The Best Prepper Apps to Download

If you’re into prepping you’ve probably got a digital device such as a phone or tablet stored somewhere (hopefully in an EMP-proof container) which will be utilized if the worst does happen. A lot will change if a SHTF event occurs and this will most certainly include the ceasing of the internet – at least on a global scale. Without this lifesaving resource we will have to either revert to books, shared experience or even trial and error again as this once operational collection of human knowledge will cease to exist.

Along with this, ALL technology that once relied on even a momentary connection to the internet will no longer work. You will be astonished to find out what seemingly ‘offline’ applications required this great resource. That’s where the below list of apps comes in. I’ve done extensive testing on a huge array of preparedness related apps to see which ones can be used completely offline and which ones ‘phone home’ to check for Google Play, a license or which require additional downloads before they work.

For a bit of background information, I’m using a Samsung Galaxy S10+ as my preferred phone which is running E/OS on Android 11 which is a de-Googled operating system. Being someone who is concerned about Big Tech profiling us and tracking what we do, I wanted to ‘jailbreak’ out of the system to control my own data. My phone is rooted which gives me much more control and power over what modifications I can make to my phone, however it voids any warranty – no biggie since the S10+ was out of warranty a while ago. I’m actively trying to avoid 5G phones as well so this device was a good medium between features, an SD card slot, e/os compatibility, is easily mod-able and is a beautiful phone.

I have left out a lot of the apps which come packaged with Android these days, such as a Light/Torch, Camera and Calculator. Generally these all work when your phone is ‘offline’ so there’s no real need to download a backup – but it’s still good to have a second option anyway.

1. AFWall+ (Free) (Root Required)
This is the first app I install onto any new phone. It’s a firewall which can block any and ALL applications you wish. Since I use a Google keyboard for the swype texting capability, I first install this app and then set it to automatically block ALL newly installed apps so they can never connect to the internet. I also use this feature to test whether new apps require the internet or not.

Another way you can use this app is WHEN the internet fails, you can simply block every app and system app on your phone to help prevent being tracked. Since your phone will still communicate with mobile towers even when everything is blocked it’s not a way to be ‘track-proof’, but it’s an extra layer of protection. To be un-trackable I recommend a Faraday Bag, or opening the phone and literally removing the antenna or the mobile chip.

2. Alpine Quest (Free/Paid)
You would know all about Alpine Quest if you’ve read my article on offline mapping (link below), but simply put – it’s the best mapping app that I’ve had the pleasure of using. It’s online but can also be used completely offline if you have the maps pre-downloaded.

If you’re looking to create maps for Alpine Quest, I have written a guide Here.

3. Kiwix (Free)
Kiwix is an offline Wikipedia reader. Again you will have to pre-download the data files (some are 80 GB+) but the information you have at your fingers will be life saving. There is a HUGE variety of data files you can download. I have included some of the most pertinent downloads below. All of these downloads are also free to use – there are no copyright restrictions so feel free to share them.

