Survival books

September 23, 2021 // 17 minutes read

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Best Survival Books - Bugoutbill.com

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Learn to stay alive in the wilderness with the best outdoor survival books!

Have you ever feared being stuck in the wild?

Fear no more! There are a lot of survival books out there to help you. They have all the information you need to be level-headed and skillful even in the wilderness.

But you can’t read each of them just to know which one’s best for you, right?

That’s why…

We already did the work for you. And now, here’s a list of the ten best books we found on the market. Also, we give you:

    • Which ones are informative and entertaining;
    • What book is best for the visual learner;
    • What specific situations do the books talk about;
    • The authors’ credentials and why you can trust them; and
  • So much more!

You’ll find books written by certified survival instructors, wilderness explorers, and enthusiasts. The survival handbook that would save you on your next adventure is just waiting around the corner.

Eyes open, adventurer!

We’re stayin’ alive…


When you hear ‘wilderness survival skills,’ you immediately think of skills needed to stay alive when you’re in trouble.

But that’s not what it is.

Table Of Contents

Table of Contents

The best wilderness survival books teach the reader about primitive skills that would help them enjoy a time outdoors when nature is the only reliable companion around. And then, those books also give survival tips for when you get lost in the woods, get injured, or face impossible situations. This list is full of those! There’s informative; there’s entertaining. And there’s a mix of them. Read through to find which survival books suit your mind best! 

Best Survival Books

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1 - Best Survival Guide - Editor’s Choice Award

Best Survival Books Ultimate Guide - SAS Survival Handbook

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Bottom Line: This ultimate guide is a prepper, wilderness, and urban survival book in one.




It may be big, heavy, and has many pages, but this book is the bomb!

Rarely do we come across a book that has everything. 

We already loved the first releases of the SAS survival handbook. But this third edition is a whole new level.

This is highly recommended because of its beginner-friendly details.

But specifically…

The additional urban survival chapter made this edition way better.

Plus, it didn’t lose all the other necessary knowledge. There’s first aid, self-defense, building shelters, what to do during and after natural disasters, etc. 

This book is a resource for every survival situation you might find yourself in!

2 - Best Budget Survival Book

Bushcraft 101

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Bottom Line: This book - written by a trusted author - shows that outdoor survival skills can be fun and easy.




You might be familiar with the author’s name.

That’s because Dave Canterbury is one of the original survivalists on the TV show “Dual Survival.”

That, in itself, made us want to buy this book. We thought – who’d better tell us how to survive out there but someone who already had. And many times, too.

We weren’t disappointed!

It has all the basic survival skills that you need to know.


It teaches about bushcraft, the art of using minimal tools to get what you need straight from nature.

We, experienced campers and backpackers, have graduated from this book. So if you want more detail – or the next level of bushcraft – then this isn’t for you.

But that’s why we love it.

It’s beginner-friendly, straightforward, and easy to understand. And we can say that this is an accurate survival manual based on what we learned from experience.

And the price is very friendly too, especially if you’re just starting.


You can shove it in your backpack like it’s nothing and bring it out there with you!

3 - Best Honor Winning Survival Book


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Bottom Line: This fiction outdoor survival book deserves its awards for the balance of entertainment and education.




Do you want your youngsters to be interested in the outdoors like you are? Then give them this book.

It’s fiction, classified under the YA (young adult) genre, so it’s safe to read with or for them.

And what’s best about it is…

It’s made for entertainment, but there’s a certain level of accuracy that you can get from it.

It’s about this kid that was stuck in the jungle alone. He had to fend off for himself with a tattered windbreaker and the hatchet that his mother got for him as a gift.

It gets intense, yes.

And we loved this book because the author made it as realistic as possible, considering that it’s fiction.


It’s not all about surviving the wild. There is the matter of the parent’s divorce, the coming of age thing, and whatnots.

But the part about staying alive will appeal to the young adults. Many reviews say that this book has inspired their children to get out of their beds and phones.

It can spark up that adventurer side of your kids too!

