American Survival Guide (Winter 2013)

Posted on: December 11, 2013

This new incarnation of American Survival Guide is actually pretty decent, but I need to get two things off my chest before we get into the actual review of this issue.

1) I grew up reading the original American Survival Guide and I have fond memories of it. As funny as it sounds, it will always have a place in my heart as it was just about the only source of survivalist information for me back in those days. So, I have a bit of a hard time with this relatively new publication using the same name. But, maybe that’s just me. Most readers will have no problems in this regard at all.

2) The $8.99 cover price is a bit high for any magazine. While there is a ton of great information in this issue, for that price I could buy an actual book on one of the topics talked about in a relatively short magazine article. They do, however, offer a subscription, six issues for $24.95, which brings the per issue price down a fair amount.

Ok, with that out of the way, let’s talk about this Winter 2013 issue of American Survival Guide.

The magazine is divided up into different sections:

General Preparedness
Winter Preparedness
Wilderness Preparedness
Urban Preparedness
Homesteading Preparedness

Each section has a few articles that fall into those basic categories. Scattered throughout the issue are product reviews and buyer’s guides.

Being a magazine, you expect a ton of great pictures and the reader isn’t disappointed in that regard here. Each article has excellent photos that help the reader understand the topic at hand. Of course, there are also a ton of ads in the magazine. That stands to reason since revenue for publications like this come primarily from advertising. Those ads are what pays for the magazine to be produced. But, I do think the information vs. advertising ratio here is skewed heavily towards the former rather than the latter.

On to the content. In Real World Solutions, Steve Maxwell gives us some great information on seven essential items for surviving a major power failure. These include clean power generators and headlamps. As Maxwell notes, “Even a little bit of power is a wonderful thing when the grid goes down.”

In Cabin Fever, Amber Erickson Gabbey talks about ways to reduce feelings of isolation and boredom during long winter stretches when you may be cooped up inside. There are a number of great suggestions here, including playing games, staying active, and working on household projects.

A Call for Help by Larry Schwartz gives an excellent overview of the different communication tools preppers may choose to have with them when adventuring in the back country, such as personal locator beacons or satellite phones. I learned a fair amount from this article, myself, as I’d not looked deeply into such devices.

Saved by the Bow by Peter Schoonmaker is an excellent article on the subject of survival archery. He talks about his own hunt for rabbits in the snow and the tools necessary for success.

Abe Elias give some great advice in his article on bugging out, The Long Way Home. He correctly notes, “The very first part of forming a get-home plan is to be educated enough to decide if you should stay or go.”

All told, there are about 14 different articles in this issue. Add in five different buyer’s guides and the reader is presented with quite a bit of practical information in the 130 pages of the magazine.

The buyer’s guides in this issue include food and water, winter jackets, bows and gear, bug out bags, and guns. Each item presented in these guides is rated by the magazine in what I feel is a pretty fair manner.

All in all, not a bad issue at all. Plenty of pertinent information relevant to both new and experienced preppers.

4 thoughts on “American Survival Guide (Winter 2013)

  1. Jim, Glad you liked the backcountry communications article. I enjoyed writing it and getting into all the details about the different devices. I definitely like the PLB as the one device to get if you can’t get more than one.

    Robert, ASG has gone from 4x per year to 9x per year so I think that it will be around for a good while.

    Larry Schwartz

  2. I used to read the original magazine but this one is hard to find in the uk so I will have to subscribe if the can ship to me

  3. My crystal ball is in the shop so I can’t say with certainty how long this new ASG will be around. But, they are on issue #7, according to the cover, and it comes out 6x a year. I don’t know that it is really worth $9 an issue but for $4 and change for an issue, not too bad.

  4. Good review, Jim. I may have to get a subscription. Do you think it’ll stay in business long enough to finish a subscription out? I have seen some in the past that did not. Given all the ads they have, it sounds like a safe bet.

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