Why These Books?
So, I’m not a big doomsday prepping-for-the-zombie-apocalypse kind of person, but I don’t have my head buried in the sand either. I don’t think we need to live in fear of what could happen–even though it really could! I mean, come on, how hard would it be to destroy at least a portion of our power grid? Ever since the Y2K scare, I’ve wondered what life might be like and what I would do if that happened. I decided it would be wise to invest a little just in case–but I didn’t buy a basement full of military MRE (meals ready to eat) packets. Those might be handy for a short term crisis. But what I think is an even better preparation is to invest in knowledge.
To that end, I did some research and found several books that would educate me now and be a reference for the future. I highly recommend these 5 books for every household to have. You know, just in case. Instead of having two years worth of tasteless food on hand, how about learning how to find, prepare and eat what is growing around us. In looking into this, I found that there is a whole movement of people learning to “eat the weeds” and to forage, hunt, and grow their own food. And then I learned that this is actually a very healthy way to live. Eating wild foods and preserving your food by drying, canning and fermenting, you can preserve the nutrients in foods with just a little know-how. So in learning how to live this healthier–even economical– way, we are, at the same time, preparing ourselves for many possible devastating occurrences that could happen in our country.
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Without further adieu, here are the books I recommend for every household to have–5 books that could save your life! They are not in any particular order of importance. They are all important! These books may help save you, your family, your extended family, your neighbors. You might be the person that people can come to for help because you can find the answers here in these books. Plus, they’re just interesting to read! It’s fascinating to learn which plants in your own yard have been valued for thousands of years as a food or medicine, which is the best wood for building a fire, how to signal an airplane if you’re lost, and everything you could need to know to survive. These books are full of information that the average person would have known 120 years ago, but today it’s forgotten knowledge. I use information in these books for my daily life, as well. They’re not just for emergencies. Either way, these are a worthy investment.
Choose either Western U.S. or Eastern/Central U.S.:
1. The Encyclopedia of Country Living by Carla Emery. The first book is a homesteader’s encyclopedia, but it’s written in a personable way by a woman who lived the homesteading life before it was popular. Practical advice on raising animals, gardening, preserving food, butchering–everything my great grandparents knew about how to live self-sufficiently.
2. Camping and Wilderness Survival by Paul Tawrell This is another huge book full of how-to’s for surviving away from home. It covers hiking, building shelters, tracking, hunting, trapping, foraging, fishing, first aid and more. This book had EVERYthing you need to know to survive at home or away from home–whether you want to go on a hiking adventure or are needing to survive in an emergency.
3. Edible Wild Plants: A North American Field Guide to Over 200 Natural Foods by Thomas S. Elias With lots of pictures and good descriptions of plants, this book will help you find the food you want or need to while foraging in your yard, woods or far from home.
4. Peterson Field Guide to Medicinal Plants and Herbs of Eastern and Central North America by Steven Foster (If you live in the Eastern United States) This is the book I have. It’s compact so you can carry it with you, but it’s full of information, colored photos, tips on how to identify and use each plant.
A Peterson Field Guide to Western Medicinal Plants and Herbs By Christopher Hobbs (If you live in the Western United States.) I don’t have this one, but it looks to be of the same caliber of the one for the Eastern U.S.
5. Encylopedia of Herbal Medicine by Andrew Chevallier This book begins where the field guide leaves off. There are lots of photos showing you plants, ways to use them and how to make the various remedies.