Prepper Book Festival: Survive In Style The Prepper’s Guide to Living Comfortably During Disasters

Gaye LevyGaye Levy | Updated Apr 10, 2017 (Orig - Mar 30, 2017)

How many times have you heard me write about surviving in comfort?  In spite of what the doomers might think, this is not an oxymoron.  Instead, surviving in comfort is the cornerstone of what this website is all about.  Couple that with optimism, hope, and a keen interest in self-reliance, and you have a recipe for life.

A number of months back I featured a book by Dan Chiras and as a part of that process, I got to know him a bit.  He generously shared an advance manuscript for his new book, Survive in Style: The Prepper’s Guide to Living Comfortably through Disasters.  In three words, I was hooked.  Survive in Style is a handbook for accomplishing self-sufficiency in the areas of water, energy, food, transportation, economics and just about everything else you can think of.

Survive In Style | Backdoor Survival

The chapters are laid out in a month by month fashion and you know how I love that!  There are a total of sixteen months, which means sixteen jam-packed chapters full of information you can put to practical use.  It is a big fat book with solid information on doing the stuff and doing it right!

With that introduction, I am thrilled to introduce Survive in Style: The Prepper’s Guide to Living Comfortably through Disasters and an all-new interview with Dan. Plus, as always, I have three copies 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 Dan Chiras, Author of Survive In Style

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

I’m all about surviving through total self-sufficiency. I live in the country, which makes it easier to meet all my needs. But individuals in suburban neighborhoods can achieve a great deal of autonomy as well – you’d be amazed at how independently you can live in the midst of modern culture.

Living self-sufficiently means that you need shelter – a home that you can keep warm in the winter, and cool in the summer, even if there’s no source of external power.

You also need a reliable supply of clean, drinkable water – not just stockpiled water, but a sustainable supply of water such as a nearby river or lake or a well with a hand pump or a rooftop rainwater catchment system.

And, of course, you need a reliable supply food for a year or two that come from a garden and home preserving program.

What would you purchase to start on the path of self-sufficiency if you only had $500 to spend?

I’d start with a couple rain barrels, maybe one rain barrel for each downspout on my home. I’d also purchase a reliable, long-lasting water filter, and I’d purchase a device like the SteriPen to purify my water.

Secondly, I’d buy the supplies I need to start a backyard garden, including PVC or metal pipe to make a hoop house to extend the growing season.

I’d also buy the materials I need to can and preserve my food.

If there’s any money left, I’d invest it in caulk, weather stripping, and insulation to seal up the leaks in my home and make my home more comfortable should hard times descend upon us. After that I’d see what I could sell to raise some more money to live self-sufficiently.

And, if there’s still some money left, I’d fix up my bike or buy a used mountain bike for transportation.

Are you totally self-sufficient and hence prepared and, if not, what area concerns you the most?

I think we are pretty well prepared.

What concerns me the most is that we have large flock of ducks and chickens that we couldn’t possibly feed in case of a catastrophic failure. We also have a large herd of cattle. We’re in the process of trimming our poultry and livestock down to a manageable number that we could feed off the land and from our gardens if we are no longer able to buy food from the local feed supply outlet.

We have also not completed our earth-sheltered Chinese greenhouse that will allow us to grow year round, so that concerns me. We do grow in the spring, summer, and fall and have ways to extend the growing season and put food up. And we have a pretty good supply of food in storage, but I’d feel more comfortable if the Chinese greenhouse were completed. It would allow us to grow warm-weather vegetables year-round, if we wanted.

We’re also pretty concerned that others might try to usurp all that we’ve built and developed all these years to live self-sufficiently.

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

My partner in crime of 20 years (Linda) shares my concerns 100%. She’s probably more worried about the state of the world than I am, and that’s saying something.

She shares my desire for total preparedness and has been a big help in achieving total self-sufficiency, especially when it comes to growing and raising food and preserving food. That includes chickens, ducks, cattle, and a garden.

I pretty much handle preparations for energy, transportation, water, and economic self-sufficiency, but she’s 100% behind them, and offers helpful suggestions, no matter how wacky all this may appear to outsiders.

If there was a disruptive event and you had to evacuate, what non-fiction books or reference manuals would you take with you?

I don’t think we’ll ever have to evacuate. I can’t think of a scenario that would lead us to vacate our 60-acre farm. We’re in a remote location that’s pretty easily defensible. We have lots of options for food, shelter, water, energy, and transportation. So, I’m counting on the couple dozen books I have on hand for reference and a life time of experience in self-sufficiency.

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

Achieving self-sufficiency takes a lot of effort, but don’t be dismayed by the length of the path and its many steep inclines. Start small, do a little something every week, and enlist the help of family members. Just never give up.

