The images and diagrams are my favorite features of the Survival Skills app by Double Dog Studios. Sure…the app has cool calculation forms for more than 40 different uses and conversions, and it also brings together content from many, many important survival resources, but when it comes to identifying plants and animals correctly, you really need photos. Imagine trying to identify poison ivy by a text description alone: it’s a plant, green, sometimes brown, vine-like when climbing on trees, etc. Learning about plants in this way is like playing a game of charades.
To eliminate such guesswork, I’d suggest studying the images and diagrams that will help you identify the plants your immediate surroundings first. Then, go out with this app in hand, and try to match up some images with actual plants. Check your level of success–or failure–and then branch out into some unknown areas.
Here are a few screen shots of images and diagrams that I found particularly useful from this app. First, a photograph of the poisonous American Copperhead:
Got it? Good. And now, in case you need to know if you’ll be more likely to encounter a copperhead on your trail, this diagram outlines its habitat distribution:
Need food? Here’s what your simple copper wire snare should look like after you follow the directions explaining how to make it:
And finally, a diagram of the human skeletal system, helpful for isolating and treating fractures in a wilderness setting:
These images add great detail and visual explanation to the text in this app, but no reading or looking can substitute for actual experience, so get out there and get some practice on the trail.
Want to know more about the Survival Skills app?
Read my full overview of its contents and features on the About.com Survival Skills website:
Photos © Double Dog Studios.