Survival Books: Must Read Survival/Prepper Books

Survival Books for Beginner Preppers

Wow I never really realized how difficult it could be to search and find a good, useful and practical Prepper/ Survival guide or manual. One search through a site like Amazon and you will see the countless books written in the Survival and Prepper genre.

My sense is it would be difficult for both knowledgeable and beginners alike, trying to decide which book to purchase especially for one who does not quite to know what they are really looking for.

To ease your frustrations, I have done research on some of the top books written by experienced and professional authors on survivalism or prepping.

I have divided the books into categories;  Beginner Preppers, Seasoned Prepper and Family Prepping.  As I have done in my other book review article, I will be unbiased and use information and data from reports and content on the subject.

I use more than one book review source for each recommended guide to provide ratings, author info., review summary and any other interesting tidbits I found.  I will also conclude with my personal favorites (of which some will be listed in the recommended readings) that I hope interest you as well.

Beginner Preppers

For most, beginning any new venture tends to be the most difficult.  Let’s face it many of us have the desire but often lack follow through.  Then there are those of us that have the follow through but have the proverbial question “where do I start?”.

As for me, it has mostly been that path. I did not even know the questions I needed to research and inevitably answer.  Thus, the following suggested reading materials will hopefully fill in enough of the gaps to help you make a plan this right for you.

ProductOur RatingPricing
The Provident Prepper: A Common-Sense Guide to Preparing for Emergencies4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)
The Practical Preppers Complete Guide to Disaster Preparedness4.6 out of 5 stars (4.6 / 5)

The Provident Prepper  (358 pp.) by Kylene  & Jonathan Jones

The Provident Prepper as its title suggests, attempts to provide the reader ways to develop both necessary emergency preparedness skills and mindset before the need to have and use these learned skills arise.

About the author(s):
Prepper Book for Beginners
Both Kylene and Jonathan are career professionals in areas related to emergency preparedness.
They incorporate their acquired knowledge on prepping into their daily lives.
The Joneses presently educate and consult individuals on preparedness and self  reliance.

Unique or interesting tidbits about this book were:

The writer’s information is extensive covering all aspects of emergency preparedness and then some.
The ideas presented in the book come from countless hours of research done by the authors.
The author’s applied their findings by personally testing them out themselves to assure the strategies and skills they suggest are sound and most importantly work.

Interesting comments by the readers were: 

Mike Mullin of the Ashfall series actually used this type of book to make his post-apocalyptic series more realistic and accurate.
The book outlines exactly what you need to do, the supplies you need, how to use and store items.
The writing is down-to-earth and easy to understand.

The Practical Preppers Complete Guide to Disaster Preparedness (288 pp.) by Scott Hunt

About the author(s):
Survivialist book for Beginners
■ Scott has been a featured consultant on National Geography’s “Doomsday Preppers.”
■ As an engineering expert, he examines infrastructure to determine it’s integrity to withstand potential disaster conditions.   
■ Mr. Hunt preaches the need to be a flexible prepper to enable people to survive different disaster scenarios.

Unique or interesting tidbits about this book were:

◆ A strong emphasis is placed on the importance of securing an energy and water supply during a crisis. 
◆ Practical Preppers focuses on three factors; taking ones risk assessment to a potential crisis, building or reinforcing your current preparedness situation and understanding between grid dependent and self sustainable systems for ones survival.
◆ The book suggests doable preparedness plans before a man-made or natural disaster occurs.

Highlighted comments by the readers were:

● It is a great reference guide
● The author provides a step by step easy to follow format.
● Great pictures and illustrations are found throughout the book.

Seasoned Prepper

There are those of you who are no stranger to prepping and survivalism.  Yet, like the saying goes, old dogs can learn new tricks.

The following suggested readings provide you with a slightly different slant on possibly reviewing, rethinking and repositioning ones’ efforts to acquiring better and more effective survival techniques and strategies.

ProductOur RatingPricing
The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)
Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival4.5 out of 5 stars (4.5 / 5)

The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse (254 pp.) by Fernando “Ferfal” Aguirre

About the author(s):
Intermediate Survivalist Book
■  Aguirre experienced the devastating 2001 Argentine economic crisis first hand.
■ His personal motto is “prepare to survive and live a rich life.”
■ Fernando has been a prominent guest on many internet programs and has written numerous articles on emergency preparedness and survivalism.

Unique or interesting tidbits about this book were:

◆ The author attempts to clarify strongly held misconceptions in the survival and prepper community on proper preparation in the case of an economic crisis
◆ Aguirre provides personal accounts and experience to the events he faced throughout the socioeconomic turmoil in Argentina
◆ He illustrates through his narrative, the warning signs of pending economic collapse.

Highlighted comments by the readers were: 

● Ferfal’s views and recommendations are extremely valid and valuable
● Aguirre’s book is a critical critique of the Mel Tappan theory on survivalism.
● The ideas he suggests if implemented will give you peace of mind and a better quality of life.

Contact! A Tactical Manual for Post Collapse Survival (600 pp.) by Max Velocity

About the author(s):
Prepping Book for Profesional Prepper
■ Max is a lifelong military career solider who served in both US and British forces.
■ He owns a tactical and leadership training facility in West Virginia.
■ Max advocates light infantry style training appropriate for preparing the typical armed civilian.

Unique or interesting tidbits about this book were:

◆ The book focuses on the impact on individuals and families intent on survival after societal collapse.
◆ This manual is appropriate for both the tactical newbie and the military veteran.
◆ Max advocates passing on tactical and practical knowledge to better prepare and survive the lawlessness and the inevitable starving post collapse hordes.

