We all know that knowledge is power; but when it really comes down to an emergency, the right kind of knowledge could be the difference between life and death. We take a look at some of the best survival books for your library or Kindle. The books in this collection were chosen because they truly make life easier. Why make stupid mistakes when you can learn from the mistakes from others?
The books on this list serve as a cornerstone of good survival habits and practices. Any competent survivalist will understand the information conveyed in these materials.
Expert Tip: Make sure to put together a Survival Library. A library will provide all the knowledge in an SHTF scenario.
Also known as the Naked Wilderness Survival Guide, this book’s slightly longer title tells you every you need to know about it: Surviving with nothing but your bare hands and what you find in the woods. John and Geri McPherson are well-known in survivalist circles, and have been instructing people in the art of wilderness survival for decades.
A collaborative project by David and Victoria Aman, this book teaches you more about how to make fire in the field – fire is one of the most primitive human skills, and in a situation where you’re fighting for survival, knowing how to make, use, and control fire will be one of your most critical skills.
This one’s part of the Peterson Field Guide series; check out the rest if you want to broaden your nature library. This one applies to western medicinal plants and herbs: What you’ll encounter in the wild and what to do with it. Knowledge of plants, it goes without saying, is essential if you don’t want to die from eating or applying the wrong thing.
By Geoffrey Budworth, this book really is the complete book of knots. Knot-making can get you out of a lot of tight situations: You might need to tie together a knot to keep your gear or shelter in one place, and that’s just two examples. Knots are useful. Learn how.
WikiBooks is a great resource for information, and this one is specifically geared towards basic First-Aid. You won’t find much of survival info in here, but at the end of reading this one you should know what to do in a medical emergency at the very least, which makes it worth a look.
First-Aid is vital, so here’s another take on the First-Aid straight from the American Red Cross. You know the information you’re getting in here is accurate, so make sure you’ve got this one standing on your bookshelf, or hanging around on your Kindle device.
Also known as The Portable and Essential Guide to Staying Alive, the US Air Force Survival Handbook is surprisingly available for order off of Amazon. Get your copy and learn how to stay alive from the experts.
By Anthonio Akkermans, The Complete Survival Shelters Handbook contains guides on how to build shelters for almost any environment and climate using materials you’ll find around you in such a situation. According to the book’s description, you can expect to find out more about everything from a Yurt to a Debris Hut and Scandinavian Lavvu. In any survival situation, crafting adequate shelter is crucial. Having multiple ways to construct shelter is A worthy inclusion to anyone’s library!
Food: Even outside of a survival situation, you’re screwed without it. Here’s the field guide to trapping, gathering and cooking in the wild. It goes without saying that you shouldn’t take this one on the road if you’re just planning a camping trip at a nearby game reserve; that being said, it’s essential info for the serious survivalist.
This one is also part of the Peterson Field Guide series – see, we told you to go look! This one is geared towards Eastern and Central North America. Even if travelling there isn’t in your plans, familiarize yourself with the area’s plants and their uses. As we all know, survival situations rarely stick to a plan.
Written by the guy behind the TV show Survivalman, this book comes highly recommended by many survival experts. The book promises a no-BS look at survival, and that’s pretty much exactly what you get. It covers everything from shelters to survival kits as well as “why the notion of hunting and tracking large game is largely a pipe dream” in a wilderness situation.
The Ultimate Survival Manual is certainly comprehensive; the book offers a run-down of skills that you absolutely cannot afford to be without.
Know the ins and outs of survival like a real soldier: It could be the difference between life and death. This one goes well with the US Air Force Manual (recommended further up), and it teaches you not only what to do in a survival situation, but how to prepare yourself for anything you might encounter mentally. Things like first-aid and health are also covered at length.
Dave Canterbury is well-known in survival circles, and there are a couple books that add to the Bushcraft series: This is only one of them, and focuses purely on the art of survival in the wilderness. Also take a look at Advanced Bush Craft once you’ve read your way through the rest.