BDS Book Festival – Living Ready Pocket Manual: First Aid + Interview with James Hubbard

Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: November 24, 2020
BDS Book Festival – Living Ready Pocket Manual: First Aid + Interview with James Hubbard

Today’s entry in the current Backdoor Survival Book Festival is the Living Ready Pocket Manual – First Aid: Fundamentals for Survival by James Hubbard, MD. James, who is also known as “The Survival Doctor” is here to answer my interview questions and of course, to provide a copy of his book to one lucky reader.

First, a little bit about the book itself.

First Aid Fundamentals for Survival

As the title says, this is a pocket manual. What that means is that in addition to being packed with practical first aid information, the book is small enough and light enough to throw in a bug-out-bag so that you have it with you at all times. But don’t let it’s 5 x7 size fool you.

First Aid: Fundamentals for Survival covers a wide variety of medical ailments including those most likely to occur in a survival situation. These include dehydration, hypothermia, skin wounds, insect bites, and bone and joint injuries. Truthfully, much of this information is also available at James’s website but really, if an accident or medical incident occurs who is going to have the time to go look something up online – assuming of course, there is power and an internet connection available.

A question that I am frequently asked is “what do I need to include in my survival first aid kit”. There is an excellent section at the beginning of the book listing what to include and in what quantities. They are separated by first aid supplies suitable for long-term storage in your home or bug-out location, and those suitable for portable storage, such as a bug-out-bag or vehicle.

I could go on, but instead, will turn things over to James. Enjoy the interview and be sure to check out the details of this week’s book giveaway below.

An Interview with James Hubbard

Tell me about your book, Living Ready Pocket Manual – First Aid: Fundamentals for Survival. What is it about?

Well, first, Living Ready is the name of the publisher, and that’s why it’s part of the title. Pocket Manual tells you it’s small enough to fit in any shelf, backpack or bug-out bag.

And it does contain First Aid instruction, but I think it goes beyond that. It’s more like the contents of many of my blog posts. I explain what you or I could do in emergency situations, with little or no fancy medical equipment, to try to save a life and stabilize a person until expert help arrives. But I also explain what to do if that expert help doesn’t come right away, or doesn’t come at all.

What type of research did you have to do while writing Living Ready Pocket Manual: First Aid?

I’ve taken wilderness-medicine courses, and for over 30 years I’ve been a family doctor. I’ve practiced in both small Mississippi towns—where I worked in my clinic and the hospital emergency room and had a busy inpatient hospital practice to boot—and in large cities, where I mainly practiced urgent-care medicine and dealt with emergencies.

In that time, I’ve seen a little of everything, and I’ve learned a lot from my patients. I learned how people coped with medical problems when they lived so far out and with so little transportation that they couldn’t get to a doctor unless the situation was dire. I’ve listen to old folks tell of how they treated problems when no doctor was even available even if they had the transportation. Here in Colorado Springs, where I live now, I’ve learned more about how to treat medical problems that occur during hiking and camping.

On the other hand, over the years, I’ve also learned how so many people really don’t know some of the basics of medical care—basics that I think most doctors assume their patients know, so they don’t explain them. So people get their information from other people or the Internet. Sometimes that’s very good, and sometimes it’s totally wrong. And I try to guide them on telling the difference.

How long did it take to write?

About six months.

Every book, fiction and non-fiction, includes a message. What message do you hope my readers will take with them after reading Living Ready Pocket Manual: First Aid?

That with the right information, they can take care of many more medical problems than they would imagine, no matter how long it takes for expert help to arrive.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I’ve been married for 39 years and have two grown daughters. One is a writer/editor and helps me put my writing into understandable language. The other is a flight paramedic in Alaska and has taught for the military as well as volunteered for many a wilderness rescue. I go to her for advice also.

Do you have plans for another book?

Yes. I plan on writing at least a couple more, and I plan on having a DVD out in the next couple of months. All are related to my mission of providing people with information on how to manage medical problems during disasters, in the wilderness, or any time expert help is unavailable.

