Winter Book Festival and Giveaway: Doctor Prepper and Making the Best of Basics

Avatar Gaye Levy  |  Updated: December 16, 2020
Winter Book Festival and Giveaway: Doctor Prepper and Making the Best of Basics

books library (Custom)Today I share the next author interview in the Backdoor Survival Winter Book Festival.  Doctor Prepper, James Talmadge Stevens and the author of Making the Best of Basics – Family Preparedness Handbook shares his answers to my questions and is also providing one of my readers with a free copy of his classic book on prepping and one I return to over and over again.

Before we begin, I would like to announce the two winners of last week’s giveaway of two new books by Max Velocity.  “CK” has won a copy of Rapid Fire!: Tactics for High Threat, Protection and Combat Operations and “John” has won a copy of Patriot Dawn: The Resistance Rises.

Here is what CK had to say:

I would like rapid fire. We own guns but new drills and perspectives are always good to learn.

And here is what John had to say:

As I set here at the computer each morning drinking my pot of joe, I look at many survival websites. I may read many web post for many days to find one that has something new to make me ponder. Some post makes me laugh at someone’s gullibility, but I think these fiction books would boggle my mind at things I hadn’t thought of. This has to be my next line of preparedness.

I have the mind set that there will be “War Lords” when the crap hits. Very few web post have even touched on this proposition. I feel these fictional books will have to give insight to War Lords.

Congratulations! I have contacted you by email with instructions for claiming your prize.  Be sure to check out the details of this week’s giveaway below.

making the best of basics book

Sitting on the porch and reading from “Making the Best of Basics”


Tell me about Making the Best of Basics – Family Preparedness Handbook. What is it about?

Making the Best of Basics––Family Preparedness Handbook is the all-time, best-selling ever volume about how families can prepare for the uncertain future. It is about the basics of preparedness—not a book about fear. It helps people organize their preparedness planning by going through the charts and tables, and filling in the blanks with information. This helps each user to customize their planning and execution.

What type of research did you have to do while writing Making the Best of Basics––Family Preparedness Handbook?

Not a lot of research was made–I’ve lived the preparedness lifestyle since I was born on a farm––it was our way of life!

How long did it take to write?

The original version took less than four months! There’s a long story about how it came to be written.

Every book, fiction and non-fiction, includes a message. What message do you hope my readers will take with them after reading Making the Best of Basics––Family Preparedness Handbook?

The major message is that everyone can be prepared or become better prepared, if they but apply themselves to the tasks.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I’m a 74-year old guy with lots of experiences in the preparedness industry, and am one of the oldest remaining elder statesmen (or stateswomen!) in the business!

Do you have plans for another book?

What is the point of writing another about preparedness? Over 800,000 people have purchased Basics!

Also, there are so many people of the current generation writing so many tomes about what they understand (in many cases, don’t understand!) to be the emphasis of preparedness in the current generation. There are so many WAGs and pretenders that it’s a waste of time to try to teach people who are so abundantly blessed with talents, skills, and opportunities to borrow information without any experience against which to judge the validity of what they take.

There are a few people who are genuinely having real experiences, and report them capably.

Is there anything else you would like to share with my readers?

Everyone can become prepared—it’s a matter of priorities… What’s it worth to be able to take care of yourself in a manner to which you want to maintain, regardless of the external conditions about you and your family?

I’m sure you now understand why no one interviews me–though I’ve interviewed hundreds of practitioners, professional, qualified experts, and even a few pretenders…

I’m not an expert—unfortunately and I’m sure I’ve forgotten much of what I once knew. But I persist, trying to create infrastructure for the word to get out. PRN (Preparedness Radio Network) is now approaching 12,000 downloads daily. It has persisted in spite of competition, criticism, and efforts of others to steal it from us. Whatever, right is right, and we sail on!

That’s about it–I’m not a great writer, but the essence of the information gives you a base for further insights into the rather short history of latter-day preparedness.


owl reading bookA printed copy of James (Doctor Prepper’s) book, Making the Best of Basics – Family Preparedness Handbook has been reserved for one lucky reader.  This is a fabulous opportunity to get a copy of this classic book on prepping absolutely free.

All you need to do to win is reply below in the comments area with a prepping question for me to answer in a future article.

The deadline is 6:00 AM Pacific next Friday. A winner will be selected next Friday at random using tools on the website.  (Note: Due to my upcoming travels, there may be a delay in selecting and announcing the winner but absolutely, a winner will be selected.)