I’d also suggest that you do what you can to regain your health and fitness, if it has slipped away from you. In hard times, you’re going to need both – and very badly. Start small by eating a healthy diet and getting a little exercise every day. You don’t have to do pushups, just start walking more, lifting more, doing more things with muscle power rather than power tools.

The Giveaway

Dan has reserved three copies of his book in this newest Book Festival Giveaway.

A special word about the giveaway question/comment:  Please read the question and respond accordingly, even it the answer is “I don’t know”.  This week’s question is:

What is the next self-sufficiency project on your bucket list?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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

Note:  Due to customs requirements, this giveaway is only open to individuals with a mailing address in the United States.

The Final Word

In many ways, Survive in Comfort makes an ideal companion to Carla Emery’s Encyclopedia of Country Living.  The difference is Dan’s book is far more detailed in terms of the how-tos in building sustainable systems, with plenty of step by step photos and diagrams to guide you along the way.

Please note that Dan is selling his book directly from his website.  In addition, ifIf you like Dan’s message, you might also want to check out his book Power from the Sun: A Practical Guide to Solar Electricity and his first interview that was featured in Prepper Book Festival #13.

For more information about the books in this latest book festival, visit Prepper Book Festival 14: Books to Learn, Prepare, and Be Ready for Anything.

 

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to email updates.  When you do, you will receive a free, downloadable copy of our e-Book, The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.   Also check the Facebook page regularly for links to free or almost free eBooks that we personally review just for you.

You can also vote for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!

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Spotlight: Survive in Style: The Prepper’s Guide to Living Comfortably through Disasters

Survive in Style is a much-needed book that offers sound advice on achieving total self sufficiency for preppers and homesteaders. Unlike all other guides on self-sufficiency, this book goes into great detail on a variety of essential topics, describing the most important actions you need to take to become totally self-sufficient, things to watch out for, and ways to put these ideas into effect.

You’ll find practical advice on growing and preserving your own food, composting organic materials, recycling humanure and urine, securing a reliable supply of clean water, heating and cooling your home, providing fuel for cooking and heating water, supplying electricity, achieving health self-sufficiency, staying physically fit, providing transportation, and becoming economically self sufficient.

In clear, understandable language, world-renown author Dan Chiras introduces you to the smartest and most cost-effective ways to survive in comfort. The book represents a practical course of action in the form of a sixteen step plan, and is the book that you need to set yourself on a path of total preparedness.

Bargain Bin: For your convenience, here is a complete list of all of the books in the Backdoor Survival Prepper Book Festival #14.

Non-Fiction Books

Off Grid and Free: My Path to the Wilderness
Watch Your Back: How to Avoid the Most Dangerous Moments in Daily Life
The Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy, Revised and Expanded
Survive in Style: The Prepper’s Guide to Living Comfortably through Disasters
Centerfire Rifles: A Buyer’s and Shooter’s Guide: Special AR-15 Section Included
The Prepper’s Canning Guide: Affordably Stockpile a Lifesaving Supply of Nutritious, Delicious, Shelf-Stable Foods
Life on a Mountain Farm
SmartMom’s Guide to Essential Oils: Natural Solutions for a Healthy Family, Toxin-Free Home, and Happier You

Survival Fiction

Brushfire Plague Retribution
EMPulse
Alone: Beth Ann’s Story of Survival
Without – A Survivalist Novel

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Updated Apr 10, 2017
Published Mar 30, 2017

98 Responses to “Prepper Book Festival: Survive In Style The Prepper’s Guide to Living Comfortably During Disasters”

  1. Generator.

    Reply
  2. Saving for a sun oven.

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  3. I too want a generator and a sun oven. Maybe above that – move out of the city and onto some land in the country.

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  4. My next task on my self-sufficiency/prep to-do list is to get my ham radio license. In case of a SHTF event, I want to be able to communicate with others.

    Reply
  5. The next project is expanding the garden area. We just had an section of large trees removed that were blocking the sun, so now we’ll be able to grow more summer vegetables.

    Reply
  6. Rainwater catchment… I live in the desert

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    • I have an article coming up next week on rainwater catchment. It will most like like post on Monday.

  7. I’m upping my food supply with additional berry and fruit trees this year.

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  8. I’d like to expand the garden this year and take some edible foraging classes over the summer.

    Reply
  9. Buy (2) bikes, ride for exercise and outfit them in order to bug-out if needed.

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  10. survival tent

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  11. Great article! Our next step is to begin again! A year of illnesses has depleted our stock of home canned foods and a lot of the dried. Thankfully, it was there. This has been a different kind of emergency.
    So next will be prepare for a garden, visit local farmers and get back to healthy lifestyle. Now I am going to look up the Chinese earth greenhouse. Sounds interesting.

    Reply
  12. My next project is to add 3 more apple trees to my mini-orchard.

