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Publisher's Summary

The classic chronicle of life and self-reliance in the great Northern Forest, now available in audio

"Cache Lake Country is a gem for many reasons - a simple narrative, the ways in which it conveys the work-a-day joys and exertions of life in the wilderness, the woodscraft techniques it illustrates, and the slow and pleasurable way in which the soul of a serene man is revealed." (The New York Times)  

Over half a century ago, John Rowlands set out by canoe into the wilds of Canada to survey land for a timber company. After paddling alone for several days, he came upon "the lake of my boyhood dreams", which he named Cache Lake because there was stored the best that the north had to offer-timber for a cabin; fish, game, and berries to live on; and the peace and contentment he felt he could not live without. This is his story, containing both folklore and philosophy, with wisdom about the woods and the demand therein for inventiveness. It includes directions for making moccasins, stoves, shelters, outdoor ovens, canoes, and hundreds of other ingenious and useful gadgets.

©1947, 1959 W. W. Norton and Company, Inc.; Introduction copyright 1990 by Verlyn Klinkenborg (P)2020 Tantor

What listeners say about Cache Lake Country

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A wonderful story

I'm not sure how I happened upon this title, but at such an uncertain and frightening time, it was a welcome respite. John Rowlands' life at Cache Lake is utter simplicity and food for the soul. Mr. Wright narrates this book in such a way that I always thought it was the author telling me the story. This audio title spurred me to find a hard copy for my library which I will savor when on vacation this summer. This is simply a joyful listen.

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Great book if you like learning

This book is not what I thought it would be which was homesteading. However, there is a wealth of knowledge about bush craft and wilderness survival. I love to learn and this book does that going month by month telling you what to expect from flora to fauna. Tips on traversing the wild, how to best equip yourself so your prepared for every situation. I lived and hiked olin Colorado for the many years I lived there, and I can't count how many times folks unfamiliar with thr wilderness go out for a day hike without any survival gear. ALWAYS be prepared! It can be a beautiful day when you start out but I've experienced a cold front coming through that can drop the temps ove 40 degrees in an hour. If you're not prepared you could die! Though this book is not about Colorado, it will help you understand how the months change quickly and how to be prepared to survive in the wilderness! I bought the audiobook book but will also purchase the hard copy just to have the info on hand.

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Great details on living in the northern woods.

Very similar to Dick Proennekes book. Published a decade I wander if it was inspiration for him. We’ll narrated and paced well. I would recommend it.

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A must read for any woodsman or bushcrafter

One might consider it an updated woodsman's manual along the lines of Nessmuck and Kephart. Full of outdoor knowledge and observations it makes the reader itch to get out into the wild and try some of the techniques described in the book.

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  • Just a reader
  • 09-21-20

As good as Proenneke's One man's Wilderness

This is probably my favorite book of all time, I can listen to it again and again. It is similar to Proenneke's One man's Wilderness, but reads more like a novel; being written by a professional author. Wonderful, rich descriptions of nature and wildlife. Practical tips and good anecdotes. Written in 1953 and describing a period before that, it is somehow a lot less dated than you'd think. I often listen to this book while falling asleep, letting the calming voice of the narrator and the poetic yet simple language soothe me. I recommend this wholeheartedly and am saddened that mine is the only review so far. More people deserve the joy this book brings!

A quick summary: Written as a 'year in the life of', but ultimately spanning many years, this book describes the life of a timber prospector in the North Woods wilderness. It follows the seasons, describing changes in wildlife and nature. It also gives some bushcraft tips. The author lives alone in an isolated cabin close by a pristine lake, but just like Proenneke (who had provisions flown in and such) he is not completely alone. There are wonderful descriptions of some of the friendships formed and renewed; most notably with an older Cree man who lives a few miles away, and a painter who lives a lake over. In the original paper version of the book, almost every page has a little sketch by that artist; often clarifying instructions to make something, or depicting an animal or plant. If you like this audiobook I recommend you get a copy of that as well (it should not be very expensive at all, esp. secondhand). In the end, the audiobook doesn't really 'lack' that part though, because the descriptions are so vivid. Plus, the wonderful performance by the narrator also adds a lot.

One last tip I would give is to not listen to the foreword and preface beforehand, and instead dive right in at the first chapter. Both these additions kind of spoil the book somewhat, including descriptions of what happened in and after the book and so on. It is just a lot better to treat those as an epilogue. If you do listen to them beforehand, the enjoyment and wonder you will have while listening to the book may be less.

Anyway, go buy it! You won't regret it. Afterwards, spread the word like I just did. :)

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  • bbk
  • 07-04-21

Awesome telling of life in the northern woods

There are a few books I started again as soon as I finished them. This is one. If you love nature, I have no doubt you will love this book. And because the woods go on as they always have, the book hardly ever feels dated.

1 person found this helpful

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