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In many bookshops (especially online ones) you are presented with hundreds of books and not much idea which one(s) to get.
I am using the Australian online bookshop The Nile, which gives me a 5% commission on anything you buy from them if you go there from this website.
Amazon is usually quite expensive for Australian sourced books purchased from within Australia, presumably because they have to be shipped overseas (to Amazon) and then back again. If you live outside Australia, an excellent source of nature, wilderness awareness and wilderness survival material is Wilderness Awareness School (located in the USA). See here for more Wilderness Living books (from all countries, the books on this page are the Australian ones only). Australia, though if you are mainly interested in the North, check out Les Hiddins' Pocket Guide). I was given this for Christmas one year and by good luck it happened to be basically the only current Australian bush tucker book that I didn't already own (I even had the larger version of this book listed above).
Medicinal Plants in Australia, Volume 2 — Gums, Resins, Tanin and Essential Oils, Cheryll Williams. Medicinal Plants in Australia, Volume 3 — Plants, Potions and Poisons, Cheryll Williams.
It was originally published as two separate books, Native Plants of the Upper Blue Mountains and Native Plants of the Lower Blue Mountains. Purchase from Amazon (I think this book is rare as the prices on Amazon range from a few thousand $ up to $23,680). Many of the book links on this page currently go to Amazon (which is good for outside Australia). With concise explanations (that is, he does not fill out the text much with stories and other non-essential information) and detailed illustrations, survival expert Gregory Davenport covers the five basic elements of survival - personal protection, signalling, finding food and water, travel, and health — providing the reader with complete information on how to stay calm and alive until rescue arrives.
I would go as far as to say that this is the best all-round book to get if you are the type of person that won't find a purely technical book very interesting or inspiring.
It's also nice that it's one of the few non-Australian survival books that doesn't have a plants chapter with a whole lot of plants that we don't have in the Australian wilderness.
The book, like all of Tom's books, contains a lot of his philosophy, which I think makes the book much more interesting and valuable than the more purely technical books.
In-depth instructions and step-by-step photos of real survival skills--exactly what one needs to stay alive in the woods. Primitive Technology II: Ancestral Skills - From the Society of Primitive Technology, David Wescott (editor).
Primitive Technology II: Ancestral Skills provides the guide to rediscovery of the skills and crafts that bind us all into this great human family.
The Way of the Scout: A Native American Path to Finding Spiritual Meaning in a Physical World, Tom Brown Jr.
Insects and seaweed are possibly the two most under-utilised food sources in the world today, and they will both become important when the output of our fossil-fuel-produced food systems starts to decline.
If you just want to get one or two books and get on with doing what is in them (which is a good idea), read the next few paragraphs.
Cody Lundin's book is great for people who aren't into heavily this type of stuff already, and who like a bit of humour thrown in along with all the cold hard facts. Gardening When It Counts would also be another option for best overall book (irrespective of where you live), even though it is only about one topic, and I would recommend it as the second book to get if you get any of the other books and want to get a second book. Also check out the Patch From Scratch DVD (although the gardening style used here is a bit different, it is the best DVD I have seen on this topic).
What makes it unique is that it contains a full 12-week urban survival course, complete with excercises and things to do along the way, as you go through the book chapter by chapter.
He uses examples from what happened after hurricane Katrina to demonstrate useful vs not-so-useful things to do. There are a few bad reviews of it on Amazon by people who don't like this kind of approach (if you are one of these people, you would probably prefer a book like Rawles' one, which is in some ways more advanced than this one). There are a few criticisms, the main one being that a lot of it is about stocking up on various different types of equipment, and he takes this a bit too far for most people. Having got that out of the way, this book covers so much that people will need to know about in the future.
