Looking for the best survival, preparedness, and self-reliance books?
Welcome to the survival library for preppers. In this guide below, you’ll find the most comprehensive directory of categories detailing the best survival books for preppers and the survival lifestyle ranging from DIY, to Homesteading, to Urban Survival, to Concealed Carry.
First, you should know the importance of building your survival library, a physical library of the best survival books.
Having a well-stocked survival library is something that preppers should build on an ongoing basis. Always staying up to date on new and better ways to prepare for future disasters.
By consuming knowledge and information, we learn more and are able to use that knowledge to become more effective. By becoming more effective than we were yesterday pays dividends for our future survival.
First, let’s go over the importance of building a survival bookshelf.
Table of Contents
- General Survival
- Tips, Skills, and Hacks
- Disaster and Emergency Preparedness Books
- First Aid, Medical, and Remedies
- Bushcraft and Wilderness Survival
- Gear, Gadgets, and Gizmos
- Mindset and Psychology
- Home Security and Fortification
- DIY Projects and Building Skills
- Financial Collapse Preparedness
- Military, Stealth, and Spy
- Urban Survival
- Paracord, Knots, and Cordage
- Game Hunting and Fishing
- Homesteading, Self-Sufficiency, and Simple Living
- Gardening and Farming
- Camping and Backpacking
- Food Preparation and Preserving
- Survival For Kids
- Survival Shelters
- None-Fiction Survival Stories
- Survival Youtube Channels
Importance of Physical Information
“I can just google it”. I said to myself.
That works until you can’t google it. When the grid goes down, when the lights go out, internet searchers won’t be there at a click of a mouse anymore. If you don’t have an already-built collection of survival preparedness books, you’re left with a potentially life-threatening situation.
Be prepared, have access to the right books at your disposal so when you need specific information in an emergency, it’s within feet from you.
Keep in mind, when we’re talking about building our survival library, we’re recommending physical books. Hard copies of materials for survival and grid-down scenarios.
I tried using a Kindle for reading and storing books. I thought to myself, this is a better way. You save room and space, you don’t have to move physical books around the house. It’s more efficient.
I was wrong.
Having physical copies of books turned out to be far better. It’s much easier to make notes in physical copies. It’s easier to flip through to the section you need. There are things you just can’t do with digital devices. Also, if you drop a physical book, what happens?
It doesn’t break. It doesn’t turn off. The battery is doesn’t have, never dies. Hard physical copies, especially for your survival and preparedness materials, is what we recommend.
But what books should you get? There are hundreds available. That’s exactly what this post is for.
We looked at the books we have read in the past. Books we have heard over and over about the quality of information. And we categorized them for you in this post.
This section contains the best survival books on the broad topic of survival and doesn’t necessarily focus on one category and goes deeper into the subject. But covers a rather broad range of categories.
If you’re a beginner, it might be a good idea to start with these books and then go more in-depth on specific categories you need the most. These books cover general survival skills and overviews of the survival and preparedness lifestyle. If you’re new, it may benefit you the most to start here.
The Dark Secrets of SHTF Survival: The Brutal Truth About Violence, Death, & Mayhem You Must Know to Survive
By Selco Begovic
WARNING: This book contains graphic content and contains dark information on survival.
There is so much fluff out there these days, it’s hard to find straight answers without any nonsense and vague details.
This book cuts through all the noise and gives it to you straight.
Survival Wisdom and Know-How
By The Editors of Stackpole Books
This book is massive, dense, and packed with wisdom as the name suggests.
If you want a dense information-packed resource on surviving disasters and preparing for emergencies. A type of encyclopedia. This is it.
There was a lot of work that was put into this text. It should be ten times the price it is for the information and wisdom that’s inside. For this price, you’re basically stealing it.
Worst case scenario, you don’t get a chance to consume the wisdom inside and use it as a self-defense weapon because it’s a massive heavy text.
By Beau Griffin
This book is written by Bea Griffin who has been a survivalist basically his whole life.
He’s dedicated it to developing and honing survival skills. Beau has found his way back to civilization more than one time.
He also says you’ll double your chances of surviving if you give him a day.
How To Survive Anything Anywhere
By Chris McNab
This is the handbook for how to survive practically anything. It’s a thick and heavy book.
Learn how to:
- Make a. shelter
- Survive in urban settings
- Sustainably live anywhere from the arctic winds to the dry deserts
- Self-defense combat and skills
How to Survive Anything: From Animal Attacks to the end of the world (and everything in between)
By Outdoor Life
This book by Outdoor Life is one of the best. It’s dense.
