Prepper Book Festival 10: Start Prepping!

Avatar Gaye Levy  |  Updated: July 2, 2019
Prepper Book Festival 10: Start Prepping!

With the dawn of the new year less than a week away, many prepper types, both new and experienced, are revisiting their to-do lists and setting some new goals. What better way to start setting those goals than to get out your stack of preparedness books to review for things you missed the first time through?

Of course you can also pick up a new book to gain a all-new perspective on preparedness. That is what I am doing.

Start Prepping Get Prepared For Life | Backdoor Survival

With that introduction, I would like to introduce you to “Start Prepping!!: Get Prepared for Life” by Tim Young. This book is the latest entry in Prepper Book Festival 10: The Best New Books to Help You Prepare and let me tell you, it is a great book!

As Tim states from the get go, this book will teach you that preparedness is about much more
than having stuff. It is about having skills and, most important, embracing the survival mindset.

Something else he does is let us know from the get go that this book is about short term prepping which he defines as one month. I really like that he sets this expectation, and even better, lives up to it with a 10 step plan that includes detailed checkpoints so you can track your progress along the way. This is my kind of book.

In usual book festival fashion, today I share an interview with Tim, plus I have a copy of his book up for grabs in a giveaway.

Enjoy the interview then be sure to check in below to learn about the giveaway.

An Interview with Tim Young Author of Smart Prepping!

Tell me about your book. What is it about?

The book is called Start Prepping!, Get Prepared—For Life!. The title pretty much sums up the aim of the book, which is to encourage people to start prepping.

The subtitle is “A 10-Step Path to Emergency Preparedness So You Can Survive Any Disaster” and the book follows the path in this illustration: The 10-Step Plan to Preparedness.

Prior to dealing with the first priority on the path, water, I devoted a chapter to the 27 personal and societal risks in my order from most likely to least likely. And while EMP is on the list, it isn’t number one—or even in the top 10.

Also, in addition to providing specific guidance for each step on the path, the book includes a number of preparedness challenges to help readers put into practice what they learn, as well as templates for evacuation and communications.

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

Much of the content is second nature to me since I live and embrace what I wrote about, but there were areas I had to research to make sure I conveyed the best advice possible.

In particular, I went to great lengths to vet out information on water purification as it relates to using water from swimming pools, waterbeds and so on. Many preppers champion using calcium hypochlorite for water purification, and I do too. But there are some deadly consequences of mishandling calcium hypochlorite. I cited two examples in the book and just wanted folks to be aware, since I rarely see those dangers mentioned.

There are a lot of books in the market on prepping. Why did you feel another was necessary?

You’re absolutely correct that there are a number of excellent books available on the subject of preparedness. However, thanks to shows like Doomsday Preppers and countless failed predictions/prophecies on the part of extremists, the concept of prepping is not taken seriously by mainstream Americans.

Where I felt there was a need was with a book that reached out to those who have yet to embrace prepping, but to do so without any of the doomsday rhetoric we so often hear in the prepping community. In other words, I didn’t want to scare folks by saying that an EMP, super-volcano or some other event that they’ve never heard of might happen, but rather wanted to show them how preparing was something humans have always done.

To convey that message, a good portion of the book delves into normalcy bias, situational awareness and the survival mindset. The more readers understand the potential devastating impact of likely disasters (job loss, house fire, natural disaster, assault) the more likely they are to take the first step into prepping.

So the message I hope that readers take is that being prepared is as sensible as carrying a spare tire in a vehicle.

Can you tell us a little bit more about yourself?

I’m a recovering corporate type, having spent a good part of my life on an airplane and running businesses. My wife and I bought a run-down 126-acre property about a decade ago and turned it into a grass-based livestock farm and artisan cheese making business.

As time went on we found our passion was in the area of homesteading and self-sufficiency rather than commercial farming, so now we’re living the life we want; rural, isolated and taking care of most of our needs.

Part of living a self-sufficient life is producing your own income, as I described in the book How to Make Money Homesteading, so I generate income through writing. My website is

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

In our case we’re just preparing for life since preparing for a single event is a mistake, in my opinion.

