Top Ten Survival Books

Because it is impossible for one person to know everything there is to know about any subject, books are an excellent resource. Generally written by people who have experience in the wilderness and in survival situations, these books offer knowledge and wisdom about surviving in many different scenarios. Some books are better than others in usability and practicality. These top ten survival books offer information to live and thrive through difficult circumstances and locations.

Where to Buy
Primitive Skills and Crafts: An Outdoorsman's Guide to Shelters
Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival
Advanced Bushcraft: An Expert Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival
The Bushcraft Boxed Set: Bushcraft 101; Advanced Bushcraft
Prepper's Long-Term Survival Guide: Food, Shelter, Security, Off-the-Grid Power and More Life-Saving Strategies for Self-Sufficient Living
When the Grid Goes Down: Disaster Preparations and Survival Gear
The MeatEater Guide to Wilderness Skills and Survival
SAS Survival Guide: How to Survive in the Wild, on Land or Sea
SAS Survival Handbook, Third Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere

1. Primitive Skills and Crafts

So much of survival is knowing how to do things without modern technology. Most people are so used to technology that figuring how to do such tasks as make a shelter, obtain food, make and use manual tools, and similar stuff is not part of their knowledge base. This book covers all of these and more. Survival chances will increase dramatically by learning the skills explained in this outdoorsman’s guide. 

2. Bushcraft 101

This bestseller is full of advice for surviving in the wilderness, written by an expert. He begins with five Cs – cutting tools, covering, combustion devices, containers, and cordages. He builds on these to provide some of the best useful information to do well in the backwoods. This author has also added on to the information with Advanced Bushcraft, and the two books can be obtained in a boxed set, as well. 

Advanced Bushcraft

Go beyond the basics with this advanced guide that includes improvisation and DIY things to increase self-reliance in the wilderness.

Bushcraft Boxed Set

Save time, money, and space by purchasing the two books along with two more titles in the Bushcraft series neatly organized into a boxed set. Titles include Bushcraft 101, Advanced Bushcraft, The Bushcraft Guide to Trapping, Gathering, and Cooking in the Wild, and Bushcraft First Aid. 

3. Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide

Surviving a catastrophe is made more likely with this comprehensive step-by-step guide to preparing for such disasters as natural disasters like hurricanes, earthquakes, and tornadoes, as well as social collapse, electrical failure, and other such situations. This can help your family to survive and thrive for weeks – or years. It covers food and water, medication, defense, and more. 

4. When the Grid Goes Down

Becoming self-reliant is the goal of preparing for surviving after a disaster or living off grid. This book explains method for living through a crisis or without electricity, even if it is due to personal choice. It explains ways to purify and store water, other ways to find water and how to map it, essential foods and medications, security and defense, and sanitation. 

5. The MeatEater Guide to Wilderness Skills and Survival

This New York Times bestseller is meant for anyone who wants to excel in outdoor survival, without being sensational. It is down-to-earth and full of tips and techniques used by Steven Rinella in his real-life outdoor experiences. He shares insights and mistakes to aid in learning how to be competent in the wilderness.

6. SAS Survival Guide

This handy pocket-sized guide is a complete outdoor companion which includes preparing, navigating, eating, defending, securing, and surviving. This essential guide is a carry-along supplement to the original handbook. 

SAS Survival Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere

The comprehensive guide to survival, this book covers everything someone might need to know.

Where to Buy
100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition: The SEAL Operative's Guide to Surviving in the Wild
Crisis Preparedness Guide: How to Survive the Coming Collapse
How to Stay Alive in the Woods: A Complete Guide to Food
Hawke's Green Beret Survival Manual: Essential Strategies For: Shelter and Water
SEAL Survival Guide: A Navy SEAL's Secrets to Surviving Any Disaster
The Ultimate Guide to U.S. Army Survival Skills, Tactics, and Techniques
The Lost Book of Remedies
The Survival Medicine Handbook: THE essential guide for when medical help is NOT on the way

7. 100 Deadly Skills (Survival Edition)

Written by a retired Navy SEAL, these 100 skills are real special forces proficiencies that have been adapted for civilian use. It links the skills with specific scenarios that help to learn. Detailed illustrations also aid in learning, limiting the necessity of complicated instructions. 

8. Crisis Preparedness Guide

Preparing for a crisis covers much more than just food and water. This book walks readers through making a plan for surviving that includes finances, food, stockpiling, concerns to deal with, extra considerations, with a lot of practical information and advice to see you through a catastrophe. Most of these tips and tricks will also be useful for living off-grid.

9. How to Stay Alive in the Woods

Geared to living in a forested area, this book covers identifying food that can be foraged, hunting, building a shelter for warmth, making clothing, self-defense, and signaling for assistance, among other things. Clearly explained and illustrated, this deluxe edition offers useful and practical information for anyone who wants or needs to live in the woods.

10. Hawke’s Green Beret Survival Manual

Good for anyone from outdoorsman to new campers, this comprehensive book about survival is written by a Green Beret veteran and survival expert Mykel Hawke. His style draws the reader in and his practical instruction makes this book an excellent addition to anyone’s survival library.

On top of these top 10 survival books, there are some additional books that may be helpful. 

Related Military-Based Books: 

Seal Survival Guide

This book written by a Navy SEAL is meant for surviving disasters, but is practical and useful to encourage anyone to become self-sufficient and able to defend oneself and the whole family.

The Ultimate Guide to US Army Survival Skills, Tactics, and Techniques

Taken from field manuals of the U.S. Army, the survival tips and tricks, tactics and techniques in this book will be helpful to anyone who is interested in survival or off-grid living. 

Medicine Specific:

The Lost Book of Herbal Remedies

Written by an herbalist, this book covers medical uses of nearly two hundred plants, many of which grow wild in various places around the country. This book is meant for people who have not previously learned how to recognize plants or what they are used for. It is comprehensive and informative and includes recipes for making medicine from the plants.

The Survival Medicine Handbook

670 pages of medical preparation for times when there is not a convenient medical professional fill this medicine handbook. It includes information for handling common injuries and illnesses as well as less common situations. 

Any one of the top ten survival books – plus four – are sure to be great additions to the library of anyone who wants to learn more about living off the land, in a self-sufficient manner.