“The Outdoor Adventurer’s Guide to Forest Bathing” by Dr. Suzanne Bartlett Hackenmiller M.D. is an extensive guide to the Japanese Shinrin-Yoku, or the practice of “forest bathing.” The guide covers six basic outdoor activities that one can practice forest bathing: hiking, paddling, mountain biking, rock climbing, cross-country skiing, and trail running.
Each section has an introduction and different societies associated with that sport that support the practice in the given activity. There are “invitations” which are practices for that activity to engage your senses with the nature surrounding you. each invitation focuses on one or all of your senses to help you connect with nature.
As a medical doctor, Hackenmiller also has best practices for health as well as herbal/medicinal applications of various plants that you might encounter during your adventures. Each activity also has a tea ceremony that can be done using a plant in the wild that can be made into an herbal tea with health benefits. This is typically done to cap off an adventure and outing.
Not only does Dr. Hackenmiller explain her experiences, but she also include athlete interviews in each section that highlights how they have used the concepts in their own training and the benefits that they’ve received from the practice.
Despite the many, sometimes strenuous activity experienced in forest bathing, Hackenmiller insists that the main focus is not the physical exertion, rather it is the healing power of being outdoors and recognizing the amazing beauty surrounding you. That focus is what brings the most benefit. I loved this book and believe it will be an important guide for future outdoor outings.
I received this as an eBook from Rowman & Littlefield Falcon Guides via NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review of the title. I did not receive any compensation from either company. The opinions expressed herein are completely my own.