If you can move to the country like we did then prepping is pretty simple—in concept. Most of what we focus on is developing and refining skills rather than storing more stuff. So we grow and make our own soaps, lotions, medicines, meats, dairy, cheeses, veggies…all the stuff we NEED to get by. We have large, stocked ponds, a septic tank, good hunting and plenty of potable water.

However, more people each day live in tightly packed urban areas, so everything I just mentioned isn’t possible for them. That’s the group I wrote Start Prepping! for.

Whether they read my book or one of the other excellent titles available, I’m worried about that group of people and hope they start taking preparedness seriously. When disaster strikes, it’ll be too late.

What would be your first prep-step if you were just getting started?

Well—you caught me. In the last chapter of Start Prepping! I included a 10-Step Quick Start Guide for those who didn’t have the patience to follow all the advice in the book, but had some money to “buy” some preparedness. The list was in priority order so I’ll have to honor what I wrote. Here’s what I said for #1: Water

Now, I’d approach water in two phases. 1) I’d put aside 15 gallons of water per person in my family. That’s enough for two weeks. 2) I’d purchase a portable water filter so that I could purify water from any source in case I had to bug out.

What book or movie, fiction or non-fiction, do you think gives the best portrayal of what could happen?

I’m afraid that I believe both Contagion & CyberStorm are fairly plausible. Contagion is a very entertaining film that we watch regularly, and CyberStorm is an engaging read. Both make me very, very happy that we left the rat race and moved to the country.

Do you have plans for another book?

Of course. I’m taking a break from nonfiction and completing a novel, which will be finished later this fall. The one-sentence summary is: In a digital world where cash is banned and life-support systems depend solely on technology, a mother fights to survive after a weaponized virus crashes the system and reveals society’s thin veneer.

I’m having a great time writing it—but it’s a scary concept.

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

Yes. If you haven’t begun yet, start prepping. Today. If you have already begun, become a big brother or sister and recruit a non-prepper into the world of preparedness.

I describe ways to do that in a non-doomsday manner in the section on prepper groups in Start Prepping! but I’m sure your readers will know the approach that’s best for them.

Let’s take prepping mainstream. After all, no one makes fun when we tell the Boy Scouts to “Be Prepared,” and nor should they.

The Giveaway

Tim has reserved a copy of Start Prepping! for this Book Festival Giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

To enter the giveaway, you need to utilize the Rafflecopter form below. Select one or more of the options after signing in using your email account or Facebook, the choice is yours. The best way to start is by clicking on “Free Entry for Everyone”. After that, each option you select represents an additional entry. There are a number of different options so pick and choose or select them all.

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific next Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article. Please note that the winner must claim their book within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

The Final Word

In reading this book, one of the most important takeaways for me, as an experienced prepper, is that the new generation of prepper books is far more focused on risk analysis and personal goal-setting that the “do this first, then do that” books of four or five years ago. That means that even though a particular book is written for the beginner, it brings value to the seasoned prepper as well.

As an example, in this book the chapter on personal security and survival mindset drills down to the core instincts we must examine and hone in order to survive. Earlier books rarely delved into this topic with much more than a paragraph or two. (Note: Tim also gets into this topic in a later book, The Survival Mindset: Situational Awareness to Avoid Violence & Survive Disasters, coming up in the book festival next month.)

In closing, I encourage you to enter the giveaway to win your own copy of Tim Young’s Start Prepping! Like I said, it is a good one.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider voting for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!

In addition, SUBSCRIBE to email updates and receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-book The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.


Spotlight: START PREPPING!: GET PREPARED-FOR LIFE: A 10-Step Path to Emergency Preparedness So You Can Survive Any Disaster

You don’t like to think about it, but deep down you know it can happen. Disaster can strike without warning, leaving your family without water, food, or electricity, and without medical or police support. How will you survive when that happens? How will you protect your family from threats of violence?

Buying insurance, writing wills, getting our teeth cleaned, and saving for retirement are just a few of the precautions we routinely take to mitigate risks, but most people fail to prepare for what’s most important.

They fail to prepare for their own survival.
With 91% of Americans living in places at a moderate-to-high risk of disasters and with all of us dependent on a very fragile life-support system, it’s time for you to take preparedness seriously.