Related: Best MRE

4 - Best Deep Survival Book

Deep Survival: Who Lives, Who Dies, and Why

Bottom Line: If you want to level up from the practical survival kit, this book will help you think like a survivor.




Just a head’s up…

You won’t find a step-by-step guide in this book. 

It’s full of anecdotes and lacks the practical instructions that adventurers are usually looking for.

But it’s highly recommended because…

Once you’ve graduated from tying knots and building fires, you’ll have to learn how to keep calm in survival situations.

Some may even argue that it’s the first thing that one must learn!

In this book…

You’ll find stories that show how the mind can affect the outcome of your situation.

We’ve seen examples of panic and calmness, hopelessness and determination – all those emotions that would either prove your survival knowledge helpful or useless.

It’s an interesting read, all in all.

5 - Best Entertaining Survival Book

98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive

Bottom Line: The author’s humor and expertise come together for an instructive and entertaining read.




Remember Canterbury, the Dual Survival guy?

Well, the author of this book was his wilderness partner! Here’s another person that we can trust to talk us through staying alive.

If you’re fine with too much detail, then you’ll be alright with this book. (Some of us think there’s too much said about a single topic, but I’m all for it.)

The author is more than just famous and trustworthy.

Lundin is a great writer too! He knows when to jest and how to deliver satire in writing. And most of all, he casually presents useful information like he’s talking to a friend.

Also, just in case you forget something, this book is light enough to bring with you to your adventure!

6 - Best Survival Book For Outdoor Adventure

The Survival Handbook

Bottom Line: This complete guide to surviving outdoors has everything you need, from the basic skills to survival kit necessities.




You can surely trust the author of this book.

Wanna know why?

Towell used to be a chief survival instructor for the Royal Navy and the US Navy SERE!

Suffice it to say that he knows what he’s doing – and saying. After reading this book, you’ll have the same skills as the people who go through impossible situations for a living.

It’s a good starting point for beginners too.

You’ll find step-by-step instructions inside this book – along with detailed illustrations. And the author teaches more than the basics.

It’s too big to bring in your bag, but you won’t need it out there, especially once you’ve learned from it exactly what you should have in your bug-out bag.

Overall, this is a must-have survival guide.

7 - Best Skill Teaching Survival Book

Build the Perfect Bug Out Survival Skills

Bottom Line: Get this survival manual if you want more than the basics of how to survive in the outdoors.




The first thing we noticed is that this guy teaches like a real survival instructor. Oh wait – he is one!

If you’re done with staying alive 101… 

It’s the survival guide for you because it’s made for experienced adventurers. The stuff the author teaches here is for those who want to take a step up from the basics.

That means it’s not for beginners. Some books teach the basics, but this one assumes that the reader already knows.

But the best thing is…

It’s jam-packed with different techniques. There’s urban, rural, timeless, unconventional – just take your pick!

The core skills are there. Also, detailed instructions and illustrations. A beginner might understand, but the focus is on leveling up.


You’ll also learn long-term survival from this book. That’s why we think it’s worth the money.

8 - Best Wilderness Survival Book

Tom Brown's Field Guide

Bottom Line: This book covers nearly everything about survival - from basics to top-level survival skills, even to the heart-warming details of how the author learned them.




How to find food and water… How to build shelter… In the desert… in the wild… They’re all in this comprehensive guide!

You’ll even learn about wild, edible plants with this book!

And the most special thing about it…

The author gives backstories about how he learned every skill. It’s heartwarming and entertaining, at the same time very informative.

But if you want straight to the point, this isn’t for you.

However, this book is on the list because it’s appealing to some.


It doesn’t compromise knowledge. 

This complete guide is worth the money, especially since it’s so affordable.

9 - Best Technology Teaches Survival Book

Primitive Wilderness Living & Survival Skills

Bottom Line: Primitive living has never been this fun - and easy.




The length of this book might discourage readers from reading it. But once you open it, you’ll find lots of pictures that would help you understand what the author is talking about.

