My new book, Getting Out Alive: 13 Deadly Scenarios and How Others Survived, is quite different in content from Bug Out, my first survival-related book that led to the creation of this site to expand on the topics I covered there. Getting Out Alive is not so much a survival manual as it is a look at some specific survival situations that a person could find themselves in, and a look at how other people in those situations in real life managed to get out of them. A few cases mentioned in the book also describe the plights of those who did not survive, either through bad luck, lack of knowledge or skill or a some combination of factors beyond their control. Here's a view of the back cover:
For as long as I can remember, I've been interested in reading such true-life survival stories, especially if they were related to adventures I could picture myself undertaking. As a kid growing up hunting, I eagerly read every account I could get my hands on of hunters getting lost in the woods, attacked by bears or caught out in a blizzard. I read about the adventures of big game hunters in Africa and other exotic places and how they dealt with their dangerous quarry and the many hazards of their environment, like deadly snakes. I was fortunate enough later as an adult to pursue some of the adventures I dreamed about as a kid, and as a result I've ventured into tropical jungles, sailed the ocean on small boats, retraced the routes of mountain men and voyageurs and wandered remote desert canyons.
Anyone who deliberately seeks adventure is bound to put themselves in situations that can test their survival skills, and I've been in a few tight spots from time to time. But even those who mostly stay at home can also find themselves in danger when it comes to threats from things like hurricanes, winter storms or even deranged individuals with guns who decide to go on a rampage.
The purpose of a book like Getting Out Alive is to show how easy it can be to end up in a life-or-death struggle and provide food for thought about how the reader might learn from the mistakes of others and avoid the same situation. In some cases, the real-life examples given illustrate the absolute best course of action the person or persons involved could have taken, and would be hard to improve upon. In other cases, we can all learn from their errors in judgment and avoid the same end they came to.
It's hard to chose when thinking about such scenarios, as there are so many possibilities, but for this book I decided to pick 13 situations, some of which could happen to most anyone, and others that would be more likely to happen to the adventurous traveler. Some of these are scenarios that I could have found myself in, since I have a love for deserts, the sea, jungles, mountains and wild places inhabited by dangerous animals. But I think that even if you don't seek out experiences in such places, reading about survival scenarios in different environments can add to your general survival knowledge, as well as make for entertaining reading.
So with this explanation, here are the scenarios discussed in this book:
Chapter One: Cutting Your Losses - looks at situations in which lone travelers in remote locations have been trapped by a fallen tree or shifting boulder and have had to chose between death and cutting off one of their own limbs to escape.
Chapter Two: Abandoned in the Amazon Basin - looks at jungle survival from the perspective of an ecotourist or other traveler in the tropics who ends up alone in a trackless expanse of rainforest and has to get out without outside help, as searchers are unlikely to find anyone in such an environment.
Chapter Three: Category 4 - looks at the plight of those caught in the path of a major hurricane who did not evacuate in time, either due to choice or poor planning, and the dangers they will face from the storm surge and wind.
Chapter Four: In the Line of Fire - looks at the frightening scenario of being caught in a shopping mall when a deranged shooter opens fire on the crowd, and how others have survived or even stopped the killer before the police arrived.
Chapter Five: Modern-Day Castaway - looks at survival techniques for an uninhabited island and how even today there are many such islands where it is possible to get stranded for a long period of time.
Chapter Six: Fire on the Mountain - looks at the frightening scenario of getting caught in the path of a raging forest fire in the mountains, and how you could survive if you cannot outrun the flames.
Chapter Seven: Snowbound - looks at how easy it is for winter travelers in vehicles to get themselves in a life or death situation by getting caught in blizzard conditions.
Chapter Eight: Broke Down in the Desert - looks at the scenario of a traveler getting stranded far from a road while exploring the desert on an off-road vehicle or motorcycle, and how easy it is to disappear without a trace in such places.
Chapter Nine: Adrift on the High Seas - looks at the all too common scenario of the unprepared setting out to go fishing with blind faith in the reliability of an outboard engine that fails and leads to an ordeal of sea survival after winds and currents carry them into the open ocean.
Chapter Ten: Trapped on the 13th Floor - looks at the urban survival situation of being trapped in a burning hi-rise and how you might increase your chances of escape from such a scenario.
Chapter Eleven: Mauled by a Bear - looks at the increasing number of bear attacks in North America and why they happen and how they can be avoided, as well as the best strategies for surviving one.
Chapter Twelve: Bracing for Impact - looks at survivable plane crashes (which far exceed the unsurvivable ones) and how you might end up in such a situation and what to do if it happens.
Chapter Thirteen: Urban Breakdown - this last chapter looks at urban riots and other scenarios that might require one to bug out of a city in chaos.
In each of these chapters, there is a fictional narrative written from the second person point of view that puts you in the scenario, interwoven with sidebars that include the real-life survivor's stories and instructional sidebars that provide the information you need to survive the situation. At the end of each chapter is a top ten tips synopsis of techniques to deal with the scenario.
So this should give you an idea of what this book is all about. The release date for the print version has been changed by my publisher to March 1, so that should allow plenty of time for copies to make it through the distribution channels to both the online and brick and mortar bookstores. As I mention in my last post, the Kindle version is available right now if you don't want to wait. Now that this project is finished I am well into my next book, which as I've mentioned before is a follow up to Bug Out that I think any reader of that book will be interested in. I'll be posting details about the content as soon as the cover design for it is finalized. I received the initial design from the publisher a few days ago and it looks great, with the exception of a minor detail that needs changing.
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