Sunday, June 10, 2012

Book Review: The Survival Manual by Colin Towell

I recently received  The Survival Handbook on loan as part of a book pass-around on the Blades and Bushcraft forum. Below is my brief review of the book. 

Hardcover: 320 pages
Publisher: DK Publishing (March 16, 2009)
ISBN-10: 0756642795
Dimensions: 10.3 x 7.8 x 1 inches

The Survival Handbook by Colin Towell is different than any other survival manual that I have read previously. It is, despite the title, much more than a survival manual, it is an all-around outdoors manual. The Survival Handbook covers not only the "typical" survival topics but it also many aspects of backpacking, off-roading, camping, canoeing, bushcraft, navigation, primitive skills and much more. The breadth of material covered is truly impressive. Towell details what to do before entering the wild, what to do "on the trail”, what to do to mitigate emergencies, how to best be found if something happens, and of course what to do if a survival situation arises. Further, he shows the reader how to choose both "regular" gear as well as survival gear and how to use that gear. Of particular value are the sections teaching basic bushcraft and woodlscraft techniques, such as proper knife use and care, knots, and fire making. Despite the wide breadth of topics, The Survival Handbook manages to cover them in adequate depth. The book is printed in full color and richly illustrated. Important techniques are broken down into easy to understand illustrations and key topics and gear are highlighted and enhanced by illustrations and charts. Virtually all terrains of the world are hit on at some point in the book with "Extreme Survival" segments highlighting regional particulars and tricks.

In short: it's like all of your favorite (or not so favorite, as the case may be) survival personalities joined forces to write a good outdoors and survival book!

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