20+ Best Survival Books in 2023

A survival book can address questions about first aid, safety, plant parts, and directions that you need to know before going camping or backpacking. Browse through our guide to find the best survival books for your expeditions.

This Advice was Last Updated 10 months ago.

Our top 5 Recommendations Best Survival Books

⭐ Best Seller
Bushcraft 101 Field Wilderness Survival
Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival
Buy it on Amazon
MeatEater Guide Wilderness Skills Survival
The MeatEater Guide to Wilderness Skills and Survival
Buy it on Amazon
Outdoor Life Ultimate Survival Manual ebook
The Ultimate Survival Manual: 333 Skills That Will Get You Out Alive
Kindle Edition
Buy it on Amazon
100 Deadly Skills Crushing Embracing
100 Deadly Skills: COMBAT EDITION
Buy it on Amazon
Survivor Kid Practical Wilderness Survival
Survivor Kid: A Practical Guide to Wilderness Survival
Buy it on Amazon

Since we dwell in the twenty-first century, we have many luxuries, so taking a walk in the woods requires some effort. A survival book can address questions about first aid, safety, plant parts, and directions that you need to know before going camping or backpacking.

Browse through our guide to find the best survival book for your expeditions.

Looking for more great book reviews ☍ ? Check out all our articles on this topic.

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20+ Best Survival Books picked for 2023


The Bushcraft Boxed Set

by Dave Canterbury
The Bushcraft Boxed Set: Bushcraft 101; Advanced Bushcraft; The Bushcraft Field Guide to Trapping, Gathering, & Cooking in the Wild; Bushcraft First Aid
Kindle, Paperback,
The Bushcraft Boxed Set brings together four titles from wilderness expert and New York Times bestselling author Dave Canterbury.
Bushcraft Boxed Set Advanced Gathering

The Bushcraft Boxed Set contains four titles by Dave Canterbury, a wildlife instructor and New York Times bestselling author. You get four books and the opportunity to delve into topics that most other books only skate over. Beginning with “Bushcraft 101,” you will be able to construct a solid foundation for your next survival experience.

After you have mastered the fundamentals, move onto the “Advanced Bushcraft” to understand how to create your instruments rather than depending on store-bought products. Bushcraft Guide to Trapping, Gathering, and Cooking in the Wild is the third edition. It contains all that you need to know about carrying, locating, and making meals while hiking. Finally, Bushcraft First Aid is the fourth book and a must-have first-aid kit for anybody wanting to venture into the wild.

Rest assured that your next adventure will have you equipped with great techniques and even better survival skills with this complete collection.


100 Deadly Skills

by Clint Emerson
100 Deadly Skills: COMBAT EDITION: A Navy SEAL’s Guide to Crushing Your Enemy, Fighting for Your Life, and Embracing Your Inner Badass
Paperback, Spiral-bound
“The first volume in the 100 Deadly Skills series delivered clandestine hacks designed to allow readers to escape and evade threats at home and abroad. The second book, my Survival Edition, provided a blueprint to surviving chaos, misadventures, and fatal disasters.
100 Deadly Skills Crushing Embracing

This is the ultimate handbook for enduring today’s modern calamities, from exploring the woods to remaining safe in an accident. These 100 skills, developed for citizens from full-scale field encounters of military intelligence operations, provide a comprehensive hands-on, and realistic tool to help you live in the wild regardless of weather or landscape.

Lighting a bonfire, creating a tent, and getting back to town are all elements covered in this book. It also covers topics such as pain management and how to react to specific types of military attacks. The author’s simple method demonstrates everything you need to know without wasting your time, making this brief volume even more legible and easy to memorize. There are detailed graphics beside each skill because you won’t have time for confusing explanations when you’re fighting to exist in a catastrophe.


