Douglas Lorain: “Backpacking Oregon”

January 28, 2000

Douglas Lorain treated the Obsidians to an animated and often humorous review of his new book, “Backpacking Oregon”, interacting frequently with an appreciative audience. Differing from the many guide books that have been written for hiking in Oregon, this book exclusively covers back-packing hikes (27 in number) of three to seven days’ duration, from all around the state. It is the culmination of having hiked about 15,000 miles in Oregon (starting at about age five). He has also hiked nearly that many miles in the rest of the American and Canadian west.

Detailed information and advice is given for each hike, drawing from the author’s experience. A second book, “Backpacking Washington”, is due out soon.

Douglas has sought out many little traveled trails that offer rewarding solitude. Not surprising, some of the hikes may not be for the faint of heart. He has endured deep river fords, black bears (which he considers to be not a problem), trekking through a poison oak thicket, avoiding elk-seeking bullets and sometimes breaking trail to points of interest. He once sat out a rattlesnake bite for three days until his swollen leg subsided enough to withstand the hike out! Douglas has mostly hiked alone, which he admits is not a good idea.

Douglas has, in general, not found the GPS (Global Positioning System) receivers to be consistently useful, and prefers to rely on the old reliable map and compass. It is easy to imagine that, if born some 200 years earlier, Douglas Lorain would have been a Davy Crockett-type frontiersman.

Incidentally, on learning of our pending Summer Camp in the Sawtooths, he highly recommended the area.

Bep Fontana


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