Well, I burned right through this book.  I actu­al­ly fin­ished it a week ago, Thurs­day.  It should real­ly be called, Sur­viv­abil­i­ty for the Com­mon ‘Sense’ Man.  Dave takes a no non­sense real com­mon sense approach to the con­cept of ‘what if I get lost in the woods while tak­ing a walk, hik­ing, camp­ing, etc.’  It is writ­ten in lan­guage every­one will under­stand and I like his writ­ing style.

Dave starts by cov­er­ing his phi­los­o­phy of the Pathfind­er Sys­tem.  The Pathfind­er Sys­tem, accord­ing to the book comes in 10 parts, and each one is out­lined in some detail in the book.  There is enough detail to give you an under­stand­ing of what each part of the sys­tem is, how it affects you, and what you should do to stay alive using it or rec­og­niz­ing the affects of it.  Dave also goes into some detail about what to car­ry (his min­i­mum pack require­ments) with some enhance­ments when you go out into the woods, with tips and tricks on how not to lose your gear, and what to do if you find it float­ing down riv­er with­out you.   Top­ics cov­er every­thing from fire mak­ing, shel­ter, hunt­ing for food, for­ag­ing (he made sev­er­al good points in this sec­tion that I am going to def­i­nite­ly take his advice on), ori­en­teer­ing, and more.  He does not go into deep detail about many of the sub­jects, oth­er­wise this book could have been a 500 — 1000 page ency­clo­pe­dia on how to sur­vive in the wilder­ness with a knife and a firesteel.  But that was obvi­ous­ly not the sole inten­tion of the book.  “I think” the inten­tion here was to give an overview phi­los­o­phy of the pathfind­er sys­tem so that you don’t freak out if you get lost, and with gen­er­al instruc­tion on how to be found by a SAR (Search and Res­cue) team.  It is all about think­ing smart, because the phi­los­o­phy behind the Pathfind­er Sys­tem, real­ly does seem to be com­mon sense.

Who will enjoy this book?  I think every­one will enjoy it to some extent.  If you are a 20 year vet­er­an Army Ranger or Marine, I am sure you prob­a­bly already know much of what is in this book, less some of Dav­e’s phi­los­o­phy.  If you are an expe­ri­enced bush­man, you may learn a few new tips and tricks, which is always good.  If you live in the sub­urbs

or an urban envi­ron­ment, this is a no non­sense, no fluff book on build­ing and main­tain­ing a min­i­mum size bug out kit, hik­ing, or camp­ing kit cou­pled with the high lev­el out­line of skills you will need in the out­doors. And, for this rea­son, I high­ly rec­om­mend it.

Much of Dav­e’s min­i­mum kit were stan­dard equip­ment in my Get Home Bag when I worked in NYC.

As I men­tioned, this book could have been much longer, but you can do three things to learn more.  Read a book on the sub­jects and then get out and try them, take a class or class­es in your local area on the sub­jects, or you can go to Dav­e’s Pathfind­er Gath­er­ing to learn direct­ly from the man him­self and his team.  I would like to do this as well, should I be able to find the time.

You can buy the book here.  I earn NO rev­enues from your pur­chase.

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