Best Survival Books: How to Beat Any Disaster

When you are out there in the open, it is truly survival of the fittest. You cannot make mistakes, because if they are made, there will be real consequences. In today’s modern society, we don’t get a lot of experience in the natural world – so when we go camping or trekking in the woods, a guide would be great, right? 

Well, this is the purpose of the best survival books. These sorts of books prepare you to face the many challenges out there in nature. Survival guides also cater to different activities. Some are exclusive to cooking, and others excel at medicine, survival, recovery, or even evading. 

So, listed below are the top best selling survival handbooks and pocket guides. 

Knowing About the Best Survival Books

SAS Survival Handbook, Third Edition

SAS Survival Handbook, Third Edition: The Ultimate Guide to...
  • Harper Collins Pub Sas Survival Handbook Revised by John Wiseman - 9780062378071
  • Wiseman, John 'Lofty' (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)

This book is like the holy grail for surviving in the wilderness or anywhere you are. The SAS Survival Handbook by John Wiseman covers almost every catastrophic situation that you may face. In addition to this, you will find an urban survival chapter inside the guide. 

John Wiseman worked as a survival instructor for Britain’s Elite Special Forces. All of the things that he had learned at that time, John has written down for regular folk to increase their survival chances in different situations. 

You’ll discover where to camp, prepping, gathering food, cooking, basic first aid, surviving a disaster, defense, securing your perimeter, and terrain training. You will get almost everything you could possibly need in this single book. 

For 26 years, John Wiseman was a part of such a force that has seen it all. And with this book, he has summed up that 26 years of experience to help you get the best survival tips and guidance.


  • Number of Pages: 672
  • Publisher: William Morrow 
  • Edition: 3rd. Revised in November 2014
  • Language: English
  • Built: Paperback


  • An all-purpose survival handbook
  • Paperback style built to last longer
  • Detailed and authentic knowledge
  • Discusses what to do and not to do in the wilderness
  • All the information is divided in an easy-to-read manner


  • Some recommendations are too narrow and difficult to implement 
  • The readers have noted a few factual errors

U.S. Military Pocket Survival Guide

U.S. Military Pocket Survival Guide: Plus Evasion & Recovery
  • ISBN: 9781599214870
  • Condition: New
  • Notes: 100% Satisfaction Guarantee. Tracking provided on most orders. Buy with Confidence! Millions...

First published in 1990 and then refurbished in the year 2009 by survival expert Matt Larsen, this book is best if you are stuck behind enemy lines. The principal information available includes survival, hiding, communications, moving, and recovering in a hostile environment. 

For a combatant, this survival guide is the key to getting home safe. A combat specialist needs to be prepared for the worst. That’s why this guide will help them make the best out of any situation. 

Being stuck behind enemy lines is always something a soldier dreads. This survival guide is like a shining light that will show them the way to get back home. 

More importantly, it caters to soldiers from all the branches. Be it ground forces, naval, or the air force. Matt Larsen himself has been a part of a plethora of survival missions. He has had first-hand experience in dealing with dangerous situations. 

And this book is also a testimony to Matt’s experiences and his determination to survive in the toughest of situations out there in the real world. 


  • Number of Pages: 144
  • Edition: 1st Edition, Reprinted in 2009
  • Language: English
  • Publisher: Globe Pequot Press
  • Built: Paperback


  • Deals with every stuck up military situations
  • It is a quick read. The information is easy to digest. 
  • Illustrations provide a better outlook to the reader. 
  • A great book to lay the foundation for your survival practice
  • The information is concise, clear, and actionable. 


  • The information is useful, but the typesetting is a bit odd. 
  • It cannot be used as a standalone survival guide.

The Survival Medicine Handbook

The Survival Medicine Handbook: THE essential guide for when...
  • Alton MD, Joseph (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 700 Pages - 06/07/2016 (Publication Date) - Doom and Bloom, LLC (Publisher)

Being stuck in a dangerous situation without any help is one of the most dreadful conditions that anyone can come across. For times like these, you need to be prepared and know the way forward. 

One of the significant aspects of this is knowing about medicine and first aid. This book is made especially for non-medical people who want to make it through in a disaster. It can be anything from a flood to an earthquake. 

