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Friday, March 26, 2010

Review: How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It

Well, this is ones of those books that every survivalist/prepper should have on their bookshelf. While nothing earthshaking for regular readers of Survivalblog, How to Survive TEOTWAWKI does a good job of collecting and detailing much of Rawles' survival advice. If you've been a long time follower of Survivalblog, there will be plenty of refreshers here. If you're new to survival/prepping, this book will get you off to a good start as you prepare your "list of lists."

The book is a comprehensive overview and discussion of the various categories of preps and discusses the techniques for figuring out what you need. There are a lot of gear recommendations here, but they're mixed in with plenty of smart advice. I found the book very easy to read.

If you're not a fan of Rawles (Survivalblog haters do exist!), well, this book probably won't change your mind. Survivalblog is often criticized as being survival for yuppies/wealthy people. And honestly, much of this book is listing off the vast array of preps that Rawles recommends--a massive shopping list for would-be survivalists. Other common complaints--somewhat outdated firearm recommendations, for example--still apply as well. So, if you've got nitpicks with the Rawles approach, don't expect those to be resolved.

If you're a complete neophyte and unfamiliar with Survivalblog, well, this book may seem daunting and/or excessive. The sheer number and cost of the recommended preps is vast and expensive--like into the hundreds of thousands of dollars range when you factor weapons batteries, ammo, communications gear, bug out vehicles, night vision gear, generators, and a full-time retreat into price tally. And if you're a newbie or casually interested in survivalism, some of the recommendations may seem a little extreme--stockpiling barbed wire, surgical kits, and so on. Really, Rawles recommends a fairly hardcore survivalist approach--a lifelong pursuit, requiring major investment, time and sacrifice. It might scare some away.

The above being said, this is a great book. It is great to have the comprehensive SurvivalBlog approach & recommendations laid out in one place. No digging through archives here. As I read through the book, I was constantly being reminded about preps that I needed to get, techniques that I needed a refresher on, and details that I've never heard. I'm going to read through it again and write notes as I go, and may post an update to this review afterward.

Also, this is a great book to give those interested in survival but who can't/won't read through the online blog. Blogs are a new thing, and many people just aren't blog savvy. But everyone understands a book. I plan on getting a copy to pass around to some of my friends and extended family--people who already have an interest in surviving when TSHTF, but who aren't the blog-reading type.

For the cover price--about $12 from Amazon--it's certainly a must-have for every prepared family.

How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times >