Survival PDFs, Manuals, and Downloads
This is a dynamic prepping library curated by all of our authors. Survival PDFs, Manuals, and Downloads are constantly being updated with up-to-date and accurate information, so please check back frequently for updates and even more printable and downloadable PDFs.
There is a vast landscape of quality survival materials already existing that many people simply don’t have access to or don’t know where to look. Sometimes these resources also lose their online host, making them lost to all but those that already downloaded them. Rather than reproduce work on these topics, it is better to preserve them on a dedicated server.
This is why we are starting a prepping library or a repository of information that is useful to download and have on hand. We have plenty of resource space online, thanks to our faithful readers, subscribers, and supporters. Whether or not you choose to print or save to a mass storage device is up to you. If you have any suggestions on additions you would like to see hosted and preserved by us for free, let us know by reaching out to us on any of our social outlets.
As we add more information we will work on making it easy to find specific topics.
All the best, and happy library building.
Contents (Jump to a Section)
Military Survival Guides
These free manuals from the military can be a good starting point for your prepper library. They cover plenty of topics but are concise and easy to understand. The manuals are written for everyone- from privates all the way up to generals so they are easy for anyone to follow in stressful situations.
- FM 21-76 Survival Manual – The broad US Army survival manual covers a wide range of survival topics.
- FM 21-76-1 Survival, Evasion, and Recovery – This is shorter, smaller, and more concise than the above manual- meant to be a pocket guide.
- FM 31-70 Basic Cold Weather Manual – Clothing, movement, combat, and survival are all geared for cold weather in this guide.
- FM 3-06 Urban Operations – This manual covers WMDs, asymmetrical threats, and many other urban warfare considerations.
- FM 5-103 Survivability – This field manual is focused on combat survivability and command-level planning to improve it with positioning, camouflage, etc.
- TM 31-210 Improvised Munitions Handbook – A whole handbook on improvised munitions goes into detail about how to make the basics, like black powder.
- ST 31-91B Special Forces Medical Handbook – A 400+ page medical handbook that covers a large range of medical topics.
Survival manuals are an easy way to develop a deeper understanding of specific topics or skills.
- LDS Preparedness Manual – You can get this comprehensive prepping guide from the church, but we’re hosting it here for free as well (redundancy).
- Down But Not Out – Canadian National Defence survival manual
- Shelters, Shacks, and Shanties [Beard, 1916] – This guide on shelters is older than dirt, but still a great resource.
- Deadfalls and Snares [Harding, 1907] – Over a century old, this guide covers a wide range of traps with illustrations.
- Paleo-Pocalypse by Rowan WalkingWolf – An interesting guide showing how to make primitive equipment with trash.
Nuclear and Radiation PDFs
- Planning Guide for Response to Nuclear Detonation [FEMA, May 2022] – Updated recently to better cover non-ground impact detonations, but a long-running response guide that is very useful for planning.
- Nuclear War Survival Skills by Cresson H. Kearny [DOE, 1987] – Originating from the Department of Energy itself, this is one of the only nuclear guides endorsed by nuclear physicists that actually coordinated nuclear tests. If you only have one Nuclear manual, this is the one to have. Chapters 1 and 2, as well as the evacuation checklist, are timeless foundations for Nuclear survival.
- Family Shelter Designs [DOD CD, 1962] – A civil defense manual with eight different fallout shelter configurations that scale in complexity and effectiveness.
- Build a Protective Fallout Shelter – Not as comprehensive as Kearny’s Nuclear War Survival Skills, but this homegrown guide is useful in that it shows you how to build a fallout shelter with common construction supplies.
First Aid PDFs
- Where There is No Doctor – A Village Health Care Handbook [Werner, 2011] – A great guide for getting through difficult first aid situations with less resources.
- Where There is No Dentist [Dickson, 2010] – A dental guide that breaks down dental first aid in layman’s terms.
Checklists make any plan easier to accomplish.
- Basic Emergency Plan – A resource developed by us here at TruePrepper to kickstart your prepping and get the important info down on paper. You can see the guide to filling it out: The Basic Emergency Plan Guide.
Survival Kit Checklists
Develop and maintain your kits with easy-to-follow checklists.
- Home Survival Kit Checklist – Check out the entire Bug In guide here.
- Bug Out Bag Checklist – Check out the entire BOB guide here.
- Every Day Carry Checklist – Check out the entire EDC guide here.
- Survival Food Checklist – Check out the entire Survival Food Storage guide here.
- Get Home Bag Checklist – Check out the entire GHB guide here.
- INCH Bag Checklist – Check out the entire INCH Bag guide here.
- Nuclear Survival Kit Checklist – Check out the entire Nuclear Survival guide here.
Preparedness Threat Guidance
Advanced preppers may explore ‘the why’ for preparedness, and these free pdf resources can help explain why certain preps are better than others.
- Nuclear Winter: The Anthropology of Human Survival [LANL, 1985] – A high-level panel discussion on the threats, mitigation, and after-effects of nuclear war and the resulting nuclear winter.
Quick one-page PDF guides for specific survival topics.
- The Military Phonetic Alphabet – Brush up on your radio etiquette and communicate clearly when it matters most (full phonetic alphabet guide).
- The Universal Edibility Test – If you need to forage to survive, you’ll want to know this test and the timing (full universal edibility test guide).
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