Outdoor Skills / Wilderness Survival

Reviews and sources for books on outdoor skills and wilderness survival



Outdoor Survival Skills
By Larry Dean Olsen 272 pages Photos and illus. $14.95
Outdoor Survival Skills
Very few people alive today have spent anywhere near as much time out on the trail, practicing these skills in real situations, as Larry. Outdoor Survival Skills will teach you the basics: fire, shelter, cordage, edibles. Thanks to Larry Dean's inspiration, we've come a long way in rediscovering and improving our knowledge of these skills in the last thirty years. This is still an excellent introduction to primitive outdoor skills, but you should check out more recent books for a better understanding of the more involved skills.
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Camping and Woodcraft
A Handbook for Vacation Campers and for Travelers in the Wilderness
By Horace Kephart 479 pages Illustrated $15.95
Camping and Woodcraft
If you prefer buckskin, a gun and an axe, to goretex and freeze dried foods, this is an excellent book for you. Probably the all-time best selling book on outdoors skills, this book covers everything from building camp furniture (with an axe and rope) to 10 ways to erect a wall-tent, axemanship, marksmanship, dressing and cooking fish & game, knots, packs, compass-work, camp making to how much each item you might carry weighs and how worthwhile it really is to carry along! Great stuff.

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Naked Into the Wilderness
Primitive Wilderness Living and Survival Skills
By John & Geri McPherson 408 pages Photos $24.95
Naked into the Wilderness
McPhersons' only write about skills they've done and done alot...and they excel at showing these skills to you in a way that will work for you. They will not teach you the finer points (like how to make your basket symmetrical), but they will teach you how to do these skills in a way that functions. Subjects covered include braintanning, friction fire, cordage, traps, bow and arrow, cooking, deer processing, baskets, pottery, stone tools and shelters. Their second book Primitive Wilderness Skills, Applied and Advanced is not anywhere near as good, though it does have a good section on braintanning furs.
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Bushcraft
Outdoor Skills and Wilderness Survival
By Mors Kochanski 304 pages Illustrated $12.95
Bushcraft
You will learn everything you want to know about using and caring for an axe, a knife, a saw, building and using fire, shelters, rope, birch trees, conifers, rabbits and moose. Written by a north-woods survival expert, these skills are universal but the plants and concerns covered relate to life in the northern forest and bush. Well-written, unequaled advice for the northern low-tech human. A best-seller in Canada.

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Woodsmoke
Collected Writings on Ancient Living Skills
Compiled by Richard & Linda Jamison 246 pages Photos & Illus. $15.95
Woodsmoke
This book is a hodge-podge of articles on primitive skills. There is no real theme but many of the chapters are written by the expert on the subject: Peg Mathewson on basketry materials, Jim Riggs on bark containers and Paiute deadfalls, Steve Watts on blow-guns ... Topics covered include blow-guns, tracking, atlatls, pottery, yucca, hide glue, whole shoot baskets, fire piston, Paiute deadfall, bark containers and primitive cooking. The placement of photos and illustrations does not always synchronize with the text, but despite its problems, if you haven't had a chance to learn from these folks, there is alot of first class knowledge in here.
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