In many cases, those who survived made acommitment to just get through the night or day.


This book could save your life.

Your car breaks down in a remote area. You’re lost in the woods, not knowing which way to turn, or whether to stay or to go. You’re left with serious injuries after a plane crash on a mountainside. Your boat capsizes in rough seas, miles from land and shipping lanes.

Reid Kincaid’s book, The Extreme Survival Almanac, is intended for those who find themselves in such crises and want to get out alive. The author likens the book to a helpful tool such as a knife or a book of matches. Published in 2002 by Paladin Press, it gives readers information that may increase their odds of survival in a bad situation.

The most important thing about surviving, Kincaid says, is realizing you are in a survival situation. Take control of the situation and don’t panic.

Studies conducted by the U.S. Army during and after World War II looked at the psychology of survival. In many cases, those who survived made a commitment to “just get through” the night or day. Things are bad, but they could be worse. There’s no food today, but we’ll find something tomorrow. Keep your chin up.

“Something has got to get you up, make you do the work,” Kincaid says. He devotes one chapter to survival on land, another to survival on water, and factors influencing both-temperature control, finding water, food, and traveling to safety. A section is devoted to survival navigation.

Kincaid hasn’t personally experienced a life-threatening situation in the wild. However, the Edmonds native says, having lived on remote Annette Island on Alaska’s panhandle, where survival skills can be a requirement for daily living, he likely takes more precautions than others. As a boy scout he became skilled at reading a compass and map.

After graduating from Washington State University (’90 English) he and his wife, Lori, taught English in Poland for two years with the Peace Corps.

After Kincaid accepted his dream job with the Norton Sound Health Corp. in Nome, Alaska, the home they were to live in there literally slid into the ocean. Unable to find suitable housing after seven months, they moved to Annette Island. He was a physician assistant at the Metlakatla Indian Reservation clinic for five years.

Now, six days a month Kincaid makes the two-and-a-half-hour commute from Farmington, Maine, to the Bar Harbor Hospital, where he pulls a 24-hour shift as a physician’s assistant. He chooses to live in rural Farmington because of the town’s university library system and its vast resources for research he taps in his writing.