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Camping and Woodcraft by Horace Kephart

in Books and Media

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5.00 / 5 (3 reviews)

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david epley
( RenMan )
Camping and Woodcraft by Horace Kephart Originally published in 1917. Reprinted in 1988 on 08/02/2005 20:34:40 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Camping and Woodcraft by Horace Kephart (1917)
Reprinted in 1988 by the University of Tennessee Press

This book is truly the one that started it all.

In the early 1900s Horace Kephart was THE definative author on subjects pertaining to the great outdoors. His writings were compiled into two books, one called Camping, the other, Woodcraft. In 1988 they were joined together and reprinted in their original type by the University of Tennessee press.

Mr. Kephart provides in depth coverage of pretty much every concievable topic about experiencing the wilderness. From fire starting to pack lists, to dressing your own game, he thoroughly explains the how-to's of everything. And he does it all with a thoroughly enjoyable mountain man flair.

The best part is: He continually extolls the virtues of lightweight backpacking. He even includes an 18 pound summer gear list! (And this is way before nylon)
Horace Kephart covers all the bases that modern LW "gurus" pretend is their own wisdom. He practically begs the reader not to go to an outfitter, but to make their own gear instead!

I highly recommend this book to any hiker who wants to learn the philosophies behind lightweight hiking and backpacking. It's all here in an intensely entertaining, and totally ego free presentation.


Edited by RenMan on 08/02/2005 20:37:19 MDT.

Randy K
( roosterk )

He Wrote The Book on 02/10/2007 21:39:41 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

This book is more than a dusty old volume about a dusty old hiker. It's valuable, not only for the lightweight philosophy as noted above, but for the drawings and descriptions of different types of gear. Familiar with the George tarp/tent that Integral Designs came out with a few years back? It's in here. There are ideas in here that look somewhat like the Lunar Solo, one that suggests a Flashlight type tent, and more. Packs, cooking gear and other items are covered as well.
There are some changes though, for example, in his gear lists, he always has at least a half pound of tobacco, and a pipe or two.
If nothing else this book is memorable for the phrase: "not just light, lighter, lightest, but rather right, righter, rightest"
I bought my reprint copy at a Border's bookstore a couple of years ago, and I'm sure they can still get them.

Shop Integral Designs products at GearBuyer
Christopher James
( cmj1jp )
surprisingly relevant on 02/21/2007 08:08:31 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I was expecting a history book when I got this, but so much in here is still relevant to outdoor pursuits today. I thoroughly endorse the other reviewers' points, and if you've ever looked askance at your gear pile for the amount of fossil fuel-derived stuff it contains, this book'll provide you with a great deal of food for thought.

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