This is a great read for anyone interested in how people deal with survival situations. Laurence Gonzales digs deep with his thirty plus years of survival research and experience. His curiosity and knowledge on the subject of survival is intense and a huge eye opener. I found that what he talks about is not only true for surviving in wilderness situations, but also in day to day life. Who lives, who dies, and why. The stories within will seize your breath and bring you to near tears, some of joy and others of sadness and awe. We are not invincible, I hate to break it to you. But with a plan and a little heads up information, we can navigate through life’s tough turns and dust ourselves off and keep living. From crawling miles to camp after being left for dead with a broken leg nineteen thousand feet on a mountain to being stranded on a raft in the middle of a shark infested ocean (with other people on board losing their minds who end up as fish food) and living to tell the story, Gonzales uses many examples that keep you spinning the pages.
To follow up with these amazing stories and philosophies of life or death survival, even the appendix is inspiring and useful. Gonzales describes key ways to survive, including twelve steps on what survivors do. He shares some rules and philosophies that have been used as far back as Marcus Aurelius and current examples from guides of today. Respect what you don’t know and be careful that you don’t know too much to become complacent. Be present to what is in any situation and use your senses. If it doesn’t feel right, then it probably isn’t. These are just a few of the many insights he gives that can keep people alive in tough times.
I used to silently judge the heck out of people who got lost in the woods. Pretty seriously, actually. Until, of course, I ended up requiring the guidance of a helicopter and a ground team to get myself, my weary friend, and my skunk-incensed dog off the side of a ravine… This book absolutely NAILS the many reasons that even reasonably intelligent people can get completely lost in the woods… or in life. We get lost because instead of seeing what is actually there, we see what we want to see, or what fits our vision of how things are supposed to be (the trail must be right over there, etc). Combine that tendency with the inner workings of our emotional brains and you have a recipe for where-the-hell-are-we soup! The moral of the story? Let go of your rigid vision, pay attention to what is actually in front of you, and check out this insightful book!