The cover for Let Them Be Eaten By Bears – A Fearless Guide to Taking Our Kids Into The Great Outdoors (2013)
“In an age when the pressures are all against kids spending time outdoors, it takes a determined and resourceful writer to go against this tide. Peter Brown Hoffmeister is one such writer and this book deserves to be read very widely.” —Tristan Gooley, author of The Natural Navigator
“In an age where humans desperately need to get out in nature again, Hoffmeister’s practical guidance is a bridge to get us over the gap of our fears and not-knowing. They say ‘the knowing is in the doing’ – Hoffmeister clearly has the knowing, and his sharing of it will help you into your own doing.” — Evan McCown, co-author of Coyote’s Guide to Connecting with Nature
“[Hoffmeister] makes it sound so fun! His relatable writing and first-person stories will convince you to hop in puddles, gaze at clouds, and share the wonders of nature with your children.” — Parents Magazine
“This book is a how-to, a call to action and a lot of fun…Hoffmeister will make you a believer.” — The Register Guard
“Many books like this more-or-less talk down to its readers. This one doesn’t. Hoffmeister wrote this book as though he was talking to friends and fellow outdoor enthusiasts. He has experience–a lot of it–which he refers to often, but not in a look-at-me-I’m-boasting kind of way. He’s very relateable, as a parent, spouse, instructor, and all-around fun-loving individual.” — FamilyBandage.com
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The title is an allusion to an Edward Abbey quote from Desert Solitaire (1968):
“A venturesome minority will always be eager to set off on their own, and no obstacles should be placed in their path; let them take risks, for godsake, let them get lost, sunburnt, stranded, drowned, eaten by bears, buried alive under avalanches – that is the right and privilege of any free American.”
1. Did That Kid Just Steal Your Nature?
2. Get Out of Your Comfort Zone
3. You Don’t Have to Be an Expert and You Don’t Have to Be Alone
4. Anti-American Ethic: When You Go Out, Take Fewer Things
5. There Is No Bad Weather, Only Inappropriate Clothing
6. Perfect Isn’t Fun and Failure Is Always an Option
7. Like the Cavemen: A Case for Storytelling
8. Scrapes and Bruises Are Just Childhood
9. Relax, Go Shorter: Lower Your Expectations
10. Beyond Xanax: Understanding Fear and Simple Survival
11. Chasing the Squirrels: Let the Kids Lead
12. Teaching Techniques + Thirty Skills and Practices List
13. Dying Is Bad: Thirteen Safety Rules
14. God Made Dirt and Dirt Don’t Hurt: Mantras
15. Wiffle Ball and Freeze Tag: Play Childhood Games
16. Sharks and Bears: My Girl Is as Strong as Your Boy
17. Paroled and Troubled Teens: The Reluctant Group Members
18. Just Go