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  13. To learn more about raising chickens. I plan on being a homesteader even if the SHTF never happens. To be able to care for you family and not worry about power or how to get your next meal if very important to me. I hope to pass on the skills as well. Unfortunatly the over use of electronics and the convience that we have today has made ppl careless, and so many skills are lost. That book sounds amazing.

    Reply
    • It is amazing! Just so you know, Dan will be contributing some articles and sharing his wisdom with Backdoor Survival readers going forward.

  14. Question: What is the next self-sufficiency project on your bucket list?

    Answer: Need to add some more water to my storage

    Reply
  15. I am starting a garden.

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  16. Dan Chiras is a prolific writer on all sorts of ecological and natural building projects and I’ve got a lot of respect for him and his work. Good interview! We are urban homesteaders now, gardening on much of our 1/4 acre lot. What next? Expanding the garden and getting organized in terms of a prepping notebook.

    Reply
  17. Learning to pressure can.

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  18. Learn to cook with a sun oven

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  19. Just got a pressure canner. Want to expand my food preservation skills beyond dehydrating.

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  20. The one thing that caught my eye was the Earth-Sheltered Chinese Green House. Must investigate that one. Like this gentleman, we are progressing to scale down. From a herd of 56 cows to 2 or 3. Comprised of 1 or 2 for beef and 1 to milk for drinking and cheese making. We have chickens and are seriously thinking of adding ducks. Ducks because they normally lay 365 days a year, chickens vacation during the winter months and production suffers. That being said the Green-House peaked my curiosity. Hoop houses we have tried and not very successfully. We live in mountainous region and surrounded on three sides. The cross winds did us in. I will start researching said green house today. Thanks for the article. Gaye, you never let us down.

    Reply
  21. I need to work on a ham radio license.

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  22. My next project is to execute a plan to produce as much food as possible on our suburban lot.

    Reply
  23. Amassing the rest of the materials needed to convert one of my buildings to a walk in cold storage unit.

    Reply
  24. Do more pressure canning

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  25. Got to get a garden started this year even if it’s a small one. Also building bigger and better housing for my chickens, ducks and rabbits. I’m trying to get breeds that will hatch and raise their babies so I don’t have to depend on an incubator and brooder.

    Reply
  26. Solar is my next biggest item on my bucket list.

    Reply
  27. Expanding my garden and fruit production as well as a rain catchment system

    Reply
  28. My next learning adventure I hope will be in extending our growing season to get even more out of our garden.

    Reply
  29. Still trying to figure out how to keep rodents and such out of what we try to plant.

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  30. Outdoor kitchen

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  31. Solar panels, nothing big just enough to charge batteries. Hurricane season starts soon.

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  32. Gravity water to home using solar

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  33. Putting together the tools/equipment for doing laundry off grid. Learning to pressure can.

    Reply
  34. finish the fence around the garden to keep critters out, solar panels on the barn and shed, turn an old bike into a people powered generator to recharge batteries.

    Reply
  35. I’ve started it this spring. Rejuvenate my garden (clear some trees for more sunlight + cut and split for firewood) , MORE COMPOST, prune the fruit trees, re-roof the chicken coop, but most importantly, get the rain barrels set up and interlinked.

    Reply
  36. I would like to finally use my dehydrator and dehydrate meat and fruits. Also I would like to become less reliant on everyday conveniences. That way I will be less shocked when SHTF.

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  37. Build a greenhouse.

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  38. Get needed dental work and lasik for eyes. Need to get myself whole again.

    Reply
  39. Be consistent in keeping my sourdough starter alive. Taking the test for a ham radio license April 8th.

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  40. Gardening. Hopefully the heat of Phoenix will not kill everything (don’t hold your breath).

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  41. I have to get to work on sanitation

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  42. Learning how to use my small dehydrator.

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  43. I need to start a garden. then hopefully dry and can my produce

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  44. Plant some fruit trees. Miniature or dwarf ones that will stay small.

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  45. Obtain a better water filter system for my bug out location…

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  46. Starting a garden and learning more about using herbs and wild plants for food and medicine.

    Reply
  47. Plant a bigger garden this year and learn how to can some of the produce for long term storage.

    Reply
  48. Ok Ms. Levy,

    Even though I haven’t received and read “Without” I’m ready for some non-fiction. Along with something to work towards. Again thanks for all the information you have and share with the readers.

    Reply
    • I just sent the info to the author if WITHOUT yesterday

  49. I need to improve my gardening skills. I’ve been lax about growing food. I have the space – just need to get at it.

    Reply
  50. I’m continuing to grow my garden in size and variety.

    Reply
  51. Solar panels for backup electricity

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  52. Setting up our Berkey water filter system.

    Reply
  53. Hope to be back in my home soon. Lost almost everything in August 2016 Louisiana flood. Get the greenhouse up and running again, then start building up my food preps again.

    Reply
  54. I love this website

    Reply
  55. My next to-do is to update my go-bag, as it’s been a couple years.