When you read this book you will

  • understand the 27 disasters you’re likely to face why some people perish when others don’t, and you’ll know how to ensure your family survives.
  • master situational awareness and the survival mindset you need to avoid becoming a victim of violence.
  • know when to stay, when to bug out, and how to implement an evacuation plan.
  • learn the best non-firearm options for self-defense.
  • discover the best ways to generate electricity, store water and food, and handle sanitation and medical care on your own.

description and photo

Plus: The Preppers Guide to Food Storage

No list of books would be complete without my own book, The Prepper’s Guide to Food Storage. The eBook print version is available.

Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!


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50 Responses to “Prepper Book Festival 10: Start Prepping!”

  1. I love the balanced yet deeply informed way you communicate. This book likes it carries a similar style. Thanks for a chance to win a copy.

  2. Having recently moved cross country after retiring, we have been slowly building back the prepped pantry we had. But it is slow going with all we have had to do to ready the property for our habitation. This looks like a good resource for guiding our rebuilding efforts.

  3. The economic situation around 2007-2008 get me moving into the prepping arena. Also, as many have mentioned they experienced, I had a feeling interiorly to prepare, that something was coming that I couldn’t explain.

  4. I first started prepping over 20 years ago because of Hurricane Andrew. Became complacent and now I’m starting over again. Thanks for this website. It has been very helpful.

  5. My mom was a farm girl and always taught me the need to be prepared and know how to take care of myself, it wasn’t until an ice-storm left us without power for 5 days before i realized having food and heat wasn’t enough to take care of my family. It was a rude awakening when I flushed the toilet and it didn’t refill!

  6. Thank you for all the great information you have provided these past years. Your website is what propelled me into the world of prepping and I appreciate all the referrals to other forums and sources.

    A week ago or so you mentioned your break with Emergency Essentials and that there would be some follow up on that issue. I have given them a lot of business and would like to hear more on that.

    • There is an explanation here: // There were other issues but mostly poor customer service and unauthorized credit card charges.

  7. I’ve always felt a compulsion to stock up on food and necessities, so prepping fits right in with my way of life. I’ve found lots of great ideas for it here and on other sites.

  8. I am sure this book will provide new information and ideas I never thought of before and could help me to be even more prerpared.

  9. My 27-yr-old granddaughter lives 150 miles away with her little family. Anything that scares her she tends to ignore so I have to approach prepping carefully. This book might be an excellent gift for her.

  10. In the 70’s I lived in southern California and saw people suffer after an earthquake for lack of the basics of life. I vowed to never be in that condition. In 2003 lost everything in a wildfire, fortunately we had our safety packs (commonly called ‘Bug-Out Bags now) They kept us going until we could start replacing things.

  11. The trigger event for me was some years ago when my hubby lost his job (I was a stay at home mum) and we had three kids to feed. At that time we had very little backup food and supplies so living on a tiny unemployment allowance was very difficult. Once back on our feet, I vowed never to be in that situation again. How people survived in the Great Depression always interested me, especially the ones who knew how to do things, and scarcely realized there was a depression on – my kind of living, one we’ve strayed too far from.

  12. No trigger for me. I came from a rural family that put by and then lived in Florida where hurricanes left us without power. Now I live in tornado country where I could have the same results. Prepping just makes sence for everyone.

  13. With tornadoes, snow storms, floods, and many other natural disasters ever present, why would anyone not have at least a few days of water and food set back? Just seems like common sense to do that at least. Then Once you have a start, why not build on it? I didn’t have a trigger to start preparing, I think it is just a smart move for everyone.

  14. There really was no one event that got me started on this journey, but a combination of several things. 1, I’ve always liked making stuff instead of buying it; 2, the crazy stuff in the news the last few years, everything from “safe spaces” to computer hacking; 3, the desire to take care of my family in the best way that I can. There are other, smaller things, but these are the main ones.

  15. The trigger event for me was the election of this current president and the anti-American things he was doing, and there were many and continue to this day. Plus I started reading Townhall Daily and seeing the ads for prepper sites and I was convinced things were going to get a lot worse before they got better.

  16. I honestly cannot say there was 1 trigger event. It was more of a compilation of being a boy scout, living with grandparents on a farm, being on my own as a teenager, being tired of not having what I needed, and perhaps the best reason, my best friend was a Mormon (sort of) and he and his wife taught me about having something in back up whenever that rainy day came along.

