What are the best prepper reference books? Some new preppers asked me this recently and I thought I would share my answer with the rest of you. The books that I will list are the books that I own and have physical copies of. Remember, if the SHTF then your kindle or pdfs are almost worthless, unless you have an alternative power supply to keep your devices charged.
I think the most important prepper book to physically have and what should be first on your list is The Encyclopedia of Country Living, The Original Manual of Living Off the Land & Doing It Yourself.
Are you trying to learn how to garden, homestead, cook, preserve game, or preserve your garden bounty? If the answer to any of those is, yes, then this book can be of assistance. I will be honest, this book has so much information that I haven’t even been through it all. This book is a great start for being more self-sufficient, it is not the end all do all book, but it is a great start.
In my opinion, if the SHTF the toughest thing is going to be good medical care. Doctors go to school for a very long time in order to treat patients and they will be in very high demand in a SHTF scenario. Because of this I recommend Where There Is No Doctor as the second book that you should purchase.
There is a reason this book is published in 75 different languages and has had over a million copies printed. This book has improved survival for thousands in the Third World since the early 1970s according to the World Health Organization. It is considered the most widely used public health manual in the world.
In addition to Where There is no Doctor, Where There Is No Dentist and Where Women Have No Doctor: A Health Guide for Women are also good medical reference books to own.
The following books are all important, but I consider them tier two books. Meaning you should get the first four I have mentioned first.
This book is the preeminent field guide to living in the bush. It has everything from understanding basic survival skills, like reading the weather, and preparation essentials, such as a pocket survival kit. Finding the best location, constructing the appropriate shelter, organizing camp, staying warm, and creating tools. What to eat, what to avoid, where to find it, and how to prepare it. A comprehensive course in emergency/wilderness medicine, including how to maximize survival in any climate or when injured. How to react in the face of natural disasters and hostile situations and how to survive if all services and supplies are cut off. Arming yourself with basic hand-to-hand combat techniques. Protecting your family and property from intrusion, break-ins, and theft. Overcoming any location, from the tropics to the poles, from the desert to the mountains and sea. There is a reason this book is on its third edition and has sold millions of copies.
Of all the books that I have mentioned so far, this is the only one I found that we use around the house. The past few weeks we have harvested about 100 pounds of tomatoes from our garden and we are trying out new recipes from this book. This book has tons of great information and recipes and will be invaluable in a SHTF scenario.
Two more books that I really like are Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills and The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It. These books are both in the same vane as The Encyclopedia of Country Living, but both offer things that book does not. I find both of these are easier to read than the encyclopedia.
Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs is another reference that I will certainly utilize in a SHTF scenario. One of the things that I personally struggle with is herb identification but this book has great images, as well as growing directions and recipes for common ailments.
In keeping with gardening books that I like, The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible and All New Square Foot Gardening are two of my absolute favorites. I reference these each spring when I am getting ready for the garden and they have definitely increased our garden yield, remember when I said we had 100 pounds of tomatoes. These two books have an amazing amount of information that will get you started growing your own vegetables or as was our case, increase your yield. One of the greatest things I learned from these two books were ways to reduce weeds without using harsh sprays. If you hate weeding, that alone makes these books worth it.
If you think you might ever have to do any type of surgery in A SHTF scenario, which is a good possibility, then Emergency War Surgery and Gray’s Anatomy are must haves. There is a reason that Gray’s Anatomy is required for all medical students, it is the standard for medical reference books.
A few other books that I have copies of are:The Complete Guide to Hunting, Butchering, and Cooking Wild Game
Tappan On Survival
Gun Digest Book of Survival Guns
The Ultimate Guide to Skinning and Tanning
The Survival Medicine Handbook
The Medical Prepper Guidebook: Survival Medicine Wound Care Guide
Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables
What books could you not do without in a SHTF scenario? What other references do you think I should have listed? Let me know in the comments and as always happy prepping.