Ladies and gentleman I have just about had it with National Geographic and Doomsday Preppers. A show that started out with a solid premise has now become nothing more than an hour-long infomercial broken up every few minutes by an actual advertisement for Wise Foods.
Last night’s episode was the clincher.
The first segment was a couple named John and Kelly Taylor. They purchased a 42 acre farm and were in the process of turning it into a self-sustaining homestead. They already had a small amount of livestock, over 30,000 bees, gardens, a fresh spring for water and solar panels that were sufficient to power their home with energy to spare. Of course, NatGeo had to get them to show off firearms and place traps on their property, which I thought was ridiculous considering their location. At the end of the segment “Practical Preppers” decided that John and Kelly would be much better off if they had at least a year’s worth of stored foods, thus leading us into a commercial for Wise Stored Foods…how convenient.
John and Kelly don’t need a year’s worth of Wise stored foods. John and Kelly didn’t need to break out the firearms or the bear traps. As a matter of fact, the only things in their segment that I had issues with were those two things. It actually appeared as though they were not comfortable with the weapons, making me think that perhaps National Geographic provided them. John described the weapon he would be firing and showed off an AR-15 style rifle with an EOTech red dot sight, but then ended up firing a much different rifle fitted with a telescopic sight. Don’t even get me started on the stupidity of placing traps on your property “in case of rioters”. Get some dogs if you are that worried.
All in all I would say John and Kelly Taylor were on the right track with a lot of good things going for them, certainly some of the more prepared preppers I have seen on the show this season. I gave them a score of 74 but Practical Preppers scored them at 71. If you want to contact John and Kelly they can be reached at their twitter handle: @firemanjohn628
The second segment of the show was with Brian Brawdy and his RV. Now, right off the bat Brian Brawdy’s segment pissed me off. This is a guy driving around in an RV that he is calling “the ultimate bugout vehicle” and the show narrator keeps mentioning being mobile, staying away from people, off the grid and all of those other buzz phrases preppers use. Then we see the RV and notice it has “Brian Brawdy” stenciled in HUGE letters across the side. We see Brian stopping at an RV park to shake people’s hands and it appears he is showing people the interior of his RV by the reaction of one “random person”. Brian then amazes us with his use of GPS to locate a geocache and shows off his camo netting that he uses at night over his RV. Don’t take your eyes off the screen yet though because Brian’s RV also has Pentagon level security with infrared sensors and cameras that will automagically let Brian know when someone gets close to his truck so he can make a quick getaway. Nevermind the fact that this guy is only on the show to promote his online podcast, he doesn’t really show me anything “prepping” other than (of course) some Wise Stored foods and a few weapons. This leads me to another problem I have with Brian Brawdy’s segment. Shortly after his segment is over, who shows up in an advertisement for Wise Stored Foods other than our good old “Survival Expert” Brian Brawdy! Now, I am not against making money and marketing yourself, not at all. I have a book and I try to push it everywhere I go. However, to have someone on the show as a regular prepper, allow them to promote their own radio show and Wise Foods and then have them in a commercial during that SAME show is a bit much for me. Is National Geographic trying to be informative or just make a buck? Anyway, Practical Preppers give Brian a MUCH better score than I would have but tells him he needs more stored foods. I scored Brian at 53, but Practical Preppers gave him a 62 I believe. Much too high.
I’m not providing info to contact Brian Brawdy, I am sure if you want to talk to him he won’t be hard to find. Survival Expert? I have my doubts.
Between the second and third segments we got another Wise Stored Foods commercial. Fantastic.
In the third segment we met Frank (no last name given for security reason, I am sure *not*). Frank is an older prepper whose main prepping concepts appear to be flying planes, building bunkers and cage fighting. Yeah, we’ll look at each of them individually because this segment was full of “you gotta be kidding me” moments.
So Frank and his wife, Elaine, are preppers. Frank has a pilot’s license and figures that when the total economic collapse of the planet occurs it will be easier and safer to board his plane and fly to a small island where he has buried a bunker. Why he can’t drive a car to the water and take a boat we don’t really know, so we’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say his bug out location is too far away and flying is faster. Strike 1, single point of failure in his bug-out plan.
While Frank is learning to be a prepper he has decided that he needs to learn to cage fight. Apparently when the economic collapse occurs all future disputes will be settled by hand to hand combat. Frank shows off his moves in training, which were unfortunately quite unimpressive, and then we get to hear some real gems from Marcus Davis, an ex MMA fighter with a mediocre record of 3 wins and 2 losses. (Marcus was a great boxer in his youth with a pro record of 17-1-2). Obviously a record of 3-2 in the UFC is not great but he could still beat me up, I’m just saying perhaps a more successful fighter would have been a bigger draw on the show. Anyhow, Marcus at one point is talking about how important fighting is and insists that he has even taken a class on how to kill someone with a soda can. No further explanation but I am gonna guess you don’t get your deposit back if there is blood and tissue on the can.
After the horrible practice fight with Marcus where Frank shows he obviously won’t survive hand to hand combat in the real world, we get to see Frank’s bunker. It’s small, not very elaborate and he has very little food in it. It’s kinda like being at a really small basement apartment and trying to figure out how to leave without seeming like a jerk. It was about this time that I began wondering why Frank was on the show. His preps were inadequate, his bunker was spartan and already buried…there seemed no purpose unless he was selling something.
BOOM! National Geographic does it again, Frank is in the business of building and selling bunkers and now we get to see one in the process and Frank is even going to test it out by placing explosives “near” it while it is still unburied. He blows them up and is amazed that the half buried explosives next to his round bunker didn’t cause any significant damage. One smart twitterer posted that they would like to see it hold up to a shaped charge, which is a good point, but I think just burying it and repeating the TNT test would show drastically different results.
Anyway, throughout Frank’s segment we get more Wise Food storage commercials and when the segment is over Practical Preppers points out that Frank needs…..are you ready? MORE STORED FOOD! I gave Frank a whopping 48 points, but Practical Preppers gave him a 47.
My absolute favorite part of the entire show came at the end however. Frank was told his score and that he only had three months of initial survival and he replied (I am paraphrasing here), “3 months is more than enough time for everything to cool down”. So, in case you were wondering about how bad the GLOBAL ECONOMIC COLLAPSE will be…everything should be fine after about 3 months according to Frank.
Now, as to my initial statements that National Geographic is a complete sellout and Doomsday Preppers is becoming nothing more than an infomercial for people selling prepping products….yeah, that about sums it up. We are seeing less and less actual prepping and way too many sales pitches. When real preppers DO come on the show National Geographic makes them out as being crazy. In this episode John and Kelly Taylor had some fantastic ideas and preps but National Geographic had to get out the guns and bear traps, making them look bad. Where were Frank’s guns? Where were Brian’s traps? The only two people who made sense on this episode, the homesteaders, and National Geographic screws it up.
Well, once more I will make my plea to @NatGeo and Doomsday Preppers…
Please start showing real preppers again. We don’t need to see arsenals of weapons, Wiley Coyote death traps or other people’s business cards. We know Wise foods sells stored food products and don’t need it shoved in our faces every two minutes. Please at least make an effort to show real prepping that is done properly and with common sense. Stop adding to the hype that preppers are crazy or anti-government. If you haven’t noticed lately the media has taken a very dim view of preppers and National Geographic MUST bear a large amount of responsibility for that. This show has changed the reputation of preppers from a positive to a negative in two seasons. It’s time to start changing it back.