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Camping and Woodcraft: A Handbook for Vacation Campers and for Travelers in the Wilderness (2 Volumes in 1) Paperback – Facsimile, April 25, 1988

4 out of 5 stars 79 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Book Description

Originally published in 1906 as one volume, Camping and Woodcraft was expanded into a two-volume edition in 1916-17. Camping and Woodcraft ranks sixth among the ten best-selling sporting books of all time. A standard manual for campers and a veritable outdoor enthusiast’s bible for over four decades, this book reflects Horace Kephart’s practical knowledge and covers, in depth, any problem that campers might confront.
Kephart lived in the Great Smoky Mountains and spent most of his time in the wild. Consequently, he became an expert on all aspects of camp life from living in a semi-permanent lean-to to traveling with only the bare essentials in a backpack. More than simply a hunting or fishing guide, Kephart’s book covers a wide variety of subjects from how to dress game and fish to how to shoot accurately. Every chapter is filled with tips that remain useful even after fifty years of improvements in equipment and technology.

Jim Casada, who has provided an informative introduction to this edition, is professor of history at Winthrop College. He has written numerous articles on sporting figures and outdoor literature and is editor-at-large for Sporting Classics and contributing editor for Fly Fishing Heritage.

About the Author

Jim Casada, who has provided an informative introduction to this edition, is professor of history at Winthrop College. He has written numerous articles on sporting figures and outdoor literature and is editor-at-large for Sporting Classics and contributing editor for Fly Fishing Heritage.


Before coming the mountains, Horace Kephart (1862-1931) served as librarian of the prestigious Mercantile Library in St. Loius. His significant work, however, was done after he came to live in the Southern Appalachians in 1904. He played important roles in the establishment of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park and the Appalachian Trail.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 912 pages
  • Publisher: Univ Tennessee Press; 1 edition (April 25, 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870495569
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870495564
  • Product Dimensions: 1.8 x 5 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #269,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I have the facsimile edition published by the Univ. of Tennessee Press. It is a combination of two books by Kephart from 1916. The first volume, titled "Camping", is a guide to what we would call today "family camping" or camping from a fixed base. The second book in the volume, titled "Woodcraft", discusses backpacking for wanderers and other topics for people seeking to live off the land.

Kephart was actually a very experienced outdoorsman, not just some "effete diletante masquerading as a true woodsman." All his suggestions were based on his extensive personal experience in camping and hiking.

Kephart was, in his day, the combined Colin Fletcher and Cliff Jacobsen guru of the outdoors. His book is comprehensive, full of ideas about living outdoors, many of which I've adopted. His comments on gear are, of course, dated, though I've found even there some interesting ideas. Again, this is a kind of book I read for pleasure, I use as a reference book, and I read at least once a year, every time walking away with some new ideas to try. This year, for example, I'm trying pinole', ground-up parched corn, as a concentrated, light-weight food source on the trail (and it's actually pretty good).

An excellent value for your money. You won't regret buying this book.
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Format: Paperback
This is one of the finest outdoor books ever written--as evidenced by the fact that it is still in print 70 years after it was penned. The reason? Kephart actually lived in the woods and personally refined the techniques he discusses. Yes, the technology has advanced. But trees and animals haven't changed, nor has the best way to snare an animal nor the best way to construct a log cabin.

Given a choice of one book to take into the woods, this should be it.
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Format: Paperback
If you prefer a wall-tent, buckskins and an axe to goretex and gas stoves, this book is for you. Old time wood-skills by an experienced man, and a good writer. Some of the equipment detail is outdated (this book was originally written 70 years ago), but there is so much good stuff on everything from dressing and cooking game, to using an axe, to building camp furniture, compass work, marksmanship, and a whole lot more.
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this reprinting is incomplete,there are no illustrations,which should make up a good part of this book.
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By A Customer on February 26, 1998
Format: Paperback
I have had a copy of this book since I was in Highschool. It is full of ideas and the how to do of life in the woods. I have never grown tired of reading it and find myself constantly returning to it. It is woodslore at its best and a link to the past.
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Why weren't the pictures included in this book ? I have camped all my life (71 years)& was so excited to have some really old fashioned ideas, but was disappointed the pictures were not included. Guess i didn't read the details of this printing. :-(
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is probably the most exhaustive and authoritative book on outdoor craft that I have read. Very dry and detail oriented so you have to be interested in the science for it to work. It is not extreme lke the 60/70's survivalist dogma but presented matter of fact and unpretentiously by someone who lived it. With this book you could eke out a living off the land just about anywhere. There are many books that are a better casual read. But it will be hard to beat this book for its pure reference capacity. A classic that makes a great gift to anyone who is outdoors person, wants to know more, about how and why or just curious.
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Format: Paperback
This is a must for any library of outdoor books. It may lack a lot of modern day political correctness but, it was how it was done back then. A great look into outdoor history, this was THE handbook for outdoor wilderness skills and recreation. Any student of wilderness skills MUST have a copy.
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