One thing that he says, which many survivalists would disagree with, is that you will be possibly much better off in a city than in a rural area. The Last-Pope prophecy is really interesting (in my opinion) and ties in closely with the Long-count Calendar of the Mayans which ends on the 21st of December, 2012. The final chapter gives the Author's own perspective, that he is a Christian and therefore he draws from what the Bible says about the end times. Examine the graph of world population above, noting that the shaded area under the graph gives an approximate idea of the amount of resources that will be consumed by those people. What this means if that in order for business as usual to continue for just another generation (say 30-40 years), the amount of resources the world will need for just those next few decades is roughly equal to (or greater than) the total amount of resources that have ever been consumed, ever, in the history of the human race.
It is interesting to see how these changes have been described by other cultures (especially in the past), and that is what you will find in this book.
Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It’s Too Late, Scott B.
If you are seriously considering this type of approach, one really nice thing is that you don't need to buy that much gear (since basically everything you have you are going to be carrying with you, apart from that which you might stash away secretly somewhere). One thing that surprised me when I started reading it, is how, even in the USA, Mr Williams makes it seem really clear that there would be plenty of remote places to live in, miles away from anyone else that might give you trouble.
It's a thick book, over 1000 pages, not the type of book you would expect to read from front to back.
The real benefit of this book is that reading it will gradually bring your mind more and more around to the idea that all this violence and death is much less of an issue than how you used to feel. It will also get you used to the idea that economic collapse and the things that go along with it are already happening to much of the world. Having been written for people in third-world countries who might not have much english or a uni degree in medical science, it's also very easy to understand. Why are you asking me for personal information?We collect personal information including your contact and demographic information for the purposes of identification, account administration and display of personalised content and advertising. The following eight stories are all true accounts from survivors of natural disasters and tragic accidents that illustrate just how enduring the human spirit can be. On October 13, 1972, an Uruguayan Air Force plane carrying a team of rugby players and their families crashed in the Andes. Eventually, after an avalanche and with more than half of their party dead, two of the young men hiked for 10 days across the mountains to alert authorities. This is the story of Joe Simpson and Simon Yates, two climbing partners who had just reached the top of a 21,000-foot peak in the Andes when disaster struck. Yet Simpson survived, and managed to crawl his way back to base camp to Yates before he climbed down the mountain. Nick Ward set off on the 600-mile course of the UK’s Fastnet sailboat race in August 1979 with perfect weather. In 1993, Judith and Michael Sleavin and their two children set out to sail around the world. Somehow, after 40-four hours in the water with a broken back and paralysed below the waist, Judith survived. In August 1914, explorer Ernest Shackleton and a crew of 27 men set sail for the South Atlantic to try to set foot on the Antarctic continent. For 20 months they were marooned, and would attempt two near-fatal escape plans before their final rescue. The book is accompanied by the original glass plate negatives from the journey that were stored in hermetically sealed canisters and somehow survived months on the ice floes. In the book, Krakauer recounts the events that lead up to his decision to participate in the Everest expedition, as well as the actual expedition where eight climbers died, including Krakauer’s own guides Rob Hall and Andy Harris.
Author Yossi Ghinsberg met three other backpackers in Bolivia, and they journeyed into the Amazon rainforest together.
But after a freak rafting accident, Ghinsberg was separated from his travel buddies, and forced to survive with only a knife, a map, and his survival training. Disclosure: Jeff Bezos is an investor in Business Insider through his personal investment company Bezos Expeditions.
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Australia is a very rapidly growing population and economy  and currently is in the growth phase unlike other already developed countries like USA and Europe. Australia was hardly affected by the GFC  and chugged along soundly while all the other developed economies and  third world economies were flustering in their finance and economy outlook. Huang arrived in Australia with US$100 in his pocket and through sheer determination made his fortune, creating Yong Real Estate, which is now the largest of its kind in Queensland. In Mastering the Australian Housing Market property expert John Lindeman provides the information and tools you need to invest with confidence, explaining when to buy, where to buy and what to pay. Easy-to-understand case studies show you how to undertake your own market analysis, using data that is freely available. Written in an entertaining style with a touch of humor, Buying a Home in Australia covers everything a prospective buyer could wish to know, including buying for investment or pleasure, the best places to live, finding your dream home, money matters, the purchase procedure, moving house, taxation, insurance, renting and much, much more.
