We may be long past the howling wilderness of our earliest ancestors, but the world is still a largely inhospitable and unpredictable place; a man can never be too prepared for what may lie ahead.
Whether you are an avid outdoorsman or eager to prepare for any apocalyptic demise, a dependable survival guide is no less than essential.
From procuring and preserving food to building fires, an invaluable survival book will prepare you for the worst in the best way possible. The time may come when you will need to discern beneficial herbs from poisonous, locate edible vegetation, and repair your supplies from nature’s own store. A thorough survival book will take you through all of these feats, offering practical and easy-to-follow information, as well as handy illustrations.
Even the most proficient man needs the occasional guide to keep him in good stead, and many of history’s finest explorers, leaders, and navigators depended on such an addition to their ventures. Today’s survival books are designed for optimal portability, many featuring weatherproof binding. Gone are the days of lengthy exposition and unnecessary text; the modern man deserves a modern guide that gets to the point and saves both time and valuable resources.
A survival book is not only a must-have, but an excellent gift for survival enthusiasts, as well as those newly embarking on their own adventures and uncertain paths. Not knowing for sure what the future holds, a well-crafted and expertly written survival guide provides a solid source of comfort and assurance that failure will never be an option.
Best Survival Books For Men
1. The Encyclopedia Of Country Living By Carla Emery
One of the top books of the homesteader’s movement. This encyclopedia has been updated to help with 21st century survival. As encyclopedias do, a wide range of topics are covered within its pages; raising animals, food prep, beekeeping, and even how to deliver a baby. If you’re wanting to explore living a simpler life, this needs to be on your bookshelf.
2. The Gift Of Fear And Other Survival Signals That Protect Us From Violence By Gavin De Becker
The Gift of Fear is a book that tells you to trust your gut. If your gut is telling you something is off, you should trust your gut and not try to talk yourself out of it. Being alert and aware of your surroundings is important to your personal safety. De Becker cites that true fear is a gift that we should not ignore.
3. SAS Survival Handbook By John Lofty Wiseman
This survival guide is a classic manual that goes one step further to add information about urban threats and security. Written by a New York Times bestselling author, Wiseman takes you thru basic survival skills, disaster survival skills, first aid, food, and hand-to-hand combat techniques. This is a prepper/bushcrafter’s next bible.
4. Build The Perfect Bug Out Bag By Creek Stewart
If you had to leave your house today due to either a disaster caused by man or mother nature, would you be ready? This book outlines what to place in your bugout bag if you have to suddenly leave your home. You will have a solid understanding of what to put in your bugout bag and why you need it. You’ll also get tips for bugging out with pets, children and even the handicapped.
5. The Survival Medicine Handbook By Joseph Alton
Written by a medical doctor and a nurse practitioner, this guide provides guidance on treating medical conditions when you don’t have access to emergency medicine. It is written in a manner that acts as if there are no medical facilities or doctors available after a disastrous event. An incredibly useful book to add to your family’s library.
6. Wildwood Wisdom By Ellsworth Jaeger
Wildwood Wisdom is a historical survival guide, so it is not written in modern language. However, this book is invaluable to your collection. Written to describe a time when surviving required more with less (i.e. lack of technology). In this age of technology it is hard to think of surviving without some form of technology. This book shows that it is possible.
7. Survive By Les Stroud
Creator of Survivorman, Les Stroud, shares his survival knowledge that he has tested time and time again. He emphasizes that a true survival situation is an emergency and is much different than a survival getaway weekend. He shares the nitty-gritty details of survival in a manner that is candid and honest.
8. Hawkes Green Beret Survival Manual By Mykel Hawke
Special Forces Captain Mykel Hawke provides survival strategies from a former Green Beret’s perspective and experience. His wit and candor make this guide easy and fun to read. In essence, every aspect of our lives could be considered a survival situation. He provides a wealth of information about maintaining the right attitude, while providing survival techniques.
9. The Survival Handbook By Dk Publishing
This survival handbook has a little bit of everything in it bound in a nice and neat presentation. It can help you survive and stay lost, or it can help you survive and get found. Great for beginners as it covers loads of information in relatively broad terms. If you are returning to the outdoorsy lifestyle, this would also be a great refresher.