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

I welcome comments on my blog. It gives me feedback on what I’m doing wrong or what I need to do more of.

The Book Giveaway

A copy Living Ready Pocket Manual: First Aid has been reserved for one lucky reader. Are you ready for this week’s question?

What is your primary first aid or health related question when it comes to survival in a SHTF situation?

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 and 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

I have placed my copy of James’s book in my bug out bag where it will be easy to find if there is a medical emergency in my home or while on the run. Because the book is well-indexed, I should be able to quickly locate what I need plus, I will be able to understand it. No medical techno-talk here!

If there is anything I would hope for in a future edition, it would be a section that covers natural remedies over and beyond the honey that James recommends as an effective anti-bacterial. As he so aptly states, honey is more effective as an after-the-fact anti-bacterial for infections than over-the- counter ointments.

This is a useful, practical and necessary book to include in your survival kit. I hope you will enter the giveaway to win a copy of your own!

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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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 Ready Pocket Manual – First Aid: Fundamentals for Survival

Skills to Save A Life: Whether you are miles from help or immersed in an urban disaster situation, every second counts during a medical emergency. This book will help you take quick, effective action to stabilize the situation.

The easy-to-follow, step-by-step instruction in this book will help you prevent or respond to:

  • Dehydration
  • Hypothermia, frostbite and heatstroke
  • Skin wounds including burns, cuts, bites and gunshots
  • Anaphylaxis, allergic reactions and rashes
  • Broken bones and injured joints

Plus you’ll find detailed packing lists for survival first aid kits of all sizes. This pocket-sized manual is perfect for packing in first aid kits, bug out bags, day-hiking packs and vehicle kits. Medical emergencies are unplanned and unpredictable, but you can be prepared. Arm yourself with knowledge that can save a life.

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

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

This month the big news is that all Mountain House tins are 25% to 45% off. Of course my favorite is the Mountain House Chili Mac iconbut I know the Beef Stroganoff iconis really popular as well.

Mountain House

A recent Mountain House Order

Other specials to consider are the Baking Mixes Combo and Butter Powder, both of which I use regularly. The butter powder, especially, is good for baking in an automatic bread machine.

These are just a few of the items that are on sale. Click on this link for more: 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 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.

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70 Responses to “BDS Book Festival – Living Ready Pocket Manual: First Aid + Interview with James Hubbard”

  1. For a family with small children, what type of antibiotics, dosage, how much, and what are the best long term storage methods should be considered.

  2. My biggest concerns are wounds and infections. How to deal with these when conventional supplies and meds are unavailable.

  3. I live in an area with copperheads and watermoccasins. What would be the best survivalist treatment for snakebite. A neighbor who was bit by a copperhead went to the hospital and all they did was give him an antibiotic shot.

  4. I would like to know what type of prescription drugs a person should have on hand for things like Ghiarrdia (sp) and tick fever.And how to get them before you need them ?

  5. What is your primary first aid or health related question when it comes to survival in a SHTF situation?

    Why in these modern times with all the resources available is my first aid so lacking? Will be fixing that one way or another!

    Stay Safe

  6. insulin substitutes … my wife is diabetic. Without her regular injections, she would not be here and my life would be the worse.

  7. In a SHTF scenario anxiety and sleep deprivation will likely be big problems, is there any real value in establishing simple but calming routines now? What recommendations do you have for preparing for these issues? Thanks for taking time to write this book.

  8. IF Medical facilities are not available ; Do you recommend the use of IV fluids and catheters for shock , blood loss, dehydration etc? How long can fluids be stored? whats the best way to store them? Whats the best fluid to Use?

  9. Why do we read about other places where the crap has hit the fan, having a big outbreak of cholera? (Haiti) Is it because of lack of sanitation or decomposing bodies, or drinking bad water? What can we do about it?

  10. My primary concern would be medication. I have to take medication for my thyroids and do not know how to get them from herbal plants. My other concern is antibiotics. You may be able to find some but know which ones will treat what bacteria. I know the wrong kind of antibiotics will not kill the bacteria you are trying to treat so then you wasted some valuable medication just to have to try another.

