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Author Topic: Army, SAS, Air Force survival manuals in your B.O.B, good idea or death trap?  (Read 2244 times)

Offline Connecticut Prepper

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It seems to me that a person should know the majority of what is inside that manual before anything happens, being in a SHTF situation and trying it out probably will end poorly for you

Offline Mister Dark

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Survival manuals are great!

...As trade goods.


Far better to KNOW what is in the manual, and have at least a little knowledge and experience at "getting by."

Build a man a fire, and he will be warm for a night. Set a man on fire, and he will be warm for the rest of his life.

Offline Herew

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I have the pocket sized SAS survival handbook in my BoB. I think it's a good thing to have because even though I know most of the things in it and have first hand experience using some of the techniques, if the stress and shock of a SHTF situation kicks in, it would be nice to have a reference.
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Offline Doomtrooper

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I actually carry an Air force waterproof survival guide in my bag, its a good reference, light weight and worse comes to worse you can use the hard plastic as arrow heads. 
"Since it is likely that [children] will meet cruel enemies, let them at least have heard of brave knights and heroic courage."- C. S. Lewis

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Offline soupbone

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Even though you "know" stuff, using a manual as a check list serves to let you focus in a tense situation and helps to relieve stress. Remember the color coded Terrorist Threat Levels of a few years ago? Military had something similar, except that every level had its accompanying checklist: Threat Level Yellow - do tasks E, F, G and H; Threat Level RED - Insure Lower Level tasks are accomplished and do Tasks J, K, L....... with each task having a detailed list. It beat sitting around wondering just what kind of S was going to hit your personal fan, as happened with the TTLs - warnings without explanations or actions to take.

Besides which, you are only human - you are bound to forget something sooner or later. Hopefully, it won't be something important.

As for myself, I use the Air Force Survival Manual. I'm kind of biased that way. It is sitting next to some other technical manuals which might come in handy should I have to bug out. Nothing classified, or anything like that, just useful information for bare base operations [just how deep should a latrine pit be?]

A word of warning: there is a very thin, fuzzy line between confidence in your abilities and overconfidence. Overconfidence can get you seriously out of the action when you are needed most. Furthermore, you knowing something is all well and good, but what about your wife, or kids, or friends. Having access to the same information - as the military says, training to a common standard - will be vital for your long term comfort or survival.

Just my not so humble opinion,

soupbone
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Offline blueyedmule

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I think keeping some sort of reference materials is a great idea, but don't get married to the idea of always being able to reference it either. It cuts both ways. There isn't only one kind of emergency or reason to BO with the BOB, right? So in some instances you may have the moments necessary to use it and in others it may be dead weight to be jettisoned and you'll just have to be able to do with what you can remember. 
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Offline rustyknife

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I keep a copy of the SAS survival manual in my BOB for a couple of reasons. It has been a good reference in the field for dirt time, in a stressfull situation it's good to have something to read to settle your mind down and I figure after I've read and memorized the contents to the point that manual is torn and ragged I can use the paper for other chores. ;)
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Offline GreekMan

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I use the system of cheat sheets. I have a selected and printed things that oen cannot remeber easily. like making soap out of ash and fat instructions, pool shock use for treatign ater, distress signals etc
Then I add the survival isntructions leaflets by AMK (American Medicals Kits)
This weekend I started adding soem thinsg on first aid. i.e. the various uses of a triangular bandage, hypothermia and heat excaustion instructions etc.
(bad thing for locals is that they are in english)
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Offline Nicodemus

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I concur with the idea that they're great in an emergency as reference materials. There are bound to be more than a few things that could have escaped your mind in a survival situation that one of these manuals might help you recall.

It's the person that hasn't studied and practiced the skills within these manuals before they're needed that will have the bigger problem.


Offline Connecticut Prepper

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I ask because I have seen videos where people are going to be "okay" because they have a manual in their back but give the idea that they haven't read it, so it would seem that they would be learning how to make a lean-to in the middle of a rain shower or how to make a dead fall trap when they are starving.

I'm not proclaiming to be a survival expert by any means but I would at least practice the most probably used techniques in the manuals over and over and over again until I feel strong enough and confident enough to know that should I be out of my home that I could tend to the basic means.   Of course I am saying this while I am safe and sound and warm in my home, dry, well fed and in no intimidate danger  ;)
 

Offline endurance

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I think it's a good idea if you use it as a reference that you're already familiar with.  There's no way you're going to remember all the tidbits of valuable information in there, like how to build a dozen different snares and traps.  I put it in the same line with local foraging books like Edible Native Plants of the Rocky Mountains.  It's one of those books you can read and learn a few plants, but if you don't remember if a plant was edible or toxic, wouldn't it be nice to verify? 

