Camp Out This Year!

A great camping book from about 1911, positively evangelical in its emphasis on the joys of life under canvas. The author is not to be confused with the US writer Henry William Gibson whose Camping for Boys came out in the same year. That Gibson is said to be responsible for the American Summer Camp movement which did not take off in Britain. J.Gibson's cookery books for scouts are highly prized..

How about your Holidays ?
Have you tried Camping ?



Author of "Camping Out”;
"Camp Cookery”; "Hand-
book of Scout Crafts”; "Scout
and Guide Diaries"; Etc.

Copyright under Act of 1911


The Best Holiday for the Least Money.

Our Slogan :

   The object of this booklet is to increase the ranks of the great army of Campers. Many have joined the ranks during the last two or three years and made camping out a permanent institution. Many more would join the ranks if they realised the real joy there is in camping out. No one need hesitate to join that vast and yearly increasing army of campers out, to share their pleasures and comforts.
   Take up the Slogan and camp out this year and this booklet will have done its duty well.
"Once a Camper, always a Camper !"

J. Gibson

Red Arrow's Camp,


   If you are ever in the New Forest district look me up. I may be able to help you. You may be able to help me. Campers are never too old to learn.


Copyright under Act of 1911.


   "Let us aim to get all the good and avoid all the ill." These are the words Of Ernest Thompson Seton, whose excellent books on Woodcraft and Camping Out are known to all lovers of the open-air.
   When you first start camping out you believe that you must undergo all sorts of hardships,
in order to be really "doing it" ; sleep on the ground with one blanket, go without proper food, etc. That is where you are wrong. You go to camp not to “rough" it but to "smooth" it. Every camp-out should mean a new spell of life–a fresh start in vigour for every one concerned.
   Camping out offers many benefits. There is the change of scenery ; the pure air (especially at night) ; the bracing and lung-healing power of the woods ; the sun bath ; the tonic exercise ; and the nerve rest.
  With many (especially the mothers of those who are camping out for the first time) there is the great fear of catching a cold in camp. This is a mistaken idea. Rarely, if ever does one catch cold in camp, in fact I have known of people camping out to get rid of a cold.
   To those who have camped out, or lived the life of the woods, no written word of mine is necessary to urge them to go again, but to the beginner I want to emphasise the fact that to camp out does not necessarily mean "roughing it" to the extent of making a hardship out of pleasure.
   If you have never camped alone and would like to make your first trial in the company of rifflers under first-class conditions, I will be pleased to put you in touch with such a camp. The camp is a "Hotel under canvas" and would give you an idea of what camping out is like and lead you to try it on your own or m the company of one or two of the happy campers who go there.


   Even in the Bible times the tent-maker's skill was a necessity to each community.
   Through all the changing needs of civilisation, the canopies of ancient royalty, the portable homes of our nomadic ancestors, the tents of soldiers and the sails of ships of all ages, his activities have been in constant demand.
   The present development of the art of making tents Is possible only because of what has gone before.
   Success in making tents and other articles of camp equipment depends upon knowledge and experience.

  A tent is made for shelter, and in its many forms should be either proof against the hot rays of the sun or the downpour of rain and high wind that accompany a storm. If properly erected any good tent will afford ample protection but you must be sure you have a good one, for the tent is by far the most important part of your equipment. To have a tent that leaks is not only bad for your temper, but it is a danger to your health. Many new tents that are made by inexperienced firms leak owing to bad workmanship. Therefore YOU MUST HAVE A GOOD TENT, for a poor one is worse than none at all.


   There are many kinds of tents all suited to different purposes.

   For Woodcrafters there are “Forester,” “Woodcrafter,” the “Combined Hike and Bivouac Tent” and different sizes of wall or “A” tents.

   For Scouts, Rovers, Girl Guides, Cadets and other similar organisations there are the “Scout,” “A,” “Army Bell,” “Combined Hike and Bivouac” tents, and various sizes of Marquees.

   For Cyclist or Motor Campers there are the “Cyclist Touring Tent”–a fine roomy tent–and the Garage Tent.”

   For other Campers who wish to enjoy themselves in their own grounds, their back-garden, on the sands, or by the river, there are the “Garden,” “Lawn,” “Beach,” “Bathing,” and wall tents.

   For those who are undergoing outdoor treatment for lung trouble there is the “Sanatoria tent.”

   For young children there are play tents for use in the garden and in-doors.

   It is impossible, in this small booklet, to give illustrations of all the tents mentioned above. If you write me, mentioning this booklet I will be pleased to send you a 24 page booklet showing all the above tents and giving details of each, post free. You will be able to pick out the tent that is best situated to your requirements.


