Winter Book Festival and Giveaway: George Ure Returns



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books library (Custom)Today I have a special return visit from my BFF George Ure who has agreed to share some additional thoughts during the Backdoor Survival Winter Book Festival. In addition, we will be giving away his newest book, the updated version of How to Live on $10,000 a Year – Or Less.

Before we begin, I want to let you know that there will be a short delay in announcing the winner of last week’s book giveaway.  The winner of James Talmadge Stevens Making the Best of Basics – Family Preparedness Handbook will be announced as soon as I return from my travels.

Be sure to check out the details of this week’s giveaway below.


George Gaye Roche Harbor

George & Gaye – Summer 2012

Those of you that are familiar with George’s work at Urban Survival and Peoplenomics know that he is a man of many words.  With wit and wry humor, he has an answer to and and opinion about almost everything.  We have known each other for close to 40 years and during that time, we have agreed, disagreed, hugged each other and bickered with each other.

That said, everyone should have a friend like George and his lovely wife Elaine.  I hope you enjoy the interview.


Given your background and knowledge, what do you feel are the three most important survival or prepping skills?

I hope you don’t mind my going off into some detail on these two questions you’ve asked, but a lot of people don’t ask tough questions up front and, as a result, often end up answering the wrong questions.

When you asked, for example, “Given your background and knowledge, what do you feel are the three most important survival or prepping skills?” the higher level question unstated is “What could create a situation where survival or prepping skills are really necessary?

And not to niggler, but there’s a definition on the table too: What does “survival” mean.  We both know people who think “survival” means having a fresh shirt to wear to dinner!

Thus, the definition of survival ranges from a minor inconvenience like running out of lipstick, wrong eye makeup, wearing the same outfit twice in one week, etc. to an End of World – meteors smacks Earth and vaporizes everyone but us.  It also includes everything in between.

Hollywood, like ‘em or not, has done a pretty good job of scaring us – helping us get in touch with our fears about the future.  Films like Mad Maxx from Thunderdome were early, but The Postman, and even the Minority Report and Terminator films portray a future that won’t exactly be a walk in the park.

I’d venture that with all the latest work in building out government computing infrastructure, we risk government surveillance if we buy too much Cream of Tarter online – or some other silly common commodity – since who knows?  It could be used for illicit purposes beyond the perfect meringue pie topping!  The Department of Pre-Crime is in build-out right now.

You know about black boxes going in cars in 2014, right?  You might be able to invoke the 5th amendment, but you won’t be able to keep your car’s data box off the witness stand!

It’s for these kinds of reasons Money and a good Lawyer’s phone number are my #1 survival tool…at least they seem, even in a muddle-through of society like they’d be the most likely to be used at some point.

Until a month ago, one of the survival skills we’d more or less forgotten about  was what to do in the event of a nuclear explosion – thinking back on the movie The Postman here.  You have to think when the leader of North Korea (I refer to him as Kid Korea on my site) starts to spout off about how the West Coast and Hawaii are nuclear targets of North Korea, we certainly need to list nuclear survival skills somewhere on this list.

Then there’s another clump of risks which could all result in much the same outcome:  Events that will leave us all cold, wet, and hungry in a non-electrified cold, cruel world.  Nuclear, chemical, and biological warfare.  Yuck! But is it #1 on my list?  No.

So allow me to synthesize a bit here:  Obviously, as long as the lights are on, and government is operating in a super-suspicious mode, the two most important “survival” tools will be money in the bank and the good lawyer’s phone number.  All too often, people are hauled in or have their rights trampled, only to be later exonerated, but not before lots of costs and hassle has been incurred.  The ounce of prevention here is a stack of $100-bills, but not so many as to make it look like you’ve been running a cash-only drug operation.  Probably $3,000 is it in cash.

But even having money in banks is a risky thing, especially since European financial officials have as much as said that the Cyprus confiscation of savings will be a template which will be used elsewhere.  And if it can be used in Europe, the clock is ticking here.  Government’s hate competition.

That leaves the second major risk  – nuclear/NBC  – whether it’s from North Korea, or some crazy terrorist cell which gets hold of an old rumored Russian man pack-sized device believed to have been stashed (for sabotage purposes) during the Cold War inside the USA, matters little.  At least some basics of nuclear preparedness seems a sound investment.  As a one book intro, it’s hard to beat Kearney’s “Nuclear War Survival Skills” which you can pick up at Amazon.

It should go without saying that part of nuclear survival prepping is having uncontaminated food, so 90 to 180-days.  After that, some basic garden tools and a used old-school radiation survey meter and you may be able to get crops going.  By then, you’ll have committed to the shelter-in-place or relocate decision.

In fact, some of the methods for minimizing personal exposure to radiation may also work against other prepper worries.  One might find NIOSH-100 dust masks useful downwind of forest fires, explosions, or even volcanoes.

Even barring those, they can be used when sanding old furniture or doing particularly dusty household chores, so it’s not like that can be considered wasteful prepping.  Masking tape and plastic sheeting, too, have a multiplicity of uses.  A roll or two of plastic sheeting, a half-dozen rolls of duct tape, and some ubiquitous blue plastic tarps in assorted sized along with some 100-foot hanks of clothes line and you can whip up emergency shelter under just about any kind of conditions.

