Without knowledge, tools are useless.



Survival tools are an essential part of your preparedness plan, but without the proper knowledge and skills to employ them, you may as well leave them behind. If armed with only the knowledge to survive, you can sustain yourself in virtually any environment using only the resources around you.

The US Army Survival Manual should be one of the first items you purchase when compiling your bugout bag. The version I carry (pictured above) has a weight of just over one pound – a fairly heavy item, relatively speaking. Remember, you should try to keep your bugout bag to 20 pounds or less. I argue that the the manual is well worth its weight when you consider the value that it delivers. What makes it even more valuable is that it can be purchased for under $10 dollars on many different websites.

*Make sure you purchase a hard copy to carry in your pack, not a digital download.

The manual contains 17 chapters and four appendixes covering nearly every aspect of survival in the wilderness. Chapters include, among other things:

  • Survival Planning
  • Survival Medicine
  • Weapons and Tools
  • Water Procurement
  • Plants and Wildlife for Food
  • Shelters
  • Fire Building
  • Navigation
  • Signaling, and
  • Surviving in Various Climates

In addition, the manual contains four appendixes, complete with pictures and descriptions of:

  • Poisonous Snakes
  • Clouds and Weather Forecasting
  • Edible Plants, and
  • Poisonous Plants

Throughout the main chapters the manual contains extensive descriptions of the techniques presented within, and plenty of illustrations to enhance your understanding. The manual is written in easy-to-understand language; it’s what we Air Force vets like to call “Army-proof”. (Only kidding)

The chapters are relatively short, and I suggest reading one chapter per day until you’ve read the entire manual. Be sure to highlight important points and techniques, especially ones applicable to your specific geographical location. I also suggest storing the manual inside a one gallon food storage bag to prevent it getting wet.

For the money, you won’t find many options that fit the bill of a complete survival guide better than the US Army Survival Manual. With the knowledge this manual provides you will be able to cover the basic elements of surviving outdoors in addition to having a quick reference guide tucked inside your bugout bag.

Overall, the US Army Survival Manual earns 5 out of 5 stars on the Regular Prepper Rating Scale.

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