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Wilderness Survival, Tracking, and Awareness

Resources

This page lists many resources that can help you to learn about the kinds of things that you see on survival.org.au. The resources are listed under the following categories:

Books
Movies, Video, DVD and Audio
Material on the Web
Survival and Nature Courses
     Commercial Survival Courses
     International Courses
Permaculture Courses
Equipment
Spiritual and Psychology
Peak Oil
Peak Oil Groups


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I came very close to scrapping survival.org.au in winter 2009 due to financial difficulties. Since then I have decided that the site has to pay its way (or at least some of it) if it is going to stay.

If you buy anything from any of the dealers reached by clicking on the banners below, you will help to keep survival.org.au alive and on the internet.

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Books


Movies, Video, DVD, and Audio

There is a new Online Video Section of survival.org.au.

See also the new page about Survival DVDs, with reviews of many survival DVDs.

Patch From Scratch & Cottage Gardens, by Peter Cundall and Gardening Australia Patch From Scratch & Cottage Gardens, by Peter Cundall and Gardening Australia (DVD). This is a combination of two videos that used to be sold separately on VHS. The "Patch from Scratch" video is really, really good if you want to learn from scratch about how to grow vegetables organically. In Patch from Scratch, Peter Cundall shows you step-by-step how to start a vegetable garden, beginning with an ordinary suburban lawn. He goes through each season (some of then broken into early and late) for 18 months, describing everything in amazing detail. There is so much information in this video you could watch it 100 times and still learn more. The only real criticism of it I can think of is that it is so densely packed with information, your brain gets saturated after 10 or 15 minutes. So don't expect to take it all in in one sitting. I would recommend watching it through all the way just for an introduction, and then watch just the section for each month that you are up to, and do what he explains in that month/season.

Click here to purchase from Australia (Fishpond) $29.99 AUD

Movies

  • The Movie made from the book of the same name, "The Education of Little Tree" is excellent. The book is also meant to be very good, but I have only seen the movie.
  • Walkabout - Australian movie, kind of arty and weird and sad, but worth a look.
  • Rabbit Proof Fence
  • Dances With Wolves
  • The Emerald Forest
  • The Gods Must Be Crazy, and Animals Are Beautiful People
  • The Tracker - An Australian movie about an Aboriginal tracker following another Aboriginal criminal for the white police force.
  • The Hunted - Based of a true life story where a Character playing the role of Tom Brown Jr. has to track down one of his ex-students who has turned into a murderer.

Material on the Web

  • "The 10 Bushcraft Books" is an excellent Australian guide to wilderness living. You can view it online here.
  • Herbs are Special. Planting a garden with food potential is one of the most valuable things we can do. Isabell Shipard knows this well... with over 30 years of extensive research, knowledge and experience in growing herbs, collecting, and using herbs, spices, fruit trees, rare edibles, seed varieties, sprouts, culinary herbs and medicinal herbs, natural herbal remedies, alternative herbal medicines, natural herbal pain relief, herbal nutrition and Self-Sufficiency... making Isabell one of Australia's most knowledgable and sought after authorities on herbs.
  • Thomas J. Elpel's website, www.hollowtop.com, contains much excellent information. I also highly recommend his book Participating in Nature: Thomas J. Elpel's Field Guide to Primitive Living Skills. Some of his other books, and his "Art of Nothing" DVDs, are at the top of my "next to get" list of wilderness survival books.
  • Ron Hood's website www.survival.com has a lot of useful stuff. I highly recommend his Woodsmaster videos.
  • This is a great site about primitive technology: www.primitiveways.com.
  • Wildwood Survival is an excellent site with many articles and tutorials on survival and wilderness skills and philosophy.
  • The Survival & Self Reliance Studies Institute (SSRsi) is a huge site containing a great amount of quality information on survivalist topics. Much more than wilderness survival is covered, including a wide variety of information relevant to TEOTWAWKI. Founded in 1987.
  • The Society of Primitive Technology (American)
  • Australian survivalist website and forum www.aussurvivalist.com.
  • A great site to look up plants in NSW, Australia, is the NSW PlantNet. The site features information about basically any and all plants growing wild in NSW, both native and introduced. The plant descriptions are very scientific/botanical. There are line drawings of the plants, and range maps of where they grow, and many also have photos. You can search on scientific/botanical or common names. Similar databases exist for some of the other Australian states.
  • The Outdoor Lodge have a list of some outdoor sites here: Vote for Us at The Outdoor Lodge's Top Hunting Sites
  • The Ultralight Backpacking Site is an excellent site with a different angle to most survival and outdoor sites — how to live out of a small backpack weighing 10-12 pounds (about 5 kilos).
  • Simple Survival is a US site with a collection of survival articles (relevant to all counrties). Written by Gary Benton, Senior Master Sergeant, US Air Force Retired.
  • Modern Stronghold is a blog-type site with a lot of information about post-collapse living that will be of use to anyone who is planning on being alive in the next few decades.
  • CPR Certified provide online training in CPR and First Aid.

