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Prepare For SHTF With The 14 Best Prepper Books

When All Hell Breaks Loose and SHTF arrives it’s going to be a “fight with whatcha brung” sort of situation. Life will belong to the Prepared; those who took emergency preparedness seriously; those who practiced the knowledge in their library of prepper books.

Which Books To Buy For My Prepper Library, and Why.

Having a good set of survival books as part of your basic SHTF preps is super important for anyone who wants to be prepared when disaster strikes. A well-rounded library should cover a wide range of topics from urban survival to wilderness survival, medical emergencies to food preparation, and a large variety of survival tips in between.

Know that a small library can’t cover every possible scenario. I’m not claiming to present the prepper’s version of a Harvard 5-foot shelf. What follows here is a very good jumping-off point for you as you grow your knowledge of prepping and emergency preparedness.

Even the most comprehensive prepper library cannot account for every possible event that may occur. For instance, the books in your library may cover what to do in case of an economic collapse, but what if you find yourself in a situation where you need to defend yourself against a physical threat? This is where having a diverse skill set and the ability to think on your feet becomes most helpful.

The key is to use your prepper library as a foundation and build from there with your own experiences and knowledge. Don’t limit yourself to the information contained only in these books. Use them as a guide and add your own critical thinking and creativity to adapt to different situations.

Paper Or Digital?

In an SHTF scenario, access to information could mean the difference between life and death. A digital library might be lightweight and seem convenient, but there are limitations and risks that come with relying solely on electronic devices. Here are a few reasons why having actual physical books in your survival library is better for preppers:

First, electronic devices use electricity, which may not be available during an emergency situation. A hard copy library doesn’t require electricity to access the information. As long as you have access to natural light, you can read and use the books in your library.

Second, tablets and laptops are more prone to damage from water and fire. A physical library, on the other hand, is less vulnerable to damage and can be stored safely in a waterproof container or fireproof safe.

Third, if you rely solely on a digital library, you run the risk of losing access to your information because of a technical glitch, hack, or other failure. A hard copy SHTF library gets rid of this risk and ensures you have access to important information at any time.

Fourth, a physical library lets you share information with others in your community. In an SHTF situation, it’s important to work together and share knowledge and resources. An actual survival book lets you do this more easily than a laptop.

Books for Bugging Out

It’s great to know where you’re going to bug out to, but you may have to change your plan for how you get there once everyone else takes an “every man for himself” approach. There are two suggestions in this category that assume your plan will have to be deviated from and you may need to blend in for a bit to get to where you’re going.

Rand McNally Road Map

Rand McNally Road map for Survival Library

Digital maps may be convenient, but they rely on a stable power grid and an internet connection. A physical map will help you navigate without the need for technology. Rand McNally maps, in particular, are known for their accuracy and detail, making them an ideal choice for navigation during an emergency.

Their comprehensive index of cities and towns can help preppers plan alternate bug-out routes and avoid

potential danger zones. You can write on a Rand McNally road map to fit your specific needs with notes about things like unsanctioned checkpoints from gangs.

If you need to bug out, the ability to navigate through unfamiliar towns can be a matter of life or death. With a Rand McNally road map, preppers have a reliable resource for navigating the roads in sketchy circumstances.

Gray Man Theory

Gray Man Tactics for Prepper Library

“Gray Man Tactics: Strategies of the Unseen and Unknown” is a book that focuses on the art of becoming invisible in a dangerous situation. The author, a retired Special Forces operator, provides tips and techniques on how to blend in and avoid detection in a crisis.

The book covers a range of topics including surveillance detection, disguises, evasion techniques, and the psychology behind remaining undetected.

The author emphasizes the importance of being aware of your surroundings and having a plan in place for potential threats. “Gray Man Tactics” is a comprehensive guide for those seeking to enhance their situational awareness and personal security in a variety of scenarios.

Prepper Books for Self-Defense

If SHTF stretches out beyond 30 days and you haven’t seen the police, an EMT, or the National Guard, then…

You’re on your own. And it may be that way for longer than you’d like it to be.

100 Deadly Skills

100 Deadly Skills for your prepper library

“100 Deadly Skills” by Clint Emerson is a complete guide for anyone looking to elevate their survival skills in any dangerous situation. Written by a former Navy SEAL, the book covers a variety of topics such as evading pursuers, surviving in the wilderness, defending against physical attacks, and more.

The book is straightforward to follow and organized in clear, easy-to-read chapters with concise instructions.

Emerson provides real-life examples and stories from his experience as a Navy SEAL, making the book an informative, entertaining read. “100 Deadly Skills” is a core resource for improving your survival skills and increasing your chances of surviving a dangerous situation.

