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Tom Brown's Guide to Wilderness Survival
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Tom Brown's Guide to Wilderness Survival

4.23  ·  Rating details ·  817 Ratings  ·  25 Reviews
This long-awaited handbook by the director of the world-famous Tracking, Nature and Wilderness Survival School is the first of its kind. Like FOXFIRE it preserves knowledge that was in danger of being lost forever, but reaches even deeper into the past. It is about the basics. In it you will find much that was forgotten: the most ancient and essential skills of humankind, ...more
Paperback, 287 pages
Published April 15th 1987 by Berkley Books (first published June 1st 1983)
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Mar 08, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I learned alot about wilderness survival from this book. Tom Brown's an eloquent writer and I appreciate how he describes backcountry living in the book. I really dig that he writes about 'survival' as a way of life (which is information I'm looking for) as opposed to something like Les Stroud's "Survive" which talks about survival from an emergency-"I need to be rescuded" stance.
Rachel Chae
Oct 10, 2016 rated it really liked it
brilliant book if you want to learn how to walk like a fox and feel a salad
Roger Burk
Mar 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Despite the title, this book is not about wilderness survival. It is about learning the skills of our paleolithic ancestor: making bows and arrows, stalking deer, tanning hides with their brains, making pemmican, and so forth. These skills are surely as difficult and time-consuming to learn for us as learning to navigate the internet would be for a cave man. The short last chapter of the book seems like an afterthought: it's about what's really important if you find yourself lost in the woods, l ...more
Nov 17, 2008 rated it it was amazing
I used to call these the most important books in print. Perhaps they still are. The reason I rated them so highly is that Tom Brown's books contain knowledge that has practically vanished from the Earth. Namely: how people lived before civilization.

Both the field guides and the biographical and autobiographical books deliver an understanding of nature that is missing from modern life. They are essential reading.

And oh yes, they are the best survival manuals available.
Oct 05, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: how-to
Written by an experienced woodsman, this is a great guide for learning how to spend time stranded in the wilderness without dying from starvation or exposure, but that's about it. Truthfully, though, that would be a hell of an accomplishment for most people. Hence, just focus on the basics with this book, and learn how to build a raft out of turtles and back hairs in later editions...
Christine Kenney
Jul 18, 2017 rated it liked it
When I read Tom Brown guides and the discipline he's put into learning and rehearsing how to manage when the SHTF, I picture the Overly Manly Man meme disparaging whatever first world problem of the moment I've decided to fixate on... Also possibly because his illustrations all look like mustachioed 70's porn stars as rendered by a grade schooler. But be that as it may, good content.

I felt like the premise in The Knowledge is more plausible-- that we should get good and resourceful about upcycl
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Not a "survival guide," per se. If that's what you're looking for go check out the SAS Survival Handbook, by John Wiseman. This book is about staying out in the wild ("thriving," as opposed to "surviving") using skills handed down via hundreds of generations of the indigenous Native American hunter-gatherer societies. Exceptionally informative and written in an entertaining fashion as well. Five stars.
May 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is an excellent reference book and also an interesting read. A lot of very useful information and has really decent drawings of how to do various bush skills. There are some very basic but need to know skills along with the more risque type skills for people who are a bit more adventurous and wish to try something different. There's information on wild edibles, various shelter constructions, various types of animal traps and such. A very good book overall.
Aug 21, 2007 rated it really liked it
This is a good survival book; it focuses on understanding and being a part of the wilderness rather than fighting it... as fighting against the wilderness uses up too much precious energy when things really get nasty.
Jan 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2014
While this topic fascinates me, it doesn't really apply to my current situation, and I had to give up reading the book in favor of others that speak directly to what it going on in my life now. May pick up in the future...
May 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This book is possibly unmatched for survival skills in North America. Trap making, Botany, shelter tips, etc.

I've used it since I was a boy.
Feb 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
If you can get past the obviously made up stories about his childhood then this book is a great resource for wilderness survival.
Apr 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Best true wilderness survival guide available.
Dawn Anderson
Pretty practical. Not so easy to put into use. An old Boy Scout Handbook has some equally great stuff in it, too.
Jan 26, 2008 rated it really liked it
A must-read for living close to the land. My "bible" during a few escapist years. Every human should know that they can...
Mike Capanda
May 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Tom Brown jr is the ultimate teacher . Not just physical skills . He teaches way more . Read all his books
Sep 05, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Campers/Hikers, Boy Scouts, Survivalists
One of the best primers in survival ever written. Tom Brown teaches survival skills as well as ethics and proper interaction with nature.
May 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Fun and informative. I am glad I own this so that I can read and reread it over and over. I should like to memorize many sections.
Dec 29, 2007 rated it it was amazing
solid useful info, not as good as a real teacher, but a whole lot more accessible.
Feb 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
613.69 Field guide to wilderness survival techniques
Jun 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: guides
I've been skimming through this one for a few weeks, picking out skills/projects to use for camping trips. First excursion out: tomorrow morning.
Sep 24, 2008 rated it liked it
My favorite
Jared Green
Jul 27, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: camping
my survival bible.
Jun 03, 2009 is currently reading it
Animals are not uncomfortable living in the wilderness. Living in harmony with nature doesn't have to mean wandering around soaking wet in the rain looking for berries....
Jerry Jordison
rated it it was amazing
Mar 15, 2016
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Jul 04, 2012
Paul Scott
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Nov 08, 2014
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Apr 26, 2016
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Dec 17, 2011
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Mar 05, 2017
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Tom Brown, Jr. is an American naturalist, wilderness tracker and the author of numerous books, including a series of Field Guides. Brown attributes his tracking skills and his spiritual philosophy to the teachings of a Lipan Apache elder named Stalking Wolf, who instructed Brown during his childhood. Brown refers to Stalking Wolf as "Grandfather" in his writings.


Tom Brown (n