Ultimate Survival Library: The Best Survival Books For Preppers To Prepare For Anything

best survival books
Last Updated: August 29, 2020
Updated the non-fiction section to include more suggestions. Updated the table of contents to provide better navigation through the page.

Looking for the best survival, preparedness, and self-reliance books?

Welcome to the survival library for preppers. You’ll find below 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.

All of the books are broken down into categories. Click the link below to skip to a specific category.

Disclaimer: The Survival Journal is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.

General Survival

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.

the dark secrets of SHTF survival

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.

survival wisdom and know how

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.

Survive Anything
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.

survive anything griffin

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 anywhere

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.

how to survive anything outdoor life

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.

ultimate survival hacks

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.

That’s why we made an entire review post on this book.

the lost ways by claude davis 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 at any moment notice.

This text is jam-packed with over 300 full-color photos. Has detailed solutions for surviving emergencies during adventure sport, and travel.

stay alive

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.

sas survival handbook

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.

preppers long term survival guide

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.

You can also see the official survivalist profile of Creek Stewart.

bugout survival skills

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 hacks

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.

survival skills of the north american indians

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. 

when the grid goes down

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.

Prepare for Anything - 338 Essential Skills

Prepping 101
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.

prepping 101

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.

essential survival guide

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”.

ultimate survival manual extreme

Your Survival
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.

your survival

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.

This is a must have for every family household. It has detailed instructions and preparedness checklists for preparing your home and family for emergencies.

disaster preparedness handbook 2nd

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.

As the title suggests, the book focuses on preparing your family and household for future disasters. How to prepare for the next hurricane, the right way. Making sure you have the right emergency checklists so you know the most important things to get.

prepare your family for survival

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.

emergency survival manual outdoor life

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.

family survival guide

EMP Attacks
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.

emp attack survival

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.

survival medicine handbook

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 Doctor- A Village Health Care Handbook


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.

Where There Is No Dentist


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.

preppers surival medicine 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.

survival doctors handbook

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.

preppers natural medicine

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.

rosemarys medicinal herbs

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.

survival medicine and first aid

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.

medicine for the outdoors

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.

mountaineering first aid

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

wildeerness first aid handbook

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.

Primitive Technology
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.

primitive technology book

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.

ultimate bushcraft survival manual

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.

the survival handbook dk publishing

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.

primitive wilderness living and survival skills

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.

peterson field guide to edible wild plants

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.

How to Stay Alive In The Woods

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:

  • mindset
  • skills
  • tactics
  • gear
extreme wilderness survival

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 outdoors.

wilderness survival guide

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.

ultimate wilderness survival handbook

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.

bushcraft 101 field guide

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.

advanced bushcraft

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.

bushcraft first aid field guide

The Trappers Bible
By Eustace Hazard Livingston

If you want to take your trapping and snaring skills to the next level, this will be your bible.

This book covers everything you need to know about trapping, and then some.

Every single kind of trap you could or would need, this book tells you exactly how to make it, step-by-step.

the trappers bible by eustace hazard livingston

Bushcraft Field Guide to Trapping, Gathering, and Cooking In The Wild
By Dave Canturbery

By New York Times bestselling author of Bushcraft 101, again, comes to the ultimate field guide to trapping, gathering, and cooking in the wild. This book is essential if you’re living off the grid in the wild.

Since hunting is a primary way of getting food off-grid, trapping, gathering and cooking that game meat is a priority.

This is your guide on how to cook all the food you want in the wild.

bushcraft trapping field guide

Tom Brown’s Field Guide: Nature Observation and Tracking
By Tom Brown

This book is will give you the right tracking tips for observing your surroundings in nature in order to navigate through your environment in your desired direction. 

tom browns field guide nature observation

Navigation is one of the most important categories of skills to learn as a survivalist. To survive in the wild, knowing how to navigate is crucial. Knowing how to navigate with a compass and without a compass.

