For the vast majority of people, survival skills aren’t really something that you know and practice all that often. Most people are too concerned with work, school, or family to go out and learn how to survive in the wild.
It’s also dangerous to just try by yourself with no references – people have tried and failed already with severe consequences. There have been people that tried and succeeded, and passed their skills and knowledge on to others.
Survival guides are compact and full of knowledge sourced from people who have been in true do-or-die situations, and are a great addition to your bug out bag. You want to be sure that your survival guides have reliable information in them, of course.
That’s why you should first pack the US Army FM 21-76, also known as their survival field manual. This is the standard issue field manual given out to US Army troops with instructions on how to survive in just about any climate – including desert, tundra, tropic, forest, and even arctic.
So no matter where you live, you can be sure that you’ll know how to survive in the conditions you’re facing year-round. The early chapters cover one of the most important parts of survival: mental preparedness.
If you’re just panicking, then all of that gear you have will go to waste. This manual will prepare you for the challenges you’ll be facing while surviving. This manual also teaches you plenty of practical skills.
For example, you’ll learn how to identify poisonous snakes and animals – and which animals to avoid eating. You’ll learn how to find water and make it drinkable, how to navigate using the stars, how to make fires in any situation, first aid in the wild and more.
Because it is a military manual, it has a few sections that are more useful for soldiers than civilians, but when it comes down to it, we’re all human, and all humans have the same needs.
For a more civilian geared book, Dave Canterbury’s Bushcraft 101 is a must have. With plenty of detailed imagery and in depth explanations, Canterbury describes the processes in bush crafting, which is using the materials you find in the bush to survive.
You’ll learn fire starting, shelter making, trapping, and more from a trustworthy author who is well versed in pioneering and backwoods skills. These books won’t take up much room in your bug out bag, but they can have a huge impact on your survival.