Best Survival Books to Add to Your Preparedness Library

By CL Hendricks

What you learn by reading survival books can teach you to live after a collapse or major disaster or even save your life. Not everyone has the time to learn everything they need to survive, but books can teach you gardening, canning, dehydrating, hunting and camping, as well as how to identify edible and medicinal wild plants, and how to survive in the wilderness. The time to acquire these books and build your preparedness library is now, before the poo hits the fan.

The first book you should acquire is the SAS Survival Handbook, perhaps one of the best books on survival to include in your bug out bag or backpack. It contains information on how to build a fire, how to build a wilderness survival shelter, how to build an animal trap and even basic first aid.

Books by Experts

You're not likely to find one book that will give you all the answers to your questions and once you've read one book you will realize just how much more there is to learn. Here are some good books to add to your preparedness library.

  • Square Foot Gardening
  • Rodele's Garden Answers
  • The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan
  • Back to Basics
  • Seed Starters Handbook
  • Healing with Herbs - Penelope Cody

You don't have to buy most of these books brand new. In fact, you would be surprised at how well you can build a survival preparedness library by shopping at thrift stores, flea markets and garage sales. Check through those stacks of used books, often selling for $1 or less, for books on:

  • First aid
  • Home remedies
  • Health Care
  • Field Surgery
  • Animal and bird identification
  • Old-time skills
  • Gardening
  • Camping
  • Wilderness survival
  • Construction
  • Raising animals
  • Animal husbandry
  • Pregnancy and childbirth
  • Homeschool textbooks

Survival Fiction

Not all of the best survival books are non-fiction and written as a how-to. Instead they are fiction stories about life during and after an apocalyptic event. Just because these are fiction, you will find that sometimes the best information can be found in fiction novels about survival. These writers have done their research, or even have the experience and training to share their knowledge in an easy to read manner.

You can find fiction books that teach you how to survive:

  • An economic collapse
  • Urban survival tactics
  • Natural disasters
  • Anarchy or breakdown of law and order
  • Outdoor survival in different weather and geographical locations
  • A nuclear, biological, chemical or other type of attack

Some of recommended titles include:

Alas Babylon by Pat Frank - Set in the 1950's, this was one of the first novels to deal with survival after a nuclear war.

Patriots by James Wesley Rawles - One of the best books on survival that deals with conditions resulting from an economic collapse and the following anarchy

One Second After by William R. Forstchen - An illuminating look at what could happen in small-town America when all electrical power is cut off following an EMP.

Wolf and Iron by Gordon Dickson - Following a total breakdown of law and order, followed by a massive die off of the population, a young man heads across country to find a distant relative. Instead he finds himself, a wolf as a companion, a wife and learns blacksmithing, a craft vital to their survival

The End of the Age by Pat Robertson - For a different look at a Biblical explanation for what could happen in the future

PAW Fiction

Found mostly online, the term PAW fiction includes a large number of short stories and even full-length ebooks about surviving and living in a "post-apocalyptic world". The nice thing is that most of these stories are free to download and will provide not only hours of reading, but give you an education in many aspects of survival in a wide range of disaster scenarios. The most prolific of these authors are:

  • Jerry D Young
  • Fleataxi
  • Tired Old Man

So whether you prefer to read a book, by holding the book in your hand or like the convenience of an ereader, you can build a preparedness library for very little money, but that could provide the information you will need to survive.

C.L. Hendricks has been a Jill-of-all-trades and become an expert in some, including active participation in the preparedness movement. It is with personal knowledge and experience that she writes for such websites as Apocalypse Survival and Real Survival Skills [].

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