There are books you read through once, then toss aside or trade in at a used bookstore. On the other hand, there are books you read and then want to keep on hand for future reference. The Simple Survival Smart Book is definitely in the latter category.
It is written by Patrick Shrier. He comes by his knowledge honestly, having spent a lifetime in wilderness pursuits as well as a couple of decades spent as a Cavalry Scout for the United States Army. He absolutely knows his stuff.
The Simple Survival Smart Book is not focused on long-term prepping but rather short-term solutions to keep you alive when bugging out or during other similar emergency situations. As a result, you’re not going to find a ton of info here on food storage plans, emergency power systems, and the like. What you will find, though, is great information and tips on staying alive while on the move.
Here is the table of contents:
Chapter 1: Survival Planning
Chapter 2: Preparedness Kits
Chapter 3: Outdoor Survival
Chapter 4: Map Reading and Navigation
Chapter 5: Acquiring Food and Water
Chapter 6: Combat
Chapter 7: Basic Field First Aid
Chapter 8: Useful and Helpful Knots
Appendix A: Tips, Tricks, and Hints
Appendix B: Minefield Record Card
Appendix C: Foodborne Illnesses
If Chapter 6 wasn’t enough of a hint, this book is written with a decidedly military bent. That’s neither good nor bad, in my opinion, just an observation. Given Shrier’s background, this makes perfect sense. Personally, I rather appreciated the insight provided in Chapter 6, as well as throughout the book. I also genuinely enjoy his writing style. He is not at all dry but is, in fact, pretty humorous in spots. He writes as though he’s standing next to you, showing you how to perform different tasks. This is refreshing when compared to many other books in this niche.
This is a self-published book, rather than one traditionally published. As with many self-pubbed books, there are a few formatting mistakes and such. Nothing earth-shattering and nothing that should cause great alarm among potential readers. But, I’ve found that for some reason self-pubbed books seem to suffer more of this sort of thing than traditionally published books. Likely it isn’t the fault of the author but of the printing process itself.
One area where the book really shines is with Chapter 4. Navigation and map reading can be very confusing to someone who isn’t familiar with at least the basics. However, Shrier does very well with explaining this complicated topic in easy-to-understand steps.
Another chapter that is outstanding is the first chapter on survival planning. Here, he goes into detail as to how to create an effective plan to achieve an objective, primarily by using a variation of the military decision making process. Using this tool, any objective can be broken down into incremental steps.
The Simple Survival Smart Book would be an excellent addition to the bug out bag or other kit. It runs 240 or so pages, so it isn’t too huge or bulky. Slip it into a ziplock bag and toss it into your kit after you’ve read it. The book would be a valuable tool for any time you’re forced to abandon civilization for a bit.
As of this writing, it is going for about $12.00 on Amazon.