Recommended Survival Books & Guides

It has become very convenient, in the modern era we live in, to be able to access literature and information in an electronic format. Audiobooks, e-books, and YouTube tutorials can be helpful when you have the means to access the content. However, us survivalists and preppers know that when electricity goes down and civilization collapses there will be no way to power your device. To get information that could save your life in a survival situation, you’re going to need to have a corpus of physical information— that means printed material; books. That’s why I’m going to recommend 10 books on survival. I’ve compiled here the 10 best survival books, chock full of vital and important survival tips that you’re going to want on you when the lights go out and the chaos begins.


#1: Survival Guide: Learn to Survive Like a Mountain Man: Hunting, Fishing, Trapping + Complete Survival Medicine Book by Edward Bowman & Mike Healler

For starters, let’s look at a simple and comprehensive survival manual. This work is a comprehensive guide that I would recommend to everyone, but it is mostly for beginners. It contains a lot of information that is incredibly useful for survival and apocalyptic scenarios but only covers just the basics of these situations, not really having the time and space within one singular book to cover all of the nuances that come with the territory. For what it sets out to accomplish, it does survivalism a lot of justice. In this book, you’ll learn the basics of fishing, hunting, food preparing, foraging and other survival skills and tips that cover nearly the whole necessary corpus of prepping and survivalism.


#2: Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival by Dave Canterbury

Survivalist Dave Canterbury brings us Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival. In all genuine honesty, if you know the skills related to the art of bushctraft, you can create shelter and thrive in almost any situation that life throws at you- including an apocalyptic one . With real bushcraft skills and survival tips (which require practice as well as reading the book carefully and with dedication) one can create a shelter in an survival situation that isn’t just a temporary place to live- with low quality of living- one can create a place that has the capability of becoming a real home.

Bushcraft is the art of bare bones survivalism. And Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival is the bear bones of bushcraft. The skills presented in the work are useful regardless of their implications for survival scenarios, as well. Therefore, this is a book that every doomsday prepper and / or survivalist needs on their bookshelf ASAP.


#3: The Handbook of Medicinal Herbs by James A. Duke

What happens when the antibiotics run out? Disaster ensues. Simple infections, colds, and influenza not only run rampant, but kill people. In essence, humanity is returned to an era before modern medicine- before the discovery of penicillin and the mass manufacturing of antibiotics. So then, we must do what those who came before us did- harvest herbs for their medicinal purposes. However, harvesting herbs is not an easy thing to understand, and can be an incredibly complicated science. Luckily, this handbook is a comprehensive guide to not only understanding what specific medicinal herbs do and how they do it, but also how to utilize them in a medical situation.

If you have any basic gardening skills, combining an already existing knowledge with this knowledge of herbal medicine can be a regular boon to a survival situation with a family or a small settlement people. No matter what, herbalism is a skill that every survivalist needs to cultivate. The author of the book, James A. Duke was an incredibly influential American botanist who essentially made the rules of the game when it comes to medicinal botany. In this case, you know that the information that you’re getting about the medicinal herbs that you need is coming from a good and reliable source. When it comes to medicine, herbal or otherwise, the quality of information that you’re getting and the intellectual veracity of what it contains is a matter of life and death.


#4: DIY Makeshift Weapons For Survival: The Definitive Beginner’s Guide On How To Build Improvised Weapons At Home Or In The Wild For Hunting and Self-Defense In A Survival Situation by Ronald Williams

DIY Makeshift Weapons For Survival: The Definitive Beginner’s Guide On How To Build Improvised Weapons At Home Or In The Wild For Hunting and Self-Defense In A Survival Situation is a book by an accomplished outdoorsman and survivalist author Ronald Williams. Contained within is information on how to craft and utilize makeshift weapons in a survival / apocalyptic scenario.

We’re all well aware that weapons are important in any survival situation. Without these weapons you cannot hunt and you cannot defend yourself. However, weapons degrade over time. Even the most reliable gun that undergoes frequent cleaning and repairs is going to break down over time. To account for this, you’re going to need to know how to make weapons completely from scratch or from whatever materials happened to be lying around in the area. This piece of literature will help you accomplish that and give you the information necessary relating to the skill of making weapons when you absolutely need to.

This book writes from the perspective of someone who does not even remotely know the first thing about makeshift by the crafting, so it is absolutely perfect if you’re a beginner yourself. However, this definitely doesn’t cheapen the information contained within the book, and you can, in fact, expect to learn a lot even as an experienced survivalist. Ronald Williams takes creativity, ingenuity, and common sense, and combines them all in a practical and interesting guide to creating makeshift weapons. Beginners and veterans both need this book to be prepared for survival situation.


