Some Of My Basic Survival Reference Books


Today I thought I would share just a few of my survival books. My books are a little different than Ken’s as they pertain to household matters such as cooking, gardening, sewing, quilting etc. Ken’s pertain to alternative energy, survival methods, firearms and tools! :-D

Generally speaking, what Ken and I have learned, and the new things we try, are done by first hand experimenting. The old ‘trial and error’ method (A method of reaching a correct solution or satisfactory result by trying out various means or theories until error is sufficiently reduced or eliminated) seems to be the best method for us. But many books make great references for a project you are working on and they are also great for giving you some new ideas.

The Country Living Encyclopedia, written by Carla Emery, is a large book covering a lot of topics related to country living and farming. There is a lot of general information, as well as personal anecdotes and recipes. It’s a great reference! It is said to be the most complete source of information available about growing, processing, cooking, and preserving homegrown foods from the garden, orchard, field, or barnyard and filled with practical, step-by-step advice on basic self-sufficiency skills such as how to cultivate a garden, buy land, bake bread, raise farm animals, make sausage, milk a goat, grow herbs, churn butter, build a chicken coop, cook on a wood stove, and much, much more.

Back to Basics: A Complete Guide to Traditional Skills, Third Edition
This book goes into more detail and seems to cover a wide variety of topics and contains lots of demonstrative photos or drawings. Back to Basics can help to teach you how to braid your own rug, cook with wood or build your own log cabin! It also covers different sources of energy. herb gardens, livestock, soap making and candle making to name just a few. The hundreds of projects, step-by-step sequences, photographs, charts, and illustrations in Back to Basics will help you dye your own wool with plant pigments, graft trees, raise chickens, craft a hutch table with hand tools, and make treats such as blueberry peach jam and cheddar cheese.

The Backyard Homestead
This book is a great back yard garden/mini farm book. Even if you’re not ready for complete self-sufficiency, in today’s economic climate, it just makes sense to try to produce some of your own food. And this book is a great way to get your feet wet. Put your backyard to work!

Here are some other books on homesteading and self sufficiency that I love to reference.

Made from Scratch
The Self-Sufficient Life and How to Live It
Self-Sufficiency: A Complete Guide

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  1. @Bi, I’ll see what solutions I can find for comment tool, or tweaks that I may be able to make which may provide better comments interaction. Good suggestion.

  2. Hello all. It is me, the former off-the grid-guy with a few of my personal favorites:

    Wilderness canoeing by Cliff Jacobson (Probably more for Ken) this book talks about canoe travel hints and surviving on extended trips north of the Arctic Circle in the summer. A good resource from an older guy who has been leading extended back country trips for decades. He freely shares his opinions about what works and what does not work.

    The Joy of Cooking by Rombauer et all (for Lauren) Much better than Betty Crocker and it has some recipes for wild game. (lots of hints to make it palatable + what NOT to do)

    For all you people who expect the SHTF scenario: The Art of War by Sun Tzu. Short of Nuclear or Biologcal war, To prepare for war you must study it. this book is now required reading at many military colleges now in addition to some business schools. ( In Japan, Business IS war on a different playing field with different weapons)

    If I had to choose only one reloading manual for my home bench, It would be the Speer Reloading Manual # 14 (Currently on edition # 14) I also reference the Hornady reloading manual frequently too. Both give enough advice within the covers to get one started on metallic cartridge reloading.

    I am currently a subscriber to Backwoods Home magazine. The recipes are good and the advice on canning and preserving has been time-tested.

    I wait for this one to go on sale but The Wall Street Journal is some of the best reporting this side of the New York Times. I also like to listen to the BBC since they do a better job at covering foreign news and they have an interesting slant on activities within the US. ( I am sorry but I don’t care for reading People or the mags that talk endlessly about celebrities in rehab, etc.)

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