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The wargames of veteran company Avalon Hill had no small influence on the development of D&D; in fact, Gary Gygax and gang were originally wargamers themselves.  Outdoor Survival, a "game of wilderness survival skills", was not only inspiration for outdoor exploration in Original D&D, but was actually required to play! (see page 5 of "Men & Magic", the first booklet in the Original D&D set).

Outdoor Survival by Avalon Hill / Stackpole Books

This rather thick boxed set contains the following: 

  • 23-page digest-sized booklet, titled "a primer about WILDERNESS SKILLS for players of the game -- OUTDOOR SURVIVAL"

  • two-sided sheet (folded into fourths, to produce a digest-sized object), titled "Rules of Play / OUTDOOR SURVIVAL"

  • two-sided sheet, digest-sized, titled "OUTDOOR SURVIVAL / Get playing QUICKLY -- read this card FIRST"

  • four roughly digest-sized, identical yellow sheets titled "Life Level Index Chart".  They are one-sided (the backs are blank), bound together in a frail way (probably they are meant to be separated from each other)

  • set of five double-sided, digest-sized sheets, bound together in the same manner as "Life Level Index Chart" sheets.  These sheets, however, are green, and each contains a "scenario", 1 through 5, titled "Lost", "Survival", "Search", "Rescue", and "Pursue"

  • roughly 9"x11", one-sided, glossy, full-color sheet, titled "MAPBOARD MOVEMENT CHART"

  • pink flyer for "The Avalon Hill Co."

  • large, fold-out, thick cardboard map

  • heavy-stock paper sheet holding eight sets of punch-out counters

  • six-sided die

  • roughly 20-page, full-color, digest-sized catalog of Avalon Hill products

Thanks to Jean-Philippe Suter for this info.

Printing Information  Logos
  • First (1972):  No Avalon Hill logo on the front cover of the box; rules booklets are copyright 1972.

  • Second (1973):  Identical to the First print in all respects, but bears "2nd printing, 1973" on the "Rules of Play" booklet and a 1973 copyright on the Quick-Start guide.

  • Third:  Produced from around 1974 through at least 1985, the Third printing features the Avalon Hill logo on the front cover of the box, bottom center, and progressively later copyrights on the rules booklets.  Otherwise, these sets are believed to be identical to earlier prints.

Thanks to Eric Donaldson for the scans.

Auction Commentary

This game, like the majority of Avalon Hill's "Bookcase" games, was mass-produced on a scale far eclipsing anything produced for D&D (then, and even now).  As such, this game can be found easily, even in the shrinkwrap.

Current eBay Auctions

Outdoor Survival
(1st/2nd print)

Outdoor Survival
(3rd and later prints)