The 18 Best and Most Popular Survival Books Ever Written

Whether you are an experienced survivalist, a newbie, or a survivalist enthusiast, you can always learn something new and something which can help you stay alive and well in the outdoors by reading a good survival book.

No matter why you are looking for the best book about survival, preparedness for disasters and emergencies, or first aid, it is always a good idea to stock up your library and your bug out bag, first aid kit, or survival kit with one or more of these useful survival guides and references.

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There are many other kinds of outstanding survival books available that you may add to your collection, including wilderness how-to survival books, urban survival guides, books about identifying wild plants and gathering food in the wild, first aid manuals, and books on homesteader skill guides.

Survival Books

We have selected the top survival books, which will help improve your survival skills, your common knowledge, and your preparedness for emergencies, accidents, or disasters, and which can actually help you survive in such scenarios.

Here are the leading survival books of all time:

Bushcraft 101: Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival

Expertly written by survivalist expert Dave Canterbury, this ultimate 101 field guide to survival in the wilderness contains everything you need to know about staying safe, finding food, creating shelter and tools, and building the perfect kit for survival in the outdoors. It is easy to follow and is a must-have in any survivalist’s library or survival kit.

You can also buy the Bushcraft Illustrated version of the book or the complete Bushcraft Boxed Set of survivalist books by the author.

How to Stay Alive in the Woods

This is another indispensable and useful book on survival in the backcountry and the outdoors. It is written by wilderness expert Branford Angier and includes all of the essential survival wilderness skills and advice, along with useful illustrations you will need when out in the wilderness.

Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide: Food, Shelter

With the ongoing pandemic, more people are getting into prepping in order to ensure that their families can survive in these unexpected and long-term crisis conditions.

The Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide by Jim Cobb is an excellent and detailed guide that can get you started. The how to survive book also includes truly helpful practical advice for surviving for weeks and even for months without access to running water, stores for buying food and consumables, and without access to professional medical care.

Outdoor Survival Skills

Outdoor Survival Skills by Larry Dean Olsen is another classic survival book that has taught over three generations of adventurers the essential skills and knowledge they need to survive in the wilderness.

This is the third edition of the timeless survival classic and includes just about anything you need to know about survival, including making a shelter, staying warm, finding water, finding safe food to eat, making and setting traps, and more. It has color photos of edible plants and illustrations, which can help you survive in any climate.

Outdoor Survival Skills should be your go-to book on survivalism if you can only afford one. It is a terrific book and a great read in addition to teaching you how to handle any survival circumstance.

When All Hell Breaks Loose: all You Need To Survive

This is another excellent disaster survival guide written by Cody Lundin to add to your survival book library.

The detailed guide includes useful advice for coping with all types of disasters, survival, and emergency situations, and includes just about any kind of scenario you can imagine, and many which you haven’t even thought could happen.

Most of all, it stresses the psychological mindset and the attitude you should assume during such an extreme situation, which is no doubt crucial in critical moments like this.

Edible Wild Plants: Eastern/Central North America

The Edible Wild Plants guide by Lee Allen Peterson is one of the top survival guides you should have in your bug-out bag, as well as take with you when you go on an outdoor adventure.

One of the good and most useful books about survival includes over 370 drawings of plants that are safe to eat as well their poisonous look-alikes, as well as how to recognize safe and unsafe wild plants and food preparation advice in the wild.

It is the ultimate edible wild plant guide for the USA and the entire continent of North America.

U.S. Military Pocket Survival Guide

This is a classic military survival manual by the U.S. Army Marine Corps Navy and Air Force and revised by Matt Larsen. It is a detailed, ultimate survival guide for members of the military who happen to end up in hostile territory, as well as all the survival skills needed to survive through combat, outdoor survival, movement, communications, and others.

It is more specific than other, more general survival books, but if you are in the military or are interested in developing military survival skills, this is the ultimate guide to follow.

Survival Hacks: Items for Wilderness Survival

This practical survival manual written by Creek Stewart will teach you some invaluable hacks and tricks for using everyday items and objects for survival needs.

It includes some incredibly useful advice on the tools which you should add to your pocket or survival pouch so that you stay safe, alive, and well in any type of emergency or survival situation.

