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Thursday, May 7, 2009


I don’t know Neil Strauss but I respect a certain part of his make up very much. It is a personal trait that I encourage all my readers to develop: Do stuff. Don’t just dream about it; don’t just talk about it; don’t just read about it – actually get out there and DO.

A few years ago, Neil was what we unkindly, sadly, but ultimately truthfully, refer to as a sheeple. A reporter for the New York Times, he was financially successful, urbane, hip – and clueless when it came to survivalism. But then he woke up. In a big way. He quickly realized what he did not know (a tough step for many that involves suppressing the ego) and then set about correcting this hole in his knowledge base. Again, in a big way.

He built a BoB, he bought a pistol, and he attended Gunsite. He took survival classes and edible plant walks, and urban escape and evasion courses. He started training in martial arts. He cached things. He got a milk goat. Heck, he even designed a bug out plan that included obtaining citizenship and a home in another country – and then took flying lessons (so he has a little money).

Now, as cool as all of this is (and it is very cool) the coolest thing is that Neil Strauss wrote about it in great detail so you and I can follow and experience his journey. And he writes well. He should – he has written several other books that have done very well.

If you have been flitting around the edges of preparedness and survivalism and just enjoy reading blogs like this one or maybe visiting a forum or two –you need this book. If you are already well underway on your own preparedness journey – you could use this book for some advice from a man who is there and has done that. If you feel pretty secure in your preparations – I think you will enjoy this book as you compare Neil’s journey to your own and I bet you will benefit from another perspective and probably find some holes in your plans and processes that need to be addressed.

Neil Strauss writes in an edgy and adult oriented style – this is not a book for your teen aged daughter. I think it’s his personality coming through and although you wouldn’t want to read some passages aloud in church, there is nothing gratuitous here. Just deal with it.

One of my favorite sections concerned a personal training plan Neil put together. See, attending all these courses and gaining all this knowledge was not enough (it never it). Neil wanted to own the knowledge. So he scheduled his weeks for a while were he had things like Fire Sundays (he’d build fires different ways); Shelter Mondays; and one of my favorites: Survivalist Dinner Party Wednesdays where he’d invite friends over and prepare a meal differently each time – rock boiling, coal cooking, steam pits, etc. I tell ya, he’s on to something here.

So, bottom line – get yourself a copy of Emergency by Neil Strauss – it’s and enjoyable read and you’ll learn some stuff and get motivated to keep moving forward.

By Neil Strauss
HarperCollins 2009

If you have any comments I’d love to hear them.
If they really interest me, I may even post them.
You can reach me at Joe

You can also join us to discuss this and other issues at Viking Preparedness Forums

Prepared Americans for a Strong America


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