I want to share a great source for developing your skills! Outdoor leadership is different. What works at a Troop meeting or in the boardroom does not always translate well on a week-long backpacking or canoeing trip. Scouting offers great administrative training and valuable supplemental training in outdoor skills and safety. What we don’t have is a comprehensive training […]
Author Sarah Kirkconnell ( Trailcooking.com) has revised and expanded her excellent book Freezer Bag Cooking with the addition of many, many great new recipes. Freezer bag cooking is a simple technique that is perfect for Scouts, hot water is added to dry ingredients in freezer bag much like one adds hot water to a prepackaged freeze-dried meal. (No, […]
Emma Gatewood read about the Appalachian Trail in National Geographic Magazine”I thought it would be a nice lark,” she said. In 1955 at the age of 67, she put on her Keds sneakers, put an army blanket, a raincoat, and a plastic shower curtain in a homemade bag slung it over her shoulder, and headed off to hike the […]
Reading Canoeing Wild Rivers is like attending a master class in wilderness travel. Cliff Jacobson’s 30th anniversary edition of the classic Expedition Canoeing (now Canoeing Wild Rivers) is required reading for anyone planning or even thinking about a high adventure trip. This completely updated and revised edition features dozens of full-color photos, how-to illustrations, source charts, canoeing and camping techniques, and a chapter […]
Here’s more holiday gifts for Scouts or Scouters. These books have helped me as a Scouter and outdoorsman, they have been a source of inspiration and learning practical skills, Scouting history, outdoor lore, and the Scouting program for many years. Four Percent An excellent, authoritative Eagle Scout history. You don’t so much earn the Eagle rank as you become an Eagle—a fact […]
After I posted my Ten Essentails Infographic a reader (thanks Andrew!) pointed out the ” Ten Essential Systems” approach from The Mountaineers. I like the idea of a system’s oriented approach rather than just a list of gear: could you respond to emergencies and safely make it through one or more unexpected nights in the […]
Mike Clelland is the author and illustrator of Ultralight Backpackin’ Tips, an excellent guide to changing the way you experience the outdoors. (Mike has a great blog too) In the video above Celland touches on the philosophical and practical aspects of ultra lightweight backpacking, and this ought to get you started thinking about camping in general. If I had to identify with a camping philosophy I’d say that my […]
Kevin Callan is the most famous camping and canoeing expert you’ve never heard of. Kevin is a Canadian, a famous Canadian on Canadian television and radio, he’s a well-known author; a famous canoeist and camper in a country full of canoeists and campers. There’s a whole world of excellent Canadian stuff that we Americans know next to nothing about […]
Backpacker Magazine’s Complete Guide to Outdoor Gear Maintenance and Repair is your ticket to becoming a camping gear repair guru. Author Kirstin Hostetter’s well illustrated, carefully explained directions return your investment with the first piece of damaged gear you save. Maintaining and repairing modern clothing, sleeping bags, backpacks, stoves and tents is not a simple as slapping on a […]
Richard Francis “John” Thurman (4 April 1911 – April 1985) was Camp Chief of Gilwell Park from 1943 to 1969. In 1943, he introduced the Gilwell woggle awarded on the completion of basic training, and the Gilwell scarf and the Wood Badge beads were awarded on the completion of Advanced Training. Thurman wrote a number […]
Horace Kephart was born in Pennsylvania in 1862 and found his way to Hazel Creek in western North Carolina (later to become part of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Kephart campaigned for and is considered one of the fathers of the national park. He helped plot the route of the Appalachian Trail through the Smokies. Mount Kephart was named in his honor two […]
Cook wild is not a new concept; cooking over anything other than a wood fire is a relatively new development for the human race. A recent study showed that 43 percent, or some 3 billion members, of the world’s population rely on wood fires for their primary source of cooking and heating. Gas or electric stoves are […]
Why? –in a world of matches? Ernest Thompson Seton answered well when a group of ‘practical business men questioned his zest for the rubbing stick fire – said he, pointing to the ground, ‘You are thinking of the fire that is lighted down there,’ and pointing to his breast continued, ‘I am thinking of the […]
My first backpacking trip was a hike to a trail shelter in Shenandoah National Park in the early seventies. My brother and I carried frame-less canvas backpacks with webbing shoulder straps that my dad padded with upholstery foam. I don’t recall the sleeping bags or much else about the gear we used because my brother and I were much more interested in […]
Read about the book Natural Navigation at The Next Challenge blog by Tim Moss. Tim took a course with Tristan Gooley the author of Natural Navigation: On an east-west running path in the northern hemisphere, you’ll find more puddles and dips on the southern side as it invariably gets less sunlight. You can sometimes get a gauge of north […]
Ellsworth Jaeger wrote several books about outdoor living in the 1940’s. My favorite is Wildwoods Wisdom.
Years ago I tuned into the new ‘reality’ show Survivor thinking that it would offer some kind of practical advice on the subject, or at least provide an honest depiction of what happens in a true survival situation. Boy was I disappointed. Survival soon became a hot commodity for television shows. Most of them were […]
My first reaction to a book titled camping’s top secrets was “yeah, right”. I’ve been a camper all my life spending a thousand or more nights under canvas or on the trail. My camping education started forty years ago with Colin Fletcher’s book ‘The Complete Walker’ and expanded to the classics written by Horace Kephart, […]
Just to be extra clear about this freezer bag cooking has nothing in common with the well known ‘omelet in a bag’ technique where you crack an egg into a plastic bag, add some veggies and cheese (or whatever) and then put the bag in boiling water. (If you haven’t tried the omelet in a […]
Each year 3000 students spend two weeks to three months in the backcountry on National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) courses. Thats a lot of backcountry cooking! The folks at NOLS have developed a simple, varied and inexpensive diet that is based on staple foods that can be found at any grocery store. There’s also a […]
Christopher Molloy has published an excellent online edition of ten out-of-print Bushcraft Books by Richard Harry Graves: The 10 Bushcraft Books’ are the seminal texts on bushcraft and this on-line edition (based on the first edition of the book set) has been released to share this unique source of knowledge. Originally written as wartime information for […]
Fayette R. Plumb Inc. engaged ‘America’s Champion Chopper’ Peter McLaren to write a manual for their product- the redoubtable Plumb Axe. Though it was published in in the 1930’s the advice us as relevant today as it was then.
Kathleen Meyer realized that there was no completely frank discussion of how to sh*t in the woods (and how not to). She put pen to paper and came up with this pithy, humorous yet informative tome. Well worth reading as pulling it off properly does require some lost skills. It was unlikely that I would find […]
The druidical science of axemanship is glossed over in scouting literature. Wielding an axe expertly is more than meets the eye. Can you properly ‘hang’ an axe? Are you able to detect hidden flaws when choosing a new axe handle?