Monday, July 25, 2016

Pocket Guide to the Outdoors

I have always enjoyed the story of My Side of the Mountain. In today's day and age, we might cringe at a child forging out on his own to live in the wild. Sam Gribley was well prepared, having read voraciously before he left to understand nature better. In the Pocket Guide to the Outdoors, the reader can experience some of what Sam experiences through quotes, activities, and skill building. The author, Jean Craighead George, is an accomplished writer of nature based books.

The book starts with a letter from Sam Gribley to the reader, extending an invitation to practice some of the skills he learned in whatever setting a child might be in. He gives a great invitation to get involved with nature and our conservation. 

The book is organized by topic, allowing the reader to find what interests him/her most. Within each topic, there is a quote from the book, My Side of the Mountain, as well as skill building information and   activities. I liked this quote on fire, as I would like to work on fire building with my own boys. Topics include camping, shelters, fire, water, fishing, roadkill & bugs, outdoor cooking, edible wild plants, poisonous plants, medicine plants, useful knots, animal tracking, birdsongs, falconry, hiking & trailblazing, finding your way, outdoor fun, outdoor safety, and recipes. 

At the end of the book, there are several recipes for using wild edibles. We have learning more about wild edibles on our Family Nature Bucket List, so hope to explore this more! 

Jean Craighead George writes a letter at the end to the reader about who Sam Gribley is . . . he is the many people in her life who connect with nature in various ways. 

I find this to be a great companion to My Side of the Mountain. While simple, it gives a variety of ideas and skill builders. I would like to watch the older movie again and use the guide to pick out a few activities that each of my children would like to explore as part of this.