*Owned both the pocket and full versions, as well I have purchased the app for android.
1) Concise, is an encyclopedia of info on how to survive in most biomes.
2) Cheap, for the information it contains the price is incredible. To think that all this knowledge is only 10$!!!
3) Organized. Because its been around for so long the organization has been optimized.
4) Written by a well researched and experienced author.
1) There is an app available for iOS and Android that you must purchase on top of this book, it would be nice if that were included in the package. The digital version includes some useful tools that utilize your smart phones sensors.
2) Bad pictures. The recent survival craze has unleashed a massive amount of high quality survival books with comparable info to this one, some of which are very well illustrated with real photos especially of plants, user friendly infographics etc this has black and white drawings and some colored drawings of plants that are useless.
3) Plant pictures won't help you much. Its hard to identify certain plants accuratley even with real photos due to look alikes and the fact that plants look widley different depending on what stage of growth its at. Relying on the drawings in this book may be rolling the dice...
4) No depth. This book covers a broad array of topics in a narrow way, you are likely better off buying a survival book tailored to your ecosystem/ biome.
5) Redundant weight. As said above, carrying a heavy book in the boreal forest in which only 50% of it will be pertainent to your environment may be a waste of weight and space...
*Years ago this book would have earned a 4-5 star rating, but nowadays modern publishing has enabled the production of cheap, user friendly graphics, waterproof paper etc, that is tailored to your environment. It simply isn't the most practical, and I would give it a 2.5 if I could.
This is a great book for reviewing the basic concepts around a huge range of survival situations and skills. The book starts off with a few chapters on the basics of survival- mental attitudes, equipment, planning, and general tips. It then briefly explores how to survive, in basic terms, in different wilderness environments, from deserts to rain forests to the arctic. Each environment gets four to six pages, so this isn't a detailed, in-depth look at survival. Rather, it's a quick look meant to point out some of the more important information.
Next up is my biggest disappointment in the book. Out of almost six hundred pages, around one hundred are spent talking about finding food. Even though the book repeatedly states how you can go for weeks without food and still survive. Tips on mushroom picking, plant harvesting, and especially hunting are likely to be futile at best, back-fire at worst. There are nice color pictures of various plants which is a helpful bonus, but many edible plants look dangerously like poisonous plants, even more so with mushrooms, so this is a dangerous bit of advice. As for hunting, the idea of someone crashing in a plane, building their own bow, then hunting, killing, skinning, and eating big game is somewhere between ludicrous and sheer fantasy. So while the chapter was sort of fun to read, some of the space could have been better utilized elsewhere.
Following this chapter are chapters including: finding and building shelters, rope use, first aid, navigation, signaling, and surviving in ocean environments. The book ends with a description of survival in urban disasters, ranging from terrorist attacks to tsunami's. The last page of the book reiterates the author's basic philosophy. The most important facet of survival is will. Then knowledge/skill. Then gear. This agrees with what I've read in every other book on the topic. So while this book is an important book to read for those interested in survival, it's just a (good & easy to read) starting point for cultivating the skills, and more importantly the will, to survive.
on April 11, 2012
There will always be different philosophies when it comes to survival. With that in mind, this book has snares, colour pictures of plants, pictures of snakes, howto's for building a shelter, starting fires, and so... so much more!
you may be a survivalist, and you may disagree with some of the things mentioned in this book, but you cannot disagree about owning this book. It is a must have.
on January 22, 2013
This book will get you through most survival situations. While extensive, it should not be your only source of knowledge. The plant section is excellent (although not exhaustive) and includes colour drawings to better help you identify different types. Quite a few plants that were listed can be used for other purposes which were not listed, this is why other knowledge sources are key!
A must have for any traveler's backpack.
on January 23, 2015
If I was ever stuck in the wild, on an island, etc. and could only have one book or resource then this is the book I would want. What's also nice is that it's not too massive, so if you're go camping, hiking, etc., and there is any chance you could get lost in the woods, then this book could be as important as having a compass in your backback, especially if you're lost for more than a day or two.