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Summer Reading 2021: Great Outdoors and Camping

Discover new things to read this summer!

The Great Outdoors and camping

June is National Camping Month and Great Outdoors Month!

two men fishing on a boat on a lake; trees can be seen on the shoreline

Image from Pixabay

June is National Camping Month, and the state of Texas has plenty of places to help you explore and celebrate. Whether you are interested in hiking, fishing, horseback riding, or just relaxing, there is a state park for you to set up camp and enjoy. Visit Texas Parks & Wildlife  and Texas Highways for tips on camping.

See the booklist below for books that are available NOW for checkout via curbside/front door pickup!


book cover image - photo of an outdoor landscape with mountains, trees, and water

America's Great Outdoors

In April 2010, President Obama launched the America's Great Outdoors (AGO) Initiative, calling on the Secretaries of the Departments of the Interior and Agriculture, the Administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality to develop a 21st-century conservation agenda that will protect America's natural and cultural resources, and connect people to the outdoors through jobs, education, recreation, and service. Conservation of our natural, cultural and historic resources is an American tradition, shaping who we are as a nation. This book highlights the work to date under the AGO initiative.

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The Camper Book

The Camper Book will captivate all those who dream of waving good-bye to the rat race from the window of their own moveable home, be it a camper, RV, travel trailer, camper van, or tiny camper. Not just for placid retirees anymore, camper culture has sprung up among simplicity-seeking millennials, retro-loving "glampers," sports and movie stars, aging hippies, contract workers, "road-schoolers," and others. Award-winning journalist Dave Hoekstra hit the road in his own custom camper van, named Bluebird, to explore the history, culture, subcultures, and future of camper life. Traveling and talking his way through US campsites, RV parks, landmarks, and communities, 

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Canoe Country Camping

In this complete and up-to-date guide, first-time campers will find answers to all their questions about where to go, how to pack, and what to do. Seasoned campers will find helpful tips to streamline their planning and make their next trip better than ever.

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The Complete Idiot's Guide to Camping and Hiking, 2nd Edition

This Idiot's Guide provides all the information readers need to plan outdoor excursions that are low cost, no fuss, and lots of fun. It includes choosing equipment, what to pack and what to leave behind, and how to navigate trails with a compass and map.

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Exploring Fort Worth with Children

Visitors from all parts of the world and of all ages can find something here to interest and excite them. Take a look at some of the fun things to see and do in Cowtown USA including the historic Stockyards, the award-winning Fort Worth Zoo, and the fragrant Botanic Garden. 

book cover image - photo of small fishing boats on the water

Fishing: How the Sea Fed Civilization

In this history of fishing—not as sport but as sustenance—archaeologist and best-selling author Brian Fagan argues that fishing was an indispensable and often overlooked element in the growth of civilization. This history of the long interaction of humans and seafood tours archaeological sites worldwide to show readers how fishing fed human settlement, rising social complexity, the development of cities, and ultimately the modern world.

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Fishing Lake Superior

At last, an angler's guide to fishing Lake Superior. Whether you're an old salt or an armchair angler, you'll love this book. Experienced fisherman Shawn Perich offers proven tactics for catching steelhead, lake trout, salmon, and walleye, as well as accurate information for boaters, shore-casters, and stream anglers. The straightforward approach of Fishing Lake Superior gives clear advice about when, where, and how to hook the big ones.

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Guide to Fly Fishing

Basic, critical information for beginners and intermediate anglers to help them fly fish with confidence. Contents: The Angler's World, Why Fly Fishing?, A bit of Angling History; Getting Ready, Gear and Tackle, Clothing and Accessories; Taking to the Water, Flies and Fly Tying, Casting Tips and Techniques, Fishing Strategies, American Fish; Where to go, Back Country Pack-in, Some Great Locations, Resources; and Index.

book cover image - photo of people at a campsite with a tent and picnic table

Heading Out

In Heading Out, Young takes the reader out into nature and explores with them the history of camping in the United States.

