Recommended Reading for Survival

There is no clearer way to say it: if you are not reading, you are not preparing.

There are really only two ways to go about acquiring the knowledge and skills needed to survive in this world (or the world after the SHTF). The first is actually getting out there in the wild and getting hands-on experience. The second way is learning from others.

I personally read all the time. Between articles, personal narratives, and books, I spend a considerable amount of my free time packing my brain with information that can save my life and the lives of my loved ones. A lot of those books are self-defense centered. Still more of them are focused on handling rampage killers and understanding humans and violence. My preferred source of outdoor survival information is from articles, though I just ordered Cody Lundin’s When All Hell Break’s Loose.

Suffice it to say, it is my firm belief that the best prepared survivors are those who are well studied in the art of survival.

So I present to you this simple list of recommended readings. Clicking through to these books will take you directly to the Amazon page for each book. If you choose to order a title, please know that a small percentage of your purchase helps to keep the lights on here at MSJ. For that, we thank you immensely.

Given that I read all the time, we will be adding titles to this list fairly regularly. Check back often for new suggestions.

Outdoor Survival


Outdoor Survival Skills – Larry Dean Olsen



When All Hell Breaks Loose: Stuff You Need To Survive When Disaster Strikes – Cody Lundin



98.6 Degrees: The Art of Keeping Your Ass Alive – Cody Lundin



Hawke’s Green Beret Survival Manual: Essential Strategies For: Shelter and Water, Food and Fire, Tools and Medicine, Navigation and Signa – Mykel Hawke



Wilderness Survival Handbook: Primitive Skills for Short-Term Survival and Long-Term Comfort – Michael Pewtherer



SAS Survival Handbook, Third Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere – John “Lofty” Wiseman


How to Stay Alive in the Woods: A Complete Guide to Food, Shelter, and Self-Preservation That Makes Starvation in the Wilderness Next to Impossible – Bradford Angier



Survival Medical

The Survival Medicine Handbook: THE essential guide for when medical help is NOT on the way – Joseph Alton



Field Guide to Wilderness Medicine: Expert Consult – Online and Print, 4e – Paul Auerbach




Wilderness Medicine: Beyond First Aid – William W. Forgey, MD

Bugging Out

Build the Perfect Bug Out Bag: Your 72-Hour Disaster Survival Kit – Creek Stewart



Bug Out: The Complete Plan for Escaping a Catastrophic Disaster Before It’s Too Late – Scott B. Williams



Build the Perfect Bug Out Vehicle: The Disaster Survival Vehicle Guide – Creek Stewart



Get Out of Dodge! Prepping to Leave Your Home and Bug Out During a Disaster – Jason Ryder Adams




Human Interaction & Violence

The Gift of Fear and Other Survival Signals that Protect Us From Violence – Gavin DeBecker

Conflict Communication: A New Paradigm in Conscious Communication – Rory Miller

Scaling Force: Dynamic Decision Making Under Threat of Violence – Rory Miller & Lawrence Kane

Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence – Rory Miller

Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected – Rory Miller

Protecting the Gift: Keeping Children and Teenagers Safe (and Parents Sane) – Gavin DeBecker

The Big Bloody Book of Violence: The Smart Person’s Guide for Surviving Dangerous Times: What Everyone Must Know About Self-Defense – Lawrence Kane & Kris Wilder

In the Name of Self-Defense: What it costs. When it’s worth it. – Marc “Animal” MacYoung

On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society – Dave Grossman

On Combat, The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace – Dave Grossman

Active Killers/ Terrorism

Surviving a School Shooting: A Plan of Action for Parents, Teachers, and Students – Loren Christensen

Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings – Katherine S. Newman

School Shootings: What Every Parent and Educator Needs to Know to Protect OurChildren – Joseph A. Lieberman

Surviving Workplace Violence: What to Do Before a Violent Incident; What to Do When the Violence Explodes – Loren Christensen

Fear Less: Real Truth About Risk, Safety, and Security in a Time of Terrorism – Gavin DeBecker

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