1ksfbanner95 great eastern knife ad
Recommended Readings

Book review | Survival Hacks by Creek Stewart

Book review | Survival Hacks by Creek Stewart

“Survival Hacks: Over 200 ways to use everyday items for Wilderness Survival” by Creek Stewart

by Leon Pantenburg

For a do-it-yourselfer, wilderness survival is a natural. Us gearheads are always looking for the latest and most advanced equipment, but half the fun of preparedness and urban/wilderness survival is figuring out how to adapt ordinary items to extraordinary circumstances.

book: Survival Hacks by Creek Stewart

Survival Hacks by Creek Stewart is a good read for DIY survivalists.

That’s why Creek Stewart’s latest book “Survival Hacks: Over 200 ways to use everyday items for Wilderness Survival’ such a fun read.

Stewart is a wilderness survival instructor, and the author of the bestselling Build the Perfect Bug Out series of books. He’s also the host of Fat Guys in the Woods on the Weather Channel, a show where Stewart and several overweight men take to the woods for a week of hardship, starvation, sleep deprivation and self discovery. He’s the owner and founder of Willow Haven Outdoor survival training schools in Central Indiana.

The fully-prepped and outfitted outdoorsperson will not end up in a survival situation, but rather, may experience an inconvenient night out.

But when the shinola hits the fan, and you don’t have your stuff, improvisation is the only choice.

I leafed through the book, looking for some of my favorite improvs that don’t work (for me). There was no firemaking using a soda can and Hershey bar. On the other hand, there was the Hobo Candle heater, which uses two terracotta flower pots and small candles. The heater I made, using a similar pattern, didn’t produce much heat.

But the rest of the tips seem to be valid.

I didn’t know:

Ramen noodles can be used to make a stove. (I knew they are inedible!) Just saturate the noodles with HEAT gasline antifreeze, and light, and the noodles are supposed to burn for about 20 minutes.

Author Creek Stewart is a survival writer and instructor.

Author Creek Stewart is a survival writer and instructor.

Cut up a bra to make a debris mask. This could be very useful when there is a lot of wind-driven sand, ash or particles in the air. Not to mention, the cup could filter out some airborne disease-carrying germs.

Make a fire with a guitar pick: I generally carry a pick in my pocket, since you never know when a jam session might break out. According to Stewart, picks are made of celluloid, which is highly flammable. Scrape shavings off the edge, and ignite them with a ferrocerium rod or other ignition source.

Get a magnifying glass from the drug store. Those credit-card-sized magnifying glass are designed to be used to enlarge print. This makes them a very practical firestarter tool. I got one after reading this.

Make a knife sheath from old CD cases: The black plastic on CD cases is kydex, a plastic that can be heat formed and molded. Heat the plastic over a fire or in an oven, and you’ll be able to mold the material around the blade, making for a sturdy, safe sheath.

Probably the best part of the book is the how-to section at the back that describes how to improvise seven different survival kits from common items. These suggestions should get you thinking about how you can make the best survival kit for your particular needs.

Survival Hacks isn’t a survival manual, and all the equipment hacks should be tried before you consider adding them to your survival gear. But the book is an  entertaining read.

While I wouldn’t recommend this as a must-have survival book, it is fun. And it would be a good book to have around during a rainy afternoon in camp.

Please click here to check out and subscribe to the SurvivalCommonSense.com YouTube channel, and here to subscribe to our email update – thanks!

Be Sociable, Share!
Click to add a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recommended Readings

Leon Pantenburg is a wilderness enthusiast, and doesn't claim to be a survival expert or expertise as a survivalist. As a newspaperman and journalist for three decades, covering search and rescue, sheriff's departments, floods, forest fires and other natural disasters and outdoor emergencies, Leon learned many people died unnecessarily or escaped miraculously from outdoor emergency situations when simple, common sense might have changed the outcome. Leon now teaches common sense techniques to the average person in order to avert potential disasters. His emphasis is on tried and tested, simple techniques of wilderness survival. Every technique, piece of equipment or skill recommended on this website has been thoroughly tested and researched. After graduating from Iowa State University, Leon completed a six-month, 2,552-mile solo Mississippi River canoe trip from the headwaters at Lake Itasca, Minn., to the Gulf of Mexico. His wilderness backpacking experience includes extended solos through Yellowstone’s backcountry; hiking the John Muir Trail in California, and numerous shorter trips along the Pacific Crest Trail. Other mountain backpacking trips include hikes through the Uintas in Utah; the Beartooths in Montana; the Sawtooths in Idaho; the Pryors, the Wind River Range, Tetons and Bighorns in Wyoming; Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, the Catskills in New York and Death Valley National Monument in southern California. Some of Leon's canoe trips include sojourns through the Okefenokee Swamp and National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia, the Big Black River swamp in Mississippi and the Boundary Waters canoe area in northern Minnesota and numerous small river trips in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest. Leon is also an avid fisherman and an elk, deer, upland game and waterfowl hunter. Since 1991, Leon has been an assistant scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 18 in Bend, and is a scoutmaster wilderness skills trainer for the Boy Scouts’ Fremont District. Leon earned a second degree black belt in Taekwondo, and competed in his last tournament (sparring and form) at age 49. He is an enthusiastic Bluegrass mandolin picker and fiddler and two-time finalist in the International Dutch Oven Society’s World Championships.

More in Recommended Readings