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The Wilderness Survival Guide is a supplement to the Dungeons and Dragons role-playing game, written by Kim Mohan and published by TSR, Inc. in 1986 (ISBN 088038-291-0).


The Wilderness Survival Guide is a supplement that covers adventuring in the wilderness, which includes rules and guidelines for weather and weather effects, encumbrance and movement, hunting, camping, first aid, natural hazards, fatigue, beasts of burden, and handling combat and magic in the wilderness.[1] The book also details new proficiencies (skills) pertaining to the wilderness.[1]

The book provides an overview of the types of wilderness, including desert, forest, hills, mountains, plains, seacoast, and swamp terrain. The book presents rules for adventuring in these terrains, including special skills and equipment, and how the environment affects travelers.

Much of the material in the book details the environment, including terrains, major wilderness hazards, and weather. The book also covers PC resources, such as adding to the proficiency system introduced in the Dungeoneer's Survival Guide, appropriate clothing for different climates, clarifying normal and infra/ultravision, details on mounts, and rules on encumbrance and movement rates. The book also details how the effects of the environment on PC activities such as including survival techniques and air and waterborne travel, combat in unusual circumstances, and further details on magic.[2]

Publication historyEdit

Wilderness Survival Guide was written by Kim Mohan, with cover art by Jeff Easley, and was published by TSR in 1986 as a 128-page hardcover.[1] The book features interior illustrations by Mark Nelson, Jim Holloway, Easley, Larry Elmore, and Valerie Valusek.

The book was re-packaged with a totally new book of adventures, called Wild Things, released in 1990 intended to get rid of excess copies of the first edition Wilderness Survival Guide.[3]


Carl Sargent reviewed Wilderness Survival Guide for White Dwarf #85, stating that a good wilderness adventure rulebook is hard to write, because of the lack of sharp discontinuities as opposed to dungeon adventures, although "Mohan has pulled it off brilliantly."[2] Sargent called the weather system "splendid", and felt that the rules on encumberance and movement rates "make sense and work easily".[2] He noted some odd details, such as a draft hose being able to carry 80% of the load of an elephant, and the fact that druids gain wilderness proficiencies slower than any other class. However, he felt that "for every error there are a dozen good points of details; the WSG gets proficiency checks right, correcting a major DSG error".[2] He felt that the book provides valuable material not only for AD&D, but for any D&D, RuneQuest, or Middle-earth Role Playing game master. Sargent praises Kim Mohan's writing style, calling the book "the best written rulebook I've ever read; indeed, for style and content the WSG is the best AD&D book to date".[2] Sargent concludes his review by stating, "This book will revolutionize wilderness adventuring. It makes the wilderness more challenging, dangerous and exciting than almost any dungeon … Simply, the Wilderness Survival Guide is absolutely terrific.”[2]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Schick, Lawrence (1991). Heroic Worlds: A History and Guide to Role-Playing Games. Prometheus Books. p. 118. ISBN 0-87975-653-5. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 Sargent, Carl (January 1987). "Open Box". White Dwarf (Games Workshop) (85): 2–3. 

Additional readingEdit

  • "How I spent my summer", Dragon #113.

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