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By March 12, 2012 Read More →

The Consequence of Doomsday Preppers

There has been much discussion of late in the Prepper community about National Geographic’s “Doomsday Preppers”.  One frequented point is that the show severely skews Preppers in an effort that can be summed up as “making good television”.  This is evident not only through viewing the show itself, but through the format they have built the show around.  Some highlights of that format include:

  • Featuring one Prepper for 15 minutes only, ensuring that you don’t get too comfortable with them or learn very much about them
  • Requiring each guest to pigeon-hole themselves into one thing they are preparing for – almost always a “doomsday” scenario
  • Creating conflict and drama via their “experts” who review the segment and then condemn or condone what the Prepper has done – all within the context of the “one thing” they’re preparing for

The core belief of The APN is that “every family should strive to become self-reliant”; and our Mission is “to teach Self-Reliance to every household in America”.
Therefore, we are very pleased to see Prepping getting so much attention in the media!  While most of us can probably agree that in theory this is a good thing, many of us appear to also agree that the presentation through Doomsday Preppers is not necessarily accomplishing those goals.

To demonstrate this point, I would like to bring your attention an article published yesterday in The New York Times: “Doomsday Has Its Day in the Sun”.  In it the author draws conclusions that, at first pass, appear to be a scathing judgement of Preppers.  He says:

But the unmistakable impression left by these programs is that what these folks want most of all is not to protect their families — the standard explanation for why they’re doing what they’re doing — or even the dubious pleasure of being able to say to the rest of us, “See, I told you the world was going to end.” What they want is a license to open fire.

“What they want is a license to open fire”.  Is this true of our community?  I fervently say “NO!”  However, I believe it is an easy conclusion to draw from watching the show and the way National Geographic presents us.  Additionally, I believe there are members of our community who do feel this way on some level – I think it’s a very, very small minority, but I think they’re out there.

Presenting anything to the mainstream that allows them to easily draw this conclusion is something we would like to see avoided.  Every person who draws this conclusion will look at us as crazies, as they should, and not only will they not investigate becoming self-reliant themselves, but they will spread the counter-message that we are a sub-culture that should be avoided.

I’ve seen some outrage in the community over this conclusion being drawn by the author – but was he wrong?  Think about it critically for a moment and consider some of the quotes coming out of Doomsday Preppers and the overall way in which the guests are presented.  If I remove myself mentally from being a Prepper and consider it, I could very easily draw the same conclusion.  In fact, from that perspective, I wouldn’t want to be associated with several of the presentations I see on the show.  The bottom line is, Doomsday Preppers isn’t necessarily doing us a lot of favors in their presentation of us to the mainstream.  As for the author and his conclusions – I don’t think he’s wrong, from his perspective.

In short, by allowing, promoting and participating in (as guests) the show we have consequences; The consequence of Doomsday Preppers is a negative viewpoint being presented and built of our community.

And this is exactly what they want.  I’ve talked to them – long before the pilot was put together last year.  Their view of our community and the view that they want to present is that we are on the fringe, we are not normal and that we are gun nuts.  And WE are letting them do it – for a literal 15 minutes of fame.  They are getting exactly what they want; they present a show with a bunch of crazies and they get the largest viewing audience they’ve ever had all at the expense of our community and how the public perceives us.

Perhaps they should call the show “Rawlesian Survivalists”, because the show is a lot more about that type of thinking than the general Prepper Mindset.  Not that we have anything against James or SurvivalBlog – but the ideas he espouses about “Opsec” and total collapse survival are just like the show Doomsday Preppers – Preparing for ONE situation and one situation only.   Self-Reliant living or Prepping is about living a lifestyle where you are able to handle the ups, downs, ins and outs of life – not just when there’s a total and complete collapse.

As for Neil Genzlinger, the author of the Times article, he has a special needs daughter.  I know quite a bit about that.  I’m more than willing to bet that if he read a little bit about us and why we prepare it would make a lot of sense to him.  Having special needs kids actually makes you into a specialized Prepper of sorts – I’m positive that Neil has ready access to medication, physicians, specialized care and so on and I have no doubt that whatever his daughter needs to sustain her, he has plenty of backups for it.  What we do isn’t really any different – it’s just that where he’s very targeted on one issue, we’re doing it broadly so we can deal with anything that may come.

Because I’m sure I’ll get called on it for writing this, I’ll address my own show – Meet the Preppers.  While there is certainly some “made for tv” drama in my show, we have deliberately and carefully made sure that we aren’t presented as fringe.  While my show deals with some unusual topics for television, they are real world topics that happen every day.  As the show progresses, you’ll see that we’re dealing with everyday scenarios in each episode – not the “End of the World” as it were.

As for those few in our community who may be “wanting a license to open fire” – our official policy is to please leave our community and go find a different one – Thanks!

About the Author:

Phil is one of the co-owners of The APN. He was raised in a Preparedness Oriented family, living a self-sustaining lifestyle as a third generation, LDS, Prepper. He grew up farming, canning and learning to live off the land in the forests, mountains, rivers, oceans and cities of Missouri, Tennessee, Hawaii and Utah. In early 2008, he co-founded as a blog to talk about and teach Prepping. Over the next couple years, they produced hundreds of articles about Preparedness. Prior to UtahPreppers, he had been actively blogging elsewhere about building his self-sustaining farm and raising his 8 children in a preparedness lifestyle.

173 Comments on "The Consequence of Doomsday Preppers"

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  1. Local Guy says:

    The best point I’ve every heard anyone make about this whole prepper thing is in the NYTs article mentioned above. The author says:

    “Even more seriously, what is the attraction of continuing to live in a world that will almost certainly not have television or the Internet, depriving doomsday types of the shows and Web sites that fuel their paranoia and sell products exploiting it?”

