We had three prepper families in this episode. It was a fun show with some really good information and some REALLY good laughs.
The first prepper from last night’s show is Freda. Freda and her boyfriend, Mike, live in Virginia and are preparing to survive in the throes of WW3. According to Freda, she believes that a rogue nuclear missile will disrupt or destroy the power grid in the USA and force our country into Martial Law. Freda also claims to be a descendant of Devil Anse Hatfield, that’s right folks, she’s related to Kevin Costner.
So as the show opens we see that Freda lives in the country, although it does appear that her home sits very close to a road as in some shots you can see a small bridge going over the creek near her yard. Freda and Mike show off their solar cooker, which when properly built can certainly be a handy item to have, and we get a peek at Freda’s 200+ cans of preserved meals. Couple these items with her stock of chickens and ability to hunt and it appears that Mike and Freda are pretty good on food.
Freda and Mike also live near an artesian well, which continuously bubbles fresh water to the surface. I would suggest building an actual well or pressure fountain on the site in order to keep the upward flowing water from just spilling out but it isn’t necessary. This is a virtually inexhaustible resource of fresh, clean water.
When the show turns to Freda and Mike’s security plans we see that Freda has a shotgun and a 9mm pistol, and Mike is an excellent shot with a bow. Mike has also made “defensive devices” from scrap metal that resembles large throwing stars in order to defend the homestead without bullets or arrows if needed. He shows how these devices can be thrown as well as how they can be used in hand to hand combat. It is at this point that we see a little bit of the standard “Doomsday Preppers Craziness” start to come out. Mike has also built a “catapult”.
Now, the reason I put “catapult” in parentheses is because he really didn’t build a catapult. A catapult is a device that propels projectiles long distances based off of the concept of stored tension. Think of a traditional bow and arrow and you can see stored tension in practice. In a catapult that stored tension is built up in ropes that are connected to the throwing arm and wrapped around a central axle with a gear and locking mechanism. As you crank the axle the rope tenses and becomes tighter and tighter. The lock allows you to build up an extremely large amount of tension and once released it allows the throwing arm to spring back into its natural position, thus creating the throwing motion that propels the projectile. Mike however used a counterweight. Counterweights can be seen in siege weapons known as trebuchets. Trebuchets combine counterweights with centrifugal force created between two axes. On one end of your throwing arm is the counterweight, and on the other end is a sling. As the counterweight drops and swings the arm, the sling builds up a huge amount of centrifugal force thus flinging the projectile.
So, out of all of that, what Mike did was build a trebuchet counterweight and fit it onto a catapult throwing arm. No matter how much weight he adds to the throwing arm it will never cover any real distance as the throwing arm just can’t be made long enough to generate enough force. A fun project, possibly, but completely ineffective. Not to mention that neither a trebuchet or a catapult are very good at home defense being they are siege weapons meant to attack stationary objects.
Personally I felt that Freda and Mike should have scored in the 70’s at the least, but once again Practical Preppers shows a true lack of consistency and scores them in the mid 50’s. I scored them very high for their food and water, as well as shelter and security. Their x-factor score was for homesteading in general and put them over the 70 point mark on my score sheet.
The true travesty here is that according to Practical Preppers, Freda scored lower than our good friend, #BuffaloJeff from #SilosOfTheLambs. Sad and not even close to accurate.
Prepper: Mike and Jessica Adams
Anyone looking for comic relief in last night’s episode needed to look no further than our second prepper couple, Mike and Jessica Adams. Mike is a prepper that works at a BBQ pit and is prepping for….wait…not yet.
Mike has a rain catchment system attached to his house. Currently he has stored roughly 450 gallons of water for himself, his wife and his sister to survive on when the SHTF event happens. During the episode Mike shows us how well his system works by pouring water into his rain gutters and watching it go through a PVC elbow and into the barrel. He was very proud of this engineering marvel that was first developed only about 4000 years ago. Mike then drinks the unfiltered, unpurified water that just rolled through his gutters and into the catchment system. Good job, Mike.
