The Most Important Preparation Asset: Knowledge via Books

Bob Mayer
2 min readOct 20, 2021
Survival Library

When discussing preparation, a key element that is overlooked is knowledge. Knowledge is invaluable. We simply can’t be experts on everything from first aid to farming to animal husbandry to metal working. Others can help show the way. A sustainment library should be both electronic and physical. An electronic library can be sustained given solar power and power packs. A physical library lasts even longer. But both must be protected from the elements.

Electronic versions must be downloaded on the devices you will use before a disaster. I keep mine on my laptop, my iPad, and my iPhone.

Here are some books I recommend in addition to my own Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide that I have downloaded and on my shelves and ready to be grabbed in case of evacuation or bugging out.

Survival and Sustainment Library:

When Technology Fails: A Manual for Self-Reliance, Sustainability and Surviving the Long Emergency by Matthew Stein. A great resource of information for long term skills.

SAS Survival Handbook by John Wiseman. Redundant to some information in this book, I have it because of the images of plants and other matter.

Peterson Field Guides put out a series of books about plants. Two keys are:

Edible Wild Plants

Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central North America

Unfortunately those two books aren’t available in eBook and having a plant guide on your cell phone you can easily bring up is very useful. I have:

Wild Edibles: A Practical Guide to Foraging, with Easy Identification of 60 Edible Plants and 67 Recipes by Sergei Boutenko

Basic Fishing: A Beginner’s Guide by Wade Bourne is very useful. Remember, that the Donner Party never even attempted to fish in the nearby lake, even though it had trout in it.

The Gift of Fear: And Other Survival Signs That Protect Us From Violence by Gavin de Becker is a classic that applies to more than just survival situations.

My Side of the Mountain by Jean Craighead George is a classic story of survival that is great to read with your kids to introduce them to survival situations and information.

The Ultimate Survival Medicine Guide by Amy Alton. This is the premier book for survival medicine when a doctor or hospital is not available.

The Green Beret Preparation and Survival Guide by Bob Mayer. Duplicates a lot of the SAS manual, but has more on preparing.

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Bob Mayer

West Point grad; Special Ops Vet; NY Times bestseller of over 80 books; for free books and over 200 free downloadable slideshows go to