Prepping books

I enjoy reading and collecting prepping books (nonfiction).  I’m also making a prepping journal (supplies, gardening, what to do kind of stuff).  I have collection of magazines (Mother Earth News, Grit, Country Side).  Hardcopies are beneficial for me and my grandkids in case we ever loose power for an extended period of time, i.e., SHTF.  The below pic is most of my books.  Please recommend books you find useful. Thanks very much.survival books 


  • Comments (15)

    • 6

      I can recommend “The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes – and Why” by Amanda Ripley. I bought the audiobook about a week ago. Very good narrator and very interesting content. I have listened to it twice now, and it’s definitely a keeper for me. Should be great to have in a printed version. Also, for anyone out there with an Audible subscription, I was able to download for free “Deep Survival: True Stories of Miraculous Endurance and Sudden Death” by Lawrence Gonzales. This is a book that is on the recommended books page on The Prepared and I look forward to listening to it.

      Comparing my bookshelf to yours, I might recommend “Bushcraft: Outdoor Skills and Wilderness Survival” by Mors Kochanski. It has a great combination of illustrations and text so should be equally interesting to you and your grandkids. (I love the illustrations.) Another entertaining book is “Survival Wisdom & Know-How.” Only downside to this one is that it’s a huge book (same size as my National Geographic World Atlas!)

      One more idea I have is a supplement to your canning books. A couple years ago, a friend gifted me a book called “The Joy of Pickling” by Linda Ziedrich. It’s my reference book for times when I have a lot of vegetables and eggs; it might contain some useful recipes for you too.

      • 2

        I just finished “The Unthinkable” by Amanda Riley and agree it is really good insight and information on how persons actually respond in disasters and how educating and empowering the regular folks is key.  I’m on my second time through the audiobook I get from the local library.  It was mentioned on another thread.

    • 7

      Like Temari said, we have a great article about some of the Best survival and prepper books that you should check out if you haven’t already. Also the discussion of that article has some other good feedback from users. There are some books on that list that peaked my interest, and instead of just going out and buying them, I looked and saw that my library had the ones that I was interested in. It was nice to borrow it, read it, and see if that was a book that I wanted to invest in and buy.


      These are four paperback prepping books that I have. The top two I had bought while in high school when I was getting into prepping and liked watching Cody Lundin on the Discovery Channel. They are pretty basic and if you have been prepping for a while, I may not recommend it as much as I would to the newbie prepper. 

      The bottom two are okay… Just a overall guide of various prepping and survival topics. 

      I personally would much rather just look up the topic I want to learn about here on The Prepared. The resources, knowledge, and details in the articles here are much better than i’ve read in any of these books. But if you are wanting an offline copy of something, then these could be good options.

      I’m trying to learn everything in these books, and from places like The Prepared ahead of time so that if a disaster was to hit, I would have all that knowledge in my brain, readily accessible. I won’t have to run to my book and figure out how to filter and purify water. But for some things that you don’t have experience with and are a bit more complex, having a resource guide is valuable. 

      Winston Smith – I think you have a much better library than I do. Your books are about gardening, canning, and first aid. While you can learn those skills, those are books where a reference guide would be a good resource. Mine aren’t of much value once they are up in your noggin, there isn’t too much that they add being in book form.

    • 4

      I find Mother Earth news to be an incredible resource for preppers and those wanting to be self sufficient.  I have lots of books, covering all sorts of topics, but if I had to choose just one, the most comprehensive one I have is Grandpappy’s Survival Manual For Hard Times.  I mean for example, he devotes 10 pages, with pictures, to making homemade soap from rainwater, wood ash & animal fat.


      • 6

        That looks like a pretty great book. Thank you for sharing.

      • 1

        Mr. Atkins has a website with many articles on survival topics:  grandpappy.org

    • 6


      Wouldn’t be a book but rather a catalog or magazine. For my specifics, I have a couple of fish nets.

      Net fishing need not be neglected even if not near bodies of water. Too many forget about required evacuations.

      I’m mentioning this method only for all Hades breaks loose / SHTF situations.  Otherwise, the regulations on net fishing mean only for the licensed to the hilt non-private citizen.

      The R.O.I. – Return on Investment – of net fishing compared to other food source efforts – are high … very high.