    National Geographic is just another company that will profit on the fringe prepper culture, up there with,, and, and all the other advertisements I see on my screen right now on There certainly is a lot of money to be made in whipping people into a paranoid frenzy about all the potentially dangerous aspects of life in our modern times and then selling them products that validate their insecurities and provide them with some comfort. If YouTube is any indication, the prepper community is begging for attention and validation of their efforts – as if to say that their sense of security in their own survival alone isn’t enough.

    • farticustoot says:

      My mom used to coupon and it would drive me crazy, esp since i did most of the clipping. Today my wife and i coupon, inspired by extremecouponing and now I save a crap load of money. Nothing close to what the persons shown save, yet, but from 400 to 150 biweekly is nothing to shake a stick at. And what better way to stockpile than to coupon; i would be surprised if those on Doomsday who have large stockpiles didn’t coupon.

      I used to snicker at environmental wacknuts until i watched “living with ed” and realized i was wasting so much money; now i have a water collection system around my house and when the monsoons hit i fill up quickly and am able to take a bit off my water bill for my garden; my pack has a small solar panel that charges my ipod and my phone when i’m hiking or out for a day trip. Even though i don’t buy into a lot of their reasons for doing it i do it because i save cash in the long run.

      The dog whisperer…need i say more?

      i think we should take it all in, with a grain of salt, and learn what we can; learning from the mistakes or well thought out plans of others.

      I did a little cringing with some of the people i have seen so far, my favorite comment was, “i’ll cut their throats or poison them” but i learned that’s the type of person who won’t get in my front door.

      I say let those who watch us who say we’re fringe or wacknuts keep laughing and talking crap, but when the next major power outage comes, or flood, or whatever, we’ll be prepared. I’ll be prepared. Remember Noah and those people who laughed at him and were later knocking on his door.

      • Kat Jordan says:

        I agree – it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. My father had a cache of food in the basement and taught my sister and I to fish and hunt. “Just in case.” He and my mother were raised in the Depression. His family was hungry all the time – Mom’s family had a garden and chickens – they were never hungry. A few years ago there was a huge ice storm and we didn’t have electricity for 8 days. I made a stove from a coffee can and sterno so we had hot food and water. I brought a couple of solar lights in from the garden for light at night. When it was over not only did I keep my little homemade stove, but I bought a little indoor heater ‘just in case.’ There are always a few things we CAN do to make life easier in a pinch. Everyone doesn’t need a ‘bugout shelter’ but it’s nice to have an extra jacket, a blanket and some energy bars in the car ‘just in case’ we get suck in winter. A couple extra bottles of water and sun screen in the car in the summer isn’t a bad idea either. To me it’s common sense to have a small stash of things to make life easier ‘just in case,’ just like having a First Aid Kit.

    • ME says:

      I think the greatest prep’n tool is wealth, ability & will. yep you heard me. I have things saved up & know how to do most anything i’d like to & need to be able to do. also one thing most of you will hate is the ability to prey on others to obtain what I need. I know I’m a “bad” person for such things by most but what 90% of other prep’s forget are those that aren’t zombies & will study you & take what you have saved up. yes a few of us plan that in the same way we plan food, water
      & rebuilding. I have equipement  that allows me & the others with me to take what we need & even against people tucked away that feel safe. 
      I don’t think things are gonna go bad because of history. yes things go very bad at times but they get better. the doom & gloom some have isn’t really founded much in the absolute fear they havewhich has turned into a mental issue for some.
      Having the means to be ready if this happens is really what matters that goes beyond the one thing few preppers remember. That’s enough wealth to have everything you could ever need that money gets. Scopes that let me see people that think they’re safe, 20MM sniper rifles to take out people that have what I want & will have no idea what’s about to happen to them. That’s nature but its the one thing preppers overlook. The ability to take what maybe needed from others that have stock piled is what almost every prepper has overlooked.  

      • Yes, You are a bad person, but you know that. If the economy were to collapse cash wouln’t mean a whole lot. If the power is out, the pumps down pump gas no matter how much money you have.

    • The show is an indication of the lack of faith that people have in a stable economy and an expectation that there will be a major collapse. You can even buy some of the prepper supplies at Walmart now. It is amazing to see how fast a town can be closed under the right conditions. We got a storm and lost power. Most of the area was without power. Without power, most stores will not open due to electronic cash register. Without power, the gas stations were closed. It didn’t matter how much money you had, they were still closed. Some places didn’t have water either because no power to pump and filter the water. Many people did not have power for a week. That was just a storm that hit, but it sure may me think about what could happen if something major affected our power grids.

  2. David says:

    I can see where you are coming from in your article about Doomsday Preppers. However look at it from this prospective. If they were to create the show so that it could cover ALL possible threats that could befall us at any given time. How long do you think the series would last. Not long as they would be able to sum up being prepared in a single two hour episode or at best a mini series. Instead, I believe that Nat. Geo is focusing on one possible scenario at a time so as to prolong the series. To me it gives better insight as to what could be useful for a particular situation. I agree they could give more attention towards the back ground of the people they interview so as to better show that they are not weird but are just ordinary individuals that are preparing for what could and hopefully never will happen.

    As for firearms being an issue, they are only pointing out a very reality harsh reality. That IF something happens and it is long lasting, There could be very real consequences towards those that might try to follow the Obama ideology. That ideology being whats mine is mine and whats yours is mine too. The real lunatics out there are the ones that don’t see that as reality and fail to prepare for what ever life throws at them.

    When it comes to this kind of series I take everything with a grain of salt. I am only interested in the ideas that the series brings up. I think that for the most part the series is very fair in its methods as they can only do so much in a one hour episode.

    • farticustoot says:

      Well said!

      • kay says:

        The Obama ideology? I would rather have some nurse who voted for Obama in my bunker than some guy who was middle management at a corporation or a loan officer at a bank.

