How to Camp Out: Practical Advice for the Outdoor Adventurer Based on the Experience of a Civil War Soldier

November 18, 2013 - Comment

Originally published in 1877, just 12 years after the Civil War ended, John M. Gould’s How to Camp Out: Practical Advice for the Outdoor Adventurer Based on the Experience of a Civil War Soldier is at once a down to Earth guide to recreational camping and a must-have, “you are there” handbook of 19th Century

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Originally published in 1877, just 12 years after the Civil War ended, John M. Gould’s How to Camp Out: Practical Advice for the Outdoor Adventurer Based on the Experience of a Civil War Soldier is at once a down to Earth guide to recreational camping and a must-have, “you are there” handbook of 19th Century American military methods, sure to please any fan of Civil War reenactment. From Boy Scouts seeking to “rough it” in the wilderness to contemporary wearers of the Blue or the Gray, How to Camp Out: Practical Advice for the Outdoor Adventurer Based on the Experience of a Civil War Soldier is an indispensible addition to any well-stocked library of outdoor wisdom.

Comments

C. Hill "CFH" says:

Best book available on 19th Century Camping. “How to Camp Out” (HTCO) was written by my great-great-grandfather John M. Gould in 1877. I doubt there are very many, if any, books written by Americans and the subject of how to camp out before that date.

Anonymous says:

Endlessly fascinating! I picked up a first edition of this book many years ago, and its condition is evidence of how many times it has been read. (I had hoped to find reprints available that I could give as gifts, but I guess I’m out of luck. Rats!) Mr. Gould provides the prospective camper with valuable advice covering the logistical, psychological, and social aspects of camping. One of my favorite pages is a list of necessities (which, the author cautions, “is by no means exhaustive”) that includes first-aid supplies, shingles (to be used as plates), beeswax, a bean-pot, and even a Bible! In a reflection of his military experience, he devotes part of the text to the importance of the division of labor in the camping party and the requirements of leadership in the person chosen as group captain. This is not merely an instruction manual for learning how to pitch a tent and build a fire (although it is certainly that), but also an eloquent treatise on the need for everyone to pull his own weight as part of…

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