FLIP PUTTHOFF Books explore two ways to get away


On one hand, there’s nothing like being snug and warm in your tent and hearing the soothing sound of rain drops on a nylon fly.

On the other, there’s nothing like being curled up and enjoying the storm in a nice cozy cabin.

Two books that make dandy Christmas gifts explore the virtues of both kinds of getaways in the outdoors.

“Tent Life, A Beginner’s Guide to Camping and a Life Outdoors,” by Doron Francis, teaches everything a camper needs to know, from selecting a campsite to setting up a tent for the first time.

“Cabin Tripping, Where to Go to Get Away from it All,” by J.J. Eggers, features photographs of rental cabins across the United States and overseas, with information about each one and how to book a reservation.

Let’s look at “Tent Life” first. This 230-page beauty covers the how-tos of all types of camping, from backpacking to car camping. The book starts with a thoughtful first chapter about why go camping in the first place. This opening chapter will have you eager to pack up and head for your favorite campsite.

Tent Life is well-illustrated and outlines the benefits of camping during each season of the year. In Arkansas, winter with its many mild days, can be a prime season. You may have a whole campground to yourself.

There’s a chapter on preparing for a trip and how to keep camping comfortable. Camping is hardly camping without a crackling fire. There’s a detailed chapter on how to select the right wood (always use dead wood because it will burn, while green branches from a live tree won’t) and how to get that fire flaming.

A chapter about camping with kids will be vital for new parents. Pages and pages are devoted to fine campsite cuisine, sleeping comfortably, even how to handle restroom duties where there isn’t one handy. Campers of all abilities should enjoy reading this book from cover to cover. Francis is from New Zealand and sometimes has that funny Kiwi way of saying things differently than we would here in the States.

There are two reasons to buy Cabin Tripping. First is to learn about and see quality photos of the amazing variety of vacation cabins that can be reserved in the United States and elsewhere.

Second is that people thinking about building their own cabin can glean so many ideas from the 100 or so pictures of different types.

There are photos of forest cabins, mountain cabins, cabins above the Arctic Circle, in deserts and beside lakes and rivers. Most are in the United State, but the book includes cabins in Canada, Thailand, Norway, South Africa and beyond. Outstanding exterior and interior photos of each cabin are the hallmark of this great book. A one or two page description tells what is included in each cabin such as Wi-Fi, kitchen items, bedding and activities to do nearby.

The back of the book includes email addresses for booking each cabin, how many guests is will accommodate and if pets are welcome.

Cabin Tripping is such a luxurious read it’s suitable for a coffee table book as well as an information guide.

A simple computer search will turn up options and prices for purchasing Tent Life and Cabin Tripping.

Flip Putthoff can be reached at fputthoff@nwaonline.com


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