When it comes to knowledge, I devour books. I find it much more peaceful to sit back and read something in my hands, instead of straining my eyes staring into a computer screen. Plus, you tend to find that the quality of what you're reading in a book far exceeds what you'll find in a simple blog, that anyone could have written.
But that's not the only reason.
Computers take power, and the internet relies on the grid staying up. What would you do if you find yourself in a situation where the SHTF, and you were relying on YouTube to figure out everything you need to know about survival? That's right, you'd be in a bad place.
Having a good library of survival books is critical for anyone interested in preparedness. But there's just so many you can buy, and getting your hands on them can be a mission in itself. So today, I'm just going to cover my favorites, get all of these and you'll have access to the information you need, no matter what.
How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It
This book is more like a field guide, outlining what you can expect during a disaster, along with the strategies, tips and tricks to survive. Whether it’s a hurricane or a nuclear threat coming your way, James Rawles has a plan. It covers many basics like calculating the food stores you need, how to harvest rainwater, how to grow your own garden and raise your own livestock, and of course, a number of tips to better secure your home and property. It's basically everything a survivalist needs, in one single book. I love it.
Wilderness First Responder: How To Recognize, Treat, And Prevent Emergencies In The Backcountry
Your library should always have a book on first aid, as you never know what you may need to know during a crisis. I like this book because it's geared towards tour guides and wilderness adventurers, who may not always have immediate access to good medical care in an emergency. Plus, it has clear and easy to follow instructions, with illustrations, to help you accurately diagnose and treat a patient. Oh, and there's a great section on how to improvise different materials if you've not got a lot of gear. It's a must have for anyone planning to spend any amount of time in the wild.
The Illustrated Guide to Edible Wild Plants
The next step on the list is food. But not only that, there's many herbal and medicinal benefits to be found when you actually know what to look for when you're in the bush. But to ensure you are able to positively identify the right plants, and also prepare them for eating is key. Get it wrong, and that could just be the end of your survival endeavors. What I like best about this guide is the big color photos, making it easy to recognize a particular plant, along with an entire section dedicated to poisonous plants a survivalist should avoid.
Trapper's Bible: Traps, Snares & Pathguards
For anyone who hasn't done a lot of trapping, this short guidebook will be invaluable. Not only does it detail how to make a big variety of different traps, snares and alarms for your camp, it details how to construct these with helpful diagrams to illustrate what you're meant to create. It's short and to the point, and while probably best described as a basic introduction to the subject, it covers the essential traps you need to understand in order to catch your own dinner. It's also light enough to carry in your bug-out bag without adding a heap of weight to your kit.
Real World Self-Defense: A Guide to Staying Alive in Dangerous Times
There's no arguing that the world is becoming a more dangerous place. In this book, the author offers practical survival advice covering everything from an unprovoked attack to what repercussions you may expect afterwards in the courts. There's a great section dedicated to unarmed self-defense, along with different weapons you can improvise in a fight. But what's best is the book has been written with clear explanations, making it easy for even a beginner to understand, and is packed full of great information you can use to stay safe.
Concealed Carry and Home Defense Fundamentals, 2nd Edition
Any long-term readers of the blog know I'm a strong advocate for the concealed carry, and this is one of my favorite books in the subject. If you're considering buying a firearm, or you have one already, this is by far one of the best guides you can buy. There's sections on how to avoid conflict, basic training techniques to master your weapons, and even a chapter on the legal ramifications of using deadly force in an encounter. If you're a new gun owner, I highly recommend this book. The information within is as comprehensive as a course on firearm use, and if taken together should provide the reader with a solid understanding of how to properly handle a firearm.
Of course, no library is complete with only six books. But if you get your hands on these, you'll have a very well-rounded start on your survival preparedness. From basic strategy to food gathering and proper shooting, each of these books covers a part of survival I believe critical to staying alive in the wake of a crisis. And a little bit of knowledge can go a long way to keeping your family fed, happy and safe during a disaster.