Skills and Gear for Self Reliance and Homesteading

Doomsday Preppers July 31, 2014

7 August 2014 / Category: Doomsday Preppers, Reviews, Skills  2 comments

Our weekly review of the show along with the Good that we can learn from, the Bad and the downright Ugly parts of these shows!
7/31/2014 Show Episode 54

First up we have Patrick Troy, wife Patricia and son Dominic.

Patrick preps because, in his words, “I am a Dad”. Well that’s a pretty good reason right there. Patrick feels that there will be social unrest that will be followed by a total collapse of society including the rule of law and feels that eventually it will get to them in Rural Virginia. They have stored 10 months of food in their basement and they have a private well for water. With all of that they plan to bug in.

Patrick Troy

Patrick is a firearms instructor and has assembled a small group that he trains on self defense pistol. Using sound, smoke and other distractions he trains defensive pistol for the group in realistic confrontations. They train with live ammo on multiple targets that make is both confusing and distracting. The idea is to keep your focus and thereby complete what you have to.

firework fountain

His main exterior defense is a fireworks and sound system that works in stages. First sound blasted out to scare them off and then smoke bombs and road flares are set off. The last line are the firework fountains. In total, there are 24 road flares, 8 smoke bombs and 34 firework fountains. All of this is from a suitcase that contains the switches he calls “The Box” that is similar to a commercial firework controller. His opinion is that this “Defensive Firewall” with it’s 3 tiered system with the third, the firework fountains is the same as a flashbang used by police departments. All of these items are set in trays on the front yard.

The GOOD and the BAD:

The GOOD:

  • Well for water
  • 10 months of food stored
  • Weapons and ammunition
  • A group to train with
  • Mostly brick house

The BAD:

  • Just the well and no water stored
  • Growing food of any kind was not there
  • Fireworks for defense is not a defense
  • Energy production or backup supply
  • And really, crying on TV cause your a dad and your a prepper? Grow up.

LESSONS LEARNED:

  • If you look at perimeter defense, a fireworks show is not an answer. I could see the marauders, bringing lawn chairs so they could watch the show and once it’s finished, so are you. I mean if you really think any of this is going to stop anyone, your sadly mistaken. And comparing a fireworks fountain to a flashbang is just ridiculous.
  • The location was noted as rural. When you have houses right next to each other, this is not rural it’s the suburbs. Rural means you drive to your neighbors or ride your quad, not walk across the beautiful lawn with no fence whatsoever.
  • You have to look at energy production. If you are in your home and bugging in, you better be able to make power rather than just use it. Solar panels, batteries with inverters, ya gotta do something.

The SCORE:
I cannot for the life of me figure out how they score anything, it’s just ridiculous.

  • Food 12.  Growing and canning food. I think this is a basic prep along with maybe animals makes a higher score. Just storage to me never gets above a 10.
  • Water 15. A well does not make a 15. I think a well makes 10 and storage makes up a higher score. Storage and I did not see the well but I assume it’s outside and needs power. Bad guys cut your power and then what?
  • Shelter 13. Shelter for me has to have a security component. It has to keep the occupant the ability to be safe, warm and dry. It also has to be able to hold attackers at bay, even for a short term and provide cover and well as concealment. I think a 10 with more work would have been more appropriate.
  • Security 18. I assume they like fireworks and the score is cause it’s pretty. I think more like a 9 due to his firearms work. After that, let’s get some fencing and maybe look at securing windows.
  • X Factor 13. So they gave him these for making the box and the fireworks show. You must be kidding.
  • 12 months survival time. If they have to put on the fireworks display, I think not.

Next up is Nick Klein and his wife in Arizona.

Living in their suburban home in Arizona they are preparing for an economic collapse caused by other countries from hyperinflation.  Nick had a new job, bought a house, cars and the such and entered the debt based society. And then…..he got fired, welcome to reality. So after that he knew he had to do things differently, that would certainly turn someone’s light bulb on. He decided to prep and it appears that rabbits became the basis of that. He has over 30 rabbits and they provide food and fuel for the family.

rabbits in cages

According to Nick, rabbits are the ULTIMATE food and are cost efficient compared to other animals as meat sources. Part of the cost savings is making his own Fodder for them. Fodder is a green product sprouted from a variety of plants, usually beans or grains. It is a good source to add to the diet of many animals as well. Nick figures that with the number of rabbits he has, he can sustain a good population for everyday eating.