This book contains information that can actually save your life if disaster strikes suddenly and you are not prepared with a complete survival kit.

How to Eat in the Woods: A Complete Guide

With this guide written by expert wilderness survivalist Bradford Angier, you will never stay hungry, no matter where you happen to be stranded or staying in the wilderness.

One of the finest survival books covers everything you need to know to make sure that you stay alive and well in the wilderness. It includes detailed guides on creating traps, fishing, killing, and preparing wild animal and fish food, as well as recognizing edible plants, roots, nuts, and berries. It also contains information on insects, eggs, and other potential food sources, as well as how to locate potable water and how to prepare the food safely outdoors.

Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-h Survival Kit

As the title of this guide written by Creek Stewart suggests, you will find out exactly which items you need to add to your 72-hour disaster kit in order to ensure that you stay safe and well in emergencies or other survival situations.

It includes not only a complete checklist of the items you should add to the bug-out bag but also advice on how to use them, ways to pack and store them, and other useful recommendations and information.

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide

This step-by-step guide on preparing for and dealing with different types of disasters and emergencies is a very useful resource for both newbies as well as for experienced preppers.

It is written by Bob Mayer, a former member of the elite Special Forces.

It includes practical advice that will help you get prepared and handle an emergency without wasting time or resources.

This is most definitely one of the must-have books in the library and a survival kit of a prepper who would like to prepare for disaster with a special forces mentality rather than reacting blindly to it when it comes.

The Outward Bound Wilderness First-Aid Handbook

This first aid handbook by Jeffrey Issac contains life-saving and medically-backed first aid advice and information, which, though, is easy to read, understand, and follow by ordinary people.

It includes guides for dealing with a wide variety of scenarios when you are away from a hospital or other medical help.

It can help you tackle different types of injuries, poisonings, other health issues, and even dental problems in the wilderness when medical help is far away.

It is a very useful bag to have with you whenever you are planning on spending time outdoors for a day or more.

SAS Survival Handbook, Third Edition

This is a best-selling survival book by John “Lofty” Wiseman, a former Special Air Service emergency survival expert.

It is considered one of the finest books on survivalism and a classic survival manual that will help guide you through every disaster or worst-case scenario imaginable.

This is the third edition, and new scenarios and advice have been added to this classic survival book.

The Survival Handbook: Skills for Outdoor Adventure

This book by Colin Towell is a complete guide of everything you need to know about survival, from which you can learn vital wilderness survival skills.

The survivalist book contains comprehensively structured and illustrated guidelines for all potential survival circumstances in all types of weather.

Any beginner or seasoned survivalist should purchase this book since it is a must-read and one day it just could save your life.

The Survival Medicine Handbook

If you want to be prepared for an accident or other medical emergency without having to go through medical school to get a Doctor of Medicine degree, then The Survival Medicine Handbook by Joseph and Amy Alton is the best guide to use.

It includes guides to creating your own first aid kit and other medical kits, natural remedies, and you’ll learn what to do in the different scenarios, injuries, how to cope with different medical problems, and so on.

This useful and detailed handbook is a must-have for any home.

When The Grid Goes Down, Disaster Preparations

This survival book by Tony Nester is another useful guide for preppers for short-term and long-term survival situations during an urban crisis. The book covers topics and guides on stocking up your long-term water supply, your first aid kit, your emergency food supply, staying warm or cool, keeping the home sanitary, defending it, and other advice that will help you survive through a pandemic or another grid-down emergency in your area.

Tom Brown’s Field Guide to Wilderness Survival 

This Wilderness Survival Field Guide by Tom Brown is a very easy-to-follow and to understand survival book, which includes clear illustrations and instructions for survival outdoors.

One of the simplest survival guides will show you how to get food and water, build a shelter, discover safe drinking water, hunt, remain warm and safe, and live whether you are out in the wilderness or become trapped.

Mountaineering First Aid: Accident Response Care

The Mountaineering First Aid guide by Jan Carline and Steve McDonald, and Martha Lentz is a pocket-sized book with useful and life-saving information about what to do in case an accident or other medical crisis occurs in the mountain or the wild.

It is another excellent book to add to your first aid kit or to have with you when going hiking, camping, hunting, fishing, mountaineering, or exploring.

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