Boy Scout Field Book – Survival Skills

Knowledge is power and one of my favorite sources of outdoor knowledge is the Boy Scout Fieldbook. First printed in 1944, there are at least 4 editions and with several revisions along the way. Since there are some pretty significant differences between the different editions, you might want to search for older ones on eBay or in used bookstores.

Here are some useful links:

Great site detailing the history and versions of the Fieldbook:

Old Field Books on eBay:

Categories: Survival Skill


  1. John Chandler
    John Chandler 21 June, 2016, 10:55

    Where are you from?  Looks like the South East (Alabama, Georgia, Tennessee)?  Just curious as I'm form Alabama.

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  2. tom jackson
    tom jackson 21 June, 2016, 10:55

    The new one is updated, but the old one expects a scout to have more skills and take bigger challenges.  The old ones teach practices that insuraance companies now forbid.  It is best to blend both.

    The older merit badges are more technical, but the newer one is more social in outlook.

    The first time I ever went onto an offshore supply boat, we went out into a hurricane.  With skills from that Boy Scout Manual, I spliced huge lines that even the mate couldn't, and went from newbie to a valued hand in the Captain's eyes.  

    That book has skills to use all through life.

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  3. Greg Stritch
    Greg Stritch 21 June, 2016, 10:55

    I'm in Jacksonville but every fall come up your way for some minimal camping at one of the $4/night primitive areas following the St Mary's boat ride to Cumberland.
    I have the local Civil Air Patrol SAR squadron at Craig Airport in JAX. For our cadets with basic ground team SAR qualifications, Cumberland Island is a good exercise in putting their training to the test. A USAF poncho, knife, canteen, 550 cord and ferro rod and SAR gear only. Great for land nav and of course great for CAP cadets to take their leaders out in the woods. I'm jealous that I have no uniform provision to wear my HT award patch.
    How great for your scouts to have a Scoutmaster with your amazing gift set. Blessing for pouring yourself into this generation of young men.

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  4. Greg Stritch
    Greg Stritch 21 June, 2016, 10:55

    In my scout gear crate is my Historic Trails Award pack that Col Evans gave me after thru hiking the AT. Inside are two 36" lengths of soft hemp rope for practicing knots and lashings.
    I know BSA is not a rehab organization but this kid would have been adrift without Cub Scout leader and later patrol leader and scout master mentoring me along. Looking through various merit badge quals, it is surprising how much of my adult life was shaped by skills and core values learned in formative years.
    I live in what is considered southern Georgia – Jacksonville Florida and get up your way on occasion to go camping. Sometimes it's good to just head out with a tarp, some rope, a knife & axe and my favorite fire steel to be in the woods awhile. Renews the soul

    All the best and blessings for all you share on the channel


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  5. Greg Stritch
    Greg Stritch 21 June, 2016, 10:55

    Recently unearthed a wooden crate with couple of late 40's BSA tent in bought used in the 50's, my green BSA sleeping bag, Cub Scout folder, Boy Scout folder, Plumb BSA hatchet, red cover oblong canteen, cook kit, folding Trioxane stove and various other boyhood treasures. And do course my field guide.
    My Scout Master was retired USAF pilot Col Gene Evans who taught us all we needed to know to live lives of preparation and situational awareness.
    What great memories. The canteens are still clean and the bladed tools still shaving sharp after being put up for over fifty years. What a joy to make the next 72 hour camp with my BSA vintage gear. Every minute was a recollection of troop memories where I. Learned to be a godly man

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  6. Eagle One
    Eagle One 21 June, 2016, 10:55

    I was digging thru my basement. I found my Boy Scout Handbook from 1965. It was dated the sixth edition fifth printing March 1963 what a find.

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  7. iWilliam Rich
    iWilliam Rich 21 June, 2016, 10:55

    Great video.  I bought the book last year and it is one of the best outdoor manuals.  Thanks,  wtr7

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  8. voodoo304
    voodoo304 21 June, 2016, 10:55

    Great vid. My scout handbook is still a constant companion.

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  9. Prepper Madness
    Prepper Madness 21 June, 2016, 10:55

    One of the best reference books out there

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  10. Wingman115
    Wingman115 21 June, 2016, 10:55

    I learned a ton of skills from the Boy Scout Field Book. Great stuff.

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  11. Tony Abney
    Tony Abney 21 June, 2016, 10:55

    Mors has said  , that the boy scout"s  hand book was one of his to go books! that help him with his bushcraft book!  Good video!!  

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  12. Dan White
    Dan White 21 June, 2016, 10:55

    I've got a copy that I haven't spent much time reading yet. I've referenced it for a few of my son's campouts but not spent near enough time digging into it.

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  13. TANKDIESEL1000
    TANKDIESEL1000 21 June, 2016, 10:55

    Brian…As an eagle scout I couldn't agree with you more…great source of information…its where i first learned alot of my skills…Take care

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  14. billy joe denny
    billy joe denny 21 June, 2016, 10:55

    found a boy scout book when i was in elementary school, i think that was the beginning of my lifes guest enjoying nature..

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  15. thebossoftheswamp
    thebossoftheswamp 21 June, 2016, 10:55

    I had a boy scout field guide when I was a kid. It was probably the same book but at edition from the 60's. Wish I still had it.

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  16. T.W. Milburn (skillet210)
    T.W. Milburn (skillet210) 21 June, 2016, 10:55

    'mornin,Bryan; Books R always a great resource of info.Thank U 4 the below links
    willgo & have a look,& compare 2 what I've collected over the years.Hoping This Finds U & Yours having a great Georgia Weekend,From The Maritimes In Canada
    "  GOD  BLESS  "

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  17. the mi woodsman
    the mi woodsman 21 June, 2016, 10:55

    great book of resources !  thanks Brian ..

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  18. houseoffire72
    houseoffire72 21 June, 2016, 10:55

    I have the 2005 version – found it for $1.50 at a garage sale – basicly all the info one would need… out of all my books this and my SAS are my two favorites… 

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  19. kabaruser
    kabaruser 21 June, 2016, 10:55

    now your on the right track b/sc/man. and morses book all youll need

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