Are you ready for a disaster if it hits your home? What about being out alone in the woods with no food, water, or shelter? Maybe you are kidnapped in the middle of an urban area and tied to a chair. These are just some of the hundreds of incidents the best pocket survival guides touch on to help you deal with any and every situation.
Here are my three picks for the best pocket survival guides you should have on hand.
1. SAS Survival Handbook
The SAS Survival Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere is the best pocket survival guide on the market today. What makes this guide the best of the best? It gives advice for nearly any situation and climate, urban or rural.
There is a reason why this is the best-selling survival handbook on the market today. Not only was it written by an ex-Special Air service survival expert by the name of John ‘Lofty’ Wiseman. The latest third edition offers techniques for surviving in urban settings, which is unique to many survival books on the market today, in addition to the following:
- Essentials needed, fear management, and strategies
- Dealing with climate and terrain
- Camp craft and navigation
- Survival at sea
- Urban survival and terrorism (a new chapter)
From being prepared for the weather to finding the best location to set up camp to what food to eat and avoid, this guide will ensure you can survive the most deadly areas, climates, and terrain. It also covers first aid tips, disaster survival, self-defense, and even how to protect your family from break-ins, home intrusions, and theft.
Not only Amazon users but accredited publications like the Chicago Tribune and noted organizations like the United States Marines have also touted the SAS Survival Handbook as the best pocket survival guide. However, there are some close seconds and thirds when thinking about how to best protect you and your family.
Why Is the SAS Survival Handbook the Best?
Right before Christmas in December 2014, The Washington Post reviewed the SAS Survival Handbook. This was one of many reviews that have noted this guide as the best of the best in-pocket survival guides. The journalist touted the clear instructions and illustrations, accompanying app for Android and iOS, and other necessities:
- What if someone breaks into your home?
- What if the brakes fail on your car?
- What if you find yourself abducted and tied to a chair?
- What if a nuclear bomb detonates?
- What if you need to escape a fire?
- What if you needed to survive on flora and greens?
These are just a few of the questions that are answered in the SAS Survival Handbook. The newest edition, entitled “Urban Survival,” examines the various tactics to handle everything from urban animal attacks to terrorists and espionage. It is the all-around winner because it covers so many situations beyond being out in the wild.
2. Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide of the Art of Wilderness Survival
Not only did the Chicago Tribune tout the accolades of the SAS Survival Handbook, but also the Bushcraft 101 guide. This guide focuses more on wilderness survival, including first aid, edible plants, navigation, and safety tips. If you plan on going camping or hiking, the Bushcraft 101 guide could be the perfect choice for outdoor adventures.
The SAS Survival Handbook may be the top choice by novices and experts alike, but this New York Times bestseller written by survivalist expert David Canterbury is less expensive and comes with more than 16,000 Amazon ratings for the same positive stars as SAS. What makes Bushcraft a bit different? It helps survive on minimal gear:
- Cutting tools
- Combustion devices
- Containers and cordages
This guide also helps you choose the right items before heading outdoors and then assists the collection and cooking of food, how to protect yourself from various elements in the wild, and even how to manufacture much-needed tools and supplies. The New York Daily News, Bustle, New Pioneer, and CoolMaterial.com all give their thumbs up.
Field and Stream also examined the trend of bushcraft and how Canterbury, a former military policeman and soldier, explicitly details his useful tips, information, and advice for surviving the outdoors. Will you learn how to counter-espionage in the big city? No. Will you learn how to build a fire, sharpen knives, and split wood? Most definitely.
3. Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide
The final option that made this list is called the Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide because it focuses uniquely on preparing your home for natural disasters or life-threatening pandemics. This guide sounds extremely relatable in the world today and offers DIY techniques and projects to make your home as safe as possible.
Whether it is a hurricane, earthquake, or pandemic, author Jim Cobb gives much-needed advice on how to find food, shelter, and security off the grid. He is not talking about a weekend in the woods. Instead, Cobb focuses on surviving for weeks, maybe months or even years, without power for your home, water to drink, and food to eat.
Some topics include:
- Water collection
- Hunting and growing food
- First aid and medical treatments
Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide touches on a life no one wants to think about, which is when a disaster or pandemic destroys the grid, and everyone is on their own. Yet, this guide discusses these frightening situations in a down-to-earth tone that numerous reviewers have said are practical, unique, and sound.
This guide has been said to be ideal if you live in a town or city and will need long-term survival if you find yourself lacking electricity, water, or gas from large-scale disasters or pandemics. It is a short and easy read to help anyone in their home during times of crisis.
There are hundreds of pocket survival guides on the market today, but the best of the best still remains to be the SAS Survival Handbook by John ‘Lofty’ Wiseman. However, Wiseman is not alone with his life-saving tips. The other two other pocket survival guides that I highlighted are also making waves for their unique takes on how to survive when disaster strikes.
Choose the one that fits your needs the best, or pick up all three. You can never have too much info, right?
For more, check out 10 Best Places to Practice Bushcraft and Survival Skills.
Hey, I’m Jim, and the author of this website. I have always been interested in survival, fishing, camping, and anything in nature. In fact, while growing up, I spent more time on the water than on land! I am also a best-selling author and have a degree in History, Anthropology, and Music. I hope you find value in the articles on this website. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions or input!