Cover image for The complete idiot's guide to camping and hiking / by Michael Mouland.
The complete idiot's guide to camping and hiking / by Michael Mouland.
Mouland, Michael.
Personal Author:
Second edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Alpha Books, [2000]

Physical Description:
xxii, 361 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
GV199.5 .M68 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
GV199.5 .M68 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GV199.5 .M68 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GV199.5 .M68 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf
GV199.5 .M68 2000 Adult Non-Fiction Open Shelf

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This Idiot's Guide provides all the information readers need to plan outdoor excursions that are low cost, no fuss, and lots of fun. It includes choosing equipment, what to pack and what to leave behind, and how to navigate trails with a compass and map.

Author Notes

Michael Mouland has edited, contributed to, and produced more than 50 titles, including books on canoeing, sea kayaking, camping, boating, and travel.

Table of Contents

Part 1 The First Time Aroundp. 1
1 Preparation and Planningp. 3
Teaming Up and Setting Outp. 4
National Parks and Public Wilderness Areasp. 5
Camping in the Lap of Luxuryp. 7
Making Lists and Checking Them Twicep. 9
Checklists, Checklists, and More Checklistsp. 9
Don't Be Bothered by the Bears and Bugsp. 12
Ground Rulesp. 14
Gauging Your Abilitiesp. 14
Safety on the Trailp. 15
Expect the Unexpectedp. 15
2 Different Strokes for Different Folksp. 17
Two's Company, Seven's a Crowdp. 17
Family Camping
Guided Tripsp. 21
Traveling Solop. 22
Car Campingp. 23
Planes, Trains, and Automobilesp. 24
Stop and Smell the Rosesp. 24
3 More About When and Where to Campp. 27
Camping from Your Trunk Versus Backpackingp. 28
Choosing a Quiet Location in a Crowded Campgroundp. 31
Hiking for 20 Minutes Gives You an Advantagep. 32
Look for Lakes, Trails, and Other Diversionsp. 33
Getting Away from It All--Or Most of It, Anywayp. 34
Staying Warm Off-Seasonp. 34
Talk to Those in the Knowp. 36
4 Nighttime Under the Starsp. 37
Tents and Tarpsp. 38
Beg, Borrow, or Steal the First Time Aroundp. 38
Choosing the Portable Cottagep. 39
Washing Your Wigwamp. 44
A Tent for All Seasonsp. 46
Pitching Tents--Practice Makes Perfectp. 46
5 What You Need for the Slumber Partyp. 49
The Lowdown on Sleeping Bagsp. 50
Down Fills Versus Synthetic Fillsp. 52
Sleeping Bag Constructionp. 53
Carep. 54
Cleaningp. 55
Blow-Up Beddingp. 55
6 How to Be an Outdoor Gourmetp. 59
No-Muss, No-Fuss Culinary Skillsp. 60
The Weekend and Week-Long Picnicp. 60
Menu Madnessp. 61
Recipes for the Galloping Gourmandp. 63
Rounding Out the Three Squaresp. 63
Puttin' on the Ritzp. 64
Recipes for the Trailp. 65
Understanding Nature's Waterworksp. 72
Grillsp. 73
Having a Gas--Choosing and Using Stovesp. 74
Setting Up Your Outdoor Kitchenp. 77
Other Stuff for the Shopping Listp. 78
7 Fishing for the Camperp. 79
Choosing a Packable Rod-and-Reel Setp. 80
Tackling the Fishp. 82
Using Squiggly, Wiggly Thingsp. 82
Spoonsp. 83
Spoonfeeding Your Spawnp. 84
Plugsp. 85
Plastic Baitp. 87
An Amateur's Guide to Hookingp. 88
Tying a Trilene Knotp. 88
Landing the Catch of the Dayp. 89
