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'Erling Kagge transforms and consoles us' Alain de Botton
Surviving extreme conditions can teach us to lead a fulfilled life. No one knows this better than Erling Kagge, who was the first man in history to reach all of the Earth's poles by foot - the North, the South, and the summit of Everest. In Philosophy for Polar Explorers he brings together the wisdom and expertise he has gained from the expeditions that have taken him to the limits of the earth, and of human endurance.
In sixteen meditative but practical lessons - from cultivating an optimistic outlook, to getting up at the right time, to learning to take pleasure in the small things and comfort in solitude - Erling Kagge reveals what survival in the most extreme conditions can teach us about how to lead a meaningful life. Wherever we may be headed.
'His wisdom will soothe and awaken' Fearne Cotton
'A delightful book that explores the strange land between getting out of bed in the morning and reaching for the moon Tristan Gooley
'As an explorer Erling Kagge is world class; as a writer he is equally gifted' Sir Ranulph Fiennes
'Erling Kagge is a philosophical adventurer - or perhaps an adventurous philosopher' The New York Times
Explorer Kagge (Walking: One Step at a Time) reflects on the forces that drove him to become "the first to reach the Earth's three poles on foot" in this enjoyable adventure story. He discusses how his aspirations shifted from youthful fantasies of "being a fireman, a footballer, an astronaut, and a superhero all at once" to more realistic, but still extraordinary, ambitions. His ventures combined a lifelong attachment to the natural world with a desire to achieve milestones with minimal assistance: in 1990 he and a companion reached the North Pole without using snowmobiles, sled dogs, or supply depots; in 1993 he walked to the South Pole by himself, followed by a climb to the summit of Mount Everest the next year. Making such extreme experiences relatable to less daring audiences, Kagge admits that he found just getting up in the morning at the right time to be "a polar explorer's greatest challenge," and he describes raising three children as his "fourth pole." His continued wonder at the world and openness to the unexpected make for a refreshingly optimistic perspective. This moving and sometimes amusing look at how one man fulfilled his aspirations will charm both armchair and real-life adventurers.