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Hunting, Fishing, and Camping

L.L.Bean, Inc. has been a trusted source for quality apparel, reliable outdoor equipment and expert advice since 1912. To celebrate its hundredth anniversary, the Freeport-, Maine-based company has updated Hunting, Fishing and Camping, Leon Leonwood Bean's no-nonsense guide to enjoying the great outdoors. Originally published in 1942, this Maine classic offers instruction on everything from packing a canoe to stalking a bear. The new edition pairs the original text and nostalgic photographs with twenty-first-century perspective from L.L's great-grandson and Outdoor Channel television host, Bill Gorman. This entertaining and instructive book is not only a commemorative celebration of L.L.Bean's legacy and his commitment to conservation -- it is a must-have manual for the modern sportsman.

book cover image - photo of a small child peeking through the needles of a pine tree

Monsters in the Woods

Despite America's enthusiasm for outdoors activities like hiking and backpacking, most books on these subjects focus on adults. Backpacking, however, is an ideal activity for the entire family. Tim Hauserman, who is both an experienced outdoors guide and the father of two daughters, now offers a handbook for parents who would like to introduce their children to backpacking and camping. Hauserman provides practical, humorous advice for families new to the outdoors and for trail-savvy parents planning to take their children along for the first time: how to prepare, what to bring, who carries what, how far to walk, what to do in camp, safety precautions, dealing with mishaps, and proper trail and campground etiquette.

book cover image - two men (dressed in early 20th century clothing) stand with backpacks near a road sign

On the Trail

The first history of the American hiking community and its contributions to the nation's vast network of trails. In the mid-nineteenth century urban walking clubs emerged in the United States. A little more than a century later, tens of millions of Americans were hiking on trails blazed in every region of the country. This groundbreaking book is the first full account of the unique history of the American hiking community and its rich, nationwide culture. Delving into unexplored archives, including those of the Appalachian Mountain Club, Sierra Club, Green Mountain Club, and many others, Silas Chamberlin recounts the activities of hikers who over many decades formed clubs, built trails, and advocated for environmental protection. 

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Outdoor Adventurer's Guide to Forest Bathing

The first and only guide to shinrin-yoku for the outdoor adventurer With techniques tailored for hiking, mountain biking, paddling, climbing, trail-running, and cross-country skiing, this is the definitive guide to applying the healthy and rejuvenating practice of forest bathing to your favorite activities. Forest bathing techniques have been largely limited to use while walking and hiking, but now The Outdoor Adventurer's Guide to Forest Bathing will guide mountain bikers, paddlers, trail-runners, cross-country skiers, and climbers as they reap the benefits of forest bathing while enjoying their favorite activities.

book cover image - black and white photo of Theodore Roosevelt in front of a waterfall

Theodore Roosevelt, Naturalist in the Arena

Theodore Roosevelt's scientific curiosity and love of the outdoors proved a defining force throughout his hectic life as a rancher and explorer, police commissioner and governor of New York, vice president and president of the United States. Conservation and natural history were parts of a whole for this driven, charismatic public servant, and Roosevelt approached the natural world with joy and a passionate engagement. Drawing on an array of approaches--biographical, ecological and environmental, literary and political, Theodore Roosevelt, Naturalist in the Arena analyzes this energetic man's manifold encounters with the great outdoors.

book cover image - photo of a snowy campsite with a tent and other tools

Winter Hiking and Camping

Richly photographed and packed with informative tools for the novice or handy reference for the veteran, this book shows you what you need to know. Discover how to: Prepare for your trip; Choose proper equipment; Select safe and warm clothing; Make snow shelters and set up tents on snow; Cook delicious winter cuisine Stay safe in the snowy backcountry; and Make a winter camping repair kit.

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Winter in the Wilderness

Camping or backpacking in winter is appealing for many who enjoy the serenity of wilderness settings without the crowds and bustle of the summer season. But as rewarding as they can be, these outings require special preparation and a different set of skills than are necessary at other times of the year. Snowfall can quickly cover one's tracks and make orientation difficult. Hypothermia is insidious, and rapidly changing weather conditions can become treacherous, even life-threatening. Without sufficient gear or knowledge of how to improvise without it, injury or death is often the result. The development of some basic skills, however, can help avert such unfortunate outcomes. 

