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When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance & Planetary Survival

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"When Technology Fails" is the first to offer, under one cover, basic instructions and recommended resources for the wide range of skills and technologies necessary for self-reliant living and achieving mastery of all kinds of emergency conditions.A user-friendly "bible" in the tradition of the Whole Earth Catalog, this book provides information that will help the average "When Technology Fails" is the first to offer, under one cover, basic instructions and recommended resources for the wide range of skills and technologies necessary for self-reliant living and achieving mastery of all kinds of emergency conditions.A user-friendly "bible" in the tradition of the Whole Earth Catalog, this book provides information that will help the average person become more self-reliant. In an era of super-storms, burgeoning population, massive earth-quakes, global warming, and record-breaking floods and droughts, more and more people are seeking to prepare themselves to deal with the difficult times that may lie ahead."When Technology Fails" addresses this universal concern in one engaging and concise volume for the general reader. A directory of resources and an instructional guide to sustainable technologies, it outlines survival strategies for dealing with changes that affect food, water, shelter, energy, health, communications, and essential goods and services."When Technology Fails" provides something for everyone, from parents who want to help their families when a disaster strikes, to the go-it-alone survivalist, to the eco-minded person who wishes to tread more lightly on the earth - whatever the future may hold.


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"When Technology Fails" is the first to offer, under one cover, basic instructions and recommended resources for the wide range of skills and technologies necessary for self-reliant living and achieving mastery of all kinds of emergency conditions.A user-friendly "bible" in the tradition of the Whole Earth Catalog, this book provides information that will help the average "When Technology Fails" is the first to offer, under one cover, basic instructions and recommended resources for the wide range of skills and technologies necessary for self-reliant living and achieving mastery of all kinds of emergency conditions.A user-friendly "bible" in the tradition of the Whole Earth Catalog, this book provides information that will help the average person become more self-reliant. In an era of super-storms, burgeoning population, massive earth-quakes, global warming, and record-breaking floods and droughts, more and more people are seeking to prepare themselves to deal with the difficult times that may lie ahead."When Technology Fails" addresses this universal concern in one engaging and concise volume for the general reader. A directory of resources and an instructional guide to sustainable technologies, it outlines survival strategies for dealing with changes that affect food, water, shelter, energy, health, communications, and essential goods and services."When Technology Fails" provides something for everyone, from parents who want to help their families when a disaster strikes, to the go-it-alone survivalist, to the eco-minded person who wishes to tread more lightly on the earth - whatever the future may hold.

30 review for When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance & Planetary Survival

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rabidbadger

    Tee hee, I bought this sucker as part of the "Y2K clearance special" that some wacky Christian survivalists were advertising on Coast To Coast AM back in 2001. Along with my 24 hour candles, bay gen radio, solar fire starter and glow sticks, they threw in a bunch of wacky Xtian doomsday literature as well (I think the company was called Heartland Industries). Anyhoot, this book is great. It'll learn you how to live in the wilderness, build a super energy efficient home, build a fish trap, make a Tee hee, I bought this sucker as part of the "Y2K clearance special" that some wacky Christian survivalists were advertising on Coast To Coast AM back in 2001. Along with my 24 hour candles, bay gen radio, solar fire starter and glow sticks, they threw in a bunch of wacky Xtian doomsday literature as well (I think the company was called Heartland Industries). Anyhoot, this book is great. It'll learn you how to live in the wilderness, build a super energy efficient home, build a fish trap, make a solar still, distill water, etc. etc. When I bought this it was a very sad and lonely time for me, as I'd heard the ads for this book while driving a 7pm to 4am delivery route through Boston and the north shore. At this time I'd listen to Coast To Coast AM religiously. The combo of that, sleep deprivation and general hopelessness towards life caused me to do things like actually start believing in Bigfoot, trying to channel the dead and writing a complete opera (complete with musical score) about my alcoholic downstairs neighbors. I rehearsed that damn thing so many times to myself I STILL remember it.

