Any good survivalist knows that knowledge and skills win out over stuff every time. It makes no difference what you have if you don’t know how to put it to use. Being a prepper requires having a prepper library (and really reading the books in it).
My top selections for the best survivalist and survival books are listed below. I have practically all of them and have read almost all of them. Those I haven’t read yet have a strong enough reputation in the survivalist community that I can confidently suggest them.
Best Prepper Books for General Preparedness
31 Days to Survival by M.D. Creekmore
If you’re a new prepper, M.D. Creekmore’s 31 Days to Survival should be one of your first purchases. It lays out a step-by-step method for getting from being utterly unprepared to having a well-thought-out preparedness strategy in just one month.
This book is a great introduction to prepping for newbies because it clearly explains each stage without becoming overwhelming. It covers almost every critical component of preparedness, such as food, defense, and so on. You will be in a much better position to handle an emergency if you follow the 31 steps.
The Prepper’s Complete Book of Disaster Readiness by Jim Cobb
One of my favorite survivalist authors is Jim Cobb. He is the owner of SurvivalWeekly.com and the author of multiple preparedness books. He takes a very practical approach to readiness and even manages to inject some humor into his writing, which is always welcome.
The Prepper’s Complete Book of Disaster Preparedness is an excellent resource for both novice and veteran preparedness enthusiasts. It covers a wide range of preparedness subjects, such as survival mindset, foraging, and preparing with children, pets, and the elderly.
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Although it isn’t often thought of as a prep book, Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People could be a great resource for preppers who need to barter and negotiate.
It is regarded as a business classic, and it has aided people in a variety of industries in their negotiating and sales efforts. Working with others and making bargains with them can help you now on the job and keep your family safe and fed during a catastrophe.
Prepper’s Survival Hacks by Jim Cobb
Prepper’s Survival Hacks by Jim Cobb demonstrates how to find inventive solutions to issues, which is an important survival ability. It’s a quick, enjoyable book with 50 projects to perform to help you and your family become more prepared. A multilayer water filter, a bucket clothes washer, and a cold frame for growing plants are some of my favorite projects.
This book is valuable in addition to the projects it contains. For starters, it gets you thinking about new ways to use everyday products that aren’t designed for them. This encourages ingenuity. Second, it allows parents who are prepared to involve their children in prepping by completing the hacks alongside them. Some are short “arts and crafts,” while others are suitable for an afternoon’s work.
Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit by Creek Stewart
Having a well-thought-out bug out pack on hand will enable you to move fast to get yourself and your loved ones out of a dangerous situation before it’s too late. The most well-known book on the subject is Creek Stewart’s Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag.
The book goes through everything you need in your bug out pack in detail, including images of many of the goods. However, one of the best aspects of this book is that it also explains how to use the most of the goods in your bag. After all, if you don’t know how to use your stuff, it’s useless.
Best Prepper Books for TEOTWAWKI (The End of the World as We Know It)
How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It by James Wesley, Rawles
Rawles, James Wesley, is a leading authority in the preparedness and survival community. He is the owner of SurvivalBlog.com and a former US Army Intelligence officer. Many regard his book, How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It, to be the handbook for surviving an earth-changing event.
It contains almost 300 pages of information covering every facet of long-term survival in a TEOTWAWKI scenario. It includes instructions on how to set up a survival retreat, store food, communicate, and much more. There’s even a section in the book that explains how to protect yourself and your loved ones from a flu pandemic. Any prepper’s library should have this book.
Tools for Survival by James Wesley, Rawles
Mr. Rawles has published yet another outstanding book, Tools for Survival. This book, like How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It, concentrates on how to survive in a long-term survival situation. It does, however, focus on the stuff you’ll need to be entirely self-sufficient.
I’m not exaggerating when I say it explains everything you need to be entirely self-sufficient. It lists a variety of typical and uncommon equipment that you’ll need to meet your demands in a variety of situations. Common preparation goods include weapons for self-defense and gardening tools. It does, however, contain instructions on the tools you’ll need to collect and process lumber, as well as sewing equipment if you want to make your own garments.
If you are prepping with extended family or are a member of a survival club, this book is a must-read. Each individual or family member could be in charge of acquiring equipment from one or more categories. This would allow the group to be as well-prepared as possible without requiring any one person to purchase everything. If your group includes a doctor, for example, they could be in charge of medical supplies, while a handyman would be in charge of tools, and so on. However, having some redundancy and overlap in case one of the group members passes away is a good idea. In addition, all members should be self-sufficient in terms of food, water, and defense.
Best Prepper Books for Defense
Prepper’s Home Defense by Jim Cobb
Jim Cobb’s Prepper’s Home Defense is another fantastic book. It discusses how to create a security plan for yourself and your family in the event that law and order is disrupted. It covers a wide range of defensive topics, including fundamental security ideas, how to defend structures, weaponry, and even how to conduct excursions out from your hideaway.
Jim Cobb, like with his other works, does a fantastic job of presenting useful material in an easy-to-understand fashion. Despite the seriousness of the subject, he manages to keep it lighthearted and even inject some humor.
100 Deadly Skills by Clint Emerson
Clint Emerson is a former Navy SEAL who now works as a crisis management expert and popular book, putting his SEAL training to good use. His book 100 Deadly Skills gives ordinary people a glimpse inside the world of espionage and special operations.
It explains 100 abilities for self-defense (and attack), evasion, manufacturing improvised weapons, and more, as the title suggests. Illustrations for instruction and demonstration are included with each skill. Some abilities, such as how to steal a plane, are unlikely to come in use, but others, such as how to escape a kidnapping, could save your life. The book’s most valuable feature is that it educates you on the various dangerous techniques that can be used against you and how to defend yourself against them.
The Gift of Fear by Gavin De Becker
The Gift of Fear is a comprehensive examination of human survival instincts as well as stalkers’ and other criminals’ tactics of preying on their victims. One of the most important teachings in the book is to trust your instincts. If you’re worried about something, there’s a valid reason for it.
The Gift of Fear is an excellent resource for learning about how our relatively secure modern lifestyle has forced individuals to bury their basic survival instincts, as well as how to overcome this. It also discusses how to avoid becoming a victim of violent crime by using real-life examples of victims’ stories, as well as explanations of what led up to them.