   The Camper who wishes to camp in reality, goes to some nice quiet place where he has a complete change from his everyday town or village surroundings–where he can live and forget the rest of the world. He goes where curious trippers do not worry him. He takes old clothes and thoroughly enjoys himself.

   Do not camp anywhere without getting the owner's permission. This is usually granted, as campers, as a rule, keep faithfully to any restrictions made by the owner. You will then be welcomed year after year.

   Select your site near wood and good water. Pitch your tent on a spot with natural drainage–that is, don't pitch your tent in a hollow where the water will drain in. Place it where it will get the early morning sun and yet be shaded, or partly so, during the warmest part of the day. The fringe of a wood makes a desirable pitch. Avoid the dense woods or thicket. The head of the tent should be six inches higher than the foot whenever possible.

   Tents like the following :–Forester, Woodcrafter, Bivouac, Hike and wall tents can be hitched up to trees and saplings, thus doing away with the carrying about of poles. Bell tents, large wall tents and marquees require poles which must be carried about with you.

   Other forms of tents, such as Lawn, Beach and Garden Tents have thin jointed poles.

   When driving in pegs, stand with your back to the tent, left foot touching the peg, mallet in right hand, and drive the peg in so that the head of it faces away from the tent.• Those to windward should be driven in first.

   Look out for ropes in damp weather, as they will shrink and draw too taut•. Ease them up a little when it begins to rain, and tighten up again When the weather clears up.

   If properly pegged down and guyed properly, a tent will shed water much better than if a bungled job be done•. Many a tent is made to leak and gets the blame when the true fault lies
in incorrect pitching.


   Never sit or lie on the bare ground. Most of the sickness in camp is due to this. Sit on your tent bag–it is better.

   If the insides of y,our shoes get wet, treat some pebbles in a pan and "pour" them into your shoes, Shake once in a while.

   If you get drenched and have no clothes to change, take them off and wring them out, then put them on again. Keep on the move and you will not catch cold.

   A potato with a hole in it and the bottom cut off, or an old milk tin filled with earth, makes a fine candlestick.

   To keep water cool in a bottle, wrap wet clothes round the outside and remove the cork.

   To heat your tent at night fill a bucket with red hot stones and invert the bucket in your tent.

   If you are thirsty and have no water, place a small pebble in your mouth. It will answer the purpose, try it.

   A hot stone wrapped up will make vour bed warm on ~t cold night.

   When baking, a bottle makes an excellent.rolling pin, and the lid of a cocoa tin makes a good biscuit cutter

   When you wash your flannel or woollen shirts don't wring out. Hang up wet and they will not shrink.

   If you keep the bowels open, head cool, and the feet dry, you will not be bothered with sickness in camp.


   I am often asked to give a list of the kit required for 2, 4, or 6 persons camping out. When the list is made out it seems so lengthy that it almost frightens a beginner. However when you get together the essential items of the kit they will not amount to so much when neatly packed up.

   First take the Tent. For two or three persons you will require a "Forester,” “Woodcrafter,” “Scout" or "Cyclist Touring" Tent.

   For four persons use the "Cyclist Touring" or the 8' x 6' x 7' "Engineer" tents. A lot depends on the kind of bed used, the amount of kit taken and size of the persons. Four boys could sleep in a "Scout" tent. I have known 6 to sleep in one. Four grown-ups would find a bell tent comfortable.

   For 6 persons there is the 10’ x 9' and 12' x 9' “Engineers" tents and the bell tent. The "Engineer" tent is more convenient •having more head room no centre pole and high walls.

   For greater numbers there is the “Lawn" marquee in its different sizes.

   If in doubt as to the size required measure out the size on your floor at home, lay out the beds and see how it "pans out"

   Particulars of all the tents mentioned will be found in the 24, page list.

   You can choose between filling a palliasse (or mattress cover) • with straw and laying it on a ground sheet, or, you can enjoy life reclining on a folding bed, or in a hammock slung between the poles of a "Scout" or "Engineer” tent. Here again one has got to take into account the space taken up by folding beds as a tent for two will not, with comfort, take two folding beds. Even a bell tent will only take three.

   Don't forget that the ground draws the heat from your body quicker than the air does, so you require more under you than over.

   Two army blankets will be sufficient if folded in sleeping-bag fashion.

What to pack up for camp.

   Change of clothes such as spare shirt, hose, handkerchiefs, not necessarily new ones.

   Mackintosh, cycle cape or light coat. Old but serviceable.

   Strong boots or shoes, well oiled.


