The author once fell backwards, on skis, at night, into a latrine during a snowstorm in the Rocky Mountains. That’s just one of the stories in this 20-year tale of wilderness education.
This book aims to entertain and edify, captivate and compel. It’s also laugh-out-loud funny, with echoes of Patrick F. McManus and Bill Heavey.
Combining anecdotes of over two decades of outdoor education experience with thoughtful narrative context, the author offers tales of adventure that both experienced mountain guides and armchair enthusiasts can dig into with abandon. From the swampy backcountry of Florida to the soaring Sierra; the chilly gray waters of Puget sound to rocky scrambles in the Green Mountains, this book takes the reader on a hilarious journey through epic landscapes guided by a hapless outdoor teacher.
No matter how suburban or urban our upbringing, we’ve all experienced the fear of strange noises in the night, inedible food cooked outdoors, and surviving when the nearest flush toilet is miles away. We can all relate to the mishaps and exploits experienced in the great wide world.
Erik Shonstrom is the author of Wild Curiosity , The Indoor Epidemic, and The Wisdom of the Body (all published by R&L). He has worked in education for over two decades. He has taught students while clinging to cliffs in Joshua Tree National Park; swimming frigid rivers in the High Sierra; snorkeling jellyfish infested waters off Mexico; paddling tippy kayaks amid the orcas of Puget Sound; trudging up narrow trails in the Adirondacks; and, occasionally, in the classroom. He has worked for charter, independent, public, and experiential education-based schools. Currently, Erik is a professor of interdisciplinary studies at Champlain College. He has published a number of articles on education, learning, and the outdoors, as well as lectured on topics ranging from curiosity to the connection between reading novels and imagination.
He lives in South Burlington, Vermont.
Advance Praise for I Probably Should’ve Brought a Tent
This is a splendidly written account of adventures from hiking in the Sierras and the Adirondacks, training with Outward Bound and canoeing in Florida, and getting arrested for skateboarding on private property to working on a dude ranch, snorkeling with jellyfish, hitchhiking, ski mountaineering and more, often while surviving as a guide to exuberant half-crazed adolescents and well-meaning but bumbling adults. With respect for the indigenous peoples who inhabited the wilderness, an appreciation for dogs and wildlife, and most of all a brilliant sense of humor, Erik Shonstrom deftly explores the emotional depth of what it means to be a son, a dad, a mentor. I Probably Should've Brought a Tent is a gift from a wide-spirited human being.
--Gail D. Storey, Author of I Promise Not to Suffer: A Fool for Love Hikes the Pacific Crest Trail, Winner of the National Outdoor Book Award
I Probably Should’ve Brought a Tent is eloquent, witty, funny, and serious all at the same time. Shonstrom’s book is filled with captivating wilderness stories. He places you directly beside him in his stories and you feel the highs and lows of what he experienced. These stories quickly pull you into his journeys, flying through the pages, and yearning for more at the end! You won’t be disappointed picking this one up off the shelf.
--Scott Wurdinger, Author of Philosophical Issues in Adventure Education and Teaching for Experiential Learning
“I Probably Should’ve Brought a Tent is about traveling with honesty, beauty, and awkwardness. Erik takes into account where his adventures fall in a long history of human conflict and shifting landscapes. He ventures out to these wild and majestic sites, all the while keeping integrity and humor close.”
--Teresa Lynn Hasan-Kerr, travel writer for Lonely Planet, Refinery 29, Culture Trip, Morocco World News, Coldnoon, Past-Ten, and Wry Times