One of the great things about running a blog with more than two readers is that, I sometimes, get free books from authors and vendors. No, they’re not sending me free stuff because, I’m a swell guy, but with the hope that I will give a positive review and my recommendation for their product.
Nothing wrong with this, because it gives me a chance to look at lot of books that I otherwise would not have an opportunity to read and eventually relay my thoughts to you. I like doing book reviews because they give me a chance to help you avoid spending money on books that would be of little use to you in your preps.
Today, I have several books and one DVD that I’d like to give my impressions of and hopefully help you make the best choices when buying. Let’s get started…
1. Will to Live: Dispatches from the Edge of Survival by Les Stroud: If you are looking for step by step outdoor survival techniques with photos and diagrams then get another book (maybe Outdoor Survival Skills by Larry Dean Olsen) in Will to Live Les Stroud looks at a number of real-life survival situations, like the 1972 Andes plane crash, Chris McCandless and the Karluk ship wreck to name a few.
While not a detailed, step by step survival type book, Les Stroud gives his advice on what he thinks should have been done in each survival situation and there are more than a few gems in there.
I think “Will to Live” is a good book and worth the time to read, but I do not consider it essential for the survival library. My advice is to “borrow from the library” before you buy…
2. Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It’s Too Late by Scott B Williams: You know how I feel about the “batman in the boondocks” grab your bug out bag and run to the woods to live survival strategy.
Some people might be able to pull it off, with the right training, physical conditioning, location and gear but for most people it is just an armchair survivalist fantasy.
It’s not that this book is bad, it isn’t, it’s just the live in the woods concept is flawed.
Yes, I have a bug out bag (for short-term survival in the wild) and you should too – just don’t make it your first line of defense against disaster.
After a major widespread disaster many others will have the same idea some will even ban together, if you are alone you’ll probably end up robbed, raped and cannibalized.
Unless you are sure staying home (bugging in) will lead to your eminent death you are better off to stay home. Good book – bad long-term plan…
3. Off The Grid: Inside the Movement For More Space, Less Government, And True Independence In Modern America by Nick Rosen : A British journalist “Rosen” travels across American interviewing various people who are living off the grid, sounds good.
It was a good idea, however the author fails to raise the subject or the interviews up to their full potential.
His “I’m better than you” attitude and constant attempt to make the book more about him than those he is interviewing, made me want to reach into the book and slap him.
I don’t think anyone interested in moving off the grid will gain any benefit from reading this book and would be advised to spend their money elsewhere – for instance on a copy of The Backyard Homestead.
4. When There Is No Doctor: Preventive and Emergency Healthcare in Uncertain Times by Gerard S. Doyle, MD: This is one of those books that almost make it onto my “must have” list. It is a good book with a lot of easy to understand tips, advice and details to help keep you alive.
As the author, states on the back cover “”I will not teach you to be a lone survivalist who anticipates doing an appendectomy on himself or a loved one on the kitchen table with a steak knife and a few spoons, although I will discuss techniques of austere and improvised medicine for really hard times.” to that end When There is No Doctor is a success.
I suggest you get this one after putting copies of Where There Is No Doctor, Where There Is No Dentist (both are available as a free download from www.hesperian.org), The American Red Cross First Aid Guide and The Merck Manual into your medical survival library.
5. Defensive Shooting Series (DVD) by Jim Grover: In my opinion this is one of the best instructional DVD’s of this type – this three DVD set covers everything you need to know to use the handgun as a defensive weapon (with real live-fire training and practice of course) including grip, stance, trigger control, reloading, use of cover, malfunction clearances, shooting on the move, low light shooting ect.
If you are looking for information on using the handgun in a defensive matter, I highly recommend this series.