    • 2

      Not so much books, but survival magazines can be useful, “‘American’ Survival Guide” was published from Jan 82 through Sept 2000 and has lots of articles.  “Survive” started in 1981 and died in 1985, followed a few years later by “Practical Survival” in 1991-1992.  Older issues are available from used bookstores and e-Bay, among others. There are more recent magazines available with similar titles and updated gear selections.  Don’t overlook them, but don’t overpay to get copies!  Then share what you have with your group!

    • 2

      A few possible additions …

      Joe Sacco – Safe Area Gorazde: A report on a bosnian muslim enclave in serb held territory, during the yugoslav war from ~91-93 or so. Many harrowing stories of escape or near escape. The importance of firewood and, – surprisingly, books and movies and so on. Prepping lessons on signs to look out for when to flee, skills that might be handy – many residents of Gorazde had small watermills with generators on the local river, the Drina. I’m currently rereading with an eye for prepping lessons and tbh I find many of the tragic and brutal stories overwhelming.

      Joe Sacco is a journalist, but the book is a graphic novel.

      Dina Dor-Kasten – Versteckt unter der Erde. The author lives in in Israel, I’m kinda amazed the book appears to be only available in german.

      The authors parents where Jews in Ukraine during WW2. The family excaped from a Ghetto in ’42 and hid, with two little kids (Dina, the author, and her brother) in a forest until liberation in ’44. TBH I havent read it yet, but there’s a summary by austrian survival trainer Reini Rossmann on youtube (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GHy1TCFDb18  hopefully the autotranslate/subtitles are useful!) with prepping lessons: The firm decision of the father of the familiy, to take their fate into their own hands, the importance of really hiding in the forest from search parties in an underground hideout, you cant live off the land for such a long time – essentially the Kastens, and other jews and partisans hiding in the same forest, had to steal food from nearby farmers, get support from or work for food and tools – the father was a skilled sewer and could sometimes find work on farms. Also the family had good winter clothes.

      The video mentions a blog by the author that I was not able to find.

    • 3

      My prepping library extends a bit beyond the usual prepping topics, especially with respect to health. I highly recommend any of these which I haven’t seen mentioned elsewhere in this thread:

      Thrive – Juan Pablo Quinonez

      Where There is No Dentist – Murray Dickson

      8 Steps to a Pain-Free Back – Esther Gokhale

      Paradise: One Town’s Struggle to Survive an American Wildfire – Lizzie Johnson

      The Diabetes Code: Prevent and Reverse Type 2 Diabetes Naturally – Jason Fung

      On Tyranny: Twenty Lessons from the Twentieth Century – Timothy Snyder

      Run for Your Life: How to Run, Walk, and Move Without Pain or Injury – Mark Cucuzella

      • 2

        On Tyranny as a survival book? 

        Not a single mention of any bushcraft skill or gear, or anything useful once the golden hordes invade after an EMP strike. 

        I’ve seen this show up in your other lists.  Care to comment on why?  I have my own opinions (disregarding the political rants).

      • 2

        “Not a single mention of any bushcraft skill or gear”

        The first book on my list is “Thrive” which has chapters on bushcraft, fire making, and other wilderness survival skills. I’ve shared my thoughts on that book extensively in another post and highly recommend it.


        “On Tyranny as a survival book? Care to comment on why?”

        Tyrranical revolutions happen fairly regularly across the world and hurt quite a lot of people, making it an important scenario for preparedness. This book is mainly about prevention, from a community perspective. I’ve been fortunate to live in a stable country but do not take it for granted.

        “anything useful once the golden hordes invade after an EMP strike.”

        I do actually have a nuclear war survival book but haven’t read much of it yet. That scenario is low priority for me just due to likelihood, but here’s the book if you’re interested. 

        Nuclear War Survival Skills – Cresson Kearny

      • 2

        I was actually referring to the book.  It seemed out of place given all of the other books were about prepping skills.  To prevent tyranny, “good people” must first realize that tyrannical leaders came to power because “good people” don’t just allow it, they actively participate in and support their tyranny.  There’s a saying that people that don’t study history are doomed to repeat it, and those that do study history are doomed to watch them do it.

    • 2

      My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George.

      Hatchet by Gary Paulson.

    • 2

      I highly recommend “The Resilient Gardener” by Carol Deppe. It focuses on only 6 crops – beans, corn, potatoes, squash, and eggs – to maintain nutrition and calorie needs. I feel like everything else in the garden would be for tastiness and variety (which is also important!) It also provides a lot of advice for maintaining your crops when you have a personal disaster – you’re injured or just getting older or have to care for someone else and can’t prioritize your garden.