        • humanbeing says:

          id rather have a nurse that voted for mickey mouse than a banker or manager any day…. common sense.

    • real world says:

      obama ideology? wow!

    • The program on National Geographic,is just that, a program,allthough it does have some insights on prepping,they cann’t cover all aspects.I watch the program to get ideas and information to futher research.I’ve allways have been a prepper.I come from a long line of hunter,fisherman,gatherers,and yes firearmsare part of my prepping,but so are bow& arrows,spears sling shots,etc,etc.The bottom line here is survival,and to survive you must include of ways to protect and deter harm from you and you’rs.There is no fool proof method!It takes a constant effort to deal with any type of threat,be it man,animal or nature.Man by nature will seek out others of there kind,in one way or another,you just have to be extremly carefull on how you do this.I hope we don’t have to put to use these type of skills,but if the time does come,I’ll be ready.

  3. Martin Colvill says:

    As one of the participants of “Doomsday Preppers” I am saddened by both articles. If you watched my episode it should’ve been very clear as to why I agreed to do the show. If you choose to read my “martinthetruckerblog” on WordPress you should get an idea why I did the show. Ad to “wanting a license to shoot”, how obtuse can a personal be? You don’t know I’ve been a soldier. You don’t know I’m a retired cop but not why. You don’t know I’m about 1/4 bionic because of choosing to help people. Complaining? No. Just pointing out that until you have walked in my shoes you don’t have the right to judge me. I have fought for my life many times and hope I never have to again. I have fought for those who can’t and because I have the training and affirmed an oath both as a soldier and as a LEO (law enforcement officer) to defend our constitution against all enemies, both foreign and domestic, and I have never recinded that oath, I will help those who need and want to be helped. If that means going on TV to let my fellow truck drivers know you can survive if things go bad and being criticized, my shoulders are big enough. As carrying a gun, be thankful there are those of us who do, legally. It doesn’t need to be the end of the world as we know it to be attacked. Read or watch the news any day. Those who think we who carry concealed only want to shoot someone, be sure to let me know before I risk my life for you. I’ll step away to disprove your point. It is said that the pen is mightier than the sword (I.e. gun). See which gets you out of a.deadly situation.

    • Megan says:

      Thank you for your service, and I really liked your segment on the show! You are doing a great job in a difficult situation. I can relate somewhat though my husband. He’s overseas in the Air Force and he comes from a family of truckers. My father-in-law (the only one still trucking) seems to think along your lines. I always agreed with his hinting at plans for the future if something were to happen to the country. But after learning a lot more about this, seeing the large amount of “preppers” out there, I plan on letting him know we are thinking ahead and talking to him more about it

    • Chris W says:

      For the record, Phil did not say the words that you are taking umbrage to. He was quoting a very elitist and uninformed op/ed writer for the NY Times whose statist and shallow mindset and bias was quite evident.

    • Michael says:

      I wish I could have suggested to you, after I saw your truck cam attempt session. Buy several large parachutes and spay paint it more camo to cover your truck. 30 ft parachutes are going for like $110 online. A few of those would be cheaper than that pre-packaged in-store camo wrap. Safe roads ahead for you!!

    • david s says:

      Martin I was wondering how do you legaly posess a firearm in your big rig? Just wondering I too drive a truck and posess a carry conceal license.

      • Martin says:

        I have a trump card most other truckers don’t have. I’m a retired law enforcement officer or LEO as we’re called. A recent law enables us to carry just like our full-time brothers and sisters. Before that I had CONCEALED WEAPONS PERMITS (and still do). There is no FEDERAL law prohibiting the carrying of a firearm in a commercial vehicle but a trucking company can prohibit carrying in their vehicles by company policy. Some states don’t allow any carrying so you have to be knowledgable in their strictures. If you don’t know call a state’s STATE PATROL and ask. It can save you a lot of headaches. Or check out my blog site for a great book for travelers with CCWs or CCWPs. It’s not mine nor do I get any $ for promoting it. My job is to educate my fellow truckers. Be safe my friend.

    • david s says:

      Thank you for the info, there’s a lot of crazy people out there willing to do any thing, so knowledge is realy what we are in need of to know we can protect our selfs if it’s our last resort. Thanks and be safe as well.

    • Patti Bage says:

      Martin, I did watch your segment as a somewhat new prepper and I enjoyed it very much. I didn’t read the article everyone is referring to but you brought out issues about power grid failure I hadn’t thought about. My husband and I felt your heart concern for our future as well as your own. Thank you for exposing your lives before a grateful public audience. Some may say we are kooks but many of us are caretakers in God’s kingdom looking out for the future of our great nation. I still don’t like the thought of using guns and don’t know one from the other or what bullet goes in which one, but just watching the “occupy” movement has shown we all need to be prepared. Thank you again for your bravery and service to our country. My brother was also a LEO.

    • Michelle says:

      Hi Martin,
      I just wanted to say that I saw you on the show, and I think that you were a great representation for the Prepper community.  I don’t consider myself to be a member, but I thought that your thinking and motivations gave a very positive impression on the whole.  

    • rollingamerica says:

      Thank you for your service. I watched your episode and enjoyed it. Please be safe on the road and keep up the good work.

    • Shane says:


      I don’t remember if the show mentioned you wife’s prognosis in the follow-up. I hope she is well. As for your truck, you can get inexpensive security cameras and mount them through tthe walls of the trailer and tractor if you’re an owner/operator. Also, get a few gallons of paint, a few chunks of ragged sponge and paint your rig camoflage. But the parachute idea sounds great as well.

    • cheryl says:

      My husband and I have decided thanks to watching these shows that we need to prep for the just in case moment. We aren’t preparing for any certain thing just want to not be caught with our pants down so to speak. We have a plan of where to bug out too if need be and have spoken to all family members and they have all agreed to grab what they can and meet up there to ride it out together. We will now start building up from there.

