Equipped To Survive Equipped To Survive® Presents
The Survival Forum
Where do you want to go on ETS?

Page 1 of 2 1 2 >
Topic Options
#29559 - 07/28/04 03:03 PM No Gear Required - Excellent Book
brian Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 1468
Loc: Texas
Hey guys. As you can tell I am brand new here. At least as a poster. I have actually been quietly reading all of your posts for quite some time now. Finally I decided it was time to join in and become an active member.

I just finished reading "Outdoor Survival Skills - Sixth Edition" as per Doug's recommendation and let me say it was a great read and has inspired me to practice primitive "no-gear" survival skills which in turn has increased my confidence 10-fold! Once you truly master these skills you'll feel that 90% of the gear in your PSK or BOB is merely a convenience, or maybe to get the job done faster (or with one hand). Anyone serious about survival should check this out. Gear is certainly important. I have a PSK in my (and my wife's) car and I never go anywhere (except the on an airplane) with out at least a small ( no less than a 3" blade) knife. That being said, you never know when you'll be without your gear, even if you really do keep a PSK in your pocket 24/7. I receive nothing from promoting this book. It has just inspired me so much that I thought I would share my experience with others with whom it may interest. If you're interested in reading it the ISBN is 1-55652-323-8 and if you order it at Amazon.com from this link, http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1556523238/ref=nosim/equippedtosur-20/ you'll be supporting ETS in the process.
_________________________
Learn to improvise everything.

Top
#29560 - 07/28/04 03:49 PM Re: No Gear Required - Excellent Book
aardwolfe Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/22/01
Posts: 923
Loc: St. John's, Newfoundland
It's an excellent book, I agree - I have a copy of it - but the one thing I noticed about it is that it contains absolutely no information about signalling for help or arranging to be rescued. (At least, the edition I have doesn't.) Granted, it's not advertised as a "survival manual" but I'd prefer to make that discovery before I found myself disoriented in a trackless wilderness. <img src="/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> & <img src="/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled."
-Plutarch

Top
#29561 - 07/28/04 03:58 PM Re: No Gear Required - Excellent Book
Anonymous
Unregistered


Speaking of signaling for help, I found these articles:
Signaling for Help, Part 1
and
Signaling for Help, Part 2
in Outdoor Life.

Thanks for the review. I will add that to my list of books to read for skillset enhancement.

~Sarah

Top
#29562 - 07/28/04 04:27 PM Re: No Gear Required - Excellent Book
brian Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 1468
Loc: Texas
I believe the reason there is no information about signaling is because as the author says... "Once you learn to live off the land there is no need to be rescued." Of course the author is one who is known for living exclusively off "what nature provides" for months (even years) at a time. None-the-less the skills he teaches are invaluable and the well-written stories of his own experiences make for an entertaining read as well.
_________________________
Learn to improvise everything.

Top
#29563 - 07/28/04 05:12 PM Re: No Gear Required - Excellent Book
Craig Offline


Registered: 11/13/01
Posts: 1784
Loc: Collegeville, PA, USA
Living off the land is all well and good, but I still want air conditioning and digital cable TV! <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />

Top
#29564 - 07/28/04 07:14 PM Re: No Gear Required - Excellent Book
aardwolfe Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/22/01
Posts: 923
Loc: St. John's, Newfoundland
I'm going from memory here, but as I recall, the author, Larry Dean Olsen, states that there had never been a serious medical problem on any of his training courses. However, in the section on finding water in the desert, he describes how he once joined a group of students (led by a fellow instructor, a woman of the Shoshone) in a desperately dehydrated condition, only to find that the water hole they had been counting on had alkali poisoning and the water was undrinkable. They spent that night without anything to drink, he in a badly dehydrated condition, and set out the next day in search of alternative water supplies. At some point in the search, he lost consciousness from dehydration and was rescued by the other instructor. She managed to dig a water seep and scoop up tiny capfuls of water (that's capfuls, not cupfuls, using the cap off a broken whiskey bottle that he had found earlier) and poured the water down his throat, even though he was unconscious. She continued forcing water down his throat even after he regained consciousness and began vomiting.

As a part-time Wilderness First Aid instructor, I'm appalled - pouring anything down the throat of an unconscious victim is a definite first aid no-no, and making a victim with severe dehydration vomit is also not something I'd recommend. Granted, it was a desperate situation and there probably is no "book" answer, but I'd have tried moistening a cloth and putting it in the casualty's mouth, and at least waiting for a few minutes to see if they regained consciousness. (She did drag him into the closest shade, which was definitely the right - albeit obvious - thing to do.)