10. Edible Wild Plants By Lee Allen Peterson
It is very important to know the difference between edible wild plants, and poisonous wild plants. This guide will illustrate hundreds of plants that are safe to consume. It will also show you exact drawings and descriptions to their poisonous look-a-likes that need to be avoided. Another must-have for your bugout pack.
11. Advanced Bushcraft By Dave Canterbury
Looking to step up your bushcrafting game? If you already have the basics down, this book will take you to the next level. Surviving in the wilderness is no easy feat, especially for a long period of time. After reading this, you will be able to think ahead of your experience to prepare for any surprises that may pop up along your journey.
12. Pocket Field Guide Survival Knots By Creek Stewart
This first volume of survival knots houses a collection of knots that any outdoorsman should know. The detailed illustrations provide step-by-step guidance on how to tie the knot. Then Creek Stewart goes into detail as to why each knot is vital. He also shares his own experiences using the knots. This guide is compact and will fit neatly into your pack.
13. 98.6 Degrees By Cody Lundin
Cody Lundin will entertain you in a practical way with this survival guide. He outlines basic principles help keep your ass alive in the wilderness; maintaining natural body temperature and managing your mindset. Lundin is known for his funny, yet no-nonsense approach to survival. This book is up to date and will be the perfect edition to anyone’s survival guide arsenal.
14. Mud, Sweat, And Tears By Bear Grylls
Man vs Wild’s Bear Grylls shares his story of becoming the ultimate adventurer. Bear’s story begins as a child living on an isolated island and leads up to where he is now. This is a thrilling look into the exciting, and often dangerous, life of Bear Grylls.
15. Basic Butchering Of Livestock And Game By John J Mettler
Butchering your own meat can be an intimidating task. Butchering isn’t just important for life on the farm; it is also a skill that will improve your chances of survival in the wilderness. You’ll get all the basic instruction on how to butcher and process small to large animals. Also, if you typically use a meat locker to process your meat, you’re going to save yourself some money because you won’t have to pay processing fees any longer.
16. Bushcraft First Aid By Dave Canterbury
Dave Canterbury and Jason Hunt get together to write this guide about first aid in the wilderness. Both of the authors have years of experience under their belts and they are sharing it with anyone who is interested. This first aid guide is the perfect size for packing in your bugout bag.
17. A Guide To Canning, Freezing, Curing, And Smoking Meat, Fish, And Game By Wilbur F Eastman
If you’ve always been afraid to preserve your own meat, fish and game, then you need not fear any longer. This book gives just the right amount of information for properly, and safely, preserving your proteins so it does not go to waste, or make you sick. Whether you are a hunter, prepper, or looking for good tips on smoking meat, this book will be your new go-to guide.
18. Bushcraft By Mors Kochanski
Seasoned outdoorsman Mors Kochanski sheds years of wilderness expertise in within this survival guides cover. Whether you are a scout, hiker, camper, adventurer, hunter or just someone who may want to become one, this book should be your go to. You will learn the ways of enjoying and surviving the wilderness.
19. Contact! By Max Velocity
Are you prepared if the societal norms as you know it ceases to exist and total anarchy breaks out? This survival manual is written by a tactical trainer who has outlined how to prepare for survival as an individual, family, and community, should the world as we know it turn upside down.
20. Country Wisdom And Know-How By The Editors Of Storey Publishings Country Wisdom Bulletins
Discover the ins and outs of sustainable country living from the editors of Storey Books. Each book features over three-thousand illustrations and photographs in addition to nearly one-thousand skills and instruction sets. From cutting the local dog groomer out to dodging the grocery store by grafting your own fruit trees, Country Wisdom & Know-How covers every conceivable survival need possible.
21. Deep Survival By Laurence Gonzales
Did you know that 90% of people freeze when a life threatening or life changing event takes place? That means that only 10% can keep their wits about them. This book will help you understand how survivors think so you can change your ways of thinking to mimic theirs. Survivors keep calm, don’t give up and make decisions.
22. Emergency Food Storage And Survival Handbook By Peggy Layton
Whether you live in the high mountains, tornado alley, or along the coast, natural or man-made disasters can occur. If they do, will you have enough essentials stored for you and your family? This particular handbook outlines how to prepare for disaster and how to store at least a 3 month supply of all the necessities you will need to survive.
