▪ “Snowblind: Stories of Alpine Obsession,” by Daniel Arnold
$15.95; 288 pages, Counterpoint Press
Noted climbing journalist Daniel Arnold, who lives in Sonora, has turned his acute eye on mountaineering into the fiction realm with this book of gripping short stories about people “whose lives are defined by the mountains they climb.” Arnold takes the reader to famous spots – K2, Aconcagua – but it’s the personal stories that really compel. Arnold’s descriptive writing powers are evident in passages such as this: “The vapor in their exhalations froze immediately to the fabric walls, then fell in showers of ice whenever the wind shook the tent.” Brr.
▪ Backpacker Magazine’s “How to Choose a Survival Knife”
The best advice is this Backpacker magazine article – “Shopping online without actually feeling the knife is not a great idea” – also holds when purchasing any camping/outdoors gear. It’s best to try it out, or at least hold the survival knife before forking over big bucks. This primer tells you all you need to know about handle fit and blade materials, down to the pluses and minuses of fixed vs. foldable blades.
▪ Real Simple’s “Five Caves You Can Sleep In”
1. MDC Cave Hotel in Cappadocia, Turkey
2. Koza Cave Hotel in Goreme, Turkey
3. Worley’s Cave in Bluff City, Tenn.
4. Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita in Matera, Italy
5. Cuevas el Abanico in Granada, Spain
Joseph Calloway, telling USA Today about the hazards of hiking the 2,180-mile Appalachian Trail during an unexpected blizzard: “All wood was wet, so it was hard to make a fire. We had to beat the trees with sticks to get the snow off to see the trail marking.”
Compiled by Sam McManis, firstname.lastname@example.org