Survivalist Book Reviews
The following books appear in no particular order and are available for purchase by clicking on the book's title (or cover where shown). If you would like to submit a survival book for review, please contact me for postal details.
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Simple SurvivalSimple Survival by Gary L. Benton

Simple Survival is the freshest survival book to cross my desk in a decade. Gary L. Benton has written an entertaining and easy to understand survival guide that grabs your attention and keeps it! Simple Survival is ambitious in it's scope - but where others have fallen, this book absolutely shines! Whatever the climate, whatever the situation, Simple Survival seems to have it covered. It's also good to see that someone is writing with the family in mind, as the book covers survival situations that any mom or dad may encounter and gives great advice on how to deal with these scenarios.

Gary L. Benton has drawn on his own experience in the writing of this book and his years of training are reflected in the pages of Simple Survival. Gary has written one of the must-have books for anyone interested in the outdoors and I have no hesitation in recommending it.


The Coming Global SuperstormThe Coming Global Superstorm by Art Bell & Whitley Strieber
guest reviewer - 'Max'

I enjoyed this book immensely, I had doubts initially about Whitley Streibers input, but the book very quickly started to deliver! I was very impressed that a dry scientific theory was made highly readable by the addition of fictional scenarios placed throughout the books chapters, covering possibilities discussed in the text. It made the whole book entertaining and highly readable as well as very informative.

There's more than enough text references and footnotes to their theories to keep the most hardened researcher hunting for months on the topic of global warming and ice ages. The way the book placed our tiny little human mindset of time into context was very impressive - to see it all laid out and referenced really made you realize the fact that 100 years might as well be 100 seconds in the scope of time - past and future on earth. Further to this enlightening insight, their comments on slowing global warming gave me an insight into the human mind we all know so well, by some insignificant individual actions everyone could help to stave off their dire predictions - but in the back of my head I just know that the vast majority of humanity would not even bother to read the book, let alone act on it's suggestions.

Tthe Hollywood movie based on the premise this book provides is a blandly sanitised work of fiction in comparison, see the film for it's entertainment value, then read the book to fill all the holes the film leaves. I've passed this book onto family, I'll then pass it onto friends, it will always have a place in my library - I think it's that important! I hope to take it down off the shelf and read it again on my 70th birthday, but given the amount of well referenced information, I'm not 100% sure it will happen. I'll have to look into sending a copy to my congressman.

Also available for download as an audio book in Microsoft Reader format and also in Adobe Reader format.

Boondocking BasicsBoondocking Basics by Russ DeMaris & Tiña DeMaris

Boondocking Basics is an interesting read for those interested in the basics of setting up a 'recreatonal vehicle' for extended stays "in the bush".

I found the section on 12v electrical supply interesting and the charts and such, very informative - it gave a good rundown on the pros and cons of various types of batteries, solar panels and wind turbines that even an electrical imbecile like me could understand. There is a chapter on inverter power to run 110v from the storage batteries and the section on fresh water storage and tips for use is well thought out.

Other topics covered include water storage; storage systems for wastes; heating etc. The tips are well thought out and relevant and the book as a whole was informative and well written.

Before using any of the advice in the book, it would be prudent to check the electrical information supplied (just in case) - and remember too that this book is written with the U.S. market in mind and as such electrical advice is written for the U.S.

Boondocking Basics is an informative book that will answer a lot of the basic questions and lead you to the point where you can ask informed questions yourself, on local requirements and codes.
Visit their website:

Deep SurvivalDeep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, And Why by Laurence Gonzales hardcover 302 pages

Laurence Gonzales's two award-winning articles on survival appeared in National Geographic Adventure. He has written for Outside, Harpers, Men's Journal, and Playboy, among other magazines and lives in Evanston, Illinois. In this book Gonzales delves into the science, psychology, and art of wilderness survival and his analysis is riveting, his conclusions startling.

A young Californian woman survives a plane crash onto an icy mountain ledge, hikes 36 hours to safety wearing high-heeled boots, a short skirt and no underwear. Yet another young woman survives in a liferaft while her friends go slowly mad from lack of water.

After her plane crashes, a seventeen-year-old girl wearing her confirmation dress and white high-heels spends eleven days walking through the Peruvian jungle to safety. Against all odds, with no food, shelter, or equipment, she gets out. A better-equipped group of adult survivors of the same crash sits down and dies. What makes the difference?

Examining other stories of miraculous endurance and tragic death - how people get into trouble and how they get out again (or not) - Deep Survival takes us from the tops of snow covered mountains and the depths of oceans to the workings of the brain that control our behavior. Through close analysis of case studies, Laurence Gonzales describes the essence of a survivor and offers twelve "Rules of Survival." In the end, he finds, it's what's in your heart, not what's in your pack, that separates the living from the dead. Fascinating for any reader, and absolutely essential for anyone who takes a hike in the woods, this book will change the way we understand ourselves and the great outdoors.

Savage DawnSavage Dawn by Robert Cole paperback 289 pages

'Savage Dawn' is the best Australian book I have read in many years - it's also the best post apocalypse book I've read since 'Alas, Babylon'. [to go to the 'Alas, Babylon' site, click here.]

Robert Cole has written a gripping novel following Alex Carhill as he and the scattered survivors of a nuclear holocaust struggle daily to survive in a world they could never have imagined; a wasteland of radiation, disease, armed looters and an increasingly dangerous military.

The reader follows Alex's development from a quiet, insecure, holidaying Aussie trapped on the other side of the globe by WW3, until he is finally shaped through the years of turmoil and hardship to become a rugged, confident leader of men.

