Skills and Gear for Self Reliance and Homesteading

Doomsday Prepper BUGGED OUT Review – February 26, 2013


This weeks show was a rehash of preppers in earlier episodes. But I don’t think I covered them and so here goes!

First up is Johnny O, his wife Lara, two kids and her sister Marisa. Johnny is prepping for the meltdown of one or several nuclear power plants that are 150 miles upwind of his location. The closest plant to his Pennsylvania local is 69 miles, mighty close. He is of course concerned with the radiation and fallout but the mess that follows. The civil unrest and panic caused by folks who are not prepared and have to get out of the “Zone” and provide for themselves and their families.  Johnny mentions that he is not obsessed with prepping but is obsessed with living. Believing in redundancy for everything from defense, communications to bugging out. Johnny O

Johnny has worked at training the entire family with bows, guns and edge weapons so that they can help defend when and if needed. Johnny will sneak into and around the house to test the “girls” awareness skills. Now both Lara and her sister were raised in the outdoors so they are familiar being outside a normal comfort zone, no toilet, no problem! The addition of Marisa takes redundancy to another level. Although this makes me a little uncomfortable, I fully understand it. It’s also nothing new, the sister redundancy has been done for generations when it became necessary and Johnny just put it out there for us to think about again.

Johnny has gardens to replenish food supply’s and some water stored in gallon jugs, hot tub and rainwater catches. His plan for meat is to hunt the game around them. Stored food appeared to be in one small closet but we don’t always see everything. When it comes to bugging out, he has at least one plan for that that we saw, downriver. The 65lb rowboat could be carried or transported to the river near the house and launched. According to the screen message during the program, Johnny has several bug out locations. Once on the river and covered with camouflage, they would drift to their new location.

They have a set of signals at the house and via phone text that alert the family to trouble and the need to ditty-out. These signals are not perceptible to anyone but their family even as you walk up to the house. There is at least one set location to meet and that has overwatch until they are reunited.

The Good and The Bad;

The Good;

  • Garden to provide food.
  • Training with multiple defense platforms.
  • Water Storage.
  • Hunting for meat.
  • Family support.
  • Evacuation plan.
  • Communications.

The Bad;

  • More food stored.
  • Bug Out bags with all family members, not stored at house.

I think that Johnny has a reasonable approach to prepping. Part of what is being done now improves their lives today and not just tomorrow or IF the event ever takes place. Boat to do some fishing, another skill that can be honed. The “Experts-Practical Preppers”, wanted them to have night vision gear and practice night operations. Good grief. Decent NOD gear is very, very expensive and takes getting used to. Also, I don’t think the gals are up for night ops, some people such as my wife are not and that’s fine. Do what you can well and provide other means to shore up what does not work. Add passive items for motion detection on the property and then practice reacting to that is one way.

In short, I like what Johnny is doing. What does concern me, as I am also a hunter is the availability of game when the SHTF. Game can be illusive enough during normal times but if you increase the pressure on them, what then? I think having some animals that could fill that gap if needed, might be a plan “C”? I also hope and it’s just that, hope that the bug-out locations are fixed and stocked with supply’s. There is only so much you can carry in a rowboat. I kinda think he has it covered!

Next up are Wilma and Gary Bryant, their daughter, son and grandbaby. They are preparing for a series of F5 Tornadoes that they feel will hit the central US, leaving everything above ground destroyed and end the world. They have 24 acres in southern Missouri. They have a total of 78 animals on the property that provide eggs and milk, they are not there for slaughter unless absolutely necessary. Their home has no running water, they go to the creek to get all of their water, this means the animals as well. Their 6 month Food storage was both cans and items in canning jars, but of a different angle, they are all diabetic oriented. Food is critical to their health so proteins are good and carbs are bad! Both Wilma and Heather are diabetic and require insulin in order to live. Wilma BryantThey have managed to get a 6 month supply of insulin so that matches their stored foods.

They farm a ton of food and have extensive gardens. Corn and leafy crops were everywhere and appeared to supply most of their food needs and took care of the animals.  Their main plan is to create an underground “ARK” that will house themselves and their animals when the tornadoes hit. They hired a crew to come in and loosen the ground up with explosives, did a great job of that. Then they began to hand dig the hole for the bunker, no equipment was seen. The bunker planned is 640 square feet….kinda small.

