NONFICTION

Survival:

My bestselling book since it’s release in 2010,  Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It’s Too Late, is a guide to where to find the largest and most remote uninhabited areas in the United States, and how to make a plan to evacuate to such a place and survive there in the event of a long-term emergency.

Escaping a doomed city during the first few hours of an impending crisis can make the difference between life and death.  The tragic lesson of Hurricane Katrina applies to any large-scale crisis:  Don’t hope to wait it out or expect the government to bail you out – just getout.  Since natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and civil unrest may
be unavoidable and can quickly strip away all the comforts and security of civilization, Bug Out provides the information readers need to make an exit and escape the ensuing chaos sure to befall those who do not know how to react.  From pre-planning and mapping out an escape route to preparing gear and supplies for wilderness living in a remote location, this book provides the ordinary urban-dwelling American with information on what to take and where to go to have the best chance of survival. Bug Out includes advice on overcoming pitfalls (like road or gas station closures) that could delay or even prevent one’s escape and provides descriptions of more than one hundred potential wilderness
“bug-out locations” in all parts of the Lower 48 States.

Publisher: Ulysses Press, Berkeley, CA.  May, 2010

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Co-authored with my friend, Scott Finazzo, The Prepper’s Workbook: Checklists, Worksheets and Home Projects to Protect Your Family from Any Disaster is an interactive guide to preparing your home and family for natural or man-made disasters and surviving short-term or possible long-term disruptions of normal life in the aftermath.

Unlike my other survival-related books, The Prepper’s Workbook is focused less on outdoor and wilderness survival skills and more on helping you prepare for the unexpected that can occur in everyday life, anytime or anywhere.

This is also a book that requires work on the reader’s part: filling out forms and checklists, completing worksheets and planning projects.  Finazzo and I are both firm believers in the importance of checklists and this book was originally conceived as a book of checklists only, but during the course of putting it all together, we have added many tips and how-to sections as well as the other interactive sections that go beyond simple lists.  The result is a book that should get marked up, written in and referred to often, as it will contain vital information specific to your family and your situation.

Publisher: Ulysses Press, Berkeley, CA.  March, 2014

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Getting Out Alive: 13 Deadly Scenarios and How Others Survived is part fiction and part nonfiction.  Each chapter is built around a fictional life-or-death scenario that puts you, the reader into the situation.  Real-life examples of how others made it through similar tests are then interwoven into the story, along with tips and techniques applicable to each type of crisis.

Captivating stories of people stranded and fighting for their lives against harsh, unmerciful conditions.  A unique combination of fictional scenarios, true accounts, and
instructive sidebars, Getting Out Alive reveals the three vital ways to cheat death when all seems lost: avoid panic, know your survival skills, and maintain a relentless determination to make it out alive.  Teaching by example, the characters in these adventures use real-life survival tactics—including navigating, building shelters, finding
water, and signaling for help.

 

 

Publisher: Ulysses Press, Berkeley, CA.  March, 2011

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Due to the interest in the original Bug Out I wrote a follow-up book to expand on a subject covered briefly in a chapter of the first book.  Bug Out Vehicles and Shelters: Build and Outfit Your Lifesaving Escape, was published in 2011.

A cataclysmic disaster strikes your area.  How will you evacuate your family to safety?  Do you have a vehicle you can count on?  Can it double as a mobile retreat, or do you have a shelter prepared in advance?  What’s your plan for reaching the shelter?  Bug Out Vehicles and Shelters presents a wide range of transportation options ranging from fast escape vehicles to fully self-contained mobile retreats.  Back-up vehicles that can keep going if your main option fails and alternative vehicles for a variety of challenging situations are also examined.  Temporary and long-term shelters that you can set up in advance and stock with supplies are included as part of a bug-out plan that can make you a prepared survivor instead of a refugee.

Publisher: Ulysses Press, Berkeley, CA.  October, 2011

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Travel Narratives/Guidebooks:  

Travel narratives have always been among my favorite books to read.  When I set out to see how far south into the Caribbean I could paddle my sea kayak in 1988-90, I always knew I would eventually write a book about the journey.  On Island Time: Kayaking the Caribbean was published in 2005.

Tourists visit popular islands of the Caribbean by the planeload. What they don’t see from their resort hotels are the hundreds of out-of-the-way, uninhabited islands sprinkled along the West Indies from Florida to South America. This alluring archipelago, strung with beaches accessible only by boat but spaced temptingly close
together, led Mississippi adventurer Scott B. Williams to embark upon an open-ended quest to see how far south he could go in a seventeen-foot sea kayak.