#5: Food Storage for Self-Sufficiency and Survival: The Essential Guide for Family Preparedness by Angela Paskett

This one has to do with the food you’re going to get from all the weapons you craft. Food Storage for Self-Sufficiency and Survival: The Essential Guide for Family Preparedness is a book by influential survival blogger and podcaster Angela Paskett. I think we all know it’s important that we store food in a way that is safe and sustainable for long-term survival. However, the nuances of storing food in a survival or apocalyptic situation are quite complex.

Without electricity, how do we keep our food prepared and safe? We can’t rely on the refrigerator anymore. We need to start tanning, pickling, drying, smoking, etc. Without food you die; it’s as simple as that. And this book is as simple as opening it up and studying it. Focusing not just on caloric intake, this food preparedness book shows that survivalists also need to focus on nutrition just as much. Making sure that, even though you’re in a really tough situation that requires really tough decision making, you’re still getting the proper balanced amount of fat, protein, fiber, etc (not to mention, vitamins) that you need to survive and thrive, is imperative. Just because you’re in a dangerous situation doesn’t mean that you can start becoming sleep deprived (which will do you more harm in the long run).

In just the same way, just because food has now become a valuable commodity that is incredibly hard to come by, you cannot let your nutrition suffer as a result. Another excellent thing that this book brings to the table is its focus on family. Having this book on hand when the lights of civilization go down will help not just you, but your loved ones as well. In all these regards, it is one of the best survival books on the market.


#6: The Bushcraft Field Guide to Trapping, Gathering, and Cooking in the Wild by Dave Canterbury

On the subject of food, let’s take a look at another work by prolific frontiersman Dave Canterbury. A sort of spiritual successor to Bushcraft 101, The Bushcraft Field Guide to Trapping, Gathering, and Cooking in the Wild is a work covering survivalist hunting, fishing, trapping and other important food gathering skills. You want to pick this book up if you’ve already mastered the basics of bushcraft survivalism and are are looking for the bushcraft method of gathering food. Particularly of interest are that trapping skills that are employed by Bushcraft survivalists.


#7: The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way by Joseph Alton

In a survival situation, when you’re injured, help won’t be coming. That’s why this book is essential. A medical guide for any disaster scenario awaits you when you pop this work open. The author of the book, Joseph Alton, has a medical degree and runs a survival website. The marriage of his M.D certification and knowledge with his passion for survivalism create a body of work that shows that even in a situation when medical attention is non-existent, your skills can save yourself or your family. The work covers a vast amount of medical scenarios from lacerations to infections to appendicitis. It even covers the very likely scenario of mental health issues such as anxiety and depression cropping up. Overall, this book is a definite recommendation.


#8: The Zombie Survival Guide by Max Brooks

Okay, don’t click away from the article now. Yes, it is a silly book that was really only meant as a promotional work for World War Z, but the information that you can clean from some of the parts inside could really be incredibly useful. It is true that good proportion of the book is set out to explain the mythology of the zombies in Max Brooks’ other work, offering no useful advice, but some of the advice inside could also be applied to situations involving hostile human beings.

A lot of the survival tips presented are quite universal in their application. If you have a younger person in your family who you want to get into survivalism, this book might just be the perfect gift for them. And who knows? Maybe the apocalypse will truly end up being zombie related. Never say never. In all seriousness, however, the work is also an entertaining read in addition to the surprising applications of the tips.


#9: Survive ANYTHING: The Ultimate Prepping and Survival Guide to Perfect Your Survival Skills and Survive ANY Disaster, ANYWHERE in the World! by Beau Griffin

Beau Griffin, an avid camper, woodsman, and prepper, writes out a comprehensive and relatively easy to read compendium of survival information that covers a myriad of possible disaster scenarios. The book is written in the mindset of someone who is new to, but very serious about prepping. Must-have if that sounds like you.


#10. When The Grid Goes Down, Disaster Preparations and Survival Gear For Making Your Home Self-Reliant

When The Grid Goes Down, Disaster Preparations and Survival Gear For Making Your Home Self-Reliant is a book by Tony Nester, a survivalist who has been active since the late ’80s, teaching people survival skills professionally. He also served as a consultant for the movie Into the Wild! Aside from his prestigious career, he is also a rather illuminating author when it comes to the subject of prepping your home. Within this book, you’ll find all of the necessary information on how to prep your home. This includes what equipment to buy for what purposes as well as how to install said equipment and how to keep it active when, as the title suggests, the grid goes down.