Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Welcome REI Co-op Members!
We're glad you're here. If you can't access the Co-op Members section of the community,
click here for instructions on how to join the section that's just for you.

Anyone have any vintage outdoor books you're willing to share (virtually)?

Admittedly, I'm a pretty voracious reader. So before I even set foot on Mount Rainier I read as much as I possibly could about mountaineering and climbing. That, inevitably, led to many interesting outdoor adventures and instruction books. For the last 20 years I have been in search of a first edition of "Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills" to add to my collection. Last week I was able to finally secure a copy and I could not be more excited! 

@hikermor  @Philreedshikes  @Dmitry  @OldGuyot  @bryndsharp @Dad_Aint_Hip @Rob6  @tadoerner @TomIrvine @johnt I thought you'd all find this pretty interesting!


Anyone else have an outdoor book collection they are willing to share with the community?

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.
54 Replies

@Hikes_in_Rain - This response just put a smile on my face! Finding your eBay "competition" is too funny.

I'm definitely looking forward to seeing what's on your list! 

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

This has turned out to be harder than I thought.  The little bedroom we've dedicated to the library is a lot smaller than its predecessor. I had to sacrifice two of the big bookcases for lack of room, without reducing the number of books (perish the thought!).  A lot of the books are still in boxes, including the ones relevant here.  Also finding that getting screenshots of Kindle covers isn't easy. So here are a few of the pdf versions I've collected.  These books were carefully scanned, every page, including the covers and all the blank pages (?).  I took screen shots of the covers, except where the covers were just blank cloth.  I captured the info pages for those.

There was a post earlier of an old Ford autocamping guide I've been trying to get.  In that line, here are two old autocamping books from 1923, when cars and roads were scarce and primitive, and camping gear wasn't the high tech stuff we're used to.  These were considered modern at the time!

Autocamping 1923.JPG

Moror Camping 1923.JPG

Going way back in time is George O. Shields' Camping and Camp Outfits, dating back to 1889.  It's fascinating to look back 132 years to see how things were done in past generations, and to ponder how the landscape has changed since then.

Camping and Camp Outfits 1889.JPG

One of my favorite old "how to" books is the aptly named Buzzacott's Masterpiece;  or The Complete Hunters', Trappers' and Campers' Library of Valuable Information, from 1913.  Chock full of old school information.  A fairly recently published facsimile book described it as having "been selected by scholars as being culturally important and is part of the knowledge base of civilization as we know it."Buzzacott's Masterpiece 1913.JPG

More for the ladies, but still another of my favorites is Camping by Biddy, 1911, by Alexandra G. Ockwine, RN (Biddy).  This book reminds me of both my grandmothers and my great aunt Sarah, all outdoor ladies who used to accompany the gentlemen on their camping and hunting trips. I've seen their old photos from that time, and the term "ladies and gentlemen" is appropriate.  These folks dressed better for the field that I do for formal affairs!  The ladies were considered guests at the elaborate camps, and were NOT permitted to help in any of the camp chores.  The gentlemen cooked the meals, served them and cleaned up afterward.  The ladies always accompanied the gentlemen on the hunts, and (according to them) often outshot the men, who were very proud of them for doing so.  This book brings back a lot of those old stories.

Camping by Biddy.JPG

These are just a few.  I have lots more, and over time I'll get this new place in order and scan some more.  As I mentioned, these old books are free for the downloading. I recommend getting the pdf versions.  The scanning is crisp and clear, particularly given their ages.  There are Kindle and Nook versions, as well, but I was very disappointed in them.  The pictures didn't resolve well due to the lower resolution, and the ocular character recognition software gets confused a lot with the antique fonts and layouts, often resulting in gibberish.

Until next time!

Retired medical technologist and engineer
REI member since 1978
Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

plus...Buzzacott really rocks that hat!

REI Member Since 1979

I'm sure his friends called him Buzz.


Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.


Amazing! Thanks for sharing!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.