Foreword Reviews

How to Send Smoke Signals, Pluck a Chicken, & Build an Igloo

Plus 75 Additional Skills You Never Knew You Needed

Michael Powell’s adventurer’s guide How to Send Smoke Signals, Pluck a Chicken, & Build an Igloo runs the gamut of outdoorsy skills.

Seeking to transform nature novices into people who are equipped, confident, and resourceful in the face of the challenges and gifts of the natural world, the book imparts skills that range from backyard abilities like keeping bees to camping skills like pitching a tent without poles. It covers knowledge that’s gross, like how to use maggots for medicinal purposes, and unexpected, like how to catch an eel. It is at times old -fashioned, with directions for making a canoe, but also timeless, indicating how to tie knots.

Each set of skills is bolstered by easy-to-follow, comprehensive lists, including of the supplies needed to carry it out. With advice for those who want to live out Wild West dreams (you’ll learn how to stop a runaway horse) and those who contemplate worst-case scenarios like bear attacks, the material is wide ranging. Each section builds problem-solving skills while providing information about the flora, fauna, and topography of various climates and terrains.

Trustworthy and encouraging, the book includes serious words-to-the-wise. It conveys deep understanding of harnessing natural resources with wisdom and respect and is both practical and entertaining. It busts myths and movie misconceptions in a light yet earnest tone. Its pages are visually appealing, helping to keep things calm through discussions of the dangers of hypothermia, for example.

Fun, well-researched, and authoritative, How to Send Smoke Signals, Pluck a Chicken, & Build an Igloo is a worthy reference guide for aspiring survivalists and armchair outdoorspeople.

Reviewed by Melissa Wuske

Disclosure: This article is not an endorsement, but a review. The author of this book provided free copies of the book to have their book reviewed by a professional reviewer. No fee was paid by the author for this review. Foreword Reviews only recommends books that we love. Foreword Magazine, Inc. is disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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