Do Nessmuk formulas work?

Discussion in 'Camp and Trail Gear' started by BullRunBear, Jun 20, 2012.

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  1. Jun 20, 2012 #1

    BullRunBear

    BullRunBear

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    I just discovered Nessmuk's "Woodcraft and Camping" book which is an absolute delight. It's a shame it me almost 60 years to learn of it.

    There are a couple of formulas he gives. Water, lime and alum to treat (waterproof) canvas for a shelter. The other is for bug dope: a mixture of pine tar, castor oil, and penneyroyal oil.

    Has anyone tried either of these? Just curious if they work.

    Thanks for any info.

    Jeff
     
  2. Jun 21, 2012 #2

    hobowonkanobe

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    the water proofing is a good'n. Never had cause to try the bug dope though.
     
  3. Jun 21, 2012 #3

    zimmerstutzen

    zimmerstutzen

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    folks around here used to drink Pennyroyal tea. Now it is considered toxic by many. It sure is strong stuff. As I recall it smells like Vicks vapo rub. My dad knew where some grew and would use it for bug repellant by rubbing it on his clothes. If he had some in his car, I had to have the window open, it was that strong.
     
  4. Jun 22, 2012 #4

    BullRunBear

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    Guys,

    Thanks for the feedback. Even if I don't try the processes myself, I can use the info in some stories I have in mind.

    The book is a delight. Now I have to get the other one he wrote. It's really pleasant to read about the north woods, especially with 100 degree weather we have in Virginia at the moment.

    Jeff
     
  5. Jun 22, 2012 #5

    kenhulme

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    Nessmuk was The Real Deal. His formulas work as well as anything available at the time; his techniques and such the same; I've been using them for decades. My Wee Lassie weighs a bit more than his, but then I'm a bit bigger too. The man basically invented what we used to call Ultralight Backpacking...
     
  6. Jun 22, 2012 #6

    BullRunBear

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    Glad to know he was correct in his techniques. I came across a book: "An Adirondack Passage" by Christine Jerome. She and her husband retrace Nessmuk's journey as described in his book. Should arrive next week and I'm looking forward reading it.

    My interest in Nessmuk is mostly academic. Some old injuries make camping difficult. (It's not the years, it's the mileage.) And at my size a light weight canoe would be a canal barge. :rotf:

    Jeff
     
  7. Jun 22, 2012 #7

    Flint311

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    Not to ask a dumb question, but is the book about 64 pages? I went to google it for more info and "accidentally" downloaded it in about 20 seconds....
     
  8. Jun 22, 2012 #8

    zimmerstutzen

    zimmerstutzen

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    I've collected a few older "woods lore" books, but haven't come across an original of Nessmuck's work yet.
     
  9. Jun 22, 2012 #9

    BullRunBear

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    Amazon lists the physical book of "Woodcraft" at about 68 pages. There is another version called "Woodcraft and Camping" which is about 95 pages. Don't know what that translates to in an e-book download.

    Jeff
     
  10. Jun 22, 2012 #10

    Flint311

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    Yes, it's the "Woodscraft and Camping". The first page states the book was never copyrighted so it's free on line.
     
  11. Jun 22, 2012 #11

    vern faulkner

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    Sir, try ABE (an advertiser on this forum). They have a number of them for sale. I have gotten a lot of books from them over the years and have been very happy with their service.

    Vern
     
  12. Jun 22, 2012 #12

    Dan Hogue

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    Adirondack passage is a great book. It kept me reading till the end. But I have a interest in light weight traveling as well as Adirondack interests.
     
  13. Jun 22, 2012 #13

    Sperit de bois

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    Nope it is 101 pages long plus the front and back pages of index and the such.
     
  14. Jun 23, 2012 #14

    Flint311

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    Thanks. Maybe I'll have some interesting reading anyway :idunno:
     
  15. Jun 23, 2012 #15

    Loyalist Dave

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    You might want to check out Camping and Woodcraft by Kephart. His title reversed George Washington Sears' work (Nessmuck) "Woodcraft and Camping" as a sort of 'omage to Nessmuck. Kephart offers several formulas for "bug dope" including Nessmuck's, and evaluates them.

    Kephart, who is in a large part responsible for the creation of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, also evaluates trail foods, different shelters, and has a good section on camp cooking.

    There is also The Forest by Stewart Edward White, who is also referenced in Kephart's work.

    These three, with Nessmuk leading the way, really did the most in America to get the "roughing it" pastime going, and the Boy Scouts were created at about the same time Kephart was writing.

    LD
     
  16. Jun 23, 2012 #16

    necchi

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    +1
    That's the one I have, Sears` is oft quoted in full text throughout Kepharts work.
    700+ pages packed with information, from basic to advanced
    It's a darn encycolpedia for the outdoorsmen in one volume. :thumbsup:
     
  17. Jun 23, 2012 #17

    BullRunBear

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    Loyalist Dave,

    Thanks for the references to Kephart and Stewart White's books.I found a free online version for Kephart and Amazon has several of White's books as free Kindle downloads.

    I enjoy these early works dealing with the outdoors. If these are half as good as Nessmuk, they will be great. I am especially fond of the subtle and sardondic humor in Nessmuk's writing. It reminds me of Mark Twain. This is a good thing.

    Jeff
     
  18. Jun 23, 2012 #18

    JohnTulle

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    I have a copy of Camping and Woodcraft by Horace Kephart, originally 1916, mine a 1947 reprint. What an amazing book! Open to any page and it's very hard to put down. It is two volumes in one, so it has 405 and 480 pages in one cover. Look in used bookstores under sports. Well worth finding.

    Other fun books on outdoor lore are my 1966 Boy Scout Handbook, and a reprint of the American Boys Handy Book,originally 1890 by D. C. Beard, Boy Scout founder.

    It's easy to get lost in these timeless classics! :thumbsup:

    John
     
  19. Jun 23, 2012 #19

    JohnTulle

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    Oh yeah, Nessmuk.

    He is often cited/mentioned in in Kephart's Camping and Woodcraft. I think he says he knew him and /or went camping with him.

    The dedication says "To THE SHADE OF NESSMUK in the HAPPY HUNTING GROUND".

    John
     
  20. Jun 23, 2012 #20

    dyemaker

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