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Tools for Survival: What You Need to Survive When You’re on Your Own Paperback – December 30, 2014

4.3 out of 5 stars 128 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for James Wesley, Rawles:

“An amazingly gifted author.”

—Brad Thor, #1 New York Times bestselling author
 

“Well-written and informative, and speaks with an honesty and bluntness often missing from the policy prognotications of the political elite.”

The New American
 

“Meticulously researched with a wealth of local and technical details.”

—Formilog

About the Author

James Wesley, Rawles, lives in an undisclosed location west of the Rockies.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Plume (December 30, 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452298121
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452298125
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (128 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #60,707 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Anthony G. Picciano on January 7, 2015
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a big fan of Mr. Rawles other non-fiction and fiction works, I was disappointed that this latest book did not measure up to his previous standards. Much of the book is copied and pasted articles that readers have submitted to his blog. Whole chapters were mostly comprised of this recycled content. Much of the book simply referenced online resources by way of shortened URLs. One of the reasons I purchased the book was to have a hard copy reference book, but with so much of the important content sitting behind generic URLs, this was not the result. I feel the book could have benefitted from another round of editing, where the blog-reader-submitted content was better incorporated into the author's style and typographic errors found and fixed.

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.
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Format: Paperback
I've read all of Mr. Rawles books and thoroughly enjoy his writing.
After waiting anxiously for the arrival of this book, I am sorry to say that I wasn't as impressed as I thought I would be. Perhaps I have placed the bar too high. I thought there would be more information on butchering tools and equipment, reloading and bullet making with old time means and methods, spinning / grinding/ candle/soap making ideas and tools, etc. It's a pretty good start for some basic stuff, but far from comprehensive.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
For those who do not/have not followed Rawles on his SurvivalBlog.com web site for any period of time, one of the precepts he espouses is "have a list of lists". The idea is a solid one--you a list of the lists of the things you have (or need) to prepare for bad times. It keeps you organized, since you know what you have, how much you have and where it is, or you know that you need it and have yet to acquire it. Tools For Survival is one of those lists--a list of the tools a family or a group of families would need to have in the event of a long term situation where outside help was not available. (Picture Hurricane Katrina, except help didn't show up for months instead of days.) The book is a comprehensive survey of all areas that would need to be addressed in such a situation.

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.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I've read Mr. Rawles' previous writings but this one was slightly disappointing to me. I made notes as I read it, and there are things I intend to investigate further and there are products I intend to purchase as part of my prepping plan, but there are sections of the book where he was clearly laboring to fill the pages with words, more particularly those concerning weapons. It was wise of him to use the input of some trusted bloggers on several subjects. All t hings considered, I found some useful information in this book but it was not up to his prior standards.
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Format: Paperback
This book really is nothing more than a list of things to buy for your survival homestead, with justifications peppered with Mr. Rawles peculiar brand of homespun wit. If you have access to the internet and Mr. Rawles' site, then the only reason to buy this book is to spare yourself the expense of printing out his posts. Alternately, this "list of lists" would be a good resource after Mr. Rawles' dreaded collapse; at which point it would be too late, presumably, to gather your stockpile. As far as writing, this book lacks organization and any sort of narrative, and is best approached as a series of conversations with the crotchety old survivalist on an Internet forum. Actually, there are several instances in the book where the reader is presented with Internet forum posts in their entirety, or directed to do their own research on YouTube. The book also presents a bibliography and list of gunsmiths; again, useful if your internet service is down but society hasn't yet collapsed.
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