The Complete Wikipedia Collection (No Pictures – a much smaller file size) (60 Gb)
The Complete Wikipedia Collection (With Pictures) (109 Gb)
Wikipedia Geography (No Pictures) (0.6 Gb)
Wiktionary – The Complete English Dictionary (8.8 GB)
OpenStreetMap Wiki – Information on geography (889 MB)
iFixit Device Repair Manuals – Repair manuals for electronics (2.9 GB)
Military Medicine Ebooks on military medicine (82 MB)
Prunelle Books for Children (375 MB)
Library of Knots (27 MB)
Water Treatment Libray (20 MB)
WikiMed Medical Encyclopedia (With Pics) (6 Gb)
Cheatography – Cheat sheets on various topics (7.2 GB)
Q&A Amateur Radio Guides – Questions asked by radio enthusiasts (65 MB)
Wikispecies – Catalogue of all species (3 GB)
Q&A Home Improvement – Questions asked about DIY (929 MB)
Wikibooks – Open Source Books (4.6 GB)
Off The Grid – Off-Grid Topics (172 MB)
Food for Preppers – Food Preparation Skills & Recipes (97 MB)
Prepper Medical Library (69 MB)
Project Gutenberg Book Library – A collection of free books (74 GB)
Project Gutenberg English Library – A collection of free books (May contain some or all of the above) (86.3 GB) – Emergency Management Planning (1.9 GB)
Urban Prepper Topics (386 MB) (Videos)
Canadian Prepper – Prepping Food Videos (4.6 GB) (Videos)
Canadian Prepper – Winter Prepping Videos (3.4 GB) (Videos)
Canadian Prepper – Bug Out Concepts Videos (8.4 GB) (Videos)
TED Talks – Apocalypse Survival Guides (561 MB) (Videos)
Q&A The Great Outdoors – Questions asked about camping, hiking, navigating etc (130 MB)
WikiHow – How to do almost anything (51.2 GB)
Kahn Academy – Tutorials on a wide range of topics (180 GB) (Videos)
CrashCourse – Educational Videos (50 GB) (Videos)

There are a couple of downloads with the text “Videos” after them, this just means that it includes video files, however it’s easier just to download any video files of preppers via a YouTube downloader. See my blog Here for info on how to get started downloading from YouTube.

There is SO MUCH MORE in the links below if you want to search for yourself for other topics of interest.

You can explore the Kiwix library here. Click on the actual little blue ‘Download’ button to download the file. Here is the list of Wikipedia Kiwix dumps. Note, if you speak English, be sure to download the ones that have “en” in them. There are also a lot of other websites hosting Kiwix files to download including torrents (since these are free to download), the most reliable would be Reddit.

4. KDE Connect (Free)
KDE Connect is a file transfer app which allows you to move apps, music, files or even movies between devices wirelessly without the need for the internet. You may not have a working computer in a SHTF situation and this would make it easier to transfer needed data across.

5. Survival Manual (Free)
This is a survival manual built into an app. It has all the categories you would expect such as Power, Food, Water, Navigation, Signaling, Self Defense and is completely offline.

6. ReadEra (Free/Paid)
You’re bound to have a lot of eBooks and PDFs on your device, so why not pair that with a good quality PDF/EPUB/MOBI reader? This one is one of the best rated out there and supports a lot of great features. The only downside I can see is that the paid version doesn’t support offline use – however the free version has more than enough features for just reading books or how-to manuals on your device.

If you haven’t already, you should download my Preparedness Encyclopedia which works great with ReadEra or any other PDF reader.
I would also grab a second e-Reader like Lithium (EPUBs Only) or Moon+ Reader.

7. Bible (Free)
As a Christian one of the most important apps is going to be my Bible. This is a fully offline Bible once the translations are downloaded, and the downloads are free – so do that as soon as you install it. You have a good selection of translations, including some in other languages.

A good alternative is the Blue Letter Bible (free) if you want to read the scriptures in KJV as this is the only pre-downloaded version.

Another I like is e-Sword (Paid) which comes with KJV and KJV with Strong’s Numbers pre-loaded so you don’t have to download anything. An added benefit of e-Sword is that you can buy additional commentaries, devotionals and even biblical maps which can be used with the app to supplement your studies.

None of these can ever replace the printed word though. If you can get a copy of a physical waterproof Bible for your BOB, then do so.

8. App Manager (Free) (Root Preferred)
App Manager is a powerful tool for managing the apps on your device. For starters it can backup entire apps to share with friends or to restore later. The backups include any extra downloaded files that come with the apps (if the right boxes are ticked) so if you have downloaded extras such as Bible translations in the app above, you can restore those without needing an internet connection again! It can also block trackers in apps and gives you a lot of useful information about the app, including what permissions it has – and even lets you turn on and off permissions manually with Root. Occasionally I need to grant storage access to Alpine Quest manually to be able to locate the maps I have on my phone, and this is the app I use to do so. Also, for particular apps with annoying sounds and music when I don’t need to listen to I can disable the permission to output audio to silence it.

