A curated collection of the books we can’t put down, & the articles we’re sharing around Filson HQ.
JAMES BECKWOURTH: LEGENDARY MOUNTAIN MAN
– by Ann S. Manheimer
As a mountain man, fur trader, and explorer, James Beckwourth was one of only a handful of frontiersmen to emerge from the system of American slavery during its height.
Find it on: Amazon, or at your local bookshop.
THE LEGACY OF ARCTIC EXPLORER MATTHEW HENSON
– by James Mills
American explorer Matthew Henson was the first person to reach the North Pole after seven voyages to the Arctic. Read the article on National Geographic.
On Being an African-American Upland Hunter from the South
– by Durrell Smith
“I think that the practice and lifestyle of upland bird hunting will likely change and diversify. It will of necessity come to represent a wider range of hunting styles and histories from a variety of cultures—particularly in minority cultures.” Read the article on Project Upland.
Men At Sea
– by Jean Gaumy
Evocative black and white photographs by Magnum photographer Jean Gaumy, depicting the sea-faring lives of commercial fisherman between 1984 and 1998. This book is noted as “a tribute to the fisherman’s daily struggle on the last open-decked trawlers of the high seas”.
Find it on: Amazon, or check with your local bookshop.
– by Jim Reardon
For forty years Frank Glaser trekked across wilderness Alaska on Foot, by wolf-dog team, and eventually by airplane. In his career he was a market hunter, trapper, roadhouse owner, professional dog team musher, and a federal predator agent. He was a legend in his own time, respected and admired for his skill as a woodsman and hunter, and by his many Eskimo friends.
The Poetry of Robert Frost
– by Robert Frost
The only comprehensive gathering of Frost’s published poetry—this affordable volume offers the entire contents of his eleven books of verse, from A Boy’s Will (1913) to In the Clearing (1962).
Find it on: Amazon, or check with your local bookshop.
TIMBER COUNTRY: Logging in the Great Northwest
– by Earl Roberge
“This is a gorgeous tribute to the Pacific Northwest’s logging industry, with over 130 color photographs of lumbermen using both traditional and modern methods of harvesting. Amazing photographs were taken by Roberge, complete with the technical specs of each photo, location, and subject. Originally published in 1973 and out of print, but worth the hunt if you can get your hands on a copy.” — Brian Benthin, Director of Creative Operations
Find it on Amazon, or check with your local bookshop.
EMPIRE OF THE SUMMER MOON
– by S. C. Gwynne
This book explores the rise and fall of the Comanche tribe, the most powerful and fierce Native American tribe of all time.
FATE OF OREGON’S TIMBER INDUSTRY HANGS IN THE BALANCE
– by Brooke Van Dam & Steve Johnson, Washington Post
This article from the Washington Post explores the effects COVID-19 and wildfires have had on the logging industry in the state of Oregon, and the outlook for recovery. Read the article on The Washington Post.
River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey
– by Candace Millard
The events of this book take place in a black, uncharted tributary of the Amazon River that snakes through one of the most treacherous jungles in the world. Indians armed with poison-tipped arrows haunt its shadows; piranhas glide through its waters; boulder-strewn rapids turn the river into a roiling cauldron. After his humiliating election defeat in 1912, Roosevelt set his sights on the most punishing physical challenge he could find. Together with his son Kermit and Brazil’s most famous explorer, Cândido Mariano da Silva Rondon, Roosevelt accomplished a feat so great that many at the time refused to believe it. In the process, he changed the map of the Western Hemisphere forever. Along the way, Roosevelt and his men faced an unbelievable series of hardships, losing their canoes and supplies to punishing whitewater rapids, and enduring starvation, native attacks, disease, drowning, and a murder within their own ranks. Three men died, and Roosevelt was brought to the brink of suicide. The River of Doubt brings alive these extraordinary events in a powerful nonfiction thriller.
HOW TO EAT IN THE WOODS
– by Bradford Angier
“A comprehensive, practical, and reliable guide to finding food in the woods and living off the land, by respected wilderness survivalists. The information in How to Eat in the Woods is tried, trusted, and true. One of the most complete books written on the subject, this portable guide includes essential information on how to track, trap, kill, and prepare various types of animals; select bait, land fish, and clean and cook the catch; recognize edible plants, fruits, berries, and nuts; locate bird eggs; catch edible insects; and find potable water. Also included is information on building a fire and preparing food without utensils.” — Will Kutscher, Content Producer
SAWS THAT SING: A GUIDE TO USING CROSSCUT SAWS
– by U.S. Forest Service
This comprehensive guide presents time-tested techniques for using and maintaining vintage crosscut saws. Download the guide here.
Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage
– by Alfred Lansing
This captivating story details the almost two-year struggle for survival endured by Ernest Shackleton’s men on the Endurance during his attempt to cross the Antarctic in 1914.
The Golden Spruce
– by John Vaillant
The felling of a celebrated giant golden spruce tree in British Columbia’s Queen Charlotte Islands takes on potent symbolism in this probing study of an unprecedented act of eco-vandalism. It is also, in his telling, a land of virtually infinite natural resources overmatched by an even greater human rapaciousness.
Alaska from Scratch
– by Maya Wilson
Author and chef Maya Wilson transplanted to Alaska in 2011, unsure of what to expect. She ended up finding home and started Alaska from Scratch, a popular blog inspired by the region’s ocean-to-table, homemade food culture. Her cookbook includes 75 of the top recipes.
– by Jack London
The Sea-Wolf is a 1904 psychological adventure novel by American writer Jack London. The book’s protagonist, Humphrey van Weyden, is a literary critic who is a survivor of an ocean collision and who’s rescued by Wolf Larsen, a powerful and amoral sea captain.
– by Sebastian Junger
Combining history, psychology, and anthropology, Tribe explores what we can learn from tribal societies, explaining why we are stronger when we come together and how that can be accomplished even in today’s divided world.
Temperance Creek: A Memoir
– by Pamela Royes
Pam is a badass! Her account of life in Hell’s Canyon in the 1970s balances humor, heartbreak, struggle, and triumph.
The Musk Ox & Me
– by Jon Lee Anderson
A nomadic journalist tells the story of his adventures in the wilderness of Alaska as a young man in the 1970s, tracking a rare breed of oxen and hoping to make a fortune for himself. Amazing anecdotes from a true explorer.
Read the article on The New Yorker.
The Feather Thief
– by Kirk Wallace Johnson
Author Kick Wallace Johnson’s investigation into the theft of 299 rare bird feathers from the Natural History Museum in London to create one of a kind fly fishing ties—a wild read.
Sailing Alone Around the World
– by Joshua Slocum
In April 1895, Joshua Slocum set out to accomplish what many thought to be impossible—to sail alone around the world. Written in his own words, his account is witty and terrifying. Warning: this book may make you want to quit your job and set out to sea.
These recommendations are chosen by the staff at Filson. Some links support our content team through affiliate partnerships.