You Alone in the Maine Woods – the Free Little Orange Book

Mine is from 1998; showing its age.

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has been distributing a little orange book called You Alone in the Maine Woods for Maine outdoor enthusiasts since 1972, and updating it over the years as necessary. They pack a lot of useful information in 67 pages, illustrations, survival tips, etc. The book is small and light enough that it’s easy to toss in your day pack, tackle box, vehicle survival kit or jacket pocket.

Being specific to Maine, there are some topics covered that may not apply to someone lost in a forest elsewhere, but many of the principles are the same.

There are helpful hints inside, like:

  • you can use two spent shotgun shells, one stuffed inside the other, to make a match carrying case
  • loggers, as they cut their way into the forest, cut trees away from the direction their coming from, so if you come upon a remote road, see which way the cut trees are pointing and go in the opposite direction
  • maintain mental control: some people have been lost in the Maine woods without food or fire for over a week and survive, while others have been lost in less than one day – and died
  • 25% of heat loss is through an uncovered head – wear a hat
  • don’t pay much attention to shots being fired around dark, but pay close attention to shots being fired after dark

Then there are the obvious topics covered: water safety, treating hypothermia, ground to air codes, clothing, map and compass, shelter building, and so on. You can download the book for free right here (.pdf).

If you’re like me, and you want a paper copy for your personal survival kit, you can get a copy for FREE by ordering one from the Maine Inland Fisheries & Wildlife on this page. Of course, nothing is “free.” The book is paid for with Maine hunting/fishing license revenue, meaning I and a bunch of others are paying for them. So before you order one, please check the .pdf to make sure you want it.

I’ll end this post with an example illustration from the book.

– Ranger Man

BTW: Thanks to Rourke for helping me get the sidebar ads to show up in a random order.