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Stay Alive!: Survival Skills You Need Paperback – 25 Nov 2011

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Product details

  • Paperback: 254 pages
  • Publisher: Krause Publications (25 Nov. 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1440218307
  • ISBN-13: 978-1440218309
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.8 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 955,847 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

John McCann founded Survival Resources™ with the goal of offering the best survival products available. After the publication of his book Build the Perfect Survival Kit, John realized there was an absence of businesses that specialized in providing survival products and equipment, especially survival kit components, so he started selling them. Customers starting asking if John would design and build some ready made survival kits. At first, he declined, wanting people to build their own kits from the components he offered. However, after some more prompting, he started designing and offering ready-made kits and they became an instant success. Survival Resources also offers outdoor skills courses, and John is the Chief Instructor. McCann lives in Hyde Park, NY.


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Canis Lupus on 20 May 2012
Format: Paperback
This book is a must have for anyone who hikes in remote locations or just wants to put a kit together that will suit their requirements and have everything they need. Not only kit suggestions but the knowledge to go with it, after all, the kit is useless without it.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By J. Christopher Noone on 4 Jan. 2012
Format: Paperback
For what it is, this is an excellent book. What is it? It's a book narrowly focused on the use of a personal survival kit during a short term survival situation. There are no abborigional techniques for firemaking, or solutions for long-term wilderness living. It gives the reader an indepth description of how to assemble and make use of one's personal survival gear. Additionally, McCann gives an excellent overview of current available survival products, as well as evaluations of these products based on clearly extensive personal experience.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent book about survival techniques.

It is very enlightening on the various techniques and items of survival use.

A very recommendable book for every outdoors lover/enthusiast.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 40 reviews
19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
My book review of "Stay Alive" by: John D. McCann 16 July 2013
By Hunter Adam - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The front cover states "Stay Alive, Survival Skills you Need". This was a follow up from Mr. McCann's first book "Build the Perfect Survival Kit".

So my first impressions of this book before really diving into it is that it has good detailed colored pictures, but it seemed like the majority of the pictures were of gear. OK, I'm a gear queer, no issue there, lets get into reading the book.

The book is a little over 250 pages long, and measures 9"x6"x.5"; a little big for anything but a large kit but is only a little larger than the custom reference book (in a military flight crew checklist folder) I keep in my kit. It is not a hard read by any means but doesn't make you feel over educated either.

So my post reading opinion of the book. I have not read his first book "Build the perfect survival kit" but I feel this must have been pretty close to the first book. So why would I say that? Well akin to my initial observations, the book really focuses more on what's in your survival kit and what gear is out there versus actual skills. Overall the book is about 85% kit, 15% skill, which I felt was contradictory to what the statement on the cover of book that again states "Survival Skills you Need".

I found allot of the recommendations and uses for the gear mentioned to be very valuable and great for someone that has yet to find the right balance in their kit, or has yet to put together a kit. Everything recommended has a short description on how or when to use the item which again I found helpful.

The books strong points on skills (the 15% that are int he book), were in the Gear, Land navigation section, Animal/fish trapping, Water transportation (light on the purification side, but again heavy on gear that will purify it for you) and Signalling. Even though I say these were the books strong points even the author admits its a basic beginning/reference.

So when the author referenced his website a few times in the book I made it a point to visit online. What I found was his website literally sells all the gear he mentions in this book. I felt that this kind of made his book kind of a shoppers guide to gear. Now if he truly believes this gear is the best, which i agree some of it is, then props. It just shows his devotion and beliefs that this is top notch gear if so. Some of the more expensive items he shows in his book (ex. Fehrman knives, some prices over $400.00) are not on his site.

Mr. McCann does run his own survival school out of the Adirondack park in NY. He does not mention firearms in his book, or their use in a survival situation. To me he perceives himself a bit of a naturalist. No mention of defense, in matter of fact the only time he mentions defense is if your getting mauled by a black bear; two areas I find very important to be well rounded in prepping or survival. I feel maybe he could have mentioned how to make a bow, club, or even show in his short section about slingshots how they can be used in self defense.

He mentions his own school and books in the back of the book under references, which he is entitled to do as the author, but doesn't really show his humble side in my opinion.

Rating: So not to insult the member that has this in their BOB, but this would never make its way to my BOB as a reference book while in the field. I think this is a great book if your just getting started and haven't started assembling a kit yet. I will be purchasing a few items myself because they will compliment my kit well. It's a good book to have in your survival library, but as a reference for gear, not for skills (which I feel a BOB reference book should be all about). Recommended for people just waking up from sheeple mode getting started in prepping. For those of you that have a comprehensive kit already assembled I suggest passing the book over and visiting Mr. McCanns website: [url][...][/url] just to search through options and to do a little window shopping.