  2. 5 out of 5

    DaNela

    Ok-so i am a truly paranoid person! And i like to keep my survival knowledge up to date, so it's only natural that i loved this book.... When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance & Planetary Survival by Matthew Stein This is truly A MANUAL, lol. it covers everything: what our future could be like, emergency planning and survival, food (growing, hunting, foraging, & storing),shelters, healing and medicine, energy, engineering, and so much more. Each section has mini chapters which give detail Ok-so i am a truly paranoid person! And i like to keep my survival knowledge up to date, so it's only natural that i loved this book.... When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance & Planetary Survival by Matthew Stein This is truly A MANUAL, lol. it covers everything: what our future could be like, emergency planning and survival, food (growing, hunting, foraging, & storing),shelters, healing and medicine, energy, engineering, and so much more. Each section has mini chapters which give detailed information on the range of things that fall under that category. (Ex. Section 5: Water/some of the mini chapters: Water Requirements, Stocking up for Emergencies, Guidelines for Coping with Disaster, Water Pollution *types of contamination, Disinfecting You Water *heat sterilization *portable water filters *my filter recommendations *chemical sterilization & more). Also included at the end of each section is references (books, magazines, online); but I found the most value from the lists of resources in each section which point to further informatoin online. Since the topics vary so much and there is so much information crammed into the book I recommend picking a couple topics to expand on when you are finished reading. My copy has post it notes sticking out all over! If you worried about what the future has in store for us I highly recommend this book to you, it's a place to start you survival training or to further what you already know. *BIO*

  3. 5 out of 5

    Nathanael Coyne

    A decent read with lots of information to varying depths of coverage that covers all the important topics relating to self-reliance specifically in the context of a possible future global scenario of technological failure, power outages, infrastructure collapse and resource shortages. The opening chapter "Present Trends, Possible Futures" provides an excellent introduction to why self-reliance and consideration of a bleak future is wise. Matthew talks about flu pandemics, climate change, peak oil A decent read with lots of information to varying depths of coverage that covers all the important topics relating to self-reliance specifically in the context of a possible future global scenario of technological failure, power outages, infrastructure collapse and resource shortages. The opening chapter "Present Trends, Possible Futures" provides an excellent introduction to why self-reliance and consideration of a bleak future is wise. Matthew talks about flu pandemics, climate change, peak oil, natural disasters, terrorism, overpopulation with a good look at ecological systems, system feedback, sources and sinks. The closing chapter "Making the Shift to Sustainability" illustrates how we've had years to act and particularly in the US, that opportunity has been passed by. But there is still time to change. In between these two chapters, Matthew covers emergency survival techniques and equipment, water treatment, food growing and storage, shelter construction - and we're talking about proper long-term accommodation suited for natural heating and cooling - first aid, clothing, energy production, metalworking, basic home chemistry and engineering. We could do without the chapter "When High-Tech Medicine Fails" which talks about colloidal silver, herbs, natural remedies, homeopathy and more. Some of these may work and if the rest work it'll be due to placebo. That may warrant inclusion in this book but I felt it tainted an otherwise good book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Denise

    I like survivalist literature -especially when it has a section on how to make alcohol. It wasn't that long ago that life meant a lot more back breaking work and a shorter life span (for the majority of the population that is). Having nature smarts meant the difference between surviving and going cannibal (okay, so not every party was the Donner Party). As I am living in California near a few mighty faults, being a little paranoid is probably a good thing. I have a backup supply of water, first I like survivalist literature -especially when it has a section on how to make alcohol. It wasn't that long ago that life meant a lot more back breaking work and a shorter life span (for the majority of the population that is). Having nature smarts meant the difference between surviving and going cannibal (okay, so not every party was the Donner Party). As I am living in California near a few mighty faults, being a little paranoid is probably a good thing. I have a backup supply of water, first aid, and powdered food that I seriously hope I never ever have to break open and depend on. Aside from the eventual earthquakes for my area, should the Great Recession dip into a far worse economic crash than this country has ever seen or should global warming hit harder and faster than expected, maybe nature smarts will once again be very important. At the very least, I can set up a few fun activities with the kids beyond dipping candles or churning butter. Whether the reader is the type with a fully equipped bunker in the backyard or merely interested in something a bit beyond the typical first aid course and preparation suggestions, this book contains a number of interesting sections.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Jeff

