Survival eBooks & Survival Tablets: The Top Preparedness eBooks You should Download Now!

In a Bugout situation, taking all of your survival books and manuals is probably not very practical.  As eBook readers increase in popularity, many survivalists are buying them as a way to back up manuals, books, and other survival materials.

Kindle with Books

Top eBook Readers:

Amazon Kindle Paperwhite:

The newest Amazon Kindle Paperwhite can hold up to 3,500 books, requires very little power, and can easily be recharged with a small solar charger or hand crank. While I wouldn’t go betting my life on it, the Kindle is a great back up or supplement to your books, and is a great way to store how to manuals and survival information that you might need during a long-term survival situation.

Apple iPad mini:

If you looking for something that can serves as an eBook reader, store maps, and provide entertainment during a disaster then the iPad mini tops the list. Weighing in at only 0.68 pounds, the iPad mini is one of the best options you can carry. The great thing about the iPad is its ability to store thousands of books, thousands of PDFs and manuals, and its ability to provide entertainment during a crisis situation — something that is especially important for those with young children who will need a release from what’s going on.

Don’t forget to pair these with a good Emergency Solar Charger:
While these devices are a great way to store information, they are completely useless without a way to recharge them during a disaster. Check out our list of portable emergency solar chargers that can keep these devices going indefinitely.

Preparedness eBooks You Should Download:

Survival eBook on the Kindle App

The Ultimate Situational Survival Guide: Self-Reliance Strategies for a Dangerous World: Robert Richardson, Founder of OFFGRIDSurvival.com, gives you real-world advice on surviving everything from natural disasters, man-made disasters and disease outbreaks, to essential tactics and step-by-step instructions for surviving urban disasters, social unrest and rioting, crime, violence and terrorist attacks. The book gives you the essential information you need to survive 21st century threats.

SAS Survival Handbook: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere: Written by John Wiseman, former survival instructor for Britain’s elite Special Air Service, this classic survival guide provides essential information for surviving in climates throughout the world. While most of the information is geared towards outdoor survival situations, it does have a section on urban survival issues.

Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide: Author Jim Cobb details plans for surviving long-term disaster situations. It goes beyond short-term disasters, and looks at what you need to survive disasters that could last for weeks, months, or even years.

Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide to the Art of Wilderness Survival: Dave Canterbury shares his wilderness survival experience and advice for using Bushcraft to survive and reconnect with nature.

Where There Is No Doctor: Hesperian’s classic manual Where There Is No Doctor is one of the most widely-used health care manuals in the world.  The manual provides practical, easily understood information on how to diagnose, treat, and prevent common injuries and illnesses.

Tracking and Reading Sign: A Guide to Mastering the Original Forensic Science: This full-color guide can help you learn how to track animals and read their signs. It offers an introduction on the principals of tracking by looking at tracks, prints, gaits, scats, scents, and animal behaviors. Over twenty different animals are profiled, including New World Moose, American elk, and Whitetailed deer.

The Survival Medicine Handbook: A Guide for When Help is Not on the Way: The Survival Medicine Handbook is a guide for those who want to be medically prepared for any disaster where help is NOT on the way.

Cheap & Free Survival eBooks and PDF Downloads

The following survival/preparedness eBooks are usually available for either free or under $2 for the download.

U.S. Army Survival Manual FM 21-76: Most of the books on Wilderness survival contain information that is basically stolen directly from the U.S. Army Survival Manual. It’s a great book to have anyone interested in wilderness survival.

U.S. Marines Winter Survival Guide: A good overview on winter survival gear and survival techniques from the U.S. Marines.

SURVIVAL, EVASION, AND RECOVERY: The U.S. Army Manual on survival, evasion and Recovery techniques.

Ham Radio Frequency Chart: A PDF file covering the basic Ham bands, common Q Codes, the Phonetic Alphabet, and Morse code.

National Trail System Map: This PDF file shows you thousands of hiking trails throughout the United States; these trails are something that should be kept in mind during disasters where you may have to evacuate by foot.

Downloading your Survival Books on to the Kindle App

Kindle App on the iPad listing different survival books

While there are a number of different eBook apps out there, one of my favorite is the Amazon Kindle App. It’s free, it can open both eBooks and PDFs, it allows you to quickly search for data inside the books, and it can be downloaded onto your existing smartphone or tablets without having to buy a dedicated eBook reader. Just make sure you download the books to your device, and don’t rely on the Amazon cloud feature which will be completly useless during power outages and long-term crisis situations.

Amazon.com – Read eBooks using the FREE Kindle Reading App on Most Devices

Making your own Survival PDF eBooks

With a program like Abobe Acrobat, you can easily fill your eReader, phone, or Tablet with a treasure trove of survival information. From printouts of webpages that you routinely visit, to maps of your local area and bugout routes, printing to a PDF file allows you to collect all that information for storage on your electronic devices. It’s a great way to back up online information that might not be there during a Grid Down Collapse.

