It’s tough these days to be an explorer. Compared to the good old days, when risk and hardship were justifications enough, most of today’s explorers seem like cheats, with Google Earth to prepare the way, and GPS to tell you where you are, and satellite phones to get you out of trouble. John Hare does not cheat, because in the Gobi’s barren heart, shifting dunes make detailed maps impossible. Heat and cold test life to its limits. There’s no one around, trucks break down, camels die, and so might you.