No one was willing to accompany him. He spent months working his way down the west coast of Florida, through the Bahamas, and on toHispaniola, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. “On Island Time: Kayaking the Caribbean,” his narrative of this journey of a lifetime, describes the wonders of discovery as he makes landfall on pristine cays. Relentless headwinds, dangerous surf, countless beaches
declared off-limits to trespassing, and aggressive sharks that ram his kayak and snap him out of his musing remind the adventurer thatthis paradise is far from perfect. Every day of the journey required constant vigilance.

With no one to depend on and often no one even knowing where he was for weeks at a time, Williams learned what it means to be self-reliant and to adjust to “island time.” With just a simple craft and the few belongings that would fit in it, Williams explores an almost boundless frontier and a powerful natural stretch of the Caribbean rarely, if ever, accessed by the island tourist.

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, MS.  2005

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The Pascagoula River System in south Mississippi is a truly special place.  My long-term canoeing partner and co-author, Ernest Herndon and I set out to paddle its two major tributaries from the headwaters to the coast in 2004.  The following year Paddling the Pascagoula was published by University Press of Mississippi.

Science magazine describes the Pascagoula River of southeast Mississippi as the last unaltered large river system in the lower 48 states and southern Canada. Along its banks and watershed 600,000 acres of public lands–wildlife management areas, national forest, wilderness areas, national wildlife refuges, Nature Conservancy preserves–ensure the creation of a tremendous natural river system.

To explore this sanctum, authors Ernest Herndon and Scott B. Williams traveled its entire 200-plus mile length by canoe and sea kayak, respectively. Each floated one of two major tributaries, Herndon taking the Leaf, Williams the Chickasawhay. They then meton the main Pascagoula and continued on to the Gulf Coast. Along the way the two saw alligators and ospreys, conservationists and good ole boys. They ran rapids and explored swamps, dodged
logjams and investigated possible pollution sources.

Herndon and Williams brought considerable skills and experience to their journey. Herndon has gone on backcountry trips to places as far-flung as Papua New Guinea and Alaska, while Williams paddled his sea kayak solo down the Mississippi and across the Caribbean. Together they’ve canoed and kayaked all over the South as well as
in remote parts of Central America. Both agree the Pascagoula basin is one of the most intriguing outdoor destinations they have experienced.

The book gives the armchair explorer a vivid feeling of what it would be like to float this wonderful river and provides a wealth of information about what makes it special and the problems that threaten it.

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, MS.  2005

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Exploring Coastal Mississippi: A Guide to the Marine Waters and Islands was my first published book.  It is a boater’s reference to one of my favorite places on the Gulf of Mexico for sea kayaking and and sailing.

For boaters of all kinds a handy guide to the waterways of the Gulf of Mexico. Mississippi’s barrier islands claim some of the most remote and unspoiled sites along the Gulf of Mexico. The distance of East and West Ship Island, Horn Island, Cat Island, and Petit Bois Island from the mainland has sheltered them fromextensive development. The inclusion of all in the roster of protected places in
the Gulf Islands National Seashore Act has assured that they will remain close to their natural state long into the future. For those who love the seashore, the Mississippi Gulf Coast is an ideal place for adventure. The wilderness islands, the back bays and coastal rivers, and the Gulf of Mexico itself offer pleasure for boaters and nature lovers. This book will guide them to special places in these
relatively shallow waters. Filled with detailed descriptions of many alluring settings, along with directions for navigation to secluded coves and coastal bayous, this book gives tips and pointers for a wide range of boaters, whether their preferred craft is a canoe, a
sea kayak, or a luxury yacht. What are the best and safest routes? What are the weather patterns? How does one select the perfect craft? Here from an expert who has explored the coastal waters during a period of fifteen years are the answers, rich in anecdotes,
along with information on charter boats, excursion boats, and other options for exploring and fishing.

Publisher: University Press of Mississippi, Jackson, MS.  2004

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Astray of the Herd is quite different from my other works. This is a light-hearted
but half-serious collection of observations resulting from all the time I’ve spent out
in the wilds and on the water. It’s a bit philosophical, mostly humorous and
always irreverent.  The structure of the book is associational chaining from one topic to the next, and consists of 75 short chapters discussing each of these topics. The chapters are built around a loose narrative of the Caribbean sea kayak trip I described in On Island Time.  Astray of the Herd is more of a whimsical look at all the things that make some of us wilderness lovers want to “check out” and exit “the herd” for awhile.”

Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, 2005/2009

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