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By March 31, 2012 Read More →

Six Survival Library Essentials Reviewed

One of the first steps I often suggest to new and budding preppers is to begin putting together a good library of essential reference materials.  Frequently, people new to prepping feel overwhelmed at the amount of knowledge they feel they need to learn all at once.  By acquiring hard copies of reference books, the necessary information can be at their fingertips when it is needed.

It is important that your survival library be in hard copy format, rather than just e-books or documents saved on a hard drive or disk.  During many types of disasters, electricity is one of the first things to go.  When that happens, you’ll be unable to pull up the information you may need at a moment’s notice.

Bug Out! by Scott B. Williams

A decidedly unique approach to the more traditional survival manual, this book is a complete overview of the continental United States.  Williams breaks up the country into several regions and for each one discusses the pros and cons of bugging out to those areas.  He greatly details flora, fauna, climate, and other pertinent information.  Williams then gets even more detailed and recommends specific natural parks and other locations that he feels would be ideal for an individual or family needing to fade a way for a while.

The Doom and Bloom(tm) Survival Medicine Handbok by Joseph Alton, M.D. and Amy Alton, A.R.N.P.

The authors are known throughout the prepping community by their aliases of Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy.  They have taught thousands of people through their various conference appearances as well as their Internet radio shows.  Now, their combined medical knowledge has been distilled into one handy book.  In the 400+ pages, they discuss just about every illness or calamity that may befall someone in a disaster, from broken bones to animal bites, athlete’s foot to seizures.  What I really like about this manual over other “survival medicine” books is they go well beyond just immediate first aid and discuss the long-term recovery of these ailments.  Further, in addition to providing the more traditional medical approaches, they also discuss herbal remedies for those who may not have access to a full pharmacy.

Build the Perfect Survival Kit by John D. McCann

Quite simply, this is THE book you’ll want when it comes to putting together get home bags and other portable emergency kits.  McCann has spent many years making his own kits out of just about anything you can imagine and shares his experience with the reader.  He has specific recommendations on gear as well as some very innovative solutions to common problems.

Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook by Peggy Layton

This book will always have a home on any suggested reading list I write.  It is jam-packed with solid information on putting together not only a food storage plan but all manner of supplies of need to any family preparing for disasters large and small.  What I particularly like about this book are the massive checklists.  Layton has truly thought of everything and lays it all out in a very easy to follow format.  She also includes several recipes based on commonly stored foods to help alleviate potential appetite fatigue during long-lasting emergencies.

The Unthinkable by Amanda Ripley

Ok, this book isn’t really one to put on the shelf for “someday.”  Instead, I sincerely believe this book should be required reading for EVERY prepper.  What Ripley does in this book is explain not only how the human body and mind react in emergencies but why.  She then goes further and talks about how to change some of those basic physiological and psychological reactions for the better.  She researched several of the largest disasters to happen in recent history, including 9/11.  She interviewed survivors, rescue crews, and experts in such fields as stress management, biology, and crisis intervention.  By better understanding ahead of time how we are wired to react to stress, the better off we are in combating the negative aspects of it.

Survival Mom by Lisa Bedford

I’ve saved the best for last.  Lisa Bedford is known around the world as The Survival Mom.  She has thousands of dedicated fans.  All for very good reason as she is not only intelligent and knowledgeable, she is down to earth and practical.  She is the epitome of family preparedness.  As far as I’m concerned, her book is the exact thing you should hand out to people who have expressed even a mild interest in prepping and don’t know where to start.  Bedford covers just about every topic you can imagine, from food storage to prepping for pets.  She writes with a very easy to read style and you’ll feel compelled to keep going even well after bedtime.


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9 Comments on "Six Survival Library Essentials Reviewed"

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  1. deniseinark says:

    Although not specifically “survival” books, I have found the Foxfire books to be highly informative and a great addition to a survival library.

  2. Chris Watson says:

    I am with Denise. She beat me to it on the Foxfire series, but that was a great list, even without them.

  3. Jim Cobb says:

    I agree that the Foxfire set is a great addition to a survival library. However, the skill sets discussed in that series of books are likely to be more beneficial during a long-term collapse situation. I tried to keep the focus of the article on those books that would have more of an immediate benefit for new preppers. At some point down the road, I’m planning to revisit this topic but with a more long-term perspective. I appreciate the comments and feedback though, thanks for reading!

  4. mike saucer says:

    I would suggest the BSA (Boy Scout) handbook and field books. They cover most basic items. These other books are very good. The one thing I found missing from them is self defence (firearms).

  5. Ben says:

    That is a good list. However, I NEVER see these books mentioned. Want practical survival skills in a post collapse economy?

    ry these on for size.

  6. Jim, nice compilation of preparedness books. You mention in the beginning about keeping hard copies of books instead of digital versions. I have some books on my kindle and not a hard copy. Finding your article here was a good reminder to get the real deal books. Plus it’s easier to go back to a certain section you want to re-read. Kinda hard to figure out how many times to push the back button on the electronic version.