Tom Brown Jr. is a naturalist and wilderness survival expert who’s written several books on outdoor survival topics ranging from edible plants to tracking animals. Even if you don’t plan on finding yourself in a survival situation, you never know when you might need a little extra know-how to help you out of a difficult situation.
The books profiled below are the most relevant of his books to survival situations, but Tom Brown Jr. has also written books about his life, including how he gained his animal tracking skills, how he developed the philosophy and spirituality that guides his approach to the outdoors, and how a Lipan Apache elder named Stalking Wolf taught him many the skills he continues to share with others today. Tom Brown Jr. also runs Tracker School, a tracking, nature, and wilderness survival school located in New Jersey.
Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Wilderness Survival: In this comprehensive volume on wilderness survival, Tom Brown Jr. covers a wide variety of essential outdoor survival topics ranging from how to find and purify water for drinking, how to build practical natural shelters, and how to hunt and kill animals for food. Brown relies on his extensive knowledge of outdoor survival skills and draws upon ancient wisdom to craft this book that contains essential advice and easy-to-understand illustrations. If you’re looking to improve your survival skills and you choose to read only one of Tom Brown Jr.’s books, this is the one to read. Publication Date: 1987; ISBN: 0-425-10572-5.
Tom Brown’s Guide to Wild Edible and Medicinal Plants: Finding food in the outdoors is an essential survival skill, and in this book Tom Brown Jr. focuses on explaining how plants can be used for both food and medicine. He relies on ancient wisdom and practical knowledge to explain where to find edible plants, how to determine which plants are safe to eat, and how to identify plants that have important medicinal benefits. Publication Date: 1986; ISBN: 0-425-10063-4.
Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Nature Observation and Tracking: In this guide, Tom Brown Jr. shares knowledge of what he knows best: tracking animals. By drawing upon wisdom he’s gained from Native American traditions, he explains how it’s possible to become acutely aware of our natural surroundings and how to receive cues from the environment to track animals, including humans. Brown explains how to move silently through a landscape, how to notice and identify different animal tracks, and how to sharpen our senses so that they are more keenly attuned to nature. Publication Date: 1986; ISBN: 0-425-09966-0.
Tom Brown’s Science and Art of Tracking: The Science and Art of Tracking expands on the tracking expertise that Tom Brown Jr. shares in his Field Guide to Nature Observation and Tracking. In this book, subtitled “Nature’s Path to Spiritual Discovery,” Brown moves beyond the practical aspects of tracking animals in a survival situation and looks at how people can become more connected with their surroundings by training themselves to understand nature’s nuances. Publication Date: 1999; ISBN: 0-425-15772-5.
Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Nature and Survival for Children: Enjoying nature and surviving in the outdoors isn’t an adults-only endeavor. In this book, Tom Brown Jr. shares his skills with both adults and children so that they can spend time together safely in the outdoors. This book aims to increase awareness and reduce fear of the outdoors, and it includes skills that children can begin practicing at a young age, including how to camp and how to build a fire in the outdoors. This book is an important resource for any adult who would like to share knowledge of the outdoors with younger generations. Publication Date: 1989; ISBN: 0-425-11106-7.
Tom Brown Jr.’s books can be helpful to anyone venturing into the outdoors: hikers, backcountry campers, and other nature enthusiasts, alike. If you’re stuck inside your tent during a downpour, hopefully you’ll have one of these books with you to help pass the time.