    If you really want to see just how vulnerable you actually are in an emergency, turn off the main power breaker at your home's electrical distribution panel for 72 hours; in February. You'll learn your shortfalls very quickly. What kick-started me into this whole thing was a severe, Michigan Winter storm with heavy snow, high winds, and ice accumulation, that caused a widespread power failure in my area for over 72 hours. We had no electricity and couldn't safely travel because the roads were sno If you really want to see just how vulnerable you actually are in an emergency, turn off the main power breaker at your home's electrical distribution panel for 72 hours; in February. You'll learn your shortfalls very quickly. What kick-started me into this whole thing was a severe, Michigan Winter storm with heavy snow, high winds, and ice accumulation, that caused a widespread power failure in my area for over 72 hours. We had no electricity and couldn't safely travel because the roads were snowed in. I'm nearly 60, a military veteran and retired Marine Engineering Officer, still in reasonably good health. My wife has secondary, progressive MS with limited mobility. Fortunately, my home has a fireplace, I had some firewood, and a 5000W portable diesel generator with extra fuel. We got through it, but if the power outage lasted for over a week, I would have run out of generator fuel. It opened my eyes. As a former shipboard repair officer, it was my responsibility to manage and maintain safe vessel operations and navigation, maintain adequate spare parts and material onboard, affect vessel repairs, and manage ship resources, fuel, crew overtime, and the shipboard budget. I started asking myself many questions: If there's no power, how will I heat my home? Can I access clean drinking water? If not, where and how can I get it? How much and what kinds of foods will I need in my pantry and cupboards for 3-6 months? Do I have extra blankets/sleeping bags/warm clothes, gloves, jackets/coats, hats, and sturdy footwear? What will I need for washing, sanitation, cleanliness, and hygiene? What can I do if I'm injured or become ill and there's no ambulance/doctor/emergency medical facilities? What do I have for emergency lighting? Do I have spare batteries for flashlights, emergency lights, and radios? Do I have matches, lighters, and kindling to start fires for heating and cooking? Speaking to generators: Is my generator capable of long-term emergency operation? Do I have enough fuel to run it long-term? Do I have fuel stabilizer for long-term fuel storage? Are spare parts available for that brand and make/model? Is it equipped with an AVR (Automatic Voltage Regulator)? Do I have a compatible spare? Is the generator brushless? If not, do I have spare brushes? Can I fix it if it breaks down? Do I have extra fuses for the generator? Do I have oil and oil/fuel/air filters for maintenance? Do I have a fuel injector repair kit, spare solenoids, spare inverter, spare electric starter, spare battery, spare circuit breakers, and other critical parts on hand to keep the generator running and producing electrical power long-term? How do I communicate if there's no land line or cellular phone service/internet? What can I do if I have a house fire, but there's no fire department? How many and what types of fire extinguishers should I have? How will I cook and prepare food? Do I have the means to protect and defend myself and my family if law enforcement isn't available and civil order is collapsing, with riots, looting, runs on grocery stores, gas stations, and banks? How do I handle thieves and looters? What kinds of goods and commodities should I have for trade and barter? How much emergency cash should I have in hand? Do I have a rechargeable, battery-powered emergency radio to stay abreast of weather and what's happening? Do I have ample, functioning, and spare battery-powered smoke & carbon monoxide alarms? If I or a family member take prescription medication, do we have enough on hand for an extended period of time? If I'm not prepared, who can I depend on for help? How long will I be able to stay in my home? Where will I go if I have to move/evacuate? How will I get there? Who of my neighbors can I trust? How well do I know them? How and with what do I cover a broken window or make temporary repairs to a leaking roof or a hole in a wall? Do I have the means to cut firewood and cut away downed trees and branches from around my house? Tragically, most people in this country are completely unprepared and unskilled for long-term sustainability (I don't like to use the word: "survival") in the event of a disaster, a massive power outage with the subsequent loss of public utilities, and worst case scenario: civil disorder. Most people don't even think about preparation for emergencies until the last minute, or after it's too late. That mindset alone will very well cost lives in a disaster. If you're concerned about practical, common sense, long-term sustainability, get this book. This is more of a manual than a book with a storyline, but covers a wide gamut of topics. The book is well thought out with illustrations and tables. I confess, I haven't read the entire book from cover to cover yet. (I stopped at the Yogi healing with "Natural Energies") That aside, this book gives sound, practical advice, ideas, and insight into food, water, and fuel storage methods and techniques, best recommended long-term storage foods and their nutritional values, vitamin supplements, rainwater collection, off-grid and alternative electric power, constructing and building Faraday cages, low-tech medicine and First Aid, trauma, gunshot wounds, bleeding control, broken bones, treating shock, putting together emergency medical/dental kits and recommended instruments/supplies, childbirth and post natal care, outdoor survival, terrestrial and celestial navigation, building ad-hoc shelters, medicinal plants and herbs, ways to build a smokeless fire, keeping warm, keeping cool, improving morale (especially with children), essential hardware (nails, screws, fasteners), hunting, fishing, trapping, identifying animal tracks, planting a garden, preserving seeds and meats, how to make and use a root cellar, cutting, splitting, stacking firewood, water dowsing methods, making improvised drinking water filters, digging wells, how to read the weather, recommended hand tools, garden tools, building supplies, and spare parts to have on hand, conservation of food and resources, crisis management, risk assessment, clothing repair, home security and protection methods, building a "gasifier", types of firearms, ammunition, and recommended calibers/gauges and their effectiveness/ranges for hunting and self defense, files and stones for sharpening knives and tools, long-term pet food storage, how to make charcoal, engineering, blacksmithing, metallurgy, chemistry, etc. This book goes far beyond my initial interests and needs, but still has a measure trove of "good to know" information with a large, alphabetic index. A good companion to this book is Mosby's Paramedic Textbook Revised. The author's premise for the book is a possibility of a nationwide power grid collapse due to a large Carrington Event, or HAND (High Altitude Nuclear Detonation) event over North America that generates EMP (ElectroMagnetic Pulse), theoretically destroying digital electronic devices, SCADA (Supervisory Control And Data Acquisition) devices, destroying power transformers, digital computers, cell phones, incapacitating automobiles, and shutting down all electrical power generation nationwide. Doom, gloom, and The-End-Of-The-World-As-We-Know-It scenario aside, It's always a good idea to have an emergency plan and emergency supplies on hand with some emergency medical training in case of that time a disaster, an ice or heavy snow storm, or a tornado arrives at my doorstep. I'm not preparing for terrorist attacks, EMP, or TEOTWAWKI, but as the saying goes: "It's much more preferable to have it and not need it, than to need it and not have it." The more communities that make emergency plans and put aside emergency food and supplies, the better off those communities will be, and are more likely to recover faster and more fully from a disaster and help others in need. This book is a good read.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Indira