Now that it’s out of the way…

Let’s take a look inside this survival guide, then!

Also known as ‘Naked Into the Wilderness,’ this survival guide is more about long-term survival than stuff about emergencies.

The author teaches the simplest yet easily missed skills.

You’ll be able to explore how things worked in the absence of modern technology. And once you understand the principles, you’ll find it easy and fun to live in the wilderness!

10 - Best Mountain Climbing Survival Book


Bottom Line: This book is specifically made for those who love - yet are scared of - mountain climbing.




This survival handbook is more like a mountaineering encyclopedia. It’s focused on that single type of outdoor adventure – which is both an advantage and disadvantage.

If you’re into climbing mountains…

Then grab this one. It’s heavy and expensive, but it has everything there is to know.

If you’re only starting out on this hobby, this book will teach you how. But if you’ve been doing it for a while and you want to know more, this will be useful for you too.

But if you’re not into mountaineering…

This book is still for you! Additional knowledge is always useful. But even more so, if it’s knowledge about surviving when you’re trapped in a mountain.

It could be cold or warm, snowy or sweltering – what you’ll learn from this book will definitely save you!

Why Trust Us

Best Survival Books - Bugoutbill.com
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If you take a look at our website…

You’ll find various topics about bug-out, bushcraft, and survival. That’s because we’re outdoor enthusiasts who like to share the fun.

We’ve learned survival techniques from those who went before us. And we also get them from our first-hand experiences.

For this particular article…

We combined what we did and didn’t know about outdoor self-preservation to judge the books without bias.

And we considered those who are less experienced because they’re the people we really wanted to help.

We hope we reached that goal!

Buyers Guide: How To Choose The Best Survival Books

1 - What are the different types of survival books

  • Wilderness survival books – AKA outdoor survival books; compilation of survival skills for when one’s stuck in the jungle, the desert, or other natural environments.
  • Survival medicine handbook – books about first aid, medicinal plants, and treating injuries or staying alive.
  • Urban survival books – books that teach how to survive when an urban disaster strikes. For example, floods, active shooters, fires, etc.
  • Prepper books – this is the umbrella term for books about survival or simply enjoying places without the help of modern technology.

2 - Features to look out for

  • A compact book that you can bring out with you is a major advantage.
  • Illustrated books can help adults as well as children.

3 - Survival books and specifications explained

A survival book or survival manual is a compilation of essential skills and survival techniques that one needs in any survival situation.

  • Author – an author who’s known for adventures can be trusted in writing a survival guide.
  • Publisher – well-known publishers release books that trusted authors wrote.
  • Pages – this shows how concise or detailed the instructions will be and if there are any illustrations.
  • Language – it’s important to know if you’ll be able to understand the book you’re buying.
  • Dimensions – even books need to be compact, especially if you plan to bring them with you to the outdoors.

4 - These are things to consider

  • There’s no one-size-fits-all survival guide. Most of the books you’ll find on the market are tested in specific areas and situations. If not, the details would be too general.
  • Head knowledge can only do so much. You need to combine reading with practice.
  • These books are not just for people with outdoor hobbies. The knowledge they bring is generally helpful.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question 1: What is the most critical part of surviving in the wilderness?

A - The most critical part of wilderness survival is keeping yourself warm, staying hydrated, and finding rescue.

Question 2: What are the five keys to wilderness survival?

A - The five basic survival skills are building a fire, finding shelter, signaling possible rescue, finding food and potable water, and performing first aid.

Question 3: What are some common mistakes people make in the wilderness?

A - The first one is miscalculating the risks of getting in trouble or getting lost. And once a person gets in trouble or lost, they keep on moving, risking dehydration and lessening the chance of being found.

Conclusion: Best Survival Books

Whether it’s a natural disaster, a broken compass, or an active shooter…

You can and will get home safe and sound!

Those who’ve been there before – you lived to tell the tale. 

Everyone else – it’s your time to know and practice the necessary skills to survive.

You got this!

If you enjoyed this article – please feel free to check out our others at BugoutBill.com.

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