Best Books for Survivalists

An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest.

Benjamin Franklin


In the world of self-reliance and survival there is one thing that provides us the ability to consistently adapt and overcome. That thing is knowledge, or in tactical terms, raw intel. When it comes to matters of education there is simply no better way to obtain offbeat know-how than good old-fashioned reading. Pick up a book, find a quiet place and read. Before we go any further it should be noted that there is something to be said for the accessibility of digital devices such as Kindles and Nooks. These platforms allow a reader the luxury of stockpiling lots of literature in a single space. Such access is to be taken into account and used accordingly by the modern-day survivalist. However, when it comes to survival and longevity, you simply can’t beat the old waysβ€”meaning ink and paperβ€”books. It should also be mentioned that some of the real β€œoldie-but-goody” texts are difficult to find in e-book form. Which means sniffing them out is its own adventure. Β 

We’ve taken the liberty of compiling a brief list of informative texts that every true survivalist should take a look at. From finding food sources to fighting it out in a SHTF scenario, these texts are full of information that can save you and your loved ones in the event of a real survival situation.


The Self-Reliance Manifesto
Len McDougall, Skyhorse Publishing

A brightly illustrated and fully loaded text with a wealth of information, The Self-Reliance Manifesto is an excellent all-around book for those seeking to gain knowledge in the realm of survivalism. Len McDougall’s book covers everything from making trench stoves, to hand-dug seepage wells and the painfully realistic topic of wilderness dentistry. Whether you’re a full-time prepper looking to refresh your survival skill set, a newbie, or a concerned elder wanting to bestow a certain young man with a gift that will last him a lifetime, The Survivalist Manifesto is an exceptional book that sets a solid precedent for the modern survivalist.


Survival Guns
Mel Tappan, The Janus Press

Although most books on survival dedicate (at best) a chapter to the application of firearms for self-defense, the late Mel Tappan, author of numerous articles in Guns and Ammo as well as Soldier of Fortune Magazine, has complied an entire book with regard to the topic. If you’ve ever taken the time to ask yourself, what weapons you would need to effectively defend your household in a survival situation, this book more than adequately answers that question. Survival Guns is a sought-after classic of its kind, meaning that it is currently out of print. To get your hands on a copy, you may have to do a bit of digging but it is definitely worth your time.

Healing Foods Dale Pinnock, Skyhorse Publishing

Healing Foods
Dale Pinnock, Skyhorse Publishing

The notion of medicinal cookery may be a newly emerging trend in survivalist circles but its origins reach deep into our primitive ancestry. Not only is it important to know what plants and herbs can be used to heal, it is absolutely essential to learn and commit to memory the methods in which such plants and herbs are prepared, then utilized. Dale Pinnock’s book isn’t just jam-packed with information on what can heal you in a pinch, it even goes so far as to detail which foods directly affect certain parts of the human body. Healing Food has entire sections that go system by system, specifying what naturopathic remedies are best suited to heal us, from the digestive system, to the immune system and down to the joints.

This isn’t just a book, it is more like an anthology of primitive survival. Editor David Wescott has compiled a cargo load of ideas and instruction on primitive skills that are as pertinent today as they were 200,000 years ago. Far too often modern survivalists get caught up in gadgetry and the general commodification of the survivalist movement. Primitive Technology takes its reader back to the basics, from fashioning tools out of stone, to primitive firecraft and prehistoric shelter building. It is a must-read for anyone who seeks to hone their survival skills, and a humbling collection of knowledge for anyone who encounters it. Β Β 

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