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New Post
10/28/2014 6:20 AM

This is a sticky thread for good reads. Here are the ground rules:

1) List the following information:

  • author, or author and title
  • reflection on why you're recommending the book or author
  • URL to a listing or ISBN if possible

2) DO NOT make a post just to "+1" a book. If you're already making a post of your own, you may "+1" previous listings as well.

3) If you would like to discuss a book or author further, start a new thread. We will go in and add a link to the discussion thread on the original mention on this thread. If we need a heads up to add the link, email letting us know. Please include URL to new thread in your email to us.

We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
New Post
10/28/2014 7:04 AM

How Animals Work, Knut Schmidt-Nielson

This slim little volume is filled with basic principles that govern much of animal physiology. What makes it remarkable is its principle based approach.

J. Frank Dobie

Anything this guy wrote is worth reading. He was a Texas based folklorist who often said "I neither believe nor disbelieve". He collected stories from the land all over the southwest and Mexico. Some of them obviously fantastical, some with the strong ring of truth, many somewhere in between. Favorites include "Tongues of the Monte", "Apache Gold and Yaqui Silver", and "Voice of the Coyote".

We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
New Post
10/30/2014 6:06 AM
Like many an HPG devotee, I have a vast amount of books on hunting, mountaineering and, wilderness skills and techniques. My bookshelf contains around 240 books but, there are two in particular that are unique and informative.

The Natural Navigator by Tristan Gooley. Like many of you, I pride myself in my skills and navigation is something I have always enjoyed but, it is a perishable skill. With GPS and iPhones etc many people are just roaming the backcountry trusting to their technology. This book goes beyond reading stars and tree flagging. This book delves into navigation like tracking - how to read but also interpret and understand the sign. I found it fascinating and if you like tracking, this book will sink a hook into you. You will want to re-read it time and again.

The Land of Feast and Famine by Helge Ingstad. Many years ago I saw a documentary by my favourite outdoor instructor (Ray Mears) on the Vermork Raid. It was a commando raid into Norway in 1942 to attack the heavy water facilities the Germans were using to develop their atomic weapon programme. Long story short, a small group of Norwegian commandos did the job. The lead up to the attack was four months of savage weather on Europe's highest mountain plateau. The four pathfinders survived on limited rations, ptarmigan, reindeer moss and eventually reindeer venison. In the documentary I learned a technique of how to gain vitamins and carbohydrates from ungulate animals alone. These four commandos had been scouts as young boys and were raised to worship a Norwegian explorer who in the 1920s lived in the sub-arctic region of North West Territories as a fur trapper for over a year. He learned many outstanding techinques on trapping and hunting but, the one skill I had never heard of before sticks with me still. In order to keep a proper balance of carbs and vitamins (and to keep scurvy at bay) Ingstad learned from the Inuits that exist solely on caribou to let the stomach freeze once you have shot and cleaned the animal. You then use the stomach contents as part of your meals (especially stews and drinks) - all the lichens, moss, branches and grasses the caribou eat contain vitamins and carbs but are pretty inedible to us. The normally much avoided stomach of a deer allowed those commandos to suceed and gave me a new appreciation of what we all can do by looking into the past for advice and guidance. It is a fascinating read.
New Post
1/4/2015 10:27 PM
Is this limited to specific subjects? If so feel free to delete my post.

I recommend anything by Carl Sagan (‎). His breadth of knowledge was so broad, deep and beautiful that I could reread any one of his books 10 times and still feel that I've opened my eyes a little wider to the universe each one.

While only representing a small part of who he was, my favorite quote is one of his:

"The world is so exquisite with so much love and moral depth that there is no point in deceiving ourselves with pretty stories for which there is little good evidence. Far better it seems to me, in our vulnerability, is to look death in the eye and be grateful everyday for the brief but magnificent opportunity that life provides."


Cosmos is the name of one of his books which shared a name with a 1980's TV series that was hosted and narrated by him on PBS. Neil DeGrasse Tyson has picked up his torch today.

The Demon haunted world: Science as a Candle in the Dark, Another very popular book by him which I am looking forward to.

EDIT: Added Amazon links to some of his more popular/well known books as I don't feel qualified to judge his best.

New Post
1/5/2015 8:13 AM
Lovinlife it is not limited, but perhaps provide a couple of his best so folks know where to start?

