Books with a Bushcraft Soul

Here are some of my favourite literary inspirations to get close and personal with the wilderness….

  • ‘Walden’ by Henry David Thoreau – in depth account of one mans personal decision to live in the woods, very philosophical musings on the nature of humanity intersposed with brilliant observations of animals and people he meets on Walden pond.   Though he is a bit santimonious and bangs on a bit at times…
  • ‘The Woodlanders’ – Thomas hardy – Ive already wittered on about this previously, if you like your history and traditional craft with a twist of doomed romance this is for you.  I do!
  • ‘The Cottage Economy’ – William Cobbett – an antique but still relevant tome on DIY farming and micro brewery, also a great rant on how beer is better for fattening pigs than tea, and my favourite, a sexist monologue on how attractive the sweat on a womans brow is as she prepares fresh bread and small beer for her husband!  I guess at least the focus is on her talents not her flesh!!   Interesting also how the brewing industry was gradually brought from being something every family did to breweries under corporate control.
  • ‘Waterlog’ by Roger Deakin – wild swimming around the British isles, from the Broads to the chalk trout streams of Gloucester
  • ‘Rabbit Stew and a Penny or Two’ – Maggie Smith-Bendell – a Romany gypsy’s memoirs of travelling life in the 1950’s…gypsies made good use of the hedgerows and many classic recipes involved nettles and other plants and the rabbits and pigeons they hunted.


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