What Were We Thinking?

For 108 years we've been the authority for all things outdoors. Well, maybe a few tips made it in that weren't the best advice. Here are nine examples of advice worth ignoring.

Outdoor Life Online Editor

what were we thinking? // July 1938
**"Waterproofing Boots" **
To waterproof boots, obtain from a tire repairman a half pint of ordinary rubber cement. Thin this with 50 percent gasoline, then paint the mixture on the shoes with a brush. Give them two coats for best results.

[pagebreak] what were we thinking? // April 1939
"Catching Frogs at Night"
Put a candle in the middle of a square board, tie a string to the board, and float it on the pond. When the frogs climb aboard, pull it back, and take them off. The frogs appear hypnotized by the candlelight and rarely budge before you can touch them.

[pagebreak] what were we thinking? // May 1931
**"Locust as Lures" **
Capture a locust and run a hook completely through the body. Secure the locust on the hook with waterproof glue. When this has set, soak the hook and insect in a solution of 1 part formalin, dissolved in 8 to 10 parts distilled water, for about 48 hours. Take out and dry, and then coat with any good clear varnish.

[pagebreak] what were we thinking? // April 1932
"Catching Night Crawlers"
Two tablespoons of dry mustard mixed with a pint of water make any night crawler come to the surface, if you pour the mixture into the hole.

[pagebreak] what were we thinking? // August 1943
"When a Snake Strikes"
...Next make two deep cuts, in the form of an "X," through the fang holes. Cuts should be 1⁄4 inch long and 1⁄4 inch deep, so the blood will flow freely. Apply suction syringe and slowly pull plunger back. Empty and repeat for 30 minutes.

[pagebreak] what were we thinking? // August 1954
"Washbasin"
A convenient washbasin for your face or tired feet can be made from a 30-inch square of oiled silk or single-ply rubber sheeting. Dig a hole in the ground at some convenient place, line with the cloth, fill with water, and there it is, ready for use.

[pagebreak] what were we thinking? // January 1923
"Flipping Bullets"
During the War, the Germans pulled the bullets from their regulation cartridges, reversed the bullets and shot them tail-end at tanks. Because of their penetration power, these reversed bullets make far better killers on live meat than the same sent sharp-end first.

[pagebreak] what were we thinking? // March 1916
"Cleaning the .22"
All the advertized solvents that I have tried seem to be good, but plain stronger ammonia is still my favorite. Pour a little of it in a saucer and moisten the cleaning rags with it.

[pagebreak] what were we thinking? // July 1938
"Inner-Tube Knapsack"
Use a tube large enough to fit over your shoulder. Make a door by cutting a rectangle of rubber at the valve stem. Tack a piece of plywood in this opening after sawing a door in the wood and hinging it with felt. Tack felt around the door and rub oil on it to waterproof.