Outdoor Survival is a classic Avalon Hill boardgame. I think of it as Boy Scouts: The Game.

I’m an Eagle Scout, and so is my eldest son, with the other two on the way. And the gameplay is immediately recognizable. The first scenario sets players as inexperienced hikers lost in the wilderness, challenged to find their way out of the woods. Later scenarios have players as more experienced hikers, with further challenges, even including a search and rescue operation.

The game even includes a 24-page Primer of Outdoor Survival Techniques, which reads like a miniature Boy Scout Handbook.

One of our past Scout outings: Biosphere 2: Present Day Sci-Fi

The connection to early Dungeons and Dragons is interesting. From what I’ve read, the Outdoor Survival map boards were used heavily by the original gamers, Gary Gygax and other TSR alumni.

Outdoor Survival is even recommended IN the OD&D Men & Magic book. Second after the D&D brown books. Even before the dice and players! Heh.

Outdoor Survival: A Game About Wilderness Skills [BOX SET]

1972 … Jim Dunnigan … Avalon Hill AH 895

Check Wayne’s Books Inventory


If you’re just interested in the boards for old school play, Ebay is full of cheap used Outdoor Survival sets.

Top and Bottom Box Lids

Quick Play Rules

Rules of Play. Folds out into one big sheet.

Wilderness Skills booklet


Life Level Chart. Counters. Mapboard Movement Chart. AH Comment Card. Die (D6).

Pics of AH part numbers

See Also:

Original D&D: Where It All Started (The 1975 White Box in photos)

DUNE: The Classic Boardgame by Avalon Hill (1979)

Gunslinger: Game of Western Gunfights (1982)

KINGMAKER boardgame (1976 / 1983): The real war that inspired Game of Thrones