10 Best Survival Books [2023]

There is a lot of survival advice out there, so which author do you turn to? A wilderness survival guru, a botanist or an ex-navy SEAL? Someone who knows everything about cold weather survival or someone who has survived a month in the desert?

Ideally, you’ll have a mixture of all of these books.

Whether you’re in need of some fresh content to add to your current collection or if you’re new to survival guides, we’ll help you find what you need in our list below where we highlight some of today’s best survival books.

Types of Books

We’re sure that there are a lot of single survival books that help you prepare yourself for an emergency, however, it’s so much better to have a variety at your fingertips.

In addition to the general guides, it’s a good idea to get some technique-specific guides or manuals that give you more structured and detailed advice about a certain topic.

Try to have at least one of each of the following:

  • Wilderness Guides. A book like number 6 is great for helping you learn the basics of wilderness survival.
  • Military Manual. Military survival tactics are very useful because they are in use throughout the world every day. A lot of research goes into the development of new techniques, as well, so if you’re in need of this kind of book, check out number 10 on our list below. Number 1 is also a good option, as it was written by a former survival instructor of Britain’s Special Air Service.
  • Medical Manual. Survival is one thing when you’re healthy, but what about when there is a medical emergency? Prepare yourself with a book like number 2 below.
  • Edible Plant Guide. Knowing which plants nature provides us that are safe to eat is always valuable information, so make sure you have a book like number 5 in your collection.
  • Fiction and Non-fiction Stories. Get inspired from true stories of survival or even fictional stories that are written by someone who understands survival techniques. Alive, number 4, is a true story of a group of passengers who survived a plane crash in the Andes Mountains back in the 1970’s. A truly amazing tale.

From there you can fill in the gaps with other books that mix together all of the techniques.

Top 10 Survival Books Table

Picture Name Price Rating (1-5)
1. SAS Survival Handbook $$
  • 4.7/5
2. The Survival Medicine Handbook $$$$
  • 4.7/5
3. Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag $$
  • 4.6/5
4. Alive $
  • 4.6/5
5. Edible Wild Plants $$
  • 4.5/5
6. Bushcraft 101 $
  • 4.5/5
7. Prepper’s Long-Term $$
  • 4.5/5
8. The Ultimate Survival Manual $$$
  • 4.4/5
9. How to Survive the End of the World $$
  • 4.3/5
10. 100 Deadly Skills $$
  • 4.2/5

Make Sure You Get the Plant Book

While we won’t be highlighting it below, we do feel that a guide to edible plants is one of the best survival books you can own.

Plants are not only used for nutritional purposes but also for medical purposes and it’s important to understand which to eat and which are harmful.

Not only that, you might even realize that a few of those weeds in your back yard could make a wonderful addition to a crisp, tossed salad!

Top 3 Best Survival Books Reviews

1. SAS Survival Handbook

SAS Survival Handbook

Author John Wiseman is a former survival instructor of Britain’s Special Air Service (SAS), which tells you right there that the advice he’ll give you is top-of-the-line advice.

This is a great book for those of you who have just started looking into survival literature. It provides you with all of the basics, from how to read the weather, making a camp, food you can eat, first aid tips, disaster survival and even self-defense tips.

What’s nice about this book is that it also includes some modern urban survival tips. Useful info based on the modern world we live in.

If you already have a similar book or if you’re read this and found that it just didn’t provide you with the info you were hoping for, then check out the next few books on our list.

2. The Survival Medicine

The Survival Medicine

If you would love to know how to identify and treat over 100 medical issues when faced with a disaster, then The Survival Medicine Handbook is perfect for you.

Authors Joseph and Amy Alton have extensive experience in a wide range of medical fields, which is why they’re book has been so successful and useful.

We must say that it seems to be a more effective survival tool for those who already have some medical training, however it is written in a way that makes it easy for those with no previous medical experience to understand.

This is definitely very useful information that general survival books don’t elaborate on, so we highly recommend that you pick up a copy for your collection.

3. Bug Out Bag

Bug Out Bag

There is plenty of advice that will help you once you’re faced with a disaster or an emergency, but what can you do to prepare yourself beforehand?

A book like this will provide you with the answers.

A bug-out bag (also known as a BOB) is a 72-hour survival kit. You can purchase pre-packed bug-out bags, but in this book, you’ll learn how to make your own. The freedom to customize a bag like this is priceless.

Author Creek Stewart provides you with a checklist for your bag with photos and explanations, tips on where you can go to purchase the gear as well as disaster-specific items that you can get if you live in an area that’s more prone to certain types of disasters (earthquakes, floods, hurricanes, etc.)

You can tell that a lot of research has gone into this guide. If you’re interested in making your own custom bug-out bag, then you absolutely need this book!