I am constantly impressed and reassured with the enthusiasm I see in the prepping and survivalist community.
Here is a group of people who are eager to take responsibility for their own fate, believe in self-sufficiency, and actively work to expand their knowledge.
While reading prepping and survival blogs are great, they are no substitute for survival books.
Why should you read survival books? How about because….
- Survival books are written by experts: Anyone can write a blog (which is why you find so much bad survival info on the net). It takes a much broader knowledge and dedication to write a survival book.
- Survival book are more in-depth: Here at Primal Survivor, we do our best to provide detailed information and survival tips. However, blog posts and articles don’t compare with the amount of detail that can be offered in a book.
- New viewpoints: Some survival and prepping books will present information in ways that you haven’t thought about yet. Sometimes you might get conflicting advice from other things you’ve read. This causes you to think things through objectively.
- YOU SHOULD CONSTANTLY REFRESH YOUR KNOWLEDGE! No matter how much of an expert you are, it is still important to refresh your knowledge. Reading survival books is a great way to do this.
I would like to add that, in today’s world where information is only a few clicks away, there is no excuse for not educating yourself on survival and emergency preparedness.
Yes, you will have to pay for these books (many are available on Kindle for very cheap or available free as part of an Amazon Prime Membership). Think of it as an investment into your future and security. It is worth it to read survival and prepping books!
There are hundreds of survival and prepping books out there. I couldn’t possibly list them all, so I’ve picked the best ones and divided them into categories.
You don’t have to read all of the survival books but I would recommend reading at least one book from each category.
Best Bushcraft and Wilderness Books
Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival
By Dave Canterbury, 256 pages
This is one of the most well-known bushcraft guides and has been read by thousands of people. Canterbury does a great job of covering more than just the basics, and doing it in a way that is easy to understand.
Note though that only the first two chapters are about survival skills (such as making shelters and starting fires). The remaining chapters are all about treating injuries and illnesses.
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Advanced Bushcraft: An Expert Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival
By Dave Canterbury, 256 pages
After you read Bushcraft 101, you’ll want to read this. It has much more detailed info about survival skills. Some of the skills covered are preserving food sources, hide tanning, trapping animals, and net making.
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Survive! Essential Skills and Tactics to Get You Out of Anywhere – Alive
By Les Stroud, 373 pages
For a TV personality, Les Stroud actually gives some good information in this survival book. It covers basic outdoor survival skills and has a good focus on self-reliance. A great choice for beginners to bushcraft.
SAS Survival Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere
By John Lofty Wiseman, 672 pages
This book covers wilderness survival as well as natural disaster scenarios. I particularly like how in-depth it gets about surviving various climates and self-defense.
How to Stay Alive in the Woods: A Complete Guide to Food, Shelter and Self-Preservation Anywhere
By Bradford Angier, 320 pages
Considered one of the best wilderness survival books ever written, Angier does a great job of explaining detailed survival concepts in a way which is actually interesting. I particularly like how he incorporates Native American wisdom into the mix. If you like this survival book, you’ll also want to read Angier’s How to Eat in the Woods.
The Survival Handbook: Essential Skills for Outdoor Adventure
By Colin Towell, 320 pages
By Ellsworth Jaeger, 520 pages
Originally written in 1945, this is a great survival book for people of the “old school” mentality. It doesn’t have any of that hyped-up survival talk. Instead, it focuses on practical advice like outdoor sanitation, equipment, chopping, barkcraft, and more.
Primitive Wilderness Living and Survival Skills
By John McPherson, 408 pages
Topics in this survival book include primitive tools like flintknapping, semi-permanent shelters, DIY containers, and more. This is truly a book for people who want to go beyond the basic survival skills!
Wilderness Survival 2nd Edition
By Gregory J. Davenport, 304 pages
98.6: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive
By Cody Lundin, 216 pages
Like the other survival books here, 98.6 delivers practical advice like survival kits, shelters, and body temperature control. The difference is that this book is written in a very humorous, entertaining way.
Emergency Preparedness Books
Handbook to Practical Disaster Preparedness for the Family, 3rd Edition
By Dr. Arthur T Bradley, 440 pages
How to Survive the End of the World As We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies in Uncertain Times
By James Rawles, 336 pages
Rawles is a U.S. Army intelligence officer and well-known survival expert. In his book, he talks about how to survive true SHTF situations and covers topics like bartering, water, and raising your own food.
The Prepper’s Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do to Ready Your Home for a Disaster
By Bernie Carr, 224 pages
The Prepper’s Cookbook
By Tess Pennington, 300 recipes
Just in Case: How to be Self-Sufficient when the Unexpected Happens
By Kathy Harrison, 240 pages
Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide
By Jim Cobb, 240 pages
Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse
By Fernando Aguirre, 254 pages
Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why
By Laurence Gonzales, 302 pages
Gonzales wrote about survival stories for National Geographic. He talks about these stories in his book and expertly analyzes why most people die and only a small percentage of people survive. This is really a great read!
- When the Grid Goes Down by Tony Nester
- When Technology Fails by Matthew Stein
- Lights Out by Ted Koppel
- Disaster Preparedness for EMP Attacks and Solar Storms by Arthur Bradley
- Lights On: A Non Technical Guide to Battery Power When the Grid Goes Down by Jeffery Yago
Survival Medicine Books
- The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way by Joseph Alton and Amy Alton
- The Doomsday Book of Medicine by Ralph La Guardia
- Prepper’s Natural Medicine by Cat Ellis
- Prepper’s Survival Medicine Handbook The Ultimate Prepper’s Guide to Preparing Emergency First Aid and Survival Medicine for You and Your Family by Timothy Morris
- Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook by William W. Forgey MD
Bugging Out and Gear Books
- Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit by Creek Stewart
- Strategic Relocation: North America Guide to Safe Places by Joel Skousen
- When All Hells Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need to Survive When Disaster Strikes by Cody Lundin
Military Guides/Written by Ex Military
- US Army Survival Manual by Department of Defense
- Hawke’s Green Beret Survival Manual: Essential Strategies by Mykel Hawke
- 100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operative’s Guide to Eluding Pursuers, Evading Capture, and Surviving Any Dangerous Situation by Clint Emerson
- The Book of Camping and Woodcraft: A Guidebook for Those who Travel in the Wilderness by Horace Kephart
- Woodcraft and Camping by George Washington Sears
- Bushcraft: Outdoor Skills and Wilderness Survival by Mors Kochanski
- The Y2K Personal Survival Guide by Michael Hyatt
- The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times by Carol Deppe
What other survival and prepping books would you add to the list? Let’s hear ‘em in the comments below!