You can’t always rely on equipment or gear. You need the knowledge and skills before the gear.

Nols Wilderness Navigation
By Gene Trantham Darran

This book gives you a good foundation for how to navigate in the wild.

It’s useful for campers, backpackers, and hunters. If you spend time in the outdoors like most of us, you’ll want to become a master at navigating through the wilderness. This book is for you.

nols wilderness navigation book

Lost Art of Reading Nature Signs
By Tristan Gooley

Reading nature signs is one of the most important navigation skills you could have. This book will direct you toward the way of being able to do exactly that.

Navigating With or Without a Compass
By Miles Tanner

Navigating is one of. the few self-reliance skills that can make the difference between you getting out of an emergency situation or not. 

Gear, Gadgets, and Gizmos

After getting the right knowledge, it’s time to enhance your knowledge with gear and tools to become more efficient at getting the job done. This section of books will help you accomplish that.

Build The Perfect Bug-out Bag
By Creek Stewart

Do you have everything you need in a bug-out bag packed and ready to go for when SHTF. In a disaster, you don’t want to think about how you need to pack a bug out bag and then bug out. It needs to already be prepped.

This is the ultimate guide on how to build the perfect bug out bag.

The Perfect Bugout Vehicle
By Creek Stewart

Another one by Creek Stewart. He lays out an entire guide for your bug-out vehicle. What makes a good bug out vehicle. Essential supplies for it. Everything you need.

Tools For Survival: What You Need to Survive When You’re on Your Own
By James Wesley Rawles

This book contains all the tools and gadgets you know and love. And some you don’t know. The author does a good job describing each tools abilities, uses, and functions.

Survival Mindset and Psychology

This category features the best survival books for your mindset. Mindset is everything.

Deep Survival
By Laurence Gonzales

This book was surprisingly good. The author talks about the mindset of survival in interesting ways.

The stories he talks about are powerful.

If you want to go deep into the topic of this mindset, this book is a good choice.

survival mindset

Home Security and Fortification

Defend your home. Defend your domain. There’s no place like home right. Well, I got a better phrase. There’s no place that will make you wish you never tried to. rob like a preppers home. Here are the best home security books to turn your house into Fort Knox.

The Preppers Pocket Guide
By Bernie Carr

This little book is an information powerhouse for protecting your house. You can never have enough home security.

You can never prepare your too much for the hurricane that’s bound to come in hurricane season.

This little book gives you 101 easy things you can do to make sure your home is ready for when disaster strikes.

the preppers pocket guide

DIY Projects and Building Skills

Learning and developing DIY skills is one of the day to day skills you’ll be using if you’re not already. Especially if you’re a homesteader or live off the grid. Here are some of the best DIY books to help develop your building skills.

52 Prepper Projects
By David Nash

Need some projects to do so you can hone your DIY skills?

David lays out 52 projects that are perfect for preppers to do. Each of them will enhance your preparation for future emergencies so you’ll be ready to build things that will help you.

Doomsday Preparedness

Whether you believe it or not. Doomsday will occur at some point. The apocalypse is inevitable. Should you take it seriously? Some do, some don’t. I suppose it’s a matter of preference and whether or not you believe it’s coming.

Will it be a zombie apocalypse? Most likely not. But what about an AI apocalypse? Now that it actually likely to happen.

Prepping for an event like this might not be the first event to prepare for. But it’s always in the back of my mind of when will it happen. Below are some books that have been reviewed by man as some of the better doomsday preparation books.

When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need To Survive When Disaster Strikes
By Cody Lundin

This book does a good job at helping you prep for when disaster strikes.

It gets into the nuts and bolts of

  • here’s what the disaster is going to do
  • here’s what you should do
  • here’s what to get
  • now do it before it happens.
when all hell breaks loose

Surviving Doomsday
By Richard Duarte

This book will teach you how to survive doomsday.