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
New Post
3/7/2015 10:30 AM
First, I would like to thank everyone that contributes to the forum. I've been lurking here in the shadow for sometime and have found this a great source of credible information without the usual internet forum nonsense. I have been debating a post here for sometime, and as an avid reader I could no longer resist.

To the topic at hand. I highly recommend anything written by Christopher Hitchens. While he was a self proclaimed Marxist and Socialist, and his early writings were pretty far "Left," his opinions and arguments for individual freedom and liberty are fantastic. If you aren't familiar with him he was a British born journalist turned American, opinionated and highly controversial author. I have amassed an unhealthy collection of his books and journals and have always found that it leads me to further reading and research. He is a bit erudite so be prepared to breakout the dictionary from time to time. A good place to start would be:

Thomas Jefferson: Author of America

Thomas Paine's Rights of Man

His books may not be the typical HPG reading list but they are worth the read.

New Post
3/7/2015 6:14 PM

Indian Creek Chronicles, Alone in the Wilderness.  By Pete Fromm.

It details an young mans stay thru fall and winter in the Selway Wilderness.  His mission is to watch over salmon hatchlings and live out an adventure.  Its funny, entertaining, and an pretty short read, and takes place in more contemporary times most will relate to and not the distant past.

New Post
3/24/2015 10:25 PM

(This is my first post)

I am recommending the book "Kingdom Under Glass" by Jay Kirk.  

Kingdom Under Glass is about, Carl Akeley, the American taxidermist, who completely changed how the taxidermy process is performed. Before Akeley, exhibits looked more like stuffed puppets than actual animals. Akeley went on many safaris in Africa (even with Teddy Roosevelt) and has had incredible brushes with death, including being attacked by a leopard and managing to choke it to death with his bare hands. Akeley, expressed the need for the conservation of mountain gorillas. This led to the Belgium government creating what we now know as Virunga National Park. All in all a very fascinating book about a very interesting man.



"To be sure, even though a man rigs up his own outfit, he never gets it quite to suit him. Every season sees the downfall of some cherished scheme, the failure of some fond contrivance. Every winter sees you again fussing over your kit, altering this, substituting that, and flogging your wits with the same old problem of how to save weight and bulk without sacrifice of utility. " - Horace Kephart
New Post
4/24/2015 6:35 PM
Meditations on Violence: A comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence by Sgt. Rory Miller

Just picked this book up on Kindle. An excellent read. Well written with plenty of real world experience and firsthand knowledge.
I am usually quite cynical about much of the lay information out on martial arts, self-defense, and how it applies to real world applications. I have more than a little experience with combatives and real life altercations. It is my belief that much of what is currently being taught in most dojo’s and courses is of little use in the real world and some of it will get you hurt bad or killed. This book does an excellent job of separating the religiosity and hyperbole of most martial arts training with what happens in the real world.

May it shorten and smooth your path.

Talk is cheap...lets compare fur checks.
New Post
5/22/2015 5:12 PM
King of the Mountain Men: The Life of Jim Bridger

Full Text FREE at

Few figures in American folklore could even begin to live up to their legends. Somehow, Jim Bridger was usually a day s ride ahead of his.

James Felix Bridger, known as Jim Bridger (March 17, 1804 – July 17, 1881), was among the foremost mountain men, trappers, scouts and guides who explored and trapped the Western United States during the decades of 1820–1850, as well as mediating between native tribes and encroaching whites. He was of English ancestry, and his family had been in North America since the early colonial period.

Jim Bridger had a strong constitution that allowed him to survive the extreme conditions he encountered walking the Rocky Mountains from what would become southern Colorado to the Canadian border. He had conversational knowledge of French, Spanish and several native languages. He would come to know many of the major figures of the early west, including Kit Carson, George Armstrong Custer, John Fremont, Joseph Meek, and John Sutter.
New Post
5/23/2015 6:34 AM
One Man's Wilderness, An Alaskan Odyssey.
By Sam Keith from the journals and photographs of Richard Proenneke.

