Rough guidelines

Gearbox

October 01, 2006|By Candus Thomson | Candus Thomson,SUN REPORTER

Are we there yet?

You'll never ask that question or complain about scratchy towels after reading The Art of Rough Travel, (The Mountaineers Books, $15.95), a volume written by 19th century explorer Sir Francis Galton.

The book is a condensation of his original writings. Editors have weeded out the mundane, so that all that remains are his tastiest observations on everything from animal fluids to making an oven out of an anthill to burying yourself alive: "A European can live through a bitter night, on perfectly dry sandy plain, without any clothes besides what he has on, if he buries his body pretty deeply in sand, keeping only his head above ground."

Body buried, head exposed - just the opposite of today's political posture.

Whether you are a backcountry explorer or the armchair variety, Galton has given us a wickedly fun romp.

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