Hey, what’s the alternative – being caught unprepared when the shit hits the fan?
You’re not stupid, so let’s just cut the BS, alright? These books have ideas, ideas you need to learn now. You need to have these ideas floating around your head when you’re driving to work, sitting in that boring meeting, and standing in line. They’ll percolate in your brain and you’ll devise all kinds of scenarios. Some of them may well come true at a later date.
It’s called being prepared, staying sharp, keeping the edge. Some call it surviving, you just call it prepping. Here are 15 books for you.
SAS Survival Handbook: For Any Climate, In Any Situation
So what does it hold within its pages? According to reviews on Amazon, the book has all kinds of info on what foods you can and can’t eat, pictures of plants and traps, instructions on how to make shelters, tips for tying knots, and a lot more.
Most reviews call it the “most comprehensive survival handbook out there” and when you flip through its 676 pages you’ll soon see why. The ‘Look Inside’ alone is huge and has great images. Hell, you might not want to take a look unless you’ve got 20 minutes to kill!
With more than 2,800 reviews on Amazon (1,013 of them 5-star), you know this survival book is one you need. And at $11.29 for a new paperback, it’s one you can afford. Check it out right now!
The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way
A book that’s typically #1 in Outdoor Survival Skills on Amazon is The Survival Medicine Handbook, which was written by Joseph and Amy Alton in 2013. The book’s a real whopper, coming in at 588 pages. Currently it has more than 180 reviews on Amazon, and 140 of them are 5-star. More than that, however, the book’s ranked at #2,096 on Amazon…pretty damn good!
Just about any ailment or malady you can think of is discussed in this survivalist medical book, and I think that at $31.42 you’re really getting a good deal…unless you plan to carry it around in your backpack – it is a big sucker, after all. I will tell you that just browsing through the ‘Look Inside’ will give you a good 30 to 45 minutes of reading enjoyment and outdoor medical knowledge.
Basic Butchering of Livestock & Game
The #1 bestseller in Animal Husbandry is often Basic Butchering of Livestock & Game, written by John J. Mettler in 1986.
There’s awesome illustrations of different knives you can use and the instructions are quite simple to understand. Really, how much has changed in the cutting and butchering of meat since 1986? I’m willing to bet not a whole lot.
The book has 203 reviews on Amazon currently, and 147 of them are 5-star. It has a ranking of #2,497…although that might go down a bit when it’s not hunting season. A paperback copy is under $10, and I think it’ll make a fine addition to your home, or bugged-out, library.
The Forager's Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Wild Edible Plants
The Forager’s Harvest by Samuel Thayer came out in…well, I’m not sure – it doesn’t say. Maybe that’s because it comes from China, and is a bit cryptic, or at least that’s the sense I get from some of the reviews.
The book has 348 customer reviews and 252 of them are 5-star. That means people buy this book, and it has a ranking of #5,071 currently.
Reviewers like the fact that the book is one volume but holds as much information as some larger books or multi-volume works. The color photographs are talked-up a lot, as many books just have black and white, and in a lot of the older books they’re just drawings.
If you need to identify some plant species now or sometime down the road, this would be a good book to look into.
The Prepper's Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster
The Prepper's Blueprint was written by Tess Pennington and came out in 2014. It’s usually the #1 bestseller in Disaster Relief on Amazon and currently enjoys a ranking of #3,537. But there’s a big problem – the book’s out of print!
The good news is that you’ll get lots of great information about prepping and about prepping websites when you read the reviews of the book on Amazon. For instance, you’ll get the site address to Pennington’s website, one that has a cool series called “52 Weeks,” which is all about going off the grid for that long.
Check it out, and keep this one on your to-read or to-borrow list – it’s full of useful tips like prepping in layers (short-term, medium-term, long-term) and prepping strategy. Other books might tell you how to fight a bear; this one will tell you how to figure out their patterns.
Prepper's Home Defense: Security Strategies to Protect Your Family by Any Means Necessary
Coming in at #1 in Security How-to & Home Improvement is Prepper’s Home Defense, a book that should keep all you hold dear safe while keeping all you abhor at bay.
Those are the four main sections of the book and more detailed chapters cover things like basic security concepts, perimeter defense, safe rooms, firearms, guard dogs, children and security, and bugging out.
Prepper’s Home Defense has 143 reviews and 80 of them are 5-stars. What do they say? Things like that the book distinguishes between rule of law and anarchy, something many preppers don’t understand. They like that the book goes into the mindset needed to live this lifestyle. And quite a few mention the 20 years Cobb spent in security management.
That last part probably has something to do with the book enjoying a ranking of #4,520 on Amazon. For a price of $10.51 on a paperback, that’s not too shabby. Give this book a look-see to find out if you agree.
Outdoor Life’s The Ultimate Survival Manual: 333 Skills That Will Get You Out Alive
The Ultimate Survival Manual is one of those big books that looks great on a coffee table and will have all your wife’s husbands thinking your house is the coolest to visit. The sucker weighs 2-pounds too, so you know it’ll do you good in a fight. But wouldn’t it just be better to read the 256 pages yourself?
If that’s not enough it tells you how to catch a squirrel, skin it, and cook the damn thing…something many survival books incomprehensibly leave out! And don’t forget how to make a bow and arrows, wade across a fast-moving river, and survive the face-off with that killer bear.
