sought out for tranquil refuge from city life.   Lost in the Wild takes readers with them as they enter realms of pain, fear, and courage, as they suffer dizzying confusion and unending frustration, and as they overcome seemingly insurmountable hurdles in a race to survive.

This true adventure book  hit me hard several ways. As a youngster Jack London’s  Call of the Wild brought me close to the Artic Wilderness and much later filmmaker author Jon Krakow brought me up and back down Mt. Everest attementing to rescue stranded, trapped and dying climbers. My own experience taking my teen age boys into Minnesota BWCAW (Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness) brought many personal wilderness memories  back to life as exemplified by problems and dangerous choices revealed in this riveting book. Another connection for me was  when the deputy sheriff who led the various joint agency  rescue teams turned out to be a former student of mine. His name was Steve V.

Real People Real small mistakes can cascade into life or death survival choices. This is not the fake survival stuff you see on T.V. Enjoy! But be careful not to get lost.....

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@Barrie Summy


Out on the prairie said...

This really sounds good, I am eager to get a copy.In Field and Stream or Sports Afield they had a This Happened to Me page and it is the 1st I always read.

Joanne Noragon said...

I read this sort really, really fast the first time, to be sure they're not too terrifying. Then I can go back and assimilate the book, and only be a little terrified.

Anvilcloud said...

I just saw a copy of The Call of the Wild today. Although I have never read it, Jack London's name came to mind. I had read the Classic Comic version back in the day.

A short story that I once taught (assuming one can teach a short story) is along your theme: To Build a Fire. The story is set in the Arctic, if I remember, and the protagonist perishes.

Hah! I just checked and it is a Jack London story, and you can read it here if you wish:

DJan said...

I just went to my library website and, sadly, they don't have this book. I'll look for it online. It sounds like just the sort of book I would enjoy. Thank you! :-)

Red said...

I loved Jack London's Call of the Wild. I've read some of his other stories.

Starting Over, Accepting Changes - Maybe said...

That does sound like a good and exciting book to read. As many of us know, life can drastically change in just one second.

Valerie said...

I think I'd like this book. Probably better read when our snow has disappeared though.

Barrie said...

I loved Call of the Wild! And my boys loved Hatchett and Island of the Blue Dolphin! (as did I, but as an adult). I must check out Jon Krakauer's film with my daughter (the one who read Into the Wild). Thank you for reviewing! Oh, and , Ray, have you seen Linda's review this month? I think it might be right up your alley:

Dee said...

Dear Troutbirder, I'll go to my library website to see if the book is available. If not, I'll order an e-book from Amazon. One of my favorite books has always been "Hatchet" by the Minnesota writer Gary Paulson.

I've given it as a gift to many young readers. One, who is a teenager now, told me, "My favorite book is the one you gave me--Hatchet!"

I'm sure I'll enjoy this book you're recommending, and it will bring Minnesota back to me. The Boundary Waters are a special place on our planet. Peace.

Lucy said...

Great review! Sounds like a good book to read. Thanks for reviewing and recommending.

Far Side of Fifty said...

Sounds like a good one for me to read! Thanks TB, Hi to the Mrs and Lily. We are melting a little as I suppose you are too down in that banana belt you live in:):)

susan said...

This one sounds good and, yes, Jack London was a truly remarkable writer. Just last year we both re-read most of the books he wrote during his unfortunately too short life.

My favourite of the contemporary outdoors/adventure writers is Tim Cahill. He describes the dangers and also the extraordinary beauty of the wild in books with titles like:
Jaguars Ripped My Flesh: Adventure is a Risky Business
Pass The Butterworms: Remote Journeys Oddly Rendered
Lost in my own Backyard : a Walk in Yellowstone National Park

“When you've managed to stumble directly into the heart of the unknown - either through the misdirection of others, or better yet, through your own creative ineptitude - there is no one there to hold your hand or tell you what to do. In those bad lost moments, in the times when are advised not to panic, we own the unknown, and the world belongs to us. The child within has full reign. Few of us are ever so free”
― Tim Cahill, Jaguars Ripped My Flesh

Barrie said...

Ray, did you check out Margy Lutz's review this month? You guys are definitely on the same wavelength. :) Here's the link:

Powell River Books said...

Living away from town and people (except in summer) I know how important it is to be careful and thoughtful. This would probably be a book I would enjoy reading. Thanks for the review and I'll put it on my reading list. - Margy

Optimistic Existentialist said...

Sounds like a lovely book to read, kind sir!!

Linda said...

Sounds interesting. One thing about survivalist shows on TV is that they leave you happy to have food in the fridge!

Ien in the Kootenays said...

That sounds interesting. Might make a nice gift to my kids, who are avid hikers in the wilderness around metro Vancouver, B.C. They do all the right things, have gear, leave plans, hike in a small group, and so on. Still. It is big and wild out there!

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