It covers massive amounts of information on every page. No extra fluff polluting the pages either. Ever page lists the specific threat or emergency survival scenario and tells you exactly what you can do to prepare and survive a potential encounter with that threat.
It also tells you an essential survival skill and/or essential survival item that it recommended to have to be properly prepared.
Tips, Skills, and Hacks
The most popular section of the survival skills and hacks. These books are essentially massive lists of skills and hacks for preppers ranging from skills we need to survive off the grid-like growing your own food to survive the next financial collapse.
Ultimate Survival Hacks
By Outdoor Life
This is the newest edition of survival hacks by Outdoor Life.
Jam-packed with tips, tricks, and hacks to survive off the grid, in the wild, and conquer any disaster.
The Lost Ways
By Claude Davis
This isn’t a survival book. The Lost Ways is a survival bible.
If you’re looking for an advanced book on how to survive using ancient, lost, and forgotten skills from our Ancestors, Pioneers, and Native Americans, get this book.
Stay Alive Survival Skills
By John D. McCann
This book writes in detail the mindset that’s required for survivalists. The mindset you need to thrive in common emergencies that happen any moments notice.
This text is jam-packed with over 300 full-color photos. Has detailed solutions for surviving emergencies during adventure sport, and travel.
SAS Survival Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere
By John Lofty Wiseman
This book is a brick. This is the newest third edition of the SAS Survival Handbook.
This would be one of the first books I get as well. It’s dense, packed, fully loaded with material to survive anywhere.
Prepper’s Longterm Survival Guide
By Jim Cobb
This book covers all the basics for preppers and more. For long-term survival, the basics are the most important.
The fundamentals drive the majority of the results with anything.
The long-term survival guide is a good go-to source for what to do in all the categories of preparedness.
Build The Perfect Bug Out Survival Skills
By Creek Stewart
When it’s time to bug out. You want to have the skills and the gear packed ready and prepared at any given time.
This book will give you the skills and knowledge you need to be prepared for when it’s time to bug out.
Survival Hacks: Over 200 Ways To Use Everyday Items For Wilderness Survival
By Creek Stewart
This guide covers many different hacks and tips to survive in the wild.
Creek tells you how to you can take everyday household items that are within feet from you and use them to survive out in the wild.
Survival Skills of the North American Indians
By Peter Goodchild
When it comes down to learning how to survive in the wild, the North American Indians knew a thing or two about how to do it.
This book is filled with skills and techniques that they used to thrive in their environment.
When The Grid Goes Down
By Tony Nester
When the grid goes down, do you have a detailed strategic plan of what to do? Do you have all your supplies ready and prepped for such an event? Do you have your checklists in a secure location that you can easily access? This book will give you a solid plan on how to prepare for a grid-down scenario.
Disaster and Emergency Preparedness
In this category, we cover the best disaster and emergency preparedness books. Anything from how to prepare for a Category 4 hurricane to tornadoes forming in your backyard to how to best prepare for a drought.
Prepare For Anything Survival Manual
By Outdoor Life
Prepare For Anything covers just about everything in terms of preparing for emergencies and disasters. There is an entire section on three main categories: Gear, Skills, and Survival. If you want an easy to follow how-to guide on 338 different scenarios that occur every day on how to prepare and survive, this is for you.
By Kathy Harrison
If you’re new to survival and preparedness in general, this book is perfect to start with.
After reading it, you’ll know more than most preparedness experts and will be able to start applying the information right away.
Essential Survival Guide
By Popular Mechanics
After learning preparedness 101, this guide is a good choice to get next.
This book covers how to prepare and survive just about anything. It’s categorized by different types of survival scenarios. Such as Natural Disasters. Then under the category, it has a couple of pages of the nuts and bolts for how to prepare and survive that particular emergency.
Ultimate Survival Manual Extreme
By Outdoor Life
This book by Outdoor Life covers Wilderness Survival, Disaster Preparedness, and Urban survival skills. Like the title says, these lessons are extreme. Extreme survival situations call for extreme action. You must fight fire with fire. If you’re going to make it through and survive an extreme natural disaster like a Category 4 Hurricane, you’re going to have to do a couple of things that are somewhat “extreme”.
By Dr. Bob Arnot
This book by Dr. Bob Arnot has been reviewed to be one of the best books on the subject. When it comes to preparing your home and your family for disasters, this is a. good resource.
