Juliet Ellperin / Washington Post file photo 2006

One reason Ecuador is on Lonely Planet's top 10 list of the world's birding areas - the chance to swim with the penguins.

Provisions: A guide for what you need

Published: Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 3H
Last Modified: Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012 - 11:38 am

A guide for what you need to buy, read or consume to enhance your recreation and travel experience


• "The Best American Travel Writing," William T. Vollmann, editor

Mariner Books, $14.95 256 pages

Sacramento's very own man of letters, William T. Vollmann, gets the honor this year of selecting the best magazine and journal travel writing. Several of the usual suspects are included – Paul Theroux, Pico Iyer, Lynn Freed – but there are surprises, such as Bryan Curtis' "The Tijuana Sports Hall of Fame," which features a hilarious and entertaining opening paragraph.


• Reisenthel Mini Maxi Backpack

$17.95, www.reisenthel.com

Travelers embarking on a long journey need things to be compact. And what's more neat and tidy than a backpack that can be stored inside one of its outer pouches when it's not being stuffed with other items? The backpack is pretty Spartan in design, but it's made from "tear-proof polyester" and can carry up to 15 pounds of items.


• "Field Guide to Animal Tracks and Scat of California," by Mark Elbroch, Michael Kresky and Jonah Evans

University of California Press, $34.95, 398 pages

This is the type of book you can dip into at any page and find fascinating tidbits. Bathroom reading, in other words. Hikers and trail runners will like seeing the actual-sized tracks of mountain lions, so they can know what to watch for. But there are so many other tracks and scat to ogle, from the long-tailed weasel to the short-billed dowitcher.


• Top 10 Destinations for Birders


Lonely's Planet's list includes only one spot in North America but, remember, it's a great big world out there.

1. Papua New Guinea

2. Kruger National Park, South Africa

3. Rift Valley, Kenya

4. The Pantanal, Brazil

5. Otago Peninsula, New Zealand

6. Antarctica

7. Queensland, Australia

8. Ecuador

9. Danube Delta, Romania

10. Alaska


@unofficialsquaw: "Time to Face Facts. Your Mom Was Once A Sexy Ski Bunny."

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