Spring 2014 Book Festival: The Prepper’s Pocket Guide

Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: June 28, 2019
Spring 2014 Book Festival: The Prepper’s Pocket Guide

I almost started out by saying “today I share a very special entry in the current Backdoor Survival Spring 2014 Book Festival”.  The problem with that is they are all special – or so it seems.  So let me skip that part and get right to it with this week’s author interview and book giveaway.

This week’s book is “The Prepper’s Pocket Guide” by Bernie Carr. Believe it or not, this is one of the very first purely prepping books I read and reviewed (Prepper’s Pocket Guide: The Survival Guide for the Rest of Us) way back when Backdoor Survival was the new kid on the block.

Preppers Pocket Guide BDS

Anyway, long story short, Bernie and I have become friends over the years and you will often see many of her Apartment Prepper blog articles featured in the Sunday Survival Buzz.   I asked Bernie to participate in the Spring book festival because with so many new books on the market, I wanted to bring The Prepper’s Pocket Guide back to the forefront.  It is that good.

Enjoy the interview and be sure to check out the details of this week’s giveaway below.

An Interview with Bernie Carr

Tell me about your book, The Prepper’s Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do to Ready Your Home for a Disaster.  What is it about?

The Prepper’s Pocket Guide is a step by step handbook for beginners. It gives small, easy steps to help someone unfamiliar with preparedness get started in a short amount of time and with a limited budget.

What type of research did you have to do while writing your book?

When I was getting started on my own preparedness plan, I read a lot of books on survival, self-sufficient living, home remedies, and fix-it yourself guides. Much of what I wrote in the book were things I tried out myself, as I applied what I learned to everyday life and as well as disaster readiness.

How long did it take to write?

I wrote every night after work and on weekends for about eight months.

Every book, fiction and non-fiction, includes a message. What message do you hope my readers will take with them after reading The Prepper’s Pocket Guide?

I hope readers will take the necessary steps to get themselves and their families prepared – do it one chapter at a time. Anyone can get started, even if you live in a small space and have tight finances.

I also advise readers to not only stock up on emergency supplies but learn skills such as first aid, gardening, cooking, canning, dehydrating, woodworking, herbal remedies – anything that will help them be a bit more self-sufficient.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I started Apartment Prepper blog four years ago, as a means to share experiences related to prepping in an apartment in a big city. I consider myself a “do it yourself-er” so I always test out projects that I write about, with some good and some bad results. Fortunately, my immediate family is good-natured about trying out my sometimes crazy experiments.

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

I try to be prepared for both short term and long term emergencies. As far as short term disasters, hurricanes and floods are the most likely threats, since we live in Texas.

Regarding a long term situation, I am most concerned about an economic collapse. The Great Depression was bad enough, but I fear our current population that has different values and expectations may be ill-equipped to cope with such hardships.

Do you have plans for another book?

Yes, my next book is a children’s book called Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure: A Prepper’s Book for Kids. It is scheduled for release on April 15, 2014.

Note from Gaye:  Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure will be featured here in a couple of weeks.

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

Prepping benefits everyone whether an emergency happens or not. Once you get started, you will notice you have less stress in your daily life. If you’ve prepared as well as you can for emergencies or disasters, you will find you are also prepared for small, everyday emergencies.

The Book Giveaway

A copy of  The Prepper’s Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do to Ready Your Home for a Disaster has been reserved for one lucky reader.  To enter, respond to the following question in the comments area below:

What DIY project would you like to see featured on Backdoor Survival?

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 Thursday with the winner notified by email and announced in the Sunday Survival Buzz.  You will have 48 hours to claim the winning book.

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.

The Final Word

It is human nature to want the newest and best but you know what?  Sometimes the tried and true is as good or better than the new kid on the block.  The Prepper’s Pocket Guide has been out for a few years but it is still one of the easiest guides to follow when your are beginning to prep

As Bernie says at the end of the book:

“Even if you try only a handful of tips, you will reap some benefits and peace of mind knowing your family is prepared.”

I hope you will enter the giveaway to win your own copy of this book – if not for yourself then for someone you know that will benefit from learning some easy steps toward being prepared.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

New:  Click Here To Vote For Me at Top Prepper Websites!

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+ and purchase my book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage from 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:  The Prepper’s Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do to Ready Your Home for a Disaster.

