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Outdoor Survival Skills Paperback – November 1, 1997


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Outdoor Survival Skills + A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and central North America (Peterson Field Guides) + SAS Survival Guide 2E (Collins Gem): For any climate, for any situation
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Chicago Review Press; Sixth Edition, Sixth edition edition (November 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1556523238
  • ISBN-13: 978-1556523236
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,246 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

I highly recommend this book to anyone wanting to go camping or learn to survive in the wilderness.
Wendy Killinger
I was able to learn even the most difficult skill in the book by simply reading and doing, never having seen them performed (long before the days of YouTube).
Christine H Dewey
This book is a classic, having come out originally in 1967 (my copy is the 30th anniversary edition from 1997).
Amazon Customer

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

77 of 80 people found the following review helpful By Justin Coleman on February 10, 2000
Format: Paperback
Personally, I thought the book was rather good. Some of the ideas this book provides are so simple and effective that you are amazed that you never thought of it before. The person who wrote it clearly has much experience in living in the woods with nothing, though. I didn't find many of the explanations to complete or clear enough. In addition, I live in Connecticut. The author really focuses on surviving in the desert and similar areas. This would make sense, as he was born in the Southwest, but for people like myself, this applies very little to the completely different woodland terrain.
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51 of 57 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Dow on July 25, 2003
Format: Paperback
I have read many survival books including: Wilderness Survival; the October 1970 edition of the Army Feild Manual; Living off the Country;Tom Brown's Feild Guide to Wilderness Survival;and this one as well as many others. Aside from Tom Brown's feild guide, this book is definately one of the best I have read. I would rate Tom Brown's feild guide higher than this one, but the two together make a great pair. Both cover topics such as the four great needs: shelter, water, fire, and food, as well as weapons, edible plants and animals et cetera, but they both explain different techniques and different ways of doing the above mentioned topics. The back of this book has color photos of many plants that are edible.
I strongly reccommend buying both books, they are very similar yet you can learn more from both than you can from just one.
If you don't wan't both then I reccommend Tom Brown's Guide. Either way you go, try to use your library and the internet in conjunction with the books.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 7, 2000
Format: Paperback
All the chapters were difinitely helpful. The colorplate of plants in the back stated what you could use each plant for. However, when it mentioned if a plant was medicinal or not, it didn't give you any info on how they where medicinal or what they could do or how to use them. Overall a Very informative book about surviving in the wilderness.
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24 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 29, 2006
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is still used and recommended by the Boulder Outdoor Survival School, possibly the most reputable school in the business. Larry Dean Olsen, the author, is a guru in the field, and quite an amusing writer as well. This book is a classic, having come out originally in 1967 (my copy is the 30th anniversary edition from 1997). This is not a book for weekend backpackers, it is a text for those who want to explore and preserve true primitive survival skills - living off the land, friction fires, etc. If that is what you are looking for, this book is a great choice.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 9, 2000
Format: Paperback
I was very impressed when I read this book. It has great sections on fire, water, shelter, etc. On the other hand, this is not a book for those people who are on the go unless they have mastered the art of survival to the point where they already know how to efficiently gather food and water. On the other hand, if someone does not have the intention of going anywhere and is just waiting to be found, I would be surprised if there was a better book on the market, as this lacks a section on navigation. Also, do not expect to go out in the woods and be able to do everything in this book on the first try, because no book can tell you how to do that. Experience must teach that.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Vaughn Terpack: jterpack@greenwood.net on January 19, 1998
Format: Paperback
Years ago, long before I became an outdoors columnist/writer, I read Outdoor Survival Skills on a lark. To say that it changed my life would be an understatement; it showed me the road my life would take.
In one small book, Larry started a movement that did what the hippies couldn't do. It showed people how to truly use the natural resources that surround us all, from how to tan hides and make snares to weaving tree bark and building shelters. Best of all, it shows us how to do all of these things without spending a dime--as it was done in days gone by.
As a teacher, Larry is the best and the rest of us owe what we have to him. If you have any interest in how things were done before there was a Wal-Mart at every corner, get this book! I cannot say enough about it.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By DOC on October 9, 2004
Format: Paperback
On reading some of the foregoing reviews, I can't believe we're talking about the same book. I received my first copy of Outdoor Survival Skills in the late 60's and it was the first of the best. There have been many excellent survival/primitive living skill authors since - Tom Brown Jr., John McPherson, Richard Jamison, Kochanski, Mears, Graves, Janowski, more recently, Cody Lundin, and the list goes on. By the way, the reason it was my first copy, was because I lent it to someone, who I guess, appreciated it as much as I did, so I never saw it again.
Even though the first edition came out sometime in the late 60's
the information is just as thorough, valuable, and accurate as it was then. Anybody that does not find this book so, should stick to outdoor writer's like Cliff Jacobson, who it appears, believes the only reason to carry a knife in the outdoors is to spread peanut butter.
Well done, Mr. Olsen, I thank you.
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16 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Clayton O. Hall on January 21, 1999
Format: Paperback
An interesting book on how to live in the wilderness, but the book does not place enough emphasis on the survival mentality. For instance, the sections on fire and water, which echo information that can be found in any respectable survival manual, are very useful, while the sections on shelter and food contain methods which are too elaborate and time/energy consuming to be useful to anyone in an actual survival situation. The book also lacks any information on the main goal of survival: GETTING OUT ALIVE. A section on signaling and navigation would really improve the book's value as a survival text.
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