Print Book List

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The Best in Tent Camping, Texas

The campgrounds selected for The Best in Tent Camping: Texas had to meet three criteria: they had to be accessible by car but not overrun with RVs; offer great scenery; and be as close as possible to a wilderness experience. Texas, with its extraordinary diversity of ecosystems, made author Wendel Withrow's search an exciting one. Divided into the state's major geographical areas, the book is based on the author's 30 years' experience in following the back roads of Texas. Along with a detailed profile and useful at-a-glance information, clear maps show campground layout, individual sites, and key facilities. Driving directions supplemented with GPS-based coordinates for each campground entrance make getting there a snap. Regional maps and a profile numbering system make the book easy to use and enjoy.

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Black Faces, White Spaces

Why are African Americans so underrepresented when it comes to interest in nature, outdoor recreation, and environmentalism? In this thought-provoking study, Carolyn Finney looks beyond the discourse of the environmental justice movement to examine how the natural environment has been understood, commodified, and represented by both white and black Americans. Bridging the fields of environmental history, cultural studies, critical race studies, and geography, Finney argues that the legacies of slavery, Jim Crow, and racial violence have shaped cultural understandings of the "great outdoors" and determined who should and can have access to natural spaces. 

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Bushcraft 101

A New York Times Bestseller in Sports and Travel! The ultimate resource for experiencing the backcountry! Written by survivalist expert Dave Canterbury, Bushcraft 101 gets you ready for your next backcountry trip with advice on making the most of your time outdoors. Based on the 5Cs of Survivability--cutting tools, covering, combustion devices, containers, and cordages--this valuable guide offers only the most important survival skills to help you craft resources from your surroundings and truly experience the beauty and thrill of the wilderness.

book cover image - photo of a campsite in a forest

Camping Texas

Camping Texas is an indispensable guide to hundreds of public campgrounds in the Lone Star State. From the Texas Gulf Coast to the mountains of West Texas, the camping opportunities in this book accommodate a range of outdoor interests, including fishing, boating, mountain biking, bird watching, and horseback riding. In addition to providing detailed site descriptions and directions, Camping Texas includes useful tips on camping etiquette, camping with children, and enjoying-or avoiding-the state's diverse and abundant wildlife.

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The meaning and function of camps, from Scout Jamborees and RV Clubs to FEMA trailers and GTMO.What is a camp? In Camps, Charlie Hailey examines the space and idea of camp as a defining dimension of 21st-century life. The ubiquity and diversity of camps calls for a guidebook. This is what Hailey offers, but it is no ordinary one. Not only does he establish a typology of camps, but he also embeds within his narrative a key to camp ideology. 

book cover image - photo of people camped beside a river with a yellow canoe

Canoe Camping

Learn how to plan, pack for and do a fun canoe camping trip - whether your plan is to go on a weekend trip with friends or family, or to head out on a multi-day wilderness experience.This comprehensive guide by senior guide and World Champion paddler Mark Scriver makes canoe camping fun and safe for both new and experienced canoe trippers.

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The Complete Practical Guide to Camping, Hiking & Wilderness Skills

This fully comprehensive guide to enjoying the great outdoors covers skills such as campcraft and walking as well as travelling with children, planning, and exploring challenging terrain.

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The Down and Dirty Guide to Camping with Kids

Plan your family camping adventure! Whether you're a first-time camper or a veteran backpacker befuddled by the challenges of carting a brood--and all the requisite gear--into the great outdoors, here you'll find all the tips and tools you need to plan the perfect nature adventure with your family. Humorous and irreverent, yet always authoritative, this guide to camping with kids, from babies through pre-teens, is filled with checklists, smart tips, recipes, games, activities, and art projects. Helen Olsson, a seasoned camper and mother of three, shares lessons learned over the years of nature outings with her own family. Learn the basics of family camping, from choosing a destination and packing gear to setting up a campsite and keeping little ones safe. 

book cover image - aerial photo of a person on a bicycle with mountains in the distance

Escape by Bike

A practical and inspirational guide to planning every kind of off-road cycling, from nearby "microadventures" to global itineraries, drawing on the author's own epic journeys. From wilderness treks to weekends spent following local coastal paths, adventure cycling combines cycle touring, mountain biking, and camping to open up new and exciting possibilities for adventure on two wheels. Cycling writer and photographer Joshua Cunningham shares a wealth of invaluable experience gained during the eleven months he spent cycling 13,670 miles from London to Hong Kong.

