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The SAS Survival Handbook (1986)

by John 'Lofty' Wiseman

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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2,780195,293 (4.02)11
A survival guide from the Special Air Service offers a complete course on how to be prepared for any type of emergency--from natural disasters to terrorist attacks to wilderness adventures--explaining how to adapt successfully to various climates, how to identify edible plants, and how to build a fire, with tips on first aid, campcraft, emergency preparation, and more. The SAS Survival Handbook is the Special Air Service's complete course in being prepared for any type of emergency. John Wiseman presents real strategies for surviving in any type of situation, from accidents and escape procedures, including chemical and nuclear to successfully adapting to various climates (polar, tropical, desert), to identifying edible plants and creating fire. The book is extremely practical and is illustrated throughout with easy-to-understand line art and diagrams.… (more)
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» See also 11 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
A fascinating study on why some people do well in life and others don't. The author asserts that raw talent is not enough to guarantee success; external factors like the culture you are born into and your date of birth have a huge effect on outcomes. The book gives lots of fun anecdotes about people who were wildly successful (or not) in diverse fields like sports, computers, math, law, piloting airplanes, etc.; along with enough supporting data to feel like there is science behind it. That opportunities and environment shape outcomes is not surprising, but the types of external factors that the author suggests affect success IS unexpected. As a result I found the book very interesting. ( )
  yaj70 | Jan 22, 2024 |
I've heard people criticize this book for being too reliant on anecdotes, and as I was listening to it, that struck me as a fair thing to say. Gladwell makes his point by sharing very interesting, compelling examples of people who achieved great things because they were lucky in some way. Thusly he dispels the myth of the self-made man who makes his fortune with nothing but his great brain and courage.

So this book might not represent the height of Science or anything, but it was fun to listen to. I got this on audiobook because Gladwell reads it himself and his voice is great. I especially liked the last part where he talked about his own family's path to success. ( )
  LibrarianDest | Jan 3, 2024 |
What is one supposed to do with this book? It was the literary equivalent of cotton candy - full to the brim with sweetness but with a very faint aftertaste, and you begin to wonder if it was even worth it. But then again, it was interesting in the moment, right?
Outliers is also spectacularly optimistic ('successful' people become that way because of luck and destiny, and not only because they are geniuses! The traditional notion of modern genius is antiquated. It probably needs to be quashed altogether) or pessimistic (if it's going to take so much luck and embracing your cultural heritage and being born in January for success, then I might as well not bother), depending on how you look at it. Plus, the fact that the author's claims that not having summer vacation is good for learning outcomes for poor students just annoyed me because apparently - good teachers and learning paradigms are not good enough? And some 'sacrifice' is expected?
Here, you always get the feeling the author is working backwards - starting from wanting to quash the notion of outliers, and cherrypicking his way into feel-good neoliberal 'meritocratic' discussions, without offering or even hinting at a structural change. I also didn't feel the topic was deep enough to warrant a book written on it. Magazine article in the Economist? Sure. But a 300-page book? Not the best idea. ( )
  SidKhanooja | Sep 1, 2023 |
This book was definitely thought provoking. Especially as someone who grew up playing hockey, his example using the sport made a lot of sense.

Friends have shown me things that contradict this but really this book should not be taken as a definitive and more of something that can help make you understand, accept or motivate successes in your life. All depends how you take it! ( )
  Acilladon | Jul 30, 2023 |
“The world could be so much richer than the world we have settled for.”

This is a must read to better understand our world and social processes. ( )
  KristinDiBum | Jul 21, 2023 |
Showing 1-5 of 16 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
John 'Lofty' Wisemanprimary authorall editionscalculated
Arlott, NormanIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Collins, PaulDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Cross, SteveIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lyon, ChrisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mawson, AndrewIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Payne, RobCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Spalding, TonyIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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For my father
T C H Wiseman

who showed me the value of life
and whose dedication to helping others I try to follow.
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Intro:
For 26 years, as a professional soldier, I had the privilege to serve with the Special Air Service (SAS).

Begin by preparing yourself to be a survivor.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

A survival guide from the Special Air Service offers a complete course on how to be prepared for any type of emergency--from natural disasters to terrorist attacks to wilderness adventures--explaining how to adapt successfully to various climates, how to identify edible plants, and how to build a fire, with tips on first aid, campcraft, emergency preparation, and more. The SAS Survival Handbook is the Special Air Service's complete course in being prepared for any type of emergency. John Wiseman presents real strategies for surviving in any type of situation, from accidents and escape procedures, including chemical and nuclear to successfully adapting to various climates (polar, tropical, desert), to identifying edible plants and creating fire. The book is extremely practical and is illustrated throughout with easy-to-understand line art and diagrams.

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Book description
Tot op heden is dit het meest uitgebreide handboek over survival dat in de Nederlandse taal verschenen is. Het werd geschreven voor een Britse elite-legereenheid en daardoor bevat het vaak nogal vergaande informatie over wat te doen in noodgevallen. Het geheel bestaat uit overzichtelijk ingedeelde hoofdstukken die, in heldere taal en voorzien van duidelijke, meest zwart-wittekeningen, uitleg verstrekken. Veel aandacht is er voor klimaat en terrein, kampeertechnieken, rampen, voedsel (met gekleurde platen van planten) en vooral voor gezondheid. Het aanbevolen overlevingspakket is zowaar bijna in een borstzak mee te nemen. Voor geïnteresseerden een uitstekende uitgave die wel voor het vertrek gelezen moet worden, want zowel het kloeke formaat (23 x 24 cm) als het forse gewicht (circa 1 kg) maken het niet zo geschikt voor meename op reis.
    ---------------------------------------

John Wiseman served for 26 years with the Special Air Services (SAS). His book is their complete course: how to survive outdoors, on land or sea, in any weather, in any part of the world.

How To Survive                          Camp Craft
Preparedness and Planning     Building a Shelter
A pocket survival kit                 Making and using Fire
The survivor's needs                Preparing survival meals
Water and how to obtain it      Using Tools
                                                 Organizing a campsite
                                                 Ropes, Lashings, Knots
Strategies for Survival  
Accidents and escape procedures
Sizing up your chance in:           Reading the Signs
Polar Regions                             Maps and reading
Mountains                                  Direction Finding
Seashores                                  Weather Signs
Islands
Deserts                                     On the Move
The Tropics                               When to Break Camp
                                                  Planning your Route
Food                                          tackling the Terrain
What you Need to Keep going  Making sledges and rafts
Edible Plants 
Animal Foods                            Health
Hunting, Trapping, Fishing         First aid priorities
Handling the Kill                        Treatment procedures
Animal tracks and signs            Tropical and other diseases
                                                 Cold-climate hazards
Survival At Sea                         Natural medicines
Man overboard                         Dangerous creatures
Survival afloat                           Poisonous Snakes
Making a landfall                      

Rescue                                    Disasters
Signals and signalling             Drought, flood, fire
Rescue Techniques                 Gases and chemicals
                                               Hurricanes and earthquakes
                                              Nuclear incidents
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