Top 10 Best Survival Books You Need

Ebooks make life simple these days, but what if the SHTF? You may not have access to your books for long, or even at all. That’s why we recommend having the best survival books in physical format, ready to read when the lights go out.

Top 10 Best Survival Books

Here are our top picks for the best survival books you should keep on hand.

1. The Survival Medicine Handbook

best survival booksWhen it comes to surviving a medical emergency when there’s a disaster in progress and no help on the way, you need knowledge. This book is a great addition to any survival library and should definitely be one of the top 10 best survival books you keep on your shelf. Written by doctors, the book covers how to handle bad situations when there’s no help on the way. It covers a wide variety of survival situations, as well as providing information on prepping long before anything big happens.

You’ll even learn how to grow a medicinal garden, for longer term planning and how to administer anesthesia and nerve blocks. While the information given here may not be necessary in your day to day life, it will most certainly be necessary if something goes wrong in the world.

2. SAS Survival Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere

This was one of the first survival books I personally owned (my family had several) and it is one that is recommended for everyone. If you live outside the US and Canada, it’s a good idea to have a book that covers other terrains, including deserts, tropical jungles and more. From knots and shelters to starting fires and hunting animals, as well as setting traps for the two legged types, there’s plenty of information included here.

Just about every scenario is covered in these pages, but the SAS handbook is also a big book, so it’s not very practical for carrying with you. If you do have to bug out in unfamiliar territory, rip out the pages that are most pertinent. It’s also a great idea to peruse this book before you’re in a disaster that actually requires it.

3. Prepper’s Natural Medicine

best survival medical booksEver wonder what you’d do if there is a long term survival situation and medicine starts to expire? Or maybe you just prefer to stay away from the more chemical options in your every day life. Natural medicine abounds around us, but it’s essential that you know how to prepare it.

This book covers everything from creating your own tinctures and salves to treating infections naturally. The one downside to the book is that it focuses mostly on herbs that you would purchase or grow in your garden, rather than foraged plants. If you don’t have a herb garden, now is an excellent time to start one. It can’t hurt to get some of the tinctures and salves going early, too, since they take time to mature.

4. Where There Is No Doctor

Medical emergencies happen in the worst of circumstances and this book is invaluable to have whether you need to help someone birth a baby or have to help a child with diarrhea. It’s designed for use in developing countries where medical resources are scarce . . . precisely the scenario you’ll face in a disaster situation.While there’s no substitute for first aid lessons, Where There Is No Doctor will certainly help you figure out what to do in a bad situation. It’s also helpful if you’re traveling to a developing country and may not have access to medical aid at all times.

The book has several companion tomes, as well, including Where There Is No Dentist, which may be useful in longer term survival situations.

5. Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival

Bushcraft Survival If you tend to camp frequently or have plans to bug out to a remote location, then this is a great option for your survival library. Many people don’t need to know how to trap their own food, but if it comes down to it, you will definitely want the option of learning. Written by renowned survivalist, Dave Canterbury, the book gives you all the basics of what you need to survive when it’s your family against nature.

This book is also excellent for teens and older kids to read. They’ll learn from it just like you will and while you may make sure that you have the tools on hand, kids will quickly pick up the techniques. The one thing it’s missing is diagrams to explain certain parts of the text, but apart from that, the information here is very solid and useful.

6. Edible Wild Plants

Even the best survival books can’t give you a full rundown of all the different edible plants in the world, but this book will get your started. It’s meant for those living in the United States or Canada. It covers more than 200 different edible plants in its pages. Unlike most books of its type, this one is full of color photographs. The images help you identify the plants quickly. It can be tough to figure out if you have the right plant when all that’s provided is a line drawing, so this is one of the top features of the book.

Every plant in the book includes a description and photo. The descriptions include where to find, harvest and prepare the plant. For plants that have lookalikes that are dangerous, these are also listed.

7. Knots: A Folding Pocket Guide to Purposeful Knots

best survival booksKnots and ropework are essential for survival, but it can be tough to remember which knot is for which situation. Among the best survival books are knot books. This handy pocket guide is perfect for reminding you and is light enough to take with you wherever you go. This guide shouldn’t stay on your shelf, it should be in your bug out bag.

You’ll find 50 illustrated knots on this simple folding booklet, along with their uses. Whether you want to lasso something, tie down your tent or keep a boat from drifting away, there’s a knot to keep things in place here. As an added bonus, the booklet is waterproof and can literally be shoved in a pocket, no matter the weather.

8. 100 Deadly Skills: Survivor Edition

100 deadly survival skillsSurvival isn’t just about having food stockpiled and knowing how to tie knots and forage for berries. In fact, most of the time, it’s a lot more complicated than that. This book, written by a Navy SEAL, is designed to look at the other part of surviving . . . defending what you have. While there are sections on collecting water and such, this book is particularly useful for its focus on barricades and self-defense.

You’ll learn how to survive a home invasion, create your own makeshift locks, and how to deal with someone you’ve captured breaking into your home. These are skills that can be handy even before the end of the world, but in a survivalist situation, they will be invaluable. The book also contains information on surviving a number of situations, including a tsunami and a wild boar attack.

9. 98.6 Degrees

survival skillsPeople can live without food for over a month. It’s possible to survive for several days without water. However, if your body heat drops, you could be dead within an hour or two. This book focuses on keeping your body heat at the ideal temperature to prevent death. It also provides a whole new way to look at your survival supplies.

Are you ready to change the way you think about survival? If so, 98.6 Degrees is a good option for your list of best survival books. It covers how to stay alive and conserve body heat in every type of survival situation, from living in a desert to surviving a wintry night outdoors. It also shows what you need if you have to bug out in the middle of a cold snap. Don’t survive a disaster just to die in of exposure shortly after!

10. The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide

Survival skillsWater is a necessity of life. Most people severely underestimate how much they need to keep on hand. Unless you have a storage tank, you will need to keep a good supply on hand. This book shows you exactly how to save your water. It also teaches you keep it from spoiling and how often to replace it.

You’ll also learn how to find water in nearly any survival situation and how to clean water. From collecting rainwater and purifying standing water to digging a well, there’s a solution for anyone who is facing a situation where no water is available. It’s a must-have book for your survival library.

The best survival books are worth their weight in gold. With a good, solid library of survival techniques, you’ll be able to survive just about any situation. The trick is to read the books long before you actually need the knowledge contained inside. Practice everything ahead of time and you’ll be ready for any scenario.

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