A few things that are essential to any outdoor enthusiast facing a survival situation are a knowledge of basic emergency skills, calm demeanor, and a clear focus. Before you head out to the wilderness, you’ll need to prepare a basic survival kit that includes the basic tools, but it’s vital that you also have a wilderness skills guide to be able to better handle yourself in the backcountry, no matter what life throws at you.
Here are a few that come highly recommended and will teach you the basics on how to survive in the wilderness should things get difficult.
1. SAS Survival Handbook by John ‘Lofty’ Wiseman
This longtime bestseller was written by a survival expert and ex-Special Air Service, and the topics range from security to self-defense, disaster survival, first aid, making camp, and being prepared.
The book contains some of the most respected and reliable survival information out there, from using old-school navigation skills such as map and compass to GPS technology. This book teaches you survival skills for sea or land, and for any climate.
2. US Army Survival Manual: FM 21-76
This survival manual gives you information in a straightforward and easy-to-understand way, covering everything avid outdoor enthusiasts should know about wilderness survival, including survival at sea, how to build a shelter, where to find water, how to identify and harvest food, hygiene, health, and navigation. To make things even easier, the book includes color photos of plants, so you can quickly identify edible food sources.
3. Bushcraft: Outdoor Skills & Wilderness Survival by Mors Kochanski
This book was written by outdoor survival instructor and author Mors Kochanski, who has built a worldwide reputation as a leading authority regarding the necessary wilderness survival skills. Using color photos, loads of diagrams, and clear language it can teach you the practical knowledge you need to enjoy the wilderness and be prepared for survival situations.
4. Wilderness Survival for Dummies
From the popular series, this is a practical field guide teaching you how to survive in the wilderness. It covers various scenarios, including how to build a shelter to protect you from the cold, getting lost in the woods, survival at sea, and poisonous snake bites. Additionally, it teaches you how to increase your rescue chances by managing your emotions.
5. Primitive Wilderness & Survival Skills by John McPherson
Although it’s been out for quite a while now, this book is still packed with useful information including hundreds of diagrams and pictures. One of the best “how to” guides ever written, it provides you with information about hands-on skills that you can use in all of your wilderness adventures.