Many students on our courses ask about a reading list that covers
the basic areas of study such as bushcraft, tracking, trapping,
and the unique natural history of the Southwest. Below are a few
titles we recommend & draw upon in our teaching. You
should also check out our
we have given you a link to Amazon.com to purchase the item.
Bushcraft by Mors Kochanski. This
book was originally titled "Northern Bushcraft", so if you're
looking for it used it could be under either title. This is the
single best book on wilderness living skills and, after 19 years
of use, the most referenced book on my shelf. It covers a lot of
information pertaining to the boreal forests of Canada but the
skills themselves and the applications are universal. The author
really delves into great detail about the science behind
In The Days of Victorio by Eve Ball
and James Kaywaykla. Victorio
was the most brilliant military strategist that the Apaches had
and his guerilla warfare tactics are a must-read. One of the
most instrumental figures in the American Southwest and a
fascinating glimpse into Apache survival & evasion skills.
How to Survive on Land & Sea by Frank and John
Craighead. Considered by many to be the first true survival
manual out there, the Craigheads traveled the globe after WWII
studying survival techniques with indigenous cultures to apply
towards the training of our Armed Forces. They later went on to
become pioneering grizzly bear biologists in Yellowstone.
Lightning Bird by Lyall Watson. Documents the
incredible life of White Bushman Adrian Boshier who ventured
into the African bush at age 16 with only a knife and a bag of
salt. Great stories of learning from the land and survival by
The Maneating Leopard of Rudraprayag by Jim
Corbett. Bushcraft, tracking, jungle lore- all written by Jim
Corbett who was raised in the Himalayas of India during the
early 1900's. He is known for his tracking skills and his books
document the accounts of him pursuing the maneating tigers and
leopards that plagued the rural villages. The book above is one
of five and covers his 7 year pursuit of the leopard that killed
over 400 people.
Guide To Wild Foods by Chris Nyerges. Survival
News Service, 1991. An excellent baseline fieldguide that covers
the basics of edible plants. Couple this with the Petersen Field
Guide to Edible Plants and you will have a good foundation in
wild plant uses.
Camp Life In The Woods and the Tricks of Trapping
by W. Hamilton Gibson. Written in 1881 and still available on
Amazon. The single best book on traps and snares from an
experienced woodsman who lived it.
Caribou Hunter, Song of a Vanished Innu Life by
Serge Bouchard. Greystone Books, 2004. Astounding firsthand
account of a traditional subsistence life in Canada that was
intact until 1970. Great details on the day-to-day requirements
of living off the land and hardships associated with it.
Tactical Tracking Operations by David Scott-Donelan.
Excellent manual on the art and science of mantracking. Doneland
is one of the foremost experts on the subject in the world and
much sought out by LE and military. Along those lines, check out
Tracking: A Blueprint for Learning How by retired border patrol
tracker Jack Kearney.
Tracking and the Art of Seeing by Paul Rezendes.
Probably the best book on animal tracking to start with. This is
the one I use the most.
Snow Walker's Companion by Garrett and
Alexandra Conover. The best text out there on traditional winter
skills and how to camp and survive in the cold. Great Trail
recipes for cold weather too.
Over the Edge: Death in Grand Canyon by Michael
Gighlieri & Tom Myers. The definitive survival book on the Grand
Canyon by friend Tom Myers who was a physician at the Canyon for
10 years and has seen it all with regards to backcountry
Zuni, Selected Writings of Frank Hamilton Cushing.
1979. University of Nebraska Press. This outstanding book is a
great introduction to the Zuni culture and lifeways as
documented firsthand by Cushing who lived with the Zuni for
years as one of them during the 1880's. Highly recommended to
students in our longer courses.
The Truth About Geronimo by Britton Davis.
Firsthand account by Lt. Davis who was involved in the Geronimo
Campaign in Arizona during the 1880s.
Where There Is No Doctor by the Hesperian
Foundation. An excellent self-care manual for remote medicine
and backcountry first-aid.
Movies depicting accurate skills (*highly recommended)-
Into The Wild
The Snow Walker*
The Fast Runner
The Naked Prey
Quest for Fire
Geronimo: An American Legend
Alone in the Wilderness (PBS documentary)*