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SAS Survival Handbook: How to Survive in the WIld, in Any Climate, on Land or at Sea Paperback – March 2, 2004


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Collins (March 2, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060578793
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060578794
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.3 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (163 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #76,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

Collins Gems are smartly designed pocket reference guides, providing knowledge at a glance on a wide variety of popular and timely topics. Packed with color photos and illustrations, and sporting durable flexi–bindings, these unique quick–reference books offer the minimum in size and the maximum in useful information. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

John 'Lofty' Wiseman served in the British Special Air Service (SAS) for twenty-six years. The SAS Survival Handbook is based on the training techniques of this world-famous elite fighting force.


More About the Author

John 'Lofty' Wiseman served for 26 years with the Special Air Service and was their Chief Survival Instructor. He remains the foremost authority on SAS training techniques for civilians.

Customer Reviews

This book has everything you would ever need to know.
Edward L. Adams V
This book provides great information that can be applied to any situation not just a survival situation.
I. Lewis
This book is extremely well written with easy to understand illustrations and excellent organization.
Wayne A. Smith

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

350 of 356 people found the following review helpful By Harold McFarland HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on June 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
The "SAS Survival Handbook" is the most comprehensive survival handbook I have ever seen. Most books have some basic advice (the importance of the correct mental attitude, finding water and shelter, etc.), a handful of edible plants, and a couple of ways to start a fire. While this book covers all those areas, it also has sections on camp craft, determining directions, rescue signals, dealing with different climates and terrains, reading clouds for weather prediction, and many others. A good example of the thoroughness of the coverage would be the food section. It covers your energy needs and how they are met from various foods, testing unknown plants in desperate situations, plants to avoid, identification of plants, using animals for food, extensive and detailed trapping mechanisms, fishing, gutting and cleaning, and other advice. The number, types, and detail on the various traps are amazing. I've never seen so many different designs. It includes several that I have not seen anywhere else before. I would consider this the authoritative text on survival skills in the wild and give it the highest recommendation for anyone interested in survival techniques.
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103 of 105 people found the following review helpful By Wayne A. Smith VINE VOICE on March 27, 2006
Format: Paperback
I'll probably never be trapped behind enemy lives and dependent upon catching small mammals and selecting local edible plants for survival, but its nice to have a nifty, easy-to-carry guide just in case.

Wiseman's SAS Survival handbook is an excellent companion for hikers, campers and into-the-wilderness junkies. This book is extremely well written with easy to understand illustrations and excellent organization. There are color plates for easy identification of plants and animals to eat/avoid/use-as-medicine. This book has it all, or at least all I can think of. There are sections on camping, hiking, supplies, compass skills, shelter making, first aid, transport, catching and preparing animals and locating local edible foods, tool making, fishing, hunting, knot tying, general survival in different climates and environments and more.

The best part of this book is by far its terrific approachability. It is written for the layman and is very easy to understand. Either as an outdoor accomplice or a handy at home preparedness guide, this is a book to get and know.
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185 of 203 people found the following review helpful By Justin Coleman on May 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
This is truly an important book for everyone to read at least once in their life. Given, most people will never end up in a situation where skills described in the SAS Survival Book will be required, but don't be cocky...learn the skills from this book and rest easy knowing that you have the background knowledge to make it in the outdoors without modern conveniences. This book covers it all -forest, desert, ocean, island, artic/arctic, mountain, tropical, temperate- you name it, this book will get through the hard times with no problem. This book HAS saved lives in the past, but many have also died in unexpected situations where the knowledge found in these pages could have saved them. I don't think anyone wants to end up classified in the latter. Get the SAS Survival Guide and read up. Someday you may look back at purchasing this book and realize it was the most important decision you ever made in your life!
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66 of 70 people found the following review helpful By Dudley M. Driscoll on April 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
Wiseman's venerable SAS Survival Handbook has been around for over 20 years at this point & keeps getting reprinted regularly. Yet every time I look at a copy, it seems to be an exact reprint of the original - same diagrams, same chapters, and (sadly) the same errors.
Wiseman tries to write a comprehensive, world-wide, all-season survival manual & he's successful to a degree. Realistically, given the difficulty of effectively covering all the topics adequately, we should stop trying to buy/write/publish such comprehensive 'encyclopedias' & focus on excellent regional manuals.

As an outdoor survival instructor in western Canada I've always recommended my students get the small pocket editions as a worthwhile addition to their library - but that was after I'd pointed out some of the glaring weaknesses in this book such as:

1) In trying to be a do-all book, Wiseman (and other authors in other books) winds up mentioning a plethora of survival skills, but with the more primitive skills he gives such a cursory overview that I believe no novice reader could ever successfully implement such techniques in their backyard, let alone in a survival emergency. Specifically, sections such as bow-drill fire making, making bows & arrows, and making stone tools are all about one column (half page) in length. No one without previous experience is going to have any success with those techniques nor are those already competent going to learn anything new.

2) The ridiculous spear thrower (atlatl) design that has graced every edition of this book is completely inefficient & not found anywhere in the world wide archeological record of spear-thrower designs.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Barrett on July 25, 2006
Format: Paperback
I just finished writing a review of "The Complete Wilderness Training Book" and had recommended Lofty Wiseman's book, but then I realized that I hadn't reviewed that book. Since it is one of my favorite books on the subject, let me now correct that oversight.
I just counted the outdoor skills books in my personal library-138. About half deal with survival. Lofty Wiseman's book is the best general survival book I've found. Being the survival instructor for the SAS is serious cred. SpecOps soldiers, along with military pilots and professional explorers, are right at the top of the list of people who are very likely to need advanced survival skills. This book is extremely down to earth and realistic. A broad range of subjects covered here, and plenty of detail on each subject. If I had to go and live off the land with only 5 minutes' notice, this is the book I'd grab if I had to choose just one.
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