Who Said There Was No Homework?p. 89
Rivers, Streams, and Lakesp. 91
Reeling in the Big Onep. 91
Cleaning the Fishp. 94
Having Fish for Dinnerp. 94
Don't Count on Your Fishing Skills Alonep. 95
8 Practicing Low-Impact Campingp. 97
Be Kind to Mother Naturep. 98
Selecting a Campsitep. 99
Leaving the Campground the Way You Found Itp. 100
Dealing with Noisy Neighborsp. 101
Shedding the Hordesp. 101
Trail Etiquette: Traveling in Groupsp. 102
How to "Go" in the Woods and Other Pressing Mattersp. 103
Daniel Boone Was a Man, but Women Like Camping Toop. 103
The Bonfire of the Backwoodsp. 104
Not So Wild Animalsp. 105
Part 2 Skills and Thrillsp. 107
9 A Quick Lesson in Map Readingp. 109
Types of Mapsp. 109
Reading Your Mapp. 112
How to Figure Out Your Routep. 113
Looking for Helps and Hazards on Your Routep. 116
What Your Map Won't Tell Youp. 118
The Final Decisionp. 119
10 Compass Basics: Definitely Worth Learningp. 121
What Is a Compass?p. 122
True North and Magnetic Northp. 123
Adjusting for Declinationp. 124
Orienting Your Mapp. 125
Taking a Bearing Using a Map and Compassp. 126
Using a Compass to Stick to Your Pathp. 127
Carry Your Compassp. 129
Going Globalp. 130
Features, Features, Featuresp. 131
Getting Lost and Unlostp. 131
11 Weather Mattersp. 135
Reading the Weatherp. 136
Weather Reading on the Scenep. 136
Typecasting the Cloudsp. 137
Winds of Changep. 138
Barometric Pressurep. 138
Humidity and Fogp. 139
Red Sky at Night, Sailors' Delight--The Proverbs and What They Meanp. 140
Taking Cover in Serious Weatherp. 142
Tips for Avoiding a Lightning Strikep. 142
12 Handling Heavy Weatherp. 145
First Things First: Listen to the Weather Reportp. 146
We're Not in Kansas Anymorep. 146
Slip Sliding Awayp. 150
The Skinny on Skisp. 151
To Wax or Wane?p. 153
Tips for Getting Into and Out of a Bindp. 154
Shake, Shake, Shake Your Bootyp. 154
Grip and Grin: Don't Forget Your Poles!p. 155
These Shoes Were Meant for Walking (Across the Snow, That Is)p. 155
Snowshoeing Bootsp. 157
13 How to Identify Trees and Other Green Thingsp. 159
Look at the Big Things Firstp. 160
Tiptoeing Through the Leavesp. 161
Wild for Wildflowersp. 163
Magical Mushroomsp. 166
Wild Berriesp. 166
Part 3 Gearing Upp. 169
14 The Dirt on Hiking Bootsp. 171
The Hook on Hikersp. 172
If the Shoe Fits, Wear Itp. 172
Caring for Your Bootsp. 176
Rocks Around the Socks (and Liners Too)p. 177
Treating Blistersp. 179
15 Choosing the House for Your Backp. 181
Getting the Best Backpackp. 181
Fit, Form, and Function... Putting It All Onp. 185
Cubic Inches or Liters: A Matter of Capacityp. 185
Suspension Systemsp. 187
A Matter of Constructionp. 188
Fine-Tuning the Rigp. 188
Day Packsp. 189
Ways to Pack a Backpack (Say That Five Times in a Row Out Loud)p. 190
Backpack Packing (Essentials)p. 191
16 Ways to Dress for Success in the Outdoorsp. 195
Layering--Peeling for Pleasurep. 196
Waterproof Breathablesp. 198
A Smorgasbord of Materialsp. 199
Fills and Insulatorsp. 201
Singing in the Rain--A Heavy-Weather Alternativep. 201
Suiting Up for Colder Weatherp. 201
Don't Join the Cotton Clubp. 202
Pantsp. 202
To Top It All Offp. 203
Fun in the Sunp. 204
17 Comfort Gear for Your Home Away from Homep. 205
Spotlight on Flashlightsp. 206
Choosing Alternative Lighting Methodsp. 208
Portable Outhousesp. 210
Portable Showersp. 211
