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The Boy Scout Handbook Paperback – 1998

4.3 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 472 pages
  • Publisher: BSA; 11th edition (1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0839531052
  • ISBN-13: 978-0839531050
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #311,569 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

(7th ed.)
This was the last handbook before Scouts tried to Urbanize(1). the program. This book was written at the peak of participation in scouting in the US. It is what scouting was about. I am biased, but this my most favorite handbook. It was written when things were simpler, and where we stood was clear.

This is a great reference for outdoor skills for camping in areas that are not "museums"(2). This book has fire building and cooking over a "real" wood fire. The skills taught are very accessable. It teaches conservation of resources, careful use of what we have.

I bought this book to teach my children the skills I had learned as a Scout. There are illustrations (not photographs)that accompany most of the topics that support the instructions. These are well done and effective. Using this book I was able to teach basic first aid, knife and ax skills, knot tying, fire building and cooking on a ground fire. Tracking skills. Respect for country, the outdoors, religion. Charactor. It has basic knowledge of nature and the various environments ie: eastern woodlands, western desert, etc. It has a very good section on forest sucession.

(1) In 1972 BSA made major changes to the program. They recognized that many in their target population no longer lived in the country or had easy access to the outdoors. They watered down advancement requirements, no longer did it require swimming, lifesaving, camping, and cooking to reach Eagle scout. This did not help enlist the urban youth they were after, but it did alienate many in the current ranks. The number of scouts dropped. In later years the program was changed back to something closer to what had been its core, the outdoors. Of course the program was also fighting demographics.
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I was a boy scout 30 years ago and loved my scout manual. I don't think this comes even close. Too much fluffy nonsense. There aren't enough pages dedicated to outdoorsmanship. Not enough knot making and trapping in the wild. I can't find the instructions for learning Morse Code, how insane is that.
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I guess I should confess that I am seventy and still a Boy Scout. I found this manual to be as useful as mine was fifty five years ago. Even better in fact. If you want practical camping/hiking and just being outdoors information this is the book for you.
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Maybe you're a scout, maybe you aren't, but almost anything published by the BSA is worth your time and investment if you're into wilderness / outdoor survival and skills. Like all the other BSA published books, there are full color photographs throughout with penny of descriptions educating you in the basics of outdoor life. This is all pretty basic stuff, but in the end, it's a lack of these basics that can make the difference between survival and disaster when things take a turn for the worse while on an outing.

Camping, first aid, knife and axe sharpening and just about every other necessary skill is covered, if only tersely, giving you a great introduction to the plenty of skills you have probably forgotten since your days as a scout. If you're looking for more detailed information on a specific skill, take a look at the Merit Badge Series. The Handbook is designed for rigorous ware, so you can bend it, drop it and spill stuff on it and it will still hold up pretty well. You never know when this basic info may come in handy, so keep one in your emergency bug-out bag as well as your bookshelf and give it a look every once and while. You may be glad you did.
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I highly recommend this book for all ages, even if you are a skilled survivalist. It is filled with basic survival skills with illustrations of how to set up a camp from what nature provides. It's pages teach survival swimming and boating techniques, food foraging, first aid, finding your direction, etc. - all with pictures. The earth's surface is changing with intense erratic storms, earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, and atmospheric temperature fluctuations that will increase with each year that passes now, which means you will need survival skills. 'BE PREPARED' just like the scouts and have a better chance of survival. We have this book packed with our basic survival needs. I suggest that you do too.
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As a Boy Scout who has been active and attained the rank of Eagle Scout, I am disappointed in the new volume produced by the National Council. While it is more colorful, better organized than previous manuals, it seems to lack the substance found in the other handbooks. I would recommend buying it for the price it costs, but don't expect the same volume of information the previous books contained. You'll have to buy the new Fieldbook they are getting ready to publish for that... (sorry about the repetition)
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Bought my copy used so it had some wear, but very similar to a new copy. As for people comparing this edition to others in terms of the quality of the content, I can't provide much, but it has enough useful information that I feel it is worth having around
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This is a must have for Scouts and Scouters as well as for the prepper community. I have saved these handbooks over the years for the valuable information they contain.
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