10 Essential Survival Books Every Prepper Needs on Their Shelf

10 Essential Survival Books Every Prepper Needs on Their Shelf

10 Books Every Prepper Should Have on Their Shelf


Being prepared isn’t just about stocking up on supplies—it’s about arming yourself with the knowledge to survive when the unexpected happens. Books, in this regard, become an invaluable resource. They offer a wealth of knowledge right at your fingertips, from field guides and manuals to fictional stories that get you thinking about survival in new and creative ways.

In this article, we will delve into 10 essential books that every prepper should have on their shelf. These books cover a wide range of topics, from basic survival skills to advanced techniques, and from practical guides to thought-provoking narratives. Let’s get started!

1. “SAS Survival Handbook” by John “Lofty” Wiseman

John “Lofty” Wiseman’s “SAS Survival Handbook” is a must-have for anyone interested in survival and preparedness. This comprehensive guide covers everything from building a shelter and finding food to navigating in the wild and administering first aid. It is filled with practical tips, illustrations, and real-life stories that will equip you with the skills and knowledge to handle any survival situation.

Tips from “SAS Survival Handbook”:

– Always carry a basic survival kit with essential items such as a knife, fire starter, and water purification tablets.
– Learn how to build different types of shelters, such as debris shelters and lean-tos, using natural materials.
– Develop navigation skills by learning how to use a compass and read maps effectively.

2. “The Prepper’s Blueprint” by Tess Pennington

“The Prepper’s Blueprint” by Tess Pennington is a comprehensive guide that covers all aspects of preparedness, from food and water storage to emergency power and self-defense. This book provides step-by-step instructions, checklists, and practical advice for creating a personalized preparedness plan. It also emphasizes the importance of community and building a network of like-minded individuals.

Tips from “The Prepper’s Blueprint”:

– Store water in food-grade containers and rotate it regularly to ensure freshness.
– Stock up on non-perishable food items that require little to no cooking, such as canned goods and dehydrated meals.
– Consider alternative power sources, such as solar panels or portable generators, to maintain essential electrical devices during emergencies.

3. “Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life” by Neil Strauss

“Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life” by Neil Strauss is a captivating and informative read that explores the author’s journey into the world of survivalism and self-reliance. Strauss provides practical advice on a wide range of survival skills, from self-defense and firearms training to dealing with medical emergencies and finding alternative sources of income in a crisis.

Tips from “Emergency: This Book Will Save Your Life”:

– Learn basic first aid skills and have a well-stocked first aid kit on hand.
– Familiarize yourself with local laws regarding firearms and consider obtaining proper training for self-defense.
– Diversify your skillset and explore income-generating opportunities that can be pursued during a crisis, such as gardening or repairing essential equipment.

4. “Wilderness Survival” by Gregory J. Davenport

Gregory J. Davenport’s “Wilderness Survival” is an excellent field guide for anyone who spends time outdoors or wants to be prepared for off-grid scenarios. This book covers essential wilderness survival skills, including shelter building, fire starting, water procurement, and signaling for rescue. It also provides valuable insights into understanding weather patterns and identifying edible plants.

Tips from “Wilderness Survival”:

– Practice fire starting techniques using different methods, such as using a ferrocerium rod or a bow drill.
– Learn how to make improvised shelters using natural materials and tarps.
– Familiarize yourself with local edible plants to supplement your food supply in the wild.

5. “The Art of Eating through the Zombie Apocalypse” by Lauren Wilson

“The Art of Eating through the Zombie Apocalypse” by Lauren Wilson takes a unique approach to survival by blending fictional scenarios with practical food strategies. This book provides tips and recipes for foraging, hunting, and preserving food in a post-apocalyptic world. It also offers guidance on creating a sustainable food system and making the most of limited resources.