It also teaches you how to survive an urban disaster for those that want more “practical” information. 

surviving doomsday

Doomsday Preppers Complete Survival Manual: Expert Tips for Surviving Calamity, Catastrophe, and the End of the World
By Michael Sweeney

From the Doomsday Preppers themselves, this book is the complete survival manual for surviving catastrophe and the end of the world.

complete survival manual doomsday preppers

The Zombie Survival Guide
By Max Brooks

I’ve seen things in my life that I thought I would never see. So I’ve learned to be a little more… open-minded.

So I’m including this book for that reason. Plus, it’s a fun read and you can apply the advice to other areas as well. And if the zombies do come, we’ll be able to kill them like Darrel in The Walking Dead.

Survival: A Preppers Guide to Life after the Crash
By Barnie Carr

This book goes into depth on how to survive after a crash. When SHTF and you need a gameplan on what to do next, this is the guide for you.

Financial Collapse Survival and Preparedness

I remember clearly as many do when the economy collapsed in 2008-2009. Make no mistake, it was a period of survival. The books in this category give solid financial advice on how to prepare, survive, and thrive in a financial and economic emergency.

The Penny Pinching Prepper
By Bernie Carr

This is a great little guide for every prepper.

It’s a simple guide on how to be more efficient with your dollars. Practical tips and tricks on how to save a little more while getting a little more.

the penny pinching prepper

The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse
By Fernando

Much of the survival advice out there is outdated and not relevant for today’s world. This book is all about surviving in the modern world.

The author covers what he says are essentials for surviving an economic collapse. This information is based on real first-hand experience and reality.

Military, Stealth, and Spy

If any demographic knows how to survive, it’s the branches of the military. Learn hardcore and advanced survival strategies from elite warriors in the military. Their books are below.

Survive Like a Spy
By Jason Hanson

Want to be able to have the survival abilities of a spy? This book is for you.

Spy Secrets That Can Save Your Life: A Former CIA Officer Reveals Safety and Survival Techniques to Keep You and Your Family Protected
By Jason Hanson

Another one written by Jason Hanson on the survival skills of a spy.

Ultimate Guide To U.S. Army Survival
By Jay McCullogh

This is a thick text. It is truly an ultimate guide for survivalists. The Army uses sophisticated techniques and tactics to survive the most dangerous conditions and scenarios a man could face.

The Lost Ways: Spy Secrets That Could Save Your Life
By Brian Wilds

These spy secrets can save you in an emergency situation one day.

100 Deadly Skills
By Clint Emerson

What if you could survive like one the most skilled military units in the world? You get 100 lethal skills and abilities laid out in detail on surviving the worst and most dangerous survival situations a person could be in.

When it comes to protecting yourself against attackers or being kidnapped by terrorists, this book nails it.

100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition
By Clint Emerson

This book by Clint gives you another 100 survival skills to survive the most dangerous scenarios a man could be in.

I listed both of these books by Clint because they’re both excellent guides on separate skills.

Not many people are able to teach you how to survive as a Navy Seal could.

Survival lessons and skills taught by Navy Seals aren’t going to be. in the next book on “how to survive stuff”. It’s like being taught how to box by Muhammed Ali.

The U.S. Navy Seal Survival Handbook
By Don Mann & Ralph Pezzullo

Learn how to survive like one of the most elite tactical units in the country, if not the world.

This survival handbook gives you techniques and strategies from one of America’s most elite warriors, a Navy Seal.

Urban Survival

Surviving on the streets of this country is no easy task these days. With overcrowded cities and rampant crime every day. Knowing how to defend yourself against potential threats is essential. This category features the top books on self-defense to Gray Man tactics so you can defend yourself against possible urban threats.

Urban Survival Guide
By Outdoor life

The urban survival guide from Outdoor Life is a list of the top urban survival skills.

If you want to improve your skills and abilities to thrive in urban environments, this guide is for you.

SAS Urban Survival Handbook
By John “Lofty” Wiseman

This is a handbook that covers all aspects of what you need to survive in everyday life. Defending yourself. How to avoid conflicts and potential threats in urban environments.

