Those who don't know the countryside and grew up unable to enjoy all that nature has to offer will find this book a revelation.  It is easy to follow, practical, has several helpful illustrations and some good colour photos.  Each chapter is written by a different author, so you hope that it is their area of expertise.

But even for those of us who love the country side, kept chickens, rode ponies and can tell our Oak fromFamily guide to the great outdoors our Ash, it is a wonderfull collection of ideas, information, activities and games.

They lay the foundation with a section on Good Stuff to know, which covers recognizing livestock, through Cloud identification to Different Knots (very practical).  There is a section on Getting around including walking, cycling and riding and there is more than a passing nod to keeping bees and hens.  They then cover a load of Stuff to do which includes among other things loads of games, making and using weapons (a potato cannon) and building a scarecrow.

Then we get to the Camping, Survival, Wild Food and Cooking and Eating parts.  Camp site etiquette was a good chapter on noises, smells and music!  I have to admit to a passion for outdoor cooking so the latter part of the book is my favourite. Charlie's illustration of a rabbit being skinned looks like a small person having its jumper pulled off.  But he has given a fair discription of both gutting trout and skinning a rabbit. Using the book as guide, anyone who was not too squeamish could have a go.

kotlich great outdoorsThere is a good section on wood fires, axes and different cooking techniques. I was not sure the drawings alongside the Pit cooking section were really helpful but I thoroughly approved of his tripod making skills and one pot cooking recipes.  Several of them were suitable for cooking in a Kotlich.

My mother was staying when I unpacked the book and she took a quick look.  She was so delighted that people were still learning the skills she had learnt as a guide! 

This is a fabulous book to take on holiday with you, or on camping week end.  A busy Dad could find something exciting from this book for each week end and never actually confess that he did not come up with all the ideas himself.  Some of the best holidays we have had involved fires, cooking, canoeing and cycling.  There is nothing like a camp fire, a full tummy and some good stories going round in the dark before crawling into your uncomfortable sleeping quarters.

After the foody part comes a What you need and Where to get it section

I must not forget the last few pages which is full of ideas for reading about the great outdoors and music to listen to.  Lets hope you have a good head torch and maybe a solar panel, but don't put your tent up to close to the neighbours!  Remember your camp site etiquette.  I really can heartily recommend this fun practical book. It will be a great companion and help on your family adventures and best of all you will have wonderful memories of the time you spent together.

=