Adventure Media

Adventure - A bold, exciting participation in an unusual experience, or an undertaking of a spirited nature.





Campfire alongside river

Northern Manitoba,

Canada 1993


Book Cover,

Camping and Woodcraft


Horace Kephart


Drawing of Baker's tent, taken from Horace Kephart's book, Camping and Woodcraft


Drawing of the Polestar (Northstar), notice how the 2 stars on the big dipper's cup point to the Polestar, taken from Horace Kephart's book Camping and Wookcraft


Drawing of compass, taken from Horace Kephart's book Camping and Woodcraft



"I didn't come here to rough it. I came to smooth it."
-Nessmuk, Woodcraft and Camping
, -1891

Cliff Jacobson rigged rain fly

- Minnesota, U.S.A. 1988

The four great teachers of camping technique during this past century were Nessmuk, Kephart, Rutstrum, and Jacobson.

Canoe Camping with geodesic tent

- Northern Manitoba, Canada 1994

Nessmuk did his traveling during the late 1800's. He was a proponent of light weight camping, although this was accomplished primarily by his method of pitching a tent (what would later be called a Townsend or Baker style tent), and basically living off the land. He wrote his popular book Woodcraft and Camping, in 1891, still available from Dover Press.

Horace Kephart's book was originally in two volumes. Fortunately his 1909 book is still available today from the University of Tennessee Press, published in one volume as Camping & Woodcraft,This book summarizes the full body of knowledge concerning all aspects of camping and cabin living up until the turn of the century.


Calvin Rutstrum honed his skills through decades of travel by canoe and dog team during the period after WWI up until the 1960's. He produced a series of classic books, primarily published by Macmillan and ICS Books, but now they are all out of print. These books were loaded with innovative techniques, using the non-synthetic materials of his and prior generations. He developed modified knots, canoe strokes, tent design (actually a highly evolved Nessmuk tent) and winter camping skills. My winter technique and cabin construction methods are based on Rutstrum. Luckily, five of his classic books are now back in print!


Once upon a Wilderness -- Though he began his life as a Twin Cities resident, Calvin Rutstrum came to see noise, material wealth, and perpetual frenzy as the narcotics of the city dweller. Like Henry David Thoreau, he set out to live a simpler, more meaningful life. In his pursuit, Rutstrum came to appreciate the natural world and the skills necessary to survive in it. Part memoir, part guidebook, and part environmental treatise, "Once upon a Wilderness" is a treasury of wilderness wisdom.


Paradise Below Zero: The Classic Guide to Winter Camping -- Indispensable advice on enjoying the great outdoors in winter. Paradise Below Zero provides essential information on wilderness adventure in subzero temperatures. Readers benefit from Rutstrum's knowledge of winter clothing, from choosing the proper mittens to selecting the indispensable footwear; traveling methods, including running a dogsled team; and emergency techniques, such as treating snow blindness and caring for someone who has broken through the ice. Rutstrum affectionately reflects on winter life and enthusiastically gives examples of how native peoples of the north and trappers have fought the cold. This colorful book will be of interest to anyone who has ever survived a northern winter.


The Wilderness Route Finder: The Classic Guide to Finding Your Way in the Wild -- Rutrstum writes in the days before cell phones and global positioning systems, knowing how to find your way in the wilderness was a vitally important skill. He focuses on the tried and true techniques that have served wilderness travelers for generations; how to use a map, compass, a sextant, and the sun and stars. This is a valuable traveling companion for anyone wishing to understand the basics of wilderness route finding, before the use of high technology came into play. This knowledge could be a life saver in the event of electronic device failure. He also explains why we sometimes get lost and what we should do when we are.


North American Canoe Country: The Classic Guide to Canoe Technique -- Calvin Rutstrum fans have long known about his nuts and bolts approach to wilderness living. With this reissue, a new generation of readers has the opportunity to learn the time-tested secrets of a safe adventure from a master outdoorsman. Written as a guide for travelers who want to embark on self sufficient trips deep into the wilderness, this book offers readers all the information they need to plan and undertake a wilderness canoe trip.


New Way Of The Wilderness: The Classic Guide to Survival in the Wild -- In this classic guide, first published in the late 1950s, Rutstrum covers the key elements of a successful camping trip: the proper way to build a raft, chop down a tree, construct a campsite, cook over a campfire, find a way through the woods, and much more. Drawing upon his vast experience in all kinds of weather, Rutstrum provides essential knowledge for every camper, in a lightweight volume perfect for the backpack. In it's day, and for those who want to return to an earlier era, this is the complete resource on backcountry camping from a legendary wilderness expert.