The Useful Knots Book

by Sam Fury
The Useful Knots Book: How to Tie the 25+ Most Practical Rope Knots (Escape, Evasion, and Survival)
The Useful Knots Book is a no-nonsense knot guide on how to tie the 25+ most practical rope knots. It comes with easy to follow instructions, pictures, and tips on when to best use each knot. Teach yourself knot tying today, because it’s easy, fun, and useful.
Useful Knots Book Practical Survival

Mastering how to tie a knot is a crucial and valuable technique, yet it can be intimidating for some individuals. Different situations require different knots. This Useful Knots Book is a basic knot guidebook that teaches you how to tie the 25+ essential rope twists. You will not only understand how to form stopper knots, circles, wrenches, and strapping, but you will also learn when and how to use each form of knot.

Knots can particularly be handy for mountaineering, hunting, and building shelters. This insight could make your life in the wild easier and adaptable. The book includes step-by-step guidelines and illustrations for tying each knot. It also includes guidance on what makes a perfect knot for the situation that you’re in.


Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills

by the Mountaineers Club
Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills
Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback
The Freedom of the Hills is the text beloved by generations of new climbers―the standard for climbing education around the world where it has been translated into 12 languages. For the all-new 9th Edition, committees comprosed of active climbers and climbing educators reviewed every chapter of instruction, and discussed updates with staff from the American Alpine Club (AAC)
Mountaineering Freedom Hills Mountaineers

Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills is filled with mountain emergency material. This book is for anyone interested in mountain climbing, ski touring, or alpine healthcare. The updated version of the classic mountaineering handbook covers the key climbing skills, rocky and snowy climbing tactics, apparel and accessories suggestions, security and first-aid information, and a few pages on waterfall ice climbing.

There is no other extensive climbing instruction book that is as detailed as this handbook. From equipment selection to descending techniques, from glacier transit to knots handling, and finally to ultimate safety, this one does give you what you need and more.


Outdoor Survival Skills

by Larry Dean Olsen
Outdoor Survival Skills
Kindle, Paperback
Outdoor Survival Skills has taught generations of wilderness adventurers how to survive in nature without expensive purchased equipment, instead drawing on knowledge of the land and carefully tested techniques, many of them ancient, for finding or creating shelter, fire, tools, water, and plant and animal foods.
Outdoor Survival Skills Larry Olsen

This book has been in print for many years. It has taught three generations of victims how to live in the wild without relying on overpriced products and instead focusing on-ground knowledge and time-tested methods, many of which are centuries old, for seeking shelter, heat, utensils, water, and living organisms’ meals.

All of them are laced with personal experiences from the author’s life. Outdoor Survival Skills ought to be on your desk as one of the finest survival alternatives.



by Gary Paulsen
Kindle, Audiobook, Hardcover, Paperback
Thirteen-year-old Brian Robeson, haunted by his secret knowledge of his mother’s infidelity, is traveling by single-engine plane to visit his father for the first time since the divorce. When the plane crashes, killing the pilot, the sole survivor is Brian. He is alone in the Canadian wilderness with nothing but his clothing, a tattered windbreaker, and the hatchet his mother had given him as a present.
Hatchet Gary Paulsen

This gripping book tells a story of endurance and evolution. It has sparked the attention of many readers who plan to go into the wild. It portrays the story of Brian, who is on his route to Canada to see his estranged father when his plane goes down into a lake, leaving him trapped in the Canadian forest with nothing except his garments and the hatchet his mother bought him as a souvenir before he left. Brian works to seek food and build a home for himself.

However, he has no formal training in the wilderness. He must develop a new level of understanding and tolerance as he faces the trials of the next day. Brian soon realizes that he needs to turn hardship to his favor while building a fire and allocating resources.


The Life of Pi

by Yann Martel
Life of Pi
Kindle, Audiobook, Hardcover, Paperback
The son of a zookeeper, Pi Patel has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior and a fervent love of stories. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes.
Life Pi Yann Martel

This book does more than just combine survival facts with a powerful story. It is also a spiritual battle for existence. It shows the story of a child named Pi Patel, who is described to be a unique young fellow. He is the son of a zookeeper and possesses an incredible knowledge of animals and a strong love of storytelling.

When Pi is 16, he and his family board a Japanese cargo ship going for North America and their exotic zoo animals, searching for new habitats. Unfortunately, the ship sinks, and we further follow the exploits of a little child who is swept out to sea on a lifeboat with a zebra, monkey, and tiger.

