The Golden Book of Camping
by William Hillcourt ~ pictures by Ernest Kurt Barth
Western Publishing Company, 1959
Obviously, this book skews a wee bit older than my just-turned-four-year-old, but I do keep it hanging around for laughs. As a matter of fact, I love everything about it. The idealized version of masculinity. The amazingly detailed how-to on all things outdoors. The retro illustrations and world views that scream 50s. Really, it couldn't be more awesome. I am counting the minutes until my son stumbles across it on his shelf and gets it. Will he learn how to build a campfire using only two sticks? Will be sew his own tent? Will he ever need to make an emergency backpack from a pair of old pants and a few pieces of rope? Stay tuned, but it the meantime, check out a few examples of the pure boyhood awesomeness.
If you want to "get away from it all" with one or more friends, there are wilderness areas--reached only by foot or horseback, or by canoe-- where you can live a life as free as that lived by the Indians centuries ago.
(Ah, was that before or after we raped, murdered and pillaged them? JK.)
The whole country lies open to you. You can choose seashore or forest, mountain or desert for all kinds of camping trips.
Sarcasm aside, I hope my little Ranger Rick is man enough to someday take on these outdoorsmanly tasks with the gusto these pages illustrate.