    A very, VERY Self-sufficient book. I consider it to be more of an encyclopedia rather than a book because it took me a very very long time with many attempts to read. Some chapters I hope I never have to use and honestly, it was a bit too technical for me, especially since I dont have an immediate use for it. I enjoyed the chapters on First Aid, Natural Medicine, and suppies & Preparations, and to an extent, the Renewable Energy chapter. The rest, I confess I flipped though. Overall, a great refe A very, VERY Self-sufficient book. I consider it to be more of an encyclopedia rather than a book because it took me a very very long time with many attempts to read. Some chapters I hope I never have to use and honestly, it was a bit too technical for me, especially since I dont have an immediate use for it. I enjoyed the chapters on First Aid, Natural Medicine, and suppies & Preparations, and to an extent, the Renewable Energy chapter. The rest, I confess I flipped though. Overall, a great reference book with notes to more specific references, and I admit that there are some natural health cures that really give me a bit of comfort as an alternative if God forbid, anyone I know or love was diagnosed with cancer or some other medical issue. Some of the cleanses are very extreme in my opinion though. While the book at times exudes a 'gloom and doom' feeling, the information is very very practical and would totally be my handbook in times of emergency. I would even keep it with my stash of emergency supplies rather than my bookshelf. I cant say that every ingredient or recommendation or item will be a random thing that you can find at home, because that is definitely not the case. So overall, while it is a difficult read to me to just pick up and read, I appreciate what it is and would definitely recommend having a copy of it for extreme, out of the box, random emergency situations. And if the apocalypse actually occurs? I think the book gives you a good idea of how to survive.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Rodney

