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The Rugged Life

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The Rugged Life – The  Modern Guide to Self-Reliance: A Survival Guide by Clint Emerson

271 Pages
Publisher: Rodale Inc, Rodale Books
Release Date: May 10, 2022

Nonfiction, Home, Garden, Survival, Off the Grid, Homestead, Self-Reliance, Skills, Reference

This book describes to readers what life could be like living off the grid. He explains how you can do a little (like growing your own herbs or composting) to a lot (like living off the grid, raising your own animals and growing your own grain). I learned the trick about cutting a tree a knowing how far it would fall when I had large pine trees removed this autumn. The man did exactly what the author said to do. Amazing!

He provides information on how to raise chickens, which are best for eggs and eating. He also provides information on how to sew, make soap, and use a saw. He describes the differences between earth houses and the different climates. I learned so much reading this book!  If you are interested in improving your life by providing more for yourself, you will enjoy reading this book.
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If you want to learn how to live off-the-grid, vanlife or close too, this is the book to read. This was such a interesting and very informative read. Even though, some of the information  can be repetitive from other books and sites, this does give you different  perspectives and ideas. The hot tips, pictures and the lists looks like they could be helpful for someone who is doing the off- the-grid lifestyle.

Thank you NetGalley and publishers for this e-arc.
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I'm not sure what made me pick up this book, but its a very approachable manual for survival, learning t9 build, learning to farm, etc. The writing is easy to understand and the authors flexibility toward the reader about how they wish to utilize the information makes it reasonable for people starting out.
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The Rugged Life is an interesting and worthwhile collection of self-suffiency and survival tips collected by Clint Emerson. Released 10 May 2022 by Rodale Books, it's 272 pages and is available in paperback, spiral bound, audio, and ebook formats.  It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately.

The chapters are arranged thematically: building, power, farmer, butcher, hunter, homemaker, protector, RTO (news & communication), first responder, and handyman. Each of these sections are standalone and can be read in any order.  There is no required cohesiveness to the content and it can be read and accessed as needed. To that end, the book does not include an index. I therefore recommend the electronic format for ease of finding specific info more easily.

This is a very broad and general book.  It's a good 'starting off' guide, a 'dreaming' guide; it's emphatically not a specific how-to guide. If it errs, it does so by trying to be everything to everyone.  Anyone actually going into homesteading will hopefully have a solid workable plan for getting from lifestyle A to whatever level of self-sufficiency is desirable. The author has a competent but stern voice and I found the emphasis on protecting property and fighting and weapon making a bit macho for my taste.

It's very tempting to see pictures of healthy gardens and adorable lambs and healthy beehives and want to be a part of that lifestyle. (I did & do!) The guides rarely show pictures of neighbor's pet-dog ravaged lambs, nosema infested empty beehives, or flattened gardens with more weeds than produce and production that wouldn't feed a toddler. This book could bridge the gap between dreams and reality. He definitely doesn't sugar coat things.

The emphasis here was more on protection and basic survival than smallholding but there is a fair bit of useful info in capsule form. The graphics are simple with line drawn illustrations and text boxes with tips and very short info bites throughout. 

Four stars. This would be a good choice for the smallholder's library, people who want to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle and are at the planning stage, and for people who are interested in building a survival skill set.

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.
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The Rugged Life by Clint Emerson

I don’t really know how to give this a star rating, but this book is exactly what it looks like: a good to homesteading/living off the grid. It is 100% informative, and takes into account the different levels at which people may be willing to live off the land. I felt like this was a better read that You Can But Happiness, which felt out of reach.

The Rugged Life gives your practical knowledge and is realistic about the kind of budgets people may have when discussing projects. Definitely worth reading if you’ve ever considered homesteading.

Thank you to @100deadlyskills and @netgalley for a chance to read this book!
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The Rugged Life The Modern Guide to Self-Reliance by Clint Emerson pushes readers out of their comfort zones and into a new way of living. It does so in a well-informed way and more than a little encouraging.
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This book had great tips for being self sufficient. It's great to be able to have the tools to do things on your own.
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A compelling look at how to thrive in different difficult situations.  Resilency and ingenuity are mainstays of this work of non-fiction. Many creative and ingenious ideas are presented.  Well worth the read.
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Retired Navy SEAL turned New York Times bestselling author Clint Emerson is geared toward what he calls "the rugged life," a life of self-reliance and self-sufficiency and it's that natural instinct toward survival that comes alive in his latest book "The Rugged Life: The Modern Guide to Self-Reliance."

"The Rugged Life" is a primer in what could easily be described as rather extreme independence and self-sufficiency, though I have the feeling Emerson himself likely feels there's nothing that particularly extreme about what unfolds within these pages as he very intentionally directs these instructions toward both those who wish to go off-the-grid and those who fully intend to keep their feet fully planted in something more resembling ordinary daily life with greater discipline and greater intentionality.

Emerson is recognized as a go-to expert on surviving the first minutes, days, and hours of a crisis or emergency. "The Rugged Life" is an introduction into the world of personal thriving while surviving and becoming more self-reliant and in control of one's own destiny. "The Rugged Life" approaches a wide variety of topics on how to be your own homesteader, how to be your own protector, how to be your own builder, how to be your own provider, and how to be your own farmer.

In each area, Emerson offers relatively simple and step-by-step instructions along with graphic illustrations on how to handle the basics in these areas though, let's be honest, if this kind of lifestyle is new to you simple may very well not be simple enough.

However, "The Rugged Life" is truly an introduction into this life and not necessarily an in-depth exploration of it. While each section is quite in-depth, the topics within each section are relatively brief and occasionally surrounded by an aura of obviousness. As I was reading, I occasionally felt the presence of Emerson going "C'mon folks, this is easy."

If you've never done it, it's probably not going to be easy.

To be fair, I am most likely not the target reader for "The Rugged Life" though I enjoyed it quite a bit. As a paraplegic/double amputee, I'd imagine a good amount of what unfolds here would be difficult to achieve and certainly difficult to achieve with the desired self-reliance. I'm not saying this would be true of all paraplegics/amputees, but on more than one occasion I found myself mumbling "Nope. Not happening. Ever."

But, I still found myself intrigued by it.

I also greatly appreciated how Emerson worked to make this material accessible. This feels like introductory survival and it's clear that Emerson sort of made the effort to turn this into a paint-by-numbers journey into self-reliance but gave us enough that our curiosity would likely take us deeper into each of these topics.

"The Rugged Life" is most certainly not for everyone. For some, this will prove undeniably intimidating and I picture some folks readily speedily through the pages and going "Nope." For others, however, I can even picture the material here not being deep enough - in some areas, Emerson really only skims the surface of how to master a more self-reliant life. For the truly curious, however, "The Rugged Life" offers enough of an introduction and strong enough examples that one will easily figure out if this life should be explored more fully and it offers a roadmap for actually starting the journey.

"The Rugged Life" pushes us out of our comfort zones and into a new way of living. It does so in a way that is well-informed and more than a little encouraging. While I don't picture "The Rugged Life" starting a whole new wave of self-reliance, for those seeking a more disciplined, self-determining life "The Rugged Life" is a fantastic place to start the journey.
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I received an ARC of, The Rugged Life, by Clint Emerson.  If you want to know how to live off the grid or land, this book is for you. From how to build a chicken coop, how to ferment, and how to make honey, among many other how to's.
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