Rizzoli Publishing is releasing © The Adventurer’s Guide to the Outdoors, Universe, 2013 and I can't tell you how excited I was to get a copy of this hardcover book in my hands. As a lifelong camper, hiker and nature lover, this is the type of book that I can truly appreciate. Written by Guy Grieve, it showcases 100 essential skills for surviving in the wild with easy to follow explanations, light humor and clear illustrations.
The first thing I really liked about the book was the bright red hard cover, embossed with black lettering and a great outdoors illustration. If you love books like I do, then you'll understand what I mean when I say that the book is a pleasure to hold and run your hands across. At 7" x 9" and 292 pages, it's the perfect size to sit and read in your favorite chair, but equally easy to toss into your bag or backpack.
The book is broken down into 9 chapters. My favorite chapter was the first one - Getting Ready. Experienced or not, this chapter is filled with excellent information on basic supplies, the best types of clothing and shoes to have, and equally important, what not to bother taking along. Study up on the climate, terrain and weather patterns you may be experiencing and how to plan your route.
The use of GPS units is becoming almost commonplace in the outdoors, but believe it or not, there are situations where a GPS will do you no good. Get a compass and learn to use it. The section on compass instruction is particularly good and informative.
Knowing how to set up a campfire and actually starting a fire is certainly an important outdoors skill. What would you do if you're out in the woods and you don't have a lighter and your matches are wet? If you read, study and teach yourself to use the bow and drill method, you'll never panic if the situation arises.
Want to float down a lazy river, cross a pond or just sit back and let the current do the work? Learn how to make a raft, complete with a dry deck.
One complete chapter is devoted to "Climate and Terrains of the World" and includes..
- Tundra and polar
- Savannah and desert
There is a wide variety of information that can be used in numerous settings - things like finding and purifying water, starting a fire, preparing a meal, digging a toilet, what to do in an emergency, hunting or fishing for food, building a shelter and rescue techniques. The section on Observing and Hunting Prey gives tips on where to locate different animals, how to hunt them and includes an excellent chart showing track patterns along with a wide variety of footprints. I seriously doubt I'll ever be in a situation where I need to build an igloo, but if I am, I will be prepared! The instructions and illustrations on how to build one almost made me wish we still had a few feet of snow left in the yard. For me, that was one of the most interesting sections in the whole book.
Rizzoli Publishing has once again released a winner! I enjoyed the light touches of humor throughout the book, the excellent descriptions and how well everything was organized. Chock full of practical advice on 100 essential skills, this is one handbook that any outdoors minded person would enjoy and treasure.
If you're looking for a hardcore survivalist guide, this is not the book for you. As openly stated in the Foreword the reader is given ideas at a basic or beginners level about how to go about a task. For a seasoned outdoors person this may not provide enough in-depth information. But this resourceful book will definitely provide most people with a basic knowledge of practical outdoor skills for a wide variety of situations. If you enjoy the great outdoors, the wilderness or adventure, then this book is for you! It is packed full of advice and no matter how experienced you are in the great outdoors, this book will probably share something with you that you'll find useful. Youngsters just discovering the great outdoors will delight in this book and it will benefit them for years to come. Adults will surely learn new things and who knows, you may be looking at deer tracks in a whole new way or waiting for the next big snowfall so you can build an igloo! Give me a call - I'll come help you.
I was provided an advance copy of the book for review purposes and asked to give an honest review. All opinions are my own.
All illustrations credited to: © Sam Chelton, The Adventurer’s Guide to the Outdoors, Universe, 2013.
All photos and illustrations property of Rizzoli Publications. Do not reproduce.