The storyline is as bizarre and intriguing as you can expect from Yann Martel’s works. Not only is it action-filled, but it is also packed with safety and survival advice.


Just in Case: How to be Self Sufficient when the Unexpected Happens

by Kathy Harrison
Just Case Self Sufficient Unexpected

“Just In Case” is one of the greatest books on house readiness and prepping. It is particularly useful for families, and it is a great gift for individuals who are worried about not having commenced house preparing yet. The book explains how to seek shelter in a variety of scenarios, as well as how to train for fleeing. With this edition, you will be brushed up on how to stock and renew your food sources, prepare an evacuation bag, get in touch with friends and family, and so much more.


Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why

by Laurence Gonzales
Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why
Kindle, Audiobook, Library Binding, Paperback, Audio CD
Laurence Gonzales’s bestselling Deep Survival has helped save lives from the deepest wildernesses, just as it has improved readers’ everyday lives. Its mix of adventure narrative, survival science, and practical advice has inspired everyone from business leaders to military officers, educators, and psychiatric professionals on how to take control of stress, learn to assess risk, and make better decisions under pressure.
Deep Survival Who Lives Dies

Laurence Gonzales’ book Deep Survival has saved many lives in the darkest countrysides while also enriching the standard of readers. Its unique blend of action-adventure, preservation research, and practical guidance has influenced everyone from CEOs to military commanders, instructors, and psychiatry specialists to manage stress, evaluate dangers, and make smarter decisions.

This book is dedicated to analyzing the distinctions between two groups of people and their reactions to their surroundings. The author asserts that even if one does not have a natural talent for living, one may learn the reflexes and patterns of thinking that the native champions had.


The Prepper’s Medical Handbook

by William. Forgey
The Prepper’s Medical Handbook
Kindle, Paperback, Spiral-bound
The basis of adequate prepping is being prepared for both common and dire events that may occur under the worst of all possible circumstances. These circumstances might include the breakdown in normal emergency support services (such as calling 911), the lack of an ability to obtain additional supplies, and the probability that you will not be able to rely on anyone but members of your immediate group or yourself.
Preppers Medical Handbook William Forgey

By this stage in our listing, you know how important it is to have a broad and deep knowledge of surviving concepts. Now, let Dr. William Forgey help you boost your skills with a book that teaches life-saving medical treatment simply and easily.

Learn to identify, evaluate, and treat normal clinical situations such as injuries, infections, and intoxication. There is no need to memorize this material because of the consumer-friendly structure, which is meant to be used as a travel guide. Calling 911 will not always be feasible, so having a book such as this on hand when you are alone is a smart option.


Your Survival

by Dr.Bob Arnot and Mark Cohen
Your Survival: Protect Yourself from Tornadoes, Earthquakes, Flu Pandemics, and other Disasters
Paperback, Spiral-bound
Protect your family and your home. Be prepared with Your Survival, a complete system — handbook, video and organizer — that makes planning for a disaster so simple, easy, and inexpensive that there’s no longer an excuse to put it off.
Your Survival Tornadoes Earthquakes Pandemics

Dr. Bob Arnot, America’s greatest medical journalist, and Mark Cohen write Your Survival, a comprehensive guide that makes catastrophe preparation so basic, fast, and reasonable that there is no reason not to get in a copy.

This book is jam-packed with professional guidance and instructions to help you buy and arrange food, first-aid supplies, and other requirements. The book also includes a 90-minute disaster management video, which the entire family can watch on movie nights.


How to Stay Alive in The Woods

by Bradford Angier
How to Stay Alive in the Woods: A Complete Guide to Food, Shelter and Self-Preservation Anywhere
Kindle, Audiobook, Hardcover, Paperback
HOW TO STAY ALIVE IN THE WOODS is a practical, readable-and potentially indispensable-manual for anyone venturing into the great outdoors. Broken down into four essential sections, Sustenance, Warmth, Orientation and Safety, this enlightening guide reveals how to catch game without a gun, what plants to eat (full-color illustrations of these make identification simple), how to build a warm shelter, make clothing, protect yourself and signal for help
How Stay Alive Woods Self Preservation

This book is well written and convenient with its compact hardcover format, making it easy to put into your luggage and bring together on your journey. This informative booklet is divided into different categories: Sustenance, Warm, Navigation, and Security.

