My interest in living in the wilderness began in 2009.
As of 2010, I was living in a log cabin on 30 acres in a Zen monastery’s 300 acres of land. It was a good thing that we didn’t live there because their quiet land, which was mostly a nature preserve, was a great break. The driveway was 3 miles long, and I thought I was living in the middle of nowhere in northern Kentucky.
Having spent a lot of time in the vast West of America, living in places like northeast Washington state and buying land there with just three people per square mile has changed my idea of remote. Today, I would call the experience I had in northern Kentucky “rural” or “bucolic,” but not remote.
But it wasn’t until I was living in a log cabin in northern Kentucky in 2010 that I started reading about people who lived in the wilderness and were more isolated from society. I’ve been interested in this subject ever since. It is very important to me, and it is a big part of how I have chosen to live my own life.
Books about living in the wilderness and homesteading in the wilderness are good for my soul now that we’re living a “normal” life again in western Washington. They help me feel better.
So I’ve put together a list of the books I’ve read that I really liked in this genre, and I hope some of you will add your own suggestions in the comments below. Do we need to keep our ideas alive?
Non-Fiction Books About Life In The Wilderness:
Lost in the Taiga
I think it’s fair to start this list with the book that got me interested in wilderness living and the people who live there. This is a very interesting book. This book was written years after I read it. The first time anyone had ever seen or heard about Agafia was when a crew filmed her home in the Siberian wilderness for the first time. Her favorite language is an old, almost extinct Slavic language that she reads and writes. She didn’t know about WW2. It’s here.
The book: When a Russian pilot was flying over a remote, mountainous stretch of the Siberian taiga, the huge subarctic forest, he saw an area that had been plowed. This was in the late 1970s. He couldn’t believe what he was seeing. In this dangerous part of the world, it was statistically impossible for humans to live there. During the reign of Tsar Peter the Great, scientists parachuted in and were shocked to find a primitive wood cabin and a family dressed in rags. They spoke, thought, and lived like Russian peasants of that time. This is what they found: One of the most amazing human stories of this century is how they came here, how they survived, and how they eventually came out on top.
They moved from the Lower 48 to Alaska in 1973. Norma Cobb, her husband, Lester, and their five children moved from the Lower 48 to Alaska in 1973 to follow a pioneer dream of claiming land under the Homestead Act. The oldest was nine years old and the youngest, twins, were barely one. People were outnumbered by grizzlies twenty to one on land north of Fairbanks, near the Arctic Circle, where there was no land. In addition to harsh winters and dangerous animals, the Alaskan frontier drew people who were on the edges of society. It was a life or death fight for the Cobbs from the start. Untrustworthy neighbors tried to steal from new people, try to burn them out or shoot them, and try to jump their claims.
The Cobbs were chechakos, or people with soft feet, in a lost land that even hardened settlers couldn’t get through. Everything, even their “civilized” past, worked against them. They built a cabin, but the first snow fell down the roof. Spring breakup could have washed them away. They built too close to the creek. Bears scoured the woods near the home, and Lester Cobb would leave for months at a time to look for work. The children were afraid of the bears.
There were many things that could have killed them, but they survived thanks to the strong, loving, and brave woman who was their guardian. She is an example to us all, and her courage in the face of death is an example to us too.
We Took To The Woods
We Went to the Woods.
Her husband, Louise Dickinson Rich, took her to the woods of Maine when she was in her early 30s.
It was in the Rangeley area that they found work and raised a family.
In the morning, Rich did his chores. Then, he had time to write about their lives.
We Took to the Woods is an adventure story that is written with a lot of humor. It also shows a long-held dream coming to life.
Tent Life in Siberia
It was in the 1860s that the Russo-American Telegraph Company set out to connect the United States and Europe by putting lines through the Bering Straits and Siberia to do so. For more than 140 years, George Kennan’s story of an endless land filled with animals and nomadic tribes has been a favorite read for people all over the world.
He talks about how he tried to stay alive on a mission that was going to fail with a mixture of humor and heartfelt wisdom.
This is what he shows: the quiet loneliness of the desolate landscape, the eerie glow of the sun at night, and the refusal to give in to one of the most difficult places that man has ever tried to reach.
When he wrote his book, he talked about how beautiful and dangerous our planet is, as well as how strong people are.
The Lewis & Clark Journals (Unabridged)
The Journals of Lewis and Clark are well-known classics, but those are just a few of their journal pages. Not the whole story.
