Back to Homepage of Horace Kephart: Revealing an Enigma

Online Exhibit: Maps and Mapping; Mapping Tools

Travel notebook cover, wooden triangle, and drafting set.

French curve."Amongst the pleasures of life in a wild country I count first the thrill of exploring new ground. "Something hidden: go and find it!" He who does not respond to that mainspring is out of order - his works need looking into.

Of course, the whole earth has been rambled over by somebody before our time; but it suffices one of us to bore into some wild region that is unknown to himself, unknown to his companions, and which never has been mapped in detail.

I used to go hunting, every fall, with two or three comrades who felt as I did about such matters. We never hired a guide. On arriving at a blank spot we would spend the first day or two scouting. We would scatter, scour the country, and then, around the camp fire at night, we would describe, in turn, what we had found.


Drafting instruments.Verbal reports, such as these, are more entertaining than useful. The crudest sort of sketch on paper would have taught us much more. By combining our route sketches we might have produced a serviceable map of the country for miles around. I wish we had made such maps. I would love to pore over them in these later years."

- Camping and Woodcraft, Volume 2, page 80.


Travel notebook cover and folding ruler.Over the years, Kephart became more thorough in his mapping techniques and used specialized tools for precise measurements and drawings. Chapter 5 of the second volume of Camping and Woodcraft includes detailed instructions for several mapping techniques.

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