Skills and Gear for Self Reliance and Homesteading

Doomsday Prepper Review – January 1, 2013


Finally catching up with past shows. This was the first of 2013 and since the last show, which I though was a mess, this one has some redeeming qualities. So let’s jump in.

First up is Bryan Smith, works doing something, not sure what that is. Prepping for Total Collapse of the US Monetary System. He was proud that he was raised to depend on nobody, not the government, neighbors, friends and family, nobody! Hmmmm. Raised in Florida and purchased a bug out location, 47 acres for $250k. Has a year of food put away, mostly rice and beans. His plan is to produce items such as tobacco, ammunition and alcohol to set up a “Trading Post” and trade for what he needs.

Trading Post

He has set up a still in his house “which legally requires a license to produce fuel from the ATF, a distillery license if producing for consumption. He modified a generator to run on the alcohol and wants to use the mineral oil in old outdoor transformers to fuel his diesel tractor. He spent $100k to set up an impressive loading area for ammo with Dillon Presses, several of them set up for different calibers.

Now besides all he is doing, he wanted an underground bunker. So he got Atlas Survival Shelters in LA to build him one and then truck in to FLA. 500sq ft place with recliners and a big screen. These guys argued like they were married, holy cow! Now it appear that Bryan is a front man for the company and helps sell shelters as well.

In watching Bryan, I was impressed and annoyed. Here’s the good and the bad.


  • Had a supply of food stored albeit rice and beans.
  • Ammo production was nice to say the least.
  • Property is large and has potential.
  • Trading Post is a great idea.
  • Good underground water supply.
  • Growing Tobacco and Sugar Cane

The BAD:

  • No current food production.
  • No direct water storage.
  • Oil in transformers contain PCB’s and are highly toxic.
  • Mineral Oil in tractor is not a good idea.
  • A trading post owner must have people skills.
  • No security or defense in place.

So my opinion’s on Bryans preps are mixed. His food storage, ammo production and “Idea” of a Trading Post are all great ideas and good prepping principles. When I heard him say he was raised to trust nobody, even family that stunned me. In a survival situation, IF you want to be the lone wolf and trust nobody, you are doomed to failure. If you are going to trade with people, you have to have a level of trust just to let them on your property. Business is done by people that has basic respect and trust of each other. Now I don’t mean show em the gun safe but when they walk on your property, they see all. Now he does no food farming, this is a problem for any prepper. Remember you eat every day, you don’t shoot somebody every day. Follow the basic rules for prepping,  prep like you use it, first in first out, eat what you store and store what you eat. For a long term recovery you have to produce new, that means food, energy and community.


There seemed to be no defense or security on the property other than what came with the bunker. So you can run to the bunker and sit there and watch everything on the surface get raided. The last stand has been created before the first line of defense, this is a problem. Now the oil in transformers. This is just stupid. In my 30+ years in the Electrical Industry, the oil in transformers has been the bane of them. Utility linemen used to open the top of the transformers and reach into the oil to change the tap settings for the outputs. They stopped when they started dying. PCB’s are in the mineral oil and is not a “possible” source of health problems, it is PROVEN to be that. Now they were covered in contaminated oil, not very bright guys. I think Bryan needs to rethink himself and what he needs to do personally to balance his preps and people to strengthen all aspects.

Next up is Christine H. Christine is a mighty storm that does not seem to have and end in sight. She seemed to have a list for everything, I liked that a lot. She know exactly what she has on hand and where it is. She is preparing for a Mega-Tsunami that starts with a volcanic eruption in the Canary Islands. She is located in Virginia Beach, Virginia. Being at the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay, so having a tsunami hit the coast, would run right up the river. She figured from the eruption to the Tsunami would be 7 hours. So she has a combination of food in cans and food she has canned and I guessed at a few months total. Water was in the 4 gallon jugs that you might fill up at the grocery store or put on top of the water cooler. Her plan was to load 3 months of supplies in a trailer they have and evac the area before the Tsunami gets there.

Her alternate plan if the highways were clogged was to go to a river near there house and blow up the rafts they have. Then put all of the gear, family, dogs and everything else for 3 months in the raft and row away. So she hires an “Eco Tour Guide” to access their raft usage, they didn’t make it away from the docks. She fell in the water and then….she wanted to rethink this exodus.

Now there is so much wrong here, let’s look at the good and the bad.


  • Love the organization. Lists and shelving creates and quick and easy way to see where you are.
  • Canning, great skillset.
  • Has an bug out plan, although it has issues.
  • Getting neighbors and family involved.

The BAD:

  • Stop barking orders and running over people. Hitler did not fare well.
  • Water storage was so minimal, they needed at least 10 gallons per day/per person.
  • No food production. Replace and supplement with your stores.
  • Give the rafts to the boy scouts and do what is practical.
  • Increase food storage.
  • Implement security and defense of your current location.
  • She has more time than she thinks on a volcano erruption.

I have to start my critic by saying she is a tyrant, where is her husband? I would not put up with this for 5 min. If I did this, my wife would ask that the hell was wrong with me…and sternly I might ad. This has to be a family, not a military team with one supreme leader….holy cow. I will say one positive thing I saw about her attitude, when the rafts failed, I saw some humility, so there is a chance. Now…as a team, start a garden and store more water in containers. She was getting her family and neighbors involved and she should continue that, with a team approach. I did not see a defense system or security in place where they live or during any movement, this needs to be addressed.

The raft thing was a mess. I cannot figure out why you trade a means of mobility at 60mph with many roads to choose from to a raft going 1.3mph on one road that you can marginally steer on. Makes no sense, open sea I could understand, space is everything when it comes to security and safety. And why get some tour guide to show you how to do this? Kids are going to be marginally useful in a conflict, we the parents and grandparents will be that wall between violence and safety so don’t expect them to do an adults job. When you have small kids, you are enjoined to remain in place, to bug in. When you have the community working together or with common help, you can stand up to a lot.

Now as to time to flee. A volcano generally takes weeks to erupt and in this day and age, everything like this has immediate coverage. With respect with time to flee, she would have days notice not hours. Evac could be early given a set of events that you would establish and put in place. If this is a huge concern, get a bug out location or establish caches in areas to future use. So she would not have to leave all the preps behind. In short, the family has to become one with respect to prepping as well as all things. She has to share control with her husband and he needs to grow some balls. If the kids are crying during an exercise, what happens when it’s real?





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