Over the past few years, I have come to know James and to respect his honesty and integrity when it comes to family preparedness.  He is genuine and sincere and I know that you will find his book useful.

Not only that, I look forward to your comments so that in the coming months I can write about topics important to you.  After all, sharing common interests and skills is what prepping is all about.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!


If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Backdoor Survival on Facebook to be updated every time there is an awesome new article, news byte, or free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon.

In addition, when you sign up to receive email updates you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

Spotlight Item:  Making the Best of Basics – Family Preparedness Handbook has been the all-time best-selling volume in the preparedness industry for almost 4 decades. The newly revised 13th edition includes more up to date information than ever before – plus there is now a CD-Rom version that is cram-packed with even more useful preparedness information.making the best of basics

Bargain Bin: Listed below are all of the books in the Backdoor Survival Winter Reading List. There are both fiction and non-fiction titles and a bit of something for everyone. Also, some of these books are Kindle e-books but you do not need a Kindle to read Kindle e-books. Simply download the free Kindle app from the Amazon site and you are good to go.

The Backdoor Survival Winter Reading List – Non-Fiction

The Prepper Next Door: A Practical Guide For Disaster And Emergency Planning (Author Charlie Palmer)

Rapid Fire!: Tactics for High Threat, Protection and Combat Operations (Author Max Velocity)

Lanterns, Lamps and Candles (Author Ron Brown)

An Operations Manual For Humankind – The Complete Compendium Of Natural Health: (Author: Paul Patrick Robinson)

Understanding the Use of Handguns for Self-Defense (Author David Nash)

Where There Is No Doctor (Authors David Werner, Jane Maxwell, Carol Thuman)

Making the Best of Basics – Family Preparedness Handbook: (Author James Talmadge Stevens)

How to Live on $10,000 a Year – Or Less – Newly Revised for 2013 (Author George Ure)

Barbed Wire, Barricades, and Bunkers: The Free Citizen’s Guide to Fortifying the Home Retreat (Author F.J. Bohan)

The Prepper’s Pantry: Building and Thriving with Food Storage (Author Anne Lang)

The Truth About Simple Unhooked Living (Author Estar Holmes)

The Backdoor Survival Winter Reading List – Fiction

Preppers Road March (Author Ron Foster)

BUG OUT! Preppers on the move! (Author Ron Foster)

The Light In The Lake: The Survival Lake Retreat (Author Ron Foster)

Patriot Dawn: The Resistance Rises: (Author Max Velocity)

Holding Their Own: A Story of Survival (Author Joe Nobody)

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials: The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more.

4fruitcomboAs you know, I eat a lot of fruit (usually three whole fruits a night as a bedtime snack) and in a SHTF situation, fruits will be something I will really miss.   And for quite some time I have been promoting the purchase of fruit and veggie combos as a good way to get started on storing freeze dried foods for emergency purposes.  I especially have liked the Freeze-Dried Fruit Favorites Combo from Emergency Essentials.

After doing some real time taste tests, I have to admit that the products from Food Insurance are another good option.  For the very best in fruit items – for snacking right out of the can or as part of your daily meal plan, check out the Food Insurance Four Fruit Combo that includes strawberries, bananas, peaches and pineapple chunks.  The pineapple chunks are to die for!

Of course I still can recommend the  Freeze-Dried Fruit Favorites Combo from Emergency Essentials as another good option.  Their selection includes Apple Dices, Bananas, Peaches, Pineapple Dices, Blueberries and Strawberries. Not to be left out, there are veggies too. The deluxe supply of Freeze Dried Vegetables includes 18 #10 tins of the following veggies in various quantities: Broccoli, Cauliflower, Sweet Corn, Green Beans, Green Peppers, Green Peas, Mushrooms, Potato Dices, Spinach, and White Onions.

Like this and want more?

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I earn a small commission from purchases made when you begin your Amazon shopping experience here.

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11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life: This little book will provide you with the motivation to get started or stay on track with a self-reliant life. 11 Steps to Living a Strategic Life, co-authored with my long time pal, George Ure (, and can purchased from Amazon.

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22 Responses to “Winter Book Festival and Giveaway: Doctor Prepper and Making the Best of Basics”

  1. I would love to win the book to pick up new ideas from it. The more I read the more I find that I need to do. Thanks for all of your help in preparing.

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