Print Friendly, PDF & Email

The Prepper’s Top Twenty

Having books about every conceivable preparedness topic would be ideal if you had the room to store them. What if you were limited to 20 books that dealt with life after a catastrophic collapse of some sort? That’s what we’ll attempt to answer here.

We can’t learn and remember everything that may be needed – partly because we just don’t know what information will be needed. Books are the answer. Not something on a computer hard drive, but real paper and ink books.

These are the Top Twenty (+/-) choices that members of Volusia County Prepping have found and recommend. Most are generic, but some are geared specifically for this area.

Where can you find these? Amazon is the source that most people think of. Another great source is ABE Books. ABE Books is where you’ll find deals on used books from sellers around the world. Used books are a great way to build a library at minimal cost.


Stephen’s list:

Seed to Seed
Suzanne Ashworth
Seed saving and growing techniques for vegetable gardeners. This is a wealth of information in an easy-to-use format without the fluff of some books. I’m constantly amazed at the new things I learn from this book.

Grow or Die
David The Good
The Good Guide to Survival Gardening

Compost Everything
David The Good
The Good Guide to Extreme Composting

Totally Crazy Easy Florida Gardening
David The Good
The Secret to growing Piles of Food in the Sunshine State

The Resilient Gardner
Carol Deppe
Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times

Making the Best of Basics
James Talmage Stevens
Family Preparedness Handbook

Amaranth to Zai Holes
Laura S. Meitzner and Martin L. Price
Ideas for Growing Food Under Difficult Conditions
Published by ECHO – a training and demonstration farm for missionaries. Located in North Fort Myers, FL

Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens
Gail Damerow
The Storey’s Guide series are all recommended.

Stocking Up
Organic Gardening and Farming, The Editors of
How to Preserve the Foods You Grow Naturally

The Useful Book
Sharon and David Bowers
201 Life Skills They Used to Teach in Home Ec and Shop

Beyond Collapse
T. Joseph Miller, Jr.
Surviving and Rebuilding Civilization From Scratch

Nuclear War Survival Skills
Cresson H. Kearny, Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Lifesaving Nuclear Facts and Self-Help Instructions

Magic and Medicine of Plants
Reader’s Digest

The Survival Medicine Handbook
Joseph Alton, M.D., and Amy Alton, A.R.N.P
A guide for when medical help is not on the way

Field Guide to Wilderness Medicine
Auerbach, Donner, Weiss

Flint’s Emergency Treatment and Management
Harvey D. Cain, M.D.

Where There Is No Doctor
David Werner
A Village Health Care Handbook

Where There Is No Dentist
Murray Dickson

Desk Ref (or Pocket Ref)
Thomas J. Glover
Tables, lists, charts, etc. of just about anything
Pocket Ref is a smaller pocket-size version of the Desk Ref that contains most of what is in the Desk Ref.

FM5-34 Engineer Field Data
U. S. Army
The military version of Desk Ref
(Out of print – may be difficult to find. Try

(PDF) Maintaining Nutritional Adequacy During A Prolonged Food Crisis
Free download – print it. Full description and download link here.


Peg’s list:
(With Amazon links)
Those marked with ** are considered “Must have” books.

** The Survival Medicine​​ Handbook

** ​​Dare to Prepare

** When Technology Fails

** Prepare for Anything Survival Manual

** The Ball Canning Book

** Canning and Preserving for Dummies

** Meals in a Jar

Emergency Food Storage and Survival


Everything Canning and Preserving

Solar Cooking

Putting Food By

Food Storage Preserving Meat, Dairy and Eggs

Food Drying Techniques

The Dehydrator Bible

How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It

Practical Preppers Complete Guide to Disaster Preparedness

MAGS the People Part of Prepping

Poverty Prepping How to Stock Up for Tomorrow but Can’t Afford to Eat Today

Canning, Freezing, Curing and Smoking of Meat, Fish & Game

Baking Soda 500 uses

Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things

Vinegar 100 Uses

Vinegar 1001 Uses

The Humanure Handbook: Guide to Composting Human Manure

Gardening When it Counts – Growing Food in a Survival Situation