    Indispensable. A book not just about how to survive the unsustainable life-style most of industrial civilization has thoughtlessly created, but also about how we got here. And how to (if we can't get out of a world showing signs of depleted resources and toxic overload) not just survive in the world without being so insatiably wasteful and poisoning, but also how to thrive in a people-and-planet-friendly way. There is wisdom in this book. And it just might be part of the canon of a surviving spe Indispensable. A book not just about how to survive the unsustainable life-style most of industrial civilization has thoughtlessly created, but also about how we got here. And how to (if we can't get out of a world showing signs of depleted resources and toxic overload) not just survive in the world without being so insatiably wasteful and poisoning, but also how to thrive in a people-and-planet-friendly way. There is wisdom in this book. And it just might be part of the canon of a surviving species.

  8. 4 out of 5

    American Redoubt

    This is what I learned from this awesome book. Seriously considering the dismal state of the U.S. economy, massive government debt and overspending, the money printing out of thin air by the Federal Reserve (QE3 - printing money like it's going out of style, because it IS going out of style), and the U.S. Debt to GDP ratio. Thus, it seems time to get out of the stock market soon, cash in your IRA-401K paying the 10% penalty and get reinvested in tangibles like the "Five B's": 1.) Beans, 2.) Bullet This is what I learned from this awesome book. Seriously considering the dismal state of the U.S. economy, massive government debt and overspending, the money printing out of thin air by the Federal Reserve (QE3 - printing money like it's going out of style, because it IS going out of style), and the U.S. Debt to GDP ratio. Thus, it seems time to get out of the stock market soon, cash in your IRA-401K paying the 10% penalty and get reinvested in tangibles like the "Five B's": 1.) Beans, 2.) Bullets, 3.) Bandaids, 4.) Bullion, 5.) Books. These five categories of tangible investments in your immediate possession (http://www.survivalblog.com/2010/09/s...) should be both stored and cached on your own productive farm land (http://www.survivalblog.com/retreatar...) that is in a lightly-populated region with plentiful water and rich topsoil (preferably the "American Redoubt" - http://www.survivalretreatconsulting.com http://www.revrealty.us). Such a Survival Retreat (http://www.survivalrealty.com/what-is...) should first and foremost have a reliable water source, preferably a spring, or less preferably a year-round creek-stream, and a water well. It should be private, secluded property, with the ability to defend the retreat in the case of a total collapse in which crime becomes rampant. It should have a minimum of 3 acres with some downward hill slope for permaculture (see Montana Paul Wheaton's http://permies.com) Hugelkultur and swales on contour, with a mix of forested (for firewood and food forest), pasture (for micro-livestock), garden land with good topsoil and a water pond or small lake for biodiversity. All of this should be in a rural area; and have potential for solar (http://www.solar1234.com), wind and/or micro hydro power. Time to get invested in these big six areas NOW. This means investing in inflation-hedging useful tangibles stored on your own Retreat land including: 1.) Beans = 8 to 12 months of mostly long term storable dry-goods foodstuffs, and less of canned goods. Squirrel away lots of salt, sugar, honey, coconut oil and olive oil, ghee, tea and instant coffee with 2 to 3 months of water in blue 55 gal drums with a Big Berkey water filter and replacement filters, plus three seasons worth of non-hybrid open-pollinated heirloom vegetable-fruit seeds and cooking herb seeds. Expect to spend at least the same amount per month as your monthly food bill X 2 (at least $5,000) since you need to buy lots of 5 gallon food grade buckets with color coded