It also tells you how to:

  • protect yourself from terrorists
  • Fire emergencies
  • safety hazards
  • Natural disasters
  • home invasions

Urban Emergency Survival Plan
By Jim Cobb

Do you have a detailed plan for when you have an emergency?  Do you have a get home bag?

Can you navigate back home if the grid goes down?

This is a full emergency plan for when disaster strikes in your neighborhood.

Gray Man
By Matthew Dermody

What if you could exist amongst the public unseen and unnoticed?

Making yourself nearly immune to being targeted for an attack or dangerous threat. A gray man is someone with certain skills and abilities that allow them to blend in with the crowd.

To not be noticed. This allows them to be targetless for potential threats and attacks. This book is on the art of being invisible.

gray man book

Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide
By Jim Cobb

This book is for the prepper that wants to prepare and survive for the long term. Not just for the next power outage.

There are short term survival strategies and long term. Both have separate goals and agendas.

But surviving in the long term is more difficult as it requires sustainable action and behaviors over a long period of time.

preppers long term survival guide

Knots, Rope, and Paracord

best paracord rope knots books

This category will teach you the ropes of using cordage for survival. There are dozens of different knots for outdoor lifestyles like bushcraft and camping to climbing and sailing. Knowing how to tie the right knot for the situation is one of the best skills to learn.

The Pocket Guide To Prepper Knots
By Patty Hahne

Need to learn how to tie the most essential knots for your survival? This guide covers how to tie the knots that preppers use the most.

pocket guide to prepper knots

Game Hunting and Fishing

Hunting is a skill that crucial to learn and develop as a survivalist. In the wild, off the grid, walking into a grocery store and picking up any canned food you want isn’t exactly convenient. Knowing how to trap, hunt, and cook wild game is as primitive as it gets.

Get the best guides on how to hunt your own food in this section.

The Complete Guide to Hunting Butchering and Cooking Wild Game
By Steven Rinella

This is a gold mine for game hunters and meat-eaters. It’s an in-depth instructional blueprint on how to butcher and cook wild game right after landing a heart shot.

Homesteading, Self-Sufficiency, and Simple Living

These books will make you more self-sufficient in your everyday life. Becoming more self-sufficient living off the grid is a daily practice—you can always improve in these areas. 

Forgotten Skills of Self-Sufficiency
By Caleb Warnock

The Forgotten Skills of Self-Sufficiency that were used by Mormon Pioneers are some of the best lessons on self-reliance out there.

Back To Basics: A Complete Guide To Traditional Skills
By Abigail R. Gehring

The basics and fundamentals often yield the best results. This is the go-to book for bringing back the basics with traditional living skills and tips.

Gardening and Farming

Being able to grow your own food and sustain a farm over the long run are invaluable skills preppers can develop.

Many of us are homesteaders and self-sustaining individuals. This section has great books on how to grow your own food for either emergencies or everyday use. As well as how to grow a farm successfully.

The Mini Farming Bible: The Complete Guide to Self-Sufficiency on ¼ Acre
By Brett L. Markham

Become self-sufficient and have a farm on just 1/4 acre. This book will be your guide on how to do so.

It covers many different skills and areas of interest that you’ll need to successfully live more sufficiently.

How Not To Kill
By Veronica Peerless

Not only do we need survival skills to keep us alive, but we need the skills to help other organisms survive as well.

Keeping our gardens and plants alive to grow with abundance is no easy task. This guide tells you how to make it look easy.

Camping and Backpacking

Most of us love the outdoors. Being out in nature, off the grid. It’s hard to describe the feeling of serenity, peace, and calmness you achieve being out in nature. So, of course, we cover outdoors activities like camping, backpacking, and mountaineering.

Wilderness Camping Hiking
By Paul Tawrell

This book is more than just a book.

This is one of the densest books in this entire library. There is a massive amount of information on every page. It would take a long time to go through.