9. Binary Eye (Free)
Binary Eye is a FOSS (Free Open Source Software) barcode scanner. It can support every kind of barcode and QR code out there. This would be most useful if you have QR codes on all of your prepper containers so you can keep track of what’s in them without everyone knowing.

10. Darker Pro (Paid – $3.00/Free)
Darker is an app which can lower the brightness of your screen far below what you normally can – down to 0 if you really want. Its primary purpose would be to reduce the amount of light your phone outputs to stay concealed if you’re bugging out as well as saving your night vision partially. It would save a bit of battery life as well.

11. Pingcoin (Free)
This app can be used to verify the authenticity of silver and gold coins by ‘pinging’ it near the device’s microphone. If the resonant frequency matches the data stored by the app, then it returns as positively identified. This would be great to use as an added layer of protection if you barter with precious metals in a grid down situation. To ‘ping’, hold the coin with your thumb and pointer in the center of the coin and with the other hand, flick your pointer nail on the edge of the coin to make a pinging sound.

12. Unit Converter (Free / Extra Purchases)
Everyone needs a good unit converter when SHTF. This one has a clean interface and as many conversions as you could ever need which are all offline.

13. A Compass (Free)
There are so many compass apps it’s hard to pick just one. Give some a go and test it for it’s offline capability. Some bonus features you will want to look for are altimeter, barometer, ruler and maybe GPS functionality.

14. NextRadio Free Live FM Radio (Free)
Unlike a lot of the other radios on the app store, this one is fully offline, however you need a U.S. smartphone that contains the FM Radio chipset (which may need to be activated). You also need wired earphones to act as the antenna to pick up the signals (and thus you need a phone with a 3.5mm audio jack). If you have a phone based outside the U.S. then it most likely won’t have the FM chip required – but you can always check just in case.

15. Musicolet (Free)
You’re most likely going to want to listen to music during a bug out situation to unwind. This app is not only fully offline but it’s easily one of the best free music players out there. Just pre-load all your music and set up some playlists and you’re good to go.

A good runner up FOSS (Free Open Source Software) equivalent is Metro.

16. Games (2D / Low Battery Drain) (Free)
These are the 2D or “low battery drain” games that I have for SHTF. The problem is that a lot of games cause the battery to drain rapidly, so I have specifically separated the games into those which consume a lot of battery, and those that don’t.
Shattered Pixel Dungeon (Free) A fun little dungeon RPG game with lots of twists.
Hashi (Bridges) (Free) A puzzle game where you connect each of the islands with the correct number of lines.
● Crossword (Just grab any which you like the look of and test it to see if it’s offline capable)
● Sudoku (Same again here)
● Nonograms – A puzzle game where you have to fill in a board often to draw an image, using clues from around the edges. Just look for one which is offline.
Okay? (Free/Donate) A simple yet addictive ball bouncing puzzle game.
My Boy! (Free & Paid) A GameBoy Advance Emulator. (Requires you to supply the game files) Play all the classics like Pokemon, Mario and more on this emulator.
DraStic (Paid) An NDS Emulator (Requires you to supply the game files) Another great emulator for playing all your favourite NDS games.
Word Master Pro (Free & Paid) A fun scrabble remake with lots of customability.
Gurgle (Free) 5 Letter Word Guessing Game. Similar to mastermind if you have ever played the popular board game.
Grim Quest (Free & App Purchases) An Old School RPG.