A exciting, enjoyable read that is impossible to put down. Highly recommended!

Gas Masks & Civil DefenseGas Masks & Civil Defense by Richard L. Urie paperback 72 pages

Written in an unbiased easy-to-understand style, Gas Masks and Civil Defense is a practical resource that provides a sensible perspective on today's defensive environment.

This concise and practical reference book gives the reader straightforward information and explanations regarding potential threats, including gases (nerve, mustard), bacterias (anthrax), viruses, toxins (ricin), radiological and others. Gives instructions on fitting, testing, using, cleaning and storing gas masks, what kinds of filters or cartridges are effective against what threats, and what other protections should be considered.

Knowledge is power, and Gas Masks and Civil Defense gives the average citizen a basic understanding of potential threats and how to protect against them. Includes photo illustrations, diagrams and important quick reference tables for various hazard types.

Richard L. Urie is a Certified Industrial Hygienist and Certified Safety Professional with a Masters Degree in Environmental Science and 25 years experience in the field. He has provided more than 8,000 hours of technical instruction to more than 600 companies and institutions throughout the United States, Germany and Indonesia.

When Technology FailsWhen Technology Fails: A Manual For Self-Reliance & Planetary Survival by Matthew Stein paperback 405 pages

Matthew Stein has written a clear, concise book on the subject of survival that, while educating, also does what few others have managed to do - entertain and engage the reader.

Throughout the book you'll find personal stories accompanying the text to further illustrate or drive home a point. The use of these asides brings you into Matthew Stein's life, as he recounts personal stories of survival and tells the stories of others who have managed to overcome the odds to survive.

Not just a survival book, Matthew also covers topics like alternative therapies; how to create a survival mindset; survival strategies; renewable energy; companion gardening; prophecies etc. as well as all the regular topics found in such books - edible plants; first aid; making a survival kit; growing, hunting and foraging; making tools; creating shelters; spinning/weaving/tanning etc.

The book has some great illustrations that make plant identification and first aid that much easier to understand and each chapter finishes with a reference section listing books (along with a short review) and resources (with web addresses where available).

This author has been active in the areas of alternative medicine, water treatment and renewable energy for 15-20 years - and the time and effort taken to research his topic really shows. When Technology Fails belongs in your survival library - as the publisher says, "it's a user-friendly manual for the 21st Century".

Don't Shoot The Bastards Yet Don't Shoot The Bastards (yet) by Claire Wolfe paperback 236 pages

Claire Wolfe has the happy knack of being able to put across solid ideas while keeping you glued to the page.

This book is a sequel to 101 Things To Do Til The Revolution a funny, thought-provoking title that has blessed my shelves for a few years now.

If you are looking for ways to subvert authority, protect your constitutional freedoms and give 'Big Brother' a black eye you could do worse than starting with any of Claire Wolfe's books.

To quote from Claire quoting Jefferson Mack, "too often, too many don't see the loss of freedom as that big of a deal. That's the way the people who steal freedom want it. They want the average citizen still at the job, worried about what he is going to put in his mouth more than what he can say with it". This book will help you steal a little of that freedom back.

BuckshotBuckshot's Wilderness Survivor Video's by 'Buckshot'

'Buckshot' (Bruce Hemming) has released a series of instructional video's that he is selling from his site. (click on the link above or the photo of Buckshot to go there - or you can buy his book, Buckshot's Modern Trapper's Guide)

I recently received Volume's 1 and 2 in the series and sat back and watched an expert do his thing.

Don't expect Hollywood special effects or Crocodile Hunter heroics - what you get is someone who knows his business showing you step-by-step how to: create a shelter; use and deploy traps; find wilderness food; use flints for firemaking; fishing with a rod - a trap - barehanded!; skin your catch; cook your catch; collect and make maple syrup - and lots, lots more.

One of the things that you'll find of interest is 'Buckshot' showing you the tools he personally uses - and explaining why and how he uses them.

Most of the video is shot with 'Buckshot' talking to a camera he is controlling remotely, although on occassion he does have a cameraman with him. This may lead to a few blurred shots - but these videos are well worth having - and you are getting the real deal here, not someone hired to read a script - but someone who lives what he is teaching.

The Book Of SurvivalThe Book Of Survival: The Original Guide To Staying Alive In The City, The Suburbs And The Wild Lands Beyond by Anthony Greenbank paperback 267 pages (for my pre-Sept 11 revised edition)

Ever since I started selling books on survival, I have had requests from people asking for Anthony Greenbank's (long out of print) The Book Of Survival.

Well, it's back. This new revised edition (revised again post-Sept.11) contains new tips on BASIC TERROR TACTICS SURVIVAL, CHEMICAL WEAPONS, BIOLOGICAL WEAPONS which have added since the attacks on New York and Washington.

The book contains a wealth of common sense advice - and quite a few tips that seem to come from left field (but make sense) and has some good illustrations which make the ground-to-air communications info, for instance, very easy to understand.

Chapters are: too lonely; too crowded; too dry; too wet; too bright; too dark; too cold; too hot; too low; too high; too fast; too slow; too full; too empty - all are written using a technique called mnemonics, which is supposed to help the reader retain or recall what has been read.

What stopped this book getting 5 stars though, is the writing, which I found a little 'odd' in parts. At the very beginning of the book I was put off by such statements as, "flaming electric blanket murders family"... an inanimate object 'murdering'??? I know it's not much, but it grated. At various stages I found myself wondering whether the book had been badly translated into english!

That aside, the book is worth a look. It covers every contingency imaginable and it does contain some great ideas that will help you stay out of, or get out of trouble.