Wednesday, 15 October 2008

Survival Topics

As you might imagine I've read one or two books about surviving in the wilderness and to be fair most of them are much of a muchness. Just because you can survive doesn't mean you can write.

There is one notable exception - Ron Fontaine who writes Survival Topics; the BEST survival site on the web and far far better than most of the books.

The most common ways to die outdoors may not be what usually comes to mind. Many people worry about bears and other mean creatures. Fact is, the most common outdoor deaths are attributable to one and only one living thing: YOU. By far, hands down, what bumps you off in the wilderness are the decisions you make. Getting just a little to close to the edge. Taking on the next higher class of whitewater. Climbing a mountain when you are out of shape. Refusing to turn back when the weather turns bad.

Many people think food will be the priority when lost in the woods - survival topics puts that myth to bed.If there is one piece of advice that will carry you through life this is it, it works in the woods, it works in meetings, and it works in that most fraught of suburban survival situations - the children's party! When you've survived being over-run by wild eyed tykes, high on sugar and adrenalin you can tell yourself you'd survive anything.

The Dakota Fire (pictured above)
This wasn't the first time I'd seen this, but it's easily the best explanation of its benefits.
I've been to South Dakota and if there is one environment where the wind will increase fuel consumption it's the plains. So it's not surprising that a technique for using less fuel would develop there. Works well in Yorkshire too!
[For readers from other parts of the world, Yorkshire is the Texas of England (the biggest and most opinionated ;-) ) and home to my pal The Northern Monkey]

Survival Topics is also a web shop where Ron sells that outdoor essential the Swedish firesteel.
I still have a stash of firesteels so I haven't ordered any of his myself, but he's got the widest choice of sizes, and his pricing is way cheaper than a lot of sites. Including the one I bought mine from. grrr.

As with the best teachers Ron has peppered his writing with moments of comedy

Although the odds are certainly against it, personally I think predation is the manliest way to go. There is something to be said for going down fighting as opposed to in an old folks home.

Thanks for reading - be sure to check out more of Ron's site.
your pal
The bushwacker