Be prepared and be safe.  From California earthquakes and Rocky Mountain wildfires to Midwest floods and Atlantic hurricanes, you can’t escape that inevitable day when catastrophe strikes your home town — but you can be prepared!

Offering a simple DIY approach, this book breaks down the vital steps you should take into 101 quick, smart and inexpensive projects:

#6 Make a Master List of Passwords
#16 Calculate How Much Water You Need
#33 Start a Food Storage Plan for $5 a Week
#60 Make a Safe from a Hollowed-out Book
#77 Assemble an Inexpensive First Aid kit
#89 Learn to Cook Without Electricity
#94 Pack a Bug-out Bag

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.

If you covet an e-Book reader, consider the Kindle.  And if not, at the very least pick up the free Kindle app so that you can read Kindle books on your PC or favorite electronic device.

Spring 2014 Book Festival #5 – Fiction
Brushfire Plague: Reckoning
Through Many Fires: Strengthen What Remains
Flight of the Bowyer
The Jakarta Pandemic
The Perseid Collapse
Leaving The Trees
Fury of the Fifth Angel
Fugitives from Northwoods
Phoenix Island: A Tale of Disaster, Survival, and Rebirth

Spring 2014 Book Festival #5 – Non-Fiction
The Prepper’s Complete Book of Disaster Readiness: Life-Saving Skills, Supplies, Tactics and Plans
Simply Canning: Survival Guide to Safe Home Canning
The Prepper’s Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do to Ready Your Home for a Disaster
The Prepper’s Cookbook: 365 Recipes to Turn Your Emergency Food into Nutritious, Delicious, Life-Saving Meals
Jake and Miller’s Big Adventure: A Prepper’s Book for Kids
The Pantry Primer: How to Build a One Year Food Supply in Three Months


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No list of books would be complete without my own e-book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage.

The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage is a book about food: What to store, how to store it and best practices. It is a roadmap for showing ordinary citizens that long-term food storage is not something that will overwhelm or burden the family budget.   It is based on my own tried and true experience as someone who has learned to live the preparedness lifestyle by approaching emergency preparedness and planning in a systematic, step-by-step manner.

Whether you simply want to prepare for natural disasters or whether you believe the world is headed toward a major food crisis, this book is for you. It covers basic tips and techniques you can use to stock your food storage pantry so that you can be assured that your family will have food to eat, no matter what.

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96 Responses to “Spring 2014 Book Festival: The Prepper’s Pocket Guide”

  1. I’d like to see instructions on building your own bread baking over with mud and straw. e.

  2. All inclusive list of the best essential oils with what they are good for. Almost like a look up list of what essential oil is good for what problem. I.e. Problems and oils cross referenced both ways.

  3. Build your backpack/buyout bag. What to put in and how much. What are the best brands of backpack, and how to make an emergency backpack (in case you don’t have one).
    Some people stuff everything thing they can think of in a backpack or BOB then find they can’t even lift it, forget about carrying it for hours or days to get to safety.

  4. Steps in curing meat: ingredients, amounts to use per pound, and steps to follow for success. Along with what not to do would be helpful.

  5. How about building a portable Ham Radio Rig. One larger enough with a number of frequency options, and greater power output then a hand held.

  6. Beginner Gardening – Small Space/Renters, Beginning Canning & Food Storage Alternatives (including Pros & Cons)Thank You 🙂

  7. My grandmother used a hand dug well to provide refrigeration for the things that she had to keep cool. She put the items in a burlap bag and lowered the bag to just above the water level, where it was very cold.
    I would love to be able to dig a well such as this, for the same refrigeration and for the water. I cant figure a safe way to do this.

  8. Vertical gardening for small spaces. How to built an outhouse. Recipes for freeze dried and dehydrated foods….this list could go on and on! Prepping never ends!!

    • I agree, solar, but something an older woman can do on her own without help. I need to do this, but know nothing other than it is an awesome resource to not be using.

  9. Ideas for securing supplies & keeping them safe/dry from the elements (outside). How to create a system for collecting rain-water. Hydroponics indoors – how practical is this option?

  10. Lots of great ideas listed, already! I would like to see DIY projects on solar dehydrating and setting up a small solar power system for the home.

  11. For those of us who would choose to hunker down instead of bug out…exactly how to block windows, vents, etc. with plastic sheeting and duct tape.

  12. I want to spread the work but many people simply don’t want to hear it. I need ideas to at least help people to open their minds even just a little bit. I don’t want my friends to suffer but I also don’t want them showing up on my doorstep wanting my help when it is too late.