The other benefit of rabbit is the waste. Rabbit is high in nitrogen and can be put on crops immediately without burning the plants. It also can ferment into gas, which can be used for a variety of things. So they use the rabbit for food with I would guess the most creative cookbook in history, ya gotta make it different somehow! The waste is used on food plants they grow which is garden ready when dropped. Now the methane can and is being used as a weapon. Rabbit crap weaponry. You process the pellets in your blender, well we won’t use that blender for the margaritas! Making a fine powder and doing a few more things you get it fermented and then build a flamethrower. Flame can extend 3′ to 30′. Nick finds this a great equalizer on the bad guys.

rabbit flamethrower

The GOOD and the BAD:

The GOOD:

  • They have a small food garden
  • The do own firearms
  • Have a little food stored

The BAD:

  • Rabbits as an only source of meat
  • Live in the suburbs
  • No water storage
  • Not enough food storage
  • Flamethrower

LESSONS LEARNED:

  • Rabbits are fine for meat but you have to balance that with a good diet. Fat is something that rabbits don’t have and you need to supplement that in other ways, which can be done without a problem. I did raise rabbits at one time and I know they need maintenance especially when it’s hot. Heat is the biggest issue with rabbits and I would like to know more on how he is dealing with that issue.
  • Flamethrower. Really? The producers must have fell all over themselves to get some guy with a rabbit shit flamethrower. Nick calls it the ultimate defense, it’s more like the ultimate mistake. By the time you get that thing out, gas on, light it and prepare to use it, somebody gonna shoot you dead. And your flamethrower shoots 30′, whats the range on a rifle these day? Nuff said
  • In hot climates especially, water is #1 and the number 2 is water and the number 3 is, WATER. Those rabbits need lots of water but where is the storage. If your on city water, you are at somebody’s whim if you get service. Under city or county service of water you generally aren’t allowed a well so you need to store water like a big dog!
  • A prepper needs to be an all around prepper. Not just beans bullets and band-aids.
  • Parts of the suburbs of Arizona are tightly spaced houses in very large tracks. I would not try and survive there, bugging out would be my move.

The SCORE:

  • Water 16.  Not sure where they get this number. Where is the stored water, water collection and short term plan? In the desert,    they get big time rains and lot of folks have cisterns to hold it.
  • Shelter 9. I thought this was low. A good tent is a 9.
  • Food 14. With the rabbits and small garden, this sounds about right.
  • Security 7. I think this is fair, they need much more security and I hope this does not come from the flamethrower.
  • Energy      They don’t seem to make this one of the Base 5 items. When the blackout comes, who ya gonna call? You got a great place for solar, even on a small scale would give them something.
  • Xfactor 9. Fodder is what they used as the Xfactor. To me fodder goes with food and an “X Factor” is their new gimmick.
  • 6 months survival time. I think more than that if they get water stored and security handled.

Last up is Keith Ford and his new wife Amanda of a year.

Keith left his family and friends in Alabama 5 years ago and moved to what he describes as a remote location in Missouri. He is preparing for the 2nd Civil War in this country. He lives 17 miles from town and totally off grid. He has no power, water or gas, and no utility bills. Amanda described life they lead as “camping all the time”. Along with the small cabin they have is a solar panel that generates 240 watts. This provides some charging for the batteries, the rest of the power comes from the truck which he runs each day to finish charging the batteries.

Keith Ford

Water is all rain water collection, there is no well or spring. He has set up multiple 55 gallon drums with a rain gutter that feeds the tanks which are plumbed together. From there, it is hand pumped to where it’s needed. They were setting up the shower on this episode. He took at metal trash can and buried it into the compost pile and covered it. The ideas is that when the compost heats up, it will heat the water at the same time. From the can it’s  hand pumped into a solar camp shower that is nailed to the building outdoors. She voiced that she wants “City Showers” and he refuses to allow it 😉

The cabin has a small wood stove for heating and cooking. He taught her to make “Can Bread” by using flour, sugar and yogurt under a can to make bread. It looked like it actually came out fairly well. One of the things he compares life to is what he saw when on active duty. What people struggled with and did by with has made an impact on his life and how he see’s it.

Keith Ford Solar

So for protection, he relies on the Bow and Arrow. I am not sure if this is a choice or an option on his part. He works on teaching her how to shoot a bow and she seemed to pick it up. He mentioned if they were defensive arrows, he would dip them in cat feces, sound like Vietnam?