  4. David says:

    One more thing, As for that comment in the article by the NY Times, Any main stream media’s primary objective is to do what ever it takes to get ratings. If they have to put a spin on something or outright lie and do a retraction at a later date, then they will do just that. I would like to hope that the vast majority of the population has at least enough intelligence to comprehend that sad fact and listen to such mainstream sources with a good healthy dose of scrutiny. If not, then they are very very trusting in the media to be 100 percent honest 100 percent of the time. I call those people Obama supporters as they are fools. each and every last one of them.

  5. mmpaints says:

    Woohoo you rock Phil!

  6. Don H. says:

    The preppers will tend to be good citizens right up to the point, if it should ever come about, when they eventually run out of supplies. When this happens they will be out and about with their heavy weapons ready to take what they need, by deadly force if need be, in the name of survival. This website may not condone that type of behavior, but I can assure you those people exist in large numbers… at first it will be to protect what they have, but if a prolonged situation occurs I suspect all civility goes out the window. I fear that more than any doomsday scenario.

    • Chris W says:

      Where is the proof for your spurious generalizations? What empirical data supports your uninformed allegations? Define heavy weapons. Many of us are into sustainment and a trade post-catastophe and since we will have a little less to concern ourselves with than the majority that are eking out a mere existence, then we can better assist the communities.

      • farticustoot says:

        Could happen. I think that’s more a scenario of those persons who have not prepared and who are already predators. Gang members come first to mind.

        I think most Preppers are thinking more long term when they are learning to rely on farming skills, seed/goods trade.

        I think if a person conducted a SWOT (strength weakness opportunity and threats) analysis they would come to a reasonable conclusion that prepping requires a balance of farming, tactical skill, and so on in order to stand a chance to survive.

    • BobtheEternalFlame says:

      I don’t see that, honestly. Whey they run out of supplies, they will take to the woods/fields and hunt. Their “Heavy Weapons,” (and I’d like to know what you think a “Heavy Weapon” is! A Semi-Automatic AR-15 Type Firearm? That shoots a glorified .22, mate. As far as “Heavy Weapons” goes, I’ve not seem much larger than a .308-I’ve CERTAINLY not seen any .50 BMG!) are for preservation of themselves and their community.

      It is my PERSONAL conjecture that the preppers of the world are the ones that are going to help REBUILD society after a collapse. They’ll start off grouping in safe locations, building small towns (which will need those “Heavy Weapons” to defend against marauders/raiders/bandits), which will start trading with other small towns, and in turn, society will spring back up.

      You sound like a typical anti-gun individual, who fully expects that FEMA will be there the day of an emergency.

      Because that worked SO well for those affected by Katrina…

    • Force says:

      I would assume that any creature would end up doing whatever it takes to survive, but the very fact that we are better prepared will allowed preppers to outlive the majority of the population if any of those catastrophic events occur. Seriously, if one of these global disasters was to take place, exactly how much of the population would be left for us to use our “heavy weapons” on anyway, especially after most of the surviving populace perished from lack of supplies? Most of us aren’t planning on just having stock on hand anyway, we’re also looking toward being able to have a sustainable future. I would consider a prepper that only has limited stock on hand and no plan for when that runs out, as one of those “fringe” type, or maybe someone who is only preparing for a short term problem. If you’re a true prepper, you’re thinking about stockpiling, sure, but you’re also planning on longterm supply, whether through farming or trade, etc. Heck, you’re not just thinking about supplies, you’re also thinking about teaching and passing on living skills so that even the future generations will be able to live on. Honestly, I don’t think there’ll be any way for there to be absolutely no conflict in a future where one of these catastrophes has taken place. I think conflict will be a given, but I’d bet on it coming from the unprepared people first, that they’d be the ones attacking us because we have supplies and they don’t.

    • Ed says:

      What you say sounds good but at what point when a mob of people show up to take your food and rape and kill your wife or your 11 year old daughter are you going to wish that you had one of those heavy weapons that you seem to hate and thought that your money was better spent on golf, a boat or other toy , and yes they will show up as there only 3 days of food in the stores if there is not any looting. I have a year of everything me and my wife need put away for whatever my happen. If I don’t draw the line and let you take it I would have no choice but go hunting for someone like you that is not set up to defend theres. That is the reason that we are set to bug out to a remote location because I don’t want to shoot some one over food but if it comes down to them or me they are going to lose. Not preparing is a choice just like your whole paycheck at the track if you loose there is a price to pay being hungry. The shame is it is not only you but your family that has to pay the price and that could be death.

    • Ed_B says:

      “When this happens they will be out and about with their heavy weapons ready to take what they need, by deadly force if need be, in the name of survival.”

      Don, you could not be more wrong. By the time the preppers run out of supplies, everyone else will already be dead, so there will be no need to shoot anyone to salvage any food that may be left.

      For the most part, preppers know that their survival depends upon teamwork and building a local community. Cooperation beats confrontation every time. The weapons that preppers possess exist to ensure that the non-preppers do not do as you suggest.

  7. Robin says:

    Great piece it is nice to see the other side and not the sensationalism put out there. I think that to ignore what is in front of one’s face is extremely foolish. Check out my blog .

  8. Sarah Colvill says:

    As I read your blog I was offended that you should believe that your show is better than Doomsday Preppers. I would say that there is more than enough need out there for our show along with yours. Whatever it takes, the word needs to be spread that some day, some time, there is going to be some sort of disaster that will necessitate advance preparation. For instance have you seen the news reports lately about how many people in Japan are still displaced because of the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear disaster that they experienced a year ago? All of us will need each other if we should happen to find ourselves in such a situation. Martin and I are prepared to be self-sufficient, but that doesn’t means we won’t welcome what you referred to as “Rawlesian Survivalists” with whom to share resources. As to saying more about your blog, I believe Martin has already said it very well in his comment above.

