Wilderness Survival Handbook: Primitive Skills for Short-Term Survival and Long Term Comfort

by Brendan Leonard on September 20, 2010

Michael Pewtherer’s “Wilderness Survival Handbook” is broken into two parts: Part I is “Seven-Day Survival,” covering all the skills you’ll need to stay alive for a week in the woods, and Part II is “Beyond Survival,” covering everything you’ll need to drop off the radar indefinitely. Essentially, if you buy this book, you should rip it in half, and keep the first half in the glove compartment of your car, and the second half in a glass case in your house for when you’ve finally had enough and want to walk the Earth in a breechcloth and hunt or gather everything you eat. Survival expert Pewtherer includes all kinds of great stuff for weekend warriors in the first half: building your own shelter in any season, navigating (with and without a map and compass), finding and purifying water and building a fire — all without anything you can buy at REI. The second half is pure Robinson Crusoe-style survival: building your own arrows and spears, hunting methods, trapping, tanning hides, how to cook in the wild, building long-term shelters, building baskets, spinning fibers into cordage, fishing (by hand, spear and hook and line), etc. A good reminder of how tough we all used to be a few hundred years ago.


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