Nature's Call Annette McGivney backpacking interview

Annette McGivney and Pure Land: How the Outdoors Can Overcome Trauma

Annette McGivney is the southwest editor of Backpacker Magazine and the author of Pure Land, available now. She explains her history with backpacking and the way that it helped her in her struggle with PTSD.

Pure Land: A True Story of Three Lives and The Search for Heaven on Earth

Annette’s newest book weaves together a love of the backcountry of the American Southwest, true crime, and deeply personal memoir. It’s a fantastic page-turner (in fact, I stayed up until 3 a.m. finishing it).

She’s online at and you can find more information on about the nonprofit she established to help kids who are victims of violence find the same solace in the outdoors that she found.

You can find the Outside Online Book Club on Facebook. They’ll be discussing Pure Land as their inaugural book!

If you have kids and want to fan the flame of loving the outdoors in their hearts, Annette mentioned My Side of the Mountain as something that sparked that in her as a kid. Hatchet is the book that inspired me to follow Nature’s Call (right into my backyard).

Reminder: Not Our First Visit to the Grand Canyon

If you enjoyed Annette’s stories about visiting the Grand Canyon, Nature’s Call has told the story of the first people to Explore the Grand Canyon in Rowboats, the expedition of John Wesley Powell. Give it a listen!

Next Stop: Palo Duro Canyon State Park

Per Annette’s advice on the show, I’ll head out for Palo Duro Canyon, dubbed the “Grand Canyon of Texas.” As we learned on today’s episode, there’s no reason to ever leave Texas. I’ll record a trail diary while I’m there and let you guys know my thoughts on the park and how my first trip of the winter goes. I’ll be nice and warm in my Nemo Salsa, which I have fallen in love with, totally and completely, after picking it up at the last REI Garage Sale.

If you’ve got a recommendation of somewhere you’d like to hear a trail diary from, send it to me on Facebook or Twitter.