This one is a fairly cheap buy for the amount of info it contains, considering the fact that this is actually a public domain document under a private publishing company. The Model #21-76 has been published by a good many printers, and this one comes from Ulysses Press. I picked it up from a local bookseller for the low price of $11.95.
The book is paper back, printed on mass pulp so the pages are not something that will hold up over a long time very well, especially under heavy use, but it should be a good addition to your survival and preparedness library. Coming in at 280 pages, there are over 230 line drawings showing various items of interest such as structures, various foods such as plants and fish, snares and trapping, survival and rescue situations and more.
Seven chapters of varied information make up the main body of the book and cover; 1,Introduction; 2, Orientation and Traveling; 3, Water; 4, Food; 5, Fire making and Cooking; 6, Survival in Special Areas; and 7, Hazards to Survival.
One important point made early in the book is an anagram for the word ‘survival which goes:
Size up the situation
Undue haste makes waste
Remember where you are
Vanquish fear and panic
Act like the natives
Learn basic skills
This anagram simply portrays some good advice for how to act in any situation that may arise. Not stopping and thinking through your situation can cause a lot of problems that you really don’t need to deal with, and by taking the time to think, you won’t have these problems.
As you read through this book, you have to keep in mind that this is a military field manual, not a guidebook for civilians, so some of the information may seem as though it is totally irrelevant. However, it’s still good knowledge to have, and there may come a time when you may need it. As per the usual survival guide info, there is some good info on obtaining and filtering water, as well as some of the different types of wild food you can eat by foraging. It seems funny, but there aren’t many books out there in the preparedness genre that actually delve into the fine art of eating what’s around you. That being the case, these survival manuals have great value in that area of skill building. There are some books dealing with edible wild plants, and we’ll look at some of them later, though.
This book also goes into great detail on the harvesting and preparation of wild game, with plenty of tips and construction details of many types of snares and traps. There are also many illustrations of shelter types as well. One thing to look at is the section dealing with specific location survival. It would be a good idea to read over some of this info if you are planning a trip to any of these areas and pick up some good tips on survival should anything go wrong.
All in all, this book was all right, but not exceptional. The line drawings were good, but not necessarily clear, and I would have rather seen color plates of some of the edible and poisonous plants to be able to make better identification. However, at the $11.95 price, it’s worth picking up if you are developing an preparedness and survival library.