  11. this is a 3 parter for me. 1st) Where to get quality meds that have a long shelf life, and having enough of all the other things that make for a well rounded medical bag. 2nd) How to properly treat what will happen in a….lets call it a more rustic life-style. 3rd)How to make herbal home remedies.

  12. My question is having been a paramedic/PA many years ago and forgotten a lot of what I used back then,and believing that most serious injuries are going to be a result of sharp instruments,there is a line between using steri-strips to close a wound and suturing. Where is that line?

  13. I purchased your book and it is great. I would love to have another one. Having read all of the comments already given, it is pretty redundant of me to figure out another question, but I guess my greatest concern is wound care and blood loss.

  14. I take several medications but the ones most critical for me are my nebulizer meds. Are there alternatives to Albuterol and Ipratropium?

  15. My biggest concern would be the care and control of the multiple sclerosis two of my daughters have when their meds run out.

  16. How can you stop diarrhea if you run out or don’t have medicine? It would be so nice to get answers to some of these questions. I wonder about insulin too. My DIL is a severe diabetic…

  17. Would like to know herbal remedies for common ailments such as hypertension, glucose lowering agents that can be found in nature because this is what we have to rely upon in a SHTF scenario. Also what can be used in nature to decrease pain immediately for suturing etc.

  18. What is your primary first aid or health related question when it comes to survival in a SHTF situation? are fish or animal anti biotics safe for human consumption? also what is a safe blood clotting agent for somebody with a shellfish allergy ?

  19. Mine is similar to Kris’ question. I take a daily inhaled steroid for my asthma. I miss a day and I’m using my albuterol inhaler two or three times. I can get extra albuterol, but there seems to be no way to stock up on my steroid inhaler. What do you do when you run out of both?

  20. How do you determine which antibiotics (off the grid type) to use for basic infections such as strep, sinus infections, etc.?

  21. My biggest concern relates to seasonal allergies and what I will be able to use without allergy medications. Even with them I can be wiped out for several weeks at a time.

  22. Like so many others, my question is a home worry…my wife has thyroid issues, so what’s the best way to handle them without meds?

  23. I may be wrong, but I’m assuming that if an alternative for a med can be had, someone will have to do what they can…. My question would be infections. What would be the most helpful thing for infections when there are no antibiotics?

  24. Having read the comments, I want answers to all these questions. I am primarily concerned about diabetes and heart/high blood pressure alternative meds.

  25. My husband has diabetes. When SHTF, I’m sure medications will be in short supply so my primary question would be what natural alternatives can be used to control diabetes?

  26. My major health care issue is What to do about type 2 diabetes when the meds run out? In addition, I am interested in stress management during an emergency.

  27. I wonder what would be the best natural remedies, how to stock up on them, and how to treat issues beyond basic first aid…nothing too hard there, right?

  28. The primary health related question should be “Do you have any allergies to medications” because this will streamline what medications are appropriate, and rule out medications that will kill the person faster than the injury or illness.

  29. What is your primary first aid or health related question when it comes to survival in a SHTF situation? After reading all the above comments I am quite surprised how many people have concerns about Type 2 Diabetes in a SHTF situation. Maybe they should address it (holistically)now so they can cure themselves (to get off the meds) and then be able to worry about other things in a SHTF situation. With that being said, my own personal concern is endurance because once a person becomes over fatigued that can create additional problems. So I will take a dose of my own medicine and start working out in order to build my endurance. I want to be able to help others in a SHTF situation instead of being one that needs help. Gaye, I truly appreciate all you share.

  30. My greatest concern is my 86 year old mother. I am her care giver.I am prepping with her in mind and there is very little advice for the elderly who are not very mobile. I believe my first line of mental health issue is to help relieve as much stress in the situation. But stress there will be,and illness will follow, so what would be the best action to do to lighten the stress and prevent illness from setting in.

