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The Total Outdoorsman Manual

Since I was a little boy I have been infatuated with the outdoors. Regardless if I was chasing after that monster bass in a local pond or exploring the woods in my neighborhood, Field and Stream magazine helped me along my path to be a better outdoorsman. I always looked forward to reading about a cool tip or trick to help me accomplish my goals, the only problem was I had to wait for that issue of magazine to come out and then save the article that most interested me.  Now with “The Total Outdoorsman Manual”, I have all the knowledge of the Field and Stream pros all wrapped in one very well written and entertaining book.

This is not a book you will want to take backpacking with you as it weighs over two and a half pounds, is eight inches wide, and over ten inches long. However it has joined me on a few car camping trips. The perfect read for those long nights while car camping when you are not sure what you want to do the next day. There have been plenty of moments when I get stuck in the same old routine while out fishing or camping. Now I can skip right to a section of “The Total Outdoorsman Manual” that has to do with my trip.  Then I can try one of the tips that can help me accomplish my goal for the next day. For instance on my last camping trip I was fishing with my artificials but couldn’t get the finicky little pan fish to bite. That night I grabbed the “Total Outdoorsman Manual” from my car and went in my tent. I flipped to the index for fishing and sure enough there was a section marked “harvest natures bait shop”  The next morning I used their tips to secure some Salamanders and Grubs which caught me a half dozen bream. Even if I didn’t catch anything, it helped me think out of the box. There are hundreds of ideas in this book that can get you thinking out of the box as well. Not to mention the delicious beer poached fish recipe I used to cook my bounty, which, yes you guessed it; came from “The Total Outdoorsman Manual” too.


T. Edward Nickens and the contributing authors of this book tell of their experience in the outdoors and each section has contributions by experts in that field. It’s very easy to see that organization was a high priority when Field and Stream put this book together. There are four main subject sections of ‘The Total Outdoorsman Manual” which are Camping, Fishing, Hunting and Survival.  Each section and its corresponding pages are color coded making this book very easy to use as a reference guide. The table of contents has a page or two listing each article for that subject, making it very easy to find a specific article.  If you like pictures, there are hundreds of quality pictures and drawings throughout the book which aid in understanding the tips you are reading. Each section also contains an essential gear list in which the writers give their opinion on what gear they like to carry and also why they chose that specific gear. You may or may not agree with the writers on everything, but this book definitely makes you think. I enjoy trying different things in the outdoors. Even if their method fails me, at least I know I have tried it and am exploring different options.


Many of you who are experienced and seasoned outdoorsman may find some of the articles in this book old news, but I can guarantee there are a few methods you will read about that you haven’t tried before. If thinking out of the box is your thing and you are the type of person that enjoys trying new methods and stepping out of the safety net of your same old routine, then you will enjoy this book.  So whether you are looking for an effective way to stop a running buck to get off that perfect shot, or want a tasty field recipe for that squirrel you just harvested, the twenty five dollars that “The Total Outdoorsman Manual” costs is a small price to pay for a great addition to your library.


“The Total Outdoorsman Manual” is more than just a three hundred and eighty page composition of tips for the outdoorsman. Right from the start of this book you can feel the writers’ passion for the outdoors. They share storys’ of their past that led them to become the outdoorsmen they are today. It’s obvious that the writers of this book feel that we as outdoorsman should never become complacent in our skills and knowledge of the outdoors. They bring us this book in the hopes that we all strive not just to be great fisherman, hunters, campers, or survivalist, but to be Total Outdoorsman. “The Total Outdoorsman” retails for $25.00 and is available at book stores and outdoors stores like Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Bass Pro. Cabelas and other fine establishments.


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