I think it’s one of the best books to buy to use for reference for practically anything you would want to accomplish in terms of camping and wilderness survival.

The Camping Logbook
By Peter Pauper Press

For the camping enthusiast, the Camping Logbook is one of the essential manuals that every serious camper should have.

Popular amongst campers and backpackers, and for good reason.


Blacksmithing is one of the best skills you could learn to become more self-reliant.

It’s one of the oldest professions and skillsets there is. It’s tried and true. Blacksmiths have been around for a long time and are still alive today, working the same way it’s always been done with little change to it. Because it works.

There’s not many books that you need to have to work on becoming a blacksmith. Only one or two of the top ones. Here is one of the best blacksmithing books.

Practical Blacksmithing
By M.T. Richardson

This is a dense book with over 1,000 illustrations inside. If you want to know every nut and bolt of blacksmithing, look no further.

Food Preparation, Preserving, and Cooking

Knowing what foods to prepare and which ones to preserve are important to know to prepare for short or long-term disasters. Mostly short term grid-down type of emergencies.

I always keep certain foods preserved for when there is a hurricane because I know the power will be out for anywhere from two to fourteen days usually.

Many of the foods you want to keep in mind are the “heat-and-eat” type. This category lists the top books on how to cook, what to cook, and preservation methods.

A Guide To Canning, Freezing, Curing, and Smoking Meat, Fish, and Game Meat
By Wilbur F. Eastman Jr.

This is a complete guide for how to can, freeze, smoke, and cure your game meat. If you’re a hunter, preserving your game meat is essential to do.

The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals
By Tess Pennington

This is the ultimate cookbook for preppers.

We want to have a. consistent stockpile of emergency food for when SHTF. So this resource is perfect for finding easy, tasty recipes that are for that very purpose.

Food Storage: Preserving Meat Dairy, and Eggs
By Susan Gregersen

To create a stockpile of food that would last us a year requires some food preservation skills. Unless you’re fine with eating crackers for a year, you’ll have to learn some food preservation techniques. This is a good guide on just that.

The book teaches you how to preserve:

  • Meat
  • Dairy
  • Eggs
  • Canning
  • Dehydrating
  • freezing
  • Bringing
  • Pickling
  • Fermenting

Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
By Judi Kingry and Lauren Devine

This book has become the bible for home preserving.

There are numerous benefits for canning and preserving, this book will show you how to do it the right way. In ways that allow your food to retain the majority of their nutritional value and overall quality

The Prepper’s Canning Guide
By Daisy Luther

Canning is one of the essential food preservation skills to master as a prepper. This book is your ticket to do so.

We all need a stockpile of food and water for when disaster strikes or SHTF, Canning is the method to use to preserve that food.

For Kids

The earlier in life you start to learn the subjects of survival and preparedness, the better. Just as with any other skill. Kids that start to learn basic prepping is beneficial in many ways. They learn the value of every piece of equipment. They learn how to handle their finances better.

Ultimate Survival Guide For Kids
By Rob Colson

This book is one of the few complete survival guides for the younger crowd. If you want one book that covers most areas in survival and preparedness, this is a good option.

Survivor Kid: A Practical Guide To Wilderness Survival
By Denise Long

This book is for the adventurous kind that loves the outdoors.

The fact is, anyone can get lost while on a fun camping trip.

The Survivor Kid teaches young outdoorsman useful survival skills for the outdoors.

survivor Kid

Be Prepared
By Vera Brosgol

This book is a story about a girl named Vera.

All Vera wants to do is fit in, but it’s not so simple for her.

She found a place to fit in but it’s not exactly what she had imagined.

