The stereotypical image of a survivalist—a grizzled type who stockpiles canned goods and weapons in a home-built bomb shelter in advance of the apocalypse—has gone the way of the classroom duck-and-cover drill. Meet the modern-day prepper, who is gaining ground in a less-secluded corner of the home and garden category, where sustainability meshes with back-to-the-land homesteading skills, a family-centric DIY ethos, and emergency preparedness.
Publishers with prepping books on their spring and fall lists foresee an interest in such titles among a growing readership, one that is looking for a measure of control in uncertain political and environmental times. The titles address “fears that people have,” says Abigail Gehring at Skyhorse. “They’re a bit apocalyptic, but practical.”
The tone taken in these books runs the gamut from the merely industrious to the apocalyptic: At one end are the books that offer what Storey’s Deborah Balmuth calls “ simple steps you can take to be self-sufficient,” and at the other are the books that tackle topics such as one mentioned by Bryce Willet, executive v-p at Ulysses Press—if “every urban center has 72 hours’ worth of food, here’s what to do on day four.”
Here, our somewhat unscientific panic-o-meter ranks forthcoming books in accordance with the level of alarm they sound about the state of the world.
Prepping 101: 40 Steps You Can Take to Be Prepared
Kathy Harrison. Storey, June
Prepper’s Dehydrator Handbook: Long-Term Food Storage Techniques for Delicious, Nutritious, Lifesaving Meals
Shelle Wells. Ulysses, Apr.
The Ultimate Guide to Climate Change Survival: A Prepper’s Guide to Clean Water, Sustainable Farming, Green Energy, Medical Supplies, and More
Nicole Faires. Skyhorse, Sept.
Survival Prepping: A Beginner’s Guide to Hunkering Down, Bugging Out, and Getting Out of Dodge
Jason Ryder Adams. Skyhorse, June
To the Bunker!
Prepper’s Survival Retreats: Your Strategic Relocation Plan for an Uncertain Future
Charley Hogwood. Ulysses, out now