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Review: Pocket Naturalist and Duraguides by Waterford Press

Pocket Naturalist and Duraguide Line

My family loves being outdoors. From May through late October we embrace the opportunity to hike and explore the beautiful, diverse landscape of our home state, Utah. It’s our time to come together and really experience the beauty of one another. It’s also an opportunity to learn about the plants and landscape that are truly part of the scenic sensation!

On so many of our hikes, our children have asked what a particular plant is and we’ve done our best to give them the answer. I’m a whiz at identifying Indian Paint Brush, Sego Lily, and bluebells, beyond that, I’m winging it. My husband is far more knowledgeable, but I’ve come to learn he sometimes “makes it up”. Say what!? So when Waterford Press extended the opportunity to review products from their Pocket Naturalist Guides, Duraguide Line I was THRILLED!

When the Pocket Naturalist Guides arrived I was jumping like a lunatic with excitement. Really! They are wonderful and the perfect accompaniment for our outdoor exploration. Each Waterford Press Pocket Naturalist is laminated and pocket sized so it can take a beating and still deliver. They are pre-folded and it’s simplistic folded, you don’t need instructions to get them back “just so”. They are also simplified so my children and I can use it at a glance…even my four-year-old.

We weren’t offered the Utah version, but we travel to Idaho and Wyoming often and chose to review the Idaho Trees and Wildflowers and Wyoming Trees and Wildflowers Pocket Guides. We have used these many times in their specified state, but have also taken them weekend after weekend in our home state excursions.  The pocket guide provides pictures and a blurb about familiar trees, shrubs, and wildflowers. There are over 140 species illustrated and highlighted in the guide and each pocket guide includes a map that features prominent state-wide botanical sanctuaries.

We have had a blast hiking and hovering over plants to determine if they are in our pocket guide. We celebrated when we found Thimbleberry bushes early in the summer. My kiddos loved finding them through the Summer and watching the berries ripen. Finally, they were able to taste them and determined them worthy of the wait. Currants on the other hand did not cause for celebration! The Pocket Naturalist is at a glance information, that also includes whether something is edible or poisonous, but use your own judgment.

The Pocket Guides have been shoved into pockets, tucked into backpacks, folded and unfolded and they are still useful and show little wear and tear. Waterford Press offers a huge selection for states, cities, state parks, and more. Each Pocket Naturalist retails at $5.95.

Out next items for review were titles from the Duraguide Line. This line is more centered around life-saving tips or how-to techniques. They are a unique product because they are waterproof, rip-proof and wrinkle-proof. They are also stomp-proof, bend-proof, child-proof and bend-proof. Gotta love that!

My husband spent a solid evening learning knots from the Outdoor Knots Duraguide. It was far more detailed than our scout books and the instructions were clear and concise allowing him to learn the knot relatively quickly and then move on to the next. The duraguide serves as a great refresher when we are out and he wants to try a knot for something around camp or packing gear.

The children have claimed the Camping 101 Duraguide. It is the first thing they now pull out when we arrive at camp. It’s everything at a glance needed for a safe and well-organized camping trip. There’s information on setting up a safe camp, camping knots, fire-lighting, purifying water, selecting camp gear and general wilderness knowledge. They love when they read something and are able to put it into action. It’s like they are the founders of fire or the creator of camping. 

Our least favorite in our selection was The Night Sky Duraguide. Don’t get me wrong, it packs wow–after all, it glows in the dark for easy reference to the real night sky! I liked how the popular constellations and stars are featured so we can identify those without effort. Maybe it’s just that when we are under the blanket of stars we want to float away with them rather than disrupt the moment with the guide. My children, however, like this map and spend time in their rooms looking at it.

Duraguides are available in a variety of titles like Disaster Survival, Animal Tracking and Boating, and Water Safety. They have a Manufacture Suggested Retail of $7.95.

Both Duraguides and Pocket Naturalists as well as other Waterford Press titles are available at book, specialty, online and outdoor retailers.

I was sent the items mentioned in this post in order to facilitate an honest review. No other compensation was received. The opinions are my own and were in no way influenced by the sponsor. Others’ experiences may vary.

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