17. Games (3D / High Battery Drain) (Free)
Once in a while you may just need a 3D/Battery Intensive game to play to take your mind off the world. These are my favourites below:
Tiny Room Stories Town Mystery (Free & Paid) A fantastic 3D puzzle ‘escape room’ style game.
Golf Peaks (Paid) A neat little card golf game.
20 Minutes Till Dawn (Free & Paid) A bullet-hell style shooter.
Meridian 157 Series A point and click series of games. (Free & Paid)
Professor Layton Series Three amazing puzzle games which make you think alongside thrilling storylines. (Paid)
The Room Series A series of 4 amazing 3D Puzzle Games. (Paid)

18. Emergency Apps
These apps are generally Australian based in nature, but you could find similar ones that suit your location better.
My Bushfire Plan (Free) A bushfire emergency plan. This is an Australian based app, but the content is applicable wherever you live.
What3Words (Free) An app to help you tell emergency services your location using 3 words. It’s technically offline since you can find what 3 words apply to your current location, but you won’t be able to see the map without internet.
Australian Bites and Stings (Free) A little app to let you know what to do in the event of a bite, sting or attack from a wild animal in Australia.

19. Markor (Free)
Markor is an offline notepad based around privacy and ease of use. I use it day to day for my note-keeping and prepper ‘todo’ lists. Notes are stored as .txt files and are easily backed up.

20. Drugs Dictionary (Free)
This is a list of drugs available including information on the uses, side effects, interactions, overdoses and often more. There are multiple drug dictionary apps available which are pretty much all offline so you don’t have to just stick with this one. Remember 2 is 1 and 1 is none, so get a few of these kinds of apps.

21. GPSTest (Free)
A great app which helps you identify issues with your GPS if you think it may be inaccurate or isn’t working at all.

22. Offline Language Translator (Free)
Who knows, this may come in handy at one point or another if you’re trying to communicate with someone and there’s a language barrier. This app requires downloads before it works so be sure to download all of the languages you think you’ll need. You can also back up the language packs using “App Manager” listed above to transfer the data to a new device or to give to someone else without the need for the internet to re-download them.

23. Suntimes (Free)
A nice little app to track the sun and moon risings and sets. It can help to know how long you have to find shelter and what time you should leave camp to stay concealed etc. Version 0.15.7 works for me offline.

24. Root Explorer (Free & Paid) (Root Required)
I use this all the time to search for files which are normally hidden to the average user, especially to back up add-ons to apps like the Offline Translator and the Bible apps above. However you need a phone that has been rooted and I understand not a lot would be as it’s a complex process to do for the first time.

25. Knots 3D (Free)
This app includes pretty much all of the knots you would ever need and lets you play the typing videos back slowly so you can see in detail how it’s tied.

26. MSD Medical Apps (Free)
MSD Manual Consumer
MSD Manual Professional
MSD Obstetrics
MSD Veterinary Manual
These apps are basically medical textbooks in app form and are completely free to use. By default the Consumer and Professional apps come as text-only information but you have the ability to download all the pictures in one go for offline use. The pictures typically add a few hundred megabytes to the file size of the app. Furthermore you have the ability to download all of the videos used throughout the app for free too, however this comes at a much larger size cost. When I downloaded them all on the Consumer app, it came in at 8Gb. You can also use ‘AppManager’ to backup the apps pictures into an extractable archive format for re-adding the photos without an internet connection, or for sharing the app with others.

That’s all the apps I have so far. Check back occasionally as I am continually adding to them and updating my own collection. Also stay tuned for a direct link to download all of the free apps listed above in one go.

Testing Apps Offline
There are a lot of apps which fail to work offline for a multitude of reasons, generally these fall into the below categories:

● The app is entirely online.
These are apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Spotify, Amazon, YouTube, Gmail, etc – who’s sole function is to communicate on the internet. It’s obvious these won’t work in a grid-down situation.

● A paid or free offline app that uses Google Play
These are apps which have been bought, but when opened they check for a connection with Google Play to verify a license. Most often they close themselves after you tap the ‘okay’ button if it can’t connect, so they can’t be used. Some of these apps only try to validate a license once every so often, so they may trick you into thinking they can be used offline. This is why I recommend to test all your apps thoroughly BEFORE SHTF. Note: Some apps which even contain the word ‘Offline’ in the title may fall in this category and really aren’t offline at all.