   Plimsols for knocking about in camp.

   Towel. Shaving "gadgets."

   Tooth brush, brush and comb.

   Soap. A small “guest cake.

   Enamel or aluminium plate. Deep shape.

   Mug of enamel or aluminium.

   Blankets, two. Old but serviceable

   Knife, fork and spoon. Old kitchen set.

   Mirror, small pocket size.

   Bathing costume. Palliasse,

   In addition to the above there will be such things as the following which you will share among you.

   Tin opener, spare laces, spade or entrenching tool for cutting turf for fireplace and latrine, water bucket (collapsible), cooking utensils (see under), hatchet, candles, matches (in bottle to preserve from the damp), ground sheets washing-up cloths, and the tent. All packed in Rucsacks (which is the practical up-to-date way) or kit bags.


   You can either decide to carry individual kits such as Army mess tins (D shape with frying pan and pot) the neat aluminium sets, or, you may decide to have cooking utensils for the party such as one or two dixies, a frying pan. All depends on the size of the party and whether you are going to take turns at cooking. See my offer to supply you with a cookery book mentioned under the heading "Further information on camping out.”


   To enable you to enjoy camping out to the full extent obey the following rules :–

   1. Before pitching your tent ask permission of the owner of the ground.

   2. Don't light a fire unless you have previously obtained permission. Don't burn turf; remove a neat-square, and re-place when leaving. Let your fire be as small and compact as possible.

   3. Always extinguish the fire and bury the ashes.

   4. Don't break down firewood, pick it up.

   5. Bury all the rubbish you cannot burn. Leave your camping site without trace of your encampment.

   6. Keep all springs and streams crystal clear.

   7. Sanitation. Whoever wrote Deuteronomy (chap. 23, v. 12, 13 and 14) was a good camper.


   Don't burden yourself with a host of "the other things” unless you want to trouble yourself looking after them.

   Don't worry yourself with the many things that catch the eye and tax the pocket of even the experienced once in a while.

   Campers of experience and a life spent in the woods leave these things to "the other fellow." I believe in progress and want you to be supplied with every comfort you may actually need, but those air-cushion beds, collapsible kettles, and “what nots” banish from your kit and let the money saved go to buying of better tents and more useful outfits.


   Buy your kit from a manufacturer who specializes in tent-making, a firm that does not run tent-making as a side-line or as a kind of money-making "stunt." A reliable firm will make tents that are practical, from the users point of view. Such a firm will guarantee satisfaction or give you your money back.

   Carriage is a great trouble to the purchaser of tents ; you never know now much it will cost you. Most firms send tents "carriage forward" leaving you to pay the bill. Buy your tents from a firm who arrange with the railway companies to pay carriage on all orders over £5. Owing to the great distance Scotsmen and Irishmen are from most sources of supply, they do not grudge the 1/- extra in each £1 of their order that is charged for carriage. They are not out of pocket on the deal.

   To enable you to get the best and most practical equipment from the best maker and at a price that will suit your pocket, would mean that you had to get every retailers list, and try every tent before coming to a decision. That would take time and be an expensive job. It has taken me over 20 years of camping out and many years of making and selling to reach the stage of being able to advise you. The great difficulty has been in getting a manufacturer to take a real interest in camping and sell tents direct to the users. I have overcome that difficulty and in conjunction ,with the manufacturers I am sending you the following message.


   There is a brotherhood of Campers–a fraternal feeling among "those who love the Open–a clean, healthy spirit common to all of us who enjoy the pleasures of camping out.

   This is a message from one camper to another, regarding the selection and purchase of camping equipment. My policy is to make every purchaser a satisfied customer–I want the friendship of everyone who reads this booklet–no matter whether you purchase a dozen pegs or a £1,000 marquee. I want to please those who place their confidence in me. The manufacturers, in their turn, will loyally support me and give you a little more than you expect. That is why they count their satisfied customers in thousands.

   It is a simple matter for anyone who lives anywhere–that can be reached by the Postman, the Railways, Motor Transport or Aeroplane–to get the full benefit of their tent factory and their service. I want to assure you, who live at a long distance, that it is just as easy to get the same service by ordering by post as though you visited their factory. I shall make it my personal business to see that you get that service.

   If you ever feel dissatisfied in any respect, I ask you a favour to write me personally. If the service we give you is not all YOU think it ought to be, if the quality or wear of the goods purchased, does not meet with YOUR expectation, write me and I will see that you are satistied. This is the service I render to all fellow campers.

   My offer to you means that everything in the 24 page tent catalogue has my approval, has been tested at the "School of Camping Out and Woodcraft Instruction,” is something practical, and worth the money.

