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The Best Survival Books to Put on Your Reading List

The Best Survival Books to Put on Your Reading List

Posted by Ryan Skidmore on

Camping, hiking, biking, or backpacking; whatever your favorite outdoors activities are, we can all agree it’s a joy to explore the great outdoors. If you are an outdoor adventure enthusiast, then you know the joys of breathing the fresh air and being one with mother nature. 

But there is always danger that comes with exploring and adventuring – which is why it is always best to be prepared. If you are looking to expand your survival skills for emergencies or survival style camping, these are the best books to put on your reading list.


Be Expert with Map and Compass by Bjorn Kjellstrom

In our day and age it is easy to get directions by simply pulling out your phone and opening your map app of choice. But in the wilderness, there’s not always cell signal, making basic map and compass skills a necessity for all outdoorsmen and women. This book by Bjorn Kjellstrom has been a favorite for map and compass users for over fifty years, and for good reason. This is the perfect book to get you started in understanding maps and compass skills, covering maps, compasses and using both together or separately if need be. 

U.S. Air Force Survival Handbook

The U.S. Air Force Survival Handbook is the official survival guide for U.S. Air Force pilots, so that they can survive situations where they may crash or bailout in hostile areas with little equipment. This book is wonderful because it covers specific tips and advice for different climates like the tropics, desert, and Arctic. It even covers the realities of torture and imprisonment – which may not be particularly useful for campers and survivalist, but nevertheless, very interesting. This book is a practical and readable guide for survival in most any situation that would be a great addition to your survival book library.

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why by Lauren Gonzales

This book is unique because it gives survival advice in narrative format, using gripping storytelling to find why some people survive and others don’t in survival situations. Mysterious, dark at times, and hard to put down, Lauren Gonzales book is a staple for survivalists everywhere. The book balances the science of survival with the realities, struggles, and stories of survival in a way that makes for an exhilarating read. 

Wild Edibles: A Practical Guide to Foraging by Sergei Boutenko          

This field guide to foraging in the wild is a complete guidebook to eating healthily and safely on foraged food. Perfect for survival situations and survival camping, knowing how to forage, and what is safe to eat is essential to eating in the wild. The book covers everything from locating and identifying plants, preparing plants, and even proper etiquette and conservationist techniques to ensure your foraging is safe for our planet.

Pocket Guide to Outdoor Survival by Stan Bradshaw

This pocket guide is an essential in your camping kit. An all-encompassing outdoor survival guide, this book by Stan Bradshaw has all of the information you absolutely need to know. Stan Bradshaw is an outdoorsman from Montana with years of experience in survival situations and outdoors activity, so his book is written to be an easy read and easy to understand for anyone. And, the book is designed to be waterproof and dirt-proof so you can take it anywhere with you.

Camping and Wilderness Survival by Paul Tawrell

This is the perfect, encyclopedic style guide to understanding the outdoors. This survival guide has over three thousand illustrations, and covers finding shelter, food and water, and even caring for yourself if you get sick or injured. Camping and Wilderness Survival is an incredibly thorough and complete guide to everything you might need to know in a survival situation.

There is a plethora of survival guides and books out there, and many of them are simply wonderful guides to help keep you prepared for any situation. These six books are a great place to start if you are looking to expand your survival guide collection. They also make a great gift for any adventurer or outdoors enthusiasts in your life that will be immensely useful and may even help save a life. So go give them a read and see what the world of survival books can offer you.

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