    • JoAnn,
      My friends and I have tried over and over to get our loved ones on board with prepping, if it’s not their truth, they can’t accept the fact that everything they know could be gone tomorrow.

      Start with small articles about the banking system, forest fires that devastate whole communities. These are the topics that will hit home for them.

      When you have exhausted all opportunities, save yourself.

  13. Vertical gardening, container gardening projects for those of us in apartments. Also, home security and fortifications would be great. I’ve been wanting to get this book for a long time, it would be great to win this.

  14. I would like an “easy” DIY plan for building a ceiling fan that doesn’t need electricity to operate. Very necessary for those of us in hot climes!

  15. I’d like to see more about medicinal herbs, their common applications and preparations- poultice, fermented, consumption.

  16. How to keep oneself from becoming overwhelmed by not just the massive amount of survival information that continues to increase but also by the increasing number of topics which only serves to exacerbate the problem.

  17. Wow, so many good ideas already. I’d really like to see how to put a hand pump into an existing well. We have an electric pump on property for our water. I’d like a hand pump in the same well. Also making a root cellar would be great. I have room on my property but not the know how to build it.

    • I bought a brake line bleeder, using the food saver tube, attaching it to the brake line bleeder and the lid cap and remove the air from jars. Can also be used to remove air from the bags, but you have to be really quick. To seal the bags, you can heat a knife, using a towel as a thin barrier, as to not melt the bag, and seal the bag, again you have to be really fast.

  18. I would like to learn how to make a storm shelter on a budget! And have it double as a root cellar, if possible.

  19. I’d like a DIY method of cleaning clothes indoors, without a washer or dryer. Mainly drying is an issue but an organized method is out there I’m sure.

  20. I would like to know more about how to have refrigeration without electricity. Or maybe even just keeping certain foods fresh for a few days, if you don’t have electricity.

    • I’ve seen some ways to cool things, but this is also a big concern since I’m a diabetic with insulin that must be kept cool. since I get my supply 3 months at a time, if there is an extended time of no electricity my meds may go bad.

  21. Other ways of simple self and household defense. Like an air gun/rifle, simple crossbow (How to make on would be helpful) or bb gun – anything other than the obvious gun/rifle and stockpiles of ammo. I do have a pistol and I do know how to use it, but…what if it was stolen…what then? Grab a club?

    • You can use wasp spray as a deterent, it has the same affect as mace, and a straight stream to boot. Sling shot, small arrow bow.

  22. what I’d like to know more about is keeping cool during the heat of the summer. It’s already hit over 90 a couple of times last month and that was May. How can I keep it comfortable during the summer months of July and August when triple digit temps are probable.

  23. I’d like to learn more about prepping and growing food in a small apartment space along with DIY hydroponics.

  24. EO and herbs for medicinal purposes…already mentioned but seconded here and what is the best way (and easiest)to make a rocket stove so that you can have the necessary items ready and waiting to put together for emergency cooking.

    • There is a you tube video on making one out of concrete blocks. Looks easy to me, just not portable.

  25. I agree with Ruby. I’d like information on ways to store meats without electricity. Dehydrating beef for jerky for example. Or smoking (dehydrating?) fish. Things like that. And how & how long they will remain viable.

    Thanks for all you do Gaye!

  26. Well, when you come late to the party, everything is already mentioned. I can second interest in doing things without electricity such as dehydrating and keeping cool. I’m also interested in essential and carrier oils and how you can use them when on a very, very limited budget.

  27. I would love DIY lessons about making essential oils from herbs, spices & native medicine plants.

  28. As I read the responses to this weeks question, I have to say that I liked a lot of them: Bee Keeping ( and things that can be made with honey and bees wax), When to harvest medical herbs and what part of the plant to use and how to use it. How to keep chickens in your back yard and tips for building chicken coops, how to stich up wounds and set bones, soap making like the people did way back when ( with pictures ) in the middle ages ( they did make some fine castile soap )secret room construction ( who doesn’t want a secret hide-y-hole. plus almost everything els that has been posted here.

  29. I’d love to see an in depth article on how to salt cure meat. I’ve read several but they fall short in the step by step instructions and how long it will keep.

