You may have noticed my recent posts about building my prepper library.  I have been meaning to write about why I feel it’s so important to have such a library, in both physical and digital formats wherever possible.

In the event that a large SHTF scenario develops, you are going to be left with a lot of responsibility for yourself and probably others as well.  Suddenly, things taken for granted will no longer happen.  Products you use regularly will no longer be available.  Services you depend on will no longer be online and running. This is where you will need access to a broad knowledge of multiple subjects, not just in basic principles but in specific, technical applications.

Subjects for a Prepper Library

A list of the broad subjects you will need substantial knowledge of might include:

  • Survival
  • Water – Location, storing, treating
  • Food – Sourcing, cooking, storing
  • Bushcraft – Fire, shelter, hunting
  • Textiles – clothing
  • Medicine & First Aid
  • Dentistry
  • Gardening/Farming
  • Communication
  • Defence
  • DIY & Construction
  • Electronics -Technology, power, batteries & charging
  • Engineering & Mechanics


I can’t know all that!

Of course you can’t, that’s why you need a prepper library!

What you need to know is basic principles. Then you need to know where to look for more information.  The 1,2,3 sequence for building your library is:

  1. Find out what you might need to learn
  2. Source useful and highly rated books on each subject, both basics and in-depth.
  3. Build a basic knowledge and be comfortable with how to build on it if needed.

Another concern you may have is that you can’t be a master of all things.  You may be proficient and adaptable at DIY and construction.  That doesn’t mean you would have the skills suitable for medicine or dentistry.  So why bother with books on them?  The idea is to have books in your library that may be useful to someone else with a more suitable skill-set.


Just because you may not be able to use the information yourself doesn’t mean that it is of no use to you.


 Physical or Digital?

With the growth of digital book readers like the Kindle, there has been a tendency to focus on buying digital books.  There is some logic to this in that devices can hold thousands of books and it is easy to create backups for alternate locations or caches.  That’s all fine if the power is on or you have alternative means of recharging.

Books in good old physical form are great because they are there to be used, requiring no additional technology.  Arguably they are also easier to skim through and locate the sections you need.  Their downside of course is their bulk, difficulty of transportation, lack of backup and relative ease of damage and destruction.

If money and availability allow, build a library in both physical and digital forms.  You may not be able to get the same books in both, but look for equivalents or alternatives.  A lot of digital books and survival guides are available for free download whilst the physical equivalents or alternatives can be quite expensive.  By having both libraries, you can have a central physical reference library as well as a mobile, compact, digital equivalent with backups.

With your digital books, I would recommend having them in both kindle and pdf format. This significantly widens the range of devices you can use.  The easiest way to do this is to use the online EPUB convertor which has convertors both ways.  E.g.:


Keep a library of your own equipment

As part of your prepper library it is important to know what equipment you have and physical and/or electronic copies of any manuals, user guides, specification sheets etc.  Everything from torches through battery chargers to tents has a manual or guide so it pays to keep them all together in your library and its backups.


My Physical Library So Far:

Essential Bushcraft: Ray Mears

Outdoor Survival Handbook: Ray Mears

The Complete Illustrated Handbook of Survival -The Ultimate Practical Guide to Staying Alive in Extreme Conditions and Emergency Situations In All Envronments Anywhere In The World: A Akkermans

The Complete Survival Shelters Handbook: A Akkermans

When All Hell Breaks Loose – Stuff You Need to Surviva When Disaster Strikes: Cody Lundin

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

St John Ambulance First Aid Manual (10th Edition)

The Wilderness Guide To Dutch Oven Cooking, Kate Rowinski

Food For Free (Gem)


My Digital  Library So Far

I have digital copies of a huge number of books.  Rather than list them all here, I have found the best starting point to be over at Urban Survival Site.  Start from there and add to your prepper library as you find extra resources aned you can’t go wrong.


It’s Never Finished

My library will continue to grow as I find more reference material to add and more useful subjects to investigate.  I doubt it will ever be finished and that’s just the reference and practical knowledge section.  There needs to be fiction and entertainment in there as well as boredom can be unhealthy!