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Snakes, Scorpions, Rain
Lessons from the U.S. Army Survival Manual

Reviewed by Wil Kenney

'The best times to capture snakes are in the early morning before temperatures get too high and in the late afternoon and early evening before temperatures get too low.'

This book was originally commissioned by the Army to train its Special Forces in survival tactics. You will learn how to apply First Aid, procure water, hunt, gather, build a fire, build a shelter, TIE KNOTS, and many other useful skills.

The first section of the manual outlines beliefs/traits conducive to survival that could have been written for traders:

- Be able to make up your mind
- Be able to improvise
- Be able to adapt
- Remain calm
- Have patience
- Hope for the best, prepare for the worst
- Vanquish fear and panic
- Be able to understand other people and predict what they will do
- Without training in basic skills, your chances of survival are slight

The book is loaded with interesting information on everything from distinguishing different types of leaves to fashioning a weapon to cooking in a turtle shell.

FM 21-76: U.S. Army Survival Manual

A fine book to have on your shelf for the New Year.

The Senator adds: I know snakes! The best time is about 3:00 when they stretch out on roads to savor some warmth.. not coiled. You can pick a rattler up right behind he head, no problem, or have a buddy distract one (if it's in a hole) and it will take false strikes at your buddy but will hold its head flat where you can grab it from behind.

And Yishen Kuik  suggests: If you sleep with your boots off and outside your shelter, find two twigs, each about 1.5 times the height of your boots, and stick them into the ground. Take off boots, invert them and place on the twigs. This will prevent unpleasant surprises in the morning from small snakes which are sometimes attracted by the cozy heat in a boot. Also good against scorpions and rain.