Shopping from The Field and Forest Handy Book

by Tom Bonamici

I’ve started to get settled here in Brooklyn. Classes are going well, I’ve gotten a job in one of Pratt’s wood shops, and my room, though small, is snug. Of course, I’m still shopping, and as the weather cools I’ve been flipping through one of my favorite books to shop for Autumnal activities.

Both written and illustrated by the formidably awesome Daniel Beard, the Field and Forest Handy Book is essentially a sequel to the American Boy’s Handy Book. I’ve been looking at/reading the latter since I was a very small child, but the former came to me during college, a Christmas gift from a friend who knows me well. So if you’re wondering what to do during your spare moments this fall, please consider these suggestions.

Build a Boat:

Learn how to Pack A Dog:

If staying in swampy territory, consider an Elevated Camp:

Build a simple Straddle-Bug Bridge:

Learn to sew a pair of Moccasins:

(This is a good pattern for beginners) It’s never too early to start work on this winter’s Snow-Shoes:

4 thoughts on “Shopping from The Field and Forest Handy Book”

  1. Man, I love the old “woodcraft” books. When I was a Cub Scout in the late ’50s, they pretty much advised us to totally de-forest any area we were sleeping in even overnight. By the time I got to Boy Scouts in the early ’60s, they’d figured out that the “plague of locusts” system wasn’t such a great idea, and the manual had sections on sewing tents etc.

  2. Tom, et al.:

    Check out Horace Kephart’s “Camping and Woodcraft…” also. There are several editions available for download at
    The clothing chapter includes detailed advice on Munson lasted boots, moccasins not too narrow at the toe, moleskin pants, how to waterproof your wool clothes with anhydrous lanolin dissolved in benzene, and much more.
    There’s a segment about Kephart in the Ken Burns “National Park” series that got me flying to the shelves. Enjoy!

    ARB, aka archival dad

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