10 How-To Survival Books Worth Owning

10 How-To Survival Books Worth OwningIf the brown stuff hits the fan, getting the right type of preppers together who possess a good amount of survival skills will be almost impossible if you don’t have a vast network of people. However, with the right set of how-to survival books, you might just have enough knowledge to make it through.

I’ve discussed before the importance of having a SHTF library and how it can save the situation during a crisis. We are not machines and we can’t learn it all, we have other things to do besides prepping. The reality is that most of us struggle to find the time to put into practice every piece of information we acquire. I’ve been asked by some of the readers to recommend a few good how-to survival books. The type of books that will provide you with the right knowledge to survive any crisis.

Here are 10 god how-to survival books to pick up online to start you in the right direction:

The Lost Ways

The Lost WaysThis was a high buzz of 2016 amongst preppers and survivalists and for a good reason. With his book, Claude Davis brings back some of the knowledge of our grandparents to these modern times. The book shares the life lessons of our ancestors. You will learn how our grandparents managed to survive when the odds were against them. How you can put to good practice their skills, even today when the world is flooded with technology.

This is a highly appreciated survival book as it teaches you some of the lost skills of our ancestors. Things like, how to make pemmican, how to make healing poultice and how to build storage structures. Everything can be found in this fantastic book.

All the information provided by this book has been thoroughly researched. Many experienced historians provided the know-how listed in the Lost Ways book.

You can buy it here.

Hunt, Gather and Cook

Hunt, Gather and CookHank Shaw is an experienced hunter, forager, angler, chef and wild foods expert. Through his book “Hunt, Gather and Cook,” he shares with us his long-life experience. He teaches us how to bring food from field, forest, and stream to table. An award-winning journalist, Hank Shaw explores the forgotten art of foraging and shares his experiences both in the field and in the kitchen, as well as his extensive knowledge of North America’s edible flora and fauna. All 324 pages provide a delightful mix of personal experiences, descriptions and instructions.

This is the type of book you need to have in your bug out bag if you plan to go into the woods when things go south. If you’re just getting into foraging, hunting or fishing, this book is one of the must-have how-to survival books.

You can buy it from Amazon.

Suggested reading: Ten survival hunting essentials that everyone should know

Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat, and Pork: The Comprehensive Photographic Guide

Butchering Poultry, Rabbit, Lamb, Goat, and PorkI remember my first butchering experience and I can tell you it was a mess. I was lucky to have my father-in-law to help me out. To guide me when I had no clue of what to do next. If you are the type of prepper or homesteader that aims to become self-sufficient, raising small animals becomes a necessary step. Learning how to slaughter and butcher your own animals safely and humanely would be the next logical step.

This award-winning guide can guide you through the entire process. It provides detailed photography of every step of the process. It will show you everything you need to know to butcher poultry, rabbit, lamb, goat and pork.

The book was written by Adam Danforth, an award-winning author trained at the professional meat processing program at SUNY Cobleskill. I love this book because it stresses proper food safety at all time and it also provides valuable tips on freezing and packaging.

You can buy it from Amazon.

Survival MD

Survival MDI bought this book when I first started getting into prepping and to this day, I still think it’s a must-have for any prepper. Many people tend to overlook the medical preparedness aspect of survival. It tends to become a difficult preparation step and the information available seems too complicated for most of them. Some even think that they can rely on our current medical system. They hope medical professionals will help them should the need arise, but as any real prepper knows, that’s just false hope.

The book was written by Robert Grey, with the input of Dr. Radu Scurtu, a Romanian doctor who does not have the luxury of the high tech machinery and unlimited budgets such as that of American doctors and other first world countries to cure his patients. I can tell you that this book is an eye-opener for your prepping plans. It teaches you how to survive for months in the absence of medical professionals. It provides medical expertise and knowledge for treating patients in a 3rd world country with limited access to technology as it would be the case in a SHTF event.

You can buy it here.

Carpentry (6th edition)

Carpentry (6th edition)While building a shelter from a tarp becomes a critical survival skill when you are traveling the backcountry, any other construction project requires some carpentry skills. That of course, if you want to build a durable shelter, something that can last over time. Knowing a thing or two about carpentry is a must if you want to keep your shelter standing during a natural disaster. This book was recommended by a friend, who’s been a contractor for 8 years.

It is a book easy to read and is very detailed compared to other carpentry books available on the market. This edition also covers green building and LEED® certification, structural insulated panel (SIP) construction, seismic/hurricane ties and anchors, housewrap installation, and mold prevention. If you want to become an excellent handyman this is one of the how-to survival books you should have in your library.

You can buy it from Amazon.

