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Comment: The item is fairly worn but continues to work perfectly. Signs of wear can include aesthetic issues such as scratches, dents, and worn corners. All pages and the cover are intact, but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text is not obscured or unreadable. Slight water damage may be present.
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Tom Brown's Field Guide to Wilderness Survival Paperback – April 15, 1987

4.2 out of 5 stars 99 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Tom Brown, Jr. began to learn hunting and tracking at the age of eight under the tutelage of an Apache elder, medicine man, and scout in Toms River, New Jersey, and is the author of 16 books on nature. Recently, he was the technical advisor on The Hunted, a major motion picture starring Tommy Lee Jones and Benecio Del Toro.   In 1978, Tom founded the Tracker School in the New Jersey Pine Barrens where he offers more than 25 classes about wilderness survival and environmental protection.
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Product Details

  • Series: Field Guide (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley; Reissue edition (April 15, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425105725
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425105726
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (99 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,968 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By A Customer on January 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
Tom Brown is a charismatic, inspiring story teller...one of the best. But if you are interested in learning these skills, you'd be much better off with McPherson's "Naked into the Wilderness" or "Bushcraft" by Mors Kochanski or Larry Dean Olsen's "Outdoor Survival Skills". For hide tanning (brain tanning) check out "Deerskins into Buckskins" by Matt Richards, tracking try "Mammal Tracking in North America" by James Halfpenny. Just about any edible plant guide will out do this book.
Tom has inspired more people's interest in wilderness living/survival, and for that he deserves kudos. His most inspirational reading is "The Tracker". Get it and it will change your life. But if you want to actually learn the skills, you're better off elsewhere.
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By A Customer on January 11, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have read most of Tom's books, some of them repeatedly, and attended two of his survival classes. My experience says that Tom is an unusual person, who writes unusual books, based on his unusual life. Tom told us in one class that he estimates that from the time he met Stalking Wolf up through high school age, he spent an average of 40 hours a week in the woods. In his classes and books he attempts to teach not only specific skills but also a way of life, attitudes, and as much as he can of actual experience rather than descriptions ABOUT experiences. This is a tall order for any teacher.
This book is about skills which Tom has used to live year round and in all sorts of weather from Canada to Death Valley, wilderness to the heart of New York City. They do work. However, keep in mind that it is impossible to teach skills - actual experience - through a book. And keep in mind that Tom was taught, and teaches himself, in a manner which expects the student to question, investigate, experiment, discover, and learn on h/is/er own. He would consider anything else a cheap way of cheating the student. If you can approach the contents of this book, and his others, in this spirit, you will have enough here to learn from for many years.
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By A Customer on September 27, 1998
Format: Paperback
I've read all of Tom's books, and he is one awesome story-teller, but when it comes to teaching hands-on skills...well he's really just ok. I've been teaching primitive wilderness living skills for years, and there are quite a few topics in this book that his treatment and understanding of, are less than satisfactory.
Get Tom's book The Tracker from amazon.com, to experience him at his best. For better survival skills info get Primitive Wilderness Living by John McPherson, or Outdoor Survival Skills by Larry Dean Olsen.
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Format: Paperback
I read this book before moving to Va and living alone in the woods for 5 years. I also have the US Army Survival Handbook. Tom Brown's Field Guide is far superior to the US Army version.
I practiced many of these pages again and again in the woods of Va. I am going to check out the other books recommended above but I have to say this is a great book. The drawings are great. A few of the figure 4 traps are hard to understand but the rest of the traps are well drawn and and easy to understand.
Again this book is far superior to the US Army version. They should just use this book instead.
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Format: Paperback
This wonderful book, which teaches you to live in harmony with the earth, and not in a struggle with it, is packed full with invaluable information. This book has taught me to survive without the aid of any commercialy avaiable products. Once you read this book you will feel at home in any wilderness setting.
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By A Customer on March 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book is one of the most in depth wilderness survival books you will find anywhere. The book give s broad spectram of of survival info. You will learn about shelters, edible plants and herbs, animal snares, and the basics of tracking and camouflage. this book holds alot of information, and no matter how many books I have on survival and tracking, I still relate back to it often.
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Format: Paperback
Let me start by saying I love all of Tom Brown's books! He writes just the way he wants,its the American way. The survival information within this book is great, if not for a little time consuming to retrieve. Outdoor Survival Skills by Larry D.Olsen is more to the point,better yet, get yourself a copy of all of "The Woodsmaster" videos by Dr.Ron Hood. I could not figure out how to do my bow-drill fires all these years untill I got them. Ron Hood presents survival info with a sense of humor and a grain of salt.I wish he was my uncle. .....Back to Tom Brown Jr.s Book.While I complain about the books content and arrangement, let me also say the book is a "must have" because I have found that it does take information presented by different people to sink into numbskulls like myself,and others. On 4-2-99 made my first bow-drill fire!ooooo-baby! Peace and God Speed to all.
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Format: Paperback
Our most basic needs are food, water, and shelter. Tom Brown's Field Guide to Wilderness Survival addresses how to acquire these needful items in a wilderness setting with few or no tools.

While the book introduces the reader to a wide range of information on survival skills, I found it often confusing and incomplete. For example, the chapter on edible plants has only pen and ink drawings of the plants (all pictures are pen and ink illustrations by Heather Bolyn). I would not feel comfortable relying on those for plant identification, so I skipped that whole section.

As another example, Brown describes how to build a solar still to extract water from the air. You just need a sheet of plastic, surgical tubing, a container to catch the water, a rock, and a huge hole. But nowhere in the book does Brown explain how I can make a suitable "shovel" to dig a 4 foot wide and 3 foot deep hole every three or four days. I'm supposed to use a "digging stick." I can't help but wonder how much body water I would lose digging such a pit.

Subjects covered in this book are:

* The importance of a positive attitude
* How to build various shelters
* How to find and treat water to avoid contamination
* How to build and maintain a fire
* Edible plants and how to prepare them
* How to hunt, stalk, trap, skin, and clean animals
* How to cook and preserve food
* Tools you can make and helpful crafting skills to develop

The book is peppered with wisdom from an Apache scout and medicine man named Stalking Wolf who taught these skills to the young Brown. (Actually, Stalking Wolf usually lets Brown do something wrong, chuckles and chides, and then provides correction, both physical and spiritual.
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