It isn’t always easy for people to buy survival books, especially considering the fact that the genre is pretty vast. There are books on outdoor survival, prepping, emergency medicine, and bushcraft—to name just a few. With so many books available, it can be difficult for people to choose the books that will serve them well and do it while remaining on a budget.

We understand that it can be difficult for people to find books that will arm them with the information they need to survive just about any situation. We know because we’ve read more of them than our readers can imagine. That’s why we feel that we’re uniquely qualified to recommend some of the best survival books to our readers.

Quick Summary of the Best Survival Books

Editor’s Choice: The Bushcraft Boxed Set: Bushcraft 101

We think that we’re going to start this review of this survival book by spending a few moments talking about its authors. This book, The Bushcraft Boxed Set-A Field Guide To The Art Of Wilderness Survival, is written by Dave Canterbury and Jason A. Hunt. David Canterbury is a co-owner and instructor at Pathfinder School, a school rated as one of the best survival schools in the U.S, and an expert in the field.

Jason Hunt has received significant survival training from both military and civilian experts and a host on Pathfinder TV. As such, it’s probably safe to say that both of these guys know what they’re talking about and this book set proves that fact.

Before we venture into what the reader will find in this book, however, let’s address some of the complaints that we’ve heard about this book. One of the biggest complaints about this book is that some of the information is redundant or that the information is a bit basic. And that’s kind of true, but only up to a point.

Although bushcraft experts won’t find much information in this book set that they don’t already know, we do feel that the average outdoor enthusiast is going to find quite a few helpful wilderness survival tips and tricks.

Okay, now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s talk about some of the things that readers can expect to find in this boxset. This set starts with choosing the right gear and the right tools. Right in chapter one, the reader can expect information on the Five C’s of Survivability, as well as information on packs, tumplines, personal carrying kits for travelers, as well as tips on packing and using a backpack. Section two contains information on knives, knife care, saws, and saw maintenance, ax care, firewood harvesting, and a lot more.

Other sections that can be found in this boxset include information on ropes and cords, containers and cooking tools, survival shelters, starting and maintaining fires, setting up and maintaining campsites, navigating outdoor terrain, making use of trees, trapping and processing game, as well as appendixes on utilizing resources, wild edibles and medicinal plants, and bush recipes. Overall, it’s a great book set.

What we liked about it
  • It’s a perfect survival book for any outdoor enthusiast.
  • It provides some great tips and tricks.

Also Recommended: The Survival Medicine Handbook

A common fear that many people share is getting hurt while they’re nowhere near a hospital. It’s a scenario that all of us can identify with, but especially people who spend a considerable amount of time in areas where medical help isn’t readily available. Thankfully, this book is designed to give the reader the information to keep themselves or their loved ones alive if they’re away from medical services.

This book is written by Joseph Alton and Amy Alton. Joseph Alton is a board-certified obstetrician and pelvic surgeon who practiced for over two decades before retiring and becoming an expert on helping people with survival medicine. Amy Alton is an advanced registered nurse practitioner with extensive hospital experience, as well as experience with using medicinal herbs. The two have come together to author this book that should be on everyone’s bookshelf.

What are some of the things that can be found in this book? Well, it covers an extensive amount of survival first-aid and preparation, but we’ll try to do a brief overview of what readers can expect out of it. In this book, readers will find information on medical preparedness, wilderness medicine versus long-term survival medicine, medical issues a person is likely to face in a survival situation, medical supplies, dental issues, ticks and lice, and food/waterborne illnesses.

This book also has chapters on diarrheal issues and dehydration, pelvic and vaginal infections, heatstroke, hypothermia, wildfire preparedness, hurricane preparedness, tornado preparedness, and earthquake preparedness. And that’s only a brief overview of what can be found in it. There’s plenty of other information that can be found in this book that makes it one of the best survival books for anyone to own. It may cost more than some other books on survival medicine, but in our humble opinion, it’s more than worth it.

What we liked about it
  • This is a good primer on survival medicine.
  • It’s presented in an easy-to-read and digest format.

Also Consider: Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide

Even though this book on prepping may be a little bit too basic for some advanced preppers, we do think that it deserves some favorable attention. We think that because it does have some great tips and tricks in it that will help people in a survival situation. We also feel that it’s an excellent prepping primer that is inexpensive enough for just about anyone to buy and place on their bookshelf for reference.

This book is written by Jim Cobb, a prepper who not only wrote this book but also wrote Prepper’s Home Defense and the Prepper’s Complete Guide To Disaster Readiness. He is a prepper who has worked for over two decades in security management and writes from his fortified bunker located somewhere in the Upper Midwest. This book runs approximately 208-pages and is available not only in paperback but also in a Kindle format for the reader’s convenience.

