Last Updated on November 18, 2020
Survival books are what started me on my path to prepping.
For a long time now I have been meaning to post a list of prepper resources. I do have a lot already listed on our Resources page, but I hadn’t really spent any time listing the resource books and materials that I recommend.
This list of the best survival books below is made entirely of books I own and have read. Well, almost all of them have been read. Some like “Emergency War Surgery” keep getting put on the back of the pile, but every other one has been evaluated by me and I believe that these books are a tremendous resource to preppers and survivalists not to mention homesteaders or anyone looking to be more self-sufficient. This to me is just the beginning of your library of must-have prepper books.
I wrote a post a while back about the importance of having physical copies of reference material like this for a number of reasons. Without rehashing the entire post, which you can read here, the need for me is simple. If the computers go down, or the electricity is out or they simply stop printing books… you need to have a library of information that you can put your hands on.
These books serve me and my family in two ways. First, books like “How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It” was foundational. Books like this enabled me to open my eyes and begin to see what I needed to do for my family’s safety. Other books such as “The Encyclopedia of Country Living” sit on the shelf until I want to learn something or have a question.
Below I have listed a great starter library for the average prepper. This will give you both the foundational material as well as the reference should our lives be turned upside down one day. If you can’t get on the internet or make it to the library, you will wish you had books like these to reference when you need it. Even if nothing ever happens, these books are great to have around your house and will always be there if you need them.
I have also added this entire list to my Resources page today so they can sit in one easy to find place.
Best Survival Books – Manuals
Introduction to concepts
- SAS Survival Handbook: How to Survive in the Wild, in Any Climate, on Land or at Sea – by John Lofty Wiseman
- How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times – by James Wesley Rawles
- When All Hell Breaks Loose – by Cody Lundin
- Surviving Doomsday – A Guide for Surviving an Urban Disaster – by Richard Duarte (You can read our review here)
- Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios – by Lisa Bedford (I gave this to my daughter)
Homesteading / Self Sufficient Skills
- The Encyclopedia of Country Living – by Carla Emery
- Stocking Up: How to Preserve the Foods You Grow, Naturally – by Carol Stoner
- Seed to Seed: Seed Saving and Growing Techniques for Vegetable Gardeners – by Suzanne Ashworth
- Basic Butchering of Livestock & Game – by John J. Mettler
- Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills, Third Edition – by Abigail R. Gehring
- The Outdoor Knots Book (Mountaineers Outdoor Basics) – by Clyde Soles
- When Technology Fails (Revised & Expanded): A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability, and Surviving the Long Emergency – by Matthew Stein
- Cookin’ with Home Storage – by Peggy Layton
Natural Remedies / First Aid
- The Complete Medicinal Herbal: A Practical Guide to the Healing Properties of Herbs, with More Than 250 Remedies for Common Ailments – by Penelope Ody
- The Doctors Book of Home Remedies II – by Prevention Magazine
- Curing Everyday Ailments (Readers Digest) – by Readers’ Digest
- Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places – by Steve Brill
- Emergency War Surgery – by Nato
- First Aid: Fundamentals for Survival – by James Hubbard
- The Survival Medicine Handbook: THE essential guide for when medical help is NOT on the way
Tactical Methods / Strategies / Security
- Special Forces Guerrilla Warfare Manual – by Wimberley Scott
- Tactical Pistol Marksmanship: How to Improve Your Combat Shooting Skills – by Gabriel Suarez
- Boston’s Gun Bible – by Boston T. Party
- Build Your Own underground Root Cellar – by Phyllis Hobson
- The Secure Home – by Joel Skousen
- Strategic Relocation–North American Guide to Safe Places, 3rd Edition – by Joel Skousen (You can read our review here)
- You & the Police! – by Boston T. Party
- One Nation, Under Surveillance — Privacy From the Watchful Eye – by Boston T. Party
Fiction – Philosophy – Foreshadowing
- Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse – by James Wesley Rawles
- Atlas Shrugged: (Centennial Edition) – by Ayn Rand
- Holding Their Own: A novel of survival – Joe Nobody
- Brave New World – by Aldous Huxley
- One Second After – William R. Forstchen
- Alas, Babylon – Pat Frank
- Going Home: A Novel (The Survivalist Series) – by A. American (You can read our review here)
What are some that I missed?