Posts Tagged ‘books’

Neil Strauss has already wandered deep down the rabbit hole I am currently exploring.  Many of the same conclusions I am reaching (for example how we are more likely to help rather than hurt each other when the SHTF)  are chapters in his book, Emergency: This Book will save your life.  While I have been exploring what one would need to know when society crumbles for the last 4 months, he spent 3 years doing this and wrote a book when he was finished.

If one is looking for a practical “How to guide” for surviving the end of the days then this book is not for you, perhaps How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times is a better choice for that.   But if one is looking for a journal of how goes about learning how to prepare or one wants to reflect on the lessons learned while prepping then this is a book worth reading.

Since reading it I have caught myself a couple of times thinking when blogging “Is this my observation or Strauss’s?”    He killed a goat, learned how to make a knife, was instructed on how to respond to a disaster, cooked a fish and survived a wet night in the woods.  However, these things he did are not as valuable to the reader as his reflections of what conclusions one reaches when one does these things.  For that reason, if nothing else, it is worth reading.

In the meantime, I am going to take a least one of his specific recommendations, which is to take a CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) class.

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Book Review

Posted: January 22, 2011 in research, Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Here is a down and dirty book review from my first pass by the Phoenix Library. Links provided for my favorite of the bunch.

SAS Survival Guide I like how it is pocket-size but a little hard to read because of the same reason.

How to Survive The End of the World as we Know it by James Wesley Rawles founder of survivalblog.com.  Without a doubt the best book I have come across so far in how to stockpile for the fall of society.  The man has gone a lot further down the rabbit hole than I ever will.   More of a “how to” stockpile the compound rather than how to survive without a stockpiled compound.

The Self-Sufficiency Specialist by A. & G. Bridgewater.  A good picture book to flip through for ideas but a little light on actual practical information.

Reader’s Digest Back to Basics: How to Learn and Enjoy Traditional American Skills.  One of the best books I have come yet across to add to the bookshelf.  Probably my first Apocalyptic Book Collection purchase.

Living the country Lifestyle for Dummies not as good as Reader’s Digest Back to Basics book but not bad.

The Survival Handbook: Essential skills for outdoor adventure. Another book worth buying.  Too heavy to carry in your “Get the F out of dodge” (GTFOOD) kit but the easiest book to understand because of its ample use of color drawings.

On the list of places one might be able to raid without too much trouble is the large big box Hardware stores. I assume after all of society burns down we all will have to build again at some point.

Some would obvioulsy already have these tools in their workroom. I probably don’t. While doing tasks as simple as building a ladder and changing out my garbage disposal I have learned not only do I have very few tools, but I am not entirely familiar with the few that I have.

So I need to consult an expert on this. To get me started I have been skimming through the Reader’s Digest: Complete Do-it-yourself Manual Circa 1973. I found it in a used bookshop.

What I like about it, is it has a list of the “Job to be done” with a corresponding “Appropriate Hand Tools” column and a corresponding “Useful Power Tools” column. I assume I can ignore the “Useful Power Tools” column. Power Tools, as a rule, are heavy and also need power. Which I assume we won’t have much after the power plants all implode.

Here are some of the tasks and the corresponding tools. I have selected the tasks one should be able to do to build a basic fortification and shelter, without use of the Grid.

Installing a door
chisel
gauge
hammer
drill
awl
plane
screwdriver

Installing a door lock
brace
drill
chisel
hammer
screwdriver
awl

Securing loose brick
cold chisel
hammer
mortar (Sidenote: Can one build their own mortar?)
whiskbroom (Which I am sure one could build themself.)

Repairing rotted clapboard
saw
chisel
hammer
nail set
pry bar
paint and brush

What is not in the book, is how to build a fence. That is worth learning as well.

Next step would become familiar with these tools and look for opportunites to use them around the house.

Books are heavy. Libraries are worth having. At some point after society breaks down I will probably most have likely to wander at some point and carry all of my shit.  Again books are heavy. To be willing to sacrifice the energy needed to carry it’s weight the book better include some useful knowledge and a lot of it.

From my current bookshelf I only think I got two books that could meet that criteria. One because it is lightweight. One because of the content per ounce.

First, is the “Marine Battle Skills Training Handbook: Individual Combat Basic Tasks”. Best book to have in a pinch. Hands down. At some point one better be prepared to kill after the apocalypse. Just don’t practice the skills too late.

Second is by Paul Tawrell, Camping and Wilderness Survival. It is a bit thick and heavy, when considering whether it is worth its weight in water or dried beans. But it has how to trap an animal for every sort of climate on planet earth. Which is useful , because one does not know what the weather will be like after millions have died. It could be colder or maybe hotter. My guess is on colder.

After extensive internet searching it looks like the next book I should study is Emergency: This Book Will Save Your life to pick up some skills. Even though the author, Neil Strauss is seen as a sleazeball by some because of his other books of how to pick up some skills.

Also recommended by friends is Reader’s Digest: Back to Basics, which I have their construction book and I like it.  Very clear and straight.  This looks like a good solid book.

Above: Not a useful book for the Apocalypse.