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BDS Book Festival – Living On The Edge + Interview with F.J. Bohan

Avatar for Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: August 1, 2022
BDS Book Festival – Living On The Edge + Interview with F.J. Bohan

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Every once in awhile, a book will come along that fills me with inspiration and allows me to dream about things that perhaps I may never be able to experience myself.  Living on the Edge: A Family’s Journey to Self-Sufficiency is one of those books.  Written by F.J. Bohan, this book memorializes F.J. and his family’s 17 year adventure that included everything from living in a tent to homesteading in the desert.

With that introduction, I would like to welcome back F.J. Bohan as I share the next author interview and giveaway in the current Backdoor Survival Book Festival.  Naturally, one lucky reader will win a copy of Living on the Edge so be sure to check out the details of this week’s giveaway below.

FJ Bohan Living on the Edge

Reading Living on The Edge – September 2013

An Encore Interview with F.J. Bohan

Having walked the walk, what advice can you offer to readers who want to escape the city but have limited budgets and resources for establishing themselves in a new, self-sufficient location? Other than reading your book, of course.

When we started out many years ago, we sold all of our TVs and did without any for several years. I remember meeting some local folks who wanted to know how they too could buy a ranch and get to the point we were. I started out by telling the to get rid of their TVs. They just gave me that deer-in-the-headlights-look and said that they could never do that!

Anyone with a strong enough desire to escape the city or establish a rural retreat should be able to do so even today. Compromises might have to be made based on your budget issues, but there are even more opportunities to purchase small country homes and rural lots out there now than there were before. How much money did the average city prepper spend on their last car or SUV? Do you have more cars than your need? I have seen many country homes sell in this economy for far less than the price of a new SUV. There are many people who could simply sell some toys (cars, boats, ATVs) and begin to stash cash for a quick property purchase.

I would recommend selling every toy not needed in favor of buying even a small lot outside of a rural town. Once the land is yours, (and paid in full) you can stop dreaming and start a meaningful plan of action that would at the very least have you camping on your land when an event sends you there.

I seriously doubt that someone unwilling to do without their TV will be able to accomplish what’s needed. Patriots, preppers, and survivalists will all have more important matters to be dealing with.

Like anything else worth having, time, money, and sacrifice will all play a major roll. The key to success is getting starting without further delay.

To what extent does your family participate in your personal preparedness efforts?

I am blessed in having a family that sees what’s coming and have all taken steps towards being prepared. Our group, like many others’ groups, is made up of mostly family members. There has been a lot of sharing of information, supplies, and equipment all around. Thus has also given us all several options as retreat locations.

What are your favorite survival or pepping book or books? They can be fiction or non-fiction.

I am glad you asked this question! There have been many books that I have enjoyed and learned from over the years. A good number of them you’ll find in the Paladin Press catalog but I also have several favorite books that have helped to shape and form my thoughts as a prepper and survivalist and I would urge everyone to read these books as well.

The Warwolf: A Peasant Chronicle of the Thirty Years War by Hermann Lons. This non-fiction work details the survival of a small town during a brutal war and tells how they made it. Even though it is a story from the 1600s, it reads as if it is happening today! This may be the most important book a prepper could ever read.

Arctic Adventure: My Life in the Frozen North, by Peter Freuchen details survival and acts many could never imagine yet Peter actually lived through. This book shows you where the line of commitment must be to survive.

Endurance: Shackleton’s Incredible Voyage by Alfred Lansing is another incredible story of survival that everyone should read.

Treblinka: A Survivor’s Memory by Chil Rajchman, will help prepare the prepper for what could happen in the next death camps. Another book that every prepper should read.

Do you have anything else (announcement, message, personal experience) that you would like to share with the readers on Backdoor Survival?

For those who might be interested, I am working on a new book that will address bug-out related issues and gear. I hope to have it out near the first of the year.

Also a very special thank you to Gaye for her efforts in keeping the community informed. You are doing a great job!

The Book Giveaway

A copy of Living on the Edge has been reserved for one lucky reader.  Here is this week’s Book Festival question (and it is a good one!):

In 20 words or less, how do you define self-sufficiency?

To enter the giveaway, you need to answer this question by responding in the comments area at the end of this article. The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Wednesday with the winner notified by email announced in the Sunday Survival Buzz.  He or she will have 48 hours to claim the winning books.

Note: If you are reading this article in your email client, you must go to the Backdoor Survival website to enter this giveaway in the comments area at the bottom of the article.

summer book festival 2013_04

The Final Word

Over the months, F.J. and I have communicated frequently.  I have learned from him and, in the case of Living on the Edge, dreamed of a simpler life living off the grid and off the land surrounded by just my family.  Alas, I am personally at a point in my life where this is not going to happen – at least not to the extent of F.J. and his family.

