Book Review: Survival Hacks: Wilderness Survival by Creek Stewart


Survival Hacks: Over 200 Ways to use Everyday Items for Wilderness Survival by Creek Stewart. (Photo:

Ever wonder what you could do with a soda can tab, gum wrapper, Ramen noodles, and a q-tip?  No, this isn’t a pitch for an episode of MacGuyver.  Survival expert Creek Stewart offers practical, potentially life-saving tricks and uses for these and many more common items in his recent release Survival Hacks: Over 200 Ways to use Everyday Items for Wilderness Survival.


survivalhacks-4The softcover book provides plenty of survival ideas using found objects, common goods, and overlooked items we all have laying around the house.  In the list of over 200 hacks, I guarantee you’ll look at more than a few run-of-the mill items in a new way.  I know I made a few new additions to my bug out bag and survival packs after reading.

Whether packing for an uneventful camping trip or planning for a backcountry adventure, Stewart has ideas galore with plenty of illustrations to make each more understandable.  Some, like “Use Ice to Make Your Shoes more Comfortable” or “Gum Wrapper Fire” are better practiced in the kitchen or backyard before thinking you can do it successfully in adverse conditions. Still others like “Hack Tarp Boat” will require more than a little luck to be successful. The majority, however, are simple, achievable, and creative.

The author is very thorough and covers all the big survival bases: shelter, water, fire, food, staying healthy, and gear choices.  He breaks the book down further into sections like: clothing and footwear, fire starting, cooking, gathering, fishing, hunting, first aid, navigation, and self defense, among others.  There is even a special section at the end covering different kinds and choices for survival kits.

survivalhacks-8Without divulging too many of the books secrets, here are a few of our favorite hack topics: Pantyhose Prevention, Pop Tab Tensioner, Makeup Aisle to Fire Tinder, When Your Zippo Goes Blippo, Ramen Noodle Stove, and Horsefly Shotgun.  If that’s not enough to pique your interest, readers will also learn how rotten wood, q-tips, and moose poop can save your life (in a pinch, of course).

Author Creek Stewart is the owner and founder of acclaimed survival school Willow Haven outdoor survival training school in Indiana.  He also hosted two seasons of the Weather Channel’s Fat Guys in the Woods program, and is the author of the best selling Build the Perfect Bug Out series of books. Besides, with a name like Creek Stewart, how could you not excel in the outdoor world? Stewart writes with a superior depth of knowledge, enthusiasm, and a touch of humor as well.


Stewart’s book is another in a long line of do-this, think-of-that survival books, but he tackles the subject with some fresh new survival hack options and uses common items.  Heck, even if you only learn a dozen new tricks, it’s well worth the read.  We’ll be keeping an eye on Creek Stewart’s work, and in the meantime, try to start a small fire with a battery and a bubblegum wrapper.

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