Gunsmithing Modern Firearms: A Gun Guy’s Guide to Making Good Guns Even Better

Gunsmithing Modern Firearms for SHTF Library

Firearms malfunction. Because of that, you’ll need a gunsmithing book in your library of survival books.

Bryce Towsley’s “Gunsmithing Modern Firearms” is a great guide for modifying and improving modern firearms. The book covers many topics, including tools, techniques, and materials needed for gunsmithing. It gives detailed instructions on how to customize handguns, shotguns, and rifles.

Towsley shares his experience and what he knows on topics like choosing the right parts, fitting and finishing, and testing and troubleshooting. The book has helpful pictures and diagrams to guide you through the gunsmithing process.

This book will be incredibly helpful if you’re in a situation where you need to piece together one firearm from several or just fix the one you have. There’s even a bit of humor to help with your morale.

Prepper Books about Food

Food. Water. Shelter. There is so much to know about hunting and growing your own food. We dedicated a third of this library to this topic because it’s that important.

Farmer’s Almanac

The Farmers Almanac is a Survival Book

Every Prepper needs a Farmer’s Almanac because it contains valuable information on weather patterns, planting schedules, and other agricultural tips to help your garden during an SHTF situation.

The Farmer’s Almanac includes a wide range of other useful tips and advice like celestial events and home remedies.

The Almanac has been a trusted resource for farmers and homesteaders for over two centuries and remains an essential tool for anyone looking to live a self-sufficient lifestyle.

In a survival scenario where access to modern technology and information may be limited, having a physical copy of the Farmer’s Almanac could prove to be invaluable…

The Vegetable Gardner’s Bible: 3 Books in 1

The Vegetable Gardner's Bible Prepper Book

The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible: 3 Books in 1 belongs in every prepper’s library of survival books. It’s a great resource when it comes to growing your own vegetables.

Tiffany Weber provides thorough information on several aspects of vegetable gardening, including planning, planting, and maintaining a garden.

With 500+ pages, this book covers topics like soil preparation, pest control, and harvesting. You’ll find information on growing a wide variety of vegetables, both common and unusual.

Whether you’re a beginning prepper or a seasoned gardener, this book is a valuable reference guide and will help you with one of the most basic survival skills: growing your own food.

The Complete Guide to Food Preservation

The Complete Guide to Food Preservation for you Prepper Library

You’re likely not going to be able to grow food year-round so you’ll need a book among your survival books that covers food preservation. And if you’ve never canned, dried, or freeze-dried food “The Complete Guide to Food Preservation” has step-by-step instructions on how to handle each of these.

The book covers a wide variety of techniques for preserving fruits, vegetables, meats, and dairy products,

and gives you tips on how to safely preserve food and improve the shelf life of your pantry. It covers detailed information on the equipment you need for each method and gives guidance on choosing the best foods to preserve. The book also offers advice on how to properly store preserved foods and how to use them in cooking. Whether you’re a seasoned home preserver or new to the process.

How To Field Dress Game

Pocket Guide to Field Dressing Game Prepper Book

“The Ron Cordes Pocket Guide to Field Dressing Game with Steve Gilbert” is a compact and informative guidebook on how to field dress game animals. The illustrations and step-by-step instructions are very detailed.

This guide covers a range of topics, from choosing the right knife for the job to preparing the animal for transport

to properly dressing and storing the meat. It also has useful tips for dealing with common problems that come up when you’re field dressing game. The pages are waterproof. The format is compact and the advice is useful. This guide will help you put food on the table so it belongs as one of your survival books.

Prepper Books For Medicine

There are a few options here, and as with the all-in-one survival books we’ll discuss later, I would suggest getting each of these survival books for your prepper library. The reason is the same; they all offers something a little different.

The Prepper’s Medical Handbook

The Prepper's Medical Handbook for your survival library

The Prepper’s Medical Handbook is a comprehensive survival book on emergency medical situations that could happen in a disaster or survival scenario. The book covers wound care, infectious diseases, childbirth, and dental emergencies.

William Forgery explains the importance of having a well-stocked first aid kit and tells you how to create one.

I particularly like that the book discusses natural remedies in emergency situations because if SHTF continues for any length of time you won’t be able to get the same kind of meds you have access to today. You’ll also learn how to diagnose and treat common medical conditions.

This is a valuable survival handbook for preppers when it comes to handling a medical emergency in a survival situation.

The Ultimate Survival Medicine Guide

The Ultimate Survival Medicine Guide Prepper Book

The Ultimate Survival Medicine Guide: Emergency Preparedness for ANY Disaster” is arguably one of the best books for a prepper library. It’s a complete survival medicine handbook for preppers and it covers a wide range of medical emergencies you might find yourself in if disaster strikes.

