This post is just a quick summary of some of the books I’ve been reading lately. I will be adding them to our Recommended Reading page when I get a chance. (Robert and I have recently been discussing redoing that page to make it more concise, but aren’t sure how. If any of our readers have suggestions, we’d love to hear them.)
First up, Karl Rehn’s & John Daub’s Strategies and Standards for Defensive Handgun Training.
Karl Rehn owns KR Training in TX, and John Daub is a senior instructor at KR Training and also has his own blog at Stuff from Hsoi. I’ve never met Daub, but I’ve been able to attend Rehn’s presentations at Tac-Con for the past couple of years now. In addition, both Robert and I will be attending his upcoming “Advanced Handgun” class hosted by John Murphy of FPF Training. Both of the authors are very accomplished shooters and Rehn in particular is notable for having achieved GM status in five divisions of USPSA! I am very much looking forward to training with him.
The title of the book actually does a very good job of describing its contents. The book was a quick read for me that I will probably revisit for reference and review quite often. Rehn starts by outlining his research into who in the gun owning demographic trains, and more importantly, who does not and why. For instructors, the first part of the book is essentially a deep dive in Rehn’s “Beyond the 1%” lecture. That is, how to reach beyond the 1% of gun owners that actually train beyond the bare minimum required to obtain a license to carry. I would wager that most of the readers of this blog fall into that 1%, and one of my personal interests is expanding our readership beyond that 1%. In the second and third sections of the book, Daub and Rehn delve into methods for determining if “you’re good enough,” and lay out a series of drills and and standards that can help you determine exactly where you stand as a shooter and put you on a path to become better. I found this section to be very interesting, and I was gratified to find that my self-analysis was fairly on target, no pun intended. I am still just an average shooter in the grand scheme of things, and that’s why I continue to practice and train.
I can highly recommend this book, and I know that Robert will agree. You can purchase it on Amazon by following the Amazon Affiliate links above, or send $20 via PayPal to Rehn@KRTraining.com to order a signed copy directly. (Be sure to include your mailing address.) I paid for my signed copy at the most recent Tac-Con and received it a week later. While it is available as a Kindle version, I would definitely spring for the hard copy of this one.
Next up, I recently finished Kevin Estela’s 101 Skills You Need to Survive in the Woods.
Again, I’ve been privileged to make Kevin’s acquaintance in firearms classes, and I can highly recommend this book as an excellent and comprehensive reference for those of us that embrace a self-reliant mentality. Estela is not only an expert in survival, he’s also a hell of a good shooter and definitely not your typical high school history teacher! He has succeeded in writing a survival book that should appeal to almost anyone, not just hardcore survivalists and backcountry hikers.
Estela begins his book with an introduction covering mindset. This is not necessarily specific to survival in the wilderness, but is rather a broader discussion on how to approach challenges in life. Estela draws heavily from his Sayoc Kali background here. He then covers essential skills for wilderness survival in the remaining chapters of the book. Included are chapters on fire starting, knife skills, shelter, food and water, signaling, first-aid, and more. This would be a good book to have in camp, as well as an excellent reference to have on the bookshelf at home. I think it would be an especially good book to get for youths that may show an interest in the outdoors. I have already acted on one of Estela’s requests, and have ordered a second copy that I am going to donate to the circulation department of my local library. You can follow Estela on social media, and learn about the classes and seminars that he offers at his website. He is a prolific author, and his writing is featured in several magazines that you may see on the newsstand.
Finally, in a similar vein as the above book, I’ve been reading a lot from Michael Bane. Neither of his books that I’ve recently read are new, but they were of interest nonetheless. I first acquired a used copy of his Over the Edge: A Regular Guy’s Odyssey in Extreme Sports.
I don’t particularly consider myself to be into extreme sports, but I have explored the outdoors in a few of the ways he discusses in the book. I’ve done some diving that goes well beyond the recreational standard, and I’ve had a virtually lifelong interest in rock climbing and mountaineering, so the book was a fun read for me. I also think that Bane does a good job of exploring some lessons that are relevant to those of us that go into harm’s way, whether by choice or by circumstance.
Reading that book prompted me to order a copy of his more recent Trail Safe: How to Avoid Danger in the Backcountry.
While this book is expressly directed at those who enjoy outdoor recreational pursuits, it is again relevant to more than just that one demographic. Indeed, whether you are camping on a remote trail or just simply traveling in an unfamiliar place, the lessons he identifies are just good habits to live by.
While neither of the above books are really related to guns, there can be no doubt that Michael Bane is one of the staunchest supporters of firearms rights and responsibility in the industry today. I was pleased to meet him briefly at Tac-Con, and I also appreciate that we both grew up in the same city, albeit in different generations. You can check out more of his work at his new website. Speaking of his work, the Outdoor Sportsman Group has recently announced that they will not be producing any new episodes of The Best Defense. This is unfortunate, and I would advise everyone to make our voices heard. Per Bane in a recent blog entry, the show isn’t “cancelled,” it’s just not in current production. Perhaps that can change in the future.
As always, thanks for reading. We welcome comments, questions, and civil discourse. Be advised, many of the links above are Amazon Affiliate links. Should you choose to shop at Amazon by clicking through, your purchase will benefit the blog at no extra cost to you. We appreciate the support!