But no fear: The SAS Survival Guide comes in an app and it’s every bit as terrific as the book.
The user-friendly app includes guidelines from the book, and then some. There are tips for building a fire, treating a snake bite (don’t suck out the venom) and foraging for mushrooms. The first aid guide includes illustrated instructions for saving yourself if you are choking (thrust your abdomen against a tree trunk). And there are neat factoids: If you happen to kill a polar bear, Wiseman warns, do not eat the liver, because it contains deadly amounts of vitamin A.
Sixteen videos show Wiseman demonstrating survival techniques, including one sobering tutorial in which he guts a chicken. “Save the feathers. They can be useful for insulating clothing,” he advises.
(Disclaimer: No chickens were harmed in the testing of this app.)
In other videos, Wiseman demonstrates how to build a fern cover for shelter, how to procure potable water with a bag and how to construct an igloo.
All the videos must be downloaded, which makes sense, considering you probably wouldn’t have Internet access while seeking water in the Atacama Desert or bobbing on flotsam in the South Pacific. Caveat emptor: Be sure to download them before finding yourself in these situations.
There is room for improvement. Step-by-step videos would be more helpful than a slideshow of various knot types. And the search function is cumbersome. On a recent camping trip, I ran across a black bear and her two cubs. Backing away, I searched the app for “bear,” which gave me more than 50 hits, including navigational terms such as “bearings.” Worried the bear would pounce on me as I scrolled through the results, I instead made a wide arc around her along the bank of a river. (This was the right course, I later learned.)
Still, if you ever find yourself stranded far from humanity, it would be helpful to have this app at your side. If only Wiseman had tips on sustaining a cellphone’s battery life in the wilderness.
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NAME: SAS Survival Guide
OPERATING SYSTEM: iOS and Android
CREATOR: Trellisys.net and HarperCollins
USER RATINGS: Apple, (1,435 ratings);Google Play, (982 ratings)
REVIEW’S BOTTOM LINE: Just as good as the popular book.