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US Army Survival Manual: FM 21-76

US Army Survival Manual: FM 21-76 - United States Department of Defense My mom got us this book for Christmas as kind of a joke since we had ice storms and no electricity last December, but I was actually quite excited about reading it. I don't think I need any of the tips about planning my escape cache as a prisoner of war, but there are lots of other great tips here for how to survive in the wild.

After reading this, I'm seeing that anyone who had to survive in the wild would probably spend most of their time gathering food and water, starting a fire, and cooking the food and water. We certainly take these things for granted in the modern society we live in.

This book is all about turning things that aren't common sense into common sense so that you do survive the elements. Some of the things I learned here include:
* how to find north using the sun and my watch or the north star
* boil all water before drinking
* cook or dry all food before eating
* the importance of building a windshield for my fire out of stones or sticks
* how to trap schooling fish in an arrow-shaped fish trap made of sticks
* how to build a fish hook out of a stick and string
* how to dry fish
* how to make a flotation device out of a pair of pants
* that fresh water can be procured from frozen sea water because the salt separates in a slush
* that roots are probably my best bet for nourishment from plants if I can't find fruit, nuts, or vegetables
* that I don't want to eat a mushroom unless I have this book with me to remind me which will kill me and which will not
* that mushrooms with bulbous shapes at their base are poisonous
* that I really don't want to get lost at sea, in the desert, or in a jungle
* that I'd better hope to god I have a knife with me if I ever need to survive in the wild
* that rope and string would come in handy if I needed to survive in the wild
* that I'd better have this book with me when I'm lost in the wild

I'm sure there's more information to be had from the 900+ page Army survival manual, but this is a good start.