Thursday, January 29, 2015

SAS Survival Guide Review

SAS Survival Guide Review
So I have neglected to recommend the SAS Survival Guide here so let this serve as my unequivocal recommendation. I believe the SAS Survival Manual is the best survival manual available on the market today all in a compact text you can fit into your pocket. This book covers everything from the psychological aspects of survival to weather forecasting (much more reliable than listening to the weatherman) to wild edibles to shelter building to trapping and much more! The text features color graphics which are easy to follow and common man explanations that anyone can comprehend even for advanced survival tasks. I will breakdown the various chapters of the book throughout the article and tell you exactly what makes this book a must have. I will preface the rest of this article on this thought... If you are on a path to a more self reliant way of life or trying to learn how to survive no matter what your situation this book is essentially your text book; follow along with the book to build your skills once you have mastered the book you will have mastered the skills required for nearly any advanced survival class you can take.
So you want to get a copy for your pack? I highly recommend this one!

Chapter 1: Essentials
This chapter talks about the 7 P's (Prior Proper Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance) essentially and goes into how to build a proper kit, select a proper survival knife and how to procure water in nearly any environment. I would have like to have seen the chapter go into more on survival mindset and also avoiding a survival situation but overall its set a solid foundation for the rest of the manual. I would have also liked to have seen a more in-depth look at water procurement as without water you are only a few hours from dehydration and death.

Chapter 2: Climate And Terrain
While most of this chapter seems to be common sense to me the construction of field show shoes and explanation of rappelling without gear seemed to be the best material in this very short chapter. Unfortunately, there isn't enough information in the book to actually build snowshoes without improvising a little on your own and the rappelling section could possibly get you severely injured if you haven't practiced the skill before. Overall this chapter was mostly a waste to me but for someone brand new it could be of value.

Chapter 3: Food

This chapter is the meat and potatoes of this survival guide. The chapter covers everything from edible plants, edible trees, edible mushrooms, poisonous plants, tracking, insects, extensive primitive trapping techniques, primitive hunting,cleaning game and fishing. This chapter and the next is where you need to focus your skill development if would like to thrive in the woods. If you are new focus on water procurement and purification  then this chapter and the next to develop your skills as these will save your life.

Chapter 4: Camp Craft
Shelter, fire craft, knots, making utensils and making raised beds and other camp comforts are the focus of this excellent chapter. Learning how to best mix shelter and fire for your environment/situation is something that comes with practice and learning your limits so knowing how to build a survival shelter and how to build a fire are one thing but do you know how to exploit each type of fire and shelter given your situation? Like I said above this is one of the two major meat and potatoes chapters of the book- practice these skills and you will learn to thrive in the woods not just survive.

Chapter 5: Reading The Signs
This chapter is all about navigation and somewhat glazes over the subject map reading (but if you are in a survival situation you most likely have no map). There are several tips and tricks for night navigation, using your watch face and using a needle for navigation when you have no compass. Learn these tips and tricks and you should be able to navigate yourself out of trouble should you have any idea which way you need to travel.  

Chapter 6: On The Move
Another short chapter but there are a few very good tips in this chapter concerning improvised packs, gear movement, best bets for finding population centers (i.e. follow water), and making water craft. While these skills are further down my priority list learning how to improvise a pack and knowing the best means of finding population centers/people is without a doubt a skill you will need to develop.

Chapter 7: Survival At Sea
This doesn't apply to me because I don't go out on the ocean is the main thing I hear about this chapter, which is fine.... if you never plan to take an international flight or never plan to go on a cruise or scuba diving or snorkeling. I personally love the ocean and all of the survival materials it provides so learning ways to survive there is ideal for me.

Chapter 8: Rescue
Signaling for rescue should be something that everyone know how to do and this book covers almost every conceivable method of doing so. the application (found at even has a morse code flash capability.

Chapter 9: Health
Wilderness Medicine/First Aid, Medicinal Plants and Poisonous Plants/Animals make up this chapter. This chapter makes up the core of what most wilderness medicine courses are made from. While this chapter is no where near as in depth as a wilderness medic it is still a great start.

Chapter 10: Disaster Strategies
This is more of what I will call a fluff chapter, while it does contain some good information it is something that common sense will also leave you with. I would read this chapter once and put it in the back of your mind.

The SAS Survival Guide is without a doubt one of the best survival texts on the market and is defiantly the best I have read to date. If you are new to bushcraft/survival/preparedness/wilderness self reliance then this book will serve as an excellent road map for developing those skills that will not only help you survive but also thrive in a wilderness environment. I have read this book several times and if you read this blog or any other outdoor survival type blog you will notice themes which are the same as the author of this book did an excellent job at covering all of his basis.

Have something outdoor/bushcraft/trapping/preparedness/hiking/camping/fishing/hunting related you want me to make a post about? Leave me a comment and I will see what I can do! As always feel free to leave your questions and comment below! Also if you enjoy the blog please vote for us on the following websites to help us reach a wider audience:
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