It explains how to catch animals without a rifle, what herbs to consume, how to construct a comfortable shelter and signal for assistance. If you are fortunate, you may still be able to get a copy since they’re sold out in most places.


SAS Survival Guide

by John Lofty Wiseman
SAS Survival Handbook, Third Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere
Kindle, Paperback, Spiral-bound
The ultimate guide to surviving anywhere, now updated with more than 100 pages of additional material, including a new chapter on urban survival Revised to reflect the latest in survival knowledge and technology, and covering new topics such as urban survival and terrorism, the multimillion-copy worldwide bestseller SAS Survival Handbook by John “Lofty” Wiseman is the definitive resource for all campers, hikers, and outdoor adventurers. From basic campcraft and navigation to fear management and strategies for coping with any type of disaster, this complete course includes
SAS Survival Handbook Third Surviving

“The SAS Survival Handbook” is a comprehensive guide to emergency preparedness brought together by the Air Service. John Wiseman lays forth practical tactics for living in various scenarios, ranging from catastrophes and evacuation methods to effectively adjusting to different environments, locating plant species, and making heat.

The guide features Native Americans learned technical skills for collecting refuge, drink, nourishment, fire, and weapons, among other things. You may learn how to construct thread, archery gear, and even working frictional fire extinguishers with this book.


When All Hell Breaks Loose

by Cody Lundin
When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need To Survive When Disaster Strikes
Kindle, Paperback
Survival expert Cody Lundin’s new book, When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need To Survive When Disaster Strikes is what every family needs to prepare and educate themselves about survival psychology and the skills necessary to negotiate a disaster whether you are at home, in the office, or in your car.
When All Hell Breaks Loose

This 2009 catastrophe recovery book, loaded with emergency preparations and evacuation skills, is another brilliant read by Cody Lundin. There is a variety of material covered in this highly extensive book, with themes spanning from storming out to creating an impromptu outdoor kitchen to handling a corpse. This is the guide that every family needs to learn more about survival philosophy and the abilities needed to survive a crisis, whether at your house, at work, or on the road.


Naked into the Wilderness

by John and Geri McPherson
Primitive Wilderness Living & Survival Skills: Naked into the Wilderness
This book is an in depth “how-to” of outdoor primitive skills.
Primitive Wilderness Living Survival Skills

“Primitive Wilderness Living & Survival Skills” is the tagline of this booklet by John and Geri McPherson. It is identical to Larry Dean Olsen’s book. While it doesn’t teach as many talents as Larry Dean Olsen’s, it goes further into the topics discussed.

Discover how to sharpen rock blades, construct arrow drilling apparatus, and a variety of several other outdoor skills. This book is suitable for individuals who want to learn basic dwelling techniques but with a more hands-on style.


The Backyard Homestead

by Carleen Madigan

The Backyard Homestead: Produce all the food you need on just a quarter acre!

Kindle, Library Binding, Paperback, Spiral-bound
This comprehensive guide to homesteading provides all the information you need to grow and preserve a sustainable harvest of grains and vegetables; raise animals for meat, eggs, and dairy; and keep honey bees for your sweeter days. With easy-to-follow instructions on canning, drying, and pickling, you’ll enjoy your backyard bounty all winter long.
Backyard Homestead Produce food quarter

This all-in-one homesteading guide includes a roadmap of the need-to-know basics about producing and storing a healthy supply of vegetables and grains, raising meat animals, poultry, milking, and raising honeybees for happier times. It is divided into convenient segments and includes several pictures and maps to teach you how to make the most out of usable resources. Overall, It is a very helpful guide that you should have in your book collection.


