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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Book review-"Ultimate Guide to Wilderness Living"

When I first saw this title advertised I thought "good, more great stuff from John McPherson". When I had a chance to see this book I realized its the exact same material as "Primitive Wilderness Living & Survival Skills". Basically the same photos, drawings and text, just the chapters arranged in a different order. I guess it was time to reissue this excellent book, but why go to the trouble of rearrange everything and give it a new title? I bought both of the "Wilderness Living" books when they first came out and I learned a lot from them. They're a key part of my library. Maybe he would do us justice to combine booth books into one volume.
I understand that there is just so much material you can cover on primitive skills, at least on a beginner level, and it may be hard to come up with some new stuff for a book. If you were to write about the more advanced aspects of the primitive hunter/gatherer lifestyle, you would probably be targeting a narrow audience. Those interested in such things as advanced paleo/ethno botany, varieties in bow woods, varieties in stone for knapping, cordage, netting, basketry materials and techniques, advanced tanning techniques, basically a more hard core group. I'm sure there is enough interest for such an in depth book, I for one would buy it, and it would be a major undertaking. I hope someone with the time and resources will attempt such a thing. I would be more than glad to contribute as I'm sure many others would be.

Here's a shot of the cover:

3 comments:

Mattexian said...

I've got Thomas Elpel's Primitive Living, Self-Sufficiency, and Survival Skills that I like very much, it's almost one of those "naked into the wilderness" how-to books. At least he's not opposed to using modern stuff, if the tools make living easier. A Swiss Army Knife is handy, and a Bic lighter is better than needing to make a fire-kit every time you stop for camp, but it's still good to have the knowledge and practice on how to do it if/when the lighter fails.

azbushman said...

I have this book, It is one of the most informative I have read in a while.

Ron Layton said...

My only concern is that McPherson has reissued the book with a new title. As I said in the article it is the same material as the original and my only wish is that he had reissued both books in one volume.