I love books. In fact, I have a library of over 3,000 books. Perhaps a couple dozen of them are fiction, the rest not.
They range in topic to include most everything – military history, psychology, medicine, theology, business, music, art, science, counseling, finance, you name it.
I’m sure you’ve long heard and believe that leaders are readers and readers are leaders. Books on survival and first aid are no exception.
There are literally thousands of books to choose from in the area of survival and first aid, so how do you know which are the best? How do you know which to stay away from?
In my opinion, I stick to those books that have been around for a while and have proven themselves. Choose those that been updated with new information in their later editions to keep up with advancements in knowledge. Also, I preferably choose those books written by an expert in the field rather than a hobbyist.
I don’t want you to go crazy, but I’d recommend you search out books based on your specific interests, read the online reviews and see what you like for home reference and what you like for your survival pack.
Of course, you must consider size when choosing a book to pack out. Also choose one that will stand up to a little weather and abuse and one that is easy to read and understand when you are in a stressful situation.
You must also differentiate between Survival and First Aid. The first is going to teach you what to pack, how to build a shelter, how to start a fire, how to find food, how to navigate, and how to signal for help.
The First Aid book, will, of course, teach you how to stay alive and mobile when injured or ill.
My favorites in each of those categories are the SAS Survival Handbook and the Special Operations Forces Medical Handbook.
A good supplement is The Great Outdoors User’s Guide. The first two are military proven guides on Survival and First Aid while the latter is a pretty good reference from REI and is also sold at Orvis.
There are so many other really good books on both Survival as well as First Aid. If you have a favorite that you’re comfortable with, I’d suggest you stick with what you know.
However, if you’re wanting a change, if you’re adding to your collection, or if you’re starting fresh, I think those I’ve mentioned above are among the best out there. As a matter of fact, they are what I use.
One reference book I’d suggest you have is a good human anatomy atlas that will help you better understand and appreciate the various relationships between bones, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels as well as thoracic, abdominal, and pelvic organs.
If you have a better idea of what’s where and what’s under the skin, you’ll have a better chance of successfully helping yourself and others when and if the time comes.
Though Gray’s Anatomy is the most easily recognized, perhaps the oldest, and is the standard against which all other anatomy atlases are judged, it’s not the easiest to use or understand.
I prefer Frank Netter’s Atlas of Human Anatomy. In fact, Netter’s is the go to anatomy atlas for most every medical student in the U.S. because of its accuracy, fine detail, and truly masterful and beautiful drawings.
Another good atlas is Grant’s Atlas of Anatomy, but in my opinion, it is a far second to Netter’s. These are not books you’ll carry in your pack – they are too large and too heavy.
They are also quite expensive compared to the other books I’ve mentioned above. Nonetheless, I’d recommend that you have at least one of these in your library.
There are literally thousands of books that cover these topics. You don’t have time to check them all out. I hope that these suggestions will help you quickly identify and appropriate the best of the best.
Stay alert. Stay educated. Stay alive.