This book serves as a step-by-step process guide to tackling the situation in hand. The authors of the book Joe Alton and Amy Alton, are experts in disaster preparedness. Their survival guide is a must for almost everyone. 

Imagine a situation where you do not have any communication with emergency services. There is no hospital or even a doctor nearby, this book will guide you to help anyone who needs medical assistance in a difficult scenario. 

The book talks about medical tools, supplies, preparing the tools, sterilization, conducting medical exams, dealing with food poisoning, and all the other conditions. The best part is that all the help provided here is feasible without using modern-day tech. So, this is a true guide to get you through an awry situation. 


  • Number of Pages: 700 pages
  • Language: English
  • Edition: 3rd Edition, June 2016
  • Publisher: Doom and Bloom
  • Built: Paperback


  • There are plenty of illustrations and graphics in the book
  • Covers about 150 medical topics 
  • Written by experienced and knowledgeable doctors
  • Thorough and comprehensive
  • Prepares the reader for every situation


  • Some readers have said that it missed out on the basics
  • Frail design can cause pages to fall out of their place

The Bushcraft Boxed Set: Bushcraft 101

The Bushcraft Boxed Set: Bushcraft 101; Advanced Bushcraft;...
  • Canterbury, Dave (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 1024 Pages - 11/14/2017 (Publication Date) - Adams Media (Publisher)

New York Times bestselling author Dave Canterbury has written this book along with various wilderness experts. This is a boxed set of 4 books, which includes an essential guide to surviving in the wilderness. Along with it, there is an advanced guide to making it through the wilderness without almost no tools and equipment. 

Further, you will get a detailed guide about trekking. How to pack, what to pack, cook food, gather raw materials, and whatnot. The fourth book is about first aid and helps the reader know about the basic medical help needed to survive in these situations. 

Dave Canterbury’s experience is one of the greatest things about the boxed set of survival guides. He also acts as a supervising instructor at the Pathfinder School, which is one of the top 12 survival schools in the country. 

So, when it comes to the expertise and proficiency of this book, there is no doubt. And every time you read it, you find something new to be learned. It is an interesting and amazing read. 


  • Number of Pages: 1024
  • Edition: First Edition, November 2017
  • Publisher: Adams Media
  • Language: English
  • Built: Paperback


  • It provides both basic and expert knowledge about survival situations
  • Proves to be useful as an essential item for survival
  • All the books provide anecdotes about real-life survival situations
  • Best for beginners and those who are looking to get familiar with survival training


  • Users have complained about repeated knowledge
  • Fragile and delicate

Buying Guide for Best Survival Books

You’ll find that all of these survival books have a similar purpose: to train the reader on preparing for a survival situation. These books help anyone get a glimpse of what a disaster can be and what a person should do in those circumstances. 

The thing is, these books run on speculation or the past experiences of expert survivors. They have some practical knowledge about the situation, but they cannot predict to exactness the situation that you may end up facing. That is why it is essential to get the basic knowledge from these books and then be ready to improvise. 

Keeping this in mind, listed below are a few factors you should look for when buying a survival guide. 

Built and Sturdiness

For a survival guide, the product you buy has to be sturdy and solid, because you may need it as reference during a crisis. To that end, always ensure that the book has a durable seam. When purchasing online, look for customer reviews about its structure and durability. 


A survival guide to help you get through any situation needs to be reliable. The information included in it has to provide real value to the reader. In the time of the internet when anyone can get the required information, you’ll want books that provide something extra to the reader. 


Be it a medicinal guide, trekking, camping, or a combat survival guide, it has to have as much variety as possible. Even though there can be many unforeseen situations in real life that summon your survival instincts, you need to look out for the information provided in the books. They should be able to train you to build up those instincts. 


Survival books are an effective way to brush up your survival skills and get basic book knowledge. Since these books are written by experts and seasoned survivalists, they provide deep insights and explain how survival works in the wilderness. 

These books are either written out of first-hand experience or the knowledge that authors have gathered from their studies. In any case, every single person must have a couple of survival guides in their library to tackle unprecedented situations in real life and survive.

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