Wednesday, December 30, 2015
How to Camp Out, by John M. Gould
These past few months I have been doing a bit of reading on 19th century camping, and I came across the above book. It was first published in 1877, and contains one of the earliest discussions I have been able to find of recreational backpacking. Of course, the term “backpacking” did not exist at the time, so the practice if referred to as “traveling afoot”. Most of the book focuses on camping with the use of wagons or other transport, but I found the few sections on early backpacking very interesting.
The author, John M. Gould, draws his references and experience from the civil war, and much is based on the experience of a soldier of the march, modified for a recreational purpose.
The book is in the public domain and can be viewed for free here.