Written by a physician, it has practical advice on how to handle medical problems when you can’t find a doctor. Covered topics include wound care, dealing with

infections, emergency childbirth, dental emergencies, and mental health issues that may arise during or after a disaster.

The book stresses the importance of being prepared with basic medical supplies which will help you build out your first aid kit. It also stresses having the knowledge to use your first aid kit effectively. I’d push you to read this one before SHTF, rather than after if you want to maximize your chances of dealing with medical emergencies.

Home Distilling

The Home Distilling Bible for your SHTF Library

Outside of celebration, alcohol has several uses including sterilization, pain management, running machinery, and as a weapon. It also has an infinite shelf life.

The Home Distilling Bible by Gus Jackson actually makes a good survival book. It covers practical and useful tips for making high-alcohol content beverages that you’ll enjoy drinking, and for which you might have an emergency need.

When you’re distilling your own liquor one of the most important is that your still doesn’t explode. This book walks you through step-by-step instructions on how to build a still you can run safely.

I know not many others have introduced this idea, but this book belongs with the rest of your survival books.

Printed Blank Calendars for 3 Years

This one is really easy because it’s a DIY. Print out three years worth of blank calendars an place them in a 3-ring binder. I’d add whole protectors on the pages as well.

If you find yourself in a drawn-out SHTF situation you may not have access to a digital calendar. You’re going to want to track the year so that you can be mindful of the change in seasons. You’ll want to have a way to track when you planted crops and when they should approximately be ready for harvest. You’ll want to track when big or important events happen.

All-in-One Survival Books

You’ve got to have at least one of these in your SHTF library and I’d really recommend that you get all three. While there is a bit of overlap they are all unique and provide something different as far as “survival books” or “prepper books” go.

The Lost Ways

the lost ways prepper book

Not so long ago, what we call “survival” today, was called “everyday life”. “The Lost Ways” by Claude Davis is a survival guide that brings back the “survival techniques” and strategies used by those who came before us and didn’t have modern conveniences.

The book shows you how to live without electricity, water, and other amenities during times of crisis. It covers a range of topics including food storage, building shelter, and self-defense techniques. The book also shows you how to use plants and raw materials to make medicine, clothing, and tools.

The Lost Ways” is a comprehensive guide that offers valuable insights into how to survive in the face of adversity.

Just In Case: How To Be Self-Sufficient When The Unexpected Happens

Just in case self reliance survival book

Whether you’re a prepper or not, this is a survival guide you should have on hand. “Just In Case: How To Be Self-Sufficient When The Unexpected Happens” is for anyone looking to become more self-reliant and prepared for unexpected situations.

The book discusses tips and advice on a range of topics that include emergency preparedness, self-sufficiency, survival skills, and more.

Kathy Harrison offers practical and common sense guidance on how to be better prepared for the unexpected. You’ll find practical solutions and an emphasis on one of the prepper core tenets of Community. “Just In Case” is a really good resource to help you build self-reliance.

SAS Urban Survival Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere

SAS Urban Survival Handbook for Prepper library

Every once in a while you find something that can’t be beat. The “SAS Urban Survival Handbook” is such a book and that’s why if you go to any other SHTF blog you’ll find this book listed in their survival books too.

John Wiseman’s work is a comprehensive guide for those who can’t afford a bug-out location and have to focus on urban prepping to survive. Wiseman is a former British Special Air Service operative who instructs you on a wide range of topics from basic skills to self-defense techniques.

The book emphasizes the importance of disaster preparedness and offers practical advice on how to do so. It includes guidance on how to secure your home, how to get food and water in urban environments, and how to move through a city in a crisis.

You’ll find information about first aid, medical emergencies, and mental preparedness. The “SAS Urban Survival Handbook” is a quintessential guide for anyone who will ride out SHTF in an urban environment.

Solar DIY Projects

Solar DIY Projects prepper book

I love this book. In fact, it was one of my first prepper books. Because I live in the Southwest, the projects around water are particularly useful to me. I’ve built two of the Solar Distillers and implemented several projects around harvesting water.

Solar DIY Projects” is really a step-by-step manual on how to build solar-powered gadgets and systems at home.

There’s a wide range of projects, including solar ovens, water heaters, lighting systems, and a solar kiln. I’m not an electrician so the section on solar power which covers the basics of wiring, soldering, and other technical skills is super helpful.

I especially like that the book includes clear illustrations and good pictures to guide readers through each project. It’s written with an easy-to-follow approach making it a great resource for building your own solar-powered systems.