Monday, November 16, 2009

EMERGENCY! This Book Will Save Your Life

Someone on your Christmas List needs this book...I just know it.

My son is really into the outdoors; he always has been. Lately, he is honing his woodsmen skills toward "survival." No, he's not a skin-headed extremist survialist. He's just using his love and skills of the outdoors to sharpen his ability to "live off the land," should he ever need to. Here he is in a "debris hut" he built on our land; one of several he has practiced making. That's snow you see in the picture. He's invited me to spend the night in one of these with him; I, however, have declined...

Anyway, I was traveling home from Chicago in March and, as I always do in airports, perused the bookstore at O'Hare. Neil Strauss' book was prominently displayed. It seemed a natural choice for my live-off-the-land son, so I purchased one.

Sitting in the plane getting ready to take off, I idly opened the book to see what it is like. A couple hours later, when my plane touched down at home, I was still reading--hooked. My son picked me up at the airport. I told him about the book I purchased for him but had to say, "You don't get it until I'm finished!"

Neil Strauss set out to learn to survive (as he puts it) When-The-S__t-Hits-The-Fan (WTSHTF) and The-World-As-We-Know-It (TWAWKI) ends. This book is informative (how to make a weapon out of a credit card; how to fend off an attack dog...), thought-provoking, and will make you laugh out loud.

I, quite literally, could not put this book down. And it made me really think about our lives. The book opens, for example, with the author's lesson in killing and butchering a goat. It was absolutely stomach-turning for him. And, yet, it occured to him (as it did me) that it is only very, very recently that we have had the luxury of being squeamish about such things. Except for witnessing in my childhood a couple of killing of chickens and rabbits to eat (traumatic), I have always foraged for my food at Kroger. And I intend to keep it that way. But, you know, that kind of life is not reality for most of the world, nor is it reality for our own culture until lately.

In short, the book makes intersting points about the abilities we are losing, the possiblities of real disaster, and the need for our assessment of what we would do if TSHTF and TWAWKI ends...could we recapture the skills we would need?

And, I can't quit this review without telling you that there is a neat surprise at the end of the it. You'll enjoy it. And you might find yourself sleeping some night just for practice in a debris hut. Not! C


  1. it's an uncomfortable subject, but just having been without electricity for over a week got us thinking how dependent-helpless we really are! lol.

  2. When I saw the pic of this post, I already thought it was something like that -at least your son has his debris hut in your yard, and does not do it somewhere in antartica, LOL!(hope I didn't scare you with that comment - he probably won't)