Wilderness Life -- In his most personal book, outdoors expert Calvin Rutstrum makes an appeal for a more natural approach to life, one in which wilderness values predominate, and weaves that philosophy with narratives of a lifetime of experience and adventure. Using his vast knowledge of camp craft, Rutstrum describes the wilderness life and details what one can expect from the wild-inspiration from exploring, pleasure from encountering natural settings, satisfaction after gaining experience, and mental stimulation from observation and problem solving. In the process he reveals many adventures, including his first trek into the deep Canadian wilderness, a journey by dogsled to bring out a human body, and a rescue mission to save two lost, inexperienced campers. Always respectful of nature and the skills of his Native American neighbors, Rutstrum argues for a modern esteem for true wilderness and explains what one can do with "all of that leisure time."


Other books by Calvin Rutstrum can be found on the Canoeing, and Wilderness Navigation pages of this website, by clicking on the page title at the upper-left section on every website page.


Cliff Jacobson is but without a doubt the modern Rutstrum. He has continued to evolve tenting techniques, knot systems, canoe design and strokes, cooking styles, you name it.... He is one of North America's most respected outdoors writers and wilderness canoe guides. No library is complete without his books on these and other various wilderness subjects.


Camping's Top Secrets, 3rd: A Lexicon of Camping Tips Only the Experts Know -- Camping's Top Secrets goes beyond the scope of traditional camping books, revealing hundreds of field-tested tips to enhance your next outdoor adventure. With clear descriptions organized alphabetically for quick reference, this guide by veteran camping consultant Cliff Jacobson divulges the best-kept secrets of the experts. Get insider tips on: forecasting the weather, rigging a canoe or boat, treating drinking water, using tents and other types of shelters, dealing with animal and insect encounters, cooking and cookware, treating common ailments, using maps and GPS units, camping with kids, choosing camping clothes, boots, sleeping bags, gear and much more!


Basic Essentials Camping, 3rd (Basic Essentials Series) -- An information-packed tool for the novice or handy reference for the veteran. He distills years of knowledge in an affordable and portable book. Discover how to; build a fire, even in wet weather, select and use your camping gear, cook quick and tasty meals in the outdoors, rig a campsite tent with the four basic knots and hitches, use a map and compass to master the fundamentals of backcountry navigation. For a generation, the Basic Essentials series has been as much a part of the outdoors experience as backpacks and hiking boots. Whether you're planning a trip or thumbing for facts in the field, Basic Essentials books tell you what you need to know.


Basic Essentials Cooking in the Outdoors, 2nd (Basic Essentials Series) -- Cliff Jacobson knows more about the routines of cooking than most adventurers. His unique ideas and sensible solutions to typical campsite dilemmas will make food stay edible longer and taste better. With this updated second edition, you'll learn how to prepare great meals for larger groups in the outdoors; keep cooked foods hot long enough for seconds; keep fresh food fresh without refrigeration; plan and pack meals for a wilderness expedition; cook in the rain, wind, and snow; and obtain safe drinking water and dispose of wastes properly. (index, appendix, illustrations).


Campsite Memories: True Tales from Wild Places -- PlacesThe stories in this book are all true. Most began with a dream and a conscientious study of maps and logistics. Others are true adventures. The majority of accounts are anecdotes taken from Cliff Jacobson's experiences as a professional guide in Minnesota and Canada. A few stories are based on accounts from close friends whose testimony he trusts. There's a mixture of humor, joy, sadness, tragedy and testable morality, plus the essence of "wilderness and fulfillment of dreams." Feel your hear beat as a grizzly breathes down upon you. Understand the excitement of running a raging northern Canadian river. Experience the cool autumn breeze of Minnesota's boundary Waters.


Other books by Cliff Jacobson can be found on the Canoeing, Knots, and Wilderness Navigation  pages of this website, by clicking on the page title at the upper-left section on every website page.


Buck Tilton MS, WEMT, is another outstanding outdoorsman, leader, and author. He began camping with his Dad and as a Boy Scout in the southeastern U.S. and has earned his living for more than 25 years in wilderness education and medicine. He is cofounder of the Wilderness Medicine Institute of the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS). Currently he serves as executive director of the Wilderness Medicine Institute, Pitkin, CO.


Not only does he currently oversee curriculum development and international programming for WMI, he has been a prolific writer of many outdoor subjects. Some of his previously published books include:


Knack Hiking & Backpacking: A Complete Illustrated Guide (Knack: Make It easy) -- Wilderness expert Buck Tilton covers every step needed for the best hiking and backpacking experience. Never again will mosquitoes, blisters, bad food, or the wrong gear ruin a great hike - not with Knack Hiking & Backpacking, a quick-reading, picture-driven guide that offers the highest level of expertise in the most user-friendly format ever. Inside are 460 color photos covering: Gear, Clothing, Boots, How to Hike, Where to Hike, Navigation, Setting up Camp, Recipes, Camp Hygiene, Zero Impact, Wild Animals & Plants, and Wilderness First Aid.


