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Essential Bushcraft [Paperback]

Ray Mears , Ben McNutt
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
RRP: 16.99
Price: 14.95 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

23 Jun 2003
Ray Mears is well known to millions of television viewers through his acclaimed series Tracks, Ray Mears World of Survival and Ray Mears Extreme Survival. Now, based on the bestselling Bushcraft, he has created a handy portable compendium of vital survival skills and wisdom from around the world. Packed with essential wilderness techniques, this book is an invaluable companion on any expedition.

Frequently Bought Together

Essential Bushcraft + Outdoor Survival Handbook: A Guide To The Resources And Materials Available In The Wild And How To Use Them For Food, Shelter,Warmth And Navigation + SAS Survival Guide: How to survive in the Wild, on Land or Sea (Collins Gem)
Price For All Three: 28.83

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Product details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton; First printing of this edition edition (23 Jun 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0340829710
  • ISBN-13: 978-0340829714
  • Product Dimensions: 14.4 x 20 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (53 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 7,657 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


If Ray Mears isn't a Great Living Englishman, then goodness me, who is? The man is great, and he doesn't even begin to know how great he is. Ray is a persuader, pragmatist and populariser in the Durrell-Attenborough-Bellamy tradition. (Robert Crampton, The Times Magazine)

Book Description

The essentials of Ray Mears' bestselling BUSHCRAFT in an accessible and portable format.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
116 of 119 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A veritable gold-mine of information. 17 Dec 2003
By M. D Roberts VINE VOICE
This has to be my favourite of all the Ray Mears "survival" books which is provided as a compact handbook suitable as a companion on any expedition/trip. Ray Mears again reveals an enormous wealth of experience and knowledge in the field of survival and bushcraft.
With clear step-by-by instructions the reader is led through a plethora of subjects including how to construct a shelter from the elements at virtually any time of the year in a wide variety of circumstances/environments. The book also covers sections which deal with the many uses and natures of cordage, the use of knots, a wide diversity of cutting tools (and how they should be used correctly), first aid & personal hygiene together with a list of the essential items to be included within a survival outfit.
An entire section of this handbook is devoted to the importance of water and the dangers of dehydration. Instruction is provided in how to locate water sources & how to access and use them. Emphasis also being given in relation to the collection and purification of water.
Another section is devoted to "living off the land" which includes instruction on "foraging" and how to differentiate between food that is edible and that which is poisonous. Also included is a section allocated to fire and how to make fire by improvising with the use of unlikely raw materials.
In each and every section clear photographs are supplied to assist the reader. This is indeed another essential volume from Ray Mears for anyone interested in the outdoor life, and not just for survival purposes. A basic knowledge would do none of us any harm and this book meets this need and those who require much more. Another excellent purchase.
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127 of 131 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An Invaluble Guide! 2 Sep 2004
The title says it all really, this book contains ESSENTIAL bushcraft skills. This is a condensed version of his larger book 'Bushcraft' and as it was released after the first one, it actually has more upto date photographs and some new information.
It is very nicely presented with a hard-wearing paperback cover, 240 glossy FULL colour pages with loads of really helpfull information.
It has the following chapters:
As you can see, everything you need to get out there and stay alive! There are loads of 'survival' and 'bushcraft' books, and this book will not tell you how to deliver a baby or give an emergency cesarean like the SAS survival book, however this isn't its aim. Ray Mears has succeeded in delivering a well-thought out and VERY informative book on how to live in the wild whilst causing as little disturbance to the natural habitat as possible. Invaluble reading!
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48 of 49 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended. 5 April 2006
Essential Bushcraft was recommended to me and now I recommend it to you. Full of clear and concise information that will leave you excited about your next trip so you can try some of your new skills out.
Not as good as Lofty Wiseman's book in my opinion but an excellent companion to it and Ray Mears benefits from being more accessible than Mr. Wiseman. Well he is on the telly everyday so you can see him do the things from his books.
Lots of great colour shots and clear diagrams that bring everything into focus. Wish I had read this before buying my latest tent. Couldn't decide between two models, chose one and now Ray recommends the other.
Well worth the shelf space and reading time of every outdoorsman.
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81 of 84 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Smaller, no worse 17 Oct 2003
By C. Verspeak VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is essentially a smaller, pocket-sized version of Mears's Inspirational Guide to Bushcraft.
Not a bad thing, not entirely good either.
When I bought the larger book, I was impressed by the quality and quantity of the pictures and the amount of information contained in it. I was, however, disappointed that the book's sheer size made it impossible to cart around in the wilderness where one to want to practise some of the techniques it describes.
This is the book I wich I had bought instead.
Lots of fairly useless information for most of us - how to skin an elk, that kind of thing. But also some really good stuff - how to build good fires, carve things, build shelter from naturally occurring materials etc.
As far as I am aware, Ray really doesn't have any competition in the mainstream. He is famous for his relatability and excellence in popularising bushcraft. The book reads like he talks, as opposed to being ghost-written and then signed by the star. As such, it is entertaining and inspiring while being educational too.
If you plan on exploring the wilds - take this book with you.
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31 of 35 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good, but a lot is far from 'essential' 2 Aug 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
There are a few books available on bushcraft/woodcraft, and yet, surprisingly very few seem to be designed for use in the field. 'Essential Bushcraft' is therefore a welcome addition to the outdoor pursuits cannon: a slimmed down, information and illustration-packed volume with a tough paperback cover to shove into the backpack. All good so far.

