Echo (Living Wild with the Orions)

This title is part of BHA's Jim Posewitz Digital Library: Required Reading for Conservationists


Echo (Living Wild with the Orions) shares the mental and physical journey of a boy learning about survival. I wouldn’t typically choose this genre but the book really captured my attention. I love the ending, but don’t worry I won’t spoil it! This book deploys a certain magnetic pull. I told my mom I would read the book after I finished the series I was reading, read the first page, and was hooked! I would definitely recommend this book as a read-aloud, self-read or as a fun way for kids to get into nature and learning about survival. 

-Ruby Thorstenson, 11 years old


The title, Echo (Living Wild with the Orions), is enough to get any hunter excited to read: “Orion,” the god and constellation of hunters, and “Living Wild” – what we all live and strive for. In Ron Rohrbaugh’s book for young adults, the main character Echo Orion is about to go on his “Sure Enough Mountain Man adventure.” It’s a solo journey that the Orion children take through the woods of Pennsylvania to leave childhood behind and become adults.

But Echo’s journey takes a turn away from adventure possibly leading towards disaster. Echo’s selfbow and childhood spent in the woods, learning survival skills are all that can save him. The messages of fair chase, conservation, the thrill of the hunt, self-reliance and respect for indigenous cultures and the joys of being a naturalist are all intertwined into the writing is such way that adults can enjoy the read while young adults can still access these important concepts without ever having known they were learning! 

-Cory Ellis, BHA Montana chapter board member


From the author, Ron Rohrbaugh Jr.:

"Quality outdoor literature for kids is hard to find these days. I aimed to change that with my new book series called LIVING WILD with the Orions. The series follows the adventures of the Orion family who hunt, fish and gather food as a way of life.

“Echo,” the first book in the series, follows 11-year-old Echo Orion as he navigates a family rite of passage to become a “Sure Enough Mountain Man” on the brink of his first hunting season. When things go horribly wrong, Echo must rely on wilderness survival skills taught to him by a backwoods Native American woman.

As a parent of young children, I found it difficult to find quality outdoor reading material that was fun and accurate. Past generations had Hatchet and My Side of the Mountain, but today there is a distinct gap in children’s literature focused on adventure and especially hunting.

I wanted exciting wilderness adventure that would make my kids want to jump out of bed to build a shelter in the backyard or make a bow. I wanted accurate natural history that made them undeniably curious about the salamander living under our woodpile. And, I wanted them to know hunting, with all its connections to food, culture and history."


Purchase Echo on Amazon Smile, and register Backcountry Hunters & Anglers as your preferred nonprofit to give back to your wild public lands, waters and wildlife. 

About Zack Williams

Backcountry Journal editor