Woodcraft cover

Woodcraft

Nessmuk (1821-1890)

1. Overwork and Recreation - Outing and Outers - How to do it, and why they miss it
2. Knapsack, Hatchet, Tinware, Fishing Tackle, Rods, Ditty-bag
3. Getting Lost - Camping Out - Roughing It or Smoothing It - Insects - Camps, and how to make them
4. Campfires and their importance - The wasteful wrong way they are usually made, and the right way to make them
5. Fishing, with and without flies - Some Tackle and Lures - Discursive remarks on the Gentle Art - The Headlight - Frogging
6. Camp Cookery - How it is usually done, with a few simple hints on plain cooking - Cooking Fire and the Outdoor Range
7. More hints on cooking, with some simple receipts - Bread, Potatoes, Soups, Stews, Beans, Fish, Meat, Venison
8. A Ten Days' Trip in the Wilderness - Going It Alone
9. The Light Canoe and the Double Blade - Various Canoes for Various Canoeists - Reasons for preferring the Clinker-Built Cedar
10. Odds and Ends - Where to go for an outing - Why a Clinker? - Boughs and Browse

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Summary

George Washington Sears, who many know better by his pen name "Nessmuk", was an outdoor writer during the last half of the 19th century, writing most often for the magazine "Field and Forest", the predecessor of today's "Field and Stream". "Woodcraft" is his book for "outers" with his tips on how to "smooth it" rather than rough it in the woods. Although some of his methods, equipment and mores may be out of date or objectionable to modern readers, his stories of true wilderness travel tinged with his subtle humor still have messages for those venturing out of doors. His small stature and compromised health made him a proponent of lightweight backpacking and canoe travel with only essential gear, a lesson still relevant today. There is a reason why "Woodcraft" and the slightly abridged, "Woodcraft and Camping", have been continuously in print since its original publication.