Top 10 Must-Read Survival Books

survival books in a bookshelf in a log cabin

Readers are leaders. And studying informative survival books is a great way to prepare in advance for a crisis. 

So here are the top 10 books every survivalist and prepper can learn from. 

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting out, this list will help you find the best books to add to your collection. From wilderness survival to first aid, you’ll discover books that cover all aspects of emergency preparedness.

Now let’s explore the must-have books for your survival library.

Check out the top 10 survival books to stay prepared in an emergency.

1. The SAS Survival Handbook by John Wiseman

The SAS Survival Handbook, written by former SAS soldier John “Lofty” Wiseman is considered one of the definitive guides to wilderness survival.

The book covers topics like how to find and purify water, build shelters, start fires, navigate various terrains, and forage for food.

It also provides guidance on how to deal with medical emergencies, self-defense, and emergency signaling.

SAS Survival Guide comes highly praised for its practical advice, step-by-step instructions, and focus on mental preparedness and staying calm during difficult situations. With its comprehensive coverage, the SAS Survival Handbook is a valuable resource for anyone interested in wilderness survival.

TLDR: Reading the SAS Survival Handbook by John Wiseman can provide readers with a wealth of knowledge and practical skills that can be invaluable in emergency situations. By reading this book, individuals can gain the knowledge and skills needed to survive in the wild and other challenging environments.

Reading the SAS Survival Handbook can be a life-changing experience, providing readers with valuable knowledge and skills that can make all the difference in emergencies. 

2. Primitive Skills and Crafts: An Outdoorsman’s Guide to Shelters, Tools, Weapons, Tracking, Survival, and More by Linda Jamison and Richard Jamison

Primitive Skills and Crafts: An Outdoorsman’s Guide to Shelters, Tools, Weapons, Tracking, Survival, and More by Linda Jamison and Richard Jamison is all about building your primitive survival skills.

This survival book walks readers through everything from building shelters and creating fire to making tools and weapons. It also includes information on tracking and foraging for food in the wild. The authors provide step-by-step instructions and illustrations to help readers master these essential survival skills. When SHTF, you’ll be glad you have this invaluable resource on primitive living and survival.

TLDR: With a wealth of information on shelters, tools, weapons, tracking, and survival, this book is a must-read for anyone looking to enhance their outdoor experiences. 

3. The Survival Medicine Handbook by Joseph Alton, MD and Amy Alton

The Survival Medicine Handbook by Joseph Alton, MD and Amy Alton is a comprehensive guide to medical preparedness in times of trouble.

The book covers over 300 topics,  is packed with detailed illustrations, and is an essential guide for anyone looking to become a medical asset and provide medical care for loved ones when SHTF.

The 4th edition of the book includes principles of medical preparedness, becoming a medical asset, medical supplies, and much more. This handbook is a valuable resource for anyone wanting to learn how to provide medical treatment when help is not available.

This book is written by two premiere Medical Preparedness Professionals and is based on their years of experience as medical professionals and survival experts. This book covers just about every situation the family medic will encounter in times of trouble. Offering practical and proven methods to deal with medical emergencies when traditional medical care is unavailable. Whether you are planning a wilderness adventure or preparing for a natural disaster, The Survival Medicine Handbook is a must-read. 

TLDR: The Survival Medicine Handbook by Joseph Alton MD is an essential guide for anyone interested in being medically prepared for any disaster where help is NOT on the way.

4. Preppers Long-Term Survival Guide by Jim Cobb

Preppers Long-Term Survival Guide by Jim Cobb is an essential guidebook for people who want to be prepared for long-term survival situations. The book is a comprehensive survival manual about how to prepare for long-term disasters, including food and water storage, first aid, and self-defense.

The author, Jim Cobb, is a well-known survival expert who has been involved in emergency preparedness for over 30 years. The book is written in a clear and concise manner and offers practical advice on how to survive in a variety of scenarios. Readers will appreciate the author’s no-nonsense approach which makes the book easy to follow. Plus, the checklists provided in the book are particularly helpful for readers who want to take a practical approach to emergency preparedness.

Overall, Preppers Long-Term Survival Guide is an excellent resource for anyone who wants to be prepared for a long-term survival situation if the world as they know it goes south.

TLDR: Jim Cobb, who has been involved with emergency preparedness for about 30 years, is a highly respected authority on the subject. His latest book offers a balanced, informed look at long-term preparedness. If you’re new to preparedness, this book is an excellent resource to help you get started.

5. 100 Deadly Skills by Clint Emerson

100 Deadly Skills is a survival guide written by Clint Emerson, a retired Navy SEAL. The book is aimed at teaching readers how to evade danger, escape captivity, and survive in various dangerous situations.

The guide is divided into different sections that cover a wide range of topics, from combat skills to cybersecurity, and situational awareness.

In each section, Emerson provides step-by-step instructions on various survival techniques, including self-defense, making improvised weapons, and obtaining food and water. The book is filled with illustrations, photographs, and diagrams to make it easier for readers to understand and apply the techniques. 

If you are interested in learning how to survive in dangerous situations, then 100 Deadly Skills by Clint Emerson is a book you should definitely consider reading. This hands-on, practical survival guide is adapted from actual special forces operations and is written by a retired Navy SEAL.

