Friday, August 8, 2008

Book Review: Live Off The Land In The City And The Country

Sorry for a late post just flew in tonight from Cleveland and it is great to be home. Live Off The Land In The City And Country is the next review here at Be A Survivor. Anyone who reads my blog knows I am very fond of our old buddy Ragnar Benson. For those of you who have never heard of him before Ragnar Benson is actually a pseudonym for one of the "prolific" survival writers out there. I have already reviewed some of his books and I had the opportunity to pick this one up...so here we go.

Mr. Benson covers all the basic survival stuff in this book. He starts by telling a few stories of some folks who managed to make it in the wilderness with little more than the clothes on their backs. Readers will enjoy his tale of Wild Bill Moreland...who lived for 11 years undetected in Clearwater National Forest will just a few pieces of equipment and the occasional pilfering of a cabin or two. He advises readers to take a lesson or two away from Mr. Moreland as well as the Indians who roamed the land before us.

There is a lot on food and the procurement of it. Several chapters cover traps of various kinds...including primitive traps, steel traps and how to locate game to trap in the first place. Ragnar likes trapping because it is zero effort as opposed to hunting which can require significant effort and yield little results. Set and forget is the mantra...well forget it for 24 hours or so...traps must be checked frequently to prevent you catch from becoming a meal for a scavenger.

Mr. Benson covers weaponry he seems to be a fan of FN Assault Rifles and AR-15's...at least in this book. I have seen him make other recommendations in some of his other works. What would a Ragnar Benson book be without a chapter on caching...heck he has written entire books on the subject. For those of you not in the know... a cache is a strategically placed stash of weapons, equipment and food, usually buried for use at a later date in time.

The book breaks down as such:
Chapter 1 - Wildman of the Clearwater
Chapter 2 - Learning from Indians: The Nez Perce Story
Chapter 3 - Equipment and Caching
Chapter 4 - Locating Wild Game
Chapter 5 - Snares and Deadfalls
Chapter 6 - Small Permanent Traps
Chapter 7 - Using Steel Traps
Chapter 8 - Emergency Fish and Fowl
Chapter 9 - Survival Guns and Shooting
Chapter 10 - Big Game, Big Harvest
Chapter 11 - City Survival
Chapter 12 - Edible Plants and Survival Gardening
Chapter 13 - Tanning Skins and the Indian Way
Chapter 14 - Preserving Food
Chapter 15 - Old-Time Potpourri
Chapter 16 - Bees and Honey
Chapter 17 - Practical Domestic Animals
Chapter 18 - A Survival Generator
Chapter 19 - A Simple A-Frame Cabin
Chapter 20 - Real Survivors

Ragnar covers providing your own food in the chapters that cover gardening, raising animals, foraging for edibles and preserving your bounty. He goes over the easiest things to grow that will provide the most bang for the buck...even including recommendations for storing seeds. He does the same for raising animals including duck (yes I said duck), carp, pigeons and goats. He has a chapter devoted to bees and honey as well. Honey is a great survival food and if stored correctly should never spoil.

Let's face it this book is classic Ragnar Benson in his prime. The book is dated but contains valid and useful information. If you are a fan of other Ragnar Benson books you will no doubt enjoy this one as well. So the verdict is in I enjoyed this book and I will recommend it a one my readers should pick up and absorb. Ragnar has to be in his late 60's now...I really hope we get a few more books out of the old coot!

...that is all.

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