Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Ultimate Guide to Wilderness Living (Book Review)

Got a hankering for roast mouse?

I requested the Ultimate Guide to Wilderness Living: Surviving with Nothing But Your Bare Hands and What You Find in the Woods from Ulysses Press and Mini Book Expo because my 11-year-old is intrigued by wilderness survival. The book isn't intended for kids, but it seemed like a good resource to have around, just in case he wants to pretend to be lost in the woods sometime.

I was disappointed that McPherson doesn't include even basic information about edible or medicinal plants, which he declares is "superfluous," along with tracking, spirituality, and art. So if you're planning to go Into the Wild, be sure to purchase a separate book with the plant information. It may come in handy.

The information that is included, though, is very thorough. If I ever need to know how to create fire without a match or lighter, make a bow and arrow, gut and skin a deer, or capture and roast a mouse for an emergency meal, I'm good to go. McPherson's tone is amiable, and, though I'll admit I didn't test out his techniques, the step-by-step instructions and over 600 photographic illustrations make the steps quite clear. Perhaps a tad too clear, for my tastes, in the case of the mouse.

The soundtrack (click on my playlist in the sidebar): Eddie Vedder (of Pearl Jam fame) singlehandedly wrote and performed the soundtrack for the movie (based on Jon Krakauer's book) Into the Wild, in which Christopher McCandless lives off the land in the Alaskan wilderness. Among the tracks is this beautiful song, Society.


  1. I'm going to pick this one up. I've been looking for something with this kind of hands-on info. Thanks for the review! :-)

  2. I'll pass on the roast mouse for now, but it's good to have friends who I can call if I need to know.

  3. I'll pass on the roast mouse, too. My hubby loves that show on TV where the guy tries to survive in the wild. I wish I knew the name of it.

  4. "Man vs. Wild." My kids love it, too!

    Care, if you ever need that roast mouse, I'll be more than happy to share the recipe.

    You're welcome, Marie, I hope you like the book!

  5. Great write-up. I'm a big fan of the wilderness myself and was hoping this book was jam packed with info.
    Can you take a second and submit the review to the Mini Book Expo Review Submission Form so we can share your thoughts with the rest of the community?

    (feel free to delete this!)