There are a lot of survival and primitive skills books on the market today. I've managed to take a look at most of them. Some are pretty good and some are just plain boring. Its my opinion that a book that goes into detail about a particular skill - and is well illustrated - is much more valuable than one that merely describes it. I realize that space is limited in most books. Some go into decent detail about certain subjects but there are no photos or illustrations. This is of no help to someone who is just starting to learn skills. However, there are a few books that I wouldn't be without.
My all time favorite books are the two written by John and Geri McPherson. They are "Primitive Wilderness Living & Survival Skills: Naked into the Wilderness" and "Primitive Wilderness Skills, Applied & Advanced". These are actually the compilation of a series of booklets John put out in the 80's. I first saw these booklets at a Native American store in Denver, Colorado in 1988. I was hooked! When the two books mentioned above came out I was even more thrilled. The great thing about these books is the detail of description and the illustrations. And, as John mentioned, he tried all these methods and what he wrote about works. He went through a lot of trial and error because there wasn't a lot available at that time. Most of the material available was untried, "I heard it from so and so", or very vague. These books are worth owning. Even if you have a working knowledge of the skills presented, I think you may pick up some additional tricks from these two.
On Amazon, I recently found the book "Ultimate Guide to Wilderness Living: Surviving with Nothing But Your Bare Hands and What You Find in the Woods" by John and Geri. I haven't had a chance to review it but I think its an abridged version of the above two books. I'm ordering it and will do a write up in the future.
The third book is "Bushcraft" by Mors Kochanski. Like the McPherson books, it to is well illustrated and the written description is excellent. I picked up my first copy several years ago and its another I won't part with. It compliments the McPherson books by covering modern tools.
Another nice thing about these three books is that they are the same size (8 1/2 X 5 1/2) and fit nicely into a backpack or BOB.
Books like FM 21-76, U.S. Army survival manual and similar works are still good to read but they just don't go into enough detail. The material we have available today is a far cry from when I first caught the bug. I had available such works as "Outdoorsmans Handbook" by Clyde Ormund 1963 and "Complete Book of Camping" by Leonard Miracle and Maurice Decker 1961. These books are where I first learned about such mysteries as bow drills for fire and snares.
Here are some links to these books at Amazon:
Thanks for reading my blog.