Jonathan Jarvis, Director, National Park Service:

“Slip this Fieldbook into your pack as a terrific guide to the passion of adventure, skills for the backcountry, and stewardship of the environment —three keys to enjoying America’s national parks and other public lands.”

Gregory A. Miller, Ph.D., President, American Hiking Society:

“As a longtime hiker, outdoorsman, and Scouter, I recommend the Fieldbook as an essential read for any outdoor enthusiast, regardless of age or ability. The time-tested skills and practical approaches are a credible, invaluable resource that will help make your outdoor adventures fun, safe, and memorable in America’s great outdoors.”

Dana Watts, Executive Director, Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics:

“This new Fieldbook provides excellent, detailed guidance on how to put Leave No Trace principles into action. Scouting plays a key role in developing the next generation of outdoor stewards.”

According to Carolyn Nicolaysen, there is “no better source for useful, practical, and easy-to-understand survival information” than the Boy Scout Fieldbook. In fact, she includes it in both her suggested 72 and 120 hour emergency kit equipment list.

But, she is not alone in her view. Recently I completed a CERT course, and one of our instructors said that if you pack any books for emergencies, make the first on your list the Boy Scout Fieldbook.

With those kinds of endorsements, you’ve got to wonder what’s new in this fifth edition. This is a book that covers camping, stoves and campfires, backcountry hygiene, emergency preparedness, first aid and other survival skills. At the same time, it opens the door to new adventures like caving, kayaking, ski touring, mountain trekking and backpacking

A version of this handbook has been my companion since boyhood, and I own all five editions (see top picture). I am not so old that I bought the first edition, but my brothers had one laying around the house. It really captivated my imagination, especially when it came to making my own gear, hiking, camping, canoeing, mountain travel, backpacking, and backcountry navigation.

This new edition is a comprehensive reference for Scouts and others.

“We want to share these important lessons with anyone who seeks to explore, experience adventure and appreciate nature,” said Wayne Brock, BSA’s chief Scout executive at time of its publication three years ago. 

fieldbook-2014-reviewThat same year it won the prestigious nonprofit National Outdoor Book Awards Foundation’s rare Work of Significance award. The Fieldbook is only the third book to receive this honor since 1999.

If you are new to the outdoors, the Fieldbook’s step-by-step guides get you started. If you are a seasoned outdoor adventurer, the Fieldbook will enhance your skills to go farther, higher and deeper into the backcountry.

There are three ways to purchase the Fieldbook:

  1. Purchase it at your local Scout Shop.
  2. Visit There, you can find the perfect-bound version for $20 and the coil-bound for $27. 
  3. Buy it digitally on Amazon for $20, and you can download it to read on a Kindle or any device that uses the Kindle app, including Androids, iPads and iPhones.

Based on experiences of millions of Scouts and leaders, this book holds essential information for every outdoor enthusiast. So, what are you waiting for? Get a copy today and share your experience in the comments below.

Darryl Alder
Darryl is a retired career Scouter with more than 30 years of service. However, his pride in Scouting, is his volunteer service as an Associate Advisor, Varsity Scout Coach, Scoutmaster, Cubmaster, Chartered Organization Representative and Commissioner.

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