February 24, 2016
As someone who’s been in countless disaster scenarios, knowledge about preparedness has always been seen as valuable by me. Being in many hurricanes, countless blackouts [that’s what happens in 2nd/3rd world country infrastructure after all] & a few blizzards, while also living in the southern portion of tornado alley gives one plenty of experience in what one knows, but more importantly what one does not know. And in most of the scenarios, a common theme emerged: most people were wholly unprepared for what was coming, even though they had ample time to prepare, and unfortunately, lives were lost when they shouldn’t have been.
That above is mentioned to lay the foundation that this book was seen as part of a more robust general preparedness plan that would help in any emergency scenario, or if one is stranded in the woods on a daily hike or gone camping. Yes, this particular book was made specifically for the military, but it matters not. Useful information is useful information, no matter who it was made for.
This particular book US Military Pocket Survival Guide Plus Evasion & Recovery by Sergeant First Class Matt Larsen, was suggested to me by a friend of mine who’s former Marine after we got into a discussion at length about potential ‘survival scenarios’ regarding many different subjects.
He talked about it obviously not replacing real world experience, but for folks that were looking to learn more about certain circumstances, then this book would have plenty to offer. In that, my friend’s advice was spot on.
This book is a rather quick read, and even quicker if you’re familiar with much of the information provided. As mentioned before, this ‘survival guide’ was obviously developed for military personnel in mind, but it has plenty to offer inquiring individuals. How much, depends on where you live, whether you go out into the wilderness a lot, and what other dangers one might be exposed too.
Larsen did a rather incisive job of distilling the information provided to the most vital components, which is greatly appreciated. Many books will go much further in depth, and that’s great if you’re looking for more latitude in respect to this subject, but it’s outstanding to have a rather concise summary of information that could be helpful in a myriad of ways. The book has enough density for it to be worthwhile for most people. Unless one is a seasoned veteran [no pun intended] or a survival guru, then the book has quite the range of information.
From Navigation, Communications, Signaling and so on, to Medical information, Food Procurement to Personal Protection Equipment, there are many subjects that are covered. One need remember though, this is a synopsis, and throughout the entire book the information provided is in its most distilled form, meaning one is only getting the most bare bones needed facts.
One great point of the book is that it has more illustrations than were expected by myself, and that was rather a pleasant surprise. At least a third to one half of the book has illustrations. For me personally, it’s always helpful to have illustrations, especially ones that help clear up possible confusing information.
Also, another great point is the size of the book. It can fit nigh anywhere, as its size is extremely convenient if one needed to have this book somewhere a regular sized book might not fit so well.
For all that the book has to offer, there’s still a lot that goes uncovered, and it makes sense given its original target audience. What’s meant by that is that the book could have delved into other topics, or perhaps explored certain ones in more precise detail, but it opted not too because [and this is just an educated guess] that information would probably be known to most in the military.
With that said, merging the information within this book with information provided with the books below would further increase an individual’s depth of knowledge as far as possible emergency/survival scenarios goes. Books suggested include:
98.6 Degrees – The Art Of Keeping Your Ass Alive by Cody Lundin
Bushcraft: Outdoor Skills and Wilderness Survival by Mors Kochanski
Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide To The Art Of Wilderness Survival by Dave Canterbury
SAS Survival Handbook – The Ultimate Guide To Surviving Anywhere by John Wiseman
The totality of information provided by the above books, as the well as the prior one discussed would lay a rather robust foundation for any individual looking to learn more about these abstruse subjects. The each cover information that’s rather unique, and although the information at times does dovetail, each of them has separate/unique enough components that it’s rather worthwhile.
In any case, the information provided is for anyone that’s searching for information that might help them learn more about general preparedness. Any of the books mentioned offers ample data points and skills that one can hone which could help people in many scenarios. It does not take an end-of-the-world emergency to employ much of what’s offered.
As the book 98.6 Degrees details, people have died mere a mile from their car while in their wilderness just because they didn’t have the right clothing. How unfortunate is that? Of course, that’s not the only unfortunate passing that’s taken place, and won’t be the last.
This book serves as a solid component in a more wider preparedness plan. If you’re interested in these concepts, then you’re urged to do your research and see if these, or any other of the books might be of interest.