In regards to food Mike plans to use his father’s BBQ spot to prepare and preserve meat for long term food storage. That’s all. He has no further plans for food.
Mike’s wife, Jessica, has epilepsy. According to her segment she suffers seizures and requires medicine to counter this medical issue. This is a serious issue for a prepper, and I won’t spend time trashing their plans for dealing with it other than to say it appears Mike has roughly one month of medicine stored up and is planning to steal medicine once the SHTF occurs. Mike is growing some medicinal herbs, but their value against his wife’s condition is questionable.
At this point in the segment we find out that Mike is planning to use the “sewer system” of his town in order to move about undetected after the SHTF event. So, now I’ll explain Mike’s theory. Mike believes that terrorists are going to attack the USA with a nuclear (pronounced NEW-Q-LER) bomb and then occupy our country. Mike feels that these terrorists will occupy the White House, the Capital and many other high priority buildings and force Americans to cower to their demands. He then offers the gem that the movie “Red Dawn” is a great influence on his life and prepping.
So, taking this in parts let’s start with Mike’s occupation theory. It sucks. My 10 year old son knows better than to think this is plausible. Mike needs to stop playing Black Ops II and learn about real military tactics and strategies. Even if all of the terrorist organizations in the world joined together they couldn’t occupy a country as large as the USA. They don’t have infrastructure, command and control, supply chain command, tactical mobility, deployment ability or any of the other million things that are done behind the scenes by the leadership of an occupying force. They don’t have the numbers, the training, the equipment….its just not even worth considering as plausible. Could a terrorist group take over a few square blocks of an American city? Perhaps, for a short time. There is a difference however in taking a stronghold for a short time, and occupying a country. I am going to stop wasting time on this nutjob theory now. Moving on….
So Mike goes trudging through the sewers with his wife to show her how he can pop out of the sewer right next to the pharmacy and steal her meds, only to find that he comes up on the wrong side of town. So not only does his theory suck, his plan sucks and he doesn’t know how to navigate the tunnel system that he is planning to survive in when video games become real. Add this to the fact that he feels like an occupying force would never think to secure a sewer system and you realize very quickly that Mike had nothing to add to this episode other than comedy relief.
I would have personally given Mike a score in the low 20’s, but Practical Preppers saw fit to award him 52 points, placing him directly behind Freda on the “leaderboard”. Again, complete inconsistency in scoring.
The final prepper of last night’s episode was the best in terms of his preps and living, but also the worst in that he had a real “holier than thou” attitude about prepping. It was almost like it was all for show.
During the episode Joe makes it clear that his family lives off the grid and only utilizes a small amount of solar generated energy to assist his living conditions through necessities. At one point he even mentions email and states they have no computer and don’t use email, saying “email? What’s that?” Now, I know he knows what email is because he wasn’t always living this lifestyle. However, he is claiming NOT to have any of these things now and live strictly off the land. Not surprisingly a quick check reveals that not only does Joe access a computer, he and his wife run an online site complete with store and shopping cart. As a matter of fact just about every page of his website has prices listed on it.
Now, before anyone tries to shame me for bringing this up, I understand and applaud the way this family is living, however, I find it reprehensible that he feels the need to lie about his living standards in order to make himself seem “better” or more in tune with nature. My guess is that he probably talks down about people not living his lifestyle, while he himself is skirting the truth. Nothing gets my hackles up faster than a liar.
Now, all bullshit aside this guy has a lot of good stuff going on in regards to preps and homestead living off of the grid. I couldn’t possibly cover everything he has and everything he is doing so I am going to take the easy way out and simply give you a link to his website and a YouTube video about him. It really is amazing what he and his family have done, I only wish he didn’t come off with such a “Holier than Thou” attitude.
Joe ranked out at about 70 points, although I think mid 80’s would have been much more realistic. I am hoping I get proven wrong about Joe’s attitude and find out he’s a good guy because it seems like such a waste otherwise.
Join me next week when we see just how fast we can offend a new group of preppers.