32 Must Have Prepper Books

Print Friendly

For a long time now I have been meaning to post a list of prepper resources. I do have a lot listed our our Resources page, but I hadn’t really spent any time listing the resource books and materials that I recommend. This list below is made of entirely of books I own and have read. Well, almost all of them have been read. Some like “Emergency War Surgery” keep getting put on the back of the pile, but every other one has been evaluated by me and I believe that these books are a tremendous resource to preppers and survivalists not to mention homesteaders or anyone looking to be more self-sufficient. This to me is just the beginning of your library of must have prepper books.

I wrote a post a while back about the importance of having physical copies of reference material like this for a number of reasons. Without rehashing the entire post, which you can read here, the need for me is simple. If the computers go down, or the electricity is out or they simply stop printing books… you need to have a library of information that you can put your hands on. These books serve me and my family in two ways. First, books like “How to Survive the End of the World as We Know it” were foundational. Books like this enabled me to open my eyes and begin to see what I needed to do for my family’s safety. Other books such as “The Encyclopedia of Country Living” sit on the shelf until I want to learn something or have a question.

Below I have listed a great starter library for the average prepper. This will give you both the foundational material as well as the reference should our lives be turned upside down one day. If you can’t get on the internet or make it to the library, you will wish you had books like these to reference when you need it. Even if nothing ever happens, these books are great to have around your house and will always be there if you need them.

I have also added this entire list to my Resources page today so they can sit in one easy to find place.

Survival Manuals – Introduction to concepts

Homesteading / Self Sufficient Skills

Natural Remedies / First Aid

Tactical Methods / Strategies / Security

Fiction – Philosophy – Foreshadowing


  1. gage

    January 27, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Don’t forget the FoxFire series either.

  2. Brian Kern

    January 28, 2014 at 2:37 pm

    I read One Second After after hearing Newt Gingrich talk about it. It’s what made me get interested in emergency survival. Great book.

  3. Dave

    May 27, 2014 at 2:14 am

    Kudos for publishing your collection. I am curious as to why you have the NATO Emergency War Surgery, but no Physicians Desk Reference, basic anatomy reference books, or other medical references. Seems like without a more complete base of knowledge, war surgery techniques may not be terribly useful.

    • Pat Henry

      May 30, 2014 at 11:14 am

      Thanks Dave,

      For one the PDR is expensive, but I might look into getting that anyway. As I understand it, the book tells you what medicines to take for which illness. That’s great if you have a bunch of medicine, but unnecessary without meds, right?

      Of course, surgery without medication could be largely useless too in that case.


      • Kelli Pennington

        October 3, 2016 at 5:15 pm

        Sometimes doctors will sell their older copies of the PDR (I used to work at a clinic) but not always. If you know a dr or are on decent terms with yours you could always ask. As for an anatomy reference it is super helpful. I have two of them (from when I was debating going to school for mortuary science). Interesting stuff.

  4. s s

    July 18, 2014 at 10:44 am

    The best book that I have found on bug out bags is Realistic Bug Out Bag by Max Cooper. It is jammed packed with useful and insightful information that blows away many of the other books on the market.


  5. Carlton

    November 2, 2014 at 9:20 am

    Superb, what a website it is! This web site presents useful facts
    to us, kesep it up.

  6. Aeryn O'conna

    May 13, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    A cool book I found on Philosophy was The New Ice Age its got some interest ideas about how Global Cooling could lead to a world crisis.


  7. lea perrins

    June 22, 2015 at 10:42 pm

    Could anyone help me find the title of a book I read about please? It was first aid and emergency surgery procedures for a melt down situation that was aimed at the layman and (I believe) how to use every day alternatives as medical equipment. I remember it came under a lot of criticism because of some of the techniques mentioned. I honestly can’t remember any more than that but have been keen to track it down. Many books rely on prior knowledge or equipment being available. It would be very useful to have this book- if it exists? May be I am misremembering what I read? If anyone has any idea I would really appreciate you posting any details you can remember please. Thanks

    • Pat Henry

      June 23, 2015 at 6:11 pm

      I’d love to be able to help Lea. Do you remember any other details about this book?

      • lea perrins

        March 8, 2016 at 10:04 pm

        Hi Pat, I am so sorry because I have only just seen your reply! I had forgotten that I written this. I really can’t remember any more. I think it was written by more than one person. I just remember it being critisised because it described some outdated procedures that medical personnel thought were irresponsible to be ‘advertising’. However, in a melt down situation these would be what you would have to use so I thought the information was very valuable.Again, I am sure it was aimed at the layman.

        If I ever find it i will post back for you. I am sure I had it or read about it once upon a time!

  8. Surfinnonreality

    July 26, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    Try 77 Days in September. It is about a man on the way home by plane. The plane fails on takeoff because of an EMP. The story is about trying to get to his home state and family 1500 miles away. It also covers the family and their concerns. Anyone who travels a lot would find this thought provoking.

  9. Pingback: Top BOB Essentials That Might Get You Killed - Survival By Preparedness

  10. Pingback: Top BOB Essentials That Might Get You Killed | The Prepper Dome

  11. Pingback: The Most Important Book to Possess After the Apocalypse | Freedom Newz

  12. Pingback: January Goal #1: Read a Book | Provident Home Companion

  13. Pingback: Beyond the Bug Out Bag | Freedom Newz

  14. Pingback: The Most Scarce Commodity in the Apocalypse - Free Survivalist

  15. Pingback: Best Books For Preppers

  16. Pingback: After the Apocalypse: What Will You Do Then? – Prepper Dome

  17. Pingback: Pressure Canning for Preppers | | disasterdefense.us

  18. Pingback: Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Tactical Buzz

  19. Pingback: Don’t Worry, Be Happy | | disasterdefense.us

  20. Pingback: Cupcakes and Conservatives – Tactical Buzz

  21. Pingback: Cupcakes and Conservatives - www.popularsurvivalkits.com

  22. Pingback: Cupcakes and Conservatives | Survive The Doom

  23. Pingback: Start Prepping Without Feeling Overwhelmed | Survive The Doom

  24. Pingback: Start Prepping Without Feeling Overwhelmed - Real Survival Info

  25. Pingback: Being Honest with Yourself: A Prepping Reality Check | survive

  26. Pingback: 9 Important Tips on How to Start Prepping | bushcraft

  27. Pingback: Will You Survive If You Have to Bug out to the Forest? | survival tips

  28. Pingback: Will You Survive If You Have to Bug out to the Forest? - The Prepper Journal

  29. Pingback: Being Honest with Yourself: A Prepping Reality Check - The Prepper Journal

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *