Book Review - The U.S. Army Survival Manual: Department of the Army Field Manual 21-76
After reading this book, I almost want to go out and get lost somewhere... The U.S. Army Survival Manual: Department of the Army Field Manual 21-76. Ulysses Press has reprinted the US Army Survival Manual and made it available to those of us who didn't decide to give up at least four years of their lives to visit other countries. With some prior study and this book in hand, I think your odds of surviving out in the wild would go up dramatically. Of course, you'll have to get over the thing about eating bugs and various plants, however...
Introduction: General; Individual and Group Survival; Health and First Aid
Orientation and Traveling: Navigation; Selecting Your Route on the Ground
Water: General Considerations; Finding Water
Food: General Considerations; Vegetable Foods; Animal Foods
Firemaking and Cooking: Firemaking; Cooking Wild Food
Survival in Special Areaa: General Considerations; Cold Weather Areas; In Jungle and Tropical Areas; In Desert Areas; At Sea
Hazards to Survival
Overall, this book is pretty complete, which is what I'd expect from an Army survival guide. It's not meant to be a complete course in survival, assuming absolutely no skills to start with. Instead, there's a basic assumption of certain skills already possessed, such as map and compass reading, camouflage, sanitation, and other general military skills. In addition, the goal in all the survival information is to "make it back." Therefore, it's not as if you're expected to set up camp and maintain a presence for days or weeks. Instead, the material is focused on being able to do what is necessary to survive long enough to make it back to safety.
I think what surprised me most is how much plant life is edible when found and prepared properly. Plants I'd normally pass by, such as seaweed, bamboo, or cattails, can actually make for decent food and nutrition when it comes right down to it. And if that frog in the back yard is keeping you awake at night? Well, he *could* end up as a midnight snack if you're so inclined. But more seriously, I'd probably want to spend time *before* getting lost using this book and at least one other resource to fully understand some of the plant choices. Since the illustrations are all black and white sketches, it's not necessarily a simple matter to match up the plant you're looking at with the picture you're viewing. I believe you'd have more success if you read this book, and then spent time online looking for color illustrations of the particular plants. Between that and perhaps jotting some notes in the margins, you'll be able to pick out the food sources more quickly (and most importantly, more *accurately*) when it really matters.
The U.S. Army Survival Manual may not be one of those books you look at every day, but if you pack it (or memorize it) when you head out to the wilderness, your odds of "making it back" if things go wrong will increase dramatically.
Obtained From: Publicist