I first met writer and mixed martial arts fighter Sam Sheridan in Alabama in August of 2010. He was training for three weeks with my friend Tiger McKee at Tiger’s Shootrite Firearms Academy, out in the country near Guntersville Lake. Tiger invited me to come out and join them for a couple of days of team tactics shooting, and Sam and I burned through a whole lot of .223s. The days were long, and it was typical Alabama-in-August weather, 100 degrees plus, 90 percent humidity, the sun bearing down like a man trying to crush a tick with the flat of his thumb.
Tiger and I are born to that heat. Although he’s younger and in better shape than either of us, Sam is not. I watched him and waited to see if he would buckle, which he never did. Had I known exactly who he was, I would not have been surprised. Sam has delivered sailing ships across the globe, battled wildfires in the Rockies and walked the Peruvian Amazon, grappled with Brazilian jujitsu masters and fought toe-to-toe with Muay Thai professionals in Thailand. He’s written two of literature’s best books on fighting: A Fighter’s Heart and A Fighter’s Mind. He doesn’t buckle. So it was a surprise to me when he told me what he was doing at Shootrite, and why he was writing the book that has now become "The Disaster Diaries: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Apocalypse."
“I’ve always felt kind of unprepared,” he explained. “There are lots of things I just don’t know how to do, and I want to change that.”
"The Disaster Diaries" is the story of a quest for knowledge, of learning the skills of survival from unique individuals who are experts in their fields, from Inuit hunters to SoCal car thieves. There is a dose of everything here from shooting to making fire with a bow drill, from finding water in the desert to primitive hunting and trapping. Beyond the basics there are chapters on hot wiring cars, knife fighting, navigating in hostile territory, evasive driving, psychology and wilderness medicine. The book is a deeply observed personal journey, and every reader from the serious TEOTWAWKI prepper to the weekend squirrel hunter will find something fascinating here. I thought Field & Stream readers would enjoy a short conversation with the author.