I just finished this book while traveling. It's a great book if you are interested in living life in the bush. In 1967 Dick Proenneke retired and decided to build himself a cabin, using handtools, out in bush Alaska. The book is a well chronicled account of his experiences building and living in his cabin. What I was really drawn to, was his interactions with nature and how he truly loved the land he was surrounded by. He has a lot of stories of close calls with wildlife and just spending time in the backcountry. I guess this was a pretty famous book, I don't know for sure. I think PBS has a movie out there about it. I had never heard of it, picked it up, and thought it was a great read. Enjoy.
New Post
8/18/2015 12:20 PM

Man Tracking In Law Enforcement

By David Michael Hull

Mike Hull possesses an incredible amount of knowledge on this subject and has worked for many years as an instructor in the legendary Scott-Donelan Tracking School.  I reviewed this book for Mike before it went to printing.  Exceptionally good read and a lot can be gleaned from its pages.  The tips and techniques in the book are beneficial not only for LEO personnel, but also for the soldier or woodsman.  I've already learned a good bit from Mike and can't wait to learn more.  This book works well as not only a good read, but also as a solid reference guide to keep on hand.  Glad I can count Mike as a friend and also glad he is on the good-guy side...he possesses some exceptional skills at hunting 'em down.

Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
New Post
8/21/2015 12:27 PM
Bear Encounter Survival Guide by James Gary Shelton

The best book on the subject I have read to date. Most of the data is from Canada and the BC in particular but very relevant information for the rest of North America. Well written and laid out. A wealth of information from someone who has spent a career working in close proximity to LOTS of bears. Very little fluff. 

"The last person on earth that you want to take advice from about bear encounters is someone who has had a few encounters and assumes he has seen all the variations of bear aggressive behavior." pg121

Talk is cheap...lets compare fur checks.
New Post
8/30/2015 3:33 PM
Empire of the Summer Moon: Quanah Parker and the Rise and Fall of the Comanches, the Most Powerful Indian Tribe in American History 

by S.C. Gwynne
ISBN 978-1-4165-09105-4

This is one of the best books I have read in a long time. Having read lots of books over the years chronicling Indian history and lifestyle, this one gave me perspectives I have never before had. As the title suggests this book is about Chief Quanah Parker during the last years of the of the Comanche Nation as a free ranging people. The author, S.C. Gwynne doesn't stop there, but delves deeply into Comanche history, traditions, beliefs, military prowess, and much much more. If you are into this type of book I encourage you to read it.

New Post
12/4/2015 11:22 AM

Edit:  Just saw that minirunner beat me to it!  Well, I reckon the companion book and the DVDs can add to it.

"One Man's Wilderness", by Sam Keith and Richard Proenneke.

Keith, Sam and Proenneke, Richard. One Man's Wilderness: An Alaskan OdysseyAlaska Northwest Books; 26th Anniv edition (May 1, 1999).

 ISBN 978-0-88240-513-1.

One of my all-time favorite books, and the DVDs are superb, too.  I also a companion book "More Readings From One Man's Wilderness", taken from the journals of Dick Proenneke and edited by John Branson.  I haven't read that, yet.  
This is one of the most inspiring and engaging books I have ever read.  It almost ought to be required reading for any aspiring outdoorsman.


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
New Post
12/4/2015 2:52 PM
Here is another excellent Alaska book. From market hunting to sled dogs to attempting to convert the Inuit to a herding lifestyle.

Talk is cheap...lets compare fur checks.
New Post
12/4/2015 3:00 PM
Here are two more excellent reads on flying and air power.

The first on John Boyd from OODA loop fame. Many excellent points on leadership, bureaucracy, and just how politically twisted our military is.

The second by Hans Rudel WWII's most decorated pilot. An amazing read on dive bomber sorties over the eastern front.

Talk is cheap...lets compare fur checks.
New Post
4/8/2016 9:24 AM

This is an outstanding little handbook that can be carried with an IFAK or kept with your backpack.  It covers quite a large array of injuries and illnesses, and how to handle them while out in the backcountry.  It also has some improvised techniques for managing medical situations and for patient transport out to definitive care.

Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
New Post
7/16/2017 11:14 AM

"The Other End of The Leash" by Patricia McConnell PhD
A must read for anybody who owns a dog, though everyone could benefit from the knowledge. Delves deep into reading body language, dog sociology, and why/how humans and canines miscommunicate

"Left of Bang" By Patrick Van Horne
A great read about situational awareness. For me it's spurred a further interest in tracking, and how it all ties together. 

"Mind Gym" by Gary Mack
"Unbeatable Mind" by Mark Divine
Had to throw in some reads about personal development!  All of these books had me constantly taking notes.

As for URL's all can be located on, I listen way more than I read.


New Post
12/3/2017 1:51 PM
I'm surprised no one has mentioned Aldo Leopold's "Sand County Almanac". Wouldn't surprise me though if most people here have read it. Great words from the father of modern wildlife biology and his views on the land.