Resources

I’m not one for watching the survivor shows, but I cannot stress enough the value in watching this series. The premise is that 10 people are selected. They have to prove their skills to be selected (some of them have been Tracker students, some survival instructors, but the all have solid foundational skills). These people are dropped off alone in a wilderness area with basically a go-bag of supplies. The show premise is that the person who stays the longest wins money. But the teachings of this show are countless. You experience over and over the psychological and physical strains that take people out. You see where skill failure means starvation and sadly, you see how short a period of time these people can survive on their own in the wilderness. They have some limitations you might not face, but in general, this could easily be equated to an escape scenario. I think this show is of great value if for no other reason than that it helps us be realistic about our skills and our abilities to survive with just a go-bag. It shows us our gaps and what we need to focus on. This is time well spent for preparing for time in the wilderness.

novel

Tom’s book on Wilderness Survival covers all the basics: shelter, water, fire and food. This book takes over where that one stops. Instead of just survival, this book teaches the skills to live long-term in the wilderness. It covers, not only the skills, but the philosophies of living in harmony with the Earth. These are all incredibly important skills for truly making the wilderness your home. This probably my most loved, and most used field guide.

skills

I can’t praise this book enough. I’ve found nothing else like it out there anywhere. It covers traditional shelters of tribes throughout North America. There are shelters for every type of climate and terrain, so much is transferable to other continents. There are photographs and descriptions of many types of shelters, village lay-outs, information on the tribes and their lifestyles and much more. There is enough detailed information that you can learn to build these shelters with minimal knowledge of building techniques. I’ve used this book to design and build multiple types of shelters. A bit spendy, but you won’t find a better resource on shelter design and building.

North America - General
North America - General
shelter
This book explores the many uses of cedar in the tribes of NW coastal Indians, including all parts of the tree for shelter, clothing, tools and more. It has extensive information not only on the skills but on the whole relationship of these people with the cedars. Excellent book on many levels. The paperback version can be purchased affordably.
North America - Western
North America - Western
skills

This is another excellent book by archaeologist, Hilary Stewart. To book documents hundreds of tools made from these four materials. The images are drawings, but well detailed and useful. An excellent book to learn about the various tools and how they were used. Again, this one is out of print so can be spendy, but well worth it if you can find a reasonably priced copy.

North America - Western
North America - Western
skills

This field guide is designed for families to learn and safely use all the basics of survival. It not only covers primitive skills but also includes activities and teachings on awareness and nature appreciation. It is perfect for any parent wanting to introduce their children to the joys of nature and the skills of survival.

children

This is an excellent story about a young man who crashes into the Canadian wilderness and must survive with no experience and only a hatchet as a tool. Not only is it a great adventure, but it realistically demonstrates the perseverance, creativity and mindset needed to survive. It explores, not only the physical aspect of survival, but the psychological as well. 

children

This was my childhood favorite- and have read and enjoyed it as an adult as well. It’s the story of you boy who runs away to the Catskills to live for a year off the land. He doesn’t have much experience when he starts, so the story is of his adventures; his successes and failures, and the joy he has living off the land. There are also two sequel books to this story. 

children

The foraging bandana has 12 most common plants/fungus of North America, including their common and scientific names. The bandana is collaboration by Samuel Thayer and Mark “Merriwether” Vorderbruggen. 

They also sell a tracking bandana.

North America - General
North America - General
plants

A basic introductory guide to wild edible plants by Mark “Meriwether” Vorbruggen.

Includes recipes. Mark helped design the forager’s bandana at Wazoo Survival Gear.

The Idiot’s Guide series is geared towards simple resources for adults.

 

North America - General
North America - General
plants