The 20 Best Survival Books

Whether you are already a prepper or are hoping to become one, we’ve made a list of the 20 best survival books that will be a valuable addition to your collection. Many of these books have Kindle editions, but you’ll want to have a few books on-hand if the catastrophe you were preparing for really occurs. Who knows how long the power might be out and when you’ll be able to read your ebooks again.

From all-in-one handbooks to guides covering specific stages of preparation, this list consists of everything you’ll need to read to be completely ready for a wide variety of natural disasters, enemy invasions, and doomsday scenarios. Read through the list and pick up any that you don’t have yet.

“Prepper's Long-Term Survival Guide: Food, Shelter, Security, Off-the-Grid Power and More Life-Saving Strategies for Self-Sufficient Living” by Jim Cobb“Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide: Food, Shelter, Security, Off-the-Grid Power and More Life-Saving Strategies for Self-Sufficient Living” by Jim Cobb

One of the bestselling prepper books is the Prepper’s Long-term Survival Guide. It will teach you everything you need to know to prepare your home for any serious catastrophe. Unlike many survival books that offer only short-term solutions, this book will help you survive for months or even years in less than ideal outside conditions. After you read this book, you will know how to collect water, collect and store your food, protect your home, and master crucial first aid techniques when there is no doctor around. You will even learn how to build a new society after a catastrophe.

As you will notice, this book focuses on many different areas in one, making it a great first step for those who’ve just begun their prepping journey.

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“The Prepper's Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do to Ready Your Home for a Disaster” by Bernie Carr“The Prepper’s Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do to Ready Your Home for a Disaster” by Bernie Carr

Another all-in-one book, the Prepper’s Pocket Guide, is another great choice for beginner preppers. However, it can also be used as a convenient checklist for seasoned preppers as it features all the essential stages of prepping. Bear in mind that this book was not created to be an extremely detailed guide. The author’s goal was to provide you with a practical handbook that you can easily carry around with you when you need to double check some information. It will also teach you that you don’t need to spend thousands of dollars when you start with your preparations. As a matter of fact, according to the author, you’ll need less than $10 per week to start prepping right away.

This simple, zero-nonsense handbook covers all the essentials, which is great for those who have only begun to build their ‘survival library’. Some of the 101 headlines featured in the book are: Calculate How Much Water You Need, Start a Food Storage Plan for $5 a Week, Assemble an Inexpensive First Aid Kit, and Learn to Cook Without Electricity.

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“SAS Survival Handbook, Third Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere” by John ‘Lofty’ Wiseman“SAS Survival Handbook, Third Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere” by John ‘Lofty’ Wiseman

Contrary to the books above, the SAS Survival Handbook doesn’t focus primarily on survival in your home. And with thousands of satisfied readers, we won’t exaggerate when we say that this book is one of the crucial picks for any prepper, newbies and experts alike. It will guide you through survival steps for any catastrophic scenario. You will learn what food to eat and where to find it, how to survive when you’re injured, and the detailed steps of preparing medicine in the wilderness.

Furthermore, the book will also guide you through all the stages of making, protecting, and organizing a camp. In the end, you will be equipped with useful self-defense techniques and will be able to survive in any location and climate.

This book is one of the most comprehensive survival guides you can find with 700 pages of crucial information. The topics we mentioned above are just a small part of it and you won’t regret investing your time in going through the book. The third edition also features chapters on urban survival and terrorism. If you are looking to buy only one survival handbook, we believe you won’t miss the mark if you choose this one.

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“52 Prepper Projects: A Project a Week to Help You Prepare for the Unpredictable” by David Nash“52 Prepper Projects: A Project a Week to Help You Prepare for the Unpredictable” by David Nash

This book is another great choice for beginners who don’t want to spend too much money or time on prepping. It features effective and easy ways to become more self-reliant and prepared for a number of situations without breaking the bank. It will teach you why should you be prepared in the first place and some of the things that you shouldn’t overlook.

The book consists of 52 projects, one for each week of the year. Among other topics, you will learn how to stock your pantry, preserve food, make your own tools, grow your garden, and even keep a beehive.

