Outdoor Safety and Survival: A Pocket Companion


153 pages
Contains Illustrations
ISBN 0-88894-435-7





Reviewed by Diana McElroy

Diana McElroy was a computer programmer in Deep River, Ontario.


This volume was compiled by members of the B.C. Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing and of the Ministry of the Environment as a pocket reference for the wilderness. The initial section, on survival psychology, sets the practical tone of the book; it is followed by chapters describing recommended clothing and equipment, direction finding and travel, and hypothermia. The next area dealt with is coping with being lost: how to signal for help; how to build fire and shelter; and how to obtain water and food. The latter includes methods of hunting and fishing and methods of identifying edible and poisonous plants. There is also a section on basic first aid.

The illustrations are simple pen drawings that are adequate to convey the information in most cases. Unfortunately, the pictures in the plant section are rather murky, and in the case of baneberry (a very poisonous plant) would be almost no help in identification.

The authors recommend reading the book first, then taking it on wilderness trips; and it is small enough to do so, though the inexpensive paper might not stand up too well. The text is packed with valuable information, clearly presented; and, though there is no index, the table of contents is organized in such a way that finding things is fairly easy. The book is aimed primarily at a B.C. audience, but almost all the information is applicable throughout Canada. As the introduction says, this book is not a substitute for a survival or first-aid course. Nonetheless, it is a handy and valuable reference full of potentially life-saving information.


“Outdoor Safety and Survival: A Pocket Companion,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed September 30, 2023, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/37094.