Marauding as a Prepper Strategy
Ladies and gentlemen, last night’s episode of Doomsday Preppers was hands down the worst I have ever seen in regards to airing someone with absolutely nothing worthwhile to share and adding no value whatsoever to the prepping community. As a matter of fact, it could very easily be said that Tyler Smith’s segment on Doomsday Preppers wasn’t even accidentally informative. I generally feel a slight twinge of guilt when I write bad reviews but this article will not generate any such feeling at all.
Let me also start by saying SHAME ON NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC AND DOOMSDAY PREPPERS for splicing Tyler Smith’s “Idiot Extravaganza” into the same show as Kevin Barber, a prepper with some seriously great preps that is really getting it done the right way down in Costa Rica. Kevin’s preps are well planned and he is executing them very well and practicing sustainable living like a pro. Congrats, Kevin and family! (If anyone has a website, Twitter or Facebook profile for Kevin and his family, please post it in the comments below).
Those of you familiar with the Plan and Prep family may remember a family member we refer to as “Versteckt”. Versteckt was initially planning to survive in the post SHTF world through similar means as Tyler Smith, i.e. taking what he needed or wanted from people that were unable to defend themselves against him. This goes against the beliefs of my wife and I, (explained later), and we have worked to change his position over time to a more traditional prepper mentality of self sustained living. I wanted to share with my readers the thoughts and reasoning that my wife and I used to compel this change within our own family in the hopes that those on the fence can understand our point of view and hopefully not make the same mistake that Versteckt was going to make.
The big difference between Tyler Smith and Versteckt is that Versteckt has the firepower, brains, training and ability to actually manage a lifestyle of high risk assaults and raids, whereas Tyler probably hasn’t raided anything more dangerous than a refrigerator in his entire life.
Tyler Smith – Marauding Moron
So right out of the gate in yesterday’s show it was pretty obvious to anyone watching that Tyler Smith isn’t a marathon runner. That’s not a huge problem, I’m not a marathon runner either, and I have a few extra pounds myself. However, I would say Tyler is much closer to that “morbidly obese” level of body fat than he should be if he is planning to raid and pillage in the aftermath of a major SHTF event. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think you have to be in fantastic shape to survive a SHTF scenario, but if your plans are to lead an assault team around the countryside “running and gunning”, well, you might want to at least be able to walk to the mailbox without getting winded.
Secondly, it was fairly obvious that Tyler Smith has absolutely no training of any sort when it comes to any of the subjects he spoke about on the show. His idea that he can just “read a book” and suddenly have all the knowledge he needs to become a military leader, soldier, paramedic, surgeon or any number of other things makes me believe that his grasp on reality may be a bit loose. Having been in the US Army I can tell you it is absolutely NOTHING like “play acting” and although I trained very hard I knew there was a difference between training and real world operations. Tyler should put down his xbox controller and go talk to some real military vets before he makes any more plans.
Ad Hoc C-Section
One of the scarier things in last night’s episode is Tyler Smith’s idea that he could just arbitrarily perform a C-Section for his wife should it become necessary, because he has read how to do it in a book. He goes as far as “training” for it by showing his buddy where he would make the cut and saying that there would be blood. Obviously there was no mention of pain management, stopping the blood flow, delivering the baby, sterilizing the area or anything else that one might think would be necessary.
Now I understand that people have been birthing babies in the home and on the farm for generations, but generally speaking those were not C-Section births and there was usually at least one person on hand with SOME form of knowledge about the procedure. If we are to believe that Tyler Smith is actually planning on doing this himself, well…I guess we should just stop there, since I don’t believe it.
Homemade Body Armor
One of the only “preps” that Tyler Smith has is a homemade suit of armor. Tyler has fashioned this mess out of layered fiberglass, ceramic bathroom tiles and roofing tar stuck to a thin piece of metal. Kudos on the inventiveness and congrats on coming up with a recipe for body armor that pretty much any other 12 year old boy with half a brain could have provided. My guess here is that Tyler read somewhere that the plates in some bulletproof vests are ceramic and his wee little brain didn’t stop to think that not all ceramics are equal. The woven fiberglass fabric resembles woven Kevlar, so it must also be the same, right? Roofing tar? Well, it can withstand high levels of heat and it holds all this other bullshit together, so it’s a great choice. Ultimately Tyler fashioned together enough material to stop a .22 from penetrating upon a direct hit. The shotgun deformed the metal back plating pretty well even though it was standard buckshot from distance and the 30.06 blew the entire works apart, so I really don’t see how Tyler felt this was a successful invention. By the way, anyone else notice he was firing at the BACK of the armor when testing instead of the front? I guess he never really had much faith in it to begin with, eh?
Now let’s talk about the finished product and the “real world testing” that was done. First of all, Tyler’s girth made those rather large metal plates seem exceedingly small when he put them on. People would probably have to actually TRY to hit the armor when shooting at him. The area covered by his armor is basically about the same that is protected by the ceramic plate in a standard bulletproof vest, but at least with those you have Kevlar protection around the rest of your torso as well. Tyler’s body armor however provide VERY little coverage for his bulk and therefore left him woefully under protected.
Next came the testing of said armor. Tyler’s buddy whacked him with a rock, a pipe, a couple of homemade axes and some other household items before the “big test” of shooting Tyler at close range with a 12 gauge shotgun. I believe it was at this point that people around the USA realized this could be the final act of a man that will obviously win a Darwin Award at some point in his life. Unfortunately the shell was either filled with birdshot or someone had emptied the buckshot from it earlier because Tyler survived unscathed from his test. I know many people were hoping for at least a little ricochet damage, but nonetheless our hero prevailed.
All in all Tyler Smith left me with the impression that he wasn’t actually planning anything that he says he is planning, he just wanted to get on TV.
Prepping Versus Marauding
When my wife and I were talking to Versteckt about his intentions of using overwhelming firepower and military tactics to take what he needed in a post apocalyptic world we found that the main reason he was planning this way was because he felt it was much easier than actually learning to live in a sustainable way. Just like Tyler Smith, Versteckt had a small amount of land that could easily be cultivated into a small family farm capable of feeding not only his family, but many others as well. In very short order we were able to point Versteckt in the right direction and change his outlook on what was available to him in an uncertain future.
Although Marauding sounds sexy, it would truly be a horrible life, especially for someone with a family. Each time you leave your home or base of operations you run the risk of never returning, or returning to find that someone has come and paid you back for marauding in the first place. Every time you clear a house of useful supplies you ensure that your next raid must be further, costing more resources and requiring a higher payout. Each person you add to your group requires more supplies for marauding as well as surviving and the personalities of those willing to raid and pillage often lend themselves to internal squabbles and struggles for power. Before long you are forced to either relocate due to lack of available resources or extend your raids through the use of stockpiles or satellite locations. This becomes an extremely difficult task organizationally and groups would most likely splinter and then vie against each other for resources.
These issues alone stand out as enough NOT to look seriously at marauding as a prepping strategy. I could probably write a whole book about this subject and why it is a horrible choice, but I am tired of writing.
One more thing, though. Even if Tyler Smith were successful in his raiding strategies, sooner or later he is going to run into a real prepper or someone with some actual training, like myself or many other preppers I speak to daily. If that were to ever happen I have only a few words of advice for the would be Marauder searching for fame and fortune….
“Smile and wait for the flash“
Do yourself a favor and have your laughs at Tyler and his failed plan, then continue with your preps.