    • Chris W says:

      You are making a mountain out of a molehill. Phil never postured his show as better than yours. He went out of his way to not offend the Rawlesbots and Rawlesphiles. You are being overly sensitive.

    • Teresa M. says:

      Hello Sarah. I just wanted to take a small moment of your time to tell you that you are in my prayers and that I find your strength inspiring. If you are ever in central Pa let me know. I would love to make you and Martin dinner and spend the evening talking about anything that comes to mind.

    • Laura says:

      Sarah I am also inspired by what you and Martin are doing. Stay strong!!! Although I doubt long island NY is on your pathway…anytime your nearby you are welcome to join us for a home cooked meal, a hot bath or shower and anything else you may desire!!

  9. Doug says:

    The Doomsday Prepper show has been a great conversation starter with some non-preppers. Despite how the “characters” were represented, it has opened doors and also gave me some ideas on ways to improve…Yes, I’ve read a lot of books and web sites, but the more ideas, the better. As for being on the fringe, yes, we are on the fringe….for now. After seeing other shows like The Colony, Life After People, and even zombie shows like Walking Dead, these shows are allowing non-informed people to get a bit more informed and makes conversations with non-preppers easier. Yes, I think some of the shows could be made more informative rather than purely for entertainment, but we know how the media works. Maybe if a few of the food storage companies start sponsoring commercials they will have more of a voice in portraying the preppers?

    • Nic says:

      I agree, watching this show has made me realize how unprepared I am. I live in earthquake land and if something were to happen I have realized I can not depend on the government. There will be those who call preppers crazy or hoarders. But no I call preppers smart and well very well prepared. I coupon so I already have a stockpile, but I’d never thought of a water supply, alternate energy source and first aid. So I personally would like to thank the Doomsday Prepper show for opening my eyes.

  10. Stuart says:

    There is a very famous UK show called ‘Yes Prime Minister’. In it an under secretary pointed out that a survey can be made to say anything depending on how it is portrayed to the person answering the questions.

    Ask people if they think taking young people from deprived backgrounds and giving them a chance to serve their country. Physical fitness, rigid discipline, weapons and combat training to protect and serve where their government needs them.

    Ask people if they think giving young people in deprived neighbourhoods WEAPONS training. Teaching them how to KILL. URBAN COMBAT techniques that help them evade capture. After 4 yrs of intense training let them go back to where they came from with all this knowledge!!!

    In its most basic form both descibe joining the US Army but both paint a completely different picture of it.

    The 40% of the population that vote Democrat think that the 40% that vote Republican are whack jobs and vice versa. Who cares????

    I, personally, thought a prepper to resemble the two gun nuts in the film ‘Tremors’ and i’m sure they exist. Watching the show did something that all good TV shows (that offer a point of view) should do. It made me think!
    I have taken something away from every show, be it an idea or a point of view and for that I am thankful.

    It made me think of the two words that most Americans dont want to face ‘WHAT IF’

    • BobtheEternalFlame says:

      Heh… Burt and Heather. LOVE Burt. And like you, I take something away from EVERY SINGLE EPISODE. Corrugated Pipe for a bunker? Who’da thunk it? Building a house out of shipping containers? Brilliance! Fuel blocks from leaves and shredded newspaper? GREAT firestarters for my woodstove.

      I DO agree the show tends to paint the preppers as “Fringe Lunatics,” but it gives that away by the whole “American Outlier” bit.

      When it comes right down to it, though, I think any prepper that goes on that show needs their head checked. Kinda defeats the whole point, ya know? You’ve given away your name, location, and what you’ve got (aye, they say “Who says I’ve showed my full hand?” but do you REALLY think that’ll help when the parasites are clawing at the gate?). IF/WHEN TSHTF, you have made yourself and your family a target.

      Foolish I say.

      Then again, as I don’t really prep much anyway (other than a bit more than the whole 3/day bit), what’s it matter to me? I’m not planning on lasting very long when TEOTWAWKI rolls around. Where’s the fun in life without ready access to pr0n? ;)

    • farticustoot says:

      Good point. The gangs and cartels have been making efforts to get as many members into the military to just what you have said. Although the top brass in years past have said they don’t have a gang problem they are wrong. In denial.

      I totally see your point.

    • KIP says:

      What you just said was the smartest thing anyone up here has said so far. I don’t care how you vote just be prepared to take care of your family, and protect your self from harm.

  11. Tom says:

    I think most people here are missing the point on Phils article. He’s not bashing the people who’ve participated in Doomsday Preppers. I even happen to like the show (mostly for it’s entertainment value), but there are also some really good ideas. I loved the wood gasifier as well as the aquaponics system that the Mclungs used in the pilot.

    What Phil is getting at is the “Single” Doomsday Scenario that each family is preparing for. Granted Doomsday Preppers is showing a different scenario in each episode, but each episode portrays each family preparing to the extreme and preparing for one single event.

    We know that for sensationalism, ratings, and entertainment that situations are staged, embellished and even the participants are being misquoted or taken out of context. But it’s the extreme prepping for single Doomsday events that makes Preppers as a whole look like we have some sort of delusional paranoia. Phil is not saying that the participants of the show are paranoid, but that’s how many of them have been portrayed to look. This is all accomplished on the editing floor of the show’s producers. You can ask Lisa Bedford. She, herself has stated that they even edited one of her quotes to make it sound like she said the exact opposite of what she actually said. Even the truck pulling up to her house in the middle of the night she said was staged.