screw-on Gamma Lids and 55 gallon blue water barrels (see http://www.beprepared.com Emergency Essentials) along with Country Living grain mill-grinder, bread maker, dehydrator, canning supplies, 1 quart Mason jars, 2 camp stoves and lots of propane tanks, etc. 2). Bullets = Invest in, Support, Protect and Defend the Second Amendment and the other 9 Amendments of our sagely and compassionate Bill of Rights with 2 AK-AR Personal Defense Rifles with 2000 rounds mil-surplus ammo and 10 full capacity 30 round magazines, one Ruger 10/22 Take-Down Rifle with 2500 rounds 22LR and 5 BX25 full capacity magazines, one S&W M&P or Glock centerfire handgun with 1000 rounds and 10 full capacity 19 or 15 round magazines of 9mm or .40S&W, 1 S&W M&P 22 rimfire backup handgun (for affordable weekly practice on same manual of arms/ergonomics as your primary 9mm or .40 S&W handgun) with 2500 rounds and 5 full capacity 12 round magazines or for Glock users an Advantage Arms or other 22LR replacement barrel, two 12 gauge pump or semi-auto shotguns with 1000 rounds mixed slugs, 00-Buck and #7 birdshot. Remember that "Two is One, and One is None!" Don't forget cleaning supplies, holsters, cases, slings, optics, basic gun-smithing tools, high quality Spyderco and Cold Steel knives and force multipliers like security cameras and Comms such as CBs-MURs-HAM-Short Wave radios. Get in-person training, not just YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/nutnfancy) and gun range time. Invest at least $5,000, to $10,000. 3.) Band-aids = first-aid and medical supplies and 12 months of vitamins-minerals-nutraceuticals, top 50 most common herbs or herb formulas, and over-the-counter and prescription meds pharmaceuticals. Invest at least $1,000 to $3,000. Don't forget non-hybrid open-pollinated seeds for the top 10 medicinal herbs that grow in your area. 4.) Bullion = As an inflation hedge-investment put 10 to 30% of all your net worth in 65% "Constitutional Silver" coins (pre-1965 Washington 90% silver quarters - https://www.providentmetals.com/bulli..., https://www.tspmint.com/silver.html, https://silverbulletsilvershield.com), 35% Gold Eagles in mix of 1 oz, 1/2 oz, and 1/4 oz coins, and $1000 in pre-2014 nickels made of nickel as emergency "cash". Invest at least $10,000. Get out of $ denominated Federal Reserve QE3 deflated fiat-currency ASAP, apart from sufficient emergency cash for 1 month or more. 5.) Books = Knowledge and Skills, so join Amazon.com Prime for free shipping. Read especially King James Version of The Bible or appropriate scriptural texts of your religion. Join the Member Support Brigade (MSB) of Jack Spirko's http://thesurvivalpodcast.com and download and listen to / study more than 1200 hours of amazing content. To start out read M.D. Creekmore's "31 Days to Survival" (http://thesurvivalistblog.net). To go to the next level for serious Patriot Preppers, read and re-read James Wesley Rawles "How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It" (get it on Audible.com as well - http://www.audible.com/pd/ref=sr_1_1?...). Then study Carla Emery's "Encyclopedia of Country Living". After reading Joel Skousen's Strategic Relocation - North American Guide to Safe Places (also watch his video with Alex Jones' http://www.prisonplanet.com/strategic...) you will want to relocate to the American Redoubt (Idaho-Montana-Wyoming - Eastern Oregon - Eastern Washington). Finally study American Red Cross First-Aid book, and get Red Cross certified for CPR and first-aid. See http://www.survivalblog.com/bookshelf... for a complete list -- expect to invest at least $500 to $1000 on books. Keep your powder dry! God bless, God speed, Good luck, and Long live our Constitutional Republic. From somewhere in the American Redoubt http://www.American-Redoubt.com - new site with Podcasts https://www.youtube.com/user/American... https://twitter.com/AmericaRedoubt https://www.facebook.com/pages/Americ... https://plus.google.com/u/0/b/1097639... https://www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/...