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API MAGAZINEOverconfidence is responsible for a lot of mistakes, here’s how to avoid itPeople are notoriously overconfident. So here I have described the books that I myself have used to learn from, and that are the most popular and the most recommended.
If you live in Australia I would recommend trying them out as their prices are very cheap and you usually get free shipping to anywhere in Australia. I have recently signed up with them as an affiliate so I will get 10% of anything you buy there if you go there from the links on my site.
The prices are current as of when I have last updated this page, so they may possibly change when you click on the links. There are tables in the back, and other sections throughout the book that contain a lot of really useful information, like what wattle seeds you can eat, and so on.
It lives up to its name, Pocket Bushtucker, being the smallest field guide that I have, and very easy to carry around. This has less pages than the first volume (only 304) but the topics sound really interesting. There is a new edition of it in a larger format (pictured), that you can find in some bookstores (a lot of places in the Blue Mountains sell it).
It provides identification of over 1000 of the most common species, encompassing a high proportion of those most likely to be seen in the field.
If you want to order any of the books from Australia (which is recommended if you live in Australia or New Zealand), I am gradually adding more links to Australian sources of the books.
If you want to go into more depth with any of the topics covered, you can always do that but this book gives a really good grounding in all of the basics.
This is the classic survival skills manual from one of the world's most famous wilderness survival instructors, Tom Brown Jr. Most of the plants are relevant to North America, though some of them are also found in Australia (many of them as introduced weeds). The book first covers immediate needs like starting a fire, erecting temporary shelter, and finding food. It is a good read, though, and recommended if you are looking for a story that is interesting and easy to keep reading to see what happens next.
If survival books were ranked by how much they weigh, this would easily be either the best (or the worst) book in my collection. This book has lots of colour photos and small writing, which makes it both interesting to flick through and informative as well. Otherwise just browse through the books this section and see what is interesting to you, and what you think you would be most likely to actually use. If you are the type of person who would prefer a more much gentle, less crisis-oriented book, get The Transition Handbook.
If you want a practical book that will get you started on one area of activity that is going to become really, really, important, for a lot of people, definitely get this book. This is another great book to get if you are likely to still be living in an urban area when the crash happens — which is most modern people.
And that many of the things that people will naturally do, without knowing any better, will not be that useful. This book covers exactly the things that people will want to know about gardening in a few years time when the food in the shops starts to run short.
The methods taught in this book are exactly the thing that I had been looking for all that time. But currently popular intensive vegetable gardening methods depend on cheap oil, requiring high inputs of water, fertility and organic matter. Most of us avoid thinking about what happens when oil runs out (or becomes prohibitively expensive), but The Transition Handbook shows how the inevitable and profound changes ahead can have a positive outcome.
It is actually really easy to fall into the trap of thinking that you need to purchase for yourself enough equipment to (as closely as possible) replicate the material and technological standards of living of the unsustainable and grossly over-consuming modern world. If you start on this right now, today, then you will have as long as possible to change your attitudes and your life before the proverbial s**t hits the fan (and you are forced to change them very rapidly). Ferfal's book is based on his own experiences in Argentina before and after their economic collapse in 2001. Although he does make a concession that a small country town would possibly be the best option, his experience and bias is clearly towards living in a city or urban location.
Since it covers so many different traditions, it does not go into any one with a vast amount of depth. Consider also that modern people use far more resources per person than people did in the old days. When you consider also that we have already used more than half of the available oil, over 75% of the topsoil that existed in the 1500s is now gone, and the human race now uses over 40% of the total resources available to all species on the planet, and our global economy must continue to grow in order for it to continue to exist, it is clear that we are about to run into some big changes.
This version is the 1987 edition, which is the same as the current 2001 edition except it does not have the addendum on hormesis. With that being the case, it seems that it would be 1000 times easier to try to do the same thing here in Australia, considering how low our population is compared to the USA, and how much of our population is concentrated in cities. This is the book to get if you are at all frightened (you don't have to admit it to anyone) about the idea of living in a war zone, a collapsed economy, or somewhere with significant civil unrest. This especially applies to anyone (such as myself) who has lived all their life in safe western countries.