The Disaster Preparedness Handbook 2nd Edition
By Dr. Arthur T. Bradley
This book could also be a. weapon if you needed one. It’s much more dense and heavy than you would think by looking at it. It has a dense amount of information in it. It’s one of the first disaster preparedness guides I would get.
Prepare Your Family For Survival
By Linda Loosli
This book is great because it covers just what you need to prepare and keep your family safe in a disaster. There’s no fluff, just solid information.
Emergency Survival Manual 294 lessons
By Outdoor Life
This book is for the family-oriented survivor. It covers all the skills you could ever need for taking care of your loved ones. Preventing and treating medical emergencies is the main topic. Learn how to assess, respond, and protect with these 294 life-saving skills.
Family Survival Guide
By Mykel Hawke
This book Is your family prepared for dangerous situations if. they were to ever experience one? God forbid they did, would they know what to do? Getting your family to prep and train, just to at least have some basic survival skills for the outdoors can be tiresome to convince them it’s important. At least, it was for me.
The family survival guide explains the best ways for you to prepare, train, and pack everything for your family.
By Arthur T. Bradley
If EMP’s are what concerns you, then this book is for you. Some areas are much more prone to EMP’s than others.
So if. you’re in one of those areas and you think it’s likely to happen again. This resource would be a good option.
First Aid, Medical, and Remedies
This category covers the top books on the subjects of first aid and medical. Essentially the books that will keep you from dying if you get injured or wounded. You’ll know what supplies you want to have in your emergency survival kits and how to quickly treat or remedy yourself to survive.
Lost Book of Remedies
By Claude Davis
Did you know there are dozens of ancient remedies that have been lost in history? The book of Lost Remedies has those remedies and recipes inside.
Forgotten Skills of Backyard Herbal Healing and Family Wealth
By Caleb Warnock
This book contains herbal medicines that have been long forgotten.
The Survival Medicine Handbook
By Joseph Alton MD
This is the book you wish you had when you desperately need medical attention because you got injured somewhere and your alone.
This handbook will teach you how to treat your medical emergencies if you were by yourself with no one to help you.
Where There Is No Doctor: A Village Health Care Handbook
By David Werner, Carol Thuman, and Jane Maxwell
Do you have a local doctor you can go to whenever you want?
This book teaches you how to first aid and medical skills so you can treat yourself and those around you if you had to.
If there was no doctor, this is a book you want to have.
Where There Is No Dentist
By Murray Dickson
What would you do if you didn’t have access to everyday things that you might take for granted?
What if you didn’t have access to say, a dentist.
This book may shed some light on what a scenario like that would feel like.
Prepper’s Survival Medicine Handbook: A lifesaving Collection of Emergency Procedures from U.S. Army Field
By Scott Finazzo
This book dives into the medical abilities that the U.S. Army uses.
Imagine the medical emergencies the U.S. Amy faces out in the field. I’d say they know a thing or two about how to quickly and effectively take care of themselves and their fellow soldiers.
They share their secrets in this handbook.
The Survival Doctors Complete Handbook
By James Hubbard
What if you knew that if you got injured and was in a life or death survival situation, that help wouldn’t come for you.
Would you be able to treat your injuries quickly and efficiently by yourself? This book will be your doctor when you’re in a. survival situation.
Prepper’s Natural Medicine: Life-Saving Herbs, Essential Oils and Natural Remedies For When There Is No Doctor
By Cat Ellis
Natural remedies and medicines are the future I believe. There is a natural remedy for many illnesses and diseases out there that are not only healthier for us, but they’re more sustainable.
This book is the preppers guide to giving you natural ways to cure illnesses so you don’t even have to go to a doctor.
Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicine Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide: 33 Healing Herbs to Know, Grow, and Use
By Rosemary Gladstar
This book is packed with herbs that have what seem to be miracle benefits for people.
If you name the illness, there’s probably an herb that would treat it, if not help it greatly.
This guide is. for the beginner on how to know, grow and use herbs for medicines.
Survival Medicine & First Aid: The Leading Prepper’s Guide to Survive Medical Emergencies in Tough Survival Situations
By Beau Griffin and Andrew Helbig
This book is great for preppers that need to improve their knowledge and skills in survival medicine and first aid.
It’s the leading prepper’s guide for medical emergencies. I know some preppers that even keep this book right in their first aid kit so it’s there when they need it.
Medicine for the Outdoors: The Essential Guide to First Aid and Medical Emergencies
By Paul S. Auerbach
If you spend a lot of time in the outdoors, as most of us do, this is a good book to have as well.