    Yes, it’s great entertainment. Yes there are some great ideas you can learn from the show. Yes, NatGeo is actually doing a good thing by waking up more people to preparedness. Not only that, the APN has even seen a huge increase in new people who are new to prepping. These are all good things. Why would we complain about that? I don’t hate the show, I’ve even defended it when it was being attacked by hard core survivalists

    Where the problem lies is that when you are portrayed as prepping for a one single “Doomsday” event, then the media is given a perfect opportunity to tear the community apart and label us all as a bunch of paranoid nutcases.

    We already know the media is going to sensationalize a story, especially if it’s a story that’s already been sensationalized by a TV series. This is even amplified more so if it’s a liberally biased media who sees an opportunity to turn it into a left/right thing to make the right look bad. It just fuels their agenda, adds to their ratings and increases their sponsorships. There’s nothing wrong with them doing that per se, It is the business that they are in and we are not opposed to the free market system.

    You just don’t want to give them fodder for their fire. That is what this article is about.

    If you read the article back through through it’s entirety, it’s not so much a criticism of Doomsday Preppers as it is a criticism of the NY Times article. It’s more of a warning of the consequences of giving the liberal media a good opportunity to make us all look like we are paranoid and delusional, when in fact 99% of preppers out there are not afraid but are average people who are preparing for a multitude of common disasters in order to simply live a better life without fear.

    • Sarah Colvill says:

      Tom – Nice attempt at neutralizing the impact of what Phil said. But it didn’t work. I did read what he said all the way through and it was nothing but an outright bashing of all of the people who were involved in the Nat Geo series. You are correct in that certain things were staged, but they were staged to show how certain situations might unfold. And even Phil admits that things were staged in his show as well. i.e. the kidnapping. The important things that we said were not staged. I.e. Martin saying that our goal was to get other truckers thinking and showing them that even mobile people can plan ahead and be prepared, And my statement that I am more afraid of my cancer than I am of an actual doomsday scenario. I say that APN needs to get a life and accept that all preppers are on the right track and that we have an important message to share with the public in general about planning ahead and being ready for whatever might happen.

      • Tom says:

        Of course you are entitled to your opinion, but I still didn’t see Phil bashing you in any way. I will admit that I didnt’ see “your” episode, but I have seen enough episodes to see that Doomsday Preppers is making a mockery of Preppers by going to the extreme. Why you would defend a TV show who makes a mockery of preppers by painting such and extreme viewpoint baffles me. This is no different than Tina Fey and SNL making a mockery of Sarah Palin, sure it was the best free advertising for a campaing that you could get, but I certainly wouldn’t defend their actions if I were Sarah Palin. As a prepper myself I’m certainly not going to defend the act of making a mockery of preppers. I will defend the fact that they are getting the world out, but certainly not the “way” that they are doing it. Just look at their cover image, is that what the stereotypical prepper should look like? I support the fact, and have always defended, all of the participants of the show through my many forum posts, but I still stick to my guns that I’m not going to support the “way” that Doomsday Preppers portrays the prepper community.

        • Sarah Colvill says:

          Thank you. You just made my point for me. You too are bashing something that you have not even seen. At least I have read what you and Phil had to say before I said that your were both wrong in your assessments.

          • Phil Burns says:

            I find it interesting that I wrote about the general impression of over 20 guests on Doomsday Preppers and you and others who have been on the show are taking it as a personal insult and critique of YOUR segment. Let’s be extremely clear here – Doomsday Preppers is NOT your show. You were a guest on it. Just as when the APN was a GUEST on the Today Show last week does not make it “Our Show”.

            Let’s clarify another point – ANYONE who is a Prepper can be on Doomsday Preppers. Every member of the APN has been asked if not begged to be a guest, as has every prominent Prepper I know. The caveat is that you can only be on the show if you are willing or able to present something sensational that captures their interest – and this is where Tom, Hugh and I turned them down.

            I do not single any one segment out in my article. Like Tom, I’ve never watched your segement – I have no idea who you are. Nothing I wrote is a smear or attack on you – or any particular guest – personally, it’s a generalization of the show and a response to what an ENTERTAINMENT REVIEWER wrote in a newspaper article.

            Let’s clear something else up: the author of the New York Times piece never ONCE said anything at all about Preppers. He did his job exactly the way he is supposed to – he reviewed the show and made comments about the impressions it left. If your segment does not match the segments he described, he wasn’t talking about or to YOU. He gave an outsiders opinion of what the show demonstrates to an outsider from an overall view.

            The reaction of several of the guests on the show is what is surprising and telling. Several of you are reacting emotionally and behaving as if you were personally attacked. You weren’t.

            There were some comments the NYT author made that I didn’t feel were even worth mentioning – his racial implications to be specific. They were ludicrous and meant to draw a reaction. However, the producers of the show have indeed intentionally included quotes such as “we’ll slit their throats” and talk about killing people as a way to pique viewers engagement.

            As to your previous comment about me “thinking my show is better than Doomsday” yeah, I do. I have editorial input – you do not. I have a review process before it gets finalized – you do not. I was able to tell them to tone down and change some things – you were not. I have creative input of the overall show direction – you do not. The show is about me and my family and they have to keep me happy or they don’t have a show – it doesn’t matter if you or any other guest is happy, they will still have a show. The format, as I pointed out in my article, is lame and inacurate in that it pigeon holes every Prepper into one scenario, mine allows us to cover every scenario we want. I’m clearly biased but yes, I think my show is better than Doomsday Preppers – which again, is not YOUR show.

            As a bottom line, the point of my article was to explore the consequence of Doomsday Preppers and that is what it did.

          • Sarah Colvill says:

            Looks like I hit a nerve. And it is so good to see that you have absolutely no clue as to what sort of input we had in the segment that we did for Doomsday Preppers. It seems to me that you are nothing but a prima donna who believes they are the only one who knows how to go about getting ready for what the future might bring. It is you who are feeling attacked because you have no clue what you are talking about in regards to a show other than your own.