Using simple language and hundreds of drawings, the book provides information about recognising, treating and preventing common illnesses and injuries.
For 10 weeks, the 45 people on the plane lived in the shelter of the wreckage without food and waiting to be rescued. The book follows both men’s feelings of abandonment, guilt, and ultimately their enduring friendship. But within 48 hours, the deadliest storm in the history of modern sailing had thrown the race into chaos and claimed the lives of fifteen sailors. After awaking to find the life raft gone and his crew either dead or deserted, Ward was forced to survive the night on the boat alone as the storm raged on until his legendary rescue.
But a freighter off the coast of New Zealand altered its course by 10 degrees and collided with the family’s boat, killing everyone but Judith. This book follows the painful and gripping true story of the night of the fatal crash, as well as the aftermath as Judith confronts her PTSD and the tragedy of losing her family. They had come within 85 miles of their destination when their ship, Endurance, was trapped in an ice pack and crushed, leaving them stranded on the ice floes. With his feet rotting due to the intense storms and insects and animals to contend with, this is his personal account of how he stayed alive in the rainforest. He was living on an inflatable raft after his sloop capsized, somehow managing to stay hydrated, spear fish, and keep his deteriorating raft afloat. Import charges previously quoted are subject to change if you increase you maximum bid amount. Even if I wasn't in a survival situation I would still and have been able to use the information in this book to make my life easier.Well worth the read for anyone like me who wants to learn some really interesting and smart practical ways of doing this. A must read for those who want to take their lives to the next level financially, while enjoying a balanced quality of life prioritising health, family, career, wealth and entertainment. Huang s company, the YONG Group, was ranked 74 among Queensland s top 400 biggest privately owned companies by the Queensland Business Review in 2003, the highest ranking for any real estate company in Queensland.
He also shares some invaluable truths that will help you avoid the mistakes may investors make and get the best people results from your investments.
Mastering the Australian Housing Market is a must-read for anyone looking to succeed on their property investment journey. Buying a Home in Australia is essential reading for anyone planning to buy property in Australia and is designed to guide readers through the property maze and save them time, trouble and money! Her first book, How to Make Your Money Last as Long as You Do, quickly sold out and reprinted twice within the first eight months of being on sale. Most of the book is about the author's top 20 edible weeds, with each weed getting a few pages that include detailed photos and drawings for identification. If you want to read one all the way through, this would be a good choice since there is less to read than most of the other books, and it gives you a good overview.
The newer edition is rather expensive, about $60 new (update - it seems to be cheaper now), and has some colour plates, where the original edition was only black and white and only cost about $20 or $25 new.
I got this book from Macquarie Uni when I was studying BIOL 350: Aboriginal Impact on Australian Ecosystems with Dr Jim Kohen. This is a good and detailed book about the construction of Aboriginal string bags, nets, and cordage (how surprising).
I asked the author Robert Wolff if he knew of a book like Original Wisdom, but set in Australia, and this is what he told me to get.
Giving details of 64 of Australia's most venomous creatures, with full colour photographs, maps; this work shows their habitats, diagrams to help with identification and first aid procedures.
An excellent book covering the types of plants that you are likely to find growing in your garden, not so much the native ones that you will find in the bush. It doesn't have the nasty vinyl chloride smell of the Menkhorst and Knight book, it just smells like a normal book. I had my eye on it for years and then recently I was lucky enough to find a 2nd edition one for sale for $30 at a library, presumably because they had updated to the 3rd edition. I have the 6th edition, the current one is the 8th and there is an updated version of the 8th edition (I'm not sure why they haven't called this the 9th edition). Also there are Australian links to some of the books on the other two book pages shown above.
This is the book I recommend for basic wilderness survival skills (of the type discussed on this page), rather than wilderness living skills (such as you would want for a long-term stay in the wilderness).