One of the things that Wilma had to do is kill a chicken for food. Since they don’t want to use the animals for food, they know that at some point that may have to. So they have her do a “Humane” kill on a chicken. They nail the chickens head to a stump and then chop it’s head off with a hatchet….hmmmm.

The Good and the Bad;

The Good;

  • Their gardens for food production were outstanding.
  • The use of animals for eggs and milk and meat if needed is outstanding.
  • The amount of work needed both of these is huge and they get it done.

The Bad;

  • A 640 square foot bunker is smaller than my garage/workshop. Noah had about 32,000 square feet.
  • Water in your house would beat a bunker in the ground.
  • They need to learn how to kill animals “Humanely”.
  • Their plan of total, continual destruction above ground means they live in the bunker forever. NOT
  • There is no security.
  • No communications.
  • No water storage.

My final thoughts are just the ridiculous size of the bunker, the bunker would house all of their food, water, animals, themselves and all their worldly goods, are you kidding me? If you take 78 animals and 4 humans and divide by the square footage, you end up with less than 8 square feet each. That’s a 4′ by 4′ square, think about it. So if the surface is continually hit by tornadoes, do you live in the bunker for ever or until the insulin runs out? If you are dependent on a drug to stay alive, you have a difficult row to hoe. Whether it’s heart medications, insulin or another modern drug that keeps you above ground, it’s one more difficult area of prepping. And please learn to kill animals humanely. Chickens should be killed in a “killing cone”. It’s the most humane way to dispatch one and used by most small chicken farms that care about the end process.

I think that your preps should make your life better now and help you when times get tough. Let’s put water in the house and store water before digging a hole in the ground, lets build a root cellar for the food. Improve what you have now, unless you plan on abandoning your current digs, improve those first.Prepping can be difficult and create issues within a family. Some want to prep and other don’t and there will be different priorities as well. With this family, we see divorce. Sometimes prepping takes a toll it should not, we need to remain grounded as to what’s important, family!

Last up are Robert Earl and his wife Debbie. They are preparing for the sea level rise effects due to the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet. They were in Florida living the care free life of retirement when they decided to get prepared for this event. They moved to the high plains of Alpine Texas, high enough that the effects will never reach them. At least the water would not, the aftermath might. They are living in a travel trailer under an awning, building their home out of cat litter boxes and bottles using adobe for mortar.Robert Earl

They have no well on the property and need to obtain water from “Tenajas”, a natural cistern that holds water, used by native Americans for all their water use. Using a 4,000 gallon tank next to their trailer, they take a 160 gallon tank in the pickup truck bed and go to the Tenaja, pump the tank full and return to the larger tank. So to fill that large tank, takes 25 full trips in the truck.

They garden for most of their food and appeared to have no animals. The gardens are being fertilized by…yep…crap and urine. So they have installed a PVC system in the ground that they pour the human solution into the pipe from a bucket. The piping distributes the solution to the plants. Robert claims it’s a great way to take care of plants.

To provide protein to the diet, they have “Cat”, a local gal that teaches Robert how to hunt, kill and eat rattlesnake, a generously provided product of Texas. Now he is scared of snakes and he pushes through and gets the snakes and has a BBQ!  He points out that a snake bite out here could be the end, there is no medical facilities nearby and no phones or communications. There are other like minded folks in the area that are living out there and they run drills (ambushes) on each other when they can. They seem to think this helps them be more prepared.

The Good and The Bad;

The Good;

  • These folks have some tenacity that I would like to see more of.
  • Their attitudes will take them a long way.
  • Growing food
  • Harvesting food

The Bad;

  • Water is a huge issue, they have no well and rely on the Tenaja.
  • Food storage is weak at best.
  • Perimeter defense, if there are bad people out there as they say, they need much more
  • Animals to provide fertilizer and protein.
  • Building materials are interesting. Exposed as they are in the open, the elements could destroy their structure. Texas has more tornadoes than any other state. I think more structural work needs to be used in the house.
  • Communications. Get a Ham license or use some way to communicate for help and to other residents to form a community.

The “Practical Preppers” mentioned that their supply of water was inadequate, duh. They also mentioned to bury the conex container and use it as a safe room in case they are attacked, what a bunch of idiots. I cannot believe these guys can say shit like this. How bout getting communications or getting the residents together into a community for example? A safe room? If they get “hit” by someone, they will come at night while they are asleep in the trailer. No chance to get to the safe room. Get real and help these people improve their basic living which also help their preps. They are not planning on a bug out location, they are there! If they improve their current lifestyle, they improve their preps, win-win.



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