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  1. #1

    Default Books on Survival

    Can anyone recommend any good books on surviving out in the wild? Mainly survival skills that would be useful to anyone planning a thru-hike in the future. They can be as introductory or advanced as possible. I know the basics but would like to know more and would read a book on basics because I'm sure it'll tell me something I've forgotten.

    Are there any books on surviving in the Appalachians or surrounding mountains?

    I'll be glad to hear any useful suggestions.

    Thanks,

  2. #2
    A♣ K♣ Q♣ J♣ 10♣ Luddite's Avatar
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    Check out Angier's "How to stay alive in the woods" and "Field guide to wild edible plants".

    And Read Jack London's "To build a fire"

    http://www.amazon.com/How-Stay-Alive...3292084&sr=1-1

    http://www.amazon.com/Field-Guide-Ed...d_bxgy_b_img_b

    http://www.amazon.com/Build-Other-Fa...3292127&sr=1-1
    Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.
    -Edward Abbey

  3. #3

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    "A backpacker shouldn't need to know how to rub two sticks together for fire, flag down a passing plane, snare rabbits or cook without pots. He's supposed to have all the essentials on his back and be prepared to travel through the country he has chosen to visit." - Robert S. Wood / March 1982 .. author of the 2oz Backpacker

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    Default great illustrations

    The Complete Wilderness Training Manual, by Hugh McManners, updated 2007

  5. #5
    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    IMO, you don't need basic survival skills on the AT but I do think that knowing basic wilderness first aid could be useful. If you get a chance, check out a NOLS wilderness first aid class. I took one and really got a lot out of it.

    Here's a good book:

    http://www.amazon.com/NOLS-Wildernes.../dp/0811728641

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    Quote Originally Posted by couscous View Post
    "A backpacker shouldn't need to know how to rub two sticks together for fire, flag down a passing plane, snare rabbits or cook without pots. He's supposed to have all the essentials on his back and be prepared to travel through the country he has chosen to visit." - Robert S. Wood / March 1982 .. author of the 2oz Backpacker
    True. You don't need to know survival skills for thru-hiking the AT. Even if you did get lost or hurt, you have a backpack full of gear to keep you alive.
    Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.
    -Edward Abbey

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    "My side of the mountain" was a great read. Ray Mears stuff is great also, but there is alot to be said for putting this stuff in story form, and writing it for a younger reader or audience. When you think about it, it is the way alot of this stuff was passed down for all those thousands of years. Also by learning from a parent, or directly from nature.

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    I remember that book! Isn't that the one where the kid runs away from home and lives in a tree in the Catskills?
    Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit, and as vital to our lives as water and good bread.
    -Edward Abbey

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    Luddite beat me - How to stay alive in the woods... Take it on the trail its 6oz

    Ray Mears is on Utube.
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

    Woo

  10. #10

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    Yes I understand I won't need to make a shelter, or rub two sticks together, flag a plane, etc. It's more of learning it to know it for enjoyments sake. Just to have the idea that I could do anything like that if I really wanted to would be nice. And maybe do something like that just because I want to, such as start a fire from things found around camp in the rain, or pass a bush and know that if I take some of the leaves or bark I could make some tea with it later in camp. Would make me feel more at home in the wild and not just a 5 month visitor.

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    SAS Survival Handbook. But again, chances are pretty good if you get lost some of the 40ish pounds of gear you're carrying could come in handy. Some of the first aid stuff was pretty interesting though.

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    This one's called "Lost in the Wild" about a couple of survival/search and rescue stories in the Boundary Waters Area (MN/ON). I did a review on Amazon. I didn't think it was necessarily the most well written book, but one of the stories was pretty compelling as he almost didn't make it and had just taken a "good bye" photo of himself before he was rescued.

    So these are more accounts of these stories and not survival how to guides, but I think people here might enjoy the book.

    http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Wild-Dang.../dp/0873515617

  13. #13

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    IMO........the USARMY 21-76 Survival manual is the bible for survival. It covers all types of climates and enviroments, shelter, fire, first-aid, plants, reptiles etc. things to look out for and prepare for. Being prepared in any situation is the key to your own survival. Also the book covers the psychology of survival and the mental aspects of how to be prepared and what to expect. This book can be found on Amazon.com or most any book store or Army surplus store.
    ZEUS307
    "Sleep well an night, safe and sound, knowing that there are Warriors willing to go into harms way, do violence, to protect your country and your way of life" U.S. ARMY RANGERS

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    This is the one I'm currently reading, and I'm learning a bunch... In reality it doesn't hurt to know this stuff. The chances of using a lot of it are slim, but you never know. It's good to have an idea what to do.