   That is the sum-total of this message from "One Camper to Another.”


   It may interest you to know that the Education Act of 1918: (8 & 9 Geo. 5. Ch. 39, Section 17) says that "for the purposes of supplementing and reinforcing the instruction and social and physical training provided by the public system of Education," local education authorities may make arrangements to supply or maintain or aid the supply or maintenance of–

   Holiday or school camps for young persons attending elementary and continuation schools.

   In addition to that the Board of Education has issued an Official pamphlet, No. 39, "Notes on Camping."

   Very few take advantage of the Act as there is a dearth of trained leaders to take the boys and girls to camp. Then again the system of camping advocated and the heavy cost of equipment required for that system makes camping-out–for those who most require it–prohibitive. The local authorities will not pass the estimates.

   Arrangements are being made to run camps of instruction for teachers under the Woodcraft way of camping. That way is practical and economical, and will be the means of many thousands going to school camps, who would otherwise have to remain in dismal towns and cities during the holiday times.


   Some campers never get past the "tent hiring" stage. It be that they have never studied the question. Take the cost of a bell tent, which is the most hired out of any tent. It costs, brand new, all complete, £6 5s. and will last with reasonable care for ten years (very often much longer) which works out at 12s. 6d. a year. It is yours "for keeps" and can be used all the year round if you wish it. For the sake of comparison say you use it for six weeks in the year, that would be 2s. 1d. per week.

   Now, take the hired tent, it is rarely if ever new; you do not know who had it last; you have got to pay the carriage on it and pay the cost of hire of it, while it is hung up on the rail way during the holiday rush. The hiring charges range from 10s. 6d. to 15s. a week for the first week and slightly less for subsequent weeks. If you had it for a few weeks, what with the charges and the carriage, you would almost pay the firm you hired it from as much as the tent was worth.

it is false economy to hire a tent.

New or Part Worn.

   To those in doubt I cannot do better than quote what the Chief Scout (he is also President of the Camping Club) said some time ago:–

   "If you find it necessary to buy second-hand bell tents remember that Army tents are only sold when they are no longer watertight. When examining such, look for the date of issue which is stamped on them and it will often prove a revelation as to their age.”

   There are second-hand bell tents which are good, no doubt, but why buy a tent with any doubt about it–at a price ranging from £4 10s. to £6 according to amount of wear m it–when you can buy a NEW bell tent for very little more. You know what you are doing when you buy a new bell tent, it won't let you down–which is more than can be said about the best of “part-worn” (to give them a better sounding name) tents.

   Bell tents have got their disadvantages–we know that they were invented before the days of the Crimea–but they are still first favourite with many who get lots of enjoyment out of them. As a Nation we are slow to adapt ourselves to the use of more modern tents.


   You may ask “What is Woodcraft”? Is it something new; something strange? There is, however nothing new or strange about it. By woodcraft is meant out-door life in its broadest sense, and the purpose of the Woodcraft Movement is to show how out-door life may be followed to advantage.

   The founder of the Woodcraft Movement was Ernest Thompson Seton whose books “Two little savages” and “The book of Woodcraft” are known to us all.

   On the 1st of July, 1902, he founded his first band of Woodcrafters. Owing to the progress made it was decided in 1916 to form The Woodcraft League, well-known to every lover of the great-out-of-doors. The Order of Woodcraft Chivalry is a British adaption of that League and the Grand Chieftain of the Order is Ernest Thompson Seton.

   When stated in the simplest language Woodcraft Chivalry means the ability and willingness to do things for yourself–which is Woodcraft–together with the desire and willingness to do things for others–which is Chivalry.

   Would you like to join the Woodcraft Movement? As Camp Chief for this country I will be pleased to introduce you to the Order. Both sexes are welcome. There are happy days in store for those who join. Send for particulars to-day.


   In appendix B of the Government book on camping, two of my books are mentioned as being useful books for campers. They are :–

“Camping out for all” price 2/-, and
“Cookery for Boy Scouts” price 9d.

   These books are also recommended by the Council of the “Order of Woodcraft Chivalry” and are in the possession of most Scouts and Girl Guides. If you would like a copy, free of cost, send to me for particulars of my offer.


   To successfully enjoy a camping trip travel light–but right. There’s a difference in these words just as much as between “roughing it” and “smoothing it.” If you follow the hints given on these pages you will obtain the correct camp equipment and gain the greatest amount of pleasure, comfort and benefit from camping out.


Printed by
Edwin Snell, Caxton Printing Works, Yeovil, Somerset.
And Published by Red Arrow

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