Monday, February 8, 2010

Extreme Survival

I bought this book before Christmas with the intention of giving it away as a gift. You can find a link to it in my affiliate links. There's another version out there but from what I can tell it was written by one of the four authors of this book. The cover looks similar but I'm not sure if it's the same book. Anyway, I was at Ross and it was sitting on the clearance book shelf. It was big and cheap. It looked to be easy to read. It had glossy pages with a lot of pictures. I thought it could be perfect for some less prep minded friends or family members so I picked it up. I never got around to really going through it before Christmas, though, so I decided not to give it away. I just didn't want to give any of my friends or family the equivalent of "Bear Gryll's Survival Guide" unintentionally. Anyway, after sitting in my office for over a month I finally picked it up a few days ago and started thumbing through it.

To put it bluntly I was very impressed. It starts out with a good intro on the importance of mindset and psychology. It would be really hard to argue that mindset isn't the most important prep you can make. It also covers what emotions you can expect to go through during an extended emergency. They don't change much whether you find yourself lost in the woods or you get trapped in a building during an earthquake. The section is short and sweet but it covers it quite nicely.

The next section, which is about half of the book, focuses on wilderness and bushcraft skills. This area really covers an amazing amount of information. It starts out with the minimum that you should have with you when you go into the wilderness. Basically, they suggest a knife and a run of the mill altoids kit. They give you several different ways to do all sorts of things from building shelters to finding directions (whether you're in the northern or southern hemisphere) to building a fire. They go over things like basketweaving, how to signal airplanes, how to tan a hide and how to make a knife from bone. I'll be getting a lot of use out of this section when it warms up and I get back out to the woods.

The other half of the book covers urban survival. It starts off with some info on hand to hand. No book will ever teach anyone how to defend themselves effectively but they do a good job of going over instances where you should be more alert, common attacks that you may have to deal with and basic, very well illustrated self defense moves. It's always best to get regular, proper training from a professional but if you don't have that option then with some practice these moves can work. It goes into home security and how to survive various disasters around the home. It also covers surviving planes, trains and automobiles from carjacks to a sinking ship to an uncontrollably accelerating car. It goes into disasters from terrorism to war zones to natural disasters. It also covers first aid, knots and so many other topics that I can't list them all.

Everything is illustrated with step by step pictures and illustrations. To be honest I didn't even read much more than the captions of the pictures. I own and have read a lot of wilderness survival books and this is probably the best source for basic bushcraft skills that I've found. The pictures are precise and all of the steps to do everything are covered very well. The urban survival section is less of a how to and more of a what to do and what not to do. It focuses a lot on situational awareness, warning signs and what to do if you do get stuck in a bad situation. It's also got a list of relevant books and websites in the back.

This book is very cheap on Amazon. It's full of useful, easy to follow information. It's perfect for any survival library and I wouldn't hesitate to give it to a non prepper who could potentially see the light. You won't find any food storage calculators, firearms training (although they do show you how to disarm an armed opponent) or military tactics but they do touch on hardening your home in case of NBC attack. I'd say they come as close as they can to teaching a "normal" person about survival without going off the deep end while still appealing to those of us who have already fallen into the abyss. Check it out if you've got a few extra bucks to blow. It is VERY well worth the price.


Anonymous said...

There are three other books with this title on amazon. To narrow it down, who is the author?

The Urban Survivalist said...

If you look at my affiliate links on the right side of my blog you'll see it. It's the book that's on top.

Anonymous said...

Hey Knuckle Head,

You are officially off my favorites list for your inane comments about that Medina freak on Rantfest.

I am no fan of an enormous Federal Government, but the 9/11 truther crap is just that.

First of all, the Feds can't do anything right, but they some how pulled off 9/11? Really?

And you have no problem with asking stupid questions? I do! I hated the teachers who always said there are no stupid questions. Yes there are!

Here's an example, in my son's high school history class a girl asked why Hitler didn't invade Africa instead of Eastern Europe. GONG! Stupid question!

We probably do not have all the answers about 9/11. However it has nothing to do with an inside job and everything to do with CYA. It's the same with every crisis.

The 9/11 truther garbage is a huge help to the Socialist/Communist propogandists. Thanks for nothing...useful idiots!


The Urban Survivalist said...

Woah there big guy. I specifically said that I don't think that the government was behind it. What I said was that it's stupid to blow a gasket when someone says that they still have questions. Instead of freaking out about it why not just let them ask the questions? That will do a better job of outing them as a nutjob than just saying "OMG u think teh guberment did it?!?!" The global warming scientists do the exact same thing when you question them about their "facts". When people start freaking out about the fact that you're asking a question instead of letting them ask the questions then it should send up a giant red flag to anyone with an open mind.

There's nothing that's still unanswered that would cause a reasonable person to conclude that the government did it. If Beck had just let her ask her questions...even just a couple of them...then it would have done a much better job of outing her as a cook. Now she's got the opportunity to backpedal and claim that she was ambushed. So yeah...if someone questions something then I want to know what the questions are. If it's a stupid question then I can just roll my eyes and stop listening to them or I can set them straight by answering the question with the facts.

Anonymous said...

The problem with the truthers is not that "they have questions". They are mostly liars and don't believe the U.S. was responsible but they hate and they are using this as their vehicle of hate. They are trying to convince as many people as possible to turn away from our country. This is propaganda pure and simple. A "truther" is either a mindless robot or a phoney who is knowingly lying to forment unrest. Tell me you believe every truther honestly believes what they spout. We all know they are lying and yet we (you) cover for them! Why?? The only reason is because we too are angry at our big bloated government and overspending politicians but lets stick with the honest reasons and not lies and propaganda.