This is Tom Brown's field guide intended for older children, or (mainly) for parents to read and teach to their children. I like Tom's philosophy and I find that it makes the book much more interesting than the purely technical books such as Davenport and the US Army Survival Manual.
He runs what is probably the world's largest and best known wilderness survival and living skills school in the USA, which is sometimes booked out for a couple of years ahead. A nice feature is that almost all of the plants in the plants section are also found in Australia in city and suburban landscapes.

This and the Ultimate Guide (below) would be the best two general wilderness living books that I have seen (and I have seen lots).
So it is ideal for people who are interested in survival skills as a long-term committment to learning an entire way of life. Everything they offer is required to be 100% positive and inspiring, and they definitely live up to that. Then it goes beyond other survival books by explaining advanced techniques for long-term living in the wild -- using only those things found in nature. If you've ever looked through a scientific journal or periodical, that is the basic layout for this book: a compendium of articles, each one detailing a different tool, task, method, or application of a primitive skill. However Tom Brown Jr does really know how to do these types of skills, and he must have learned them from somewhere. The cover has a very memorable photo of a girl eating large black spiders on what looks like a satay stick without the satay sauce. It's written from the perspective of countries where they talk about how people with more body fat are fitter and have more endurance. This is one of the books that I recommend to get first — I would even go as far as to say that everyone should get this book (unless perhaps you already have a shelf full of other books covering this subject). It's a really fun book — well, as close to fun as you can get when writing about a topic like this. Prior to the 1970s, home food growing used more land because wider plant spacing reduces the need for irrigation and requires lower levels of soil fertility to be productive — and well-spaced plants can be weeded rapidly and conveniently with hand tools while standing upright. Its great strength is the way it shows how to get together with groups of people in your local community and prepare together. These changes can lead to the rebirth of local communities that will grow more of their own food, generate their own power, and build their own houses using local materials. But then, this book is so good (in terms of how much useful information it contains) that even if hiding out in the woods is more to your liking, you could still learn a lot from it.
This means that if you cannot imagine yourself living in a rural location, I would recommend this book as one of the best that I have seen on this topic. Hormesis is the idea that extremely low doses of radiation are not only unharmful, but stimulate the body's defence mechanisms in a way that improves their tolerance to higher doses of radiation that may follow.
If you are looking to escape into the wilderness when the global economy is no more, this is your book. Since all of these things are likely to happen to Western countries at some point in the future, it would be good reading for anyone really.
A blizzard began, and Yates was forced to cut the rope that bound him and Simpson so that he would not be pulled to his own death. If you reside in an EU member state besides UK, import VAT on this purchase is not recoverable. Margaret’s key to long-term wealth creation is a unique approach she and her husband have followed themselves, with proven success, for years.
As I get around to it I will add links to more nature and survival books available from there. There are 16 pages (large A4 pages, with small writing) devoted to edible weeds, including colour photos of many of the weeds. It is written in a scientific style, more like a scientific paper than a how-to book, it contains a lot of useful information.
This was out of print for ages, but last time I looked there were some secondhand copies of it on Amazon.
The binding is styled by Oxford University Press and has the same look and feel (and smell) as the Menkhorst and Knight and Barbara Triggs field guides to Mammals. Note that it is extremely dangerous to eat fungi if there is any doubt whatsoever that you have an edible species. However I find the pictures a bit dull looking for my taste — the birds all kind of look the same to me, making it harder to remember them in my mind. If you think you might ever be stuck in a city or suburb when things start to run out (like food, electricity, water, or law enforcement), this is your book. While there is some treatment of emergency-style survival skills, the focus is on long-term living using (mostly) only what is provided by nature. Rather than focusing on the bare survival essentials you will need to get through a short-term stay away from civilisation, it is about longer-term wilderness living skills (such as you would want for a long-term stay in the wilderness).
The authors show how to make tools by chipping stones, fashion a bow-and-arrow out of tree branches, weave baskets, fire primitive pots, build a semi-permanent shelter, and even tan hides.