23. Going Off The Grid By Gary Collins
Is your ultimate goal to live off the grid, but maybe you just don’t know how to go about it? Gary Collins provides a ton of information gleaned from his own personal experience. He provides tips and tricks on how to find land, deal with contractors and build a self-sustaining home. Written like a workbook, you will find chapter summaries and checklists to help you with your off the grid adventure.
24. Bushcraft 101 By Dave Canterbury
Bushcraft 101 is the prelude to Canterbury’s Advanced Bushcraft book. This book is necessary for any survivalists library. It will outline and explain the tools and gear needed for bushcrafting while giving understandable instructions on how to use them. Great guide for a beginner or anyone who wants to learn how to survive in the wilderness.
25. Bushcraft By Richard Graves
Primal tactics meet the modern day man to create the ultimate survival guide. By the time you finish this manual, you will be able to use all five of your senses to hone your survival skills. This easy to read book has something for every survival skill set.
26. Holding Your Ground By Joe Nobody
With all that is going on around us, it is important to know how to hold your ground if the government can no longer protect you. While several other books out there tell you how to prepare with food, shelter and home defense, this book will expand on that by teaching you how to arrange your shelter and train your team/family. You will learn how to hide in plain sight and think defensively.
27. How To Eat In The Woods By Bradford Angier
Another great book to hone your outdoor cooking culinary skills. This travel size guide will help you identify and prepare edible plants as well as how to track, trap, kill and clean several different types of animals. This guide is easy to read and very educational. There are lots of pictures and illustrations to provide visual guides to what you are looking for.
28. How To Stay Alive In The Woods By Bradford Angier
This manual is broken into four sections to help you learn about the key factors of survival; the need for sustenance, warmth, orientation, and safety. The valuable information will be appreciated by any survivalist, outdoorsman, or person that enjoys reading about survival in the great outdoors. I mean, the author explains how to start a fire with only a piece of ice. This is a must read!
29. Lights Out By Ted Koppel
Lights Out takes us on a survival journey that has to do with a massive attack on our power grids. How do we plan for a situation that becomes more probable by the day? Renowned journalist Ted Koppel asks these questions and provides possible answers. This is a book that will make you ask yourself questions as to whether you are truly prepared or not.
30. Preppers Long Term Survival Guide By Jim Cobb
Another useful book that will teach you how to survive when there is a social collapse and life doesn’t return to normal right away. You will begin to think critically about all the possibilities that may occur so you can better prepare yourself for the “if,” and hopefully never, “when.” This is a pretty good start for the beginner, or anyone who wants to add on to their current survival library.
31. Shelters Shacks And Shanties By D C Beard
D.C. Beard teaches you how to build anything from a bark teepee to a sod house, with your own two hands. No need to hire anyone to build your shelter, because you’ll have this book to guide you through your build. This is a valuable book for yourself, your scout troop, hunters or just because you want to know how to build a teepee.
32. Special Forces Survival Guide By Chris Mcnab
If you want to learn survival techniques that have been tried and proven by Green Berets, Army Rangers, Navy SEALs, Royal Marines, and other Special Forces operations, then this is the book for you. This will also give you a glimpse into their lives during their special operations. You will want to keep this guide close to you in case something was to happen.
33. Special Operations Forces Medical Handbook By US Special Operations Command
Highly recommended for your bugout bag. By the end of this book, you will be able to handle a medical situation the way Special Operations Forces have to handle them in the field. This is the field version of the Family Medical Guide. An absolute must for all adventurers.
34. Survival Wisdom And Know How By The Editors Of Stackpole Survival Books
When you need to get your butt in gear because a tragedy has occurred, this book will be your go-to guide. Within its cover lies a broad range of in-depth information that will help you if the unexpected happens. This book is too large to take in the great outdoors with you, but it is a great resource to study within the comfort of your home.
35. The Bushcraft Field Guide To Trapping, Gathering, And Cooking In The Wild By Dave Canterbury
This book is written for the outdoorsman who wants to cook real food that they have foraged and caught themselves. This book is just the right size to pack for your trip in the event you don’t have access to wifi and need to know if you can actually eat the plant you are looking at.
36. The Modern Survival Manual By Fernando Ferfal Aguirre
Ferfal Aguirre wrote this book from the perspective of someone who has survived the economic collapse of Argentina. He eloquently writes about how to survive what we all fear. Along with what we see in other survival books, Ferfal also discusses in detail preparing yourselves financially. He really emphasizes being aware of your surroundings so you can avoid a bad situation if you can.
