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Everywhere you turn these days, it seems that the end of the world is coming. The Mayan calendar predicted that the end would come in 2012. Nostradamus decried that the year 2000 A.D. would be the beginning of the last generation of mankind on earth. The bible talks about Armageddon. With all of the news and movies that are flooding the market about this inevitable end, survival is the secondary thought for many of them.
Look at Jon Cusak’s character in the hit blockbuster 2012. The guy shouldn’t have been able to punch his way out of a cardboard box (a wet one at that) but we see him defy all odds and survive when the rest of the world succumbs to devastation. Well, unfortunately (or more appropriately –fortunately), the real world doesn’t work like that. Yes, sometimes luck plays a role, but when you prepare for survival, when you read and practice what you learn, then you increase your chances of luck.
At some point, it becomes more than luck. Having the right survival books on hand, reading them, and understanding what they’re teaching you, can be the difference between making it that extra day or becoming like most people and succumbing well before your time.
While I won’t extrapolate about which specific books are the right ones (many of them cover the same ground and also offer reliable and pointed advice), I will discuss the three basic types of books you should seek out if you want the best chances for survival in the future.
Before you roll your eyes and question whether or not you’re ready to trust the government about anything, military manuals are some of the best sources of information about survival that you’re going to find. You have to remember that when men and women serve in the armed forces, their training costs the government a lot of money and they aren’t going to steer them wrong when it comes to surviving in a host of different situations.
There is an enormous amount of research and trial and error that goes in behind the scenes for these military manuals. People have made the ultimate sacrifice time and time again and their lessons, whatever lessons can be learned from their mistakes or simply their misfortune usually finds its way into these military manuals on some level.
Far too many survival books promise results, but some of the lessons that they teach you can, in fact, kill you. For example, there was a book several years ago that talked about what to do in the event that you are faced with a bear in the woods. This book discussed the options of running, staring it down, and curling up in a ball and waiting for it to take care of what it came to do. Of course, the book mentioned standing your ground, which means staring down the bear. A year after I read this book, I also read a story in the news about a man who took this book’s advice and was mauled and nearly killed by the bear.
Long story short, when it comes to military manuals, you won’t be getting the most cozy bedtime reading, but at least you’ll be getting bonafide, concrete information that is actionable.
Yes, there are plenty of fiction novels out there about survival and some of them stretch the imagination a bit too far, but if the author has built a strong reputation and has a loyal following, then the odds are that he or she has done considerable research on the art of survival. Take The Road, which was turned into a movie with Viggo Mortensen. Of course, the movie simply didn’t do the book justice, but bear with me here. The book discussed many important survival issues, such as avoiding contaminated water, where to look for sources of food, and the benefits of underground shelters and what some people have long hidden in them.
There are a number of authors who go to great lengths to put in real information and scenarios into their fiction. After all, the most believable stories are those that closely resemble real life. Read some survival novels and get a sense of the lengths that people will go to in order to survive.
Books written by reputable survivalists
For this category, you will be overwhelmed with the number of books you will find. There are many terrible books with basic information that wouldn’t help a rat survive one night in the wild, but there are also some great books with helpful information. Research the author and if they are a true survivalist, then it would most likely be worth your while.
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