Stories like Chris's are a large part of what led me to write this book and to make sure that, like my TV show, there is nothing phony about my work. The field of wilderness survival is cluttered enough with information. I stick to tried-and-true methods, providing the background and explaining the skills that I know can help you to survive. The skills are ones that anyone can easily learn and use, and that should work anywhere, anytime. I also provide essential checklists, which you'll find at the end of the book; photocopy these and use them to plan your next adventure. Preparation is everything.
Yet no matter how prepared you may be, you should never lose sight of the fact that a survival situation is an emergency. It may seem fun on a survival-skills weekend when you're fully fed, guided by an instructor, and surrounded by a group of like-minded students, all smiles and dirty faces. But in a real-life ordeal, "fun" is not part of the equation.
Survival is not about smelling the pines and feeling the breeze on your weathered and tanned face. Survival is not fun. It's not pretty. It's never comfortable. It may involve eating gross things, enduring pain and deprivation, and battling fatigue and loneliness. It may involve danger. It's about life or death. If you want to learn how to survive, read on. . . .