  9. 5 out of 5

    Donna

    I saw this book in an Amish hardware store catalog & it intrigued me. I'm not a prepper but I live in a coastal area & am aware there may be a time I have to be self sufficient for a few days. It gave me really good ideas, a few that take no prep, really spur of the moment things. It gave me pause because it reminded me of something an Army Ranger friend told me. The average person doesn't think like a survivor. This book doesn't really do that for you either. That is, make you think like a survi I saw this book in an Amish hardware store catalog & it intrigued me. I'm not a prepper but I live in a coastal area & am aware there may be a time I have to be self sufficient for a few days. It gave me really good ideas, a few that take no prep, really spur of the moment things. It gave me pause because it reminded me of something an Army Ranger friend told me. The average person doesn't think like a survivor. This book doesn't really do that for you either. That is, make you think like a survivor but it does provide information that gets you headed in that direction. There is a fairly good amount of "healing" information & homeopathic material but I'm looking for a little more "meat". It's whet my appetite to learn more. One really nice feature of the book is that each chapter provides you w/ additional reference sources. It reminded me about Mother Earth News & the Foxfire books. Two really great references I read years ago but am thinking about revisiting. While this is a good reference it isn't quite all that so I'm gonna keep looking. I'm giving it an average score because it didn't quite give me what I was looking for.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Reader

    When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance and Planetary Survival is a guilty pleasure in End-of-Civilization day dreaming. All sorts of good advice for when the excrement hits the fan. Every thing from hunting animals to making soap is covered. As a supplement to the shelter section I recommend Rustic Retreats : A Build-It-Yourself Guide by David Stiles. The illustrations are just enough to fuel the imagination.

  11. 5 out of 5

    J.C. Paulk

    This has some relatively helpful items, but it did not give the information I expected. The information given is in an a la carte fashion with little overarching coherence. Easy to overlook; after all, it is a manual. Here's the biggest problem....stay practical! A small section on page 227 talks about a yogi who heals with energy. I'll be sure to remember to find myself a yogi after the apocolypse. I give kudos to the food growing and first aid sections though. This has some relatively helpful items, but it did not give the information I expected. The information given is in an a la carte fashion with little overarching coherence. Easy to overlook; after all, it is a manual. Here's the biggest problem....stay practical! A small section on page 227 talks about a yogi who heals with energy. I'll be sure to remember to find myself a yogi after the apocolypse. I give kudos to the food growing and first aid sections though.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Terrilynn

    This amazing book as LITERALLY a little bit of everything, from gardening to pottery to water supply to alternative healing to well everything. Great resources if you want to go deeper into any subject as well. HIGHLY suggest for everyone to have it NO MATTER WHAT. Sometimes we have loss of power for a few days sometime Katrina happens...I won't get into the end of the world stuff...but this is an amazing resource book, please purchase and read! This amazing book as LITERALLY a little bit of everything, from gardening to pottery to water supply to alternative healing to well everything. Great resources if you want to go deeper into any subject as well. HIGHLY suggest for everyone to have it NO MATTER WHAT. Sometimes we have loss of power for a few days sometime Katrina happens...I won't get into the end of the world stuff...but this is an amazing resource book, please purchase and read!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    This is one I just skimmed while eating my morning Cheerios. I checked this out before going to Girls Camp wondering what ideas I could glean and share with the girls. If anything I was just surprised by how much this book covers. The cover (mine is a forest fire) seems a bit over dramatic and it left me feeling that the whole book was a bit on the doomsday side of things. I like self reliance but I don't like approaching it from the perspective that death and destruction are around the corner. This is one I just skimmed while eating my morning Cheerios. I checked this out before going to Girls Camp wondering what ideas I could glean and share with the girls. If anything I was just surprised by how much this book covers. The cover (mine is a forest fire) seems a bit over dramatic and it left me feeling that the whole book was a bit on the doomsday side of things. I like self reliance but I don't like approaching it from the perspective that death and destruction are around the corner.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Daniel