    Reply
  56. I need to get my new radio set up where I can listen to the local repeater, so that I will hear any news in case of an emergency.

    Reply
  57. Raised garden beds.

    Reply
  58. I.find.that.I,have.many,holes,in,my.preps…I.need.to,work,on.that.

    Reply
  59. Our next big project is having a shed built to house the rider, mower, garden tools,etc. We are relocating the laundry to the garage where that stuff was stored from the basement and I will be using that space to reorganize and store our preps. We have a landscaping company coming to help us get our lot back under control. Last couple of years due to family “emergencies”, we haven’t been able to keep up the grounds or plant a food garden as well as we had been doing in the past. DH has been mowing and taking care of the lawn but the garden hasn’t been planted in a couple of years due to me working and his trips to help out our son. I have “retired” from working outside the house and have been steadily working on re organizing things here.
    I DO have some good news, while we were down seeing our grand kids, dad had them for spring break, their baby sister was born. DIL has a bit of a heart condition, not too serious, and as she was only a week away from due date her doctor decided to induce that Saturday as her BP was going out of wack. Big brother and sister were ecstatic as their mother (the ex) let them stay a couple of days longer so they could meet and greet their new baby sister.

    Reply
  60. would like to win book

    Reply
  61. I am watching the real estate market for land. We want to find a place outside of the city we can move to later on, but for now, it would be nice to get it cleared and be able to prepare a homestead site.

    Reply
  62. My next project is to redo our garden and plant more self sustaining plants.

    Reply
  63. First go through all the the stuff I have canned, get rid of the old, then rotate. ( to get ready for this year)
    Then I need to stock up on my dry pantry: flour, sugar,salt , salt for canning, rolled oats. Third stock up on seeds.

    Reply
  64. I am interested in getting finances in shape and purchase a tent.

    Reply
  65. Projects for this year. Dryer and gardening.

    Reply
  66. Pay off debt.

    Reply
  67. Saving for more Goal Zero products including the large generator

    Reply
  68. I want to make more Go Bag items to store in different places. I need to organize more items from samples I receive instead of just storing them. A toiletry kit, sewing kit, adding to my first aid kit–they all need attention. Organizing my extra stock of items into usable kits would be a good upcoming project.

    Reply
  69. Starting our garden, stockpiling additional food items

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  70. Water Storage

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  71. Plumbing the neighboring creek into my mountain cabin!

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  72. Building a greenhouse

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  73. My next project I want to start is raising rabbits and learning how to butcher them (or find someone else who will butcher them).

    Reply
  74. Learn to use the Sun Oven and essential oils.

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  75. More fruit trees.

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  76. My next new skill goal is to learn more about herbs and oils and how to use them. I am gathering info at the moment and trying to learn what i need to start with.

    Reply
  77. I want to start is raising rabbits – learn how to butcher them

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  78. Planting 8 fruit trees

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  79. Adding hand pump to well

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  80. My next project is getting the garden going again this year, adding a few new this year. Thank you for the chance.

    Reply
  81. Moving out of city limits (house-hunting now!) and putting in a big garden at my new home. Also, just in case the garden doesn’t go in for a timely harvest this year, planning on shopping at local farmers markets regularly so I can buy quality produce to home can.

    Reply
  82. If I don’t win it I think I’ll buy it. I can certainly suck it up and live a stripped down life if I have to but don’t really want to. I’m still learning how to use oils medicinally but also how to make necessities like shampoo, moisturizer, toothpaste, etc. But big project now is building raised beds for my garden this year.

    Reply
  83. Figure out how to seal the house better to retain heat better.

    Thank you very much for this giveaway. The book sounds very helpful!

    Reply
  84. I need to pick one; rabbits, ducks, chickens…

    Reply
    • Also check out guinnie fowl… balance is the key…

  85. A bigger, better rainwater catchment system and a greenhouse.

    Reply
  86. searching out more how-to hard copy books

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  87. Expand the garden (in process), and add a solar and hand-pump option to the well.

    Reply
  88. Rebuilding our stores. We took a hit a few years back when I lost my job, and thankfully had ‘stuff’ stored that really helped us through. I did find a job, but at a much lower pay. So we are working slowly but surely to build those stores back up. And of course, working on the garden!

    Reply
  89. Getting my garden back up to par.

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  90. More children’s games and entertainment….

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  91. Not sure if this is considered a prepper thing, but we’re planning to build an outdoor clay oven this summer to bake bread and pizza mainly.

    Reply
  92. I have allowed my stockpile to get out of control because I went back to work. Cans are piled up everywhere, water has been used and not replaced, the area is a mess. So my summer project is to get it back in order, inventory everything, and replenish what’s needed.

    Reply
  93. Start an indoor sprouting garden. I also need to find a place to live.

    Reply
  94. I don’t know

    Reply

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