There are a number of useful and necessary items that concerned citizens should stock for any emergency. It doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, old or young; we all have similar needs for survival, including food, water, shelter and security. But even if you store all of the essentials, there may come a point in time where it is not enough. There could even be an event that causes you to have to start over.
But what would you do if you were starting from scratch and there were no more box stores? Or what if you needed to do something to survive with which you were not completely familiar? Ideally, this would never happen; but there are no guarantees. If one of these scenarios were to come to fruition, there are some valuable tools to overcome these challenges: books. In addition to being useful in starting over, books can be a great way to get started with preparedness. They can also provide direction if you get lost or confused.
While there are what seem like a million books about preparedness, survival and self-sufficiency, some that are far superior to others for addition to survival kits, bags and especially the home library. Below I have compiled a list of some of the best and most influential books available for preparedness-minded individuals by those who walk the walk themselves.
- “Dirt Cheap Survival Retreat: One Man’s Solution” by M.D. Creekmore
- “How To Survive The End Of The World As We Know It” by James Wesley Rawles
- “The Prepper’s Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do to Ready Your Home for a Disaster” by Bernie Carr
- “Be Prepared For Anything: Build Your Foundation For Survival” by Dale Goodwin
- “Tools For Survival” by James Wesley Rawles
- “The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Prepare For Any Disaster” by Daisy Luther and Tess Pennington
- “Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide” by Jim Cobb
- “SAS Survival Handbook” by John “Lofty” Wiseman
- “Build The Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit” by Creek Stewart
- “Dr. Prepper’s Making the Best of Basics” by James Talmage Stevens
- “The Encyclopedia of Country Living” by Carla Emery
- “Recipes And Tips For Sustainable Living” by Stacy Lyn Harris
- “The Homesteading Handbook: A Back to Basics Guide to Growing Your Own Food, Canning, Keeping Chickens, Generating Your Own Energy, Crafting, Herbal Medicine, and More” by Abigail R. Gehring
- “The Backyard Homestead: Produce All The Food You Need On Just A Quarter Acre” by Carleen Madigan
- “Wilderness Medicine” by Paul S. Auerbach
- “Ditch Medicine” by Hugh Coffee
- “Where There Is No Doctor” by David Werner
- “Where There Is No Dentist” by Murray Dickson
- “Special Operations Forces Medical Handbook” by Department of Defense
- “The Essential Survival Guide To Medical Preparedness” by Julie Behling-Hovdal (Holisitic Medicine)
- “Bush Craft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival” by Dave Canterbury
- “Bushcraft: The Ultimate Guide to Survival in the Wilderness” by Richard Graves
- “Survival Wisdom & Know How: Everything You Need to Know to Subsist in the Wilderness” by The Editors of Stackpole Books
- “Prepper’s Home Defense: Security Strategies To Protect Your Family By Any Means Necessary” by Jim Cobb
- “Retreat Security and Small Unit Tactics” by David Kobler and Mark Goodwin
- “Food Storage For Self-Sufficiency And Survival” by Angela Paskett
- “The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months” by Daisy Luther
- “The Prepper’s Guide To Food Storage” by Gaye Levy (Kindle Only)
- “The Prepper’s Cookbook: 300 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals” by Tess Pennington
- “Hoyle’s Rules of Games” by Albert H. Morehead
Don’t forget about having something to keep you entertained!
- “The Alpha Strategy” by John Pugsley
This is a revolutionary book about investing in things besides traditional investments. It is a great primer for those who are interested in saving for the future and/or difficult times outside of the usual strategies.
- “Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure: A Prepper’s Book For Kids” by Bernie Carr
- “Prepper Pete Prepares” by Kermit Jones Jr.
- “Prepper Pete’s Gun of a Son” by Kermit Jones Jr.
- “Prepper Pete’s Twelve Days of Prepper Christmas” by Kermit Jones Jr.
- “Going Home” (Book 1 of The Survivalist Series) by A. American
- “Surviving Home” (Book 2 of the Survivalist Series) by A. American
- “Escaping Home” (Book 3 of the Survivalist Series) by A. American
- “Forsaking Home” (Book 4 of the Survivalist Series) by A. American
- The Survivalist Series is a great series of books that follows the life and times of some very interesting characters that fight long and hard to survive in a tough new world.
- “The End” (Book 1 of the New World Series) by G. Michael Hopf
- “The Long Road” (Book 2 of the New World Series) by G. Michael Hopf
- “Sanctuary” (Book 3 of the New World Series) by G. Michael Hopf
Just like the Survivalist Series by A. American, G. Michael Hopf’s New World Series is an excellent series for those who enjoy good fiction with a survival based plot.
- “Patriots: A Novel of Survival in the Coming Collapse” by James Wesley Rawles
- “Survivors: A Novel of the Coming Collapse” by James Wesley Rawles
- “Founders: A Novel of the Coming Collapse” by James Wesley Rawles
- “Expatriates: A Novel of the Coming Collapse” by James Wesley Rawles
For those who are unfamiliar with Rawles (commonly referred to as JWR), he is the founder of SurvivalBlog and an authority in the survival realm. His books are fiction stories that are intertwined with some of the best survival tips and tricks that can be found.
- “One Second After” by William R. Forstchen
While most of us associate the bookstore as the place to get books, it is not the only place in society today where a book can be found. With that being said, it is still the most readily available place to get a physical copy of a book. In addition to local book stores (both new and used), consider checking the local library for these titles. If finding books online is your cup of tea, there are a number of online stores where books are sold but also check the author’s website. The other place online that I have been able to get a lot of books (including some of these titles) is through book bundles that are usually sold through blogs and niche websites.
Something else to consider when building your library is whether to get a hard copy or electronic copy of the book. There are advantages and disadvantages to each. Physical books are heavy, bulky and susceptible to be lost in a fire, flood or other disaster. Because of these facts, it also makes hard copy books very difficult to take along in a survival kit or when being forced to evacuate somewhere. At the same time, they are very easy to reference and work whether there is power running to the house. On the opposite end of the spectrum, electronic books are extremely compact and lightweight and can easily be transported in a kit or when fleeing a disaster. Some digital books are printable, which provides a hard copy of a book that is usually cheaper to buy electronically. While this is all true, electronic books must usually be read on an electronic device, making electricity a necessity. No electricity, no survival reference.
At the end of the day, books can be a very valuable aspect of a complete preparedness plan. Whether they provide you a method to learn more and get established as a prepper or to start over after a reset, books are something that are a onetime expense and can provide a return on your investment that pays you back with your life.