Skills and Gear for Self Reliance and Homesteading

Doomsday Prepper Review-November 20th 2012


This weeks show did not do much for me at all. I found it lacking much of anything, two more people I am concerned about and a family that was missing parts of the story. As I catch up, I really hope this gets better and we can pull more good info off it.


First up is Big Al. Al’s prep is for Nuclear War. He set up a bug out location in what looked like Colorado, 1,800 miles from his home on 40 acres. Built his shelter into a hill to reduce felt radiation using the earth as a natural filter. Wood heat inside to stay warm and a gas stove for cooking. His stockpile of canned food, 1,500 cans by his own admission and 1,000 gallons of water, enough according to Al for 300 days.He stays at the bunker 3 months out of the year to practice what he has set up and to work out issues now.

There are so many holes in the preps here, I am not sure where to begin.

  • Water. He has 1,000 gallons. 2 gal/day pp would give him 500 days for drinking and cooking. 5 gal/week for bathing=210 gal. So a year is realistic.
  • Food. Canned food has a shelf life and I saw no means of rotation being practiced. There was much less than a year in the inventory. He was talking about eating his bunker stew…3 times a day? Also there is no resupply for food at all, no garden, no nothing. Now I like squirrel, but your going to need more than that.
  • Firewood. He was trying to stockpile wood, did not see enough to get very far and no storage area built.
  • I assume he had firearms as a means of defense. Did not see much about that so I think it needs attention.
  • Community. There was no community or even another person involved in his prepping life. He mentioned going stir crazy in the bunker, he will also feel the isolation without friends, family or community involvement. This is a health benefit for the mind.
  • Making the 1,800 miles to the bunker. That’s a long road when times are turbulent and a bad choice in location. Find something within 4-6 hours at most or bug in.
  • Physical health. This will kill him faster than the radiation would. Start getting in shape, a gym would help and also favor making friends and being part of the community.

Now there are things that I like. I do like the bunker/house in the hill. Temperature will be constant inside there in the 50’s and it does well against bullets. Wood heat source could also be a source for cooking. 40 acres is nice, you don’t have to use all of the acres you have, it also gives you elbow room….So Al needs to make his health a top priority. All of the tasks needed to make this bug out work requires sweat equity first and foremost. Good Luck AL!


Next up is Jason Beacham. Preparing for Economic Collapse. Lives in a rural area with low population (190). Has very little $$ to invest in preps so mostly he scavenges. Mother present but it does not look like there is a father in the picture. Keeps lockers with food and supplies and says he that I have a year of food. The I part does not include his mother. He teaches classmates to survive and prepping skills, has an initiation and if they pass, they get their group colors. Has at least 10 gas masks and a large amount of edge weapons in the house. He does have guns around, which his mother supervises him when he practices with them.

Jason worries me on many levels. If we took prepping out of the picture as a reason for his actions, we would suspect a troubled kid. Runs with other kids and has “colors” for the members. Has a lot of edge weapons, does not include his mother in his lifestyle and takes what he needs. He was taking can foods out of the food his mother buys for them. 10 gas masks, why not one among the assortment of gear? Where is camping gear? A tent or tarp shelter? So many things missing that in my opinion, it changes from prepping gear to assault gear without a balance. Why not include and protect your mother? That one escapes me. Where is the supervision of his mother, not where it needs to be in my opinion.

Nat Geo again, and this time for me exploited a child. This is not a grown man making life choices, it’s a kid for crying out loud. Is there no limit to what Nat Geo will put on the air, I guess not. And all Nat Geo suggests is “he needs radios for communication”, that’s all these assholes have to say, really?


Last up is Braxton Southwick. Utah father of 6, guess he keeps busy…. preparing for Biological Terrorist Attack with Small Pox. Kids are involved and his wife goes along for the ride it seemed. Plans on bugging out to a cabin they have somewhere if things get dicey. Now his wife thinks he is OCD and when it came time for a practice run, bartered her participation for her personal wants. They stockpile food and, enough for all 8 for one year. Pretty much Mormon practice, don’t know if they are Mormon but I happen like lot’s of stuff the Mormons do in support for the family.

In the bug out exercise, they loaded food and water, weapons and personal gear into a trailer, then dressed in contamination suits and masks for the ride out of the “affected area”. Only to be stopped by the Utah National Guard checkpoint (obviously set up by Nat Geo). They were taken from vehicles and checked and decontaminated with a shower and/or isolation.The family members had no idea this was going to happen. Now whether or not they were acting…it does show what a checkpoint would look like. After that it ends without seeing the cabin or rest of the journey. Nat Geo must have run outta tape for the camera.

So my thoughts on this family.

  • Food. Good supply. Not sure if the packaging would stand the test of time or being moved. They should have at least half the food at the bug out location in case of disaster at one place or the other and just less to move. The food also looked like eat what you store and store what you eat which is a good choice for shorter term foods.
  • Water. Looked like they were short in the water by a long shot. Living in a tightly packed burb neighborhood, if water is cut off, they have no second source. figuring 2 gal/day pp x8=16 gal/day for drinking and cooking. That’s almost 6,000 gal/year for the family to drink and cook. Never mind bathing, gardening, animals….
  • Defense. Guns and ammo seemed fine.
  • Communications. Radios in use and fine here.
  • Shelter. House in burbs and cabin cover that. If needed during move, the vehicles may need to serve that function.
  • Contamination Suits and masks. The suits were very cheap and the masks were wrong. They were not M-95 type masks which is the basic level you need.

It’s always tough when the spouse does not participate in the prepping. Money and time is almost always an issue between couples and prepping does take away from the normal day to day life. Common ground and both establishing rules will help. I did like the National Guard Decontamination Station being in the exercise. Whoever set this up, nice! Why don’t we do more of this? The Guard could practice and the General Public could participate or just observe and learn from it. I wish we could have seen more after the checkpoint. I love to see bug out or bug in locations to get an idea of what other did and see if that could be incorporated into our preps as well. This also reinforces my belief that you buy the best gear you can afford, pays off. If your primary concern is Biolological, then by the best suits and masks. Have less but have the best always works and the gear does not fail when you need it.

Best of luck to the Southwicks!


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2 responses on “Doomsday Prepper Review-November 20th 2012

  1. keith simmons says:

    Hi In the episode where the family is at the checkpoint set up by the Utah National Guard the Sgt gave them better suits and masks. Where do I go to get these free items for my family? If I write the Sgt would he send these to me? How much free govt stuff is he allowed to give away each year? just wondering.


    • Vic says:

      I remember the episode. I think that they person on DDP’s was friends with the Guard Troopers. Since the whole thing was staged, they just did that for the camera. The suits they issued them were mil-spec NBC suits. You can find these for purchase but most are made many years ago and may not stand up to current use. Be careful when looking and if possible inspect them first. There is so much garbage out there in all preparedness gear that it amazes me. So yes you can find these but test drive them first and it is buyer beware!

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