Though he began his life as a Twin Cities resident, Calvin Rutstrum came to see noise, material wealth, and perpetual frenzy as the narcotics of the city dweller. Like Henry David Thoreau, he set out to live a simpler, more meaningful life. In his pursuit, Rutstrum came to appreciate the natural world and the skills necessary to survive in it. Part memoir, part guidebook, and part environmental treatise, Once upon a Wilderness is a treasury of wilderness wisdom.
Rutstrum reminisces about lessons that his time in the wilderness has taught him. He writes about a range of backcountry issues, including environmental preservation, cultural sensitivity toward Native Americans, the urban versus the rural, and the artistic value of practical skills. Through his thoughtful consideration of the pleasure and value of wilderness, Rutstrum offers a clarion call for a saner, more socially responsible and environmentally sensitive way of living.
Calvin Rutstrum (1895-1982) was one of the best-known outdoorsmen of his generation and the author of many books, including The Wilderness Route Finder, Paradise Below Zero, The New Way of the Wilderness, and North American Canoe Country, all published by the University of Minnesota Press.