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Tools for Survival: What You Need to Survive When Youre on Your Own Paperback – December 30, 2014
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“An amazingly gifted author.”—Brad Thor, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Foreign Agent and Code of Conduct
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“Meticulously researched with a wealth of local and technical details.”—Formilog
About the Author
James Wesley, Rawles is the founder of SurvivalBlog.com. A former U.S. Army Intelligence officer and technical writer, he is the author of the novels Patriots, Expatriates, and Liberators, as well as of the nonfiction guides How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It and Tools for Survival. He lives in an undisclosed location west of the Rockies.
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Top customer reviews
The topics of the chapters were good, and did present ideas that I had not considered. One of the unfortunate side effects of mentioning specific gear is that it makes that item exceedingly, and suddenly, very scare. As an example, there is a specific model industrial sewing machine mentioned in one of the articles/chapters. A quick search on auction sites for that particular model returns very few results, and the ones that are shown are outrageously priced. Perhaps not the book's fault directly, but the situation is certainly being affected by the book's wide distribution.
While the book did contain some photos, they were generally not very helpful. There were photos of many common items, such as a claw hammer, but some of the more obscure tools mentioned were not pictured. Those would have been much more useful. Many appeared somewhat washed out, likely a result of the printing process and choice of an extremely light weight, non-coated paper. I am a gentle reader, but some of the tissue-paper-thin pages tore. In this case, the quality of the printing and paper does affect long-term usefulness of the book, which is why I have considered it in this review.
In this book Rawles goes over each major grouping of tools in short form. It isn't meant to be an in depth study of any of the area covered. For example, the archery section is roughly 13 pages long and covers what is known as "traditional archery" (basically, long and recurve bows). He covers very basic information on bows, arrows and how to use them. And here is one of the problems: outside resource materials are relegated to a relatively undifferentiated lump in an appendix. They aren't organized by chapter or subject, but by who suggested them. They would be far more helpful if attached in a paragraph or two at the end of each chapter. especially since chapters in this book can be read individually as needed.
In another area, covering hand tools, Rawles makes a mistake that simply has me scratching my head. When saying, "You should have one of these", rather than giving the reader a manufacturer and a model number so we can find it ourselves no matter when we read the book, he relies on the SnipURL service, which is an ephemeral Internet-based URL shortening service. I've just checked over a dozen of the included URLs, and the majority are now defunct. The reader is now in the position of knowing that they need spare 120 VAC duplex outlets (for instance), but not knowing which ones the author suggests or why.
These two issues combined they make the book less useful than it should be. For someone like me, who has some skills in every area the book addresses, this isn't an insurmountable problem. But for someone new to preparedness or someone who lacks skills in a given area, these problems will render the book far less useful than it should be. Rawles should address both issues in a future edition.