The Complete Book of Fire: Building Campfires for Warmth, Light, Cooking, and Survival -- Buck teaches how to build a fire, feel heat, smell smoke, hear snaps and groans, watch flames dance, and gaze into glowing coals is the ultimate outdoor comfort. A campfire gives warmth, sheds light, dries Trade Clothes, calms fears, and draws a day in the outdoors to a pleasant close. In addition to the comforts of a campfire, a life may often hang in the balance. When a campfire becomes a matter of life or death, there is no room for error. The Complete Book of Fire: Building Campfires for Cooking, Warmth, Light, and Survival provides the knowledge and fosters the confidence to successfully stay alive.


Camping Healthy: Hygiene for the Outdoors (Travel) -- Avoid stomach and wound infections caused by spoilage, poor food handling, waste contamination and poor wound management. Disinfect water by using currently accepted measures to protect your family from water borne diseases encountered on camping excursions. Live in harmony with the land by disposing of waste responsibly no matter in which environment you intent to camp. Be knowledgeable about common bacteria, viruses and protozoa and how they will be transmitted. From the common cold and traveler's diarrhea to hepatitis and HIV, discover ways of guarding against infection. Keep future passersby healthy with tips for packing garbage out. Keep your camp kitchen clean with unique suggestions. Select, package and store food properly to avoid sickness. 


NOLS Winter Camping (NOLS Library) -- From the National Outdoor Leadership School, the leader in wilderness education, comes the definitive guide on winter camping - based on the official NOLS curriculum, it's the next best thing to taking a course with a qualified instructor. You'll learn how to layer clothing to stay warm and dry, how to maneuver a pack sled through heavy snow cover, and how to sleep comfortably in conditions of extreme cold. Additionally, sections on avalanche safety and first aid provide essential preparation should disaster strike. Illustrated throughout, there are detailed line drawings. The National Outdoor Leadership School's official guide to camping in extreme cold includes comprehensive coverage of winter clothing and gear, proven techniques for travelling efficiently and safely across snow and ice, and complete directions for building igloos and many other snow shelters.


Outdoor Safety Handbook -- Buck has written this as a clear-cut, no-nonsense handbook from a veteran outdoorsman and safety expert. What should you do if you encounter a bear in the wild? What if you fall through thin ice? Or run out of water? Or get sick on wild food? This handy guide provides no-nonsense information about what to do when something goes wrong in the outdoors - both emergency situations and annoying accidents - in a portable format that's easy to use in the field. Concise instruction explains exactly what to do when faced with outdoor trouble, with an emphasis on taking the best course of action right away.


Sex in the Outdoors: A Humorous Approach to Recreation -- Says it all! If you enjoy - or strive to have the opportunity to enjoy - sex in the vast outdoors, then you've laid hands on the ultimate resource. Benefits include: increased self-esteem; increased awareness of bears and other critters; increased fitness of necessary body parts; increased awareness of possible partners; increased interest in getting it; increased chance of getting it; increased chance of getting away with it. Whether you want it, someone you know wants it, or you have a sex-starved niece or nephew who needs it - Buck Tilton's Sex in the Outdoors promises to deliver the intimate yet practical information all sex-crazed outdoor folks need to know, whether they know they need to know or not.


Don't Get Poisoned: Protect Yourself from Wilderness Toxins -- A clear, concise, and compact guide to North America's poisonous plants, insects, reptiles, and other wilderness toxins.


Other books by Buck Tilton can be found on the Wilderness First Aid page of this website, by clicking on the page title at the upper-left section on every website page.


For the younger adventurers


Young boys and girls crave exploring and adventure as do adults, I know I did. One of my earliest memories is standing beside a small creek with a stick in my hand, and a dog at my side, poking away at stones to see what bugs I could find under them. Listed below are a couple of books with beginning camping skills, and stories of adventure as well.


Ernest Thompson Seton, a founder of the boy scouts of America, was also an award-winning wildlife illustrator, spellbinding storyteller, bestselling author, and strong advocate for the political and cultural rights of Native Americans. His book --  Woodcraft and Indian Lore: A Classic Guide from a Founding Father of the Boy Scouts of America, is based on Native American wisdom and practices, this book was essential for Boy Scouts, their leaders and any guides leading outdoor adventures. It's also great fun for anyone desiring a fuller experience of nature.


Written by Chris McNab, The Boy's Book of Outdoor Survival: 101 Courageous Skills for Exploring the Dangerous Wildhas detailed instructions and colorful illustrations that teaches young explorers the daring and dangerous and life-saving skills needed to survive any journey - whether it's a weekend camping trip or a backpacking trek across uncharted lands. Learn to create a survival kit, erect an A-frame shelter, ignite a fire with a magnifying glass or friction bow, track wild animals, spot poisonous plants, use a map and compass, learn to tie knots, and much more.