    This book is a great overview for someone interested in the theory of living off the grid in a self sustainable way. It introduces everything from building rammed earth homes, to producing micro-electric power, and bio-intensive gardening. There are tons of references for more comprehensive reading on the specific subjects though this book contains a large amount of how to information.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Marcus Wolfe

    Good on most of the tech & okay on alternative medicine. Very liberal/left but at least he's not traveling by private jet. Good overall. Everyone should be prepared for natural disasters and many of us should be off grid. The grid is over used. We are heading to a lower population and could have less strain on our resources. Good on most of the tech & okay on alternative medicine. Very liberal/left but at least he's not traveling by private jet. Good overall. Everyone should be prepared for natural disasters and many of us should be off grid. The grid is over used. We are heading to a lower population and could have less strain on our resources.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    This is more of a reference than an entertaining read. It's packed full of useful information for the end-times. If you don't believe the end-times are coming, this is exactly the book for you. I especially liked the tip about collecting water in the desert, such an elegant solution. This is more of a reference than an entertaining read. It's packed full of useful information for the end-times. If you don't believe the end-times are coming, this is exactly the book for you. I especially liked the tip about collecting water in the desert, such an elegant solution.

  17. 4 out of 5

    trevor

    This is an excellent reference tool for someone that doesn't know any survival skills. The basic premise is how to manage with no modern conveniences. He writes very straight forward and it is easy to understand. This is an excellent reference tool for someone that doesn't know any survival skills. The basic premise is how to manage with no modern conveniences. He writes very straight forward and it is easy to understand.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Amy

    Super dense. Not the sort of book one reads through from cover to cover, generally. Great reference though for anyone interested in more self-sufficient living, disaster or not. Buying a copy of my own to keep on the shelves for future reference.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Mulligatawney Thursdays

    Interesting read with a huge reading list per chapter for studying further. The only drawback is that the book is dated, and while some principles are timeless, I'd love to see a 2013 copy. In any case, this is a book to buy & keep on the shelf, a rec I don't pass or often. Interesting read with a huge reading list per chapter for studying further. The only drawback is that the book is dated, and while some principles are timeless, I'd love to see a 2013 copy. In any case, this is a book to buy & keep on the shelf, a rec I don't pass or often.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Janette

    very useful information; very detailed

  21. 5 out of 5

    PJ

    Seems like a decent primer so far, good reference to have handy.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Erica

    I loved the section on hydro power.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca

    fantastic! I ordered this book for a friend of mine and simply fell in love with it! Yep all of you may just get this one for Christmas! I highly suggest getting a copy of it

  24. 5 out of 5

    Greg

    A strange mix of sustainable living techniques, primitive living skills and survivalism, but it works!

  25. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    This is a book you hope you'll never need. A detailed set of instruction for how to live if there is some kind of catastrophe, and how to prepare beforehand. This is a book you hope you'll never need. A detailed set of instruction for how to live if there is some kind of catastrophe, and how to prepare beforehand.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Teresa

    Good book to have around the house for power outages or storms or worse.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Trevor

    An interesting overview of sustainable technology.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Stephen

    I love these big books. They give a plethora of ideas, tips, and strategies for survival. This focuses on the EMP/CME effects on a nation and on a local scale and what you can do to attain self-sustainability. This would be a situation where you could not be evacuated as the whole country would be effected.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Denise

    There's a LOT of great stuff in here; everything from your 3-day survival bag to long-term life (like how to do metal working when there is no electricity/gas). Possibly worth buying and storing in my 3-day survival bin, for real. There's a LOT of great stuff in here; everything from your 3-day survival bag to long-term life (like how to do metal working when there is no electricity/gas). Possibly worth buying and storing in my 3-day survival bin, for real.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Vtx Rudy

    This is a good book to have a hard copy of on hand but you need to get supplies before shtf .

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