Top Survival Manuals

Survival manuals are all over the place. Every television survival personality finds the need to put out their version of a survival manual. I think this is an excellent thing for us readers. Some of them are not all that great. There are a lot of them that are well worth reading. Here are the top five survival related manuals that I recommend every person reading. Disclaimer, I do not think that any of these manuals are all-encompassing. Just like we discussed in “Making your survival manual” you need to take what information that benefits you and leave the rest.


  1. The Survival Medicine Handbook: THE essential guide for when medical help is NOT on the way. By Joseph Alton M.D. and Amy Alton ARNP.


    The survival medicine handbook is an excellent medical resource manual; however,  it is not about overall survival. This manual is strictly a medical survival manual. Like the name says, it is all about handling a medical situation when you can’t get help. They talk about medical kits and what you need to have. Both of the authors also run a medically geared website that you can purchase their books, supplies, and bags.


    A lot of the information in this book I would not begin to try unless I was indeed in a dire situation. When it is a matter of life and death, and there is no hope of rescue coming. If there is a chance that relief is coming then this book might go into to great a detail. Think of the book as a post-apocalyptic medical manual. It is not a medical manual when the hospital is right down the road.


  1. United States Army manual 3-05.70 formerly, FM 21-76.


This book is the classic army field manual given to service troops. I like this one because it is the essential manual. This manual should be required reading for anyone. It covers the basics of survival through the eyes of army personnel. Some items mentioned in these field manuals are the things that they will have on them or in their survival kits. You will have to allow for this in reading it.


It will cover all the basics that you need to know to survive out in the wilderness. The writing in the books is toward getting lost and stranded in the wilderness. I highly recommend everyone picking up a copy of this and reading it.


  1. 100 Deadly Skills.  By Clint Emerson


This one covers two books. 100 Deadly Skills: The SEAL Operative’s Guide is the first, and it has a lot of good ideas in it. This book does not cover general survival skills and wilderness related situations. It does have a lot of useful kit layouts, everyday carry setups, and survival multipliers.


100 Deadly Skills: Survival Edition is the second book by Clint Emerson. It is the exact opposite of the first book. This book concentrates on wilderness and survival related skills. Different forms of navigation, personal preparedness, disaster survival, and securing public spaces are just some of the categories that he put in this book. There is so much more to this specific book it is among the top survival books I have ever read.


  1. The Complete Outdoorsman’s Handbook. A Guide to Outdoor Living and Wilderness Survival. By Jerome J. Knap.


This book is another manual that is not a typical “survival” manual as it is a book for living in the outdoors. I found it to be an easy read. Many people might prefer a newer edition. The Outdoorsman’s handbook was written in the 1970s so the language might not be what people are used to today. I did not find a problem with all of this.


Knap covers topics like map and compass, outdoor know-how, and different kit items. Some of his chapters go into more detail than you would ever need in a typical survival situation. If you live in the outdoors, then you should read this book. It was one of the first survival manuals I read and one of the only ones I still reference.  I found it useful enough to have it in ebook and print formats, so I am never without it.


  1.  SAS Survival Guide. By John “Lofty” Wiseman.


This manual is probably the most popular book on this list and for a good reason. Many people know about it already so, I will not go into great detail about it. John Wiseman was the youngest person to SAS selection and went on to serve them for many years. Upon gaining all of that experience he got out in 1985 and published the SAS Survival Guide in 1986. It has been revised many times since then. Revisions have kept the content in it up to date and fresh in the minds of the public.


He covers many sections of survival in different environments. The knowledge contained in this book could be vital for survival. I find the pocket version convenient enough to carry in a day pack or bug out bag. Many other people rely on this as a one-stop survival manual. I do not believe any one book can be a one-stop survival manual, but if I could only carry one, this would be the one.


Here are just the first five books that I want to touch on. They are all widely available and from authors that have experience in the fields that they are writing in. Many of which have decades of experience. You can’t go wrong in reading and studying any of these manuals. I suggest getting them as presents to loved ones we know as well. Spreading knowledge is the best way people can learn to care for themselves and others.


Thank you for stopping by and reading this article and as always,


Here is the basic information: You decide the outcome.


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