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In today’s world, with information at our fingertips and a twenty-four-hour news cycle, we can learn almost anything on a whim. But what if we couldn’t? What if you were unable to access the internet due to a cyberattack or a grid-down situation. Do you have the preparedness and homesteading resources you may need at your fingertips?
In my rural location, it’s not uncommon for the electricity or internet to go out for a length of time – either a few minutes or several hours. A few years ago, following a severe windstorm, most the county I lived in was without power for many days!
I’ve always been an avid reader and have happily had a large collection of books. During our long-term power outage, my family sat around each evening while I read them a mystery.
While I love reading for pleasure, reading for information is also important. As such, I have a large collection of reference material. In this article, I share my favorite preparedness and homesteading resources.
eReader or Physical Book?
I love my eReader! I have it chock-full of books I’ve collected over the years. Two major benefits of eReaders (in my case, I use a Kindle Paperwhite) is the mass amount of storage available and the portability.
While I prefer my Paperwhite, I also have a free Kindle app on my phone allowing me to read anywhere, anytime.
Most of the books on my device are fiction books, strictly for passing the time. But I do have a small selection of preparedness and homesteading resources, along with cookbooks often acquired for free or at a low cost.
If after reading the digital version I determine the information is worthwhile, I’ll add the physical book to my library. It might be because I’m so old school, but there’s something about having a real book that appeals to me. Especially considering past events when a certain retailer closed accounts and wiped previously purchased books.
While I do still love my eReader and continue to add books to it, I do so with the knowledge I don’t actually own these books. What is here today may be gone tomorrow.
A physical book, however, is in my possession and–barring a fire or other catastrophe–is mine for as long as I choose. While I don’t have the convenience of being able to hold a thousand plus books at my fingertips, the permanency makes up for it.
With so many books, I am also guilty of tsundoku–buying books and letting them pile up unread. But, since so many of them are reference materials, I know I have them when needed.
I’ve divided my favorite preparedness and homesteading resources as best I can by category. In some cases, a book may overlap with other areas, so I put it in the main category.
- The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery
- Storey’s Basic Country Skills by John and Martha Storey
- The Backyard Homestead from Storey Publishing
- Raising Milk Goats the Modern Way by Jerry Belanger
- Small Scale Poultry Keeping by Ray Feltwell
- First Lessons in Beekeeping by CP Dadant
- Five Acres and Independence by MG Kains
- The Resilient Farm and Homestead by Ben Falk
- Permaculture: A Designer’s Manual by Bill Mollison
- Pastured Poultry Profits by Joel Salatin
- You Can Farm by Joel Salatin
- Four Season Harvest by Eliot Coleman
- Backyard Homesteading by David Toht
- Ten Acres Enough by Edmund Morris
- The Family Garden Plan by Melissa K. Norris
- The Complete Guide to Saving Seeds by Robert Gough and Cheryl Moore-Gough
Traditional Cooking and Preserving
- Nourishing Traditions by Sallon Fallon
- Cultured Dairy Textbook by Traditional Cooking School
- Sourdough Textbook by Traditional Cooking School
- Lacto-Fermentation Textbook by Traditional Cooking School
- Fundamentals I & II Textbooks by Traditional Cooking School
- Dehydrating Textbook by Traditional Cooking School
- Pressure Cooking I & II Textbooks by Traditional Cooking School
- The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Fermenting Foods by Wardeh Harmon
- Root Cellaring by Mike and Nancy Bubel
- The Old Farmer’s Almanac Every Day Cookbook
- The Complete Sourdough Cookbook by Don and Myrtle Holm
- Home Cheese Making by Ricki Carroll
- Simply Canning by Sharon Peterson
- Elk and Venison Recipes: How to Can it; How to Use it by Sharon Peterson
- Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving
- Stretchy Beans: Nutritious & Economical Meals the Easy Way by me
- Design a Dish: Save your food dollars! by me
- Odd Bits: How to Cook the Rest of the Animal by Jennifer McLagan
- The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating by Fergus Henderson
- The Trayer Wilderness Cookbook by Tammy Trayer
- The Backpack Chef website
Wild Edibles and Medicinals
- The Forager’s Harvest by Samuel Thayer
- Earl Mindell’s Herb Bible
- The Lost Book of Remedies by Claude Davis and Dr. Nicole Apelian
- Peterson Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central North America
- Guide to Wild Foods and Useful Plants by Christopher Nyerges
- Foraging Wild Edibles Plants of North America by Christopher Nyerges
- Where There is No Doctor by David Werner, Carol Thuman, and Jane Maxwell
- Where There is No Dentist by Murray Dickson
- EMRA Antibiotic Guide by Brian Levine
- The Survival Medicine Handbook by Joe Alton and Amy Alton
- The Survival Doctor’s Complete Handbook: What to Do When Help is NOT on the Way by Dr. James Hubbard
- Duct Tape 911: The Many Amazing Medical Things You Can Do to Tape Yourself Together by Dr. James Hubbard
- Living Ready Pocket Manual – First Aid: Fundamentals for Survival by Dr. James Hubbard
- Practical Self-Reliance by John D. McCann
- Prepper’s Long-Term Survival Guide by Jim Cobb
- Prepper’s Complete Book of Disaster Readiness by Jim Cobb
- Wildwood Wisdom by Jaeger Ellsworth
- Personal and Family Survival by US Office of Civil Defense
- U.S. Armed Forces Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Survival Manual by Dick Couch
- Nuclear War Survival Skills by Cresson Kearny
- Surviving Off Off-Grid by Michael Bunker
- Prepping for Armageddon on a Budget by Charlie Bennett (I only have this one in Kindle, but it is still worth mentioning. FREE to read on Kindle Unlimited!)
- Bushcraft Basics by Leon Pantenburg
- Bushcraft 101 by Dave Canterbury
- Roughing It Easy by Dian Thomas
- Cooking Outside by Traditional Cooking School
- Atlas & Gazetteer (Not only for my state but for surrounding ones)
Fiction (with education properties to reference)
- An Untamed Land (Red River of the North #1) by Lauraine Snelling
- Alas, Babylon by Pat Frank
- Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- The Long Winter by Laura Ingalls Wilder
- Caldwell’s Homestead by me
- Undaunted Courage by Stephen Ambrose (more biography than fiction)
- Alone: Book 1: Facing Armageddon by Darrell Maloney (I only have this on in Kindle but it is still worth mentioning. The 1st book has the best tips, as the series progresses it is hit and miss on preparedness and gets a little wordy. FREE to read on Kindle Unlimited!)
- Love Comes Softly by Janette Oke (while not a ton of homesteading and prepping, the story keeps bringing me back and makes it worth a mention.)
- The Complete Tightwad Gazette by Amy Dacyczyn
- Stock the Real Food Pantry by me
- Foxfire Series by Eliot Wigginton and George Reynolds
- Build Your Own Stone House by Karl and Sue Schwenke
- Build Your Dream Cabin in the Woods: The Ultimate Guide to Building and Maintaining a Backcountry Getaway by J. Wayne Fears
- The Barefoot Architect by Johan van Lengen
- Pocket Ref by Thomas Glover
- Build Your Own underground Root Cellar by Phyllis Hobson
- The Hungry Spork: A Long Distance Hiker’s Guide to Meal Planning by Inga Aksamit
- How to Embrace an Off-Grid Lifestyle by Tammy Trayer