It’s a story full of survival lessons a young girl learned, Survival lessons from Russian history, and outhouses.

be prepared survival kids book

Tom Browns Field Guide For Children
By Tom Brown

This book is the handbook for teachers and parents to teach their children wilderness survival skills. You’ll be able to teach them:

  • Lost-proofing children
  • Stalking and tracking
  • Finding water and food in nature
  • Safety and first aid
  • Observing and identifying animals and plants
tom brown children kids survival

Ultimate Explorer Guide For Kids
By Justin Miles

The Ultimate Explorer Guide For Kids is packed with survival tips and tricks to help kids learn the art of self-reliance and outdoor survival.

The Worst-Case Scenario
By Joshua Piven and David Borgenicht

This book is hilarious. If you want to learn how to survive the most extreme survival scenarios and have a good laugh while doing it, get this book.

Sheep No More:
By Jonathan Gillam

I found myself picking this book up and not being able to put it down until I finished it.

Mountaineering Books

Mountaineers hands down, have some of the best mindsets for survival I’ve ever come across. I highly recommend you watch a couple documentaries of the best Mountaineers in the world like Alex Honnold.

At The Mercy Of The Mountains
By Peter Bronski

This book contains some of the best stories of survival on the mountain cliffs.

Survival Shelters

Shelter is one of the main pillars for survival and it’s in the survival rule of threes. These books are the best for learning how to build your own DIY survival shelters in any environment.

Want to learn how to build nearly how outdoor shelter? This is the complete handbook on building DIY shelters.

Shelters Shacks and Shanties and How To Make Them
By D.C. Beard

Looking for a simple straight forward manual on how to build shelters? This is the guide to get.


One of the more overlooked by so important categories in the survival world.

Prepper’s Communication Handbook: Lifesaving Strategies for Staying in Contact During and After a Disaster
By Jim Cobb

Communication is a category of survival that is more overlooked than most other topics. But do you have a plan for how you’re going to communicate with your family and friends after a disaster?

Most don’t have a plan. This book will guide you through what you need to do. 

Non-Fiction Survival Stories

Stories are powerful. Good ones anyway. A powerful story can teach you more than any other form of content can. A story can punch you in the gut.

The Dark Places
By Outside Magazine

the dark places book review

Have you heard any unsolved mysteries about wilderness survival? A book titled “The Darkest Places” hit the shelves. not long ago.

If you’re into unbelievable survival stories about the wilderness, this is the book for you. Written by the behemoth-sized magazine publisher, “Outside”.

The book is about wilderness unsolved mysteries’ true crimes and disaster. The book is broken up into three sections.

  • Mysteries
  • Strange Phenomena
  • Wild Crimes

So if you like true stories about wilderness survival. Spark your imagination and twist your sense of safety in the outdoor environment…This book will be a good fit. Add the book to your survival library under the best survival stories section.

Fiction Survival

Do you like fiction survival stories? These are some of the best survival stories we’ve read. 

Wastelands: The New Apocalypse
By John Joseph Adams

The apocalyptic cover of the book caught my eye wandering through Barnes and Noble. I recognized the name as I enjoyed the first book is the series. I picked it up and took a seat.

The Apocalypse is here. The New Apocalypse is the third edition to the Wastelands series.

The book was edited by John Joseph Adams who is one of the most impressive writers of these types of books.

Survival Youtube Channels

Did I mention that the survival library covered more than just physical books? Yes, we give you some good recommendations on the best survival video content as well.

We have an entire guide where we talk about the best survival videos. Including bushcraft and primitive technology. Check out the guide on the best survival youtube channels.

Importance of a Physical Library

First, you should know the importance of building your library. The importance of a physical library and not digital.

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 pay dividends for our future survival.

“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.


Are we saying you should get every single book in this library? No, you don’t have to.

You should get the books you want, and we recommend you get the books that you need the most, depending on the specific events you should be prepared for. The emergencies, disasters, and tragedies that may have happened to you previously. Make sure they don’t happen again.

We hope survival library helped you pick out some of the best survival and prepper books. You may also want to see our guide on the best survival magazines.

survival library
The Ultimate Survival Library for Preppers. It contains the best survival books across nearly every category of survival and preparedness.