10 books to read before you kick the bucket

  • Hey Guest, We've had to cancel our 2020 Summer BushMoot PLEASE LOOK HERE for more information.

Riven

Full Member
Dec 23, 2006
368
76
53
Nottinghamshire
Hi all, just recently I came across the list of 100 books to read before you die and so I got to thinking of my favourite outdoor related books I have read and reread over the years. Now to make this simpler I have chosen only 10 out of my collection and the idea is that others can add their choices so that we might all get a better idea of some books out there that might otherwise go unnoticed or worse, unread.
Some go back to my childhood and they are what helped me get started.
10. Camping Hiking & Wilderness Skills by Peter G Drake
9. The Explorers Handbook by Peter Eldin
8. Survival for young people by Anthony Greenbank
7. The Dig Tree by Sarah Murgatroyd
6. Outdoor Survival Handbook by Ray Mears
5.The Tramps Handbook by Harry Roberts
4. SAS Survival Guide by John Wiseman
3. Woodcraft and Camping by Nessmuk
2. Stay Alive with Eddie Mc Gee
1. The Poachers Handbook by Ian Niall
So please feel free to comment and add your own lists.
Cheers, Riven.
 

Fluffydave

Member
Jan 29, 2014
33
7
Croydon, Uk
Ohhh awesome, I love reading around the subject. Here's my addition, although it's more of a reference book, I've really really enjoyed using this little book. I bought it as a gem (like a small digest version) years ago then ended up buying the full copy and another copy for a friend's birthday :) I was also going to talk about the SAS Handbook but you've covered that.

1. Food for Free by Richard Mabey [link]
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mr Wolf and Bishop

Wander

Nomad
Jan 6, 2017
488
521
Here There & Everywhere
Lovely idea for a thread.
I'll offer a couple.

'The Old Ways' by Robert Macfarlane. Actually, anything by Macfarlane will do, but this book inspired and captivated me.
'Waterlog' by Roger Deakin. Books about cycling, running, or walking around the UK are old hat. Deakin swims around it via lakes and rivers. Bless him.
'The Living Mountain' by Nan Shepherd. Still can't decide whether it's prose or poetry, and I don't think I care either way.
'Nightwalk' by Chris Yates. So inspiring that it motivated me to go out and walk all night. Everyone should try it, at least once.

There are so many more, bu they'll do for starters.
I'll be very keen to see what others suggest.
 

Bishop

Full Member
Jan 25, 2014
1,541
479
Inside the wire, Llanelli
For entertainment value from the genre of pulp Science Fiction there's Open Prison by James White. Prisoners of war dumped on an uninhabited planet without weapons or tools and a desire to escape... Suffice to say that bushcraft and low-tech engineering play a part.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mr Wolf

santaman2000

M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)
Jan 15, 2011
16,711
991
64
Florida
1) the Bible
2) To Hell and Back (autobiography by Audie Murphy)
3) Into the Mouth of the Cat (a biography of Lance Sijan by Malcolm McConnel)
4) The Education of A Wandering Man (a specific autobiographical pick from Louis L'amour) or anything by him
5) Marine!: The Life of Chesty Puller (the biography of Major General Lewis Puller - better known as Chesty Puller - by Burke Davis)
6) anything from the Tarzan series (probably seems contradictory with choice # 1)
7) anything by Alistair Maclean
8) anything by John Grisham
9) The Outlaw of Torn by Edgar Rice Burroughs
10) The Swiss family Robinson by Johan D Wyss

Edited to correct spelling.
 
Last edited:

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,674
1,629
McBride, BC
The Paleo lifestyle is not lost here. Much is gone but only in the last 2 centuries
so there's heaps of museum collections and First Nations (FN) knowledge to be had.
Most of it, the concepts at least seem to be universal.

1.Wildwood Wisdom by Ellsworth Jaeger is nearly 500 pages from a museum director regarding FN skills in eastern North America.
2. For the west coast, anything from Hilary Stewart, particularly the volume: "Cedar."
3. For the Great Plains, the vast grassland interior of the whole continent, FN foods, FN restaurants, are popping up and doing well.
Their modern cook books use strictly authentic paleo ingredients so the foraging information is invaluable.
We have the trinity of corn, squash and beans, bison and many species of wild onion.
Find Bird Woman's Garden. Its a reprint from a century ago. I think she was an elder back then.

I bought a Sioux cookbook, the chef author is Sioux and the recipes are really easy to build even if you have no bison.
Although I'm old enough to be one, I still ask the elders about genuine paleo food.
With all due respect, I avoid the twigs, leaves, sand and hair in my food.
 

Janne

Guest
Feb 10, 2016
12,368
2,262
Grand Cayman, Norway, Sweden
1) the Bible
2) To Hell and Back (autobiography by Audie Murphy)
3) Into the Mouth of the Cat (a biography of Lance Sijan by Malcolm McConnel)
4) The Education of A wandering Man (a specific autobiographical pick from Lois L'amour) or anything by him
5) Marine!: The Life of Chesty Puller (the biography of Major General Lewis Puller - better known as Chesty Puller - by Burke Davis)
6) anything from the Tarzan series (probably seems contradictory with choice # 1)
7) anything by Alistair Maclean
8) anything by John Grisham
9) The Outlaw of Torn by Edgar Rice Burroughs
10) The Swiss family Robinson by Johan D Wyss
Nr 10 contains lots of bushcrafting.
I had no clue anybody except myself has read it!

I always bring a book with me. I get them second hand. Paperback. Use the pages I have read to start fire.
 

Mr Wolf

Full Member
Jun 30, 2013
582
117
Nottinghamshire
No order.
1, out on the land
2,mors northern bushcraft
3,the ax book
4,poachers handbook
5,bjj university
6,doomsday book of medicine
7,the art of war
8,9,10 too difficult to pick them
 
  • Like
Reactions: santaman2000

Robson Valley

Full Member
Nov 24, 2014
8,674
1,629
McBride, BC
abeBooks.com is 6,000,000 titles, rare and common. Pennies on the dollar.
There's a subsidiary in the UK abeBooks.UK.

Local book shop buys estate sales. Lots of really weird old stuff.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Janne

Billy-o

Native
Apr 19, 2018
1,364
554
Canada
There is a ton to add :) But here's a bunch:

The Book of the Bivvy - Ronald Turnbull
The Man Eaters of Kumaon - Jim Corbett
Poacher's Handbook - Ian Niall
Be Expert With Map and Compass - Bjorn Kjellstrom

There's quite a lot of stuff by Nessmuk (George Sears) published now. Thoreau and Emerson, there's mountains. Anything by Aldo Leopold, Calvin Rutstrum, Sigurd Olson too :)

The Riddle of the Sands by Erskine Childers is a nice read.
 
Last edited:

Broch

Full Member
Jan 18, 2009
3,791
2,961
Mid Wales
I have so many 'outdoors' and 'natural history' books that my shelves are literally bending but a few I would never replace with electronic versions (even if they were available) include:

Song of the Paddle - Bill Mason (interesting read even if you don't canoe)
It's My Delight - Brian Vesey-Fitzgerald (as good a treatise on poaching as you'll find)
Make and Do the Woodcraft Way - J.G.Cone (old style campcraft)
Wild Harvest - Hope L Bourne (the story of living a simple life on Exmoor)
Scouting for Boys - Baden Powell
The Bark Canoes and Skin Boats of North America - Edwin Tappan Adney & Howard Chapelle (historic as well as instructive)
 
Last edited: