2014 Fieldbook: Your must-have user’s guide to the outdoors

Here’s one owner’s manual that’s actually worth reading.

It isn’t for your car, smartphone or new camp stove. The 2014 Fieldbook is a user’s guide for the entire outdoors, and it’s a must-own for everyone who spends time outside.

The fifth-edition Fieldbook: Scouting’s Manual of Basic and Advanced Skills for Outdoor Adventure is published by the Boy Scouts of America. It covers hiking, camping, canoeing, mountain travel, ultralight backpacking, wilderness navigation, whitewater kayaking and much more.

While Scouts and Scouters will find it indispensable before and during every outing, it’s a great tool for non-Scouts, as well.

“For more than a century, our organization has focused on teaching outdoor skills and leadership and providing opportunities for adventure and life-changing experiences,” said Wayne Brock, chief Scout executive of the BSA. “The Fieldbook isn’t just for our Scouts — we want to share these important lessons with anyone who seeks to explore, experience adventure and appreciate nature.”

Are you new to the outdoors? The Fieldbook has step-by-step guides to get you started. Or maybe you’re more of a seasoned outdoor adventurer? The Fieldbook will enhance your skill-set by helping you get farther, higher and deeper into the backcountry.

You can buy the 2014 Fieldbook today in your local Scout Shop or at ScoutStuff.org for $20 for the perfect-bound version or $27 for one that’s coil-bound.

Or, for the first time ever, you can buy it digitally. It’s available via 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.

Find much more Fieldbook coverage, including a look at the contents pages, a bio of the Eagle Scout author and details about the history of the publication, all after the jump. 

fieldbook-birkbyAbout the author

Fieldbook author Robert Birkby writes from a lifetime of backcountry experience.

An Eagle Scout who served as director of conservation at Philmont Scout Ranch, he is a mountaineer, long-distance backpacker, outdoor educator and leading authority on environmental stewardship.

He is author of three editions of the Boy Scout Handbook, the 2004 Fieldbook and much of the 1984 edition, and BSA’s Conservation Handbook. He also wrote the most recent Scoutmaster Handbook and the coffee table books Boy Scouts of America Today, Scout Stuff, and Eagle Scouts: A Centennial History.

Table of Contents

Take a look at what’s inside (click to enlarge):


Fieldbook history

The BSA published the first edition of the Fieldbook in 1944, focusing on advanced outdoor skills and nature appreciation.

The second edition, published in 1967, arrived at the beginning of a great backpacking renaissance in America.

A third-edition Fieldbook came out in 1984, expanded to include mountaineering, snow camping, whitewater rafting and kayaking, wilderness survival, and many other outdoor activities that had gained favor.

The fourth edition (2004) carried those interests into the new century and laid the groundwork for the fifth edition: the 2014 Fieldbook.

What they’re saying about the new Fieldbook

Here are the testimonials found on the book’s back cover:

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.”

About Bryan Wendell 3281 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is the founder of Bryan on Scouting and a contributing writer.