I believe I'm the one who keeps bringing up Colin Fletcher on this forum.

I have been reading and re-reading The Complete Walker III for about 20 years. I have hand-stitched the binding at least twice, so that tells you my esteem for this author and this book. These days, I mostly browse through the brilliant mini-essays he embeds in amongst the how-to sections. Highly readable and highly recommended.

I also found the first edition of The Complete Walker, complete with book jacket, at a second-hand store. Absolutely fascinating to go back in history regarding equipment, technique, first aid, etc. etc.

Another book you should really have, relating to survival in hard times (but not backpacking), is Barry Broadfoot's "Ten Lost Years 1929-1939, Memories of Canadians Who Survived the Depression". ISBN 0-7737-7094-1. I believe this was re-printed upon the author's death a couple of years ago. These are short excerpts of interviews with people who lived through those times, what they experienced and how they got by. I go through it again every year. Essential reading IMO.