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on January 14, 2012
This book attempts to cover as many different topics as possible. So, as it tries to be a jack of all trades it is not really a master of any. Each topic is a relatively short snippet of information. However, the snippet tends to be the most useful and/or interesting information about the topic. The topics are only organized by major grouping: hunting, fishing, etc. Within each grouping there is no organization at all. You can find closely related topics at opposit ends of the group and scattered within--it would be more helpful if they were kept together. So, because you can't run to it and look up a topic as needed, I see this book not so much as an encyclopedia but more of a night stand/coffee table peruser.
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on April 8, 2014
I am an experienced outdoorsman. I was raised outdoors and have spent my entire life hunting, fishing, and camping. That is why I basically bought this book as a coffee table book. After reading it though I changed my mind. I learned several new tips and techniques to do lots of cool stuff. Thrown into all the descriptions and tips will be an occasional useful knot "how to". Learning these knots has already come in handy. I would ceratinly recommend this book for anyone with even the most remote hint of enjoying anything outdoors.
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on January 17, 2014
More information than you will ever need is crammed into this compilation of F&S articles! Very useful info and insight based on the author's knowledge and experiences. Even though the book is well illustrated, some of the things he describes in the text could use a diagram to help with visualization. I bought this book as a present before Christmas and here it is the middle of January and I am still re-reading it because there is so much good information! I bought another one to replace the "present" that I kept! It's that useful!
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on December 31, 2013
Overall, I think it's a 4-star book. To get 5-stars, it needs more depth. It's a much better value than buying the mini-booklets (like the camping booklet).

I enjoyed the format, illustrations and pictures and found many helpful tips.
It's a beautiful book, I like the glossy pages, sharp pictures, and the metal trim on the corners.
It's a fun read and would make an excellent gift. Plan on getting a second one for gifting.

Where the book lacks is depth. It covers 4 major headings, "camp, fish, hunt, survive". With 374 skills, it's ~93 articles per heading. The most critical things, "yes" - complete? "no".

Some examples:
- Several articles on what plants are safe to eat would have been helpful
- A source lists for things like snare wire (Lowe's doesn't have the right gauge, and I don't know where else to find it locally).
- include more detailed product recommendations (esp. The knife section). Give me the "best at any price", "best on a budget", and the "editors choice". I want to buy quality gear that I need (and can afford), and don't want to waste time researching my gear. There was a good overview of knife features, but in the end, I just want to know what's a good brand/style hunting knife for my pocket, and what's a good survival knife for my daypack.

In summary, I liked the book, found it entertaining, but it's not "Total".
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on January 20, 2014
This book is perfect for any guy... There are some things I knew before I read this but this book cover such a wide range that I almost guarantee anyone could find some useful information in it. There are a lot of pictures as well that help explain certain things. This book is also one of the easiest I've read as far as stop and go reading is concerned. With how all the topics are titled on each page and not super long paragraphs it's a good book to be able to read for a few minutes and to pick up later.
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on November 20, 2012
I like this book. If you like the magazine, you'll like this book. It is an interesting blend of traditional 'book,' resource manual that can be picked up for reference, and coffee table edition to thumb through while on the couch. If I have a criticism, and its not directed at the content or authors, is that the binding is losing adhesion after light use.
Nonetheless, I recommend this to buy for self or as a gift for the Field and Stream subscriber in your house.
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on January 3, 2013
A great book for young and older outdoor persons. These are the things every young person wants to know before they enter the unkown, the possibilities of what could happen and what to do if it does happen. For myself, an older person it was a great review, new ideas, made me think of the good times I have enjoyed and some of the things that could have been awful. All in all it was a great adventure, things to think about and the excitement of my next trip into the great outdoors.
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on March 31, 2013
I now know how to quickly clean a squirrel. Who woulda thought that was such a tough job? This gives excellent advice for everything you need to do out there to truly ENJOY the outdoors. I've been an outdoorsman, Boy Scout, and an Eagle Scout, yet this still taught me a few things, and reminded me of others I had forgotten all about. And price was half of what it was at a local retailer, so added bonus!
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on January 2, 2018
Love it.
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on May 29, 2011
I have a number of outdoors books as well as my old military books, and although they may have similar information, they don't hold a candle to The Total Outdoorsman Manual. This book is really just beautifully executed. Even those who aren't interested in the outdoors will surely appreciate the high quality feel of the book as well as photos, drawings, and diagrams on nearly every page. It's wonderful to just flip through like a coffee table book. Its quality is much more like an encyclopedia (remember those?) in terms of thick pages, binding, etc.

For those of us who are interested in the outdoors, there is enough in this book to keep you occupied for a very long time. There are descriptions and tips to accommodate just about any sort of outdoorsman whether you're a hiker, camper, canoe/kayaker, hunter, or fisher. Each topic may not go deep, but you're going to get a whirlwind tour of everything and you're going to have the knowledge it normally takes years of painful experience and mentorship to otherwise obtain. Of course, there's the issue of having to remember it, and practice it, but that's another story.

As a final testament, when I received this book, I opened it and immediately thought it would be a perfect gift for our friend's young son who loves the outdoors and is always flipping through my other books. When we gave it to him, he opened it and was gone for the rest of the time. I imagine he read it in one sitting - which is a pretty remarkable thing for an active young boy.
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