We recommend this book to those who want to invest a little bit of time every week to prepare for anything that comes their way. It’s also a great choice for families who want to work on prepping projects together.

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“The Prepper's Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster” by Tess Pennington“The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster” by Tess Pennington

This is another all-in-one guide that was written to prepare you for a nature-caused or any other catastrophic event. It is a very extensive book made to help your family be ready for any unexpected emergencies. To simplify the process, the author divided it into three main sections.

The first section of the book prepares you for everyday situations with short-term effects, such as injuries, storms, and power outages. The second section will help you in situations with a long-lasting effect. These types of situations include pandemics, an economic collapse, and others. In the third section, you will learn to prepare for a complete change of lifestyle and the “the end of the world” scenario. You will get the necessary knowledge to provide food and water supplies, take care of your security needs, and make long-term plans. This book is a great choice for those who don’t want to only survive but also thrive in a permanently altered world.

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“When the Grid Goes Down:  Disaster Preparations and Survival Gear For Making Your Home Self-Reliant” by Tony Nester“When the Grid Goes Down:  Disaster Preparations and Survival Gear For Making Your Home Self-Reliant” by Tony Nester

The author of this book used field-tested information from real life experiences to collect the most important things you should know and understand for situations of urban crisis. He focuses on both short-term survival as well as preparations for months or even years without electricity and other urban-life comforts.

He will show you how to become more self-sufficient and the critical gear you’ll need along the way. Some of the topics included are water storage and purification methods, alternative water sources, essential food to stock up on, home security, and alternative hygiene methods. Although this book is just one of the all-in-one options out there, what makes it very useful is that it will give you all the information you need in less than 80 pages of content. That makes it a very handy book that that you can take with you on the go.

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“Prepper Supplies Checklist: A Simple Guide to Emergency Preparedness” by Nettie David“Prepper Supplies Checklist: A Simple Guide to Emergency Preparedness” by Nettie David

This book is a bit different than the others on this list because it’s not only a guide but also a workbook. It features illustrations, useful tips, and great ideas for the best survival gear. At the end of each section, you will be able to check boxes of the things you’ve prepared and also get ideas for items you may still need.

The provided checklists are a great way to measure the progress of your readiness for any emergency situation. The checklists will also make sure you don’t forget about anything in your prepping. We believe this book is a great addition to some more detailed and comprehensive handbooks that you’ll want for your collection.

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“Prepper's Natural Medicine: Life-Saving Herbs, Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for When There is No Doctor” by Cat Ellis“Prepper’s Natural Medicine: Life-Saving Herbs, Essential Oils and Natural Remedies for When There is No Doctor” by Cat Ellis

Once you know the basics of every stage of prepping, it’s time to get specific. Although all-in-one guides are a great start, they might not suffice for those who are thirsty for more. For the subject-specific books, we would like to start with Prepper’s Natural Medicine. It is highly likely that it will be nearly impossible to find a doctor in a disastrous scenario, so equipping yourself with the necessary information is of the utmost importance.

This book focuses on natural medicine, so you’ll be able to solve a great number of problems with remedies you can find in nature. The author guides you through a list of essential oils and other beneficial ingredients you should stock up on and also provides detailed instructions for creating your medicine with a sparse number of ingredients.

This book provides solutions for a number of issues, including migraines, infections, broken bones, allergies, and the flu. An added bonus is that learning these treatments will not only help you in a catastrophic scenario, but it is also a great book for anyone who wants to replace traditional medicine with alternative methods now.

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“The Prepper's Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat and Store Your Most Vital Resource” by Daisy Luther“The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat and Store Your Most Vital Resource” by Daisy Luther

We’re used to not having to think about water, but once a catastrophe strikes, this might not be the case anymore. And you probably already know that we can survive for days or even weeks without food, but only three days without water. So, if you are prepping for a catastrophe, the knowledge of how to find and create alternative water supply methods is crucial. This book features more than 200 pages of detailed information on this subject.

The author divided this water survival guide into two main sections. The first is harvesting water and the second is storing water. In the first section, you will learn to collect rainwater, dig a well for groundwater, and purify water from natural sources, such as river and lakes. Afterward, you’ll learn to store great amounts of water in an efficient way so that it stays pure for long periods of time. Additionally, the book covers in great detail the techniques to detect harmful toxins in water and valuable treatment methods for water-related illnesses.