37. The Preppers Blueprint By Tess Pennington
Just as one must have a blueprint to build a structure, one must use a blueprint to prepare for survival. Tess Pennington does just that. She educates on preparation in layers; short-term, medium-term and long-term survival. Tess is passionate about sharing her prepping techniques and has broken it down in a way that is understandable and easy to digest.
38. The Preppers Pocket Guide By Bernie Carr
This book will give you 101 simple DIY projects to prepare yourself and your home for survival in the event of a disaster. Not only are these tasks relatively simple, they are inexpensive. You will learn how to start a food storage plan for $5 a week, cook without electricity, make a safe from a hollowed out book and much more.
39. The Ultimate Survival Manual By Outdoor Life
This book boasts 333 survival tips with a ton of pictures to illustrate them. You will be asking yourself all the right questions to ensure that you are truly prepared for anything and everything. This is another guide that would be great for your bugout bag as there are tips that even the most seasoned survivalist could use.
40. The US Navy Seal Survival Handbook By Don Mann
Read this book written by a member of the special forces unit of Seal Team Six. Navy SEALs can be sent on a mission anywhere in the world under any set of conditions. Don Mann shares strategies for managing your fear, basic camp setup and navigation. He’ll also share how to make weapons, sea survival, finding water and so much more. There are tons of color pictures to use as a reference while you are reading.
41. The Worst Case Scenario Survival Handbook By Joshua Piven
This pocket-sized guide is full of survival tips and humor. It goes into detail about topics you hope to never have to use. Things like landing a plane to prevent crash landing, delivering a baby in the back of a car (this may be more useful than others), or performing a tracheotomy. This book is both fun and funny to read all while providing useful information.
42. Tools For Survival By James Wesley Rawles
Rawles wrote the bestseller How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It. He is now presenting us with a book that outlines the tools you will need to survive anything. He touches on topics that you may not see in other survival guides such as welding, blacksmithing, and firefighting.
43. Tracking And The Art Of Seeing By Paul Rezendes
The tracking enthusiast will truly enjoy this book. Paul Rezendes shares his knowledge of tracking to help you enhance your tracking skills. This book is small enough to carry with you. The quality is great making this book a perfect field guide.
44. US Air Force Survival Handbook By United States Air Force
This Air Force military handbook is all-encompassing. It covers everything from finding food and shelter to the psychological aspects of being held captive and tortured (not too many survival guides seem to discuss this topic). The Air Force has quoted this book as being a bible for pilots who want to survive no matter what.
45. US Army Survival Manual By Department Of Defense
The U.S. Army Survival Manual is a no-nonsense, easy to read guide for survival. While this version is slightly outdated, it is still incredibly useful. Navigation by following stars is something that never becomes out of date. Everything written has been tested with real men and women serving in the ranks.
46. When All Hell Breaks Loose By Cody Lundin
Cody Lundin has written another entertaining survival manual for when all hell breaks loose. Within its 450 pages, Lundin aims to educate you to the point that you are able to take care of yourself and your family. Perfect for placing in your shelter as a reference once read.
47. When Disaster Strikes By Matthew Stein
When Disaster Strikes is geared for surviving natural disasters. You will read how to prepare and respond to disasters ranging from earthquakes to wildfires. There are a lot of planning tools included. This book will make you more situationally aware in the event that a disaster does occur.
48. When Technology Fails By Matthew Stein
Are you ready if the technology we so love and appreciate were to fail? Majority of us would say no. Matthew Stein goes into detail on ways to get by if we were to lose the comforts of technology. Not just phones or wifi, but medical technology, electricity, and fuels. As you read this book, you will begin to think about survival tools that don’t require these things.
49. Wilderness Survival By Gregory J Davenport
Written to help you survive the backcountry, Davenport focuses his survival guide on the five elements of survival; personal protection, signaling, finding food and water, travel and health. This survival guide provides extensive information on wilderness survival. Davenport provides both man-made solutions and mother nature solutions.
50. Woodcraft And Camping By George Sears Nessmuk
Nessmuk is said to be the grandfather of bushcrafting. He was an adventurer and wrote this classic that is not by any means modern, but is still very relevant to the outdoorsman today. Nessmuk weaves his personal experiences to show how his survival skills worked for him while he was traveling down that Adirondack.