Survival and Nature Courses

See this page: Survival Courses Near Sydney and the Blue Mountains.

  • The Kamana Naturalist Training Program at Wilderness Awareness School (North American) is an excellent correspondence course teaching wilderness and native skills and awareness. The focus is more on native awareness and on learning your local plants and animals than on survival and living skills as such. With this course, it would take a long time before you knew a lot of actual practical skills—but by the time you did, your level of knowledge would be very, very deep and broad. There are four levels to the course, of which I have completed one.

Check Out The Kamana Naturalist Training Program Materials at Wilderness Awareness School

  • Cumberland State Forest, Pennant Hills, 35 minutes drive northwest of the centre of Sydney, has a bush tucker walk that is almost free (I think it was about $3 when I did it a couple of years ago). It is only short, but definitely worthwhile. They also have a bush tucker garden where you can see many bush food plants growing, with their names on signs next to the plants. From their website: "Cumberland has an extensive range of programs for community groups, families and individuals. These include guided walks, slide presentations, spotlighting tours, school holiday activities, treasure hunts, bush tucker tastings and a volunteer bush regeneration program. Become a volunteer bush regenerator. Bookings are necessary for all activities ph: (02) 9871 3377".
  • Bundeluk, an Aboriginal artist, educator, and tour guide (Darug) leads many bush tucker walks in the Blue Mountains and Western Sydney area. 0410763435
  • Muru Mittigar Aboriginal Cultural Centre, Cranebrook, near Penrith, NSW, has an Aboriginal museum and information centre. Artifacts on display including traditional tools, etc., and a native nursery.
  • TAFE NSW Course 2647 - Outdoor Recreation (Interpretive Guiding): This course is a long-term course angled towards learning to be a bushwalking guide. It includes learning the native plants, animals, and Aboriginal history/sites/customs/practices/etc. It is offered in the Blue Mountains and I think also at Canberra. There may be variants of it in other states (possibly North QLD?). Half of the class hours are spent in the field (that is, bushwalking). You can go on to do more outdoor recreation after this course, and some of the further courses do include more survival-like content although they seem to be mainly angled towards abseiling/climbing/canyoning type activities.

Commercial Survival Courses

  • Survival Courses Near Sydney and the Blue Mountains
  • High n Wild - Bush Tucker and survival courses in the Blue Mountains.
  • Adventure Guides - survival , navigation, and tracking courses in the Blue Mountains (scroll down to the bottom of the page).
  • Australian School of Mountaineering - survival, bushcraft and navigation courses in the Blue Mountains.
  • More survival-related courses in Australia are described at AusSurvivalist.com. As of my writing this, not all of the links on their page are working. If you get a page not found error after clicking on a link, try removing just the page name from the URL, leaving only the domain name of the site you want to look at.

