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From the Library

September 16, 2019

Some Thoughts on Scouts and Spies by Gerry Barker

I found this little booklet, while looking for references for pre-Revolutionary re-enacting… It was written by a former SF soldier, who is also a historical reenactor, so it obviously piqued my curiosity. It’s a short, simple little booklet. It offers a good introduction to the modern fundamental skills of reconnaissance patrolling, through the vehicle of historical trekking. The emphasis on solo scouting missions—which were a very real thing, once upon a time—and ultralight weight trekking, with minimal equipment, to cover more ground, faster, with improved stealth, is a useful one even for a lot of modern SOF soldiers to re-learn. For the typical prepper with his 98lb bug out bag? It’s probably critical.

This book is highly recommended.

Simple and Sinister by Pavel Tsatsouline

Like a lot of Pavel’s stuff, this book enjoys a lot of overblown hyperbole. The program is billed as a minimalist conditioning program, and it is. It’s also probably pretty complete for most people. I’ve used it for my conditioning programming, a couple of different times, and been very satisfied with it. Best of all, from your perspective, it starts out really easy, and advances at your own rate.

If you’re looking for a minimalist conditioning program, or a change of pace, or an introductory kettlebell conditioning program, I recommend this book.

If you want a closer look before buying it, I did a review for it in one of this week’s second tier Patreon articles. It wouldn’t be particularly fair to them for me to rewrite the review here, but it’s worth it.

100 Edible Mushrooms by Michael Kuo

Mushrooms, especially wild foraged mushrooms, are a delicate subject. While there are only a very few wild mushrooms in this country that are actually lethal, compared to hundreds that are perfectly edible. Unfortunately, as the old proverb says, “You can eat any mushroom….once.”

This book is a good look at 100 different edible mushrooms. Including quality color photographs and instructions for safely identifying the chosen mushrooms, as well as where to locate them, he also includes a number of recipes for actually cooking them.

In recommending this however, I would be remiss to not point out that, while some edible mushrooms may have medicinal properties that make them worthwhile, as a source of calories, mushrooms don’t offer much benefit, compared to the inherent risk of eating one of the few bad ones. On the other hand, I really like mushrooms, and the minerals and flavor added by incorporating them into meals, is worthwhile, in my mind.

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One Comment
  1. LFMayor permalink

    Thanks for the recommendation of “Some Thoughts on Scouts and Spies”. I picked it up and it definitely got my gears turning. We have a la lot of open ground here, I’ve heard it best described as the Corn Desert and movement unseen at parts of the year would be channeled to natural depressions that are typically scrubby/overgrown. The great forests of the east must have been a hell of an experience. The one thing that stuck with me through the book was the emphasis on silent movement , it takes me back to being taught how to stalk squirrels by my uncle ( yes, squirrels). The fox squirrels we have here in the older growth areas are wary little bastards and creeping up to range on them through dry, deciduous litter was tough. As mentioned in the book, balance and a focus on quiet as opposed to speed meant success.
    My two cents for you folks with kids, make them stalk small game in your area with a low powered kit, they’ll learn plenty.

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