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Have you read these 4 great books about survival?

  • Jun 1, 2016

The prospect of being stranded in the wilderness is a harrowing but evocative idea, and between the unbelievable real-life narratives of survivors and the clever imaginations of some of the world's best authors, there are a number of fantastic books that capture that sensation perfectly. From "Robinson Crusoe" to "Lord of the Flies," there are plenty of literary mainstays that recount unbelievable journeys.

For outdoor enthusiasts, diving into some of these books is a way to safely indulge in the seductive heroism of a life or death situation. Here are a few of the best survival stories around:

"Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mt. Everest Disaster"
According to Amazon, this book follows the real-life account of Jon Krakauer, a journalist and mountaineer who lived through the icy hell of a deadly blizzard while climbing Mt. Everest. In 1996, Krakauer's group lost five members at the hands of a brutal storm, and was forced to brave the elements in the aftermath.

The book, which has since become a major motion picture, highlights the dramatic and horrifying perils that mother nature can present.

"Hatchet"
Written by Gary Paulsen, this novel is fantastic for any young outdoor adventurer. Brian, a young man en route to visit family in Canada, survives a brutal plane crash, only to find himself alone in the forest.

Armed with nothing more than a hatchet, Brian not only begins to forge himself a niche in the woods, but is able to conquer some unbelievable fears and challenges. Between wild beasts and dangerous weather, Brian embodies the true spirit of survivalist.

The book was so popular that Paulsen brought his protagonist back for follow-up adventures, including "The River" and "Brian's Winter."

"66 Days Adrift: A True Story of Disaster and Survival on the Open Sea"
Good Reads reported that this book follows the story of a young couple sailing across the Pacific ocean, only to be capsized by a passing group of pilot whales. As their vessel sinks to the bottom of the sea, the couple finds shelter on a small emergency raft.

The story is the unbelievable retelling of a chilling true tale. Over 66 days, the couple fight starvation, dehydration and insanity. Between ravenous sharks and monstrous ocean swells, Bill and Simonne Butler struggle to stay together in the face of utter despair and hopelessness. Good Reads described the book as both harrowing and inspiring.

"Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors"
Another haunting true story of survival, "Alive" retells the perils of a Uruguayan Rugby team that crashes in the Andes Mountains in Oct. 1972. The 16 survivors combat dangerously cold temperatures and sustain themselves on whatever rations they can recover from the wreckage.

In an unbelievable act of desperation, the men are forced to consume the bodies of their fallen teammates. The author, Piers Paul Read, interviewed the survivors and their family members to piece together this chilling tale. Like "Into Thin Air," a full-length motion picture was made out of the original movie.

Set out for your own novel-worthy adventure, taking inspiration from the greats. Be prepared where they went wrong with gear like the ProTrek PRG280-1 featuring digital compass and thermometer to adequately navigate and survive your surroundings.

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