Joe O'Leary, a successful survival skills instructor, explains the fundamental techniques required in a genuine 'wilderness survival situation' - while at the same time showing you how to enhance any out-of-doors experience, from a walk in the country to an ambitious camping expedition. Most types of shelter, animal trap and fire-lighting technique are variations on a theme. Joe keeps it simple and describes in straightforward steps what to do to make yourself safe and comfortable: how to build a shelter that will really keep you warm, set a trap that will really catch food, identify plants that will really feed and nourish you and build a fire that will really light in all weathers. Rather than trying to cover every eventuality, he concentrates on techniques that can be applied successfully in most environments: it's better to know a limited number of skills thoroughly than a whole host of different variations specific to particular kinds of terrain. Wilderness survival and bushcraft are thoroughly aspirational - even to incurable stay-at-homes.
This book encourages the values of improvisation and self-reliance in extreme situations - a form of escapism enjoyed by most viewers of survival TV programmes.
Joe O'Leary is thirty-six and lives in a cottage on the Wiltshire/Dorset border with his wife Clare, a number of dogs and cats and an ever-growing collection of various bags of sticks and twigs. He has been a soldier, carpenter, furniture maker and cafe owner but the one thing that has remained constant throughout his life is his passion for the great outdoors and an overwhelming desire to learn everything there is to know about self-reliance in the wilderness. He runs his own school, Wilderness Survival Skills.