Foraging Guide

by Mona Greeny
Foraging Guide: Recognizing Toxic and Poisonous Wild Plants and Mushrooms
Knowledge puts you on the way to new frontiers. Discover a whole new world of wonderful plants and mushrooms without compromising your safety. In this book Poisonous Plants and Mushrooms, you learn how to identify toxin-containing mushrooms and poisonous plants.

Living in the wild entails a significant amount of foraging. Sure, you can put up fences for animals and gain nutrition that way but capturing the more inactive species is a wiser use of your labor. The problem is that most inactive species occasionally fool you into believing that they are appetizing. Still, unfortunately after having some, you will be in a lot more trouble than you were previously.

This book works to solve the problem by taking you through the process of recognizing edible plants and mushrooms, gathering and preserving them, and finally eating what you have collected. It is highly recommended, and at 6 cm tall, it will easily fit into your traveling bag.


The Ultimate Survival Manual

by Rich Johnson
The Ultimate Survival Manual: 333 Skills That Will Get You Out Alive (Outdoor Life)
Kindle, Hardcover, Paperback
The Special Forces expert presents the ultimate guide for surviving anything with skills, info and scenarios from natural disasters to armed insurrection. In an increasingly unstable world, anticipation and preparation are crucial to your survival chances. Whether you find yourself facing a sudden quarantine, an armed assailant, or a deadly tornado, The Ultimate Survival Guide has you covered.
Outdoor Life Ultimate Survival Manual ebook

Outdoor Life magazine’s specialists are the professionals you want on your side, whether you’re lost in the wilderness, confronting an armed insurgency, or bracing for a cyclone. Rich Johnson’s The Ultimate Survival Manual covers over 300 vital survival techniques in precise detail, including how to escape a firestorm, jump from a train track, wade through flaming oil, predict the weather from botanicals, and traverse a swift river. Images, graphics, and schematics are included in the survival guide.


Edible Wild Plants

by Thomas. S. Elias and Peter.A. Dykeman
Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide to Over 200 Natural Foods
Audiobook, Paperback, Spiral-bound
Planning an outdoor adventure? Make sure to consult this information-packed and photo-filled North American field guide—arranged by season and region—before you go! Already a huge success in previous editions, this must-have field guide now features a fresh new cover, as well as nearly 400 color photos and detailed information on more than 200 species of edible plants all across North America.
Edible Wild Plants American Natural

This must-have guidebook, which has been a big success in past iterations, now has an exciting new design, with nearly 400 color images and thorough data on almost 200 nutritious plant species from all over North America. Plants are conveniently listed by season, making it easy for amateurs to find and locate their preferred materials. When you are starving, confused, and up to your knees in snowfall, glancing through images of summer vegetation will not help you.

The photographs in this book explain what you can eat that very moment and where you can acquire it from. Every article includes basic visuals that explain what it is for and how to consume it responsibly. At the end of the book, there is a subsection on common dangerous herbs with precautions and indications.


The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide

by Daisy Luther
The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource
Kindle, Audiobook, Paperback, Audio CD, Spiral-bound
You can survive up to three weeks without food, but only three days without water! When catastrophe strikes, having enough water can spell the difference between life and death. The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide offers a step-by-step plan with straightforward information you can easily follow.
Preppers Water Survival Guide Resource

After a disaster, none of the resources required after a disaster—food, warmth, power, connectivity, and transportation—are as critical as water. Luther demonstrates how to do safety inspections on your ordinary tap water, which is not as healthy as one might think. However, her suggestions for water conservation may be valuable to viewers who live in developing but dry regions.

This book’s projectile emphasis on water conservation provides a good amount of knowledge that is not readily found in many handbooks, making it suitable for beginners and advanced preppers. The author also goes over concrete examples of water harvesting from multiple sources, such as drilling a well, conserving rainwater, and filtering marine saltwater.

Whether you want to stock up for another week, month, season, or forever, this book has got you covered.

Best Survival Books every Prepper should Read


What are the best survival books?

The best survival books ever written for your ease and security are:

  • Your Survival by Dr. Bob Arnot and Mark Cohen
  • How to Stay Alive in the Woods by Bradford Angier
  • Outdoor Survival Skills by Larry Dean Olsen
  • The Survival Handbook by Colin Towell
  • 98.6 Degrees by Cody Lundin
  • Mountaineering: Freedom of the Hills by the Mountaineering Club

What is the best survival handbook?