My interpretation of this is as follows:

He took a group of students out into the desert and endangered their lives - first, by not ensuring beforehand that there was adequate water for them, and second, by carelessly endangering his own health. (He was medevac'ed out on horseback by a passing cowboy the next day.)

He didn't have a fallback plan - no way of signalling for help if anything went seriously wrong. What if one of his students had been injured - say, crushed by a falling rock?

Neither he nor the other instructor appeared to have had proper first aid training - I could be wrong about that, but I disagreed strongly with the other instructor's treatment, whereas he credited her with saving his life.

The techniques in his book appear to be valid, and well-researched. However, I would probably never want to take an actual course from him.

(As an aside: I recently spoke with a man who had taken one of Olsen's courses, many years ago, although Olsen himself was not instructing, and his opinion was that they were so focussed on the "march or die" philosophy that he didn't retain much of the instruction - the students were so exhausted and hungry at the end of each day that it was impossible for them to concentrate. He did say, however, that he thought the BOSS course format had been modified quite a great deal since those early days.)

The "live off the land" philosophy is admirable, but putting your students' (or your readers') lives in jeopardy
because of a philosophical principle is, IMO, a tad over the edge. <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

Besides, how many people - including Olsen himself - would be capable of surviving in the Great Basin desert, or the Northern Boreal Forest, for a full 12-month stint? And how many of them would be able to do it based on the information contained in a paperback book?

I want my survival manual to at least tell me how to build a signal fire. <img src="/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled."
-Plutarch

Top
#29565 - 07/28/04 08:05 PM Re: No Gear Required - Excellent Book
brian Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/28/04
Posts: 1468
Loc: Texas
To answer your two questions:

Question - "Besides, how many people - including Olsen himself - would be capable of surviving in the Great Basin desert, or the Northern Boreal Forest, for a full 12-month stint?"

Answer - I believe thousands have done exactly this as this was home to many primitive Native Americans for many generations.

Question - "And how many of them would be able to do it based on the information contained in a paperback book?

Answer - IMO NONE! <img src="/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

And as a side note. None of the information in any book I have seen will "make" you a survivor. Any research and/or book learning must be acompanied by good old fashioned experience like what we call "primitive camping" in the U.S. (or at least here in Texas). None-the-less, IMO, the skills taught in this book are solid and it also not only an informative read but an entertaining one as well.


Edited by brian (07/28/04 08:08 PM)
_________________________
Learn to improvise everything.

Top
#29566 - 07/28/04 10:13 PM Re: No Gear Required - Excellent Book
Anonymous
Unregistered


Booklearning, as has been pointed out, is good, but street smarts is what makes you live.

When I inherited my father's grab and go bag, currently called a BOB, I wondered at his lack of street smarts on some levels. He was a chemist, an archer, a woodworker, and a survialist. Except... He had nothing to make food with(like a gerry kit or even a tin cup). And every peice of metal(pins, needles knives) had a layer of rust on it...

Since then, I have a monthly 'pack'night. I go through and replace what needs to be, refold, rearrange and ressupply myself. I learn from good, and bad, examples.

When going out without any 'gear', I have found that I do need a knife. A larger woodsmans or even machete is my personal preference. Without that, I sit and wait for the next short bus. It is so ingrained that I cannot even think about being in the wilds, urban or rual, without at least some blade on me.

Reminds me of the EDC thread.

Rena

Top
#29567 - 07/28/04 10:24 PM Re: No Gear Required - Excellent Book
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
Yes, various Shoshoni and Utes did live in the Great Basin. What they didn't do was blunder into situations as described. There is no 'one ultimate' reference book. I can find fault in everyone of them, either in omission or outright error. Solar Stills are the classic. Have any of these people REALLY done this? I'd put more faith in striking a rock with a Biblical shepherd's crook! What about that fossilised illustration of a trap that would take an earthquake to trigger? It's in half the manuals and IT DON'T WORK. A student ( and we all better fall under that appelation) of survival needs to read everything. One writer will have a way with words, or some subtle trick that clarifies another's less articulate or inspired instruction. An aquaintance attended Reevis Mountain School in Arizona years ago. He returned caterwalling bitterly about the New Age chats about reincarnation. He also mentioned in near afterthought how Peter taught him the bowdrill like no other instructor and his final mastering of the skill. I'm like, DUDE, can your Presbyterian minister do that? Prometheus comes in many forms. Read them all, take some courses. But, If one named Oddyseus teaches navigation? Get some references from former crewmen <img src="/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

Top
#29568 - 07/29/04 12:15 AM Re: No Gear Required - Excellent Book
aardwolfe Offline
Old Hand

Registered: 08/22/01
Posts: 923
Loc: St. John's, Newfoundland
>Question - "Besides, how many people - including Olsen himself - would be capable of surviving in the Great Basin desert, or the Northern Boreal Forest, for a full 12-month stint?"