● A paid or free app that checks for updates
Apps that are technically offline, but which try to connect to the internet on certain parts of the app to provide extra information. These apps may try to connect as soon as they are loaded up – which causes them to freeze unless they have connectivity. Others try to load on certain parts of the app and then throw an error on the screen and may kick you off the app if they can’t find that connection. Generally these issues aren’t app-breaking and it can still be used offline as long as that internet check isn’t the first thing it attempts. My automation app Tasker has some extra online ‘help’ topics which can’t be loaded, however everything else in the app works perfectly. Another example is the game Endurance: Dead Space, which used to load perfectly, but recent updates cause the game to freeze on boot-up due to a check for either Google Play or internet connectivity.

● Apps that require additional data to be downloaded
There are some apps which work offline, but need additional data for them to function properly. Some example include Alpine Quest (needs maps), Bibles (Often come a single translation or none at all), Language Translators (Usually just let you download the data you need to save space)

● Apps with In-App Purchases
These kind of apps are not offline friendly since to restore the data, an internet connection is requires to re-validate your purchases. Generally the free portion of the app works perfectly though, but don’t go purchasing IAPs with the expectation that they will work offline.

App License Checks
Just because an app has been purchased doesn’t mean that it’s going to try to verify a license and therefore fail the offline check. (since they normally just close down if they aren’t verified) I’ve purchased a lot of apps through Google Play which work flawlessly when downloaded via Aurora and transferred to my deGoogled phone. However about 50% of the time, they do try to verify their license and then I’m stuck with an app which I’ve paid for that doesn’t work. In this case I look for a ‘modded’ version which will work offline and doesn’t check for a license. It’s a grey area, but since I’ve purchased the app anyway there should be no issues on the developer’s side right? What do you think about this practice – let me know in the comments.

Checking Offline Capability
If you have an app you use on a daily basis and want to find out whether it can be used offline, just install AFWall+ (if you phone is rooted/jailbroken) or NetGuard if it’s not. Uninstall the app in question (backing any data up beforehand if required) and then reinstall it and block it with your firewall before you open it for the first time. To make testing offline capability easier, AFWall+ can be set to ‘allow selected apps’ which automatically blocks them (since they start unticked), rather than ‘block selected apps’ where the apps are only blocked if you select them.

Downloading Apps from Google Play
Some of the links I’ve included above link directly to the Google Play storefront which means you can’t (easily) save the .apk files to easily transfer to another device or to reinstall them later. This can be solved by using the Aurora Store. You have to sign in with an account (whether a real or a ‘dud’ one), but once complete you’re able to download the .apk files manually and then save them to another folder for later use.

To save the .apk you have to ‘catch’ the file before it’s installed, so once you have an app you want to download in Aurora, tap the 3 dots in the top right and click ‘Manual Download’ and then ‘Check’. It will download and attempt to install it (as long as it’s a non-paid app, or one which you own on that account). When it asks you to install, click ‘cancel’. Instead open up a file browser like CX Explorer and go to: ‘Main Storage’ > ‘Android’ > ‘data’ > ‘’ > ‘files’ > ‘Downloads’ > (Click on the folder of the app which you just downloaded – it often has something to do with the app).

Then if the folder has a single file in it, then open the it and copy the app to another location. If the folder has multiple files in it, back out and copy the whole folder into another location and then if you’re using Cx Explorer, long hold the folder until it’s selected and then select ‘compress’ using the 3 dots menu in the bottom-right. Once compressed you can rename the extension to be ‘.apks’ rather than .zip. To open .apks files you can either use Cx File Explorer’s install option or ‘App Manager’ if you want some extra info about the install.

There you go, you should have the .apk (or .apks) of the app you just downloaded. I now rename the file to the actual name of the app along with the version number E.g: “Aurora Store v4.3.5”. I also add other information such as where I downloaded it from (Aurora), whether it works offline or not, whether it has ADs or In-App Purchases, but you can make it your own and choose your own style.

In conclusion, remember that 2 is 1 and 1 is none, so have books as a backup to your digital archive in case all your electronics are destroyed by an EMP!

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