I've just finished reading this book and thought I'd put up my thoughts here.
The writer is a bit of an odd guy leaving his wife and young family to go and live the best part of a year in the Alaskan interior, what's even odder is that he does it without ever having a really good reason for doing so. This element is what has led to some of the more negative reviews of the book on amazon.
If you can get past the guy's charachter, and it is by no means a big problem, then you have quite a good book on your hands. Some of the things he is taught by the locals and natives are really interesting and although it isn't really an instruction book there is a bit you can learn from it.
So what did I learn from this book?
- A Sandvik bush axe is a fairly important tool when it comes to establishing portages and paths to a base camp.
- A dog is pretty useful for retrieving, stopping you going "bushy" (kind of crazy) and for warning you of bears
- Most people eaten by bears (which can take over an hour before they kill you as they start eating from the bottom up!) are people with no dog and no gun
- If you don't listen to local knowledge then you're going to suffer
- At -60 and miles from help death is almost part of life - you're never that safe.
- Not listening to the voice inside your head and being overconfident are the fatest ways of dieing
- Commercial gear isn't really up to day-in, day-out bush living
There is an appendix of all the equipment he used and a few comments about how well it worked at the back of the book.
Overall, if your interested in cold weather bushcraft it is well worth a read. It is no-where near as useful as the Snow Walker's Companion but it is a nice book anyway.