Tips from “The Art of Eating through the Zombie Apocalypse”:

– Learn about edible plants in your area and how to properly forage for them.
– Consider raising backyard chickens for a reliable source of protein and eggs.
– Explore different food preservation methods, such as canning, drying, and fermenting, to extend the shelf life of perishable foods.

6. “Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag” by Creek Stewart

Creek Stewart’s “Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag” is a practical guide that focuses on assembling an effective bug out bag, a portable emergency kit designed to sustain you for 72 hours during an evacuation. This book provides a comprehensive list of essential items to include in your bug out bag and offers valuable insights into selecting the right gear for your specific needs.

Tips from “Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag”:

– Choose a sturdy and comfortable backpack that can accommodate all the necessary gear without weighing you down.
– Include a reliable water filtration system or purification tablets in your bug out bag to ensure a safe water supply.
– Pack lightweight and nutrient-dense food items, such as energy bars and freeze-dried meals, to sustain you during emergencies.

7. “The Long Emergency” by James Howard Kunstler

“The Long Emergency” by James Howard Kunstler offers a thought-provoking analysis of the potential challenges humanity may face in a post-oil world. While not a traditional survival guide, this book encourages readers to think critically about the vulnerabilities of our modern society and the importance of building resilient communities.

Tips from “The Long Emergency”:

– Diversify your sources of energy by exploring renewable alternatives, such as solar power or wind turbines.
– Foster relationships with your neighbors and community members to create a strong support network during emergencies.
– Learn basic homesteading skills, such as gardening and animal husbandry, to become more self-sufficient.

8. “Bushcraft 101” by Dave Canterbury

“Bushcraft 101” by Dave Canterbury is a treasure trove of wilderness survival skills and traditional bushcraft techniques. This book covers everything from knife selection and fire making to shelter construction and wild game preparation. It provides detailed instructions alongside helpful illustrations to improve your outdoor survival skills.

Tips from “Bushcraft 101”:

– Learn how to properly use a knife for various tasks, such as batoning wood and carving tools.
– Master different fire starting techniques, including using a ferrocerium rod, flint and steel, and friction-based methods like the bow drill.
– Practice bushcraft shelter building by constructing different types of structures, such as lean-tos and debris huts.

9. “The Lost Ways” by Claude Davis

“The Lost Ways” by Claude Davis takes readers on a journey back in time to learn forgotten survival skills used by our ancestors. This book provides step-by-step instructions on various topics, such as building underground shelters, preserving meat without refrigeration, and making herbal remedies. It draws upon historical techniques and wisdom to prepare readers for a self-reliant future.

Tips from “The Lost Ways”:

– Experiment with traditional food preservation methods, such as smoking and fermenting, to extend the shelf life of perishable foods.
– Learn how to identify and use medicinal plants for common ailments.
– Practice building simple yet effective shelters using natural materials and minimal tools.

10. “One Second After” by William R. Forstchen

“One Second After” by William R. Forstchen is a thought-provoking novel that explores the devastating effects of an electromagnetic pulse (EMP) attack on modern society. While fiction, this book serves as a wake-up call to the potential consequences of such an event. It highlights the importance of preparedness and the need for individuals to take responsibility for their own survival.

Tips from “One Second After”:

– Stock up on essential supplies like food, water, and medications to sustain you during a prolonged crisis.
– Learn basic self-defense skills and consider joining a local community or neighborhood watch group.
– Educate yourself about potential threats, such as EMP attacks, and take steps to mitigate their impact.

My 2 Cents

Books are an incredible resource for preppers and survivalists. They allow us to gain knowledge and insights from experienced individuals, learn new skills, and get inspired by fictional narratives. Building a library of essential survival books will ensure that you have a wealth of information at your fingertips, even when the power is out or the internet is down. So, start collecting these books, delve into their pages, and empower yourself with the knowledge to thrive in any survival situation. Stay prepared and stay safe!

Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. The information provided in this article is not intended to replace professional advice or guidance. Always seek the advice of a qualified professional before embarking on any preparedness or survival activities.