We’re excited to have Annie on the website today with a review of the book Extreme Wilderness Survival By Craig Caudill. Take it away Annie!

As soon as I saw Craig had written a survival book, I wanted a copy. Why? Because Craig is the founder and an Instructor at Nature Reliance School here in my home state of Kentucky. I’ve been following him for quite some time on social media, growing fond of his teaching skills and his survival tactics.

Now I’m not a doomsday prepper or overly enthralled by survival study but I do believe it’s important to have a survival skill set if you venture outdoors. Additionally, I was intrigued by the self-defense section promised in Craig’s book as well as the wide application it was promised for, “Essential Knowledge to Survive any Outdoor Situation, Short-Term or Long-Term, with or without Gear and Alone or with others.


I have to say I was surprised initially by how in depth Extreme Wilderness Survival was. I don’t know if I was expecting some summarized version as portrayed in television shows or just a general rundown of basic skills but Craig’s book went way beyond my expectations.

Extreme Wilderness Survival provides an in-depth guide of how to survive a myriad of situations as promised in its subtitle. There are many references to the Military, their techniques, and training. The aspects of which are spoken of in the book are basic but vitally important and easily applicable by civilians without a military background. Craig takes the reader from the basics of mental fortitude to the details of knot tying, processing wild game, and group leadership. He has even gone the extra mile to provide exercises in which to practice and cultivate your survival skills in your home territory.

Craig’s book taught me that I may already have knowledge about a lot of survival skills but it’s unapplied knowledge, meaning that I don’t practice it, let alone perfected any aspect of it. Extreme Wilderness Survival not only teaches you the basics of survival but gives you the tools and steps to make that knowledge practical. I honestly see a lot of fun family activities in Craig’s book, what better way for an outdoor family to hone their skills and knowledge? Grab a copy of Extreme Wilderness Survival and head out into your own backyard.

The Chapters on Understanding your energy needs and the Realities of going solo and group formations were especially enthralling to me for several reasons. The first being that Craig details out certain easily identifiable species that can supply a person with nutrition and how a group should be conducted in a survival situation.

I love that the author, Craig, does not place himself nor his book as the end solution to all survival knowledge. He frequently urges his readers to search out other sources, even listing other books as suggested reading material to further one’s education and insight into survival. Reality T.V. personalities frequently tout their style or methods as the only way and when more than one survivalist is involved it can become a bicker-fest (to put it politely), makes for good television but not for good survival. Not so with Craig, he’s open and receptive to not only different style but knowing that everyone won’t do the exact same task in the exact same manner. What matters to him is the task is completed efficiently and safely following the basic rules of survival.  

There are sections of the book that caused my head to spin, like the land navigation and compass section. It may be more practical to have the types of maps discussed with a compass in hand while reading. Craig states hands on knowledge is the key and that couldn’t more true with this section.

The chapter covering patrolling was a bit much for a wilderness survival book in my opinion. I do see the point with today’s modern world of craziness, escaped convicts, and natural disasters but it went way beyond my application and reasons for wanting the book. Most of the tactics discussed I personally see little to no need for unless you were being hunted or stalked by man or beast. The only scenario I can visualize this section to be somewhat practical would be in the case of prison escapee or convict in the area you are camping, hiking, etc.

Overall I really enjoyed reading Extreme Wilderness Survival. True stories of death and survival in the wilderness combined with a how to guide layout, and lots of useful tables for quick reference.

I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who ventures into the wilderness or is looking to prep more for natural disasters. This book is must read for day hikers and backpackers, even if they are experienced they should get a copy and practice what it teaches. In the age of YouTube and Reality television, it may seem easy to just search a couple videos or plop down in front of your t.v. and learn what you think you need to know but Extreme Wilderness Survival is an in depth how to that guides you to “Increase your toolbox of survival skills” No need to rewind and playback, just don’t turn the page till your ready.

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