Highlighted comments by the readers were:

● Patience, practice and casting aside ego will be needed to soak in this content and to get right Max’s tactical suggestions.
● The book lays out much of what you need to know to be a force to be reckoned with in a non linear battlefield.
● The book uses easy to understand language rather than the acronyms and military jargon found in other books.

Family Prepping

I personally do not know if most books on survivalism or prepping address concerns surrounding the incorporation and active participation of the family unit (even Fido?) in planning, preparing and executing necessary measures to keep all  healthy, safe and secure. Therefore I include books that specifically discuss the family.

ProductOur RatingPricing
Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios4.8 out of 5 stars (4.8 / 5)
Urban Preppers with Kids, Pets & Parents: Disaster Survival for the Family4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)

Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst-Case Scenarios (336 pp.) by Lisa Bedford

About the author(s):
Survival Mom Book
■ Ms. Bedford is a Mom’s Choice Award winner for her published books on prepping and survivalism.
■ Lisa has been featured in Newsweek, Glen Beck, Doomsday Preppers and Survivalist magazine.
■ Her inspiration came from her desire to have a mom’s or woman’s perspective that is often lacking or overlooked in the     prepping or survival genres.

Unique or interesting tidbits about this book were:

◆ At the beginning of her book, Lisa provides a questionnaire to help moms determine their level of emergency preparedness in a comical way and to immediate engage the reader. 
◆ Ms. Bedford’s life experiences and societal concerns were the impetus to her becoming effective and efficient prepper.
◆ She attempts to educate her reader by providing practical planning and
recommendations for family emergency preparedness that are both realistic and doable.

Highlighted comments by the readers were:

● The books has a chock full of valuable tips from a female perspective.
● This “stock pile” guide to self sufficiency and emergency preparedness is a wealth of information for both the novice and seasoned…
● It is well referenced with fresh insights in a funny and well written narrative.

Urban Preppers with Kids, Pets and Parents: Disaster Survival for the Family  (490 pp.) by James G. Mushen

About the author(s):
Book on Family Prepping
■ James Mushen is a noted expert in Cyber Security.
■ Rex Michaels a former military and survivalist training specialist was a major contributor to this book.

Unique or interesting tidbits about this book were:

◆ Mushen’s book focuses on emergency preparedness in an urban environment.
◆ The book reviews three areas of prepping and planning; bugging in, bugging out and the possible disaster scenarios one might encounter.   
◆ The author suggestion and recommendations are geared towards a middle of the road philosophy in prepping and survivalism rather than a more hardcore and tactical approach.

Highlighted comments by the readers were:

● This book is geared towards the beginner and intermediate prepper.
● The author takes into account the many limitations confronting urban dwellers that many other survival informational sources miss.
● Urban Preppers provides the do’s and don’t’s along with tips and tricks.

My  Personal Favorites     

There are many more books that I will review regarding bug out bags in another article writing that will provide just as much insight and commentary as I did here.  However, there are some reading materials that I have selected which are not only favorites but also form part of my personal prepping and survival library.

ProductOur RatingPricing
How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques4.4 out of 5 stars (4.4 / 5)
Bug Out Gear for Travelers (Practical Survival Series Book 8)4.1 out of 5 stars (4.1 / 5)

How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It (336 pp) by James Wesley Rawles

Survivalism and Prepping

How to Survive the End of the World is one of the most important books in my collection. I have read and listen to the CD version of this book many times.

Not only have I used and implemented many of the ideas from the book but has been instrumental in helping me forge my basic philosophy on survivalism and prepping.  One such axiom is the need to be charitable and another is to live a more mobile lifestyle whenever possible.

Capt. James Wesley Rawles is an extremely respected and well known figure in the prepping and survivalist community.  James insights and suggestions are from his lifelong experience both personally and professionally with survivalism and emergency preparedness which is the backbone for this important work.

Many of his ideas expressed in this book tend to be sensible and realistic. If I had to suggest a good overall book on prepping for both a newbie and avid prepper (as a good review) alike, this would be the one.

Bug Out Gear for Travelers (36 pp.) by Tony Nester

Bug out bag gear

On one of my book searches on Amazon, I came across an interesting title and book cover that sparked my curiosity; Bug Out Gear for Travelers.  It struck me that preppers most often consider the what ifs that may occur near or around ones surrounding during the course of a routine day.  But I think many have wondered (like myself) what can one do to be prepped if they are traveling (especially by air) temporarily away from home.

Tony Nester is a veteran prepper who has trained government officials, famous personalities and civilian individuals in survival skills and outdoor safety techniques for over 20 years.

Besides being a prolific author printed in many well known publications, he has been featured on many news and television programs.  Thus, his extensive knowledge on prepping especially away from home comes through in his book.

Many of his suggestions are simple and easy to implement.  Suggestions like purchasing many useful but inexpensive items when you get to your destination or to carrying extra water and foodstuffs when one is driving around in a rental car makes one realize that being prepared is truly a state of mind.

He reminds us that we can and should be prepared for any calamity no matter where we are even when we might be on vacation.  This book was definitely a keeper.

No matter which book you chose from the list above, all may provide you with some new strategy, technique or suggestion that you can practice and implement with success.  Most importantly, the vast and deep knowledge conveyed by these authors will add or supplement your understanding on prepping and survival.

1 Comment

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