International Courses

  • Alderleaf Wilderness College is a very highly recommended nature education center and wilderness survival school located in the Pacific Northwest USA. Alderleaf offers a wide range of topics relevent to the subjects on this website, including permaculture, wildlife tracking, nature education, and wilderness survival courses. Their site also contains a lot of survival, tracking, and other information.
  • The Boreal Wilderness Institute is a world class outdoor education institute, offering a variety of courses and seminars teaching Outdoor Education throughout Western and Northern Canada.
  • Tom Brown Jr runs what is probably the world's largest and best known school teaching survival, tracking, awareness, and wilderness living skills. He is the author of about 15 books, all of which I highly recommend (I haven't read the latest one which is all about his police/law tracking cases though). His books are in two styles, the field guides and the autobiographical/story books. The first book is "The Tracker", which is a good place to start, although I read the second book "The Search" first.

Permaculture Courses

Permaculture Design Course (PDC) Online with PermacultureVisions.com

PermacultureVisions.com is has been running since 1993. Serving students and graduates in 24 countries. Scholarships provided to people with special needs. No fixed dates to start. Individual tuition and group participation through participants mailing list. Policy of personalised, student-focused, stress free learning environment. Courses offered are an Introduction to Permaculture, the Permaculture Design Course, and a Refresher Course.

Click here to visit PermacultureVisions.com.


Equipment

Paracord, or "550 Paracord"

  • If there was one type of modern cordage you would most want in a survival or wilderness living situation, it would be "550 Paracord". The number 550 refers to what is meant to be its rated weight capacity in pounds, which is equivalent to 250 kilograms. This is pretty impressive considering how thin, light, and pliable it is. It also takes knots really well (meaning that knots do not slip or untie themselves easily), unlike many cheap types of cord/rope like you might buy from a discount store or hardware store. You can get it here from LEGEAR in Australia. There are a couple of links to American suppliers of 550 Paracord in the right-hand column of this page.

Spiritual and Psychology

  • Theun Mares' website is www.toltec-foundation.org. His books can be purchased in two forms. The old style is recently out of print, but some of them can still be found new at many bookshops and at Amazon.com title=. The new style is much more expensive, due mainly to the archival-quality of the paper and binding, and can be purchased from his website.
  • This book is firstly for the thinkers of the world who have seen for themselves that humanity cannot continue indefinitely on its present course, and that a drastic change in human attitudes and thinking is necessary if world prosperity is to be ensured.
    Theun Mares, Return of the Warriors.


Peak Oil and Transition Preparation

  • Transition Sydney
  • Transition Blue Mountains
  • An excellent Australian site on Peak Oil, Resilience, Population Overshoot, Neotribalism, Food System Collapse, Global Economic Meltdown & Societal Instability is Michael Pinilla's site AlienWorld.
  • For peak oil, one of the most convincing pieces of media that I have come across is Matt Savinar's first interview on "Feet to the Fire". The interview is the third segment in this stream, it begins at 1 hour, 09 minutes, and about 50 seconds from the start of the stream. It plays for about 40 minutes, plus an extra 20 minute "bonus" segment that was not part of the original radio broadcast. This interview is rather confronting.
  • Matt's second interview on Feet to the Fire is available here.
  • Matt Savinar's website, www.lifeaftertheoilcrash.net — this is an excellent site, describing the coming oil crisis in a clear, easy to understand way. It is rather confronting, though.
  • An extremely good introductory Australian peak oil site is www.eclipsenow.org.
  • An excellent presentation from the Australian ABC show Four Corners about peak oil.
  • I highly recommend the DVD "The End of Suburbia". In Australia it is available from the Ebono Institute. This is probably the best video presentation on peak oil that I have seen. Excellent to show to groups of people (or to yourself) as an introduction to the subject.
  • There is a new DVD coming out soon called Escape From Suburbia that looks like it will be extremely good.
  • A movie has been made about Cuba's response to their oil crisis in the early 1990s, that is meant to be extremely good—and also very positive, optimistic, and inspiring (unlike much of the other peak oil material).
  • A great video about peak oil, 13 minutes, from ABC TV's Catalyst programme. Note that the severely optimistic comments made by ExxonMobil in this video strongly contradict other statements by this company, for example those given here.
  • Australian Association for the Study of Peak Oil and Gas — a new association, a division of the global ASPO (www.peakoil.net).
  • Do a Google search on "peak oil".

Peak Oil Groups

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