The Ranger Handbook is clearly the most important book to get ahead of time, but keep in mind that you cannot bring it with you. You buy a copy for three reasons:
- You can get familiar with the contents. You will use every single thing in this book, but you don't have to know it all ahead of time. That said, flip through it each night before you sleep and see where your weaknesses and strengths are.
- You can memorize the Ranger Creed. If you don't memorize the Creed before you get to school, you are already far behind your peers. You must know it by heart, with all the breaks in the right places. Check the homepage for a link to a definitive guide to the Creed.
- You can talk it over with Ranger buddies. Find a guy you trust who has a tab and sit down with him and the handbook. Ask him to tell you how he used it, how he prepped it (550 cord, tape, tabs, etc. -- you'll see what I mean when you ask someone), and what he thinks you should be doing with it before you go. The more mentorship you have before you go, the better your success rate will be.