          • Phil Burns says:

            Again Sarah, I have never said anything about your guest segment on the show. I actually do have a clue into the process with Doomsday Preppers. I’ve spoken to several of the guests personally and they have communicated the twisting that was done and the lack of input they had. I’m done discussing this with you. You see it as a personal attack when I have clearly stated that it has nothing to do with YOU.

          • Tom says:

            Where have I bashed you? And yes, I have watched the show, just not the episode that you were in. I gave an opinion based on what I did in fact see and watch and I explained how I felt Doomsday Preppers was portraying Preppers in general. It’s not a good image that they are portraying of many of the guests that they’ve had on. Many have been staged to look much more extreme than most preppers and many have been taken out of context. But nowhere have I bashed you. You are taking a personal offense to an opinion that has nothing to do with, nor was directed at you. If anyone is bashing anyone, it is you bashing us for making an opinion about Doomsday Preppers. Again, no one here has made an opinion about you nor is bashing you, so why take offense to it and say that we are?

          • Tom says:

            I’m still having a hard time understanding your comment. I said: “I will admit that I didnt’ see “your” episode, but I have seen enough episodes……”

            I didn’t see “YOUR” episode.

            BUT I have seen enough episodes….

            You replied: “Thank you. You just made my point for me. You too are bashing something that you have not even seen”

            I DID NOT bash your episode, so how can you possibly be saying that I’m bashing something that I have not even seen? Show me where I said anything critical of your episode

            My problem is with the “way” Doomsday Preppers is portraying the entire prepping community. I fail to see why you are taking this as a personal attack on you. NOTHING was directed at YOU.

          • Tom says:

            Another way to look at it would be someone making an opinion about how WalMart pays low wages to their employees. Why would any employee of WalMart take a personal offense to that? The opinion obviously is not directed at the employees. And if I were an employee of Walmart I certainly would not be upset or try to defend Walmart about that opinion, I would most likely be in agreement. So again, I fail to see how Phil or myself have bashed “YOU” So why the personal offense?

          • Randy says:

            Listen…I am just starting out in prepping and I am not claiming to be any type of expert but I have seen Doomsday Preppers. I wasn’t sure what to think of it at first but when a person looks past the shows “entertainment value”, there is some useful information. I do think that Nat Geo is trying to get more ratings, obviously any network would, rather than be on the side of the preppers themselves or try to make people more aware of possible events that would devastate our normally way of life. I mean come on. A guy in Maine is dressed in buckskin and collecting road kill? I have a hard time believing that this may be the normal way of life for this man and wasn’t told to put on a little show. I have a hard time believing that a “Grizzly Adams Nature Warrior” would allow Heinz Ketchup on the table or to have his middle son have a desktop and laptop computer. Then telling his oldest son not to teach his younger siblings his training but yet teaches his youngest child to disarm a grown man with a gun? I am sure that this man is a good man but Nat Geo made him look ridiculous.

            A professional firefighter fearing a volcano and packing up in his air pack to go to his storage to get more food. If he was bugging in…where’s the next tank of air going to come from? How will he fill it when it goes empty? I am sure a professional firefighter is aware of this issue and is prepared for that situation but Nat Geo doesn’t show that. It sure made a professional firefighter look ill prepared which kinda bothers me since I too am a firefighter.

            I watch a lot of videos from southernprepper1 and engineer 775 on youtube They are, or were, consultants for the show and also showed a bit of displeasure regarding what made it onto the show and how they portrayed fellow preppers or the prepper community itself. Sorry for my rambling. Once again I am not trying to portray myself in anyway as to being an expert anything. Just thought I would put my 2 cents in. I wish all of you well.

      • Chris w says:

        Absolute rubbish! Tom and Phil are trying to respect you and you attack them unduly. Get a life?!! How puerile can you get? If you cannot deal with opinions other than your own, then don’t put yourself into the public eye. You made yourself a public person and as such you will hear things about you that you do not like. I will come right out and say it. I saw a few minutes of the trucker segment and was not impressed. Overall, I refuse to watch the show after giving it a second after the first night. Phil did not say it, but I am- I believe that the participants of the show, cognizant or not, did a disservice to the movement.

  12. Steve says:

    It sure has helped to increase the prices on everything. It’s much harder to find deals on things. Hopefully it will at least have a positive in that it will make people at least start thinking “what if”

    Just imagine if the power were out for a week. Most people would be totally lost, not much in the way of food or ability to cook, etc. That’s something that could happen almost anywhere

    Stores would be hard pressed to stay open with no power due to theft issues.

    It’d be a mess, my wife and I would be just find, have lighting in the forms of long burning candles, camp stove, rations and lots of food. We’d be the local McDonalds LOL

  13. James says:

    I have been approached, many times, to be on the Doomsday Prepper show. I turned them down for two reasons:

    1) They wanted the extreme – bunkers and gas masks mentality.
    2) They put my family at risk

    Prepping isn’t about riding out a nuclear blast in a posh underground shelter. It’s about getting through the next day after a disaster strikes – regardless of the severity – and the next day after that. It’s about meeting our families needs so that they may help rebuild civilization as it becomes possible to do so.

    Our family, the collective family of Prepperdom, needs protected from prying eyes and those that want to steal what we have. We’ve all worked hard for our possessions and preps, so showing the world our preps is an insane idea. NatGeo should be held accountable if any preppers on their show is ever robbed.

    And who are the experts? Seriously. Are they preppers? Are they mechanical engineers or nuclear scientists?

    I have far too much to do to prep to waste an hour of my life in front of a stupid TV, being told what I do is odd and abnormal.

    May NatGeo one day learn of their folly before someone gets hurt.