>Answer - I believe thousands have done exactly this as this was home to many primitive Native Americans for many generations.

This is the obvious answer, and the one I was expecting, but is it really true?

I just finished a 7-day wilderness survival course with my fellow Canadian Mors Kochanski. He said and demonstrated many things - far too many for me to recount in a single post, in fact far too many for me to even remember them all. But he talked about how the USAF, in an attempt to help downed airmen survive in the desert, sent researchers to North Africa to study how the Bedouin survived in the desert.

Their conclusion was that the Bedouin didn't know squat about surviving in the desert - they just lived there <img src="/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

there are two ways to look at this:

1. As Kochanski explained it, most "survival" courses will teach you how to keep yourself alive for 3 or 4 days - maybe a week or two, maybe more, but this probably depends on the benignity of the climate. More advanced survival training will expand your range of knowledge, to the extent that you can be quite comfortable for several months. However, to make it to the next level, you go beyond the concept of "survival" to that of being at home in the environment. To people who've spent all their lives in the desert, the concept of "survival" is foreign - just as the concept of "surviving" in a shopping mall (absent terrorist attacks or other disasters) would be nonsensical to most of us.

2. A movie that Kochanski and several of the other students recommended very highly was "Atanarjuat" (English title - "The Fast Runner"), filmed in the Canadian arctic in Inuktitut (the native Inuit/Eskimo tongue) with native actors. I bought the DVD and watched it (with English subtitles). It is generally regarded, I understand, as a very realistic portrayal of life in the arctic before the arrival of the white man. I may have misinterpreted it (I've only had a chance to watch it once) but it seemed to indicate that even the Inuit/Eskimo regarded the thought of being alone on the land, cut off from family or tribe to support them, as the ultimate horror, and I wonder how long many of them could have survived without that support? They were certainly capable of surviving for days, weeks, and months by themselves, and almost certainly did. But eventually, their luck would run out. A hunter who was a member of the village who had a run of bad luck could count on the other villagers helping him out, knowing that he in his turn would share his good fortune when his luck turned. But a hunter alone on the land had no-one to back him up when things went sour.

Two hunters could split up and double their chances of finding game. Or they could work together to bring down a large animal such as a caribou that would outmatch a single hunter. And if they had wives who could skin and cook the catch they brought back, and children who could gather birds eggs or seaweed, they could have a very comfortable time of it. But I think if one hunter were lost in the wilderness, even one that he felt comfortable in, getting unlost would still have been one of his main priorities.

In any event, though, I wasn't questioning whether it was POSSIBLE to survive for extended periods - just how many modern men/women are capable of it. The answer, I suspect, is very few. That being the case, I want my survival manual to have a chapter on getting back to the tribe before my luck runs out for good. That's all.

It's a very good book - I admitted that - but because it contains no information on getting rescued, it's not one I'd recommend for a backpack.
_________________________
"The mind is not a vessel to be filled but a fire to be kindled."
-Plutarch

Top
Page 1 of 2 1 2 >



Moderator:  Alan_Romania, Blast, cliff, Hikin_Jim 
September
Su M Tu W Th F Sa
1 2 3 4 5
6 7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18 19
20 21 22 23 24 25 26
27 28 29 30
Who's Online
4 registered (chaosmagnet, unimogbert, LesSnyder, Bingley), 253 Guests and 4 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
brenaline, keril, MarcusPetz, CBlackRaven, TnSweetie
5322 Registered Users
Newest Posts
More power sources!
by chaosmagnet
0 seconds ago
I'd like to improve my night vision capabilities
by Michael2
Yesterday at 04:54 PM
Radiooddity DB25 shortwave transceiver
by Blast
09/23/20 11:21 PM
Globe Knot Bracelet
by TonyE
09/23/20 07:41 PM
Overhand Knot Lanyard
by TonyE
09/23/20 07:40 PM
Everyday mask carry?
by hikermor
09/22/20 06:09 PM
Notes from Getting Through Hurricane Sally
by LesSnyder
09/22/20 12:24 AM
In favor of the sling bag*
by gulliamo
09/21/20 09:07 PM
Newest Images
Tiny knife / wrench
Handmade knives
2"x2" Glass Signal Mirror, Retroreflective Mesh
Trade School Tool Kit
My Pocket Kit
Glossary
Test

WARNING & DISCLAIMER: SELECT AND USE OUTDOORS AND SURVIVAL EQUIPMENT, SUPPLIES AND TECHNIQUES AT YOUR OWN RISK. Information posted on this forum is not reviewed for accuracy and may not be reliable, use at your own risk. Please review the full WARNING & DISCLAIMER about information on this site.