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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Survival Books - A Treasure Trove of Unlimited Knowledge

For a survival researcher, it is baffling to see the large number of texts on display in library shelves, book stores, e-catalogs, and blogs, and choosing the right one usually becomes a nightmare. There are books on outdoor survival, emergency preparedness, disaster survival, and terrorist attack survival, as well as those covering the possibilities of nuclear, chemical and biological warfare. The average reader, therefore, is quite justified in questioning "Where do I start?" The answer, fortunately, is simpler than it looks. Since most survival books, and particularly those written in the last decade or two, target the average reader, the beginner can gain the knowledge he needs from a wide variety of books. The best approach usually is to select, as a starting point, one or two general books that cover almost all aspects of survival. Once you are familiar with the fundamentals, you can refine your field of study according to what you feel is your most urgently needed knowledge, or according to interests. I will present here a general selection of survival books, which should be a good place for you to start, and should help you identify the areas which you want top explore further.

The best book to start with is, I feel, "Ultimate Survival Skills - Secrets to Staying Alive, Anytime, Anywhere." The reason that it makes a good starting point is its approachability: it is written in easy-to-understand, everyday language, and the style is engaging so that it is a fun and informative read. The information given is new for beginners, so you learn a lot while avoiding information overload, and consequently, you can retain almost everything the author describes.

If you find it too brief for your liking, however, then Cody Lundin's "When All Hell Breaks Loose - Stuff you need to survive when disaster strikes" is an excellent alternate. It is more pertinent to our daily lives, as it focuses mostly on urban emergency situations and disasters. Therefore, even for those who do not intend to be part of an outdoor activity any time soon, this book contains useful information that might just help save their lives. Further, this book is extremely easy to read, as well as being enormously entertaining, and once again, easy to retain.

What do you do, however, once you are past the basics? Again, you certainly face an overwhelmingly large number of alternatives. John Wiseman's "SAS Survival Handbook: How to Survive in the Wild, in any Climate, On Land, or at Sea" is, I feel, a very strong candidate here. The key feature of the work is that it provides very detailed survival knowledge at the same time as being very approachable. If you are upset with the fact that books for advanced learners almost always use boring, tiring jargon and complex writing styles, then this book is a great option for you. The full color illustrations of poisonous and edible plants, animals and herbs are extremely helpful in an actual outdoor survival situation. This is also a good place to learn fire craft, hunting, shelter building and navigation skills.

Of course, if you simply want a carry along guide for a potentially life threatening situation, the US Army Survival Manual ought to serve you well. It deals with all types of survival skills in exhaustive detail, and you can find in it all the information that you could possibly need in the event of any disaster or emergency.

If you are a complete novice in the field of survival, you can read any one of these books for a start and then decide what particular aspect of survival you wish to research further. For more advanced learners, however, it is best to learn more about aspects that you do not already know about, just to ensure that you can hold your own in absolutely any kind of survival situation.

For even more survival books, tips, and advice, check out the #1 site on the net for survivalists at:

http://www.survivalskillsoutdoors.com


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