Any fool can go out and eat a snake or wipe their ass with a handful of leaves. It’s eating the tastiest snake and using the right leaves that set you apart from all the others, however. And to get that kind of knowledge you’ve got to pick up a book.
I get a lot of people on this site each month, and a lot of them head back to Amazon to buy books. Many of them head to Amazon from the links on my Top 10 Mountain Man Fur Trapping Books article, and since those links are affiliated with Amazon, I know what people who like those books are interested in, and what they’re in turn looking at. And that means I can help you.
Below are what visitors to this site think are the top books on survival.
A Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants: Eastern and central North America (Peterson Field Guides)
This book by Lee Allen Peterson will really give you what you need to know for a trek into the woods, or a lifetime journey there. The book’s got the amazing ranking of #1,270 on Amazon right now, meaning it’s one of the bestselling books on the site. It’s #1 in Botany.
You get diagrams and photos and cross references. You can easily identify what you see in the woods and figure out if it’ll kill you or just make you wish it had. All in all, a great book to have, and at just $12.20 for a paperback, not a bad deal (used copies are around $8.21).
Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival
Written by Dave Canterbury in 2014, Bushcraft 101 is another great book that survival enthusiasts should really enjoy.
I like how the table of contents breaks things up: Your Pack, Your Tools, Rope, Containers, Coverage, Combustion, Terrain, Navigation…you get a lot here!
When you’re in situations like that you need honesty, efficiency, and expediency. You’ll get that by reading books like this a few times, something the well-written style makes easy, and fun.
Firearms, Traps, and Tools of the Mountain Men
Carl P. Russell wrote this book way back in 1977, but most of the ideas still could save your life. And at that current price, you know this book will save your wallet from feeling pain!
Rocky Mountain fur era enthusiasts will find this book makes a fine addition to your collection. There were all kinds of mountain men tramping around the woods in the 1810s to 1850s or so, and you can read about them in about 100 or more books. The stuff they were using, however? Good luck finding another 474-page book that has all that!
Yes, you’re really getting a great deal on this one, folks. You can get a new paperback for around $25, but used paperbacks are just $2.24! If you’re planning on using this tome to stop a bullet, I’d recommend the $36.80 hardcover. Remember, those prices might change over time, so don’t come running after me with your bear trap…as if you could.
Ragnar Benson wrote this book back in 1980 and it’s still selling, although not being printed. You’ll find it on Amazon for $21.35 in paperback format, or $3.32 used – another great find.
The book’s main selling point is that it has Indian secrets that will help you kill the game you need when survival is at stake.
But listen, if you’re out there and there’s nothing and you need to live, I could give a damn if it’s hunting season and I could give a damn if that animal is one you can legally shoot. When you find yourself in those kinds of situations, you’ll be glad you read Survival Poaching.
The whole premise of the book is that modern hunting techniques are about as useful as an asshole on your elbow when it comes to survival. It shirks rules and doesn’t have much opinion of authority – exactly the traits you’ll need to survive in this world when things go to hell.
Maybe they won’t – I think we’ll all be happy about that – but when they do, won’t you be glad you spent your now-useless money on this book? Well, I guess you could’ve burned the money. Hell, you’ll still have the book to burn! I think Ragnar Benson would approve.
Mountainman Crafts & Skills: A Fully Illustrated Guide To Wilderness Living And Survival
David Montgomery wrote this book in 2008, and while it might seem a little hokey to some, it’s a good guidebook to have.
Why is that?
- First, it’s illustrated and has tons of pictures so you can figure things out at a glance.
- Next, the book is great for both young people and adults, meaning if you’re looking for something for your son, this is it.
- Finally, it makes you want to go outside and try things out for yourself.
In case you haven’t noticed, I really think this book is perfect for young adults. The reason is simple – it’s got pictures and makes people want to get away from the TV. Think about some of the books or magazines you first saw when young, the ones that sparked that flame of interest. This craft and survivalist book might just be the same way, and you should give it a look.
The book has a rating of around #58,000…meaning it sells anywhere from 2-3 copies a day. There’s no ‘Look Inside’ on Amazon to see the first few pages, which is frustrating, but at #41 in Survival Skills, it’s a good bet the book has some ideas for you.
So don’t feel bad about buying that new, expensive outdoor survival kit.