Doomsday Preppers Week 13: Pain Is Good
Ah, lucky 13. We've hit the 13th episode of Doomsday Preppers, Season Two, and what have we learned so far?
We've developed an understanding that the single most common reason for prepping is the imminent collapse of the economy and the ensuing chaos that follows such an event. We've learned that the producers of this show — and to be fair, the producers of almost every "reality" show — have an eye for the eccentric and the absurd. The more outlandish and unhinged the prepper, it seems, the better chance they stand of getting on the show. That allowed, there have been some very ingenious preppers who have made the cut this season as well and impressed even the most grizzled critics with their ingenuity.
Craig Compeau lives in southeastern Alaska, the "last frontier," with his wife and teenage daughters. The owner of a boat sales company, Craig fears an economic collapse and popular revolt that leads to martial law.
Should that eventuality come to pass, Craig intends to get his family out of Fairbanks fast and into Alaska's rugged interior where limited government forces aren't likely to try and chase down individual families in the bush.
For the time being, Craig's family is split up. His wife and older daughter are in a different part of Alaska pursuing medical degrees, while he keeps the home-fires burning and the preps, er, prepping. This isn't easy on his younger daughter, Emily, who, like most teens, thinks her parents are nuts.
True to form for the show, Craig wakes Emily before dawn and takes her on on a forced retreat to their bug-out location.
Craig's bug-out consists of a four mile, cross-country hike through the woods at night to his escape vehicle, a purpose-built shallow-water jetboat that will take them the remaining 90 miles to their location. Jetboats such as Craig's can get up on a plane and run flat out in not just wide rivers, but narrow twisting creeks that can barely float a canoe. His bug-out location is up one of these twisting, turning rivers.
To make sure he isn't followed, Craig has set up trees as booby traps along the way to block the river after he's passed. He's cut the trees halfway through, and has a small explosive charge in the cut that he will shoot to detonate. Based upon the volume of explosives he's packed for a small blast, the explosive in question is almost certainly tannerite, a low-explosive compound that has more flash than boom, but hey... it makes good TV, even if just 15 seconds with a chain saw could accomplish just as much, far more quietly.
Craig and his family will live in a 20' Intershelter dome, a relatively lightweight , easy-to-construct shelter used from both polar regions to deserts, which can withstand high winds, extreme temperatures, water infiltration, and flames. The Intereshelter was created by Craig's prepping partner and businessman Don Kubley.
Don lives in Juneau, but if things get bad, he'll make the 800-mile trek to meet Craig at his hidden shelter. Don's concern isn't an economic collapse, but a tsunami.
Twice a year, Don and Craig meet at their bug-out location to stock up on food, and by food, they mean big game. Here, as a sportsman, I get ticked off.
Whether it was merely cutscenes to create an event that didn't actually happen or an accurate protrayal, the producers of Doomsday Preppers create the image of an attempted aquatic drive-by of a moose. Emily and Craig see a moose standing knee-deep in the river, Emily fires and misses the 1,600 pound animal cleanly (which I personally find suspect as close as they appear to be), and then Craig guns the boat to get closer so that Emily can get a shot before Bullwinkle can escape into the thick riverside brush. They are unsuccessful, and the moose lives for another day.
If this were a real survival situation, I could understand the need to put aside hunting ethics for the sake of survival, but this isn't such a situation, and the appearance of attempting to run a moose down for a rushed shot on moving game from a moving, unstable platform was sickening, whether or not it was all for show.
The show's prepping experts from Practical Preppers give Craig and Don the highest score of any prepper on the show so far, and an estimated survival time of 16-20 months. Amusingly, Craig doesn't think the experts from the lower 48 have any clue what they are talking about, and invites them to kiss... well... not his moose.
David Lakota is a self-absorbed, sanctimonious, vision-seeing hippie who can kiss my moose. He doesn't like mankind, and holds himself above it. He lives in Hawaii, and is terrified that a massive tsunami will scour the low-lying coastal cities off the map. Because he's "special" and "spiritual" he believes the tiki tiki gods (or some other mystic crap) will give him warning the night before a tsunami to give him time to escape.
Because he's special.
David's arrogance aside, this isn't an irrational fear; Hawaii has been hit by more than 50 known tsunamis of various sizes and intensities over the years. Compounding the problem is that Hawaii imports 90 percent of its food, so if the ports are wrecked, it will be very difficult to offload supplies.
Rachaelle is David's new-age girlfriend, and she buys into his nuttiness. Their brilliant plan to survive an island-killing tsunami? They'll paddle 15 miles along the shoreline to reach a distant location with nothing but the clothes on their backs (or, in Rachaelle's case, a bikini) and live off the land.
Yeah... this is going to end well.
But before we even get off the beach, spiritual Dave manages to stab himself with his paddle in the foot, deeply. Since these geniuses didn't bring anything in the way of supplies, Rachaelle has him chew up the pulp of the noni plant, which she claims is one of the most medicinal plants on the islands, and then spit the chewed up mess concoction into the open, sandy wound. Did I mention that modern science has found virtually no medicinal use for the noni plant at all?
Gaping wound packed with fruit-spit, David and Rachaelle now tackle an ascent up a 4,000 foot mountain, barefoot.
Since they didn't bother to bring any food with them, David and Rachaelle intend to live off off native plants, even if the have no clue what they are. After Rachaelle discovers some red berries that neither can positively identify, David takes a bite and suggests that anything that tastes as good as it does can't be poisonous. Besides, he asked "the universe" if he should eat them, and the voices in his head said "yes."
Shockingly, they run out of water before they reach 1,000 feet, and David starts storing pee to drink. Then he drinks it.
Survival experts not in touch with the Earth Mother advise against drinking urine, noting it is a bodily waste, full of salts and minerals the body is trying to get rid of, and which will contribute to further dehydration.
After hours of climbing, they reach the summit with no food, no water, no clothing, and no shelter... but they feel safe.
Shockingly, the experts don't feel that David and Rachaelle are going to be the last two people on earth. The experts give them three months. I'd be amazed if they could survive that long at an all-you-can-eat buffet.
The Previous installments of Bob Owens' Doomsday Preppers critique:
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