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The Complete Wilderness Training Book Hardcover – March 15, 1994

4.2 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Whether the reader intends to walk through the rain forest or merely contemplate doing so, McManners' effort is a treat. Color photos and drawings clarify and embellish the text's points about where to look for drinking water in various wild locales, how to use invertebrates as food, etc. (The cooking section, with its instructions on such culinary endeavors as constructing a tepee smoker for preparing meats, might prove a suitable source of projects for casual campers and scout troops.) What's more, and more entertaining, the British import is more international in scope than some similar American works. McManners considers survival not only in familiar outdoor environments but also in such extreme places as serious deserts and jungles. Nor does he focus only on land survival, for there are sections on abandoning ship and surviving at sea during extreme weather. So although it has plenty in its rich store of information and advice for the weekend camper and nature lover, the book is fit reading for the hardcore survivalist as well. Meanwhile, the merely curious will revel in the lovely pictures. Mike Tribby

Review

Whether the reader intends to walk through the rain forest or merely contemplates doing so McManners' effort is a treat.... -- Booklist --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: DK ADULT (March 15, 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1564584887
  • ISBN-13: 978-1564584885
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 0.7 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #913,503 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Born in Oxford, raised in Australia, trained by the British Army, educated at Oxford University, after 13 years with Commando Forces (out of an 18-year military career), writes books and lives in central Oxford, as Director of the neuroscience medical research foundation "The Scars of War".

"My happiest times were with the elite 148 Commando Observation Battery where I enjoyed five very happy years at Royal Marines Poole. The apogee of my military career was the Falklands War of 1982, in which we fought with the Special Boat Squadron.

"I also really liked Australia, so at the age of 13, it was a nightmare coming back to grey, dismal UK, where sounding like Crocodile Dundee's nightmare nephew, I had to learn Latin from scratch in a class that was already reading Horace (or some such thing that was a great mystery to me).

"But after then attending one of the UK's first comprehensive schools - as a guinea pig in the great 'Leicestershire Plan', there was no choice but to join the Army.

"The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst was a severe culture shock. But after a couple of very happy years in a commando unit, three years at Oxford University reading geography and doing boxing (note the verbs) were both antidote and stimulus to further military adventures.

'At 148 Battery we worked with the SBS, plus I ran the British Army's central Americans jungle warfare training school. I was an Army Diving Supervisor, and ran our small amphibious ops group, and FO1 - Forward Observation team one.

"But everything thereafter was a decline - gently... into Staff College Camberley, MoD staff appointments and a rather jolly final few years commanding an artillery gun battery: in Northern Ireland, Thorney Island, and beside a lake with ducks in northern Germany.

"Since then, I've produced television documentaries, spent five interesting years ad the Sunday Time's defence correspondent, whilst writing the sort of books Amazon so efficiently sells under my name on this site.

"I live in central Oxford, and have two astonishingly musical sons - one now in the Army, a cavalry captain on the brink of becoming a commando - and as is the plan, joining 148 Battery."

More information, blogs and various guides to the Army, survival and other related subjects maybe found at http://www.hughmcmanners.com/books/falklands-commando/

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is a very readable and enjoyable book, but I found it lacking in some respects. It presents some very good information. Its organization is readable, though not always as logical as it could be; often the captions repeat information found in the main text. Lack of space prevents the book from having large databases of edible plants, venomous animals, etc., so it only displays photos of a few; this seems rather random and unhelpful, especially since edible plants really should be identified by more than the memory of a single photograph. A better method would be to have smaller, more precise illustrations and descriptions of each plant, focusing on those that are commonest, most easily identifiable, and best sources of bulk food. (By the way, I have reason to believe that the book's description of the mock strawberry, or _Duchesnea_, as a deathly poisonous berry is an incorrect piece of folklore; _Duchesnea_ isn't even the complete species name.) Sometimes the book just wastes space on insignificant topics -- like mushrooms, which are a bit dangerous and not of great nutritional value; how to make a Jell-O dessert out of carrageen seaweed (really!); and various animals and their survival adaptions. Occasionally I disagree with the author's chosen method of doing something, or happen to know that there are other ways he doesn't mention. (He could have included the debris hut in his section on shelter, and shown specifically how to twist fibers into cord.) The photos and illustrations are excellent, but sometimes show more than they need to.
I've spent a lot of space complaining about the book's shortcomings, but let me add that when I first got this book, towards the beginning of my interest in survival, I thoroughly enjoyed paging through it and learned quite a bit. It's good for beginners, who will be able to browse the book open-mindedly and learn many survival tips at their leisure.
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Format: Paperback
You'll notice that other reviewers have described this book as a "good introduction" and I think that's probably an apt description. Yes, there are nice color photgraphs and drawings. The author's described background would indicate that he's qualified to comment at length on the subject. The editorial review states that the book is more international in scope, describing wilderness techniques in foreign lands. It's true that the book talks about survival on other continents, but I have to say that its treatment of those hostile (and likely even more unfamiliar to most of the book's readers)environments is more superficial than its treatment of general survival techniques. What this book does is give a very broad overview of the serious subject of survival. To be well learned and therefore genuinely useful, such techniques require in-depth, detailed study. This book, however, is sort of a coffee table book of survival. I am tempted to say that it is a survival book for people who might rather fantasize about wilderness ventures than actually go on them. I won't go so far as to say that it is a useless book; there is a fair bit of good information in it. But if I were to compile a list of survival books that I've read..which would number closer to 100 than 50...I would put this one near the bottom. It is most useful as a supplement to an established survival library. If you're looking for a good first book on survival I would recommend Wiseman's SAS Survival. I would also advise any novice contemplating a trip into remote areas to find a text dealing specifically with that environment, and to first get REAL experience with a seasoned group of outdoorsmen.
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Format: Hardcover
This book is very good in that it shows exactly how to survive in the wild with illustrations, not just words. In fact, the book is full of illustrations covering everything from lashing to building shelters to catching fish--and more, showing exactly how it's done with illustrations and photographs along the way.
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Format: Paperback
Gives the reader a good place to start. This book is loaded with illustrations and pictures giving a broad range of topics to the reader. I would suggest reading in more detail and study of Wilderness Survival/Training with other books before venturing out into the vast remote wilderness areas. I still find myself reviewing the book periodically. It is a keeper.
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Format: Paperback
This is the best survival handbook for quick referance. If you want to take 5 minutes trying to look up one paragragh, The U.S. Army survival handbook is for you. Otherwise, this is an excellent training book. I plan to try to live in the woods for about a couple months. This really helped me prepare. I already tried when I was young. But I came back crying after a week and a half. Now I plan to stay longer, beacause of this.
This book includes all the basics of survival. I'm sure there are more detailed ones, but they don't have the basics. This is not really good for a reading book, but it is good for reaserch, as well as training. If you want a good book to live off of the land,this is for you.
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By A Customer on December 20, 2001
Format: Paperback
The version I bought has a different book title, which is name 'Hugh McManners Outdoor Survival Guide'. I found the book title is misleading, since the content of the book is not much about 'survival'. The recent book title is much better. This is not a manual,I recommend it to all wilderness training beginner.
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