Despite the title it is much more of a wilderness living book than a survival skills book in the way that most people think of survival skills. It contains a bit less information overall, but more drawings, it has larger writing and is easier to read. They can also encourage the development of local currencies to keep money in the local area. The addendum is only one page long but it is a good read and adds a positive tone to the end of the book. The only downside (for people outside the USA) is that 200 of the 300 pages are about locations inside the USA that would be good to live in if you want to be as far away from people as possible. There are recipies and a lot of pages with tables that have blank boxes that you can use to write in the items that you need and the items that you have in storage and things like that.
In Patch from Scratch, Peter Cundall shows you step-by-step how to start a vegetable garden, beginning with an ordinary suburban lawn. It's the book to get if you have ever wondered how people would get by in the absence of modern Western high-tech medical care. Apart from edible weeds it also covers a few bush tucker (native) food plants, survival kits, storing food, permaculture, sprouting, herbs, and more.
It contains multiple colour photographs and scale line drawings for each plant including fruit, seed, form and habitat. The level is kind of halfway between a coffee table book and a scientific book, so there is lots of information but it's not too dry to pick up and read. It is a unique book (as far as I know), a traveller's guide to the remote areas of Australia and also a listing of Indigenous-related sites and places that you can visit all over Australia. It was a large, expensive (well over $100 new) hardcover book that you will probably pay at least $200 for secondhand now.
The only thing I don't like about this book is the strong smell, that is probably vinyl chloride or something like that, which is a carcinogen. It's a good solid survival book, one of those classic books that keeps getting reprinted every few years.
This book is more nicely set out than the Ultimate Guide, and more interesting to read bits from. Finally, the authors explain how to bring all these skills together to live in the wilderness for days, weeks, months, or even years. You can take this out in the backyard and follow right along, and succeed!” I would agree completely. It's about bowhunting, deer hunting, how to catch predators like coyotes and foxes, how to get close to big game (like bears and mooses), how to track animals and outguess their moves, how to become invisible (like camofluague and blinds), and how to outwit small game.
It's a lot shorter than the one above, covering the same types of subjects but in a more condensed, point form. There are now over 30 transition townsa in the UK, Australia and New Zealand, with more joining as the idea takes off. Still, the 100 other pages are easily worth the price of the book in my opinion and you will learn at least a few things that you might not have thought of before. There are sections on preserving foods, how to garden, and other things that you will need in the future. He goes through each season (some of then broken into early and late) for 18 months, describing everything in amazing detail. Her Course on DVD (PAL format, $35.00 AUD) looks like it would also be excellent, though I have not seen it yet. The version I have is dated october 1957 (though the printing is much more recent than that) and has a different cover to the picture I have shown here. If you are serious about learning how to live long-term without modern technology, don't even think — just get this one. They provide valuable experience and lessons-learned for those of us on this side of the Atlantic. The disadvantage, though is that it does give his approach a lot of bias towards the circumstances that happened in Argentina where he lived.
There is so much information in this video you could watch it 100 times and still learn more. Contains a lot of species (over 1370) and an excellent key to identification in the front of the book.
It is also quite cheap so there is no excuse not to have one of these if you are interested in survival information. With little proactive thinking at the governmental level, communities are taking matters into their own hands and acting locally.
Also it's not as in-depth as some of the other books I have reviwed, but it is very easy to read and it does not give you the feeling that you need hundreds of years of spare time to actually do the things that she recommends. The only real criticism (if you can even call it that) I can think of is that it is so densely packed with information, your brain gets saturated after 10 or 15 minutes.
There is another book also titled FM 21-76 which is about Survival, Evasion, and Recovery" which is only 104 pages, that I haven't seen. It's an excellent all-round book for preparing to live through a breakdown in the machinery that keeps our modern lives running.
Having said that, there is a huge amount of information that would be useful in a wide range of circumstances. The plants section contains northern hemishpere plants (it's published in the United Kingdom).

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