You have come home, and in so doing you have realized your spirit never really left. Our connection with the natural world is innate. So while it may seem like Mother Nature is teaching us, I’ve long suspected she is simply sending us reminders – providing the key so that we can unlock a part of ourselves that has always been there. –Cam Honan, The Hidden Tracks
Print media is a dying form in many ways. Though people will argue about a resurgence in traditional print media, there is no disagreement that digital media is a large portion of how people consume the written word.
But there is one major exception that digital media has not replaced for many people: Books with a visual focus.
Lush photographs, stunning artwork, scrumptious looking food, or imaginative drawings combined with equally imaginative writing stirs the imagination in a way something seen on the screen of a phone or even a tablet cannot.
The book is often passed around, shared, and stories are told about the places seen or ideas discussed. The book starts off a conversation where the end is not known. But the journey is always intriguing.
Such is the case with The Hidden Tracks: Wanderlust off the Beaten Path explored by Cam Honan.
Cam is one the most experienced backpackers in the world today. Never mind the 60,000+ miles he hiked in the course of this wilderness travels, it is the breadth, types, and overall experience that makes these hikes so intriguing. Be it cultural trips all over the world or wilderness hikes among some of the wildest places in North America, Cam’s walks took him to places that would be a highlight of anyone’s backpacking experience.
And out of that experience and evident passion for the wild places, Cam wrote two books.
Wanderlust: Hiking on Legendary Trails described some of the world’s most well-known treks. From near the top of the world on the Annapurna Circuit, to the hardwoods of the Appalachians, or to the red desert of Wadi Rum, the book describes both with words and stunning photography some of the most famous treks in the world.
But I think The Hidden Tracks will appeal to a particular type of trekker more. For the person who wants to see places that are a bit less known and perhaps a touch wilder. The Pyrenean Haut Route instead of the Camino, or the Continental Divide Trail instead of the Appalachian Trail.
Cam’s words aptly describe much of the flora, fauna, logistics, and seasons of these lesser-known treks.
But his words also bring forth, in vivid detail, the passion and reverence he possesses for the world’s wild places.
Many books and other resources will give you the What? and How? of the outdoors. But few resources give you the Why?
And Cam’s words often give the Why? in vivid detail.
Consider his description of the Continental Divide Trail that formed a backdrop for me in my nearly twenty-years in Colorado:
On the CDT, it is often just you, the wide-open landscape, and the seemingly endless sky.
The imagination is stoked. And you want to see these special places for yourself.
Of course, a book of this type is more than words. The photos bring the treks alive. Large-scale and world-class photographs of the special places are found throughout the book. Alpenglow in the mountains, wildflowers in abundance, isolated wetlands that are vibrant with deep green, and other visual goodies that make for the perfect eye candy.
The Hidden Tracks is a book that will entice any outdoor wanderer and appreciated by any lover of the wild places.
The Hidden Tracks is available for purchase on November 19th.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book at no charge. I should also note that Cam is a good friend of mine despite occasionally leading him to blowdown hell in the middle of Colorado or putting him on the guest bed next to a noisy guinea pig who chomps on hay all night.