Wilderness survival guides

A lot of travelers are romanced by the kind of retreat from civilization found in the pages of Henry David Thoreau and Carl G. Jung. Taking a break from our regular lives and living simply in nature is not only personally rewarding, it may be a little more essential to our well being than many may previously have thought.

However, embarking on a journey such as this requires the same amount of research one would do to prepare themselves for travel across several cultures. You may not have to read up on local customs, language, and history, but it is just as important to be well informed about the land around you, even if you are planning to spend the whole of your time within the same camp sight. Not only will it help you get the most out of your experience by bringing you a closer understanding of your surroundings. It just may save your life.
Many people are familiar with the story of Chris McCandless, the free spirited and idealistic wanderer who met a tragic end as a result of being somewhat uninformed. As the story goes, McCandless did indeed take to the bush with a nature guide, but perhaps the story just reinforces the essential need to prepare. Eating the wrong things in the wild can be potentially life threatening. If we really plan to live off of what the land around us yields naturally, it’s good to know the tasty nutritious plants and roots from the ones that might kill us. We don’t want to spend the whole of our time with our noses in a guidebook, but a decent amount of preparation is certainly advisable.

Each area of land will require location specific research and inquiry, as plants and the culture of the terrain varies both between and within different countries. On top of all this, there is an endless sea of herb dictionaries and wilderness survival guides to choose from. So where does one start? As someone who has put in a sizable amount of time searching for a guide that is both area appropriate and systematic and intuitive enough to use, I can admit, the task can be a little daunting.

Ultimately, regardless of the amount of time we study our wilderness survival books, our real education will come by spending time in the outdoors and the myriad situations we will encounter along our journey.

Have you found a specific wilderness guide to be particularly useful? What about it made it ideal for you?

Posted by | Comments (1)  | September 6, 2010
Category: Food and Drink, Simplicity, Travel Guidebooks, Travel Health

One Response to “Wilderness survival guides”

  1. Austin Says:

    Really though, where does one start?