Some of the finest survival handbooks include:

  • Bushcraft 101 by Dave Canterbury
  • SAS Survival Handbook by John Wiseman
  • The US. Navy Seal Survival Handbook by Don Mann and Ralph Pezzullo
  • The Survival Medicine Handbook by Joseph and Amy Alton
  • Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag by Creek Stewart

What are the five most important survival skills?

There are many survival tactics available, but here are five essential life skills that everyone who walks into the wild should be familiar with and aware of their possible need and utilization. The five skills are:

  1. Fire: The master of survival strategies is fire. Water can be filtered, food can be cooked, authorities can be alerted, warmth, brightness, and solace can all be provided by the fire. It can also act as a warning to predators and can be a wonderful buddy and friend.
  2. Shelter: Shelter is a survival tactic that involves shielding your body from harmful elements such as heat, ice, air, rainfall, or frost. Anything that lowers or raises your general body temperature could be your adversary.
  3. Signaling: Signaling is different from other survival strategies. It allows you to warn any possible searchers that you do need support. Fire, bright lights, vibrant color markings, banners, mirrors, and alarms can all assist in finding you.
  4. Food and water: Your livelihood depends on food and water. When planning your vacation, always expect that you will require extensive meals and drinks.
  5. First aid: As a survival strategy, first aid is more than just meeting the minimum medical problems; it is the fundamental way you operate to stay alive. The most critical factor is to maintain your brain functioning normally. Before each trip, assess your situation, establish a medical inventory, and take a small medical box with you on all occasions.

How do I survive in the wilderness?

Here are some survival skills that anyone venturing out in the wild should acquire:

Keep a positive attitude, and do not panic or be nervous over adversaries. Keep your mind focused on the task presented at hand and take due care of all the necessities required.

Build a warm and safe shelter for yourself for ultimate protection from extreme temperatures. Use fallen trees or wooden sticks to construct a thick and strong hut or camp for yourself in the woods.

Try to get access to clean and unpolluted water for basic survival that is necessary to stay alive. You can boil the water or cut it out from rocks and mountains to get the purest, filtered form that will not cause diseases.

Learning how to light a fire is one of the most crucial skills to survive in the forests. Use a lighter, a magnesium fire starter, or a local battery to produce a spark and gain illumination.

Know all the important and basic knotting techniques, which can be learned online or through some survival guide books, which this article is based upon.

Carry a folding knife, a cell phone, a lighter, and a first aid kit before starting your adventurous journey.

If you follow all these tips and tricks, your exploits will surely be an affair worth remembering and planning from time to time!

Who is the best survival expert in the world?

The five most influential and reliable survival experts are:

  • Dave Canterbury
  • Les Stroud
  • Ray Mears
  • Mykel Hawke
  • Bear Grylls

How do you survive the apocalypse?

There are some significant steps that you can take in case of an apocalypse or disaster. These tips are:

  • Prepare beforehand.
  • Keep a stock of your necessities.
  • Prepare an emergency first aid kit.
  • Take care of your hygiene to avoid any illness.
  • Devise a communication plan to alert family and friends in case of a mishap.
  • Learn how to use a gun and hunt.
  • Use diesel-operated cars.
  • Find a method to make your electricity.

How do I survive a nonfiction book?

Here are some of the greatest nonfiction books available for readers:

  • Into Thin Air: A Personal Account of the Mount Everest Disaster by Jon Krakauer
  • Into The Wild by Jon Krakauer
  • Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors by Piers Paul Read
  • Farthest North by Fridtjof Nansen
  • Erebus: The Story of a Ship by Michael Palin
  • Touching The Void by Joe Simpson
  • Island of the Lost by Joan Druett
  • Lost in Shangri-La by Mitchel Zuckoff
  • The Endurance by Caroline Alexander
  • The Last Viking: The Life of Roald Amundsen by Stephen.R. Brown
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