Do we really need yet another book on how to survive in the wild?
There are hundreds of books on outdoor survival skills.
Therefore, I was quite skeptical when I received an advanced review copy of How to Survive in the Wild by Sam Martin and Christian Casucci.
I've read many of books on survival. Having backpacked over 20,000 km, I have plenty of experience outdoors, and I have had a few survival situations too. I wondered and was curious to see if How to Survive in the Wild offered anything new or different that all the other books out there.
The short answer is not really.
Nevertheless, I still liked it and recommend it, especially for beginners or those who have only read one book on survival.
- Nice illustrations (e.g., showing you how to make knots, fires, shelters, etc..)
- Reminds you how to sharpen your knife and why it's important.
- Spends Chapter 2 on how to build a log cabin! That's unusual for a survival book, which typically only teaches you how to make a temporary shelter. If you want to live in Alaska for a few months, then it could be useful.
- It also shows you how to build a well and brick over! Again, it surprised me to see a long-term survival technique in this book.
- Nice index
- It's short: 140 pages. Just the basics.
- It makes the same mistake that so many survival books make: it doesn't encourage you to just hike out, which often times is the best solution. It avoids the expensive task of having a search party look for you (which puts others at risk). It reduces worry (assuming you get out sooner than you would if you set up camp for days/weeks waiting to be rescued.
I reviewed Winter in the Wilderness: A Field Guide to Primitive Survival Skills and liked it more than this one. What's better about it is that it focuses on the deadliest season: winter. The skill set that you need to survive winter will help you anywhere.
Still, if you're looking for basic emergency survival skills along with a few long-term survival skills thrown in, this book is a fine choice. It also makes for a nice gift.
VERDICT: 7 out 10 stars.