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These 10 Books Might Just Save Your Life

Top-reviewed journals, manuals, and field guides that go deep on the subject of survival

(Jeremy Bishop / Unsplash)

Top-reviewed journals, manuals, and field guides that go deep on the subject of survival

This week, we scanned Amazon’s bestseller list for the highest-rated survival books and pulled the best, most authoritative reviews for each.

Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival ($10)

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(Amazon)

Good read. I learned a hell of a lot about wood, resins, and fires from this book. Dave Canterbury knows his stuff. It’s a helpful guide for beginner campers or survivalists like myself.”

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How to Stay Alive in the Woods: A Complete Guide to Food, Shelter, and Self-Preservation Anywhere ($10)

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(Amazon)

This book contains all the knowledge every person who spends any time in the woods should have. I bought the paperback as a backup left in the camper. I bought the hardcover because it has color photographs and is updated while still staying true to its roots. I tore the hardcover off for less weight in my pack.”

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Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why ($15)

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(Amazon)

This is one of the best 20 books I’ve read in my life. It is about far more than just survival in adventure sports or combat. It’s about how to handle all kinds of disasters that we all eventually face. The book is elegantly written, too. I have been a sea kayaker, scuba diver, and backpacker over the course of my life, and as I read I remembered incidents and people over decades of my life. As for myself, this book has kept me from doing some insanely stupid things—and reminded me of dumb things I’ve done that should have killed me.”

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The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Medical Help Is Not on the Way ($35)

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(Amazon)

“Within the last 30 years, after working in the health field as a medical professional and obtaining a copy of the first edition of this very helpful guide, this book is outstanding in every aspect as a valuable reference to emergency situations where no other help is available. Although I have collected hundreds of books that cover this topic, I felt this one is extremely useful for my daughter to have in her home. This handbook outlines several conditions for one to identify with as it offers step-by-step instructions with solutions for unexpected health problems.”

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Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors ($10)

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(Amazon)

This is one of the best books I’ve ever read. I saw a documentary on the event on the History Channel and knew I had to read the book. I’m ashamed to say I waited so long, because this is a great read. I finished the book within a few days, because it was just so hard to put down. The story of these gentlemen is truly amazing. You will have a different outlook on life after reading it.”

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Build the Perfect Bug-Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit ($5)

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(Amazon)

This book has everything concisely thought out, explained, and organized. There’s not much on nuclear attacks; this is more for the things we see in the news every year, like floods, fires, or potential mass evacuations. I’ve read a lot of these books, and this the most useful by far (along with his book on a bug-out vehicle). He lists items you should consider but always reminding you to pack what’s relevant to you and your needs.”

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NOLS Wilderness Medicine ($15)

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(Amazon)

Great book, but somewhat terrifying, especially if you actually venture into the backcountry like I do. Be it ski mountaineering or hunting on horseback, so much can go wrong out there. I suggest you buy a personal rescue beacon (or maybe study emergency medicine at an accredited school) before adding this to your library. Seriously, though, books like these are invaluable.”

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Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties: The Classic Guide to Building Wilderness Shelters ($10)

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(Amazon)

“My 13-year-old Boy Scout asked for this book. After reading bits and pieces for a week or so, he enlisted his brother and some neighborhood boys to go build some shelters in the woods down the street. They kept talking about the shelter, and I figured it was typical exaggeration. A few of us adults walked down one day to see the shelter—WOW! It was impressive—and it stood up to recent ice storms that left people without power for weeks. All built with branches and saplings in the woods.”

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How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It ($15)

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(Amazon)

“Even if you think you have yourself organized enough to survive the end of the world as we know it, this book will remind you that you still have plenty to learn. I think it is an excellent resource for building checklists for every area of life when the grid goes down—from disposing of deceased persons to purchasing livestock, building a medical kit, sanitation issues, and the mindset and emotional complexities that come with having life change so drastically.”

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The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving the Economic Collapse ($20)

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(Amazon)

“Too many preparedness books are written by authors envisioning a Cold War–style nuclear winter and by people who have never lived through the crisis they describe. This book is different. If you’re looking for detailed information about what life will really be like during and after a financial crisis, this is the book you need right here. Tons of practical advice, largely focusing on preventing yourself from falling victim to skyrocketing crime rates, what types of crimes become common when times are bad, and how to defend yourself if you’re still targeted despite your efforts.”

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Filed To: Survival / Books / Adventure / Mountaineering

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