Getting injured while you’re in the wilderness is one of the worst places to get injured. And one of the most dangerous that could become more dangerous by multiples by default, just because of your location and logistics.
Outdoor medical skills are essential in these situations.
Mountaineering First Aid
By Jan Carline
Do you think mountaineers know first aid and medical skills? Absolutely.
Because they know that if they or someone they’re with gets hurt on a mountain, they’re in deep trouble if they’re not knowledgeable enough or lack the supplies that are in order to treat the person.
This book is a lifesaver for serious climbers and mountaineers.
Wilderness First Aid Handbook
By Grant S. Lipman, MD
If you got injured out in the wild, would you know exactly what to do to treat your wounds?
What if you didn’t and couldn’t get help.
Even a small cut can turn into an infected nightmare if not treated quickly and effectively.
This book is essential for medical skills in a wilderness
Wilderness Survival and Bushcraft
In this section, we cover the top texts in the outdoors, bushcraft, and wilderness survival categories. This includes the best primitive technology books.Get the knowledge and learn the skills to survive in the wild with nothing. As well as plant identification. If you’re stranded in the wild and you have nothing but one of these books. You’ll have your best chances for survival.
By John Plant and The Primitive Technology Youtube Channel
By the creators of the wildly successful Primitive Technology Youtube channel just released one of the best books I’ve read on primitive technology.
Primitive Technology is as advanced as it gets for living in the wilderness. You’ll learn the specific details about tools that you need for building structures in the wild. Not only that, but how to make those tools from resources that are in the wild as well.
It’s is one of the best books I’ve ever seen on the subject.
Total Bushcraft Survival Manual: 272 Wilderness Skills
By Outdoor Life
The ultimate list of bushcraft skills inside the contents of this book is one of the best.
The Ultimate Bushcraft Survival Manual will take you from being lost in the woods to at home in the wild. A bold claim, but I’d say it’s true.
Become a master in the field of Bushcraft, and you’ll be able to do anything in the wild.
The Survival Handbook: Essential Skills for Outdoor Adventure
By DK Publishing
This book is for the adventurer that wants to become a little more skilled and knowledgable in order to survive and thrive in their outdoor adventures.
If you’re looking for a nuts and bolts handbook for survival, this one is worth checking out.
Primitive Wilderness Living & Survival Skills: Naked into the Wilderness
By John McPherson
Who better to learn how to survive in the wild than the people that did and actually do live and even thrive, in the wild.
This book is all about those people.
Get back to the basics with the primitive lifestyle and the skills used by the woodsman.
Peterson Field Guide To Wild Edible Plants
By Lee Peterson
This book will show you how to identify wild plants so you can tell if you should eat it or not eat it.
Knowing what to put in your mouth and what not to can mean the difference between your survival and not.
A must-read book for long term outdoor survival.
How to Stay Alive In The Woods
By Bradford Angier
Want to know how to stay alive in the woods?
This book is one of the most popular how-to books on surviving in the woods. It’s a no-nonsense approach to what it’s really like to live out in the wilderness.
There’s no fluff in this book. The author gets right into the nitty-gritty, meat, and potatoes of the raw reality of wilderness survival.
Extreme Wilderness Survival
By Craig Caudill
This book covers the extreme areas of surviving in outdoor environments.
Here’s what Craig covers in the extreme survival guide:
Wilderness Survival Guide
By Dave Canterbury
Every page of this book has a useful skill or tip on surviving in the wilderness. Advanced bushcraft wilderness type skills.
This is for the true outdoorsman that spends a lot of time in the outdoors.
The Ultimate Wilderness Survival Handbook
By Outdoor Life
With over 170 skills on surviving in the wild, this book is essential for how to survive if you were stranded in the wilderness.
Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival
By Dave Canterbury
Are you a beginner when it comes to wilderness survival? Or just want to brush up on the basics and general wilderness skills? This book is perfect for you.
Bushcraft 101 covers what you need to thrive outdoors.
Advanced Bushcraft: An Expert Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival
By David Canterbury
For the advanced outdoorsman and wilderness survivor. Advanced Bushcraft is probably the only field guide you’ll ever need.
Bushcraft First Aid: A Field Guide to Wilderness Emergency Care
By Dave Canturbery
This will be your go-to guide for medical emergencies in an outdoor setting.
Since it’s primarily based around the field of Bushcraft, these are outdoor survival enthusiasts. They live to be outside.
If you’re spending that much time in an outdoor woods like environment, this book is a must.