A Natural Imagination Boost

When I was about fourteen, friends of the family unexpectedly gifted me a week with a summer backpacking camp. We were to hike every day, sleep in tents, cook outdoors, and end miles from where we started.

This was the first time my dad offered me his collection of hiking and backpacking books to read. I remember that most of them were engagingly, even humorously, written. I felt welcomed into a new world, where people argued good-naturedly about the merits of leather versus canvas boots; a realm where, even though sleeping bags were rejected for weighing extra ounces, serious campers accepted the weight of a camp stove rather than strip the forest of its natural deadwood.

Most meaningfully, I felt that I was entering a society in which my dad was already a member.

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