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Showing 1-10 of 130 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 156 reviews
on February 28, 2016
I loved the book. Could I find info elsewhere that would fit today's available equipment better? Definitely. Would this book tell me what I need to know in a grid down you're stuck with what you have or what you can make yourself situation? Definitely. I liked the style and the old wood lore. Some of it looked like my old Boy Scout Handbook, which I wish I could get my hands on. I am so glad I bought it. It has made me rethink just what I need for a wilderness adventure. His 20 pounds for an adventure hits the mark for today's go-bag goal. Ultra-light backpackers could learn a lot from Mr. Nessmuk.
His tales about campfire making brought back fond memories of counseling at some church camps in the redwoods where everything was dripping wet in the mornings. I taught city kids how to build a decent fire with one match and keep it at a safe, usable level so we didn't need a redwood tree to keep it going, and how we needed to put it out cold before we left camp or hit the sack at night. Nessmuk shared some good stuff in a way I can relate to. I enjoyed it immensely.
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on March 10, 2017
This book most definitely exceeded my expectations. A quick note to some, however...if you are looking for a fun book to mostly page through to look at illustrations, and to just read a bit here and there, this isn’t the book for you. This book is a joy to read, funny at times, and on the whole entertaining, but to be appreciated, it requires you to sit down and read its pages. While this book is over one hundred years old, it is amazing how so much of it is so directly applicable to today. Yes, many of the things discussed in the book are outdated, but the heart and soul of the work are as fresh today as when it was written. In this literary treasure, George W. Sears, aka “Nessmuk”, grants us modern readers a window into a bygone age of our American heritage. He describes some of his outdoor adventures which took place in a part of America which no longer exists as it did for him in the late nineteenth century. This aspect of the book reminds me in a way of Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire. At the same time, the conservationist in Sears speaks to us of a fish and game conservation ethic which easily pairs with the writings of Aldo Leopold. Perhaps one of the more surprising aspects of this book is Sears’ treating of the subject of go-light wilderness gear principles, which feels to be quite ahead of its time. As an aside, many years ago, a dear mentor of mine in the ways of the outdoors made a humorous reference to something he had once read in a book regarding a lightweight canoe outfit. For twenty-some years I wondered where that reference came from, and if I’d ever be able to find it. When I read this book, I finally discovered that passage!
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on December 7, 2012
Quite a lovely read, and the information that was written in the 1800s is still of significant value to this day. George Washington Sears (Nessmuk) is, in my opinion, the grandfather of modern bushcraft, and was probably the first outdoorsman to publish a practical guide for camping and living in the woods. This is a man who spent most of his life in the wilderness.
Nessmuk gives a detailed account of his many experiences (and the experiences of those he knew) in the woods, some of which are down-right funny ;).
He covers a wide variety of topics, from fishing to setting up a camp, and from canoeing to building/managing a fire. Some of his best advice is to pack light, plan in advance, and to be in contact with Nature rather than to think of the wilderness as an enemy. He teaches us to take things slow - not to rush or get stressed out, but to embrace your surroundings and become one with the forest.
'Woodcraft and Camping' is an essential handbook for anyone passionate about the outdoors. It is best to read it before trekking in the woods; but just the very words of Nessmuk paint a beautiful wilderness in our own minds, and he will be right beside us.
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on July 1, 2015
George Sears, pen-named "Nessmuk," was an outdoors writer of great renown in the late 19th century. Although very slight and in poor health. he nevertheless managed to spend many days and weeks in the wild, often entirely solo. In a time when canoes and guide boats were commonly of wood and weighed 80 pounds or more, he had built for him a succession of increasingly lightweight canoes and was an early advocate of lightweight camping.
This book is more suitable for its charming view of recreating in the woods in the late 19th century than as a practical guide for the modern camper. Nevertheless, if you enjoy seeing how your great-grandfathers may have escaped the pressures of city life, this is a must-have addition to your library. This is actually my second copy, as my first fell apart eventually from long andf delighted usage.
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on March 27, 2017
It is fun to read about how one man can conquer the wild on his own. Take it with a grain of salt, but Nessmuk was not just a writer, he got off his butt and went out and had adventures in the wilderness. Without all of the high tech gear we have today. He was the real deal. I'm glad I have his book in my collection.
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on May 5, 2017
This is not a survival manual. This is a book written by a man pre 1900's. Mr Sears did have considerable experience in the woods. He does describe different techniques that work well for him and explain why. Several explanations come with humorous personal stories. Interesting and insightful read.
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on February 23, 2015
For over a hundred years this book has implored people to step back from their self-imposed prisons of stress and work and head into the woods. Much of this book are Nessmuk's tips on doing just that. Some may think his writing and some items dated - some are - but much of this is still relevant. Not a survival guide or full-blow camping manual, but it shows you how simple heading into the woods can be. You don't have to spend thousands at the "sporting goods" store. You will find parts of this book you'll like and go back to them again and again. See also Camp-Lore and Woodcraft,Finding Your Way Without Map or Compass,How to Stay Alive in the Woods and Wildwood Wisdom.
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on May 20, 2017
Awesome info in this book,nessmuk outlook gets me rethinking.you don't need gadgets,what you need is a solid foundation of knowledge
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on March 28, 2016
This book is a nice reprint of a classic outdoors book. It is educational and inspiring at the same time.
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on September 22, 2017
A lot of Nessmuk's writings are obsolete anymore, on a recreational level.
The spirit behind Nessmuk's ideas are timeless for anyone practicing brushcraft as a means of survival training. I believe his ideas helped rekindle the spirit of adventure of my youth.
Using Nussmuk's simplistic approach, this is my version of his field knife.
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