Final note: I'm not knocking the author but want to give you all my fair unbiased assessment of the book and what I took from it. I would personally like to go through his school and will be buying a few items from his website but I will not be buying anymore of his books. Not at my level of preparation anyway.

Hope this helped.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Solid Survival Resource 14 Dec. 2011
By Tradecraft - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Stay Alive! Survival Skills you Need by John D. McCann is a solid book covering essential survival skills and equipment when off the beaten path. Whether you are new to the outdoors or an experienced outdoorsman you will gain relevant and useful information. There are a lot of very high quality photos that really add to the text. The end of the book also provides a list of useful resources to continue on your path for survival knowledge.

Some of the topics that McCann covers include:

+ Survivor Mentality: fear, embarrassment, the unknown, discomfort, loneliness, darkness, animals, pain, thirst, hunger, cold & heat, depression, and most importantly the will to survive.

+ Survival Kits: building a kit, commercial kits, components, and kit size

+ Knives and Tools for Survival: anatomy of a survival knife, razor blades, folders, fixed blades, machetes, carry methods, batoning, saws, and multi-tools

+ Fire and Light: fire triangle, tinder, kindling, fuel, matches, lighters, ferrocerium rods, mischmetal, magnesium, strikers, magnifying lens, how to build a fire, flashlights and headlamps

+ Shelter and Protection: heat loss mechanisms, heat regulation, clothing, survival blankets, ponchos, rain gear, tube tents, tarps, bivy sacks, and improvised shelters

+ Water Collection and Purification: containers, water sources, collection methods, water purification methods, chemical purification, and water filters and purifiers

+ Signaling: signal mirror, whistles, emergency strobes, rescue lasers, beacons, flares, and personal locator beacons.

+ Navigation: maps, compass, declination, navigation techniques, and GPS

+ Food: food collection, food to bring with you, stoves, edible plants, fishing, traps, and snares

+ Wilderness Hazards and Safety: environmental hazards, poisonous plants, insects, and basic first aid.

McCann provides good insight and lessons learned through his vast and in-depth experience as an outdoorsman. Even if you don't agree with some of the material in this book you will definitely pick up valuable information that you can add to your knowledge base. I also would encourage readers to practice the material presented in this book BEFORE you may need the skill in a real emergency. Many survival skills take practice to build confidence and to gain a level of competence.

Stay Alive is a very good book with a few issues that detract from the book:

-There are numerous spelling errors throughout the book.

-There appears to be an error on page 93 in reference to hypothermia. The book states: "If your body temperature drops below 92 degrees F, you won't be able to help yourself survive!" A couple of paragraphs later it states that mild hypothermia is between 91 - 95 degrees. This would be a contradiction to the above quote. It then lists severe hypothermia below 82 degrees. The quoted sentence should read 82 degrees; not 92 degrees. For people who don't know anything about hypothermia this is a significant difference as hypothermia can be deadly.

The above reasons are why I rate this book 4 stars instead of 5.

Overall, I highly recommend Stay Alive: Survival Skills you Need by John D. McCann. This is a solid book to add to your survival library. I also recommend his other book Build the Perfect Survival Kit as a valuable resource.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Not a Bad Book 14 Feb. 2012
By Joshua L. Peterson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Talks alot about gear and not so much about what your suppost to do with it all. Pretty short on the actual skill and more then enough info on the gear. Cant say i agree with that mindest, but he does do a good job and the book is easy to read and understand. Glad i bought it because my wife read it before me!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
A very informative book and good read! 13 Aug. 2013
By Dom - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
BYI found this book to be highly informative, well illustrated with color photography, and easy to read. I have read his prior book and found it to be a good book on selection and design for PSKs.

Once I began, it wasn't long before I had finished reading it in it's entirety ...it was hard to put down. There are some typos and some glitches. In the navigation chapter there is a reference to look at a photo number which doesn't exist, none of the photos are numbered.

There is a section on cordage but there is nothing on knot tying, which BTW, is lacking in alot of survival books these days. What good is packing cordage if you can't tie basic knots? This should be in every survival skills manual.

Nonetheless, I recommend this book as well as his first book to anyone interested in venturing out into the wilderness whether you're a beginner or veteran. I like his credo..."be prepared to survive".
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
One of my favorites 22 May 2013
By Librarian - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I own several survival books, including John D. McCann's book on Survival Kits. This one contains a lot of great information and nice color pictures. His two books make up two of my three favorite survival books. I would recommend also visiting his website www.survivalresources.com and www.dirttime.com. I love his tips on making a self-igniting fire starter. It works great!
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