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Essential Survival Skills

Whether you are into hiking or camping, Essential Survival Skills is a step-by-step guide to surviving and thriving in the wilderness. From the very basics for beginners, through all the elements essential to becoming adept at wilderness survival, Essential Survival Skills shows you everything you need to know to build a shelter, apply first aid, and treat various types of insect bites. Perfect for all ages and skill levels, the Essential Skills series is at-a-glance reference packed with instant-access, easy-to-understand tips to help you improve your game, your technique, and your creativity.

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The Great Outdoors: a User's Guide

This easy introduction to outdoor life will ensure that even a novice won't get lost in the woods while finding an activity he loves to do in the great outdoors--whether it's hiking a 14er or camping on ice. With 400 strategies for engaging in the outdoors, and expert tips and tricks, The Great Outdoors: A User's Guide makes Mother Nature easier to understand than ever before. Brendan Leonard, writer, filmmaker, and outdoor adventurer, shows the reader how rewarding it can be to live life away from the computer and get outside. From mountain climbing, to skiing, sledding, and sailing, Leonard shows that you don't need to be a risk taker to enjoy the outdoors. 

book cover image - photo of a lakeside campsite

The Happy Camper

The Happy Camper is the essential guide to the great outdoors. Every page is packed with information on how to enjoy camping as the adventure it can be rather than a bug-infested endurance test. Kevin Callan, one of North America's top canoeing and outdoors experts, explains how to get the most from a camping trip no matter the location, the weather and the company. Callan has an enthusiasm for wilderness camping that experienced campers can relate to and novice campers will find contagious. In The Happy Camper he combines decades of wilderness experience with his trademark humor to create a comprehensive, heavily illustrated and highly entertaining compendium of basic wilderness instruction and campsite advice.

book cover image - photo of a group of people, wearing lifejackets, standing in front of several canoes

Master Guide Handbook to Outdoor Adventure Trips

Legendary Maine Guide Gil Gilpatrick offers you the benefit of his 65 years of wilderness wisdom in this comprehensive guide. Freshly revised and expanded with new color photography, it includes expertise from a seasoned team of professionals in year-round hiking, camping, canoeing, hunting, and fishing. This handbook takes you step-by-step through every stage of planning and conducting a successful outdoors experience. It's packed with field-tested advice, handy checklists, real-life stories, and practical examples

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The Nature Handbook

Nature is full of fascinating stories, stories that attract our attention at a young age and keep us amazed throughout our entire lives. The need to understand nature draws us back to its simple beauty again and again, yet underneath this simplicity lies a complex web of associations and patterns. The Nature Handbook does what no other field guide does: explores and explains nature through these connecting patterns, revealing them to the many different types of nature lovers. All naturalists--from birders to gardeners, hikers to environmentalists, wildflower enthusiasts to butterfliers-- will appreciate the different approach of the Handbook--even those whose interest in the natural world is just beginning to develop. 

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The Total Outdoorsman Manual

The Total Outdoorsman Manual is the ultimate guide book for the outdoors enthusiast, packed with hundreds of practical tips and techniques from T. Edward Nickens and the experts at Field & Stream magazine, that is guaranteed to improve your hunting, fishing, camping and survival skills. With practical information for both the beginner and advanced outdoorsman, the book is an authoritative, comprehensive, and entertaining guide that will enable anyone to master the outdoors and hunt, fish, and camp like an expert. 

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Under the Stars

From the Sierras to the Adirondacks and the Everglades, Dan White travels the nation to experience firsthand--and sometimes face first--how the American wilderness transformed from the devil's playground into a source of adventure, relaxation, and renewal. Whether he's camping nude in cougar country, being attacked by wildlife while "glamping," or crashing a girls-only adventure for urban teens, Dan White seeks to animate the evolution of outdoor recreation.

book cover image - photo of a campsite set up on the rocky side of a mountain

Wilderness Basics 4th Edition

Wilderness Basics have been sold over the years, and this new edition will continue as a training staple for those wanting to build their outdoor skills. Updates to this new edition include: * Outdoor Ethics -- latest Leave No Trace practices * Conditioning -- completely rewritten, with targeted advice for certain health conditions * Outfitting -- updates on planning your pack weight, water treatment methods, expanded tent and sleeping system info * There's more too in this exhaustively updated instructional for outdoor beginners and advanced backpackers, alike. You'll also appreciate the refreshed appendix of recommended websites for gear and travel info.