Leaving the Comfort Zone (Morrison)

Apr 22, 2018

Leaving the Comfort Zone: Mountain Men and the Trappings of a Wilderness Lifestyle

Presenter: Ms. Sarah Pickman, Yale Doctoral Student

The original mountain men of the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries endured physical hardships and isolation while working as trappers or pathbreakers across the American West. Yet by the late nineteenth century, a host of new goods and activities allowed urban Americans to enjoy a taste of the mountain man lifestyle within new middle-class norms around “comfort”: from guidebooks and gear for weekend campers and amateur trappers, to adventure novels for armchair travelers. Ms. Pickman will use mountain men and the recreational travelers who came after them as starting points to explore changing ideas of what it means to truly “live comfortably.”