However, anyone who intends to take the book with them on their next trek, as I intend to, will have a few burning questions. Firstly, why produce a field guide that is so big? I have a couple of 'Collins Gem' books that I carry with me, each measuring 8cm x 11.5cm x 1.5cm, and they fit snuggly into a pocket. 'Essential Bushcraft', meanwhile, measures a thoroughly unhelpful 20cm x 14cm x 1.5cm. This would be fine if it contained a great deal more information than a typical Collins Gem, but it doesn't. In fact, the publisher has happily used up as much space as it can: the opening title of every chapter has a full, two-page spread, as does the vacuous preface by Ewan Macgregor. Removing these empty pages alone would save roughly 20 pages.

For my purposes, by far the most useful subject matter in the book concerns bushcraft in the UK: building simple shelters; making fire; building a raft; and pointers on wild food. This is all dealt with well, if a little too sketchily when food is concerned (wild food is not something you want to take chances with). However, the book tries to encompass bushcraft the world-over, from the Hadza to the Australian Aborigines. But most of this is utterly surplus to requirements for those intending to travel light in the UK.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Great condition and delivery from the supplier
Great condition and delivery from the supplier. At first, although not a comprehensive peruse it appears interesting and a good read. Read more
Published 3 days ago by James Lewis
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Superb product.
Published 1 month ago by Kaz
5.0 out of 5 stars cool book
super book full of useful tips
Published 1 month ago by Terry Morgan
4.0 out of 5 stars Be prepared.
I enjoy reading it each day, very intersting all round. A little more info on knots etc for the novice as the diagrams tend to move on a bit times.
Published 4 months ago by Ian McLean
5.0 out of 5 stars Very in depth
Ray recommends equipment for just about every situation imaginable, and how to look after it all in meticulous detail. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Mr Stern
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
This book will give you good detailed knowledge of how to survive in the wild for long periods of time, packed with info on all terrain types it is a thorough but compact guide to... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Sean M
5.0 out of 5 stars great
Got this for my husband. He ain't seen it yet as its for his birthday. But I know he'll love it. Was such a great price and the book is great and a nice quality. Thankyou. :)
Published 5 months ago by chezza
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Bushcraft - Ray Mears.
Five stars as can't fault it for content and value for money.
My son thought it was a brilliant book being a camper and hiker - he highly rates the author, and the book is... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Andrea Yeates
4.0 out of 5 stars Liked alot
Would recommend this book to anyone involved in bushcraft or who wants to get involved. As the title says Essential bushcraft, it has plenty of information, guides, points to... Read more
Published 6 months ago by A SWIFT
5.0 out of 5 stars Ray Mears- the best.
I sometimes rate people by how much use they'd be if you were marooned on a deserted island with them. Well I'd have Ray with me any time if I wanted to stay alive. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Gary Mitchell
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