Dwelling Portably: 2000 – 2008

Book Reviews | Sep 4th, 2009

Author: Bert and Holly Davis
Publisher: Microcosm Press
Genre: Wilderness Survival
Pages: 168
Retail Price: $8.00
Buy On Amazon.com

This volume collects eight years’ worth of newsletters. On the surface, these newsletters look like lunatic ravings – the type is tiny with huge blocks of text offering creepy and seemingly useless bits of advice: Ways to cut twine when you lack a knife. When boiling pasta by the sea, try using salt water. Auto seat belts make excellent pack-frame straps.

It took a few pages for me to realize that this is a how-to newsletter for DIY campers, wilderness survivalists, off-the-grid types, and other modern-day boxcar hobos. I felt better knowing there was a point to these newsletters, but they’re still strange. Between the random sets of instructions are travelogues, anecdotes, and excerpts from news articles, but written in a detached, matter-of-fact, almost hollow way. And not very lucid either – the sentences are individually coherent but not cohesive when strung together. I rarely had any idea what they were talking about or why. Eerie.

If I were lost in a forest, I don’t think I’d want to run into these guys. On one hand, they could teach me how to subsist on tree bark and twigs. On the other hand, they might just use my skin for a hammock.

Bottom Line: Potentially useful information presented in an awkward and ominous way.
Overall Rating:


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