book review: anthonio akkermans’ bushcraft skills

“Bushcraft Skills and How to Survive in the Wild” does just what it says on the tin: “a step-by-step practical guide”. Written by Anthonio Akkerman, his approach is taken from the primitive/paleo perspective – using primitive tools to make the things you need to survive. Ideal if you have found yourself with no equipment like a knife or a firesteel. There is very little ‘techno’ survival gagetry in amongst its 120 larger format pages and 650 photos. And all the better for it. The text plays a supportive role for the excellent step-by-step photography and leaves little to guesswork or the imagination. After all a good photo will tell a thousand words.

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Anthonio breaks his book down, predictably, into basic principles of survival and living in the wilds then useful sections on Shelter, Fire, Water, Food, and finally Tools and Equipment.

The two things that set this guide apart from many others is that it is first and foremost a step-by-step pictorial guide and that it follows a primitive and highly practical approach.

It is one of the few guides that I still refer to from time to time rather than collecting dust on the bookshelf. As a result I would recommend it not only as an essential read for those interested in learning the actual skills instead of the historic, cultural, social or scholarly aspects of the subject. What it does very well is cut straight to the chase and provides one of the best foundations for a whole range of skills. It will stay with you as a useful guide as you develop and become more confident and expert. A good read and a rather good investment to boot.

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