  17. Came across a prepper blog that just made sense – I had been wondering what I would do if my electric went out for more than a few hours.

  18. While I was growing up, I learned to prepare for winter storms by watching my parents prepare for them. This piqued my interest and so when I left home, I began to prepare for other emergencies also.

  19. I lost my home in a California wildfire in the 70’s and because I had a rough idea of what I would take, I managed to get a lot of it in the car before I had to run for it. My neighbors hadn’t thought about it and ended up with only the clothes they were wearing. Some lost their pets because they panicked. Since then I have carried emergency supplies in my car in spite of being laughed at. I am now working on a backpack to carry when I’m not in the driver’s seat. Was on a bus that broke down on a local summer trip and had the wrong shoes, no water or hat with me. Fortunately, we didn’t have to do any walking but it was 2 hours before we were picked up. Sadly, most people I know have only those reuseable grocery bags in their trunk and maybe their bottle of water. Sigh.

  20. Many, many years ago when I became a boy scout (be prepared). Later there was an event that was called Y2K. That should have brought prepping to the fore front to get anyone to prep.

  21. I really don’t talk about it because people get freaked out about things,but it was after my dad died that I started to “prep” in earnest.

  22. About 10 years ago, I slowly began to become aware of the unsustainability of the economic situation in this country. Then after the election of 2008, I realized that the people of America have no idea of what is happening around them, and worse, don’t seem to care. It was then that I knew I had to be prepared to take care of myself and my family.

  23. Getting ready all my life, living overseas had a spare of everything also Boy Scouts was great learning experience, backpacking. Getting the wife and friends interested is hard.

  24. A winter storm that made it impossible to go anywhere for almost a week when I was very young living in Bangor, Maine opened my eyes to the need to have food and water. We melted snow for some of our water needs.

  25. First was an ice storm when I was 13. Lost power for a week and doing homework by candle light is not fun. Years later lost power for 2 days during hurricane Sandy.

  26. My parents knew about lean times and would try to put some supplies back for power outages and low funds. More recently, I have lived in areas where weather can cause power outages lasting weeks at times. It just makes sense to be prepared and I know that I need to do more.

  27. Moving to California several years ago, I realized I needed to get prepared in case of earthquakes. We have had several small ones and they motivate me every time so get ready for the big one. We are way overdue for a major quake soon, I feel, and want to be ready (if that is ever possible!) OK, at least feel more prepared.

  28. My prepping trigger event was Boy Scouts many years ago. “Always Be Prepared”. And now with a family being prepared takes on new meaning and focus.

  29. We talked about it for years but never did anything then the ice storm in the southeast last year and no power for 3 days finally pushed us into actually doing something.

  30. There wasn’t one specific thing that got me started prepping. I lived most of my life in the northeast and it was just something we did. Over the years, I’ve learned more and have expanded my preps and plans.

  31. Even though I’ve been at Prepping for a number of years now, I know that I don’t know everything there is to know. Since I am on a fixed invome, I have to be very careful where I spend my money. It sure would be a great way to start off the year by winning this book & hopefully expanding my knowledge base.

  32. This proxy war with Russia, the incompetence of Obama, and the election of Justin Trudeau (I’m Canadian) and subsequent opening our borders to all these middle eastern “refugees” is what gave me the kick I needed to start prepping more seriously.

  33. I just think with the way things are with the weather and everything else going on now is the time to be prepared. Thanks for all you do.

  34. 2008 was a trigger year for me as far as for deciding on the need to prep because of the political and economic climate, retirement, and Hurricane Ike. All had a major impact!

  35. I Like your site and info better than any other I have seen for your common sense approach to prepping… Thank you, Gaye

  36. I grew up knowing we always needed to be prepared for whatever may come. I have carried that into my adult life and it has come in handy many times. Having food storage has carried us through 2 job losses. There is a great peace of mind that comes with knowing you are prepared to take care of yourself should disaster strike, whether that means you stay at home or you grab your B.O.B.’s or pack the car/truck/trailer and go.

  37. I grew up in an Era of being prepared but lost that as I married and raised children it seemed as though just getting by was all I could do.i am 67 now and so wish I had done all these things earlier than 3 yes ago. Now disabled I am trying to catch up! Soon social security will be defunct and that’s why I got intovptepping

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