Personally, I have a dozen or so Dave Canterbury videos on my i-pod just in case.  I want a reference, just in case.
"There are things that you don't question when your home always smells like baking bread."  From The Hunger Games

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Offline Connecticut Prepper

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I heard Dave lied to get on that tv show and that's why he's no longer on it, any truth to that?

Offline endurance

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I heard Dave lied to get on that tv show and that's why he's no longer on it, any truth to that?
No clue.  I know his youtube videos are classic.  Very honest, very real.  Jack interviewed him a couple times, once before the show, once after (maybe more, TBH, I don't listen much anymore).  He has one episode where he spent an entire day in the rain trying to start a fire without modern means.  How many other 'experts' are willing to show their failures like that?  Most of his ideas are well reasoned and while I don't agree with him 100%, his reasons for doing things the way he does them makes a whole lotta sense.
"There are things that you don't question when your home always smells like baking bread."  From The Hunger Games

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Offline Connecticut Prepper

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I had a hard time believing that Dave would do something like that, I enjoy is videos very much and he seems like a pretty upstanding person.

Offline osubuckeye4

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I don't think it's in any way a "death trap" to have instructional manuels full of (if placed in the right hands) useful information.


That being said, I wholeheartedly agree that one should probably read the manual and practice/apply the skills of the manuel before stashing it in their BOB, as they will be WAY more prepared if they are put in a situation where they will need to utilize any of the techniques.



It's kind of like cooking...

Someone who has never made a meal in their life probably won't be able to make a complex dish like a pommes souffle (at least one that tates good), even if they have been lugging around the cookbook for ages and have the instructions right in front of them.

However, if you drop someone in a kitchen and tell them... "make me a pommes souffle". You're going to get a much better attempt from someone who had the cookbook with instructions in front of them.

The ideal situation though, of course, is a skilled cook who also has the instructions in front of them and can follow them step by step... while also applying the technical skills they have learned over the years from following other recipies and making their own dishes.

Offline Muddyboots

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You should use many manuals in practice so you have the skills down pretty well first! Remember that they all have strengths, weaknesses and even errors. SF Medics (18D) make their own reference field guides full of stuff THEY need. The same technique works for survival, it's personalized.

After that references are a good thing to carry, especially things like local plant guides since it is often a weak point in people's prep. I have a waterproof paper notebook full of useful compressed info like contacts, recovery corridors, freqs, forage cooking recipes, cache location info, coded creditcard numbers and other helpful things. Use them before you need them but take one if it fits your plan. I also tend to keep a novel in my kit, wrapped in a good ziploc. The aide de memoir type cards, booklets and small books are great for jogging the memory about techniques but a good fiction can really raise the spirits. I tend to prefer something I know well like Farnaham's Freehold or The Hobbit, they both deal with survival in a way and are well written and re readable. Don't forget journaling! It is really important to record your thoughts, especially when muddling through alone!

On Canterbury: Yes, he lied... about his credentials, military service schools and record.  There are actually many better videos available but you get what you pay for.

(note: I'm Biased on video choices.)

Muddyboots
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Offline endurance

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I heard Dave lied to get on that tv show and that's why he's no longer on it, any truth to that?
Just thought I'd follow up since Dave has since cleared the air.  http://youtu.be/BDmRrJ-GdUA

After doing a bit of research on this, it appears that Dave embellished on a number of points on his military record of what he did, where he was assigned, and what training he received.  I still think he's a good instructor, it's just sad that he put himself and his family through this rather than letting his experience speak for itself.  It was disrespectful to others who have served, but I find it in my heart to forgive him.
"There are things that you don't question when your home always smells like baking bread."  From The Hunger Games

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Offline Muddyboots

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Saying you are a RANGER is not "embellishment" If you haven't earned a Tab or Scroll, it's a falsehood. A lie.

I'm glad he is trying to square things.

Muddyboots
Communication is a Survival Skill.

Shared pain is lessened, shared joy is increased!
Thus do we refute entropy.
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It is better to be poor in a healthy economy than rich in a dying economy!
 -S. Robinson


Offline Misanthrope

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Boots,

He did more than embellish his res.  His initial You Tube vids bear a striking, damn near word for word resemblance to material that was put out by a mutual friend of ours.


Offline smithy1983

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I have the pocket sized SAS survival handbook in my BoB. I think it's a good thing to have because even though I know most of the things in it and have first hand experience using some of the techniques, if the stress and shock of a SHTF situation kicks in, it would be nice to have a reference.

I agree. There is no replacement for experience using the techniques but a reference when you are outside of your comfort zone must be a benefit. But only as long as it is the SAS manual! - Being a Brit, I am biased! ;)