• Leon Pantenburg | Survival Common Sense


Review: Backwoods Survival Guide by Jim Cobb

250 316 Survival Common Sense Blog | Emergency Preparedness

You need this book on your survival shelf.

by Leon Pantenburg

It was a foregone conclusion that  I would like this book – I’ve been a fan of Jim Cobb for years, and it’s safe to say that I read everything he writes. Jim has also been a featured writer on Survivalcommonsense.com, and I appreciate his wisdom, and willingness to share his knowledge.

This book should be in your survival/preparedness library.

Jim’s latest effort “Backwoods Survival Guide: Advice for the Simple Life” is another outstanding example of what happens when experience, teaching ability and knowledge are combined with superior word-smithing skills.

The pandemic has brought out a multitude of new books related to that topic and it has also brought previously-disinterested folks into the ranks of the preparedness/survival world.  Of necessity, people are spending more time outdoors hiking and camping. It seems like a good idea to learn how to grow and preserve their own food. And hunting and fishing can be seen as a logical way to stretch the family food budget, while adding organic protein to the family diet.

Therein lies the rub – how do you tell if a book will supply legitimate, useful information or if it was cranked out by some hack writer, using a bunched of skimmed articles, to make a quick buck?

Here’s my standard protocol. Before buying any book, look at the credentials of the author. Ask these questions: Does the author have credibility in the field in which he/she is writing? Is this the author’s first publication? Does the author have a website, Facebook page and Instagram site? What kind of experience does the author bring to the mix? What do other experts in the field say about this author? Does the book tell stories from actual experience that supports the theme? And finally, does anything in the content set off your BS alarm?

I was already pre-disposed to like the book, so I gave it to my wife, Debbie to read while we were on a 10-day road trip through the Southwest in October. Debbie is like many knowledgeable people who eventually come to preparedness awareness – before she met me, Deb had just never thought much about how disasters might affect her. We both read the book over the summer and we both think highly of it.

There is a lot to like about this book:

  • Fantastic photos: The publication is lavishly illustrated with superb photos that show particular scenarios and techniques. People learn more quickly with a combination of graphic illustrations and good writing.
  • Excellent writing: As a journalist with some 40 years of experience, it is hard for me to read some people’s writing. That isn’t the case here. I can take off my editor’s cap, start reading and sit back and enjoy the ride. Jim writes in an easy-to-read style that effortlessly transfers information.
  • Knowledge:  Jim is a recognized expert in the  preparedness field, and his information has come from experience and walking the talk.
squirrel, blackpowder squirrel hunting

Small game hunting can introduce beginners to hunting and the organic meat can be a useful supplement to stored foods.

Self-reliance is one to those comforting activities that helps people stayed grounded during these unusual times. Homesteading is in the self-reliance area. There are many tips to help make your family more self-reliant. One section of the book explains how to raise chickens in your backyard, harvest rainwater, save seeds from your garden and preserve food.

The outdoor skills section includes the basics of tracking, wild medicinal plants and how to stay clean in the field.

Do-It-Yourself projects are always popular with the prepper crowd and you can learn how to make a waterproof oilcloth tarp from a bedsheet, and how to use a bow and arrow for hunting.

If you are looking for ways to become more self-sufficient, then you need this book in your preparedness library.

Jim Cobb

Jim Cobb is the editor-in-chief of the the new Coronavirus Survival Guide magazine and Prepper Survival Guide magazine. He is a recognized authority on disaster readiness, known for his common sense and down-to-earth practical approach. Jim has written several books on the subject and is a sought-after speaker and instructor. He lives with his family in the Upper Midwest. 

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