The Cabin: A Search for Personal Sanctuary


175 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 1-897045-05-0
DDC 971.3'147





Reviewed by David E. Kemp

David E. Kemp is professor emeritus of drama at Queen’s University.


Hap Wilson has been a wilderness adventurer and guide for over 30 years.
A self-taught writer, artist, and photographer, he is also one of
Canada’s best-known canoeists and the author of several books.

Beautifully illustrated by the author, The Cabin is not an
autobiography per se, but rather a collection of stories that encompass
a search for both reason and sanctuary. Wilson’s desire for natural or
wilderness living began with a troubled childhood. Building and living
in a cabin on the edge of the Lady Evelyn River in the wilds of the
Temagami Wilderness Park would in later years offer him liberation from
the encumbrances of modern urban living (mortgages, a steady job, the
never-ending acquisition of material goods) that have come to define
success in the Western world.

Through Wilson’s journey to a sense of fulfillment in Temagami, the
reader gains a deep and abiding insight into the Canadian wilderness,
which is itself an integral part of the collective Canadian
consciousness. For anyone considering life in a remote wilderness
setting, I cannot think of a better book to read.


Wilson, Hap., “The Cabin: A Search for Personal Sanctuary,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 16, 2024,