Buried in the greenhouse at the bottom of the Garden was treasure.  Real life, buried in a bag, treasure.  The short and somewhat simple treasure hunt had lead me to the muggy, funny smelling greenhouse; promises of a 'really cool' present from my Dad had gotten me this far.  I was twelve years old.  Or eleven.  Young enough to still appreciate hidden presents and prospective treasure.

The hot soil gave way and wrapped tightly in a plastic bag was a small package; it felt like a book, and gripping it tightly as it was unwrapped I came upon what is now a truly treasured possession.  A pocket sized paperback book sat in my dirty hands; the cover read: Collins Gem SAS Survival Guide.    Written by veteran SAS survival instructor John 'Lofty' Wiseman, It might as well have been fabled ElDorado gold. For years I fumbled through its pages, pouring over its diagrams and illustrations like a crazed religious cleric, desperately wishing I would have to use it for real one day in a adventurous survival/crash-landing type situation where I would save the day with a well placed knot and a cleverly constructed raft made of human hair and the bark from a rare mushroom. Here's the book today some fifteen years later, minus a working front cover:         Photobucket

 'Lofty' Wiseman has written what many would declare to be one of the most definitive manuals on survival and bushcraft.  The black and white illustrations and blunt to the point writing make this no-frills back to basics how-to guide a must for any bushcraft library.  Clutching it tight as I built my first spring-trap snare in the back yard, or referring to it methodically as I constructed a very patchy lean to shelter in the woods, this survival encyclopaedia even teaches you how to perform semaphore or even hang a deer for bleeding and skinning.  There were some things naturally that I couldn't try, mainly the killing bits, but I faithfully tried as much as I could.  The Guide also lists dangerous specifies of animals and plants to avoid, how prepare wild food for eating, making cordage, knot tying, snares, flint napping, fire lighting and survival at sea.



Even after all these years, it still stands the test of new and more carefully planned escapades, this little book is still a source of inspiration and reference.  'Lofty' has written a true classic.  Get one.  You wont regret it.