SAS and Elite Forces Guide Preparing to Survive: Being Ready for When Disaster Strikes


SAS and Elite Forces Guide to Survival

This guide teaches the skills and offers up the information people need for when things really go wrong. For those who have decided to take their safety into their own hands, the world’s best survival experts show readers how live off the land, dig their own wells, provide their own power and defend themselves.

Chris McNab is a specialist in survival techniques. He has published over 20 books including How...

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SAS and Elite Forces Guide to Survival

This guide teaches the skills and offers up the information people need for when things really go wrong. For those who have decided to take their safety into their own hands, the world’s best survival experts show readers how live off the land, dig their own wells, provide their own power and defend themselves.

Chris McNab is a specialist in survival techniques. He has published over 20 books including How to Survive Anything, Anywhere, Special Forces Endurance Techniques, First Aid Survival Manual, Military Survival Handbook and SAS and Elite Forces Guide: Wilderness Survival.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780762782826
  • Publisher: Lyons Press, The
  • Publication date: 10/16/2012
  • Series: SAS Series
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 786,468
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 6.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Chris McNab is an experienced specialist in survival techniques. He has published over 20 books including How to Survive Anything, Anywhere, Special Forces Endurance Techniques, First Aid Survival Manual, Military Survival Handbook and SAS and Elite Forces Guide: Wilderness Survival. In his home country of Wales, UK, McNab provides instruction on wilderness hunting techniques.

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Read an Excerpt


Failure, depending on your age and level of fitness, and/or muscle strain. If you are wearing thick winter clothing, you may be in danger of losing too much body fluid through excessive sweating.

Also, if you sweat into your clothes you will make them wet which raises the risk of hypothermia. Extremely cold air can affect the lungs so cover your mouth with a scarf or other headwear. Beware the risk of frostbite, especially in your extremities such as fingers or toes.



Vehicles in a snowstorm

If you are stuck in a vehicle in a snowstorm, it is best to either remain in or near the vehicle until help arrives. Take care to clear snow away from near the exhaust pipe to reduce the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning and turn the engine on for a short period at least once every hour to provide warmth. It may be necessary to keep one window slightly open to avoid bad air or the dangers of carbon monoxide. Go through a periodic regime of

If you are travelling in or live in an area prone to snowstorms, it is a good idea to keep emergency supplies constantly in the vehicle. These may include:

• A shovel. • Windscreen ice/snow scrapers. • Torch and spare batteries. • Water. • Spare food, including energy bars. • Candles and matches. • First aid kit. • Blankets/spare thermal/waterproof clothing. • Flares and other distress signals. • Rope or chain strong enough to tow a vehicle. • Rock salt and/or sand may be carried to improve traction. Tyre chains may be appropriate. • Plastic bags for rubbish or hygiene requirements. 10

Preparing your car

• Remember to make sure your have a full tank of petrol if venturing onto the road in extreme weather conditions. You never know how long your journey might take, or whether you will be stuck somewhere. •You should always keep the following items in your car in storm and blizzard conditions: bottled water, blankets, winter coat, gloves, hat, shovel, rope, tire chains and a flashlight.

Forest fires – how to prepare your home

Wildfires can strike at any time, and affect even urban areas, as fires in California and Australia have shown in recent years. People in fire prone areas should plan ahead and be prepared to evacuate with little notice. There are many things you can do to protect yourself and your property. • Make a fire safe zone around your house. Remove combustibles, including firewood, yard waste, barbecue grills, and fuel cans, from an area at least nine metres (30 feet) around the house and any outbuildings.

• Prune away the lower limbs of evergreens that are within the fire safe zone. • Remove any branches that overhang the roof or chimney and remove leaves and needles from gutters. • Hose with water any wooden areas around the outside of your house, such as fences, trellises and outbuildings. If it is made of wood, also hose down the roof. • Cover vents, windows and other openings of the house with duct tape and pieces of plywood. • Shut off natural gas, propane or fuel oil supplies. • Inside the house, move combustible materials such as light curtains and furniture away from the windows. • Fill any large vessels – such as a swimming pool, hot tub or garbage cans – with water to slow or discourage fire. • Make sure firefighters can find and access your home; mark your house and local roads clearly. fall. Check the window aperture is wide enough. It may be possible to keep a ladder inside the house that can be lowered through an appropriate window.

When moving around the house in a fire, stay close to the ground where the air is likely to be clearer. Before leaving a room, place the back of your hand against the door to see if it is hot. If it is hot, it is probably too dangerous to open the door and you may need to attempt an escape out of the window or signal for rescue. If the door is cool, try opening it slowly to check conditions outside, and then move out if safe, following your agreed escape route or towards where family members or rescuers may call you.



Fires outdoors often occur in the summer, when dry foliage and forest debris can easily catch fire. In Australia, the eucalyptus tree drops a great deal of dry bark and leaves on the forest floor, which together makes ready fuel. Fires can also occur in brushland and grassland.


Take great care when lighting a camp fire, especially in a dry area – use a constructed fireplace or light the fire in a trench at least 30cm (12in) deep. Take care that roots

many uses—for example, it can make an antiseptic and treat fungal diseases when added to water; snare wire (brass wire is the best, and can be used repeatedly for animal traps).

