|Name Ragnar Benson||Role Author|
|Books Mantrapping, Survival poaching, Breath Of The Dragon, Ragnar's Big Book Of Home, Ragnar's Urban survival|
Similar People Kurt Saxon, Mel Tappan, James Wesley Rawles, Joel Skousen
Ragnar Benson is the pen name of a prolific survivalist author who specializes in preparedness topics, particularly survival retreats, hunting, trapping, austere medicine, false identification, explosives, firearms, and improvised weapons. Many of his 46 books were published by Loompanics Unlimited (which went out of business in 2004) and by Paladin Press. Both Benson and Paladin Press are controversial, because actually formulating or constructing many of the explosives and weapons that he describes would be illegal in most jurisdictions. Some of his books have been banned ("challenged") from importation into Canada, by the Customs Canada censors at the Connaught Building. His book Ragnar's Guide to Home and Recreational Use of High Explosives was reportedly pulled from distribution in 1999.
Secretive personal life
Benson has revealed very few details of his background and personal life. His real name has not been revealed publicly. He was reportedly born in Indiana and was raised on a farm where dynamite was used for utilitarian purposes. As of 1999, he lived "...on nine acres in southern Idaho with his pet skunks and his wife and 100-plus guns of varying caliber." He was apparently the son of a German immigrant. (In his book Urban Survival he recounts some of his father's experiences growing up in Germany after World War I.)
Benson has travelled extensively and has had no settled career. In the narrative of his book Bull's Eye: Crossbow, Benson mentions that he at one time worked as a firearms dealer in Rhodesia. In a rare interview with Salon magazine, he mentioned that he "...learned about man traps while serving as an agricultural specialist in rural Southeast Asia " In the narrative of another book Homemade C4 - A Recipe for Survival Benson mentions that he had fired a M72 LAW rocket while at Fort Benning, Georgia, home of the US Army Infantry. In the same book, Benson continues to state that he participated in the Army's Tank Commander school, something reserved for a senior enlisted soldier (E-6, SSG). Benson has also intermittently worked as a private investigator for more than 25 years. As of 2010, he was 72 years old. His writing pace has slowed in recent years. In 2007, he authored the Foreword to James Ballou's book Long-Term Survival in the Coming Dark Age: Preparing to Live After Society Crumbles.
On Dec 3, 2010 Ragnar Benson was interviewed on the Omega Man Radio Show with Shannon Ray Davis for over two hours. In the interview, he mentioned that he has travelled to more than 90 countries.