“If you are a serious outdoorsman—hunter, mountain-climber, explorer, nature-photographer, or hiker—you need this book. I absolutely guarantee there’s information herein that will one day save your life or your health,” claims John Lowery in The Global Hunter’s Information Handbook. It’s not a far-fetched statement. Lowery provides a quick education on topics as diverse as how to make water potable, avoid venomous animals, and use a seaplane’s emergency signal equipment.
Lowery has lived in nine countries and hunted all over the globe, from swamps and alpine meadows to snowy woods. He provides valuable, research-based information about avoiding and addressing potential pitfalls while in the field. What also emerges is the author’s cautious attitude; he recommends ample preparation regarding one’s wilderness travel. He may also deter his audience from hunting at all: some of the chapters present story after story of worst-case scenarios. For example, in his discussion of Acute Mountain Sickness (AMS), he recites multiple stories of men unexpectedly dying or having serious health complications in remote locations. While a survival guide is an appropriate place to discuss worst-case outcomes, readers may want to supplement Lowery’s anecdotes with their own research on AMS-related statistics. That being said, knowing what to do when illnesses or accidents occur is vital when preparing for travel in the wilderness. For anyone looking to understand the types of challenges that could arise while far from professional help, Lowery’s stories are ideal.
The author is adept at including just the right amount of technical information, from names of waterborne viruses to the physics of firearms and airplanes. He does not overwhelm readers or require them to slog through too much text in order to discover applicable information. Beyond the obvious hunting audience, Lowery’s book will benefit and interest anyone who spends significant time in the outdoors, including hikers, backpackers, boaters, and field researchers.
Lowery concludes each chapter with an overview of lessons to remember. For example, in Chapter 24, which covers emergency survival techniques, he reminds readers that, “you need shelter from the elements, fire-starting capability, and at least two means of signaling rescuers.” His rules-of-thumb chapter summaries make it easy for the reader to recall Lowery’s advice while in the field. There are several useful illustrations throughout the book. One sketch shows how to convert a downed plane wing into a shelter. Another technical chart relays how to calculate windchill factor and pressure within an airplane cabin. Many of the black-and-white photos are helpful—identifying, for instance, poisonous snakes—but would have been even more valuable in color. The next step for Lowery is to make a pocket guide that can be stored in a backpack for on-site reference.