Wilderness Survival Book

Gregory Davenport was once a U.S. Air Force Survival Instructor. His training and knowledge make him ideally suited to impart practical wilderness survival techniques to the rest of us. And he does just this in his book, Wilderness Survival. Written in 1997, this book is a little old, but given its topic the information is just as relevant today as it was almost 10 years ago.

The philosophy behind this book can be summed up with the final few sentences from the forward: “Since humankind's departure from nature, most individuals have lost their innate ability to survive in the wilderness. When was the last time you killed an animal and used it for food, clothing, and tools? In modern civilization, the basic requirements of living are taken for granted. In a survival situation, these needs must not only be recognized but also met.”

Survival tactics covered in this book include personal protection, signaling, sustenance, travel and navigation, and basic first aid. Gregory's writing style is succinct and to the point with most of the techniques presented in bulleted form for easy reading. There is no plot or character development here, just step-by-step instructions on what to do survive. The drawback with this approach though is that the text is quite repetitive in some parts because of Gregory's attempt to keep every set of instructions complete and independent of the rest of the book.

My biggest complaints have more to do with the production quality of the book. By that I mean that the photos are poorly exposed and largely don't add any value to the text. It feels as if they were added to fulfill some arbitrary obligation. Fortunately, the diagrams are pretty good in helping show the finished product of whatever technique is being described.

I recommend this book to anyone looking for a solid guide to surviving in the wilderness.

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