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Colin Fletcher: "The Complete Walker"
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Partner kimgraves


Jun 19, 2007, 10:02 AM
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Colin Fletcher: "The Complete Walker"
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Colin Fletcher: 1922 - 2007
(Photo from NY Times)



I was 12 in 1968 when Colin Fletcher published the first edition of The Complete Walker. We lived in a suburb of New York City and one of our neighbors knew I had been spending a lot of time walking around the parks and riding my bike miles away exploring. He lent me his copy asking for me to return it when I was done. I was never done with it. I read it cover to cover a dozen times and it still sits on my book shelf. I don't remember the neighbors name, but thank you. "The Complete Walker" ranks as one of the most influential books of my life - no joking. When Fletcher published his book, people camped, but backpacking out into the wilderness was almost unknown.

Through it's tutelage I learned to take solo backpacking trips at a young age. At age 15 I took a three week solo trip into the Wind Rivers. I don't know how I convinced my mother to let me go, but go I did. It was though this backpacking that I eventually became interested in climbing.

So I owe my entire early outdoor education to Colin Fletcher. It wasn't until I read Ray Jardine's book just a couple of years ago that I found another book that I thought was as classic.

I think what I learned most from Fletcher is the idea of adventure. He walked alone and off the trail. He was self contained and had to deal with the issues that arose. I admired that independence and tried to emulate it.

Thank you Colin Fletcher.

Best, Kim

Obituary from The New York Times
Obituary from the LA Times


(This post was edited by kimgraves on Jun 19, 2007, 3:25 PM)


Partner camhead


Jun 19, 2007, 10:16 AM
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Re: [kimgraves] Colin Fletcher [In reply to]
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I posted a similar thread in community a couple days ago.

http://www.rockclimbing.com/...;;page=unread#unread

Colin Fletcher was definitely a hero of mine for his hikes, his solo descent of the Colorado, and most of all for his outlook and philosophy.

I was backpacking the Paria River about a week ago, on the UT/AZ border, when I thought of him, as I was walking through such a beautiful canyon. Just a random thought, and I reminded myself to google the guy when I got back to civilization and see what he was up to. I found out later that he had died that day.

rip, Colin.


mikitta


Jun 19, 2007, 9:35 PM
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Re: [camhead] Colin Fletcher [In reply to]
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May he rest in peace.

I will have to get a copy of his book. Backpacking is something I've always wanted to get into. It's something I would love to do with my kids, for sure :)

There is no replacement to fill the gap that these great outdoorsmen and women leave in the fabric of life. They tread softly, but their footprints are indellibly marked upon our spirits.

God Bless,
mik


yanqui


Jun 20, 2007, 9:16 AM
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Re: [kimgraves] Colin Fletcher: "The Complete Walker" [In reply to]
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I still have my original, hardcover versions of "The Thousand Mile Summer" and "The Man Who Walked Through Time", shelved up next to my other outdoor classics. After more than three decades, maybe it's time to read them again.


Adk


Oct 4, 2007, 7:36 PM
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Re: [kimgraves] Colin Fletcher: "The Complete Walker" [In reply to]
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Thanks for the post.
I bought The Complete Walker when I was 9 just 5 years after it was published. It sits on the third shelf to my favorite bookcase about 2/3 of the way on the right. A great book it is. his book will surely be passed down to some youngster, probably one of my own children.
I hope they read it. It's a great book.
Mr. Fletcher you will be missed yet your teachings will live on.




potreroed


Oct 10, 2007, 3:08 PM
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Re: [kimgraves] Colin Fletcher: "The Complete Walker" [In reply to]
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I, too, consider his books to be amongst the most influential in my life.


olympicmtnboy


Oct 10, 2007, 4:17 PM
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Re: [potreroed] Colin Fletcher: "The Complete Walker" [In reply to]
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I had missed this in June since I was in Peru. I too have been inspired by Mr. Fletcher and it is a loss to us all. It seems he lived a full life and inspired many. May he continue to stroll the hills in all of our memories, along with our other teachers who have reached the clearing at the end of the path.


micahisaac


Oct 13, 2007, 8:59 AM
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Re: [olympicmtnboy] Colin Fletcher: "The Complete Walker" [In reply to]
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i'm late on the news, but I'll miss Mr. Fletcher. I read the "complete walker" for the first time at my high school library. Great inspiration, and the quotes he collected in the back were always great!


keepitlow


Aug 17, 2009, 1:42 PM
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Re: [kimgraves] Colin Fletcher: "The Complete Walker" [In reply to]
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I first learned of "voluntary solitude" when reading a book by the granddaddy of backpacking Colin Fletcher. He described the benefits of pure solitude by walking alone. Walking meditation so to speak.


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