The GOOD and the BAD:

The GOOD:

  • He has figured out how to do a task with very little material
  • Water storage is good
  • He has some food stored
  • Shelter is adequate

The BAD:

  • Food storage is light
  • Water is venerable and should be protected
  • Energy production is small
  • Security is non existent
  • Shelter could be improved

LESSONS LEARNED:

  • One thing you learn living how they are living is that it is tiring. If you want some of the shows in Alaska or other cold climates, you see their daily activities being getting wood and getting food. There never seems to be enough of both. Living basically as they are can be tough but rewarding. I think the practical prepper does both and tries to meld the two.
  • Only 17 miles from town is not real rural. It will help but he should expect trouble if it comes at all.
  • Boost that energy, more solar panels and batteries. Design the solar for expansion and then keep adding to it. I think he will.
  • I cannot say enough for ingenuity. Our forefathers and my grandfather especially knew how to make things work and to make new things out of what they had. Their last resort was to purchase new. That spirit is what will save some in the end.

The SCORE:

  • Water 16. That collected water needs better protection
  • Shelter 14. The cabin is adequate
  • Food 14. Food seems high, they need to grow food as well
  • Security 12. Bows and Arrows don’t beat guns and bullets
  • Energy 0. They don’t even count energy at the Base 5 needs. He has a great small scale power sytsem, now make it bigger. I give him a 7
  • Xfactor 16. They used is creativity for this. I think creativity makes the other Base 5 work, without it they don’t so I don’t see a separate score for this alone.
  • 10 Months Survival. More food, protected water and good security and then 10 months.

 

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2 responses on “Doomsday Preppers July 31, 2014

  1. Nick Klein says:

    When I first agreed to be on the show Doomsday Preppers, I was told that this season was aimed at being educational based. At Hostile Hare and We Grow Ours, our goals are to promote individual independence yet nurture community cooperation and planning. You see, the more people that raise food around you, the less dependents you have and the more resources you can count on. There is a HUGE misconception in the prepper community that once SHTF happens, it’s every man for himself. If you’re solo you’re an easy kill. With a community of gun toters and food makers, you can last a long time, maybe even thrive. Now to answer your “lessons learned”:
    First: Rabbits are heat sensitive, yes, but that cap is 90 degrees. If you keep them under 90 you are fine. That can be accomplished with some subterranean burrows. Or, if you have power/electricity you can use fans, swamp coolers and AC units. As for fat content, yes, they have lean MEAT, but if you need more fat, just boil the brain and intestines to render the fat into the meat. DDP failed to show my quail, fish and barley touched on my aquaponic capabilities too.
    Second: In the vetting process, I made mention of three power sources I can maintain from rabbit waste; Gasification, anaerobic digestion, and some solar… NONE OF WHICH WAS COVERED AS A POWER SOURCE ON THE SHOW. Once I told them atomized rabbit poop (ground fine powder) would burn and or explode with oxygen present, they asked if I would swing it as a defense measure. So my demonstration tool designed to show BTU value of waste products, was converted into a flame thrower for entertainment’s sake… I have ARs, AKs, and a 700… True there are some IED capabilities with the powder, but no, that’s not my main defense.
    Third: Water… I have a devise that pulls water from the air. It’s a solar powered condenser coil and works as long as there is 12 % moisture (PHX valley average is 20-30%, 60-80% during monsoon season). Also, there is a water shed aquifer at 150 feet under my house easily drilled(yet illegal to do so now), my in-laws and parents have wells, and they are within walking distance of my house.
    Fourth: Suburban close-nit track houses are very common here. There are a lot of people in my neighborhood, true, but within a short time I could have them trained to grow there own food, as well as convert all the common lawn areas into garden and livestock holdings. Tactically, the neighborhood is sound as well. There are only two entrances to guard should there be a need.

    In closing, your assessment of my preparations were well delivered and I would agree with them completely… if I were going off of the information you were given. I’d like to invite you to visit Hostilehare.com and Wegrowours.com for more information about these topics. All said and done, I really enjoyed the experience, even if I do have to do some damage control!!

    • Vic says:

      Nick,
      First of all, let me thank you for your reply and the additional information. I have heard from many show participants that NG does not show more of a persons preps so that the audience can indeed learn more. It sounds like you have thought out many of the things I mentioned. My intent of this review is not to poke fun or call anyone an idiot (although I have once) but to help those who haven’t started prepping to not get off on the wrong foot and to approach prepping from a Practical point of view. Although I don’t share your idea of converting the neighborhood, I do think it could happen. In the book “Lights Out”, that is your scenario if it pans out and it just may. I actually believe in “Bugging In” rather than leaving everything you have built. I think your doing a great job of being ready and keep it up. And if I get to AZ, I will let you know!

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