The Total Outdoorsman ManualAuthor T. Edward Nickens is an experienced outdoorsman and noted outdoor writer who works as editor-at-large for Field and Stream magazine. Partnering with the firm Weldon Owen, known for their ability to craft quality, illustrated, nonfiction books and the widely recognized outdoor magazine Field and Stream, Nickens has gathered together hints on how to master some 374 skills that should interest all outdoor enthusiasts in a total outdoorsman manual.

Essential Outdoor Skills Broken into Four Sections

In its first three sections, The Total Outdoorsman Manual outlines the techniques fundamental for successful camping, fishing and hunting adventures. A fourth section of the text highlights outdoor survival skills that can improve safety and lower the risk of injury. Once mastered, the skills presented by Nickens and his fellow contributors will greatly improve the competence and ability of any interested outdoorsman.

What’s great about the The Total Outdoorsman Manual is that there is no need to read the text in any sequence. Pick a skill of interest and learn to master it. The text effectively uses clear photographs and step-by-step illustrations to convey these skill techniques.

Examples of the Skills Presented in the Text

#37: Choose the Right Knife – A good knife is an essential tool needed in many outdoor activities. This skill describes the component parts and shapes of fixed-blade and folding knives. The illustrations are outstanding and useful.

#173: Back a Trailer Without Looking Like an Idiot – We have all experienced a delay at the launch ramp as an inexperienced boater attempts to back their boat trailer into the water. This skill recognizes the fact that the trailer will move in a direction opposite of the tow vehicle and practice is needed to be truly proficient in backing a trailer.

#351: Build a One-Match Fire When Your Life Depends on It – Nature can be unforgiving and the ability to start a fire with one match is a skill that could prove to be a lifesaver. The skill’s description offers a way to do this and it’s worth practicing.

Why would someone involved in the outdoors read this book?

The author sums it up fairly well, “Few of us have time to waste…We don’t think you approach the outdoors with half-hearted enthusiasm…Which is why you hold in your line-cut, wood-singed, blood-stained, an calloused hands a guide to getting you to the next level of outdoorsmanship.”

Nickens is correct in his hypothesis: learning new outdoor skills brings confidence and enjoyment to the student. What he has put together here isn’t original, people have been passing on outdoor hints, tips and skills for generations. The Total Outdoorsman Manual is a fresh way of presenting this information to those that may not have learned from prior experience or a close mentor.

The Total Outdoorsman Manual (Field & Stream) (Nickens, T. Edward) (ISBN 978-1-61628-061-1) by T. Edward Nickens was published by Weldon Owen in May of 2011. This illustrated, flexible cover book is 320 pages in length and has suggested retail price of $25.

Copyright © 2013 by Alan Sorum

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