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Showing 1-10 of 2,751 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 3,138 reviews
on November 3, 2015
With a good editor, this could be a good book.

But as is, it covers too many topics, from how to deal with computer viruses (keep your software updated, use an anti-virus program) to warnings about scurvy ('always aim for a balanced diet'). There are pages devoted to wood-boring insects. There's an illustration of a Corgi.

Worse, the book is shallow in its investigation of useful options. For emergency winter survival, it's odd to recommend an igloo (slow to make, hard to construct without a snow saw, and tough to complete in poor conditions) but to omit mention of a snow trench (fast, easy, and warm enough to shelter me on many trips), or even a snow-cave, a simple compromise.

And the information shared has no filter. A beginner has no way of parsing the laundry-list of knots to prioritize a square knot (essential) over a Killick hitch (easily replaced by more versatile alternatives); there's no mention at all of how to make an improvised harness, despite several sections on emergency climbing and rappelling. In the section in explosions, Wiseman advises ways to safely exit a building before the spread of fire, but then says 'If you are caught in an explosion in a building, then stay there until safe to do so' [sic], without further explanation.

Finally, it's unreliable. There are pure factual errors (people cannot survive 12 days without water, even in cool temperatures) and frequent mixing of good and poor advice (crossing a river in a group one behind the other is terrible, exposing each to the full force of the water, while crossing in a line facing downstream, with arms interwoven, is universally recommended).

I don't write many reviews, and even fewer poor reviews - why disparage something others enjoyed? But this is meant to be a practical book, and it sets the bar too low. Pare it down and keep the information accurate. At half the length this could be twice as valuable.

Here are links to better books on the areas discussed. I know too little about bushcraft and trapping to recommend one there - any suggestions appreciated.

For rope, climbing, and mountaineering skills,
Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills, 8th Edition

If you just want information on snow caves (another better alternative to an igloo), Ernest Wilkinson's slim book is out-of-print but easy to find:
Snow Caves for Fun and Survival

For glacier travel, crevasse rescue, and high-angle rescue in general, Andy Selter's book is remarkably efficient. A few pages go a long way on each topic:
Glacier Travel & Crevasse Rescue: Reading Glaciers, Team Travel, Crevasse Rescue Techniques, Routefinding, Expedition Skills 2nd Edition

For emergency wilderness medicine, Eric Weiss' books are the most popular, and they're fine. But I prefer Buck Tilton's, in part because I did my Wilderness EMT training with him, but also for their concise explanations. Here's his most comprehensive:
Wilderness First Responder: How To Recognize, Treat, And Prevent Emergencies In The Backcountry
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on February 15, 2016
If you are like me you want to have solid survival and bushcraft knowledge on you when you go hiking. I know some basics but if a real situation happened there is no way I would what to do beyond try to build a fire. The full-size SA Survival Handbook is incredible, but it is a large book and pretty heavy for a day hike pack. To my delight, there is a "pocket guide", or a small guide that will fit nicely into your pack. Sure you can get information on your phone, but phones die, service can be spotty or gone. This is a nice piece of confidence to carry with you!

I would certainly recommend​ this book as a daily hiking carry!
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on May 10, 2016
I ordered this SAS Survival Guide, because my brother told me this was one of the best ones to get. He has one for is backpack. I ordered mine and my fiancee's for our go bags. This is a nice book to have in case of an emergency. This book would be great for hiking, fishing, hunting, camping or backpacking also, so that if you got lost, run out of food or wanted to stay longer, it can show you what you can and cannot eat and other different tricks to stay outside in any climate condition. This book is very handy, it is small and easy to store in you backpack, it barley takes up any room.