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“Prepper's Total Grid Failure Handbook: Alternative Power, Energy Storage, Low Voltage Appliances and Other Lifesaving Strategies for Self-Sufficient Living” by Alan and Arlene Fiebig“Prepper’s Total Grid Failure Handbook: Alternative Power, Energy Storage, Low Voltage Appliances and Other Lifesaving Strategies for Self-Sufficient Living” by Alan and Arlene Fiebig

It is almost inevitable that a great catastrophe will result in a power outage. This book covers methods for managing power from alternate sources, such as batteries. However, although the batteries you stored might be enough for short-term scenarios, they won’t last forever. That’s why the authors also provides an easy-to-understand approach to creating your own power. You’ll find information about solar panels, wind turbines, and micro-hydro systems.

Naturally, power is not a vital resource for humans. But nowadays, we depend on it more than we’re aware. And also, why would you give up this comfort if you don’t have to? Although you won’t need to give up on it completely, you will probably have to learn to live on limited amounts of electricity in a long-term emergency situation. This is another subject covered in this book as it includes tips on installing high-efficiency LEDs and refrigerators as well as the least power-consuming methods to charge your phone or laptop.

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“Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit” by Creek Stewart“Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit” by Creek Stewart

Although prepping is mostly about taking food and others supplies in your home and to protect it from any possible intruders and disasters, some scenarios might force you to leave your house in a quick manner. Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag describes all you need to pack for more than 3 days of surviving in the wild.

The book consists of a very useful checklist of the things you should prepare along with a few variations based on your current survival skills. Each one of the recommended items comes with a photo and a detailed description. You will also get a list of the best places to purchase your gear and useful exercises that will enable you to use anything in your backpack. Furthermore, the book also lists the specific items you should have for a variety of common disaster scenarios.

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“The Backyard Homestead: Produce All the Food You Need On Just a Quarter Acre!” by Carleen Madigan“The Backyard Homestead: Produce All the Food You Need On Just a Quarter Acre!” by Carleen Madigan

Although this book wasn’t directly made for preppers, it provides comprehensive and extremely useful information for surviving without the ability to purchase food. You will learn to grow and harvest different fruits and vegetables, raise animals for dairy, meat, and eggs, and more. Although extremely detailed, the book is very easy to understand and recommended for all beginners who want to learn the basics of self-sufficient living.

This book is an indispensable guide on growing, processing, storing, and everything else you need to know to survive on the food you can grow in your own backyard. By reading this book and trying out some of the skills mentioned in it, you will be prepared for any economic disaster scenario.

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“Prepper's Home Defense: Security Strategies to Protect Your Family by Any Means Necessary” by Jim Cobb“Prepper’s Home Defense: Security Strategies to Protect Your Family by Any Means Necessary” by Jim Cobb

So, you collected your water, stored your food, learned basic medicinal skills, and are able to create your own power? You now have most of the skills you will need for nearly any disaster scenario. However, when hunger and panic strike, you can also expect a lot of intruders in your home who will try to steal your food or attack your family to get what they need or want.

Although this might seem a bit harsh, you should be prepared for those situations as well. Prepper’s Home Defense pictures a great number of protection skills and physical defense techniques that will allow you to keep your family safe regardless of any uncomfortable situation you encounter.

Some of the topics involved are perimeter security systems, traps, safe rooms, and home fortification. You will also learn to use and weapons and self-defense techniques. In the end, this book also focuses on building alliances with people you can trust as you’re more likely to survive when you’re not completely alone. With more than 200 pages of techniques and advice, this book is the best choice when it comes to strict security strategy and protective measures for nearly any disaster situation.

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“Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival” by Dave Canterbury“Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival” by Dave Canterbury

This is another book not written only for preppers. However, it features a lot of valuable information for surviving in the wild. It will prepare you for situations that force you to leave your home and live in the countryside for longer periods of time. You will get the list of basic tools you’ll need to have on hand and a guide to making makeshift tools out of things you can find in the wild. Besides making your own tools and supplies, you will also learn to collect and prepare food and to protect yourself in different climate conditions.