Why, even a borrowed boat can be turned into an effective sailboat with a small tarp if you know what you’re doing.  All it takes is an oar, or two and studying how a crab-claw sail looks on a proa.  Micronesians crossed oceans that way.

This gets me to the third item on my list – one that I am working on presently:  Planning good survival clothing.  Yes, we have decent outdoor gear at the moment, but it’s spring.  The bugs won’t be completely filled-in for the year for another month or two, the snakes are still going underground and logs at night, as so forth.  But it won’t be long.

That’s when our little part of Texas will become physically challenging.  Out here in the outback, we keep brush down because bird hang out in some of the bramble patches.  And where there are birds, here come hungry snakes.  You haven’t lived until you’ve seen a snake in a tree on a hot day, where they’ve got to cool off in hot weather on occasion.

The difficulty is that in summertime we need to keep mosquitos off ourselves, too, since West Nile Virus is common down here.  And home remedies for ticks?  One of the best is to spray (original scent) Old Spice cologne on your pant legs, believe it or not.  I’ve heard, some other drugstore lotions have odors that repel ticks, but that’s the simple kind of prepping people in big cities seldom hear about.

This makes it pretty clear my third choice of survival and prepping goods is to acquire good outdoor survival gear which you could wear on a full-time basis in the area you live regardless of time of year.

Imagine the scenario here in East Texas in the past few weeks:  We’ve had temps at night down to 27°F at night and as high as 87°F within a week of that.  That’s a 60° temperature spread – hell of a range to be prepared for, bug-proofed, and dry over.  And let’s not forget shoes.  Some of that cold weather is definitely boot weather, but what about hiking books when it’s hot?  Ever research which boots are most resistant to snake bites?

Yo mamma wears combat boots” used to be a taunt of kids.  Thanks to preppers waking up, that’s no longer an insult…it’s a compliment!

So that’s it for me:

  1. Money & lawyer
  2. NBC preps with 6-months of food
  3. Wide range of outdoor clothing with bug and snake preps

In many less-likely scenarios, I’m going to have a few bucks in my pocket (OK, a Glock, too), I’ll be fed, fit, mobile plus I’ll have a well-equipped home base of operations.

Can’t beat that with a stick, as I see it.

As an author in the survival and/or prepping niche, what are you personally preparing for?

Your second question, Gaye, “As an author in the survival and/or prepping niche, what are you personally preparing for?” is pretty simple:  I believe the greatest personal survival risk we face as a society is aging in a world facing catastrophic economic failure.  That’s why I am proud of our gardening efforts (including my MyGroPonics book!) and my ham radio hobby.

If we do “Go Greek” or “Go Cyprus” you can bet the one control point government will used – and this is historically accurate – is rationing of food supplies.  Therefore, it stands to reason that if you can be even partially food-independent you’d be able to maintain your personal sovereignty & autonomy longer than most.

Not to mention, there’s nothing much better than home-grown natural food, including fresh eggs.  Let’s face it:  Many of the chemicals used in commercial processes simply aren’t good for you.  Soybean oil may sound OK, but your body is much better engineering through biological history to process olive oil.  And by the same token, the amount of polysorbate-80 in natural food is essentially nonexistent.

I plan to live quite a few more years, and to the degree that I go natural and move toward vegan, the better my chances of hitting at least the mid 80’s will be.  And hopefully a decade or more beyond that!

I look at how long my parents lived – even eating chemical foods (like plastic butter alternatives – and I figure I ought to at least be able to tie their marks, which puts me on track for 90 something.  The modest amount of exercise in gardening certainly isn’t going to hurt in this regard, either.

I guess this would be summed up as “Preparing to live a long healthy life – that’s the niche to plan for – and it includes having paid-for dirt in which to grow organic and staying active to avoid ‘use it or lose it…”

Since the economic world has gone pretty much off the deep end, I’m prepping to live the lifestyle described in my book “How to live on $10,000 a year or less” on a paid for patch of dirt.  I can’t think of a better (and certainly achievable) strategy for everyone.  Oh, sure, having a gazillion dollars works, too, I suppose.

But money’s only good to buy things and our organic food is not for sale at any price, present company excepted.


owl reading bookA copy of George’s e-book, How to Live on $10,000 a Year – Or Less has been reserved for one lucky reader.  You know how I like to make things easy so all you need to do to win is reply below in the comments area with a question for George to answer – reader’s choice – you get to the pick the topic. 

As I did in the Fall Book Festival, I will personally see that George answer’s your questions in a follow-up 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.)


It is always a pleasure to share George Ure’s work with you here on Backdoor Survival.  I encourage you to think about the questions you would like him to answer so that I can twist his arm get him to do yet another encore interview.

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:  How to Live on $10,000 a Year – Or Less is a book that walks through the business logic of saying no to fashion and the high consumption lifestyle.

