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The Green Guide to Low-Impact Hiking and Camping (Paperback)

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"A classic of backpacking literature" (Backpacker), now updated with a brand-new foreword by environmentalist and best-selling author Bill McKibben

Originally published as Backwoods Ethics in 1979, Laura and Guy Waterman's definitive guide to low-impact hiking and camping was a prophetic call to reevaluate the impact of outdoor recreation on the wilderness. Enthusiastically received by environmentalists and wilderness managers at the time, its warnings and advice are now more relevant than ever. With wisdom and gentle humor, Laura and Guy Waterman present a strong case for the importance of respecting the natural world while you're enjoying it. In his foreword to the new edition, world-famous environmentalist Bill McKibben puts the Watermans' advice into context for today's world. Day hikers, campers, and backpackers who follow the sensible techniques laid out in this book will help preserve the wilderness experience for generations to come.

About the Author

Wilderness Ethics was Guy Waterman’s most determined and philosophical statement. He died in the White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Laura Waterman is co-author of several books with her husband, Guy. She lives near their original homestead in Vermont.

Bill McKibben is the author of Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, among other titles; he is the founder of, which in 2010 organized what CNN called “the most widespread day of political action in the planet's history.”

Praise For…

The Green Guide to Low-Impact Hiking and Camping is part how-to, part meditation, and part history. The authors, with subtle humor, take the reader on a profound adventure into the woods. We learn how to keep the mountain world the way we found it, and how to inspire others to step outside and explore the wild.
— Lucas St. Clair

Although information and ideas now flow through our society more easily than ever, it still takes continuous effort for new understanding to settle in. Over the past generation, we've seen more and more backcountry travelers who have adopted the concept of low-impact camping and hiking. The Green Guide to Low-Impact Hiking and Camping is just this type of positive force for cultural change. Our forests and mountains have a brighter future thanks to this clear and understandable work by Laura and Guy Waterman, two legends of the northeast mountains.
— Jensen Bissell

With ultramarathoners popping champagne corks atop Katahdin, and smartphones seemingly standard backpacking gear, we need to read Laura and Guy’s Backwoods Ethics more than ever! An essential book for those who camp and wander in wild places.
— Robert Alden Rubin

For those who venture into the back country to hike, climb, or camp and have true reverence for the bountiful beauty they find there, this book is a must read.
— Tom Wessels

If you care about wild places, this book is for you. Not only does it provide specific recommendations and techniques for minimizing impacts to our shared backcountry, it also, and perhaps more importantly, encourages each of us to explore our collective role as stewards of the natural world around us. As more and more people venture into the outdoors for solace, renewal, challenge, fellowship, or solitude, the cumulative impact to the land is undeniable. However, each of us can put our own personal stewardship ethic into action, and The Green Guide to Low-Impact Hiking and Camping provides for us the foundation and knowledge for making a real difference for the future of the places we cherish.

— Ben Lawhon, Education Director of the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics

Nearly four decades after its groundbreaking appearance, "Backwoods Ethics" remains as relevant today as it did when the Watermans first wrote it. How do we reduce our impact on the backcountry when we're all so busy "connecting" via smart phones and tablets, when so many of us seek greater and greater challenges in the outdoors? The Watermans don't just ask us to minimize our impact -- they cajole and question us with humor and with love -- love for the backcountry and for all of us who use it.
— Rebecca Oreskes

Product Details
ISBN: 9781581573947
ISBN-10: 1581573944
Publisher: Countryman Press
Publication Date: June 7th, 2016
Pages: 304
Language: English