Self-RelianceSurvival Skills

Why You Should Have a Survival Library: A Guide for Preppers

As an experienced prepper, I've spent countless hours educating myself about the skills and strategies necessary to survive a disaster. Over the years, I've developed a firm belief that knowledge is the most potent weapon in a survival scenario. Therefore, I'm here to make a case for something that might not be in every prepper's kit yet, but certainly deserves to be: a survival library.

Understanding the Importance of a Survival Library

We live in a digital age, where information is readily available with a few taps on a screen. However, in a survival situation, you might not have access to the internet or electricity. That’s when physical books can be your saving grace. A well-curated survival library serves as a treasure trove of information, offering life-saving knowledge about first aid, hunting, foraging, shelter-building, and much more.

A survival library is also an excellent tool for mental resilience. In challenging times, having something tangible to read, learn, and keep the mind engaged can help stave off panic and maintain a sense of normalcy.

Key Elements of a Survival Library

A good survival library should include books on:

  1. Survival Skills: ‘SAS Survival Handbook’ by John ‘Lofty’ Wiseman is a staple. It covers everything from campcraft and navigation to understanding and collecting food to disaster survival and self-defense.
  2. First Aid: ‘The Survival Medicine Handbook’ by Joseph Alton and Amy Alton is a guide to medical procedures when help is not on the way.
  3. Edible Plants and Foraging: ‘Nature’s Garden: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants’ by Samuel Thayer is a comprehensive guide to foraging.
  4. Gardening: ‘The Vegetable Gardener’s Bible’ by Edward C. Smith will teach you how to grow your own food, a crucial skill when supplies are limited.
  5. Hunting and Trapping: ‘The Trapper’s Bible: The Most Complete Guide on Trapping and Hunting Tips Ever’ by Eustace Hazard Livingston provides valuable insights into hunting and trapping.
  6. Preserving Food: ‘The All New Ball Book Of Canning And Preserving’ will guide you through preserving your own food for longer shelf life.
  7. Home Repair: ‘The Complete Do-it-Yourself Manual’ from Reader’s Digest is a comprehensive guide to maintaining and repairing your home.
  8. Off-Grid Living: ‘The Encyclopedia of Country Living’ by Carla Emery offers practical advice for sustainable, self-reliant living.

Scenarios When a Survival Library Becomes Critical

Consider this: a severe storm hits your town, knocking out power lines, flooding roads, and essentially cutting you off from the outside world. Or imagine a more extreme case, like a solar flare causing a widespread electrical grid failure.

In these scenarios, the internet and other digital resources become inaccessible. While a well-stocked pantry and essential survival tools are vital, they might not help you when you need to deliver first aid, build a makeshift shelter, or identify edible plants. This is when your survival library becomes an invaluable resource.

For instance, ‘The Forager’s Harvest: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants’ by Samuel Thayer could help you find nourishment in your surroundings when food supplies dwindle. Similarly, ‘The Survival Medicine Handbook’ by Joseph Alton and Amy Alton will prove invaluable if you or someone in your group falls ill or gets injured.

Building Your Survival Library

Start by considering the categories listed above and pick books that best fit your environment and your learning style. Remember, this library isn’t a one-size-fits-all. A person living in an urban environment will need different resources compared to someone in a rural area.

For example, if you’re in a city, you might want to focus more on urban survival skills like navigating amidst chaos, finding resources in an urban environment, or even defending yourself. ‘The Urban Survival Handbook’ is a good starting point.

On the other hand, if you live in a more rural or wilderness area, your library should include more books on wilderness survival, hunting, trapping, and foraging. ‘Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival’ by Dave Canterbury is an excellent resource.

Regardless of your location, don’t overlook the importance of books on mental health and coping strategies, such as ‘The Unthinkable: Who Survives When Disaster Strikes – and Why’ by Amanda Ripley. It provides insight into the psychological aspects of surviving a disaster.

The goal of a survival library is to ensure you’re prepared for a wide array of scenarios. With the right selection of books, you’ll have the knowledge and skills to help you weather any storm. So, start building your survival library today. Because as any experienced prepper will tell you, it’s better to have it and not need it, than need it and not have it.

Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash

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