Staff Book & Film Picks: Tom

This week, our series continues with Open Airist’s high-flying adventurer Tom, telling us about his favourite outdoor-related books and TV series:

Wind, Sand and Starsby Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Why I Like It:
The book was first published in French in 1939, and tells the story of the career of Saint-Exupéry as an airmail pilot, who founded the Casablanca-Dakar route across the unconquered Sahara Desert.

This was a time when parts of the world had yet to be mapped, aviation was in its infancy, engines were unreliable and navigation from the cockpit was an art. Accidents were a matter of course.

I have recommended this classic not only for its lyrical writing about flying. Watch Ray Mears’ Extreme Survival and you’ll see that many of his extraordinary tales of survival involve air crews who are forced to ditch their craft in remote, hostile places. This book tells two gripping tales of survival in these circumstances.

Ray Mears’ Extreme Survival

Why I Like It:
In each 30-minute episode, Ray visits a different environment and shares with viewers survival skills and techniques gleaned from personal accounts of survival.

Locations include the tropical ocean, northern Sweden, Arnhem Land in Australia’s Northern Territory, the jungle of Costa Rica and North America’s Rocky Mountains.

Ray is a natural in front of the camera, and has a skill for storytelling. You might watch this series and learn something that could assist you in a survival scenario.

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