Chairs and Cushions--Supporting Bottoms and Brainsp. 212
Part 4 Getting Therep. 215
18 Trailblazing Made Easyp. 217
Defining True Wildernessp. 218
Backcountry Rulesp. 218
Tiptoeing Through the Wildernessp. 220
Preparing for Your Tripp. 220
Simple Hiking Techniquesp. 225
Easy Route Findingp. 225
The Bear Factsp. 228
19 Planning an Outdoor Vacation on the Waterp. 229
Everything I Own Is Rentedp. 230
Canoes Versus Kayaksp. 231
Gripping Matters: Paddlesp. 233
How to Pack Your Vesselp. 235
Things to Consider When Choosing a Canoe or Kayakp. 236
Your Backpack on the Waterp. 238
Different Strokes for Different Folksp. 239
Holding and Handling the Paddlep. 239
Rescue Techniquesp. 244
20 Exploring the Outdoors on Two Wheelsp. 247
Bikepacking--Mountain Bikes Rule!p. 248
Shake, Shimmy, and Rollp. 249
Wheels...Tires and Tubesp. 251
The Hubbub on Hubsp. 252
Have Bike, Will Travelp. 253
Gearing Up and Gearing Downp. 253
Putting Pedals to the Metalp. 254
The Basic Bike-Camping Tool Kitp. 254
Packing Up and Moving Outp. 255
In Praise of Tight Black Shorts and Other Gripping Mattersp. 258
The Tour de France: Not!p. 260
Safe Bikingp. 261
Part 5 The Big Tripp. 263
21 Limbering Up for the Big Onep. 265
Getting Fit for Your Tripp. 265
Stomping Around the Neighborhood with a Pack Loaded with Booksp. 267
Designing Your Own Fitness Programp. 267
Warm-Up and Cool-Down Exercises to Increase Flexibilityp. 269
Strength-Building Exercisesp. 271
Consider the Abilities of Those Going with Youp. 273
22 Things That Fly, Slither, and Go Buzz in the Nightp. 275
How Not to Go Buggyp. 275
Discouraging Mosquitoes and Other Flying Insects Naturallyp. 277
Building Your Own Arsenalp. 278
Location, Location, Locationp. 278
Lyme Disease: No Citrus Herep. 279
Treating Insect Bitesp. 279
Little Miss Muffet Sat on Her Tuffetp. 280
Snakesp. 281
Treating Snake Bitesp. 281
23 Critter Watchingp. 283
Animal Voyeurism 101p. 284
Choosing Binoculars, Cameras, and Other Opticsp. 285
Binocularsp. 286
Smile, You're on Candid Camerap. 289
In Praise of Automatic Camerasp. 292
Swinging Single-Use Camerasp. 292
Tips for Seeing and Photographing Wildlifep. 292
Identifying Animal Scats and Tracksp. 293
Part 6 Outward Bound and Beyondp. 297
24 Safety and First Aid--Dealing with Major and Minor Bummersp. 299
Checkups Before Checkoutp. 300
Take a Course in First Aid, CPR, or Emergency Medical Treatmentp. 300
Assembling a Basic First-Aid Kit--The Virtual Pharmacyp. 301
To Evacutate or Not?p. 303
Treating Poison Ivy, Poison Oak, and Poison Sumac Rashesp. 304
What to Do When Faced with a Major Bummerp. 305
Preventing and Treating the Big "H"p. 308
Dealing with Frostbite and Preventing Itp. 309
Dealing with Animal Bitesp. 309
25 Not-So-Advanced Boy and Girl Scout Skillsp. 311
Surefire Bets for Building a Firep. 312
The Unconfusing Guide to Knot Tyingp. 313
Erecting and Building Alternative Structuresp. 315
Signaling for Helpp. 317
26 Going Farther Afieldp. 321
Matters of Passports and Visasp. 322
Tips for the Worldwide Wandererp. 322
Get the Right Immunizations and Shotsp. 323
Health Insurancep. 323
Finding Fuel: Camp Stoves and Cookingp. 324
A Sources and Resourcesp. 325
The National Parks of the United Statesp. 325
State Tourism Officesp. 333
The National Parks of Canadap. 339
Bibliographyp. 346
B Glossaryp. 349
Indexp. 355