Granny's Country Store > Wilderness Survival > Primitive Skills Books | Search | View Cart

Outdoor Survival Skills
Sixth Edition
by Larry Dean Olsen
Reviewed by Thomas J. Elpel

      Outdoor Survival Skills was one of the first modern books published on wilderness survival with primitive skills. Larry Olsen has inspired thousands of people to reconnect with the past through these skills. The book covers all the basics: shelter, fire, water, plants for food and medicine, hunting, working stone and bone, bow & arrow, atlatl and dart, cordage, weaving, rawhide and tanning. Thirty years after it was first published, Outdoor Survival Skills is still one of the best texts on the subject, and minor improvements have been added through the years.

My grandmother owned a copy of the book, and I studied it constantly when I was a teenager. Reading the book led to attending a twenty-six day wilderness survival walkabout with Boulder Outdoor Survival School in southern Utah when I was sixteen, which ultimately helped launch my career in wilderness survival instruction. Cost $15.00

Outdoor Survival Skills    $19.00     Quantity:

-Please scroll down the page for the "Add to Order" button.-

Stone Age Skills for the 21st Century
by Bart & Robin Blankenship

      Bart and Robin Blankenship present a wealth of knowledge in Earth Knack. True to the title, "Stone Age Skills for the 21st Century", the book is a selection of skills that are especially useful to the backyard primitive, including:

-spinning, cording, netting and card-weaving with natural fibers
-pigments and dyes, plus soap from plants
-basketry, gourd craft, bark containers, and log bowls
-pottery making
-primitive cooking
-tool making, friction fires, and musical instruments,
-hide tanning, hide glue, and the manufacture of clothing.

      Whether you are headed out into the wilderness, or just into your backyard, the skills presented in Earth Knack are a great, hands-on way to discover the world around you. 1996. 192 pages. Please Note: Earth Knack was scanned into a computer for the reprint edition. Some of the original quality was lost on the photos, but all the drawings and text look good.

Earth Knack: Stone Age Skills for the 21st Century     $19.00     Quantity:

On-Line Articles by Bart & Robin Blankenship
The Fire Plow | Card Weaving

-Please scroll down the page for the "Add to Order" button.-

Knowledge of the Ancestors: Survival Skills
Ryan Leech
Reviewed by Thomas J. Elpel

      Knowledge of the Ancestors: Survival Skills is an astonishingly good book for an amateur writer and publisher. Although the cover shot, interior formatting, and fonts could be improved, the book has real substance in the range and depth of skills covered, including good text and photos of:

      Shelters: Debris hut, firebed, wickiup, snow pile shelter, and single person thatched shelter.
      Fire: Bowdrill, handdrill, strap handdrill, floating handdrill technique, mouth handdrill, and tinder.
      Cordage: Making cordage from plant leaves, stalks, inner tree bark, roots, buckskin, intestines, rawhide, and sinew, including cording, braiding, and basic knots.
      Containers: Simple baskets, twined baskets, coiled baskets, gourd containers, coal-burned containers, and an extensive section on birchbark containers.
      Traps and Trapping: Figure 4 deadfall, Piaute deadfall, two stick deadfall, broken stick baited deadfall, baited string deadfall, basic snare, spring snare, lever and fulcrum snare, hooked snare, notched trigger snare, rock base snare, basic stick snare, notch plug snare, dowel snare, McPherson deadfall, goose ditch, pit trap, and platform trap.
      Animals: This chapter is a miniaturized field guide to wildlife that doesn't significantly contribute to the survival content of the book, although the author includes lessons we can learn from each animal.
      Processing & Preparing Food: Spit cooking, rotisserie, rock fry pan, mud cooking, rock boiling, primitive stir fry, steam pit, ash cakes, processing nuts, grains, and wild rice, using medicinal herbs, and processing small and large game.
      Weapons and Hunting: Throwing stones, throwing sticks, sling, spears, primitive fishing, hunting and stalking.
      Tools: Fire, bone, antlers, shells, pecking and grinding stones, discoidal blades, pressure flaking, torches, candles, vice, axe, adze, bowdrill, handdrill, digging stick, pitch glue, and sandpaper.
      Plants: Edible, medicinal, and utilitarian uses are covered for amaranth, arrowhead, bergamot, blackberries, blueberries, bracken fern, bulrush, burdock, cattail, chickweed, chicory, clovers, dandelion, day lily, dock, evening primrose, goldenrod, grasses, green briars, Indian cucumber, Japanese knotweed, jewelweed, lamb's quarters, mallow, may-apple, milkweed, mint, mullein, ox-eye daisy, pennycress, pickeral weed, pineappleweed, plantain, pond lily, prickly pear cactus, purslane, reed, rose, shepherd's purse, stinging nettle, strawberry, sunflower, thistle, violet, wild asparagus, wild ginger, wild grapes, wild onion, wild raisin, wild rice, winter cress, wintergreen, wood sorrel, yucca. Poison hemlock and poison ivy are also covered.
      Trees: Edible, medicinal, and utilitarian uses are covered for aspen, balsam fir, basswood, beech, birch, cedar, cherries, cottonwood, hemlock, hickory, maple, mulberry, oak, pine, sassafras, spruce, sumac, sycamore, tulip poplar, walnut, and willow.
      Tracking: Tracking vocabulary, gaits, scat, tracking basics. As with the chapter on animals, this chapter might be better moved to a separate book.

      Author Ryan Leech demonstrates a mastery of primitive survival basics throughout the book. It is an excellent beginning text for anyone wanting to learn wilderness survival living. Borders Personal Publishing. 320 pages. 2008.

Knowledge of the Ancestors: Survival Skills     $30.00 Quantity:


Return to Granny's Country Store Home Page


PO Box 684
Silver Star, MT 59751

How to Place Retail Orders

      Order On-Line: Order on-line with your Visa, Mastercard, Discover or American Express. Simply click on the links to learn more about each product and enter the quantity you want in the little white boxes, then click the "Add to Order" button. You will be transferred to our secure payment service for the final check-out. We also accept PayPal payments. Please Click Here for PayPal instructions.

      Order by mail or telephone: We accept checks and money orders payable in US dollars. Please use the on-line shopping basket to tally your order. Click the "Pay for Order On-line" button to calculate the postage, then print or copy the information and call or send it to us at the address above.

Shipping Options
USA Customers
We ship all USA orders via USPS Priority Mail, except as otherwise noted on the website. Express Mail shipping is available by special request.

Customers outside the USA
please click here for additional
shipping information.

Granny's Country Store
Home-Building Resources | Holistic/Sustainable Living
Wilderness Survival | Resources for Educators
Native Skills & Culture | Nature, Wildlife, Tracking
Wildflowers and Edibles