    http://www.amazon.com/Mykel-Hawkes-G...5073311&sr=1-1

  15. #15

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    im a survival exspert and am available for bragging or questions. i containe the sum of mans survival knowlage. it has been my passion since i was 5. when i was 9, my mom couldnt open the porch door to get in. cause i was on the other side of the door pulling my shoelace back and fourth over the brass knob makeing fire laying on my back with my feet on the door holding it shut. i smelled the lace burnning and made it catch without anyone ever showing me . i just was born loveing wilderness survival. my collection of books is unrivaled. i can tell you the best books to get. you asked about pa specific. euell gibbons spent his last 20 years in his beloved pennsylvania on or near the AT corridor. he taught me everything i know. his two best sellers are, stalking the wild asparagus, and stalking the blue eyed scallop. about land and seacoast foraging respectivly.paul petzolt wrote most of the millitary survival guides. he founded outward bound and nols. his method simply must be learned. only a nols basic wilderness course can give the student of survival and mountaineering a sound cornerstone. every shuttle astronaut there ever was, has taken this course for self dependence skills as a prerecwizit of the space program.bradford angier must also be read.his methods for teaching rudementry survival are relevent and easily remembered. a must read. all his books. the moutaineers of seatle washington produce the bible of mountaneering books, freedom of the hills. also a must, tom brown. he is a bright new star in the world of survival teachers. and this list is meaningless without adding the awsome writting skills of the tipmaster of tips,...colin fletcher. if you cover even some of these bases, you will be a survivor student for life.
    matthewski

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    Have you read A Walk In The Woods?
    -milkman

    got soul?

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    When I was first getting into the outdoors, I read a lot of Fletcher, Angier (and Whelen and Angier), and Gibbons. Later, Tom Brown, who approaches the subject from the perspective of the Native American. "The Survival Book" (by Nesbitt, Pond, and Allen) may be out of print, but was a good technical book - the civilian version of the military survival handbooks.
    Anything written by the military on the subject would be worth reading - the military likes to keep its people alive long enough to reach the battlefield!!
    Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass - it's about learning how to dance in the rain!

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    Quote Originally Posted by 10-K View Post
    IMO, you don't need basic survival skills on the AT but I do think that knowing basic wilderness first aid could be useful. If you get a chance, check out a NOLS wilderness first aid class. I took one and really got a lot out of it.

    Here's a good book:

    http://www.amazon.com/NOLS-Wildernes.../dp/0811728641


    10-k I got to admit I am on the fence about this statement, There are people from all walks off life that span a wide range from stupid to brilliant. My thinking is that you need to have prove of some knowledge to drive a car, you do a little practice with a relative, or you take a course, you learn the signs and you receive a license. And you are only a danger to yourself until you have done it for a while.

    If you can't read a compass or a map, If you don't know what to do when you do become lost....My Dad who has climbed the French Alps still is clueless about how to read blazes, and frequently misses trail sign and tracks. I thinks its a good idea that folk practice how to make an emergency fire. Hell most folk suck at collecting wood, ever seen boys collect wood?

    all is well. (PAST ISSUES OF BACKPACKER ARE GREAT RESOURCES)
    Last edited by Wise Old Owl; 01-16-2011 at 12:14.
    Dogs are excellent judges of character, this fact goes a long way toward explaining why some people don't like being around them.

    Woo

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    PCT, Sheltowee, Pinhoti, LT , BMT, AT, SHT, CDT 560 miles 10-K's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Wise Old Owl View Post
    10-k I got to admit I am on the fence about this statement, There are people from all walks off life that span a wide range from stupid to brilliant. My thinking is that you need to have prove of some knowledge to drive a car, you do a little practice with a relative, or you take a course, you learn the signs and you receive a license. And you are only a danger to yourself until you have done it for a while.

    (PAST ISSUES OF BACKPACKER ARE GREAT RESOURCES)
    Ok, it's Sunday - how about a compromise?

    Can we agree that you should know *basic* survival skills such as how to build a fire, what hypothermia is and how to prevent it, etc. but you can probably skip *advanced* survival skills which include snaring small animals, making solar stills, knowing about edible plants and such.

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    "Don't 'Be Prepared' for emergencies. 'Be Prepared' to avoid them."

    - Douglas C. Wolfe, SM T106, Clinton Valley Council BSA

    In my experience, those who want to learn "how to survive in the woods" are often survivalist wannabees, who are secretly hoping for a disaster so they can show off their honkin' big survival-knife-with-compass-and-matches-and-fish-hooh-and-bandaid." You don't learn how to "survive" in the woods: You learn how to live there. In dry times, when water is scarce, or snowy times, when you might be stranded, or times when you (or a friend) is injured or otherwise. Those are simply learning skills for an environment, much as one learns how to "survive" in school, or work, or a new town. If you're going into the woods - or the desert, or mountains, or plains - at a particular time, you learn the skills that you need for shelter, food, water, and safety, and then go forth. The rest - skinning snakes and all the other TV adventures - can await the apocalypse that "survivalists" appear to crave so mightily.

    TW
    "Thank God! there is always a Land of Beyond, For us who are true to the trail..." --- Robert Service

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