This book has many different helpful tips like how to build a fire, how to build shelter, how to build weapons to find food or protect yourself and many more things. It even has pictures of the different plants and berries you can and cannot eat and things that you should stay away from. It has pictures of ways to tie knots and build shelter also. I am very impressed with this book I just skimmed through my brothers book but now that I have my own I have got to learn more about it. I liked it so much I ordered 2! I would highly recommend this to anyone, because it is very helpful!
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on February 26, 2015
This might look like a small book. But in fact is the best survival, bushcraft and camping book available. I have the larger Survival Handbook 3rd Ed. as well as the Romanian version, and these books are must have for everyone. Highly recommended!
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on September 14, 2016
A must have survival guide, super handy and very easy to find what you need in a hurry. This covers the whole gambit including how to prepare or deal with whatever climate you happen to be surviving in which is one step further than all of my other guides have taken it. It also covers meals and has great advice on not starving and how to keep from poisoning yourself. I've read through it once, employed the tactics twice and I've only had it for two weeks so far. This should more than pay for itself! Also it's affordable compared to some of the other guides at the same size. (Which do NOT include climate advice and prep). I will admit the book is smaller than I expected but quickly realized it fit perfectly in my day pack pocket, it's like it was sized like that on purpose.
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on October 17, 2016
I have this unbelievable resource on my digital devices but it's nice to know there's a print version available for quick reference whenever I need it. I've always wanted the original book but it was just way too big and heavy so I was very pleased to find this ultralight, pocket sized reference that is jam packed with useful information. Just be aware that the type font is very small but it isn't too small that most folks under 40 years old could probably read it no problem. Otherwise, pack along a pair of reading glasses or magnifying lenses. Awesome resource!!
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on December 30, 2016
Awesome pocket sized survival guide to give you the basic know-how of staying alive. Great pictures to explain everything too. I would say the knowledge in this book is pretty extensive for it being an unspecified region and climate type. Usually when you get a survival book, it's based on where you are taking a trip or where you live, but after reading through it, I've found TONS of very practical knowledge that would be applicable from the Grand Canyon to Yosemite. Great book to keep with you in your pack or edc bag. The author has clearly mastered the art of survival and put together a very thorough generalized compilation of all your essential needs.
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on September 23, 2016
Nice guide, seems to cover quite a bit of ground on lots of survival topics, and also seems quite practical and to the point as opposed to philosophical or purely "prepper" oriented. Feels like it aims a "just enough" information about a wide variety of topics, enough to get you by, and not exhaustively detailed. It does have pictures, some of them B&W drawings and others colored and detailed (e.g. plants to avoid or eat, so you don't get them confused!).

Great thing about this book, and the reason I got it in the first place, is it is small, easily stowable in a small bag or backpack or in a glove box. It is part of the "Collins gem" series of miniature books. If you have poor vision, you might want to get a smal Fresnel lends bookmark to keep in this just in case. This is not to say this book is short - it has a lot of pages (384) - but the pages and font are shrunk down to an easily portable size, particularly useful if you actually have a situation where you need to carry it with you. Fits in the palm of your hand. Roughly 4.5"x3.25"x.8".

If you spring for the 3rd edition of this book, it is NOT a "Collins gem", and actually is quite large, like the oversize paperback novels you find at Costco, and probably at least twice the dimensions of the 2nd edition. I did pick up the 3rd edition as well, partly because it is easier to read (yeah, I plan to read it for fun instead of waiting until I'm dehydrated and bleeding in the desert with mutant raiders chasing me while I fend off bears and mosquitoes in the middle of an earthquake ;-) but also because it has 200 extra pages about natural disasters and urban survival.

I suspect I will purchase a couple more of the 2nd edition gems, one for each car and and keep this one in the backpacking/camping gear. BTW, I picked this book based on a reading a comparison of various guides in a magazine. They reviewed like 10 of them, and this one was one of the top two IIRC. Cheers, and happy surviving!
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on December 21, 2014
Many topics are discussed but without much depth despite the length of the book. The author is British and uses some colloquial terms. I am still looking for more of "how to" book to have as a reference in case of need.
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on June 21, 2015
Has a ton of info in a compact book. Easy to chunk this in a bag before a hike or going camping. I've not needed any of the emergency things yet, but it's good to have just in case. Do I already know what poison ivy looks like? Sure, but I don't know other parts. Also, everyone in your party may not know anything at all. It is rather small, so if you have a hard time reading small to regular print, this is not for you. I skimmed through it quickly, and then it was stolen by my 8 year old and he studies it everywhere we go. Good price, takes up little room in your bag, may save a life. It would also be good to have a copy in the glove box especially if the driver is young or not experienced with the outdoors. You never know when something will happen.
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