Prepping is a complicated task. We’re trying to make sure that we are prepared to survive a disaster, without knowing what disaster we are going to face, how severe it will be or how long it will take for society to recover. With the wide range of possibilities that exist, trying to decide exactly what knowledge, equipment and supplies we need is an extremely difficult task.
Fortunately, the task is made somewhat easier by the fact that there is a lot of overlap in the preparations we need to do for various different disaster scenarios. So while there are some things that are specific to certain types of disasters, there are many more which are pretty much common to all disasters.
While stockpiling equipment and supplies is essential to preparedness, it is knowledge that is ultimately the most important. No amount of equipment and supplies will make up for ignorance; but enough knowledge will help you to overcome not having the right equipment and supplies.
With that in mind, I offer the following list of books for your consideration. These are the ones which I have found to be the most helpful in my quest for knowledge about survival.
When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff you need to Survive When Disaster Strikes – by Cody Lundin
This is probably the best starting place there is for learning about survival. Cody lundin is a long-time survivalist and he does an excellent job of laying out all the basic knowledge you need, in order to know how to survive. A rather lengthy book, compared to most of what you’ll find in the preparedness market, it packs in a lot of useful information.
Bushcraft 101: A field guide to the art of wilderness survival – by Dave Canterbury
There are a lot of books around that talk about urban survival, but few that get into the fine details of wilderness survival to the depth that this book does. You’ll walk away from reading this book thinking you need to go back to the Boy Scouts and start over. There’s absolutely no way that you can learn everything it includes, in one read through. This will become a reference you’ll use over and over again.
Advanced Bushcraft: An expert field guide to the art of wilderness survival – by Dave Canterbury
This book picks up where Bushcarft 101 leaves off, giving you more information than ever before. A best seller, with over 1 million copies sold, Advanced Bushcraft will greatly increase your survival skillset. The book covers critical survival skills, including, herbal medicines, tracking game and navigating without a map or compass. This book is actually only for those who already have good bushcraft skills, as the techniques build on those basics.
SAS Survival Handbook, Third Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere – by John “Lofty” Wiesman
This classic survival manual has been used by survivalists for years. It includes both urban and wilderness survival techniques, including surviving terrorist attacks. This third edition has been updated with over 100 new pages, to include the latest in survival knowledge and technology. Covering everything from preparedness to self-defense, this is a very complete book for any prepper’s library.
Where There is No Doctor: A village health care book – by David Werner, Carol Thuman and Jane Maxwell
Originally created for missionaries and volunteer healthcare workers, this in-depth guide provides the layman with enough information to treat a huge variety of diseases, as well as preventative techniques which can be used to help prevent illness. Written in non-medical terms, it can be understood by almost anyone, allowing them to treat those who need help. Millions of copies of this book have been published in more than 75 languages.
The Ultimate Survival Medicine Guide: Emergency Preparedness for Any Disaster – by Joseph & Amy Alton
Doctor Joe and Nurse Amy have updated their original survival medical guide to include new information. This medical guide is designed for the average prepper, without medical training. Unlike Where There is No Doctor, the Alton’s have written this book specifically for those who are preparing to survive a disaster. As such, they give detailed instructions as to what you need and how to use it. This book assumes that you can’t get to a doctor, so gives you information that you’re not likely to find elsewhere.
Edible Wild Plants: Wild Foods from Dirt to Plate – by John Kallas Ph.D.
Probably the most comprehensive book on foraging for food you can find. This book covers plants you can find in all parts of the country, providing you with information you need to have, in order to feed yourself from nature. It eliminates the guesswork as to what is safe to eat and what is not, based on the author’s more than 40 years of experience.
Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on ¼ acre – by Brett Markham
A lot of us talk about gardening to raise enough food to eat, but few of us really know what we’re talking about. In this book, the author gives detailed instructions on how to turn your backyard into a veritable farm, growing more food than your family can consume. A lot of time is spent on dealing with potential problems and explaining how to deal with them.
How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, techniques and technologies for uncertain times – by James Wesley Rawles
This is a good overall survival book for urban survival. The author provides detailed information about how to deal with a wide range of problems; what you’ll need to have to survive and even how to get it. Subjects like water filtration, food storage, power, gardening, communications, bugging out and bartering in the midst of a crisis are all covered in detail. Besides When All Hell Breaks Loose, this is probably the best overall survival book I’ve seen.
So there’s my list. There are a lot of other good survival books out there, but these are the best I’ve seen, providing the most information and written by authors who know what they’re talking about.