Five Most Important Survivalist Books

Five Most Important Survivalist BooksLife can be unpredictable and very unforgiving so it pays to be prepared. Survival guides can help you plan ahead, but they can't take the place of hands-on experience. That's why the best books have proven their worth in the real world. Outdoor experts and combat veterans have distilled the results of trial and error into survival strategies that work. There are five books that definitely deserve a place in your backpack, car or bugout bag.

FM 21-76 U.S. Army Survival Manual

This military classic is so thorough in its coverage of nearly every situation one might encounter, that it's a bit overwhelming at first. It uses survival as an acronym, with the S symbolizing a need to size up your situation, surroundings, condition and equipment. The U tells you to use your senses. The R reminds you to remember where you are. The V advises you to vanquish fear and panic. The I encourages you to improvise. The V prompts you to value life. The A tells you to act like the locals. And the L instructs you to learn the basics. The topics in FM 21-76 range from survival psychology to medicine, shelter, fire, environments, hazards, food and water, navigation and signaling, escape and evasion and man-made threats. Although "Equipped To Survive" gives it three stars, on survivalist forums it's a popular choice.

SAS Survival Guide

John Wiseman of Britain's elite Special Air Service first published this guide in 1986. He was an SAS survival instructor, and the tactics he taught them were proven in exercises and operations throughout the world. Wiseman's book is well-organized into sections that deal with survival essentials (including water), climate and terrain, food, camp craft, reading signs, traveling, sea survival, rescue, health and disaster strategies. The SAS Survival Guide packs a lot of information into a compact size.

Tom Brown's Field Guide (Wilderness Survival)

Tom Brown Jr. is an accomplished tracker and woodsman who founded one of the largest wilderness survival schools in America. He learned his skills from Stalking Wolf, one of the last surviving Apache scouts. Apache scouts were the elite warriors among the Indian tribes and their remarkable skills and abilities made them legends. Tom Brown Jr. brings a unique perspective to wilderness survival, and the knowledge he shares has been proven by native Americans over hundreds of years. He thoroughly covers the survival essentials, but his tips on tracking animals and making the best use of resources are invaluable. This field guide earns a four-star rating from "Equipped To Survive."

The Art Of Shen Ku

The Art Of Shen Ku earns its place in this group by dealing with a wider range of topics than all the others. Not only is it a survival guide, it's a life handbook. It's called "the ultimate travelers guide of this planet," and its atlas-size 256 pages are packed with information and detailed illustrations. Whatever your interest, whether it's assembling a survival kit, building a shelter, hunting game, self defense, gardening, cooking, navigation, child rearing, coping with natural disasters, alternative medicine, exercise or even making your own clothes, this book has you covered. It also includes a detailed index that makes everything easy to find.

Article Written By Dan Eash

Dan Eash began writing professionally in 1989, with articles in LaHabra's "Daily Star Progress" and the "Fullerton College Magazine." Since then, he's created scripts for doctor and dentist offices and published manuals, help files and a training video. His freelance efforts also include a book. Eash has a Fullerton College Associate of Arts in music/recording production and a Nova Institute multimedia production certificate.

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