A must read: How to build a tarp shelter – 15 designs with pictures

Root Cellaring Complete

Root Cellaring CompleteIn their book, Mike and Nancy Bubble teach us everything we need to know about natural cold storage of fruits and vegetables. This book will help you discover how easy it can be to turn some extra space in your basement, garage or even your closet into your very own root cellar.

Root cellaring is one of the lost arts that many remember, but only a few people still practice. The suggestions for building your own working root cellar are clear, with illustrations to help you plan.

In the book, there are also lists of things that keep well and under what conditions to keep them. If you plan to live off-grid, regardless your location or how much space you have, the Bubels are likely to have a root cellar option that will work for you. This was a recent addition to my SHTF library and after reading it, I decide it is worth a place on the 10 how-to survival books list.

You can buy it from Amazon.


Bulletproof home

Bulletproof Home DefenseThis book was written by a 22-year Army veteran and provides a series of home defense techniques that. They are intended to keep you and your family safe during times of civil unrest or any type of disaster that threatens the safety of your loved ones.

Although I’m not new to emergency preparedness, I can say that there was a lot of info in this book, and much of it was new to me. Very solid, if somewhat unorthodox material. I would recommend this to anyone who is eager to learn more about home defense and survival.

The downside of this book is that the seller doesn’t provide a paperback format. The bulletproof home book and all the additional bonuses you get need to be downloaded and printed. I’ve found this book while exploring the survival solutions recommended by the Disaster Recovery Manager website.  I was pleasantly surprised to see they suggest some of the others books I own.

You can buy it here.

Gun Digest Shooter’s Guide to Handgun Marksmanship

Gun Digest Shooter's Guide to Handgun MarksmanshipI got this book at a garage sale for $3 and it was actually a gift for my wife, who is a novice shooter. I decided to add this book to the 10 how-to survival books list after I’ve seen how my wife learned the fundamentals of handgun shooting after reading it. The book provides information about and explains the fundamentals of proper grip, trigger use, body stance, sight use, etc.

It is the best instructional guide of which I am aware about shooting a handgun. The average handgun owner who has bought a gun for personal protection in the home doesn’t get involved in formal training. Shooting a gun will likely put a bullet in the floor or ground ten feet in front of him. This book is a quick and clearly explained way to help one hit his target, be it a paper target at a shooting range–or a home invader in the middle of the night.

You can buy it from Amazon.

Related article: Five guns every prepper should own

Preserving Food without Freezing or Canning

Preserving Food without Freezing or CanningThis is a book that my wife bought back in 2009. Back then, we had no idea what emergency preparedness was and how it works. It makes a very nice addition to my SHTF library. Many of the recipes from this book have been passed down from generation to generation. They stood the test of time and you will find them useful. If you plan to live off the grid, this book is definitely for you as it provides great tips.

It also gives step-by-step instructions on how to preserve foods using salt, oil, sugar, alcohol, vinegar, drying, cold storage and lactic fermentation. Easy to read, well laid out, and detailed, this book is for anyone who is interested in food preservation that doesn’t involve chemicals or other modern techniques.

You can buy it from Amazon.

Recommended reading: Civil Era Foods you can still make today

Practical Self Sufficiency

Practical Self SufficiencyI couldn’t end the list of how-to survival books without adding my favorite book ‘Practical Self Sufficiency”. Although it is an England oriented book based on the experiences of Dick & James Strawbridge, stars of the BBC series “It’s Not Easy Being Green”, this book provides valuable information for anyone who wants to try the self-sufficient lifestyle.

It will teach you how to make practical changes that will have an incredible impact on your life, without affecting your quality of living. Sharing their experiences, tips and techniques, the authors provide all the step-by-step advice you need for successful eco projects, large and small. Great text and well-illustrated, this book provides a contagious can-do attitude and it’s worth every buck.

You can buy it from Amazon.


Having a complete SHTF library full of how-to survival books takes time and requires an appropriate budget. This is a project that grows over time. You need to get the right set of books to have invaluable survival knowledge for when disaster strikes. There’s no way you’re going to be a doctor who’s also a skilled carpenter. Getting the right type of how-to survival books is a must if you plan to survive after the dust settles.

Preparedness and Survival solutions recommended for you:

The LOST WAYS 2 (The vital self-sufficiency lessons our great grand-fathers left us)

US Water Revolution (A DIY Project to Generate Clean Water Anywhere)

Blackout USA (Video about EMP survival and preparedness guide)

Backyard Liberty (Cheap system to provide fresh food for your family)







1 thought on “10 How-To Survival Books Worth Owning”

  1. All well and good but if you don’t understand sanitation and water purification any community will also crumble after SHTF. You’re should have recommended something like the humanure book or books on water purification.

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