Survival bag

It is also useful to make up another, larger survival kit, one that will fit into a small-sized bag and which can be

carried in your car or with you on trips. As with the survival tin, get used to always having it with you, and make sure you regularly check its contents for any signs of deterioration. The items you should carry in the bag are: sewing kit, pliers with wire cutter, dental floss (for sewing), pocketknife, ring saw, snow shovel, signal cloth (at least

First-aid kit

A good first-aid kit should include items to treat wounds, limit or treat infections, safely reduce pain, and aid in delivering life-saving techniques. Make sure you are properly trained in how to give antibiotics and painkillers, if you carry them.


Pack essential, often-used items such as flashlights, maps, compasses, knives, first-aid kits, and fire- starting equipment in easily accessible pouches, pockets, and bags. Make sure any survival bags you use are completely waterproof and free from tears.

3 feet by 3 feet/1 meter by 1 meter), fishing hooks, flies, weights and line, three large safety pins, 150 feet (45m) of nylon line, gaff hook, multivitamins, protein tablets, large chocolate bar, dried eggs, dried milk, file, cutlery set, three space blankets, compass, signal mirror, four candles, microlite flashlight with extra batteries and bulbs, fire starter, windproof and waterproof matches, butane lighter, flint, insect repellent, 12 snares, spool of snare wire, can opener, plastic cup, water purification tablets, sling shot and

ammunition, knife sharpener, whistle, soap, two orange smoke signals, 225 feet (67m) of nylon twine, 225 feet (67m) of nylon cord, one pair of work gloves, a mess tin, and a mousetrap.

Tents and portable shelters A portable shelter is an essential item of any outdoors kit. As with the clothing, there is a vast range to choose from, ranging from ultra- lightweight mountain and arctic models to inexpensive types for summer weather.


 Proper canning practices include:

• carefully selecting and washing fresh food, • peeling some fresh foods, • hot packing many foods, • adding acids (lemon juice or vinegar) to some foods, • using acceptable jars and self-sealing lids, • processing jars in a boiling-water or pressure canner for the correct period of time. Growth of the bacterium Clostridium botulinum in canned food may cause botulism—a deadly form of food poisoning. In the following conditions, Botulism spores can proliferate:

• a moist, low-acid food • a temperature between 40° and 120°F • less than 2 percent oxygen. Canning can be a safe and economical way to preserve quality food at home. Disregarding the value of your labor, canning homegrown food may save you half the cost of buying commercially canned food. Canning favorite and special products to be enjoyed by family and friends is a fulfilling experience and a source of pride for many people. Many vegetables begin losing some of their vitamins

when harvested. Nearly half the vitamins may be lost within a few days unless the fresh produce is cooled or preserved.

Advantages of Home Canning

Within 1 to 2 weeks, even refrigerated produce loses half or more of some of its vitamins. The heating process during canning destroys from one-third to one-half of vitamins A and C, thiamin, and

Canning Equipment

Food may be canned in glass jars or metal containers. Metal containers can be used only once. They require special sealing equipment and are much more costly than jars. Equipment for heat- processing home-canned food is of two main types— boiling-water canners and pressure canners. Ring band Metal flat with sealing compound Jar lip Pressure canner Funnel Jar tray Nihil Threads riboflavin. Once canned, additional losses of these sensitive vitamins are from 5 to 20 percent each year. The amounts of other vitamins, however, are only slightly lower in canned compared with fresh food. If vegetables are handled properly and canned promptly after harvest, they can be more nutritious than fresh produce sold in local stores. The advantages of home canning are lost when you start with poor.

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Table of Contents

  1. What kind of catastrophes are we facing?
    • Natural Disasters – hurricanes and typhoons, floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, volcanoes, snow storms and blizzards, landslides and avalanches, fires and wildfires, heatwaves and droughts
    • Environmental Disasters – Nuclear fallout; polluted water
    • Civil Disorder – Wars, society breaks down. No law and order
    • Terrorism – You’re under attack: fight or flight?
  1. Your Home
    • Preparing your home against: the elements and germs
    • nuclear fall-out – building your own bunker. Panic room.
    • invasion – securing doors and windows. Seeing without being seen.
    • Preparing your basic survival stash
  1. Taking flight

If you need to leave home quickly, what should you take? What are the real essentials to have ready in advance? And can you navigate in the wilderness? What to keep in your car

  1. Food & Water

How much food do you need and how long will it last?

  • Specially prepared and sealed foods such as MRE (Meals, Ready-to-Eat); nitrogen packed grains and legumes; vacuum-packed dried and freeze-dried foods; canning and pickling
  • Home made survival foods: recipes for a balanced diet
  • Living off the land: what you can pick. Farming – planting, soil types, crops, sowing for the future
  • Hunting & fishing – equipment, trapping animals, preparing meat
  • Natural water resources: springs and rivers. Checking your water for purity, purifying water. Digging your own well. Irrigating your land.
  1. Medicine & Hygiene
    • Home medicine – setting broken limbs, performing surgery, childbirth, bleeding, head injuries, treating chemical burns
    • Alternative treatments – using herbs and alcohol
    • Vaccines – what to have ready 

6.      Defending yourself

  • If you’re attacked, do you know self defence? Can you defend others?
  • Evading capture. Carjackings. Escaping capture.
  • Dealing with a hostage situation. Unarmed combat skills.
  • Using weaponry and making your own knives and clubs
  1. Heat & Energy
    • How to power your home with water, fire, wind and wave power.
    • Constructing your own turbines and generators. Bicycle generators



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