Regardless, here and there and throughout the book, I have picked up tips that are useful regardless of circumstances.  The final thoughts especially, are a reminder of our need to prepare, on grid or off.  As he says: “Life is short, and time to prepare is growing even shorter.”

There is no question that I agree with that. I hope you will enter the giveaway to win your own copy of this wonderful book!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you have not done so already, please be sure to like Facebook which is updated every time there is an awesome new article, news byte, or link to a free survival, prepping or homesteading book on Amazon.  You can also follow Backdoor Survival on Twitter, Pinterest, and Google+.

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:  Living on the Edge: A Family’s Journey to Self-Sufficiency

When it comes to survival, one size definitely does not fit all. That’s exactly what author FJ Bohan discovered when he and his family set out on a quest for self-sufficiency, a journey that  lasted more than 17 years.  In his book, he describes why and how the Bohan family set off to begin a life of self-sufficiency.  Along the way, they learned a lot about living off the land and off the grid, mostly through trial and error.

In this book, they share the lessons that were learned including:

  • Keeping a wife, four boys, two dogs, and two cats happy in a tent for 18 months
  • Creating power for a tent or cabin through a combination of solar panels, car batteries, generators, and oil
  • Heating and cooking on wood stoves
  • Finding creative ways to earn money in an insular, impoverished rural area
  • Securing enough water in the desert for a family of six, plus animals, to live on
  • Erecting fences—literal and figurative ones—for privacy and security
  • Raising chickens, goats, and ducks for food, while avoiding bears, bobcats, skunks, and other country critters

Bargain Bin:  Today is all about books.  Listed below are all of the books in the current Backdoor Survival Book Festival. There are both fiction and non-fiction titles and a bit of something for everyone.owl reading book


Backyard Cuisine: Bringing Foraged Food to Your Table
Home Remedies
Living on the Edge: A Family’s Journey to Self-Sufficiency
Make It Last: Prolonging + Preserving the Things We Love
Make Your Place: Affordable, Sustainable Nesting Skills
The Pocket Guide to Wild Mushrooms: Helpful Tips for Mushrooming in the Field
Good Clean Food
The Amazing 2000-Hour Flashlight
Recipes and Tips for Sustainable Living
The People’s Apocalypse
Go Green, Spend Less, Live Better


Going Home: A Novel of Survival (The Survivalist Series)
Surviving Home: A Novel (The Survivalist Series)
Expatriates: A Novel of the Coming Global Collapse
The Border Marches
Rivers: A Novel
After the Blackout
The End: A Postapocalyptic Novel (The New World Series)
The Long Road: A Postapocalyptic Novel (The New World Series)
3 Prepper Romances:  Escape To My Arms, plus 2 other e-books (your choice)
Prepper Pete Prepares: An Introduction to Prepping for Kids


The New Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking
Escaping Home: A Novel (The Survivalist Series)
Living Ready Pocket Manual – First Aid: Fundamentals for Survival


Emergency Essential Monthly 2

Emergency Essential Order Jul 2013_03

The monthly specials at Emergency Essentials feature discounts of up to 35% off sometimes a bit more.  I have a monthly budget and each month I add a bit more FD products to my long term storage – always making my selection from sale items.

There are a lot new items that are put on sale each month – be sure to take a look.

Shop the Emergency Essentials Monthly Specials


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

The Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items
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Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!

My new eBook, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage will provide you with everything you need to create an affordable food storage plan, including what to buy and how to store it. Nothing scary and nothing overwhelming – you really can do this!  Now available at Amazon.


11 Steps to Living a Strategic LifeThis 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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35 Responses to “BDS Book Festival – Living On The Edge + Interview with F.J. Bohan”

  1. Being self sufficient means relying only on yourself to provide the necessary means to survive any situation.

    • Means providing high quality and adequate quantity food, shelter and basics for life, for my family, independent of outside sources.

      (Plus extra for bartering, but that puts me over my 20 words….lol)

  2. Being self sufficient is providing for the needs of self, family, and others as capable. It is not being dependent on another for your well being, besides that of spiritual of course.

  3. Self Sufficiency is not isolationism and is not the opposite of inter-dependance with other humans. It is being able to take care of your own needs and wants and that of your family and to be able to provide assistance or defense to others. Graciously accepting assistance from others. trading skills or things you have created for the services and products you cannot do or manufacture. In other words, being a net giver and not a net taker or a parasite. That is on a horizontal level. At the vertical level, I can never be self sufficient for my salvation, sanctification, growth, or living more and more like Jesus. I am entirely dependant on the Holy Spirit.

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