Survival Skills of Native California


SSNC  This article took me awhile to write. When what I do is come up with words to describe various items and works from a variety of people, this was probably one of the most difficult. For the life of me, I cannot relay what I thought in mere words, but I will try.

 Survival Skills of Native California is written by Paul D. Campbell. I have admired his work for sometime and have wanted a copy of this book for even longer. When I received it in the mail, I was so excited I could barely open the package with a steady hand. In my honest opinion if you are into survival, prepping, or even traditional skills this book belongs in your library. Paul wrote this book with actual native peoples sharing their knowledge with him. That alone makes this book one of the most valuable pieces of information that you can own. Personally, I see this book as an important part of native heritage and is a fine record for archeological as well as anthropological research.

 This book covers every subject in such great detail using the authors own words. It is 448 pages packed with knowledge. Each chapter covers shelters, cordage, baskets, clay pottery, hunting and fishing, and everything from hygiene to fish poisons. Every aspect of daily life is covered. He even clearly defines each person’s role in the tribe. Some of the skills in this book took me back to a time in Oklahoma, many of the fire methods, hunting and trapping methods, arrow making, bows, and even some of the fishing and cooking methods I had the pleasure to experience with the Cherokee and Choctaw. I was amazed at how similar the skills are that were used by tribes from the Western and the Eastern US.

 I read this book with complete respect and I am proud to have this in my reference library. The only negative thing I found was not with the book or the writing, it was the fact that these skills and this way of life are disappearing from our world. Paul did an amazing job helping to preserve this way of life and make a true effort to educate all that read it on what it takes to live this close to nature. This is the most comprehensive work I have read on this subject.

If you would like to order this book please visit and check out the rest of the books and videos they provide. They have the most extensive knowledge of anyone that I know. They know their stuff! You don’t even have to tell them I sent you.

From the back cover:

In the most comprehensive work of its kind, author Paul Campbell reveals the knowledge he has spent twenty years learning and reproducing from California’s Natives. Included are sections on basic skills, the tools for gathering and preparing food, implements for household and personal necessity, as well as the arts of hunting and fishing. Topics Include: -Shelter: A Continuum of Simplicity -Greens, Beans, Flowers and Other Vegetables -Meat Preparation -How to Make and Shoot a Bow and scores more Survival skills is astounding in the breadth of skills taught, and contains more than 400 pages with 2,000 skills and nearly 1,000 instructional illustrations. With a variety of Native Californians, young and old, as his sources of information, the author delves into the practices they used to successfully live on a land that is often seemingly poor in life’s essentials. This book offers the opportunity to see beyond the apparent, to overcome modernbred helplessness in the wild, and to capably employ the varied resources of earth’s bounty that make survival possible.

Topics Include:

-Shelter: A Continuum of Simplicity

-Greens, Beans, Flowers and Other Vegetables

-Meat Preparation

-How to Make and Shoot a Bow and scores more


I sincerely hope that I was able to give a good enough review of this book. I give my respect and absolute appreciation to Paul.