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Thursday, February 24, 2011

Building a Survival Library Part Two

I mentioned checking out the local library for magazines that have good survival information. While you are at the library check out the books that you might find useful. In order to do that you need to figure out what information you might want during an event or if TEOTWAWKI hits.

How are you on hunting and trapping? How about gardening? Oh, foraging for wild edibles? Building a chicken coop or digging a well? As you can see the list of items you may wish to have knowledge on runs the gambit. Since my major plan is to shelter in place and I know my farm and surrounding area fairly well from years of woodsrunning I already have a good idea where the wild edibles are. However, if we trade for a few chickens I will need a lot of info so we can protect them and make sure we can eat eggs regularly.

Go through the list of things you want to learn about and then find those books on the shelf. If things go to hell you may wish to run down to the library and check out those you really feel are important to your survival. I had a list like that years ago, but over the years I have managed to find most of the subjects in books I have acquired. Last week I stopped at a used book store and picked up two books, one on hunting and one on gardening. I bought the gardening book because it had notes hand written in it about different vegetables grown around here. Someone took the time to note what fertilizers worked best and what was the best time to plant certain items. I don’t have to work nearly that hard now to figure out what they already shared with me.

Over the years I have acquired numerous books for my survival library. I found the Reader’s Digest Back to Basic books at a garage sale for a buck each. Those books are chuck full of info that a prepper sheltering in place can use. I had Toolman’s copy in my library for a years and he was happy to get it back. On a field trip to Lehman’s Non-electric store in Kidron, Ohio I bought a copy of Carla Emery’s book, Encyclopedia of Country Living. I gladly paid full price for it. Tonto was with me and was jealous I picked up the last copy they had. It took him a couple years to finally buy his copy.

I was at the library in Edmore one time. I stumbled on John Seymour’s book on self-reliance and called my wife with all the info and had her order it from Amazon. I still refer back to it from time to time for information.

I paid 50 cents for a book on soap making. In a long term survival situation I am sure that will be useful knowledge. I have four or five books on mushroom identification, and I am always looking for a copy of the one Toolman’s father has on them, it is the best I have seem. His father knows more about identifying mushrooms then anyone I know.

I have a couple dozen books on wilderness survival. Most of them I picked up for a buck or so. I probably don’t need another one but if I find one cheap I buy them. I figure they might make good trade material for anyone of those survivalist that have the plan to head for the back country and survive off the land. (Note to Michigan readers. My grandfather and his brother both headed for a cabin in the woods to live for a while and their comment when they came back was; “The fat of the land is pretty damned lean!”)

I find most of the survival and self-reliance books I have at gun shows and used book stores. I think it was a used book store in Mecosta that had a whole section on self-reliance. That was the first time I every found that kind of section in a bookstore. There is one in the UP that has a nice section on self-reliance but they don’t call it that.

The drawback to a large survival library is that it is not very portable. Books are heavy. All the knowledge there is can not help you if you can’t get it when you need it. Fire and flood can render the best survival library useless in short order. Stored improperly they can be ruined by a silverfish infestation.

Ok Michigan, how about everyone send in a list of four to eight books you feel are essential for a survival library? Might be interesting and helpful to a lot of folks.

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