    • I just ‘put up’ a gallon jar of fresh eggs in a heavy salt brine, and it is supposed to keep them over 6 months. I got the recipe on the internet. I have not done this before, so I will report back on how it goes. On salt curing meat and fish, I believe Carla Emory covers this in her Old Fashioned Cookbook. I also have a method of preserving fish using melted fat and pouring over, that I have not tried. It is from a book called, Recipes from a Shanghai Kitchen.

  30. I would like to know how to build a Horno oven. These are the traditional Native American wood fired oven. I have seen these in use, and they are wonderful for baking bread and cookies, etc.

  31. As a senior citizen going to be 69 next month, would like to see articles on how seniors can prepare to bog down in their homes. For most seniors having a BOB and walking out of the house is practically impossible. So any easy do it yourself ideas for seniors on how to hunker down at home would be nice. And not just seniors but people with disabling health conditions, such as arthritis, bad knees & backs, etc.

  32. How to build a backpack. I need to know what things to put in it and how to keep it from being so heavy I cannot carry it.

  33. I would like to have one book for staying and one for going or half and half. Like build a root cellar, maybe a live in root cellar (to hide in) growing/storing/canning abundant vegetables/fruit to live on, can/storing for the winter and how to store grains, proteins, dehydrate meats ect. How to stay warm and have enought water/medical supplies. A Ham Radio for communication and survival. Then a book about how to Bug Out, what shoes are best to walk all day and withstand the elements, best backpack to buy, how and what to pack, how to clean water, how much you will need per person, how much food, easiest & lightest way to carry. How often to change out when unused. Survival in the elemments, sun, rain, cold, heat, etc. Pictures of posionous snakes, berries, medical remedies for emergencies. Everything you need to know when camping surviving in the wild for long periods of time!

  34. I love your site, but the amount of plugs for other sites, plugs for all the books sales, ads for dehydrated foods, im getting less good news and more ads for stuff for sale. i understand thats your business now, but its just a shame i cant enjoy getting your posts anymore. i’ll come back in 6 months, if there is still so many plugs for everyone else, and all the spam for stuff for people to buy, buy, buy (which can discourage a newbie who cant afford it, and doesnt know they dont have to have it all), it can get discouraging.

  35. Some really good comments so far. I think I like the idea of how to do any of the stuff you need to do on a low budget or for a woman who is alone. Everyone don’t have a big muscled guy around to help with building and making things

  36. I would like to know more about container gardening but I also like the idea one other responder mentioned regarding essential oils. Essential oils are more of a mystery to me than gardening but that doesn’t mean I know very much about gardening especially container gardening.

  37. Wow! Every single thing I’ve read is something I want to learn.
    But I think the thing I want to learn first is how to create my own solar panels for electricity after the grid goes down.

  38. i am a very new prepper would love to win the book: The Prepper’s Pocket Guide: 101 Easy Things You Can Do to Ready Your Home for a Disaster.

  39. I would love to see step-by-step plans of either permanent of moving grills/smokers. We plan on staying where we are and need alternative cooking sources.

  40. I also would love an easy to understand list of Essential Oils, their uses, and any blends you can make at home for your First aid kit.

  41. Wow, lots of great diy projects and info already mentioned. I guess what’s on the top of my list of things I want to learn more about are diy solar everything, diy wind power, diy water filtration/purifying. And doing all this in a small amount of space. We are RVing until we can buy the land we want. Thank you in advance!

  42. Interested in easy ways to do shutters which women can put on and are functional during storms and riots AND which the husbands won’t have a cow about them being there! Seriously interested in doing “double shutters”, a strong one outside (but which might get torn off in a serious situation) and one inside as a double protection for the windows and safety.

  43. I read through all of the comments. I think that I would be most interested in the DIY idea that Ma M submitted:

    Interested in easy ways to do shutters which women can put on and are functional during storms and riots AND which the husbands won’t have a cow about them being there! Seriously interested in doing “double shutters”, a strong one outside (but which might get torn off in a serious situation) and one inside as a double protection for the windows and safety.

  44. What DIY project would you like to see featured on Backdoor Survival? As a healthcare worker, I would like to see more articles on sanitation, prepping for pandemics and how essential oils can help during those times.

  45. I’ve seen websites with massive amounts of military manuals. How about one that gives a huge, comprehensive listing of DIY lessons?

  46. I would like to know what edible fruits and/or vegetables can be grown indoors at home when outdoor gardening is too hot, too cold or perhaps dangerous. Also, how to do it.

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