  31. my biggest concerns are blood pressure and diabeties medications,,,, i,m big on first aid but these two issues are on top of my list…

  32. One of our daughters had problems with hyperemesis gravidarum with each of her 3 pregnancies, to the point of many ER visits for dehydration, and the insertion of a pic line. What would be your suggestion for that sort of problem?

  33. My main concern would be treating infections from cuts, callouses on feet and abrasions. I would like to know what herbs, oils and cleanliness practices while in the wild would prevent these infections as well as other disease such as cholera, pneumonia, tetanus and others. Also, what to look for in others such as weakness due to age or prior health problems to catch diseases at a treatable stage. Thank you for all that you do.

  34. My question is: I hear a lot about fish antibiotics and wonder if you feel this is a good idea to stockpile for future problems? And since my background is in respiratory health, I would encourage folks with asthma, bronchitis, etc. to see if they can get any extra “sample” inhalers from their MD. Most doctors have free samples of a variety of meds and perhaps your physician would be willing to give you a couple.

  35. What can you use when you are out in in the wilderness and have very little or no medical supplies? Also could apply at home in a SHTF scenario and you don’t have supplies. So home and natural remedies/ treatments.

  36. I don’t really have a specific question. I’m an ER nurse so I have some good medical training, but a book like this would still be very handy in a survival situation! I would love to read about alternative treatment solutions, and I’m very interested in reading the section on what supplies are suggested for a survival first aid kit. I would love to have one of these books for our BOBs! Thanks for the giveaway!

  37. People will be using more hand tools such as axes and knives in a SHTF situation. How do you know what needs sutured and what don’t and is it really important to know which size needle to use or what type of suture material to use in on the different areas of the body?

    • Try looking into adding butterfly stiches and steri strips to your kit. Those will close most wounds with out having to use a needle and thread. These will work in most situations. In a SHTF situation, any needle and thread will work as long as it has been steralized. The major concern is having to pull the stiches later. Most people to not have access to the thread that disolves over time. The sitches would later have to be cut and pulled as the wound heals. As long as the area is clean, the steri strips will hold for several days, even in harsh wet conditions.

  38. How to have general knowledge about many things and what are the good first aid supplies to carry daily. I am thinking that “a jack of all trades and master of none” is my best approach to first aid situations and supplies.

  39. My question is what are the best ways to deal with infections and fevers when there is no medicine available, especially with young children?

  40. Would appreciate information on holistically handling asthma. I imagine type 2 diabetics will be fine once their food and exercise are changed by SHTF requirements (assuming they’re able to be active enough.) Fish antibiotics for everyone! And some superglue for good measure. Put those homestead vet techniques to work. I do worry about how to counteract the effects of 13 & 14 year old boys, though…

  41. I think a good first aid and trauma kit are essential to everyone’s preparedness inventory, along with the knowledge it takes to use them. If we get to a point where professional medical help just isn’t available anymore, we are going to have to be ready to take care of our own.

    I would love to see BDS put out more info on field trauma and first aid. Using splints, tourniquet, pressure dressings and hemostatic agents, as well as basic suture techniques. If there are no hospitals to take our injured to, we are going to have to know what to do.

    Thanks for all you do to keeps us informed!

  42. What would be the best way to first aid prep for someone who is pregnant, or those who may be pregnant that you encounter? What are some of the basics to add to a kit along those regards?

  43. First, Thank you for the opportunity!

    Salt and Vodka will be added to my emergency BOB.I have just about everything I need….or so I think!

  44. In a residential family hurricane evacuation scenario, what do you think is the most probable injuries and what should I make sure I have in my kit to make sure I’m prepared.

  45. My biggest concern is the medication that we are used to taking on a regular to semi-regular basis. People take medication every day for blood pressure, diabetes, infections to the severe allergies. With out this medication around it can be easy for people to fall victim to all sorts problems. Infections that were rare can become rampid like polio, disentary, colera, hepatitis and even terberculosis. Something as simple as the common cold can quickly turn to pneumonia without taking the proper percautions. For some the increased physical lifestyle of staying alive can help with many medical problems, such as type 2 diabetes for being over weight. The type 1 diabetes are the ones to be concerned about.

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