The book was edited by Rich Johnson but really comes from the writing talents at Outdoor Life magazine. It has a ranking of #3,075 and that means it’s one of the most popular of the prepping books, and one that has good info. It’s fun and useful and will make a nice addition to your prepper library. Give it a look on Amazon, although not the ‘Look Inside’ – it doesn’t work.
Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit
Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag book was written by Creek Stewart, who owns his own outdoor and survival school, Willow Haven Outdoor in Indiana. He’s been profiled in numerous magazines and talking head shows on TV.
Other reviews talk about storing items, rotating stock, shelters, situations where some gear might be superior to other gear, illustrations and photos of what he’s talking about, as well as other survival related facts and figures and strategies.
Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag is 208 pages and $11.12 on Amazon, although used copies run around $9. Give it a look and see why it’s ranked at #6,029 overall in books.
Where There Is No Doctor
Coming in at #1 in Sociology in Rural Areas is Where There is No Doctor. Now, I know you want to suppress the urge to laugh, but just like at Chuckles the Clown’s funeral, let it out. That’s right, just laugh away.
This book is huge, which is unfortunate, because it’d be a great thing to read in a doctor’s office waiting room. Alas, you’ll have to use it in the wild, and at 446 pages, you’ll have a lot of reading material, or maybe just burning or wiping.
Now I might joke about this book a bit and have a little fun – you try writing thousands of words on these books – but the bottom line is the book has a ranking of #10,902, meaning it sells about 7 copies a day or more. Plus it has 236 reviews, 169 of them 5-star. What do they say? Things like “when we went to Ghana” or “when my friend went to Russia” or “I worked in Guatemala for 8 months.”
See, this is a great book to look into if you’re traveling, in the medical profession, or just think things are going to hell in a handbag and there’s no way you’re going to enjoy the ride. The book’s $17.12 on Amazon and you can get a used copy for just $11. Check it out!
Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills, Third Edition
Written by Abigail R. Gehring in 2008, Back to Basics is perfect for anyone thinking the rat race has run its course. The book profiles ways to get back to nature, “the kind employed by our forefathers,” the book says, and that’s exactly what you’re going for.
The book has plenty of illustrations over its 456 pages, and it enjoys a ranking of #7,347 on Amazon, putting it in the Top 10 for the Environmental Economics and Conservation categories. I think if you’d like to get off the grid this book will help you do so, and in a big way.
The Trapper's Bible: Traps, Snares & Pathguards
This book’s cover leaves much to be desired – I’ve never associated that color blue with trapping – but thankfully the inside is pretty darn good. Written by Dale Martin way back in 1987, The Trapper’s Bible talks about traps and snares and pathguards…meaning if you’re living in the woods and you want to catch animals or just keep city folk out, this is the book to have.
If you don’t know anything about the basics of trapping or snaring, this book goes into detail in a way that you’ll understand. What’s more, it’s a great refresher for those of you that’ve put the traps in the shed for awhile but are now thinking of getting back into it.
Still, be aware that many reviewers say the book pretty much discusses one snare and one trap and then multiple variations. Some say the information is free on Google. Gosh, you can say that about anything, and some people might like those variations.
The book has a ranking of #15,049. At $12.81 for a new paperback and $9.38 for a used copy, I think you might want to take a look at the book. If you’re an old-timer that doesn’t want to fiddle with Google or eBooks, this is your trapping book.
How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times
Written by James Wesley Rawles, How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It is a useful book, and one that many have found enjoyable.
Rawles really goes into the ideas of the world having too much strain on its resources, something that ensures food chains will be disrupted, viruses will break out and spread, fuel shortages will occur, crops will fail, storms will destroy, and generally, civilization will falter and fall.
Knowing what to do when that starts to happen is a good idea, and if you’re thinking about it you’re already way ahead of the game. This book covers things like forming your own communities when the government fails or is cutoff, how to get that garden going and begin rationing food, as well as ways to secure your home…or eventual shelter.
The book is only $11.90 for a new paperback and you can get used copies for just over $9 or so. Most reviewers say the book is for “hard core survivalists only,” so take that into consideration. At 336 pages, I’m sure it’ll give you some good ideas to ponder, however. And with more than 630 reviews? Might be worth a look, huh?
The Outdoor Knots Book (Mountaineers Outdoor Basics)
Tying knots is a great skill to have, and it just might save your life one day. While you may have missed out on the Boy Scouts or a midshipman’s life, the good news is that you can buy this book by Clyde Soles.
The book’s broken down into sections on Rope Materials & Construction, Rope Selection, Rope Care, Rope Management, Knot Basics, Knots for Hiking & Camping, Knots for Climbing and Knots for Canoeing and Kayaking.
Don’t get yourself into a knot if you can’t find the knot you’re looking for, either – there’s another knot book coming up in a future prepper books post.
I hope you enjoyed reading about these books, and I hope some of them were new to you. Please share this with your friends if you found it helpful, and remember, if you click on one of those links and buy something, I’ll get about 4% to 6% for commission.
Nothing like a few pennies for hours of work, huh? Thank God the world as we know it is ending!
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