I'm currently reading Carrying The Fire by Apollo 11 Command Module Pilot (CMP) Michael Collins.
Carrying The Fire is probably one of the most fascinating and entertaining books I've ever read. Collins writes exceptionally well - his acid wit and dry sense of humour is an absolute joy - and he is by far my favourite astronaut of all time.
Being CMP on an Apollo mission seems like the perfect job to me, more so than taking a powered descent to the lunar surface, for one gets to spend plenty of time alone orbiting the moon - swinging round its far side and enjoying the tranquility of being out of communication with one's colleagues on the surface, as well as those back home at mission control on earth.
I love solitude.
In his book Collins talks about the survival training he underwent in the deserts of Reno and jungle of Panama. His bible on such trips was Air Force Manual 64-5 and he has many humorous anecdotes about its contents.
Curious about this manual I decided to seek it out online and it sure is an amusing and educational read. Armed with this, one could pretty much be thrown off a helicopter naked, anywhere on the planet, and still eventually come back home in one piece.
Air Force Manual 64-5, I think, will be my next online purchase, just so that I can bung it in my backback when I go on one of my extended trips off grid, just in case trouble brews.
Thank you, Lucky Mike, for the heads up. (DTIC pdf download).