Ultimate Guide to Wilderness Living by John and Geri McPherson
The McPhersons are well known as experts in bushcraft and wilderness survival. Their approach is very natural, often using absolutely no man-made tools. They’ve learned by doing, spending years perfecting their skills. In this book, they share this knowledge with the reader in an entertaining and engaging style.
From getting a fire going with a drill to making tools from bones and stones, they lead the reader through the process step-by-step. The writing style is relatively informal, which really works here. As you read the book, you feel as though John and Geri are at your side, guiding you along the way. They readily admit mistakes they’ve made over the years and share them with you in hopes of keeping history from repeating itself.
One of the many areas where this book shines is the instructions on making food gathering tools, like the venerable bow and arrow. This section alone is worth the price of admission, in my estimation. John and Geri go into exquisite detail on this somewhat complicated process. Various traps and snares are given equal attention, which is very helpful. Many similar books give just a passing glance at traps, usually accompanied by a single line drawing of each trap, if the reader is lucky.
This book is heavily illustrated throughout, with both photos and drawings. This leads me to the only drawback of the book, in my opinion. Some of the photos, being black and white, aren’t as clear as I’d have liked. The details get lost in the grayness with some of the photos. However, this is not insurmountable as many of those same photos are accompanied by detailed line drawings to help the reader understand what is being illustrated.
All in all, if you have even a passing interest in learning woodcraft, this would be THE book I’d recommend.