Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Camping and Woodcraft by Horace Kephart; A Review


As I've finished work for the week (and it is only Tuesday) I've had time to write up my first proper review for this site. The natural choice is one of the books which first used the term woodcraft in the context of outdoor skills and is one of the inspirations for my way of doing things.
It is an old book and at times Kephart's advice does come from a very different era. However unlike more modern books there is a much greater emphasis on making and altering kit your self and the book goes into quite some detail about this. It must be noted as well that there are large sections devoted to fixed camps for a high number of people. There are sections on bivouac type shelters known as "Tomahawk shelters" here.
The advice on axemanship, finding your way, many items of clothing and provisions and many other skills is as valid today as when it wass written.
My two bugbears with the book are the poor size format (smaller than A5 but 2 inches thick) which make it hard to read and handle and the way the writer mentions he will deal with something in a future chapter yet there is no page number referenced so you can quickly turn to the necessary point.
This book is a definite one for your library, if you are interested in the woodcraft style of doing things it will probably be something you dip into regularly whilst if your interests are more general then it is nice to have an outdoor skills book that is not full of yet more survival kits and bow-drills. You can get it on Amazon or Amazon UK for a pretty reasonable price.

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