TLDR: If you are looking for a comprehensive guide to self-defense, survival, and emergency preparedness, then 100 Deadly Skills is a book you won’t want to miss. The book covers a range of topics from eluding pursuers to evading capture, and surviving any dangerous situation.

6. Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag by Creek Stewart

Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag by Creek Stewart provides readers with everything they need to know about building the perfect bug out bag.

Survival expert Creek Stewart outlines all the essentials required for 72 hours of independent survival, including water, food, protection, shelter, and survival tools. The book includes a complete bug out bag checklist that tells you exactly what to pack based on your survival skill level. 

Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag is an essential guidebook for anyone interested in disaster preparedness. This book is an excellent resource for those who want to learn how to create a self-contained disaster preparedness kit to help them survive their journey from ground zero to a safer location.

TLDR: This is an all-in-one guidebook that provides everything you need to gather for 72 hours of independent survival, including water, food, protection, shelter, survival tools, and more. Overall, Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag by Creek Stewart deserves a place in every survival library and I highly recommend picking up a copy.

7. Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why, written by Laurence Gonzales, explores the psychology of survival through the lens of real-life survival stories.

Gonzales examines various catastrophic events, such as plane crashes and shipwrecks, to find common threads between those who survive and those who perish. He highlights the importance of preparation, situational awareness, and resilience in the face of extreme adversity.

Through gripping anecdotes and expert analysis, Deep Survival offers practical guidance for anyone seeking to navigate life-threatening situations. It is a must-read for anyone interested in survival psychology or outdoor adventure.

8. Hawke’s Green Beret Survival Manual by Mykel Hawke

Hawke’s Green Beret Survival Manual by Mykel Hawke is a guide to surviving in the wilderness. Geared towards the untrained civilian, the book covers essential information on shelter, water, fire, food, survival psychology, first aid, tools, navigation, signaling, and basic natural phenomena.

Hawke provides easy-to-apply strategies that give the reader the tools necessary to survive in any imaginable circumstance and make it out alive. This book is essential for anyone who wants to learn how to survive in the wild, and its practical tips and advice make it a valuable resource for novice and experienced outdoor enthusiasts.

9. Advanced Bushcraft by Dave Canterbury

Advanced Bushcraft by Dave Canterbury is a valuable guide for those who want to learn how to survive in the backcountry with little or no equipment. It goes beyond bushcraft basics to teach advanced woodcraft and wilderness survival techniques.

The book is a follow-up to Canterbury’s previous work, Bushcraft 101, and provides readers with more in-depth knowledge and skills to immerse themselves in the wilderness fully. The author is an experienced survivalist and the co-owner of the Pathfinder School, which has been recognized as one of the top survival schools in the United States.

The book is packed with useful information, including tips on how to make tools, shelter, and fire in the wilderness, as well as how to find food and water sources. Advanced Bushcraft is a must-read for anyone who wants to develop their wilderness survival skills beyond the basics.

10. The Bushcraft Field Guide to Trapping, Gathering, and Cooking in the Wild by Dave Canterbury

The Bushcraft Field Guide to Trapping, Gathering, and Cooking in the Wild by Dave Canterbury is a comprehensive guide to wilderness survival skills. This book covers everything from trapping and hunting to foraging and cooking in the wild.

With detailed illustrations and full-color photos of edible plants, this guide is a must-have for anyone looking to immerse themselves in the great outdoors. Canterbury provides practical advice for gathering food and making fire, as well as expert tips on trapping game and cooking with limited resources.

Whether you are an experienced bushcrafter or a beginner, The Bushcraft Field Guide to Trapping, Gathering, and Cooking in the Wild is an essential resource for anyone who wants to master the art of wilderness survival.

Bonus Recommendation: Pocket Bible

While not a traditional survival book recommendation, keeping a copy of the Bible with you can provide spiritual comfort and guidance in times of crisis. The Bible offers wisdom and encouragement on topics such as perseverance, trust, and hope in the face of adversity. It can also serve as a source of comfort and solace during difficult times.

Furthermore, the Bible contains stories of individuals who faced challenging situations and relied on their faith in God to see them through. This can serve as inspiration and motivation for preppers and survivalists who may face difficult and uncertain circumstances.

Pocket Bibles have several benefits that make them valuable to anyone’s collection. First and foremost, they are incredibly portable and convenient. Pocket Bibles are designed to be small and lightweight, making them easy to carry around wherever you go. This means you can always have access to the Word of God, whether you’re on a bus or waiting for an appointment.

Another benefit of pocket Bibles is that they come in a variety of translations and versions, allowing you to choose one that best suits your needs. They also make great gifts for family and friends, particularly those who are always on the go or who may not have access to a larger Bible.

Pocket Bibles are also ideal for personalizing and marking up with notes and highlighting. You can keep track of your thoughts and insights as you read and study, making it easier to remember important passages and teachings.

In summary, the benefits of a pocket Bible include portability, convenience, a variety of translations and versions, and personalization.

Author

  • Survival Gear Pro

    The Survival Pro is a seasoned survivalist and gear enthusiast who has spent years exploring the great outdoors and honing his survival skills. With a passion for quality gear that can withstand even the toughest conditions, Survival Pro created this site to share his knowledge and experience with fellow outdoor enthusiasts.

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