If you are reading this, it means my notebooks have been found. I am leaving them here at camp for safekeeping along with a few other belongings that I won’t be taking with me. The notebooks are a lifetime’s worth of knowledge, which I’m passing on to you.
REMEMBER: be good, be adventurous… and look after your parents.
So reads an excerpt from the weatherworn letter discovered by nature enthusiast Teddy Keen on a trip to the Amazon in 2014, along with sketchbooks filled with details of extraordinary adventures and escapades, expedition advice and survival methods, annotated with enchanting coloured-pencil drawings.
The Lost Book of Adventure by Unknown Adventurer is quite literally all of this and more. It is an extraordinarily one-of-a-kind adventure book that transported me to the furthest corners of the world and to the mysterious beauty of the wild. From the coast to the stars, to the inhospitable desert to a night in a snow hole, there is no doubt that this book will inspire the adventurous spirit in you to go grab your bag and set out on your own explorations.
Extremely detailed and rich with magnificent colour artwork, it is unimaginable to think that this explorer has experienced and witnessed some of the rarest wonders our world has to offer. His brushes with death but his ability to live fearlessly and with freedom are perfectly captured within these pages, and we're extremely lucky to have this glimpse into this visual encyclopedia and love letter to the wild.
From building a fire and making a survival tin, to desperate meals (fire-roasted Goliath bird-eating spiders and maggots fresh from a dead wild pig!) to pooping in the wild, the Unknown Adventurer has left no details untouched. With these expert instructions on the wilderness basics, there are also more specific skills culled from many years of experience, like baking campfire bread, creating a toothbrush from a twig and even how to pan for gold. Accompanied with riveting and thrilling tales of adventure - think surviving a Saharan dust storm, being woken by an intrepid emperor penguin in Antarctica, and coming face-to-face with a venomous bushmaster (one of the most dangerous snakes on the planet)! - this book contains a little something for everyone with a craving for adventure and the unknown.
Farther and farther we forge, deeper into the unknown. Our paddles quietly dip into the surface in unison - an unthinking rhythm built up between us over months. All around, the jungle's twisting arms reach out across the river, sometimes creating tunnels that we have to hack our way through. The birds and monkeys hush as we push by, unsure of the strange creatures passing beneath them. It is hard to believe that are eyes are the first to witness this sanctuary. We say nothing, our sense completely in the moment.
This is a book that will spark imagination, transport you to unknown wonders and encourage even those who prefer the indoors to go out and explore the beauty of the great outdoors.
The greatest discoveries start with a voyage
A big thank you to Frances Lincoln Childrens (Quarto Publishing) and NetGalley for giving me an early sneak peak into this extraordinary book! Available via Amazon here.