Inside this book, readers will find quite a few helpful chapters on survival and prepping. Some of the chapters that readers can expect to find include chapters on avoiding a starvation diet, personal hygiene in a survival situation, staying warm or keeping cool, building shelters, choosing the proper survival tools, securing and fortifying the home, and dealing with boredom during an emergency. This book also features a suggested reading appendix, as well as an appendix for bugging out.

As can be seen from our overview of this book’s chapters will tell most of our readers, this book isn’t an advanced guide on survival or prepping for an emergency. Nor does it claim to be. It’s just a basic guide that provides information that should provide useful to just about anyone who is looking for an introduction to survival and prepping. Is it a perfect book on prepping? No, but it is a good start for most people.

What we liked about it
  • It’s a good basic guide for people new to prepping.
  • It’s an affordable book with some good tips.

Creating The Best Survival Book Home Library

Now that we have covered some of the books that we believe that our readers should add to their bookshelves, let’s take a few moments and talk about how a person can start and organize their survival book library. We believe that anyone interested in outdoor survival or emergency preparedness is going to want to make sure they have the information they need at their fingertips. So we’ve created the following guide to help all of our readers with that lofty goal. 

Bushcraft & Wilderness Survival Books

One of the first set of books that anyone is going to want to add to their library are wilderness survival and bushcraft books. These are books that preppers, hunters, fishermen, and other outdoor enthusiasts can use to add to their knowledge base. After all, no one knows when they’re going to have a problem while they’re out in the wilderness. Maybe they’re a hunter who has broken his ankle and can’t make it back to the road, or maybe it’s a hiker who’s been trapped by a snow storm. Having a basic outdoor survival skill set will help the reader survive all of those situations.

What are some of the bushcraft and wilderness survival books that people should have on their bookshelf? While there’s a whole lot of different books that can be found, we recommend The Bushcraft Boxed Set by Dave Canterbury and Jason A. Hunt; Bushcraft: Outdoor Skills and Wilderness Survival by Mors Kochanski; The Ultimate Bushcraft Survival Manual by Tim MacWelch; and Essential Bushcraft by Ray Mears. 

Survival Medicine Books

Another category that’s extremely important to have on a survival bookshelf is a section on survival medicine. Not only books on dealing with injuries at home, but also books for dealing with injuries out in the wild. Some of the basics that should be covered by these books include bandaging cuts, setting bones, dealing with dental issues, dealing with accidental poisonings, respiratory infections, urinary and vaginal infections, among other subjects.

Some of the books that we like in this book category include The Survival Medicine Handbook by Joseph & Amy Alton; Bushcraft First Aid by Dave Canterbury and Joseph Hunt; The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook by James Hubbard; and the Special Operations Forces Medical Handbook by the U.S Department of Defense. 

Urban Survival Books

Although some people in rural areas don’t believe they need a book on urban survival, the truth of the matter is that if there’s some sort of apocalyptic tragedy or economic collapse, then the prepper or survivalist is going to have to eventually venture into urban areas for supplies. And that’s why both urban and rural survivalists should have at least one book on urban survival in their library. A book that provides them great information on the subject. Some of our favorite urban survival books include When All Hell Breaks Loose by Cody Lundin; and Urban survival: How to survive after a Pandemic by Joel O’Connor. 

Homesteading Books

It’s also a good idea for readers to have some books on homesteading in their library. Homesteading books inform the reader of such useful skills as planting and growing crops, pickling and canning foods, taking care of livestock, preparing a root cellar, raising chickens, medicinal herbs. Some of these books even take things a step further by telling the reader how to make their own candles or soaps, how to make elixirs, and other useful projects.

Because this category of books applies to both preppers and just about anyone else who has ever thought about raising their own livestock or growing their own vegetables, there are a lot of homesteading books available. Almost too many for us to cover in this guide. However, we will list some of the ones that we like and that includes books such as The Beginner’s Guide to Raising Chickens by Ann Kuo; Homesteading: A Backyard Guide to Growing Your Own Food by Abigail Gehring; The Backyard Homestead by Carleen Madigan; and 40 Projects for Building Your Backyard Homestead by David Toht.

Books On Wild Plants

Another survival book category that’s quite useful for people to have on their bookshelf is a good book on wild plants. Although many bushcraft books will have a section on eating wild plants or making medicines from them, sometimes it’s useful to have a book that’s completely dedicated to the subject. Some of the books on wild plants that we think would be useful in any survival book library include Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide to Over 200 Natural Foods by Thomas Elias and Peter Dykeman; Identifying & Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants by Steve Brill and Evelyn Dean; and How to Eat in the Woods: A Complete Guide to Foraging, Trapping, Fishing, and Finding Sustenance in the Wild by Bradford Angier and Jon Young.