Best Wilderness Survival Books: Must-Read Options

Connecting with the outdoors is not only fun, but it’s also therapeutic. 

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast, you know the relaxation you get while spending the night under the stars or watching a stream of water flow by while sitting on your Adirondack chair.

However, if you don’t have the best survival skills, your outdoor endeavors can become disastrous.

Don’t worry; our picks for the best wilderness survival books are here to give you the information you need. 

There’s no better way to learn new skills than reclining with a good book. 

To pick out a beneficial book from a useless one, you’ll need to know if the information is authentic, along with the credibility of the author, and the writing style. 

We’ve evaluated our choices based on these aspects, so you can make your decision and spend your time productively.


Best Wilderness Survival Books: Our Top Three Picks

1. Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival

Published back in 2014, this book has been leading the genre of wilderness survival. 

The book not only provides clear directions about getting along with the outdoors, but it also gives you ways to connect with nature.

  • Author Credibility

Bushcraft 101 was written by none other than a survivalist expert himself, Dave Canterbury, a professional survival instructor. 

He’s a co-owner and supervisor at Pathfinder School and has penned down nothing but his own experiences and techniques in his book.

The school has made it to the list of top 12 survival schools in the USA. 

Additionally, the writer has been published in numerous magazines, including New Pioneer, American Frontiersman, and Self Reliance Illustrated.

  • Content

Coming to the content, Bushcraft 101 has about everything a survival enthusiast might need to learn before setting out. 

The books deal with the primary five Cs of survival, namely cutting tools, covering, combustion, containers, and cordages.

Apart from mapping out the essentials on your outdoor trips, the book gives you detailed guidelines about creating the five Cs of survival from scratch. 

Not only does this help you realize the real beauty of nature and the productivity of its resources, but it brings you closer to the environment, as well. 

Furthermore, the book covers essential things you need to know from packing your kit, manufacturing tools, and managing your supplies.

  • Writing Style

Most importantly, the writing style is relaxed and highly understandable. 

Whether you’re a newbie or a survival expert, you won’t feel out of place while reading this book. 

The best part is that it deals with one topic at a time so that you don’t get lost in a plethora of information.

Also, the chapters are clear and carefully divided so that you can skip the sections you’re not interested in, or already know about. 

Lastly, through this book, the author speaks to fellow wilderness enthusiasts, making the writing tone passionate, and fun to read, rather than a dull and monotonous set of directions. 


  • Experience-based information
  • Easy language
  • Fit for all levels of expertise
  • Fun and carefree tone
  • Credible


  • Bulky; cannot take it along with you unless you have it in audio or pdf format
  • Some directions do not include visual diagrams

2. How to Stay Alive in the Woods: A Complete Guide to Food, Shelter, and Self-Preservation Anywhere

Written about thirty years back, this book is still a go-to survival guide for most individuals and families for their outdoor trips. 

It’s full of tips and guidelines that help you save time, energy, and just have fun in the wilderness.

  • Author Credibility

Bradford Angier is one of the pioneers in the survival field. 

He built around the idea of survival techniques and combined them with effective instructions and guidelines into his book.

We can say that his book is to the wilderness survival genre like classics are to English literature.

Mainly, his ideas focus on rustic, down-to-earth living. 

His writing shows us how to live sustainably off the earth while enjoying nature to the optimum level. 

That’s what makes his minimalistic ideas more appealing to readers.

What’s more, he has written more than thirty books on the subject, which highlight his expertise on the topic.

  • Content

The content in Angier’s book comprises the essentials you need to know before you venture out to the wilderness. 

You’ll find everything from necessary outdoor skills, safety precautions, temperature regulation, and sustenance instructions.

Also, the book includes amusing anecdotes from the author’s own experiences that make it fun to read. 

It also has excerpts that you’re not likely to find in other works; for example, how to catch a game without using a weapon and how to signal for immediate help.

  • Writing Style

The writing style is clear and easy to understand. 

It’s mainly divided into four sections, namely, sustenance, warmth, orientation, and safety.

Each chapter includes step-by-step guides to help you understand how to survive in the woods. 

While the core survival skills have been written in a point-to-point format, the included advice and anecdotes are in a light, conversational tone. 

This helps the reader connect with the writer and get an insight into his personality.


  • Practical guidelines
  • Experiences and anecdotes
  • Illustrated examples and specimen


  • A bit outdated writing style
  • Basic information only; not useful for avid outdoor adventurers

3. Survival Hacks: Over 200 Ways to Use Everyday Items for Wilderness Survival

Published in 2016, Survival Hacks is the ultimate wilderness survival guide for millennials. 

It has small, useful tips and pieces of advice for aspiring outdoor adventurers so that they can make the most out of what they have at hand.

  • Author Credibility

The survival hacks have been compiled by Creek Stewart, a renowned Weather Channel Survival Expert. 

The author has previously written his outdoor survival series before writing survival hacks.

Besides that, Stewart owes most of his popularity to his TV show, Fat Guys in the Woods. 

He’s also the founder and owner of the Willow Haven Outdoor Survival Training School established in Central Indiana.

  • Content

Have you ever thought about making a fishing lure out of your credit card when you’re hungry outdoors? 

Or has it crossed your mind to create a cooking stove from a pack of ramen? 

That’s Creek Stewart’s book for you!

He has collected creative and downright hilarious ideas from his own experiences and experiments to help survival enthusiasts conjure up their necessities from trivial objects. 

Although the content may not sound too professional and authentic, it does appeal to your funny bone.

  • Writing Style

The book mainly consists of step-by-step guides to creating useful things out of the stuff you usually carry along if the need may arise. 

Also, the book focuses entirely on highlighting the fun aspect of outdoor excursions.

The tone is lighthearted and informal that successfully engages the young generation. 

Professional survival experts may find it hard to take the book seriously, but it does highlight the importance of putting resources to their optimum use.


  • Fun to read
  • Detailed instructions with illustrations
  • Easy-to-follow steps
  • Teaches effective use of everyday items


  • Not a complete survival guide
  • Some hacks defined are impractical to conduct in the wilderness


The best wilderness survival books we reviewed have exciting information and guidelines that are crucial for outdoor survival. 

Although the decision which book is perfect depends entirely on your needs, level of expertise, your region, and your current reading mood, we suggest getting the Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival since it is the most comprehensive among the three.

If you prefer otherwise, make sure that whatever you do, choose a book that contributes to your passion for the outdoors. Happy reading!

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