{Review} The Ultimate Survival Manual by Rich Johnson

Author: Rich Johnson
ISBN: 1616282185 (ISBN13: 9781616282189)
Publication Date: May 15,2012
Publisher: Weldon Owen
Goodreads Page: Click Here

When disaster strikes, time is of the essence. The people who survive are those who know what to do . . . they have their earthquake kits packed, their travel essentials saved, their family prepared, and their cars gassed up and ready to go. Everyone wants to believe that they are that person—the one who would prevail whether they found themselves facing a tornado, an angry bear, or a revolution in a third-world country. Filled with clear, concise instructions, helpful diagrams, essential checklists, and inspirational first-person stories, this book is a fascinating armchair read that might just save the reader’s life. Sprinkled throughout are real-life “extreme survival” stories of amazing feats (“I Punched a Tiger in the Face!”) that inform and entertain. Even if the most terrifying thing you’ve ever survived is a traffic jam on the 205, this book is a must-read.

I received this book to review through Netgalley. All opinions are my own and I was not compensated in any way for it.


First off before I say anything else, I want to express that I am really critical of Survival Books before I purchase them. I as an average citizen should be able to reference the book and be able to survive by following the content inside. I do not feel that I would safely be able to keep not only myself alive but those around me with this book. With that out of the way, here are my thoughts on The Ultimate Survival Manual.

The Good

The Layout- The layout of this book was great. I really liked the comic book style survival stories, it was really unique to see and I think it helps the reader better understand how the people in those situations survived.

The Diagrams- I loved how they used real photos. I read a ton of Survival Books and nothing irks me more when you see hand drawn diagrams. Sure with those you can get the basic gist, but you miss all the details that a color photograph can bring to the table.

The Bad

To much Information- I know that your thinking isn't to much better than to little? In this instance I'd rather have less information but more in depth, over what it actually contains which is to much variety and not enough detail. It's like condensing an entire encyclopedia into a Reader's Digest version. Just did not work at all. I think the reader could seriously put someones life in jeopardy if they only followed the steps within these pages. Case in point treating shock. It tells you to check the minimalist of details and no real information on how to rectify the situation. If your in a survival situation that information is just not going to cut it.

My biggest issue with The Ultimate Survival Manual, is I really honestly feel that it was written for those who live vicariously through TV Shows and Books and not as a serious survival guide that will help keep people alive. I think if it was written as a Tips and Tricks Guide these negatives wouldn't even be popping up. To call yourself a Ultimate Survival Manual though, I just expect much, much more. A survival Manual to me is something I should be able to rely on to help aid in my Survival. I cannot confidently do that with this book.

Final Thoughts
In the end, I did learn a couple new non survival based tips and tricks and that was awesome. I would suggest reading this book ONLY if you want just a basic guide to shove on your shelves. If you are a serious survival enthusiast I would say to skip this. I will be giving The Ultimate Survival Manual by Rich Johnson ★★★. The Book was entertaining and fun to read but don't expect more than that.


  1. My son loves this stuff. He even asked for a 180 piece first aid kit for Christmas. :-\ I'd love to find him a good survival guide for his birthday. He already has bookmarks in The Zombie Survival Guide - lol

    Christy @ Love of Books


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