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Seek's avatar

Which edition of the Boy Scout Handbook should I get?

Asked by Seek (34729points) July 21st, 2016

As some of you know, I home-school my son. We use a broad range of materials to get what we feel is a rounded education that takes advantage of his curiosity and interests.

My husband and I have been talking about going hiking and camping more often, and I was thinking about incorporating these activities into Ian’s education.

I’m looking for things like knot-tying, and identifying edible plants, and other practical skills.

A quick Google search shows several versions of the Boy Scout Handbook available in PDF form online, but I figured if some of our Jellies have real Scout experience, you might know which will serve our needs best.

We have no plans to enroll in Scouting, at least until the organization better fits our lifestyle. From what I understand, though, the Scouts have modernized with the times and focuses less on the practical survival skills mentioned above, so I’m pretty sure I’m not looking for the most recent version of the Handbook.

Any help and related discussion or suggestions of additional material appreciated!

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17 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Sounds like what you really want is The American Boy’s Handy Book

It has all the things you want. It was much more helpful on camping and outdoor skills for my son the Eagle Scout than the Scout Handbook was.

There are some related books on Amazon, like the “Dangerous Book for Boys”. (can’t get the link to work right)

Have fun!

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

^^An excellent choice.

Here is the free, downloadable 1911 Boy Scout’s Manual. It stresses rugged individualism through woodcraft and basic survival tactics like how to stay warm, finding North, finding water, First Aid, hygiene discipline and even how to sew a button on a shirt.

Compared with the 2016 version—which stresses cooperation, computers and research—the 1911 edition stresses independent achievement and self-sufficiency.

Here is the free downloadable version of an early Girls Scouts Manual (1925). Both are equally interesting and useful.

janbb's avatar

@zenvelo I thought of “The Dangerous Book for Boys” too.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

I have a hard copy of The Dangerous Book for Boys. It is packed with everything from step-by-step instructions on how to build a treehouse, an electro-magnet, fireworks, crystal radio, finding food, minibikes and gocarts, kites and how to make the best paper airplane in the whole wide world. It’s British, I think, by two brothers. They took some hits for the narrow title, which probably caused Andrea Buchanan to sieze the opportunity to write The Daring Book for Girls

Both are great books for practical stuff that almost every kid wonders about. Some of this stuff really is dangerous. I had to laugh at some memories it conjured. My brother and I damn-near killed ourselves trying some of these projects without this book.

Curses! The Penguin beat me again!

longgone's avatar

Something else which may be fun: The Junior Woodchucks’ Guide is great. If you can find that – get it. It has tons of information and it’s fun to read. Here’s Goodreads on it: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9949514-the-junior-woodchucks-guide.

Seek's avatar

I knew you guys wouldn’t let me down. Thanks!

Seek's avatar

Ooh ooh ooh!! The American Boys’ Handy Book is even in the public domain, available on Archive.org.

::adds to Kindle::

janbb's avatar

@Espiritus_Corvus Zee Penguin always wins! Smirk, smirk.

ucme's avatar

The Three Finger Salute: Scouting for loose girls
It’s a blast

dxs's avatar

Just a warning: I remember that some of the first aid I learned in Boy Scouts wasn’t really up-to-date. This was within the last 10 years. You may want to be careful in that field.

Seek's avatar

@dxs – I keep my own first aid certification current, and have since I was 13. No worries there. _

dxs's avatar

I have that old version. It’s still at my parent’s house. If I meet them any time soon, I could mail it to you if you’re not in urgent need of it.

Seek's avatar

I was planning on just keeping an eye out at the used bookstores, but I’d totally take yours! If you’ll PM me your PayPal address I’ll throw you a few bucks for it, whenever you come across it.

jca's avatar

Amazon often has most books in a used version, often for pennies (literally) and then $3.99 shipping.

dxs's avatar

It may be easier and faster to just get it from Amazon if you have $4. This one is my version. I’m still more than happy to send you mine, though. No money will be accepted.

Espiritus_Corvus's avatar

For First Aid and Field Expedient Medicine, I like the military combat medic manuals. They are most useful for life-threatening injuries are straight forward and are written to be understood by the lowest common denominator. It’s definitely not for kids, but mom might want to know some of this stuff. I find just darn interesting reading.

Below are the Table of Contents to the free downloadable pdf, USMC Wilderness Medicine Training Course 1 manual. Some of the chapters aren’t very useful to civilians, but some are much better and detailed, and address much more serious situations than anything you’ll find at Barns & Noble.

1 MOUNTAIN SAFETY
2 NUTRITION
3 WILDERNESS PATIENT ASSESSMENT
4 HIGH ALTITUDE ILLNESS
5 HEAT RELATED INJURIES
6 COMBAT CASUALTY CARE
7 BURN MANAGEMENT
8 HYPOTHERMIA / REWARMING
9 SUBMERSION INCIDENTS
10 WILDERNESS ORTHOPEDIC INJURIES
11 TREATMENT OF REPTILE AND ANTHROPOD ENVENOMATION
12 COLD INJURIES
13 LAND NAVIGATION
14 SEARCH AND RESCUE
15 TRIAGE
16 PREVENTIVE MEDICINE / WATER PURIFICATION

APPENDIX A SURVIVAL TECHNIQUES
A1 REQUIREMENTS FOR SURVIVAL
A2 SURVIVAL KIT
A3 SURVIVAL SIGNALING
A4 SURVIVAL SHELTERS AND FIRES
A5 SURVIVAL NAVIGATION
A6 WATER PROCUREMENT
A7 FORAGING ON PLANTS AND INSECTS
A8 TRAPS AND SNARES
A9 MOUNTAIN WEATHER
TOC
TABLE OF CONTENTS (CONT.)

APPENDIX B SWIFT WATER RESCUE
B1 RESCUE PHILOSOPHY FOR SWIFTWATER RESCUE TEAMS
B2 PERSONAL AND TEAM EQUIPMENT
B3 SWIFTWATER TERMINOLOGY AND DYNAMICS
B4 COMMUNICATIONS
B5 THROW BAGS AND FOOT ENTANGLEMENTS
B6 DEFENSIVE SWIMMING AND FERRY ANGLE
B7 FE ET- WET RESCUES AND C- SPINE ROLLS
B8 BOATS AND BOAT HANDLING
B9 ROPE SYSTEMS AND BOAT ANCHORS
B10 VEHICLE RESCUES
B11 STREAM CROSSING
APPENDICES C
C1 ROPE MANAGEMENT
C2 NOMENCLATURE AND CARE OF MOUNTAINEERING EQUIPMENT
C3 BALANCE CLIMBING
C4 NATURAL AND ARTIFICIAL ANCHORS
C5 SIT HARNESS
C6 ESTABLISHMENT OF RAPPEL POINTS AND RAPPELLING
C7 TOP ROPING
C8 MOUNTAIN CASUALTY EVACUATIONS
C9 ONE ROPE BRIDGE
C10 SUMMER MOUNTAIN WARFIGHTING LOAD REQUIREMENTS

Here are hundreds of military training manuals online for free, 208 of them concerning field expedient medicine.

I restock my Lazarette and medic pack through these guys

Seek's avatar

Well, goodbye, life. I have to read now.

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