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Under the Stars

How America Fell in Love with Camping

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


“The definitive book on camping in America. . . . A passionate, witty, and deeply engaging examination of why humans venture into the wild.”Cheryl Strayed, author of Wild

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. In the process, he demonstrates how the likes of Emerson, Thoreau, Roosevelt, and Muir—along with visionaries such as Adirondack Murray, Horace Kephart, and Juliette Gordon Low—helped blaze a trail from Transcendentalism to Leave No Trace.

Wide-ranging in research, enthusiasm, and geography, Under the Stars reveals a vast population of nature seekers, a country still in love with its wild places.

From Publishers Weekly

Apr 04, 2016 – Mixing history and firsthand account, White (The Cactus Eaters) traces the evolution and various iterations of recreational camping in the U.S. He begins, unsurprisingly, with Henry David Thoreau, the "father of the backyard campout." From there, White undertakes his own adventures recreate camping history. He hires a wilderness guide and camps in the Adirondacks, a popular approach for 19th-century Romantic campers. He undertakes a "naked survival campout" to get a taste of the experience of Joe Knowles, who in 1913 entered the Maine woods with nothing and lived for two months simply for the challenge. The writing is light and humorous even as White explores social and cultural issues surrounding camping: the roots and implications of the "ethnicity gap" in camping and outdoor activities; the initial exclusion of women from the outdoors, and the women who pushed against those barriers, using the outdoors to "make a political statement." The history is engaging, featuring familiar and unknown characters, and White does justice to camping in all its forms, including woodcraft, leave-no-trace backpacking, car camping, glamping, and RVing. The book does not purport to be a comprehensive history. Rather, it is a quite enjoyable stroll through the past, led by a talented writer who clearly appreciates the benefits of getting outside.
Under the Stars
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Specialty Travel
  • Published: Jun 14, 2016
  • Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
  • Seller: Macmillan
  • Print Length: 416 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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