Saturday, May 24, 2014

The 10 Bushcraft Books by Richard Graves.

The 10 Bushcraft Books by Richard Graves.  Hardcover book published by Dymock's Book Arcade (no date, possibly 1950s or 1960s), various pagination with black and white illustrations and a few black and white photographs.

“An enthusiastic bushwalker, skier and pioneer of white-water canoeing, he (the author) foresaw how a knowledge of bush- craft could save lives in the Second World War. To achieve this end, he initiated and led the Australian Jungle Rescue Detachment, assigned to the Far East American Air Force. This detachment of 60 specially selected A.I.F. soldiers successfully effected more than 300 rescue missions, most of which were in enemy-held territory, without failure of a mission or loss of a man. An essential preliminary for rescue was survival, and it was for this purpose that the notes for these books were written. These notes were later revised and prepared for a School in Bushcraft which was conducted for nearly 20 years. As far as is known, “The 10 Bushcraft Books” are unique. There is nothing quite like them, nor is any collection of bushcraft knowledge under one cover as comprehensive.”

When the Zombie apocalypse arrives, it’s a book like this one that will save lives.  Bear Grylls won’t necessarily be around to help you extract moisture from fish, anchor a peg in sand or snow, or make a lobster trap. Yes, this is the book that answers all of these hard questions.  How do you make a fire without smoke?  How do you make a bark canoe?  How do you make a clothes peg?

I like the WWII connection that this book and these skills have.  It lends the information contained within, an authenticity that is now hard to get.  The book was written here in Australia and I assume it was mostly for Australian conditions, but somehow I think that if you squeeze the right fish anywhere in the world, you’ll get water (…or a lot of squashed fish).  The big question is how relevant is this book to today’s busy busy world of large uncompromising metropolises.  The answer is, not very… that is… until the Zombie apocalypse  arrives.

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