“Knowledge is the key to survival. The real beauty of that is that it doesn’t weigh anything.” – Ray Mears.
Knowledge is one of the essential tools in the prepper’s inventory. Having the latest and greatest equipment and gear won’t save you if you lack the proper knowledge of using them. In this post, we will feature FREE PDF books and guides available for you to read in their entirety online. I’ll add to it periodically because there’s so much information out there that can be incredibly useful to our community. I suggest that you use a small thumb drive or even a micro SD card and download these sources and others you come across to build an electronic prepping library that you can access offline.
If you have any additional resources I didn’t cover below, feel free to reach out to me on my contact page and send me the links to PDFs you believe would benefit the community. Check back periodically for future additions.
I also added a whole section at the bottom of this page with massive amounts of PDFs I found on other websites. The more I have researched this topic, the more I have realized there’s, well, nearly an infinite amount of free survival PDFs you can find online.
Table of contents
Emergency Preparedness – Quick Guides & Checklists
Emergency Preparedness & Survival Manuals
Hunting & Trapping
If a single invention has raised humanity out of the wild, it has to be the knot. The first tied knot was probably an accident, but the second tied knot was intentional. Even through all my years of scouting, I only learned a handful of the thousands of knots out there, but you have to have at least a dozen knots you can tie in your mental prepping inventory. From fishing to making clothes or climbing sheer rock faces, every knot has a function, and each that you learn increases your odds of survival just a little bit more.
- Pioneer Knots & Lashings – Troop 24 – Kennett Square Pennsylvania. A lashing is an arrangement of rope, wire, or webbing with a linking device used to secure and fasten two or more items together in a somewhat rigid manner. Lashings are most commonly applied to timber poles and are widely associated with cargo and structures. If you try and make a structure with a granny knot, it’s going to collapse in on you. These knots and rope techniques are particular to building sturdy structures that will hold up for long periods. Lookout stands, bridges, shelters, and more can all be made with these techniques.
- Sea Scout Knots – Once again, the scouts come through with another guide on knots. Were it not for the knot, sailors would have never existed. From tying down cargo to connecting logs for a raft, sails to a ship, or rescuing someone from the inevitable death of drowning, knots are critical. The same knots are applicable off the ship, as well. They aren’t dependent upon water to function. I used this same manual when teaching young Cub Scouts, so it’s easy to use. Set a goal of learning one knot per month.
- Knots for the Farm
- Knots for Mountaineering, Camping, Climbing, Utility, Rescue, Etc.
- Knots: An illustrated and practical guide to the essential knot types and their uses – Andre Adamides. This is probably one of the best-looking knot books I have ever come across. It has clear illustrations and step-by-step instructions. I also like that it has a little history and explanation of practical uses for each knot. This is a good one to print out the main knots you want to learn and practice daily. It gives you the feeling you are continuing a time-honored tradition.
- Practical Knots & Lashings
- Knots, Splices, Attachments, and Ladders
- Knots, Splices, and Rope Work by A. Hyatt Verrill
- Essential Fishing Knots – TakeMeFishing.org
- Handbook of Knots & Splices by Charles E. Gibson
- Encyclopedia of Knots (including surgical)
Food Production & Recipes
Old & New Recipes