Building your own SHTF proof survival manual

Electronic storage is great; for years I have recommended things like survival laptops and tablets. With a good solar charger, these devices can last for years in an off the grid environment.

If you’re anything like most of the survival minded people who come to this site, you probably bookmark and save a ton of good survival articles. While I love electronic devices, when the SHTF you need to have backups of all your valuable survival information.

survival binder bookYou need your own SHTF Proof Survival Manual.

laminatorLately I have been saving a ton of how to articles to my NOOK, but I don’t stop there. The nook is great for storing survival books and articles, but I also started laminating the most important articles and putting them into my own personal survival manual.

For under $40 bucks you can make yourself a good SHTF proof survival binder.

First, you need to buy a good laminator and a pack of lamination sheets.
You can get a Good Laminator on Amazon and a pack of 50 lamination sheets for around $40. This will allow you to put about 400 articles in your personal survival manual.

survival manual pageSecond, I condense the articles down so I can fit at least 4 to a page (8 double-sided). This gives you roughly 400 articles with only 50 pieces of paper. Remember, the lamination adds some weight so you don’t want to go crazy here; print only those articles that you think you’ll really need post SHTF.

I usually condense articles down in Microsoft word, or I shrink down specific pages from books so I can fit them into my 4up format. I then 3 ring punch the laminated pages and put them in a good zippered binder to protect them from the elements.

What kinds of articles do I add to my personal survival manual?

My NOOK can pretty much hold everything I need, so I fill that up with as much information as I can get. For my Binder, I take only the things that I think I will really need in a post SHTF world.

  • Maps, Evacuation Routes, and Bug Out Locations
  • Medical information and first aid instructions
  • How To articles
  • Pictures of edible plants
  • Communication frequency charts, notes, and antenna diagrams / formulas
  • Primitive Skills & instructional materials
  • Trapping Diagrams
  • And anything that you may have a hard time remembering
Shirts of Liberty

OFFGRID Survival book



  1. Lamination is great, but sometimes adds undue thickness to the stack of documents.

    You could also print on waterproof, tear-resistant paper which holds up VERY well to abuse.

    3M, Rite In The Rain, etc. all have excellent products to do this.

    • one thing I did to cut down thickness in laminating is double sided printing and resized maps and other things to consolidate multiple pages of information to one page

      • vellum… not the word i was looking for… tracing paper? really super thin crappy paper i buy for my kids, i found i can print on it, laminates well and cuts down on the bulk.

  2. Great ideas. I think I may try shrinking them down to quarter page size, cutting them out individually, and then hole-punching one ring in the top left corner.

    Like a series of flashcards that can fit in a side pocket of my bob.


  3. Great ideas from all, since you have screen print gear you could design a shirt/stuff sack etc.. with some survival info printed on it similar to the card idea.

  4. would love to have a binder like that!!!
    but dont make it to expensive now…we poor preppers want to be organized too…and besides when TSHTF money will be useless right??? …LOL

    • I am a novice prepper just learning and gathering a little at a time. I have already begun a manual that fits my needs and requirements. I am going with the plastic sheet covers. That way if I find more info down the road on same subject, I can slip it in pocket until I can update it. Any poor prepper like me, I am on facebook.

  5. Nothing beats good old fashioned practice and memorization. Teach your children too so that they can “remind” you how to do it when you get older! HA!

  6. I started loading books and manuals on my Nook also. It will hold a charge for a very long time and I have a solar charger if the SHTF for real and there is a long period of no utilities. I can add MiniSD cards as I fill them. Which leads to unlimited storage.

    • What if the disaster is a widespread EMT??? You Nook would be useless…. There’s nothing better than tangible information… Good luck everybody!!! :DDDD

  7. Would you consider posting or emailing those who request it a copy of the materials you are putting in your persoanl survival book (without the personal maps and such of course)?

  8. How about to make double with more, non laminated stuf to printed and binded and vacum sealed bag.
    This would be last resort manual.

  9. Great idea!

    I use a program called PrimoPDF ( to print things into PDF format. It is a print driver, so you can do things like print multiple pages to one page, booklet printing, etc.

    The real benefit in this case is that it can print from a pdf doc to make a new one. Example is to make a certain chapter into a separate file that prints two pages on one. A good way to narrow down the most important for easy access.

    Another program that has proven useful is Wondershare’s PDF merger. As the name says, it merges pdf files. It is shareware, so it prints a advertisement at the end of the file until registered. (I reprint the file with Primo minus the last page to remove it.) I used it on a bunch of knot how to pages I found on a site into one easy file.

  10. Great idea, I’ve been doing the same type of thing for about 2 years now. I thought I lost some not yet printed stuff once when I had a computer crash, but then I remembered I had backed it all up on my external hard drive. I have 3, my main one that is hooked up to my comp at all times and it does an automatic backup every 2 days. One I keep at another location and update it usually about every 2 months, and a 3rd I have at my retreat location that I backup everytime I go there(quite a bit in the summer and every month or so in the winter). They are cheap and getting cheaper, the storage space is huge. I store eveything on them, photos, financial info, our wills, copies of other important papers, etc. I also carry a flash drive in my BOB with some of the same info. All password protected, of course. Redundancy is a good thing.

  11. Thanks for creating this site. Glad I found some folks that are prepared. I’m not prepared. I need to start now, for my Family… thx again all

  12. I would like the list or post of your survival cards or your 50 pages. After all if you did alot of work on this, no senses for us to recreate the wheel here. I know, everyone is different, but maybe it would be a great place to start!

  13. Does Shrinking them town to A5 / 4 a page not make them too small to read.

    bearing in mind that in a True SHTF scenario, your going to be stressed and not in a great frame of mind to start off with; would shrinking them to A5 / 2 a page not be better

    Then again I think a single A4 / single page Fresnel lens would be a lot lighter than an extra 1/3 of the book.
    Guess I answered my own question.


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