How to print to a PDF File in Windows:
How to Print your own Survival PDFs Screenshot
  1. Open a file in a Windows application.
  2. Choose File > Print.
  3. Choose Adobe PDF as the printer in the Print dialog box.
  4. Click Print.
  5. Click OK, name the PDF file, and save it in a desired location.
  6. You can then load the PDF on to your device, or directly into the Kindle App by emailing your kindle address.
The Ultimate Situational Survival Guide

17 Comments

  1. Interesting. I never thought of using a Kindle for that type of application. But sure, why not? Makes perfect sense. I have a Kindle and I’m loving it although I must admit I have my sights set on the horizon…lots of exciting things happening in the e-book arena.

  2. I received a Kindle for Christmas this year. This occurred to me right off the bat and I started downloading manuals. Most military manuals are around .99 . Can anybody offer some recommendations on good, basic survival manuals?

  3. Don’t forget that with native pdf support (now also on the older model w/ the firmware update), you can print-to-pdf your own documents (emergency contacts/plans/etc as well as snippets for web sites, etc.) and copy them over. They’re not always pretty, but it can beat lugging around binders full of printouts in your BOB

  4. There is always going to be something that could possibly wipe out whatever gear or equipment you relay on. A fire or a flood could wipe out your books, a thief could steal your bugout bag…
    There is no substitution for the power of your own knowledge and your ability to survive without gadgets..

    I wrote the article because I think the kindle or devices like it are a good backup for your information, and can also provide entertainment during a survival situation. It’s not the be all and end all answer to surviving any situation, it is just another tool in your survival arsenal.

    *any information that you cannot live without should always be backed up with a hard copy.

    • We need a like button for this page!!! I’ve been saving things as pdf for a long time now, and how to videos from youtube…. I really enjoy your posts, Robert!
      Linda Mason

  5. One small problem that has popped up with Kindle. When it links up with Amazon, they can delete any material on your Kindle. This recenlty happened with a book that was distributed and the author pulled his permission. Kindle linked to Amazon and 10,000 purchasor’s of the book woke up to find out it had been deleted from their machines.

  6. Great take on the Kindle as a compact way to store and carry all those resources. I’ve been researching these for a few weeks and have about decided on the smaller Kindle2 reader for my own use. I also have a lot of ebooks in PDF format so this is a great device to read those as well as books purchased on the Kindle. My own books are available on Kindle, including my forthcoming Bug Out book, and I recently formatted one for Kindle that I self-published a few years ago.

    The low power consumption and long battery life is especially appealing compared to other options like netbooks, the Ipod Touch and the new Ipad. Although I probably wouldn’t take any electronic device other than a GPS if bugging out on foot, for bugging out by boat, (my preferred method) I wouldn’t want to be without the Kindle, as it would be easy enough to carry a means of recharging (small solar panel).

  7. I prefer my iTouch with the Kindle app on it. Not as nice as a kindle, but with the three hundred dollar price difference, I don’t mind. Great alternative to a kindle in my opinion.

  8. Good luck with all that crap when the power goes out. GPS. Hee, hee, that made me giggle…If you think a gps is essential to survival you are screwed.

    • GPS can be a good thing to have during an emergency. Yes if the system goes down it’s useless but it’s still not a bad idea to have one. And as for the ebook readers they will still work with a small fold-able solar panel.

  9. GPS should by no means be considered ‘essential’… but certainly not laughable either, jeni. GPS signals rely on no ground support, it is all via satellite, remember? a real handheld gps unit has maps pre-loaded and only relies on coordinates from the satellites to place your position on the map.

    now, your fancy cellphone gps of course will be useless the minute the 3g/cell coverage goes out, but a real backcountry gps will be useful as long as those satellites are in orbit.

    as far as the electricity being out… i think we all are aware of some type of off grid charging solution. i myself have a couple of solar / hand crank radios that can also charge your cellphone (or gps, kindle, ipod, whatever…) via USB.

  10. Kindle’s are nice but pricey. Instead you can get a generic Android tablet and install apps for both Kindle and Nook. For other ebook types there is an outstanding ebook reader called AiReader. It will display everything but .pdf and I would be surprised if it does not “develop” that capability in the future. It is very easy to use.

    I would also suggest installing all the bulk storage you can get. My Nextbook came with 64 Gb and I slotted in an additional 32 Gb. I expect to replace that with a 64 Gb chip in the not too distant future. You can never have too much bulk storage space.

  11. A few years ago I purchased a manual well pump for my water well and it came with a free DVD containing over a hundred PDF survival publications. I copied those to a SD card and now I have all those publications on my android tablet. I also have kindle publications on this same tablet. This is a great way to have vast stores of information on hand at all times and in a pinch you can even read them on a cell phone. Also, if I break the tablet I can just transfer the SD card to another tablet and I’m back in business.

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