There has been a revival of the outdoor survivalist skills movement of the 50′s and 60′s when we all thought the world was going to end through war.
TV shows like the “Man vs. Wild”, “Doomsday Preppers” and “Survivorman” is only the tip of the iceberg today.
Field and Stream have always been in the forefront of mainstream hunting and fishing, outdoors skills, and now outdoor survival in the wild.
Today we are going to review their latest book on outdoor skills “Field and Stream: The Total Outdoorsman Manual – 374 Skills YOU Need” by T. Edward Nickens.
The book itself is laid out into 4 sections and we will look at each and give you a taste of what’s inside:
The first section most people turn to is the camping section and this is pretty much what you would expect. This section covers the mundane matters of:
- Camp site selection
- Setting up your tent
- Building a fire
- Fire safety
- Food Storage
However, the rest makes for an interesting read and goes into exhaustive detail about the various pieces of gear to take with you.
By the time you finish this part of the book you will feel ready to take on the “Great Outdoors” and have the right amount of camping gear and the savvy to set up your camp with a minimum of fuss and muss.
One of my favorite sections of the book and expected a lot from the author here. This section will not disappoint the fisherman or Angler.
There is information here for novice and pro alike with information on:
- Knots to use in securing hooks and lures
- Proper way to cast your line
- Deep bottom fishing techniques
- Documentation for a trophy fish
- Lures and bait that draw in the big ones
- Fishing around snags and debris
- Fish photos
- Choosing the right knife for the job
In about 100 pages you will get years of fishing lore and tips gathered from the authors years of experience.
The section on hunting is equally extensive and covers the various kinds of hunting skills one needs to have today.
The first question is always “What kind of hunting are you planning on doing, for food, sport, or monetary reasons?” This will dictate the type of gear you need to take with you.
Generally in all forms of hunting, binoculars are going to be your most important piece of equipment.
Tracking is almost a lost art that our native ancestors had down to a find art.
While this book will not turn you into a Davy Crockett or Daniel Boone, it will get you moving in the right direction. Mr. Nickens goes in to fine detail on the subject and the skills you need to develop.
There of course is a lot of emphasis on weapons safety as most hunting accidents are caused by improper use of firearms, carelessness, and unfortunately alcohol.
This section also touches on the various other ways you can hunt using other means and methods.
I like the information about trapping game, as while it is a passive means of hunting and in the past is what opened up much of the wilds of America, it must be done properly in order not inflict needless pain and suffering on the game you are seeking.
This part of the book most people who contemplate going outdoors should read first.
Survival skills are the basis of any venture that takes you beyond the confines of your normal world and thrusts you into an environment that is unpredictable and sometimes dangerous.
While most outdoor trips are happy and enjoyable, in the back of your mind you must always be thinking, “what if?”
You can’t go to a hospital or get help quickly and you must rely on yourself and the skills that you can learn from this book.
First aid is the main skill and carrying the proper First Aid tools is mandatory before you walk out the door, this is illustrated for you in this section of the book.
Most of the advice and the gear talked about in this area are common sense, the idea however, is to get you into survival thinking.
This will protect you and keep you safe when you journey out into the wilderness. America is vast and in many places still untamed country.
This book does deliver on its promise to give you a wide a varied selection of skills and sage advice on going out into the outdoors.
Every person today should have some basic survival and outdoor skills to fall back on. As often today, the environment goes from the predictable and comfortable to chaotic.
Many have seen this recently after Superstorm Sandy and some of the other natural/man-made disasters that have occurred in recent years.
I can recommend this book to put on your bookshelf, to be used to gain these valuable skills or bone up on skills you may already have.