April 2, 2014

Outdoor survival

The Encyclopedia of Survival Techniques
by Alexander Stilwell

While the Worst-Case Scenario books contain advice on wilderness survival, they are mainly written with entertainment in mind, meaning that they may lack sufficient detail. For true outdoor enthusiasts, Alexander Stilwell provides serious, specific advice to prepare for any survival situation. He sensibly begins with lists of emergency equipment before moving on to survival in different physical environments: desert, sea, tropics, polar regions, and mountains. Each chapter describes the hazards to contend with, identifies food and water sources, and how to make suitable shelters. The text is accompanied by line drawings and maps. Other sections of the book cover first aid, firemaking, trapping, signalling, raft-making, and rope tying.
Of course, no book can compare to actually taking an outdoor survival course. Being able to actually practice survival techniques would increase your chances of getting out alive. While Stilwell tries to write clearly and concisely, his instructions can be vague, and the drawings aren't specific enough. However, even a little preparation is better than nothing.

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