Thursday, December 29, 2011

How To Stay Alive In The Woods

Written by Bradford Angier in 1956, this 283 paper back is a substantial work for the serious survivalist.
Survivalists come from such a wide range of political and cultural, not to mention financial backgrounds its a word often misunderstood.

My meaning, for this blog, is someone who wants to make it out alive, regardless of the circumstances. Whether its government shit hitting the fan, or falling into a ravine, or becoming stranded for whatever reason, a survivalist in my book will figure out what to do and do it.

We don't expect grandma to hold our hands, a bailout or group hug.
Ok, back to this book.

The author's writing style is the old fashioned, Last of the Mohicans James Fenimore Cooper stuff. Not as plain and down to earth as modern times requires.

But its very much worth the read. I'm on chapter 4. He really makes a case for wild foods as soon as you think things are not going too good. Don't wait til your out of canned goods and dried beans before you start living off the land. He talks a lot about our taste and social preferences. For instance, I didnt't know that it took 10 eggs to fullfil a man's daily requirements for iron. Four Tablespoons of blood will do the same.

Some religions have a thing about blood. I remember a friend who got "saved" had to quit making Blood Soup. I've never had blood soup, but apparently real cow's blood went into the pot along with other delectable things.
According to Angier, blood is like milk, a product so valuable it should never be completely drained from the wild meat. I saw an article about tribes in Africa which often bled their cows, one quart at a time and used it for sustenance. This did not harm the cow who immediately replaced the blood draw  through its normal body functions.

There are a few things that strike me wrong, things I personally would be hard pressed to do. According to Angier, one may rob a scavenger of his kill, even a bear, especially if there are small trees in the vicinity. Never, never never would I attempt to deprive a bear of his kill. Black bears can climb trees, while griz can knock it completely over. No go.

Another place, page 22 talks about firing a field to collect the cooked bugs and grubs. I would not try that either because a wild fire is hard to control. Back in 2009 a nearly blind guy tried to hike a portion of the Appalachian Trail alone. He got lost on a side trail not far from a town. He set the grass on fire as a signal. He got found alright. I hope he paid all the firefighters, too. Thankfully, no homes were lost, no lives taken.

I remembered this story because the guy worked with an outfitter and could have carried a host of electronic devices to overcome his poor eyesight. I'm not saying we need to go with a partner every time, but if you have a handicap, solve it before you head out to the trail, not after words.

I'm still working on the Never Say Die book. I finished the chapter on shelters. The diagrams for igloo building was interesting. It looks like an astounding amount of work for one person. The lean to was promoted for good reason.


  1. Yogi can keep his food and I will keep mine away from him! I have heard of that book, it sounds interesting.

    Enjoyed the latest installment of your book. Finished Trail Gods last night and it flowed real well. Looking forward to you January release.

    I started From the Swamp to the Keys today, by Johnny Malloy. He uses an old coffee can also to heat up water!

  2. LOL, I agree, ain't nothing a bear has that I want enough to do battle. Now, give me a strong hunter by my side, or a decent firearm, things could be different.

    Thanks for the kind words. This next volume is much longer and more complicated, and might not be out til February. I appreciate your encouragement.