Survival manuals are commonly found in an outdoor enthusiast’s bookcase. Though many books possess useful information, most of the material is routinely reproduced from text to text. Reality television programming now focused on prepping for the end of the world has just fueled further demand for the genre. In these conditions, Tim MacWelch has written a book titled Prepare for Anything Survival Manual that even a jaded sourdough would find remarkable.
The topic of survival and preparedness enjoys a different perspective in the north. Rural residents have long known the value of preparedness and self-sufficiency. Poor weather, power outages and transportation delays are not uncommon. MacWelch offers advice in 338 different areas that are broken into three board categories: gear, skills and survival. Many of the topics discussed in the book would be of interest to even the most prepared.
Tim MacWelch operates his own survival school and has vetted the skills offered in this book. Tim was been instructing outdoor skills for 18 years, actively writes for Outdoor Life and is the chief contributor to the company’s survival skills website. MacWelch’s expertise leads itself to preparing for natural disasters, learning wilderness survival skills and acquiring knowledge to live off the grid.
Examples of the essential survival skills for preparedness presented in the text:
Skill 8 in the introduction of the text speaks to the importance of preparedness. The author says in part, “…No matter where you live, you should know what you can do in emergency situations and how you can arm yourself – mentally and physically – for disaster. Survival and emergency-preparedness skills will assist in any situation from power failures and the breakdown of public services to devastating hurricanes and government collapse.” This is excellent advice on how to best utilize this text. Information provided in this introductory section is much like the Seven Steps to Survival taught by the Alaska Marine Safety Education Association. Mental preparedness is a major factor in successfully surviving an unplanned mishap.
Skill 88 is Build Your Survival Skills. Truly this can be a lifesaver and often prepares us to enjoy new adventures safely. Learn to read a map and use a compass. They don’t need batteries. A dead cellphone won’t help get you home. Learn how to build a fire and keep fire starting supplies handy. A fire is a great way to warm up after an unplanned fall in the creek and an exceptional way to boost morale. Learn first-aid. Knowing this skill means you can help yourself and the ones you love.
Skill 224 goes to the hearts of true Alaskans, Don’t Get Caught Without: Duct Tape. We know the value of this product; it is part of the holy trinity that includes WD-40 and blue tarps. You can fix anything and find shelter in a storm with just these three items. Red Green is known to have said, “If you have duct tape and you need money, you are better off than if you have money and need duct tape.” MacWelch has made a good start with his ten suggestions for the use of duct tape. We can offer more for his second edition of this book.
The outdoors offers great experiences and opportunities for growth with every trip. Nature is however unforgiving to those who aren’t prepared. Bad things can happen and being prepared is much easier than its alternative. Tim MacWelch has put together a handy reference that is difficult to put down. Its format and layout make it a ready resource for outdoor enthusiasts and assists in dealing with the occasional zombie. Publications from Outdoor Life are well represented in Alaskan’s libraries. Based on this recent release, that trend is to continue.
Prepare for Anything Survival Manual (ISBN 1616286733) is a 256 page paperback book published by Weldon Owen in partnership with Outdoor Life. The text is loaded with colorful illustrations, clear photographs and informative graphic. Its cover is flexible and has reinforced corners. Pages lay open well and it seems the book could stand some abuse in the outdoors. Street price for the text is about $23US.
Copyright © 2014 by Alan Sorum