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Old 08-21-2011, 06:14 PM
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Default The Essential SHTF Library



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So I'm in the library-building phase.

So, please give me your thoughts on the best books for a SHTF library. With the following assumptions:

1. Physical books only, made of paper.
2. No religious texts: the ones that matter to me I already have, and that's probably true for anyone else who has beliefs.
3. No firearm texts. Let's assume I already have everything on that I need.


Looking for a list of no more than 7 books, 2 of them being compact BOB-sized quick-reference books.

I'm especially deficient on bushcraft and medical knowledge, but anything you can think of would be helpful. I have been browsing ebay and I end up finding page upon page of people trying to tell me DVD's of PDFs......
Old 08-21-2011, 06:22 PM
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How to survive the end of the world .....by James Wesley Rawles
Patriots:Surviving the coming collapse.... by James Wesley Rawles
Pretty much anything he writes is Grade A information

Consider getting a Kindle you can carry a entire library that weighs a few ounces also a simple burton solar charger can keep it charged up for years chance's are you need one anyway to keep Radios and GPS's charged up
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Old 08-21-2011, 06:28 PM
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If you don't already have it; I just received my copy of the SAS survival guide by John 'Lofty' Wiseman. It if full of all sorts of survival scenarios, fairly cheap ($5.99 I think) and is ideal size for a BOB.
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Old 08-21-2011, 06:31 PM
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Look up Paladin press... they always have a good assortment of books and item that have become a mainstay in our shelter library...
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:01 PM
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The Foxfire Series and the Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery are my top recommendations. Followed by general books on gardening, herbal meds, medical, cooking, etc.

Edit to add: I thought I'd mention a few other books worth getting, especially since they're cheap at Sam's Club. Garden Wisdom and Know How, Country Wisdom and Know How, and Survival Wisdom and Know How. Each about $12 at Sam's. HUGE books, chock full of great information. They'd be a steal at 3 times the price. Now if only the damned things would fit my bookshelves. Did I mention that they're HUGE?
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Old 08-21-2011, 07:52 PM
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The "Dare to prepare book"...
Old 08-21-2011, 07:56 PM
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Whew. Seven books? I have about 50 or more in my library. All seem to have their place. I have redundant books on chickens, gardening, etc. I don't think one book has all of the answers. So to answer your question, I would probably have to say drop some coin on the entire Fox Fire series.

Here are just a few titles:

US Gardening Guide
Preserving Food
Organic Gardening Under Glass
Stoney's Guide to Raising Chickens
Poultry Production
Chickens in your Backyard
Langstroth's Hive and the Honey-Bee
The Woodburner's Companion
Home Grown Whole Grains
The Green Pharmacy Guide to Healing Foods
The Cloudspotter's Guide (yes, a weather book is handy)
The Essential Wilderness Navigator
SAS Survival Handbook
Starting and Running Your Own Small Farm
Back to Basics
The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It
Five Acres and Independence
Living Off the Grid
A field Guide to the Insects
The Vegetable Gardener's Bible
The Organic Gardener's Handbook
The Country Doctor Handbook
Water Storage
Knots You Need

I also have local area maps of land and waterways.

Also, I don't think that having a couple of books for you BOB is worth it. How would 2 books possibly help you in a BOB post-SHTF?
Old 08-21-2011, 10:18 PM
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The Guide To Self-Sufficiency John Seymour
The Encyclopedia of Country Living Carla Emery
Making The Best Of Basics - Family Preparedness Handbook James Talmage Stevens
Where There Is No Dentist Murry ****son
Where There Is No Doctor David Werner


Outdoor Survival Skills paperback Larry Dean Olsen
SAS Survival Handbook Gem version John "Lofty" Wiseman
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Old 08-21-2011, 11:01 PM
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"Six Ways In, Twelve Ways Out" is a comprehensive, yet compact, survival manual. It covers a wide range of basic survival and evasion skills. The concepts and diagrams are clear, and quite easy to understand. Basically, if you had this book and a decent knife you could survive in the woods.

The text of the book (without the diagrams) can be seen at this link. It can also be purchased through snailmail there:

http://www.usrsog.org/manu.htm

I ended up buying a small binder and plastic page sheet inserts to carry it, as the cover and binding would eventually fall apart. It's a very concise and clear manual on topics such as keeping warm in the elements, shelter, purifying water, primitive fire-starting, snaring/fishing for food, and many bushcraft basics. I would consider it a very good book and a must have for any library.
Old 08-21-2011, 11:40 PM
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You are, I fear, unnecessarily constraining yourself by setting an arbitrary limit of only 7 books. Even the thickest, most densely packed book can only contain so much. A library is accumulated knowledge; why deliberately throw out the wide ranging possibilities by keeping it small? An encyclopedia, preferably an old one, full of information on processes, ideas, history, and objects and items that most people don't know (most libraries are throwing their old encyclopedias out in this Internet age). Cookbooks. Books on mathematical and chemical formulas. Handbooks on everything from identifying wild edible plants to emergency first aid to survival. Reference books. Manuals. Collected accounts of how things were done in the old days, like the Foxfire series. If you're a determined survivalist, you should be stocking up on books just like food, water, and fuel. They're good for the soul.
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Old 08-22-2011, 12:07 AM
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Nuclear War Survival Skills by Cresson Kearny. Free online at http://www.oism.org/nwss/index.htm

Hiroshima by John Hersey.