Gary Moulton has put all of his journals together in this unabridged version, and I think it’s great.
Everything that happened to them, from the excitement of seeing huge herds of bison to their fear when Sacagawea got sick, is here. The natural wonders of an unspoiled America can be seen here, as well as the lives and customs of its native people. This makes for a living drama that is both funny, poignant, and, at least once, tragic. A Nebraska editor, Gary E. Moulton, combines the narrative highlights of his definitive Nebraska edition of the Lewis and Clark journals with the voices of the enlisted men and the Native Americans for the first time to make them heard alongside the captains’ words for the first time.
Woodswoman: Living Alone in the Adirondack Wilderness
She lived the kind of life that many people want to have. Anne LaBastille is an ecologist. Then her husband broke up with her. She needed somewhere to live when she and her husband split up. Through luck and hard work, she found the perfect place: a 20-acre piece of land in the Adirondack Mountains, where she built the cozy, primitive log cabin that became her home.
The town of LaBastille was miles away, so LaBastille had to use her wits, ingenuity, and the help of kind neighbors to stay alive.
A poetic and precise account of her adventures on Black Bear Lake shows the power of the land, the rhythms of nature, and the beauty of nature’s many animals.
Most of all, she shows how hard it is for her to find the right balance between wanting to be with people and wanting to be alone and alone.
One Man’s Wilderness: An Alaskan Odyssey
If you’re reading this, Dick Proenneke is probably a person you’ve heard of before. If not, then get ready for some ideas! Watch Alone in the Wilderness as soon as you can, and then read his journals, which will put you right in the woodsmoke-scented cabin with the Alaskan wilderness right outside. They were all right with their choice: Dick Proenneke was the best.
The book: To live in a land that hasn’t been touched by humans for a long time, to roam a wilderness where few humans have gone before, to choose an idyllic site, cut trees, and build a log cabin. To be a self-sufficient craftsman, making what you need from the materials that are available. To be at peace with the world but not at odds with it.
Many people have had dreams like this, but Richard Proenneke was able to make them come true. A: He found a place to live, built a cabin, and lived there to become part of the country. There’s a book called One Man’s Wilderness that tells about the things he did on his own and the things nature did all the time to keep him company.
Becoming Wild: Living The Primitive Life On A West Coast Island
Unlike most survivalists, Nikki van Schyndel doesn’t have a lot of scars. An urban young woman who lives in the city today decided to spend 19 months in a remote rainforest with her cat and a person she didn’t know.
Broughton Archipelago is a group of small islands near Vancouver Island that aren’t connected by land. Becoming Wild is about a group of people who have to fight for their lives in the wilderness of BC.
29-year-old Nikki and her friend Micah have to fight off harsh weather, hungry animals, the threat of starvation, and all the other dangers that this rough Raincoast area has to offer.
To stay alive, Nikki must use her knowledge of BC’s coastal plants and animals, as well as the old ways of hunting and gathering. There, she learns how to skin bears, make clothes out of cedar bark, and eat fish tails whole.
Becoming Wild is written in a voice that is both familiar and vulnerable. It talks about our innate desire to connect with nature and return to a pure, Eden-like state.
The Final Frontiersman: Heimo Korth and His Family, Alone in Alaska’s Arctic Wilderness
Some people who are brave have tried to make a living in the Alaskan wilderness. Heimo Korth, on the other hand, has been able to do this for years. Heimo was born in Wisconsin and moved to the Arctic in his twenties. Heim, his wife, and their two daughters live about 200 miles from civilization. They live a nomadic, sustainable life that is limited by the migrating caribou, the dangers of swollen rivers, and the very necessities of daily life. During The Final Frontiersman, Heimo’s cousin, James Campbell, tells the story of the Korth family’s amazing experience, their adventures, and the tragedy that has shaped their lives to this day. Campbell tells us about Heimo’s heartland and home in a way that is spectacular and at times impossible to believe. When a small plane comes to deliver food, the Korths wait patiently. They listen to distant radio chatter, go sledding at 44° below zero, and work on the survival skills they’ve worked so hard to learn. The Final Frontiersman is both awe-inspiring and memorable. It reads like a rustic version of the American Dream and shows for the first time a way of life that most of us have never thought about: living in a beautiful wilderness that for now, at least, is the last frontier.