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The Hunting & Gathering Survival Manual: 221 Primitive & Wilderness Survival Skills Paperback – November 4, 2014
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About the Author
Tim MacWelch has been an active practitioner of survival and outdoor skills for over 26 years. His love of the outdoors started at a young age, growing up on a farm in the rolling hills of Virginia. Eating wild berries, fishing, and learning about the animals of the forest were all part country life. Tim became interested in survival skills and woodcraft as an offshoot of backpacking as a teen--out in remote areas, it seemed like a smart plan to learn some skills. The majority of his training over the years has involved testing survival skills and devising new ones, but the biggest leaps forward occurred as a result of teaching.
Tim's teaching experiences over the years have been rich and diverse, from spending hundreds of hours volunteering to founding his own year-round survival school 18 years ago. He has worked with Boy Scouts, youth groups, summer camps, and adults in all walks of life, as well as providing outdoor skills training for numerous personnel in law enforcement, search and rescue organizations, all branches of the United States Armed Forces, the State Department, and the Department of Justice and some of its agencies. Tim and his wilderness school have been featured on "Good Morning America " and several "National Geographic " programs, and featured in many publications including "Conde Nast Traveler ," the "Washington Post," and "American Survival Guide ."
Tim has written hundreds of pieces for "Outdoor Life " and many other publications. Tim's current and past articles can be found at survival.outdoorlife.com and you can learn more about his survival school at www.advancedsurvivaltraining.com.
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
TIP 55: SELECT YOUR TRAP
While you can build effective low-tech traps with materials you’d find in the wilderness, in some situations it just makes sense to use more modern options, such as cable snares, leghold traps, and body-grip traps to improve your odds of success. Choose from the following trap types, based on your needs and the animals in your area.
SNARES You can build primitive snares with materials gathered on-site, even weaving your own string out of bark fibers—but many animals will be able to chew through string. Cable snares made from braided steel cable are more secure.
FOOTHOLD TRAPS Common foothold traps are clamping jaws that grab an animal when it steps on the trigger. They do not kill the prey outright; the trapped animal is usually shot by the trapper.
BODY GRIP TRAPS Two heavy springs move the trap bars together, snapping the animal’s neck, breaking its back, or strangling it. They can be treacherous to set.
LIVE CATCH TRAPS The typical cage trap is a live-catch trap. This forgiving trap allows you to release animals that you didn’t intend to catch and is ideal for urban, suburban, or farm settings.
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Top Customer Reviews
“Hunting and Gathering Survival Manual” is an ambitious book. And to a certain extent it succeeds. However, it tries to cover far too much material for one book and is somewhat glib about the difficulties of the skills it covers. To Tim's credit, he does make occasional reference to needing practice, especially in fire starting. But for one book to cover the basic survival skills (shelter, water, fire, cord and food) and then move on to hunting, fishing and foraging, food storage for preppers, bee keeping, recipes for after the apocalypse, and other skills is too much. While I did not notice any factual errors, and did glean some good hints, I was put off by the extant of items covered. Tim attempts to cover both the wilderness and urban realms.
The best use of this book is to have one book you can grab and carry in case of emergency or to have light in your pack, instead of an extensive library. The individual planning to use these numerous skills had best be proficient in them having read about them and practiced them individually for long days before attempting to rely on this book. But for the trained individual, this book is probably too basic. For an inexperienced, unpracticed individual this book is too breezy and too glib. I fear it will breed over confidence in very challenging realms.
Tim's heros for whom he allows several pages each are 1) Hugo Glass and 2) the Lykov family. Both of these are very extreme examples. Hugo Glass, hero of “The Song of Hugo Glass” an epic poem by John G. Nieharadt, part of his Cycle of the West, a compilation of 5 marvelous, well done, epic poems, was severally wounded and left for dead. He managed to survive crawling for weeks across the barren South Dakota Wilderness in the early 1800's and had a little help from Native Americans. Even in poem form, the story is exciting and well worth a read. The Lykov family left home after religious persecution and lived for 40 years totally isolated in south Siberia, near the Mongolian boarder.
One star off for attempting too much in one book. Otherwise, the writing is clear and easily understood. The book is well formatted on my iPhone and easily followed. To my knowledge, the facts are correct and the skills are, while a little briefly described, well explained. Things like beekeeping and the long section on preppers food storage could be left to other books.