|What�s on your shelves? A Prepper�s Library
If you hang around the various prepper/survivalist boards, you will quickly learn about the three �B�s. Beans, Band-Aids, and Bullets. What you don�t hear so often is the fourth �B�; Books.
Like other supplies and equipment, books can greatly add to your survivability and comfort in a difficult situation. From reloading to food preserving, books not only supplements the knowledge you already have, but gives you a teaching tool when passing on your knowledge to your children, spouse, or friends. If something should happen to you, the books are banked knowledge that can used for generations to come.
The only downside to physical books is their bulk and weight. Full sized manuals rarely have space devoted to them in the Bug out Bag or camping backpack. But then, manuals for home repair or gardening aren�t really needed when the situation has deteriorated to the point of evacuation.
An argument could be made for having book backups in the form of PDFs or E-books. It is a good choice, but given the delicate nature of present day readers, pods, and pads; plus the necessity of having a renewable form of recharging (solar charger), I consider them as backup to physical books.
Physical books don�t need energy to work. They rarely break when dropped; have better results drying out after getting wet; and can be read in multiple forms of light.
Physical books also have the often overlooked advantage of acting as an insulation device. A wall of standard manual sized books adds eight inches of wood pulp that helps hold in either heat or cold.
The types of books in your personal library will, obviously, be based on your personality and point of view; but for basics and beginners, I�d recommend the following:
A First Aid manual: Having a good First Aid book will help keep any training you get fresh in your head as well as back you up during a stressful time.
A general Home Repair manual: You might live in a condo or apartment where maintenance repairs things, but when things go wrong and they aren�t around, these books can save you a lot of headaches. From basic wiring to plumbing, a book like this will help you fix that dripping faucet or change out wall sockets (fixtures).
A general vehicle repair manual: Like home repair, these books can give you instructions on how to diagnose and repair your vehicle, saving you money in good times, and possibly your bacon in bad. While there are repairs I�d rather have a true mechanic do, there are many other repairs and general maintenance items I found I could do on my own. It built confidence and gave me insight to my vehicle in ways I could not get as just a driver. Be warned: Most general vehicle repair manuals deal with the engine, electrics, and minor body work. They do not have any instruction when it comes to transmissions. You will need a general transmission manual for that.
A book on edible wild plants: If things go really bad, or if you just live in a bad neighborhood, you can expect unsavory people to raid vegetable gardens like wild rabbits. It might take them a while to find it, but one they do it will be picked clean. A book on wild edibles will not only show you what plants have dibble parts when hiking, but they will also show you what plants you can install in your landscape that will provided rarely detected nutrients for you and your family. (How many people have you seen chewing on cat tail?)
A book on general survival: You may never plan on having to build a lean-to shelter, or build a snare trap, but a book on general survival is a great tool no matter where you live. Even urban dwellers can appreciate the information on gathering and processing water so that it�s safe to drink. Primitive fire starting might seem like woods man survival only but when you need to turn that 3 gallon pot into a makeshift hibachi, those skills can come in handy.
Those are just the basics. You can build your library from there to suit your personal needs. Reloading, tracking, fishing, cabin building, RV repair, Medical manuals, canning, dehydrating, square foot gardening, hunting, tanning, crafts both modern and primitive, knot tying, anything you can think of to expand your knowledge and up the percentage of your survival should be on your shelves.
And let�s not forget about magazines too. They have wonderful articles on various homesteading/prepping/survival skills boiled down in easy to learn lessons.
They say knowledge is power. How powerful do you want to be?