Zlata's Diary by Zlata Filipović.
Old 08-22-2011, 12:10 AM
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Ditch Medicine, Hugh L. Coffee

Barefoot Doctor's Manual

The Chemistry of Powder and Explosives, Tenney Davis
Old 08-22-2011, 12:22 AM
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Here are a few that I have in my library. There are more than 7, so pick the ones that suit your needs best:

For the medical-
Where There is No Doctor
Where There is No Dentist
Where Women Have No Doctor
Emergency War Surgery

For more general survival
the Boy Scout Fieldbook
Edible Wild Plants
It's a Disaster....and what are YOU gonna do about it?
How to Stay Alive in the Woods
the pocket Outdoor Survival Guide
Wilderness Survival
How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It
What to Do When the Sh*t Hits the Fan
Storey's Guide to Raising Rabbits
Storey's Guide to Raising Chickens
Storey's Guide to Raising Goats
Grow Your Own Drugs (No, this is not about illegal substances...it's about medicinal herbs/plants)
Herbal Antibiotics
Growing and Using the Healing Herbs
The New Self-Sufficient Gardener

This is just a sampling to get you started. Hope the list helps
Old 08-22-2011, 01:22 AM
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Deep Survival
Life After Doomsday
Medicine for Mountineering
Tom Brown's Field Guide to Wilderness Survival
Outdoor Survival Skills

Really can't suggest much more than this without knowing your geography. Bushcraft is heavily dependent on what you have to work with and what climate you have to deal with. All are available thru Amazon.
Old 08-22-2011, 05:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moccasin View Post
You are, I fear, unnecessarily constraining yourself by setting an arbitrary limit of only 7 books. Even the thickest, most densely packed book can only contain so much. A library is accumulated knowledge; why deliberately throw out the wide ranging possibilities by keeping it small? An encyclopedia, preferably an old one, full of information on processes, ideas, history, and objects and items that most people don't know (most libraries are throwing their old encyclopedias out in this Internet age). Cookbooks. Books on mathematical and chemical formulas. Handbooks on everything from identifying wild edible plants to emergency first aid to survival. Reference books. Manuals. Collected accounts of how things were done in the old days, like the Foxfire series. If you're a determined survivalist, you should be stocking up on books just like food, water, and fuel. They're good for the soul.
Yeah my library is already bigger than that and I intend to grow it further, but for the cause of brevity I said 7 books. That way people will give their very top picks, and among all the responses there should be only really good books as a result. All of these seem good already, here's hoping to more.



I'll throw in a pick myself, based on ones I've read and prefer.

Citizen Soldier. A lot of people buy books like the army manual on guerrilla warfare, and if you've read that, its mostly organizational stuff and top-level strategy, very little practical usable stuff. But Citizen soldier is the perfect companion to that, with all the practical, usable knowledge, from the individual up to the company level. Highly recommend, it was a great read.
Old 08-22-2011, 09:13 AM
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Non-fiction history books on the black death / bubonic plague
Gardening books
Old 08-22-2011, 10:29 AM
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I have to say I know why The Encyclopedia of Country Living is listed a couple times, it is a great reference. Here are a couple more I did not see listed.


Country Wisdom & Know-How

U.S. Air Force Survival Handbook

Nature's Garden: A Guide to Identifying, Harvesting, and Preparing Edible Wild Plants

The Traditional Bowyer's Bible, Volume 1 - 4 (fun hobby for those with primitive survival plans)

Mini Farming: Self-Sufficiency on 1/4 Acre

The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It
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Old 08-22-2011, 10:38 AM
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It sucks because I have just been going through my books on medicine (both orthodox and austere) as well as food preservation, I just can't remember any of the names or the authors. I'll try to look back at them and post the names and authors. They are very good resources and I highly recommend them. I have read all of them cover to cover.

Also, merely having informational books is not enough. You need to have some pleasure reads, and for that, I recommend a lot of Michael Crichton.
Old 08-22-2011, 12:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Supressed223 View Post
How to survive the end of the world .....by James Wesley Rawles
Patriots:Surviving the coming collapse.... by James Wesley Rawles
Pretty much anything he writes is Grade A information

Consider getting a Kindle you can carry a entire library that weighs a few ounces also a simple burton solar charger can keep it charged up for years chance's are you need one anyway to keep Radios and GPS's charged up
What happens to a Kindle after an EMP strike or event?
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Old 08-22-2011, 02:58 PM
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Some of the books in my library are as follows:

Mayo Clinic Book of Alternative Medicine (I like this one because it covers different methods of healing from a scientific standpoint)

American Red Cross First Aid- Responding to Emergencies Participant's Manual (This is firmly in the orthodox section of medicine, so a lot of it is more of keeping the patient stable until you can reach a doctor, but it's still good)

How to Survive TEOTWAWKI by James Wesley Rawles (beating an old horse here, but like others have said, it's very good)

When There is No Doctor by Gerard S. Doyle, MD (I have seen a similar book by the same name but different author that sucked. Make sure Doyle wrote it)

Emergency Food Storage and Survival Handbook by Peggy Layton (this is looking at survival as a family unit, rather than the gung-ho lone wolf Marlboro Man stance, so that is a major plus. Also, knowing how to store food is critical.)

Surgical Knots and Suturing Techniques (second edition) by F. D. Giddings. (Just picked this up a few weeks ago, and so far it seems good, I just need to practice my knot making).
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