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How to Stay Alive in the Woods: A Complete Guide to Food, Shelter and Self-Preservation Anywhere Hardcover – November 1, 2001

4.3 out of 5 stars 135 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Rosehips, rich in vitamin C, will remedy scurvy. Poplar, red cedar, elm, and willow are preferable for friction fires. If stuck on a flat, shelterless desert, dig a shallow pit (east-west) to lie in; even a few feet can result in a 100-degree temperature change. This is the sort of information outdoor enthusiasts will find in Bradford Angier's classic guide to survival in the wilderness. Divided into four parts (sustenance, warmth, orientation, safety), How To Stay Alive in the Woods is packed with woodcraft tips and age-old tricks--and it's packable as well, so don't leave home without it. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Bradford Angier (1910 - 1997) was a wilderness survivalist and the author of numerous best-selling books on nature, survival, and living off the land.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Black Dog & Leventhal; 1 Reprint edition (November 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1579122213
  • ISBN-13: 978-1579122218
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1.2 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (135 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,787 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Although there is a good deal of information to be gained from this book, some of the information is a tad outdated. I have read through several similar books and in my opinion the US Army Survival manual as well as Wilderness Survival by Gregory Davenport does a much better job in helping a camper/hiker feel comfortable in knowing how to take care of themselves or others should the situation arise.
The initial copyright on the book is 1956; the writing style and information show their age... The discussion of wool being the best bet for cold weather seems a bit outdated. The writing style is unique and not the easiest to read. I wouldn't be comfortable if the only survival information I had were Angiers instructions and illustrations. I found that many of the other "survival" books do a much better job in explaining how to do a given task with step by step information. The illustrations leave much to be desired as I couldn't tell most of the edible plant illustrations from the poisonous ones, and I doubt I could match an illustration to an actual plant if my life depended on it...
In my opinion your best bet would be the two other books I mentioned before you considered this one...
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Format: Paperback
Angier's book, How to Stay Alive in the Woods, is a must for all outdoor people. It describes, in detail, how to overcome almost any backwoods disaster. Those who like to take overnight hikes into wilderness areas should be prepared for anything, and this book does just that; it prepares you for everything. I have spent numerous weeks at a time trekking through Alaska, Northern Canada, and the Rockies and have read many books. This is the best wilderness survival book out there.
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By Cacman on February 28, 2004
Format: Paperback
I have never had to use any of the information contained in this book in a susrvival situation but as a kid I did use the information about trapping and snares to catch rabbits in Alaska as a kid (I'm using the third printing 1966 version.) I also built snow shelters to play in. Everything I tried from this book worked.
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By A Customer on January 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
This book is primarily focused on survival in the northwestern United States and Canada. The pictures leave something to be desired, but Angier's descriptions are excellent. The book a bit dated, but for theoose looking to go back to simpler times, the lack of GPS systems and Gore-Tex may be just the thing.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book. Yes, it is a little outdated, but the ideas are just as valid today. This is written by a writer who lived off the land and knew exactly how to survive in situations that others would give up on. The fact that this was written before the GPS came around doesn't make it any less valuable a resource.

How on earth do you start a fire with only a piece of ice? Read the book! (And yes, I really don't think I could start such a fire even with the book in front of me, but it's nice to know that it is possible...)

How do you create a fish trap out of sticks? How do you create a snare? How do you find civilization if you are lost? How do you find water? What type of things do you need to bring with you on camping trips? What is safe to eat, and what is not? These types of things are all answered inside.

I've read it cover to cover several times and I believe it is the perfect type of book to give to an outdoorsman or to keep down at a cabin for a little light winter reading...

Highly Recommended!
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Format: Paperback
Having read an earlier book by Mr. Angier many years ago I looked forward to a revised and updated version of the tips offered decades ago. Unfortunately I was dissapointed. While many things have not changed in the wilderness, clothing, emergency suplies, and first aid techniques certainly have. Saying that only wool is good enough to keep one warm and to advocate the outdated use of snake bite kits and iodine are examples. I suggest that today's survivalist look for a more modern guide.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is written in a much more literate style than any of the other wilderness survival guides. With some exceptions, it reads well and is interesting and entertaining. If this were a work of fiction, I would probably give it four stars.

However, there are parts of the book that are rife with incorrect information. A verbatim example:
"Being able to identify Polaris, a.k.a the North Star, is of crucial importance in the wilderness. It is typically the brightest star visible to the human eye and can be located after discerning in the solar system the location on an easily recognizable constellation: the Big Dipper"

Passing over the less important fact that no part of the Big Dipper is in the solar system, Polaris is NOT the brightest star. Not even close. It is of middling, unimpressive brightness (and was actually slightly DIMMER in 1956 when this was first written). The falsehood of the statement in the book can be determined by anyone with normal vision who goes outside on a clear night in the Northern Hemisphere. For it to have survived in various printings and editions over the past 50+ years is egregious.

Another example: "The constellation Cassiopeia is better known to most as Orion" This absurd untruth is then compounded by an illustration of "Cassiopeia" that is distorted in shape so that it resembles Orion!!!

This makes me wonder just how many nights the author has spent out under the stars. (Perhaps I should give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he is very nearsighted? Naaah..). If someone follows the "brightest star", that is pointed to by Orion in the manner shown in the illustration, they will be following Sirius, and very definitely not going North (in the Northern Hemisphere, in any case).
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