Back to Homepage of Horace Kephart: Revealing an Enigma

Online Exhibit: Outdoor Life

Outdoor life photograph showing Horace Kpehart sitting at table in his camp.

Man holding dead bird.

Hide Scale.

Cutting raccons out of a tree.

Fishing lure book.

Falls of the Tuckasegee.

Pork rind minnow.

Horace Kephart's Camp.

Fishing Tackle Box.


Outdoor Life.

While still a librarian in the bustling city of St. Louis, Horace Kephart developed a passion for outdoor sports as a chance to escape urban life. Soon his professional publications mingled with avocational writings on outdoor subjects. When Kephart moved to western North Carolina he committed himself to writing full time. Continuing to write magazine articles, Kephart's first full length book Camping and Woodcraft in 1906 focused on the outdoor lifestyle and sports. He ultimately became an international authority on the topic, particularly in the area of camp cookery.

Camping and Woodcraft

Very few pages of Kephart's writing drafts remain available to show this part of this writing process. The subject of moccasins provides a unique glimpse into Kephart's writing process since documents remain showing changes in his treatment of the subject through research, drafts, two publications and personal correspondence.


While Kephart was certainly capable of hunting for the basic needs of the table, he was primarily a sport hunter, seeking a wide variety of game as part of his search for the frontier experience and a better challenge for his marksmanship. His quest to perfect hunting methods led to his role in developing some equipment including the Kephart Sheath Knife.


Fly fishing offered the outdoors enthusiast an almost enchanting appeal. As all fishermen, Kephart collected a variety of lures and favorite fishing spots.


Kephart was well acquainted with a variety of camping techniques from simply bedding down in the open for a single night to building a "fixed-camp" to be comfortably used for months at a time.

Original spelling and syntax retained in all quotations within this exhibit.


Folding lantern.

Draft page from Camping and Woodcraft.

Toting in a bear.

Kephart Knife Advertisement.

Bed Roll.

Fishing on the Tuckasegee River.

Kephart sitting at table in camp.

Mess kit and canteen.