This best-selling book was written by Dave Canterbury, a writer and educator who dedicated his life to exploring the wilderness and teaching people to survive in harsh conditions, mostly relying on the things they can find in nature. What makes this book different from other wilderness survival books is that it doesn’t only show you how to survive, but also how to thrive in the wilderness, and this is something we could all make use of.

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“Prepper's Communication Handbook: Lifesaving Strategies for Staying in Contact During and After a Disaster” by Jim Cobb“Prepper’s Communication Handbook: Lifesaving Strategies for Staying in Contact During and After a Disaster” by Jim Cobb

It is highly likely that when a disaster strikes, you won’t be able to use your phone or laptop for communication. That’s why being able to acquire, assemble, and utilize emergency communication systems could be a life-saving skill.

It is essential to have an alternative way you can reach your loved ones or any other survivors in catastrophic scenarios. This book is an in-depth guide featuring a number of emergency communication systems. It includes satellite radio, radio scanner, shortwave, and MURS radio, just to name a few.

The first thing the author is going to approach in the book is the various communication tools. These explanations will help you decide which ones are best suited to your experience level and situation. After showcasing different tools, he will turn to explaining how to use these systems and even how to improve your communication skills, such as understanding body language and resolving conflicts. The book features 200 informative pages and is a great addition to any prepper’s toolbox.

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Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) PlacesIdentifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places

This book covers the main subjects for any person who wants to survive in all conditions: nutrition and health. It features more than 500 plants and hundreds of illustration to help you find common and uncommon plants. It also lists more than 30 recipes for using plants that are suited for cooking.

Some of the plants involved are wild apricots, stinging nettle and mullein. We believe this book is a go-to read for preppers and anyone else who wants to learn about self-sufficient living.

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

When preparing for a catastrophic event, you must expect that normal food won’t be so easy to find. That’s why having a good plan for stocking and organizing your emergency food supply is a necessity. However, this book goes further than that as it showcases the best recipes to turn your emergency food supply into nutritious and delicious meals, rather than just survival rations.

It also has tips for off-grid cooking, advice for canning various fruits and vegetables, and a checklist for the best items you should have in your emergency pantry. This book is a great choice for everyone who wants to enjoy a delicious meal even in harsh conditions. After all, eating well is one of the things that make us feel civilized. A good meal can also give us the morale and strength we need to survive the rest of the day.

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“The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way” by Joseph and Amy Alton“The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way” by Joseph and Amy Alton

The Survival Medicine Handbook was developed for those who want to prepare for all the likely medical issues they might encounter in catastrophic scenarios. It differs from general first aid handbooks in that it assumes there is no hospital or doctor available in your situation.

The book is easy to understand and guides you through step-by-step instructions for identifying and treating more than 100 medical issues. Some of the topics included are dental issues, wounds, heart disease, allergic reactions, and natural pain relief. It’s not only useful in emergency situations but also for those who want to be a little less reliant on the healthcare system.

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“U.S. Armed Forces Nuclear, Biological, And Chemical Survival Manual” by Dick Couch“U.S. Armed Forces Nuclear, Biological, And Chemical Survival Manual” by Dick Couch

What better way to learn about surviving in war conditions than to read a book written by military experts? This comprehensive guide contains the common practices of the military services in the United States adapted for civilian use.

It is is the most comprehensive book you can get to protect yourself from a chemical, nuclear, or biological attack and to assist other victims. Furthermore, you will also know what everyday materials you should have that might save your life in the above-mentioned situations. With terrorism and global tensions rising, this is a good book to have in your collection.

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“The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead” by Max Brooks“The Zombie Survival Guide: Complete Protection from the Living Dead” by Max Brooks

This list wouldn’t be complete if we didn’t mention zombies at least once, as many preppers actually focus their preparations on the undead. The Zombie Survival Guide will help you better understand zombies, including their possible psychology, and the most effective defense tactics against them. You will also learn how to prepare your home for a long siege and how to survive in different terrains and territories.

This book is a combination of a parody and a real educational survival guide. Wether you read it for real insights or just for fun, the information it provides will certainly make you more ready to survive a real zombie attack.

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