Voluntary simplicity begins with understands how and why consumer spending must be controlled and this book shows you how to do this in each of the seven major areas of life: food, shelter, communications, transportation, energy, environment, and finance.

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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Amazon has a cool feature called Shop Amazon – Most Wished For Items. This is an easy tool for finding products that people are ‘wishing” for and in this way you know what the top products are. Like I said, very cool.

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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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Test New Survival Gear, and Let Us Know What You Think! We Cover the Products, You Cover Shipping.

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Updated Nov 6, 2013
Published Apr 6, 2013

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21 Responses to “Winter Book Festival and Giveaway: George Ure Returns”

  1. In today’s economy how do we get that ‘paid for patch of dirt’?

    • i was wondering if george might have any insight on how and where to buy small silver bars,,,,such as $5.00 peices to use as barter resources later on. and also how to detect if silver is real when buying it from people. i do alot of bartering which has helped me save some paper cash but one of my main worries is the fall of our currency so i want to invest in small peices of silver. thanx.

  2. You mentioned olive oil. However, it turns rancid pretty fast and does not store well. Virgin Coconut oil is the answer. It lasts for years and can be used for eating, cooking, and on the body. Have you done any research on it?

    Also, do you make and use your own colloidal silver as an antibiotic, antibacterial, and antimicrobial solution to keeping healthy?

  3. What medical preps have you been doing?

  4. What are the Top 3 (or 5 or 10) actions someone just arriving to this “Holy S#*! Why Am I Just Figuring It Out Now?” party needs to do NOW to not go down with the sheeple? Doable, practical, not costing an arm and a leg kind of suggestions.

  5. You say to have money in the bank, but how much do you reccommend to have on hand if the banks close? Having a good safe seems to be an ideal way to keep money, gold, and silver on hand. Any paticular type you reccomend?

  6. Thanks for your considerable insights. Its interesting that you mentioned cash & NBC preps as two of your three. I’ve been giving them a lot of thought recently. My question is: Where do we put the rest of our assets after we have the $3k in cash stashed as you suggest?

  7. Mr Ure;
    I recently purchased and am now living on a small piece of property in AK. The reason I bought here…..many reasons, but on top is the fact that there are no property taxes, and I owe nothing on the property. This may be way left field for this thread, but do you know of any way way that a senior lady ( 64 ), can make a living and still be a recluse….so to speak.
    I do not have any savings, due to medical bills and I cannot be a caregiver because of injuries.
    Money and precious metals are way out of my league and I think they will be pretty much useless, if something catostrophic happens. What is the least one needs to put out to save for the uncertain future? Besides money, what? The 10,000.00 is just about what I have coming in annually, by the way.
    ( I must confess, I haven’t read your book as yet ). I just borrowed it from Kindle a few minutes ago.
    More Power to you and your wife!!

  8. Are you talking surviving or really living on $10,000 a year?

  9. How much money should you keep on your person, and not in the bank?

  10. What advice do you have for those of us who live in suburbs/small towns and don’t have the means to move. We can’t raise chickens or any small livestock and we don’t have the room to plant large gardens. Is there another way for us to become less food dependent?

  11. You mentioned heading toward being a vegan. I am a vegatarian and I had always thought that if the SHTF I would have to go back to eating meat eventually because along with our garden, we would be hunting our food. Do you think that being vegan will be an option or practical in SHTF senario?

  12. Great interview-always manage to learn something from George Ure. My hypothetical question is: If you were forced to abandon your home in a collapse, and have no backup bugout location, where would you go in Texas to survive? Thanks for the opportunity.

  13. I haven’t read the book yet since I am new to all this. What is the best way to store on-hand cash, large bills or small, cash or coin, in a safe or distributed throughout home in small hidden caches?

  14. I’m new to all this and feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the stuff out there. One thing I do have is combat boots, I’m a medic. I don’t have a lot of money and I never will, so money and a good lawyer aren’t really possible. Here’s my question: If the shit really hits what are the odds that anybody will be worried about house, land, car payments? If the infrastructure falls apart will things like this even matter?

    • Julia,

      As a medic you should be able to write your own ticket in a SHTF senario. I have extensive preps including medial/detal supplies but I am not a medic and am trying to get up to speed on basic wound care and use of antibiotics. You would I think be welcome in anybodys tribe. I tend to agree about ongoing ‘collections’ after a colapse..I just dont see anybdoy coming to my house asking for the mortgage payment.

  15. I think this mmay have been brought up already. But I have always wondered. In a financial collapse would renter , banks and so on still try to come after money you owe? Would they to start out and stop once they see money don’t work any more? I have ask a few people and they always say I have no clue. Thank you

  16. We know that soon paper money will be worthless. Which is better to invest in, gold, silver, or tradable commodities?

  17. What is your feeling on stock piling nickels and/or junk silver?

  18. George,

    I’ve been out of work for over 3 years, so being able to live on $10K a year would be fantastic! I’ve learned a lot, the most important lesson being how little I really need to get by. I’ve been considering a used travel trailer as a small, long-term place to live. I’d like to get your thoughts on this, and whether you have any recommendations.

    Thank you

  19. Great interview! I would really love to read the book!


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