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Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills, Third Edition Hardcover – April 17, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
"Back to Basics" is a colorful, easy-to-understand encyclopedia of basic skills. There are hundreds of color photos, and most lessons are laid out step-by-step, making the concepts very easy to learn. The book is divided into six basic parts:
I. Land: Buying It - Building on it (how to choose land, build a home, develop a water supply, create a sauna, etc)
II. Energy from Wood, Water, Wind, and Sun (making your home more efficient, how to use wind energy, setting up a solar-powered house, etc)
III. Raising Your Own Vegetables, Fruit, and Livestock (how to properly grow all sorts of fruits, vegetables, and grains, how to farm fish, beekeeping, butchering an animal, etc)
IV. Enjoying Your Harvest Year Round (canning, preserving all kinds of foods, making cheese and wine, etc)
V. Skills and Crafts for House and Homestead (making natural dyes, weaving, woodworking, stenciling, soapmaking, making homemade perfumes, etc)
VI.Read more ›
I have lived in the foothills of rural Appalachia for 55 years and have been involved in carrying out nearly all the construction, activities, arts, and crafts found within this text. Some of the text, (along with the accompanying drawings and photos), is quite good. The information is solid and one can get started along the right track; however, the work goes astray (the publishers sort of "threw in the kitchen sink"), into areas which are not particularly relevant to traditional country living. The editors simply went too far afield when they got into topics such as "Winter Sports," "Kayaking and Rafting," "Foraging for Flour and Emergency Rations," and so on. Most of these subjects are tagged on at the end, I felt just to make the book longer, (it's plenty long enough at 456 pages!)
Additionally, on topics such as "Emergency First Aid," "Fly Fishing" (and fish identification), and "Recipes," there are obligatory sections, none of which are all that useful since these are subjects, any one of which could fill volumes. Had these areas of specific interest been omitted, the more appropriate topics could have been somewhat expanded, such as "Barn Building" or "Preserving Meat and Fish".
While there is quite a great deal of quality information in this Skyhorse Publishing Third Edition (2008) for those seeking a new or improved life in the rural countryside, I still feel that the editors strayed off-base to the point that I cannot heartily recommend the work.
At the end of the movie adaptation of H.G.Wells classic "The Time Machine", the main character escapes to the future where humanity has forgotten all basic knowledge and skills. The friends that he leaves behind discover that he has taken only three books with him, and we're left to wonderingly consider which three - and which three we might bring. This book would be one of my three. After all, what culture could survive long without beer, smoked meats, cheese and wine?
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The simplicity of this book is great. If you want to get back to the basics of living a must have resource.Published 1 month ago by Beth A. Gantt
I love this book. It has great information. How to decide if they land you're looking at is right for your needs. How to build a shelter. Read morePublished 1 month ago by D.B.
This is a great reference for homesteading and going back to the land. I can look for anything from buying a wood burning stove to making a great homemade pie. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Eruditioner
This is a true encyclopedia for the homesteader. I spent 10 years as a home designer and builder and I still learned a lot about building. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Herbert A. Wade
This book is one of the best in my homestead/prepper library. It really does give a thorough guide to all the basics and explains them in a way that the average person could... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Ghostbuster