After what, for many of us, was a very harsh winter, it feels good to get outside and breathe in fresh air and enjoy nature. That could mean a day hike through a state park, a weekend of camping and fishing or a lazy afternoon picnic with the family. Unfortunately, if these activities are not something you do often, some of the skills can be elusive (even dangerous) and the outdoors does not come with a user’s manual.
However, for you outdoorsy newbs, there is a solution. The Boy Scouts have put out a series of instructional decks of cards, in conjunction with DK Publishing. These decks provide tips and instructions on skills like knots, outdoor cooking and first aid, and identification assistance for a variety of common stars, birds, trees and fish.
Each box includes approximately forty 3.75″ x 5.5″ laminated cards with an additional instruction sheet (or two) on how to read and use the cards. While the decks were originally made with Boy Scouts in mind, they are also an excellent primer or refresher for beginners or those who haven’t participated in these outdoor activities in a while.
The decks are very nice quality and the information contained on the cards is very helpful. My one complaint is that, since the decks are small and aren’t regionalized, it’s possible that the fish, tree or bird cards in the decks won’t contain a lot of species that apply to your area. Still, for $10 each, these are loaded with information and a good addition to the library (or backpack) of a budding naturalist.
Disclosure: The Boy Scouts of America sent us review copies of these decks.