    • Sarah Colvill says:

      Therefore you consider yourself to be an expert on how bad our program was without even being involved in the process of making it. And by the way Martin and I don’t have a bunker.

      • Chris W says:

        The only person even remotely posturing themselves as an “expert” is you with your insecure rants and undue ad hominem attacks. Nobody coerced you into doing the show, I am quite sure of that, and so you really are crossing the line with your insecure vitriol. Seems to me that you needed validation because you are uncertain about your choices and when you did not get 110% approval of the Sarah Colvillian way, you decided to lash out.

    • Don Williams says:

      Re James “Prepping isn’t about riding out a nuclear blast in a posh underground shelter.”
      1) Unless you are the US Congress of course — which had a huge bunker built under a five star luxury
      resort in West Virginia for just that purpose. With our taxes. So that in the event of nuclear war, Congress could be living in luxury while the rest of us are eating rats. See PBS’s article on the Greenbriar Bunker at

      2) Of course, you didn’t see the New York Times criticizing THOSE Preppers. Or FEMA Preppers. Or US Government Preppers who have acknowledged plans to impose strict controls on the population in the event of a major disaster.

      But ordinary Americans trying to look after their families? We’re the NYTimes equivalent of “sluts and prostitutes.” Except no one asks advertisers to cancel funding over slurs like “mentally deranged gun nuts”.

      • Bart says:

        Seems like people take offence to the comment “Mentally deranged gun nuts” i live in the uk and i wish i could be a called a deranged gun nut, for you preppers on or off the show if you are considered mentally deranged gun nuts you will probably be fairly safe in case your doomsday happends. i mean in case of a catastrophy i probaly will have to go looking for people that have been prepping and have what my family and i will be needing and i can guarantee that i will be avoiding the houses with with the mentally deranged gun nuts. so dont see it negativly. the show have opened my eyes to the idea of prepping and that one day for whatever reason safty and survival might be dependent on myself and not what goverment and society provides today

  14. Don Williams says:

    If you look at the 160+ comments that NY Times article received, I think you will see some pretty strong
    pushback against the article. Being a newspaper, the TImes likes to provoke argument and being an alleged “elite” paper, it likes fact-based arguments that brings in information hat would interest Wall Street investors or government officials.

    At the top of the comments is a menu that lets you select the “NYT Picks” — i.e, the comments that the Times
    editors liked. (They are also marked with a yellow flag). Surprisingly, one of the NYT Picks was a comment beginning with the words ” Collapse does happen — read Jared Diamond’s book on the subject” and which goes on to note that the US Government is the biggest prepper of all and which cite Ferfal’s survival book.

    • Tom says:

      You will find far more negative reviews about Doomsday Preppers on various survival websites and forums coming right out of our own community than you will in Articles like NYT wrote. Why is that? It’s because many preppers agree that NatGeo’s show portrays preppers extremely in an image that most of us don’t want. Most of those reviews and comments against Doomsday Preppers are not even against the participants, and many of those that have been against the participants, I have stepped in to defend the preppers that participated. I have never bashed or attacked anyone who participated in the show. I even originally encouraged our own members to participate when we were asked by NatGeo to help with their casting call. I have nothing against any of the preppers who participated. I think they all did a great job with what they were offered. Unfortunately what they were offered turned out to be a distortion and twist of what preppers are all about. I’ve personally talked with some of the participants who feel the same way. If NatGeo had presented a much more positive, and realistic image of preppers then I’m sure the NYT article would have reflected that….but of course that wouldn’t have been good ratings for either NatGeo or NYT.

      The whole point is, believe in Doomsday if you wish, but if you focus on that as your main reason for prepping then it’s only going to act as fodder for the fire when the media does a hyped up sensationalized story about prepping. If you don’t want preppers to look bad in the media, then don’t give the media anything to make you look bad. I never discuss with the media anything about politics, religion, guns, cash, gold or bunkers. Stick to the basics. Food, Water, Shelter, Tornadoes, Hurricanes, Terrorism, Economy….Common stuff that they already report on and then they won’t have a reason to make us all look like nuts.

      Again, I have nothing against any of the participants of the show. Of the ones I’ve seen, I think they did an excellent job with what they were offered and I commend them for stepping to the plate to bring prepping out in the open, That is after all what the APN is all about, bringing prepping out in the open.

      Our opinions of the show are strictly about the “WAY” that Doomsday Preppers is going about presenting the image, not about the participants.

  15. David says:

    The show is to attract advertisers, and that may best be accomplished by making the preppers in the show appear to be fools, paranoids, trigger-happy, irrational, etc. to the “bury their head in the sand” crowd that believes everything will always be OK. The review from the New York Times is exactly what I would expect from that publication, located in one of the worst places to be in the country if there is an economic collapse.

    • Tom says:


      Your comment is probably most accurate statement on this entire thread. I would expect no less of NatGeo to be doing what they are doing. They are in the Entertainment business and there to sell advertisement (nothing wrong with selling ads, just know who you are dealing with) It’s entertainment and it’s going to be portrayed in such a way that makes it as entertaining as possible to the masses even if that means mocking preppers.

      While it is good that they are turning a lot of new people onto the concept of prepping who might not have otherwise, it also means the prepper community will have a lot of work to do to “unbrand” the Doomsday label that has now been given to us.

      As far as NYT goes, I would expect no less of them either. If they can further sensationalize and mock a TV show that already sensationalizes and mocks a group of people so they can sell more advertising, then they are going to do that too. It’s the media, it’s what they do. Just dont give them fodder for the fire because they’ll take it and run with it. I think people should talk to the media, just be careful what you give them. Interview them before they interview you.

  16. Chris says:

    Great article Phil. I enjoyed it…and I enjoyed your show. I have to agree with your article. The producers of these shows do tend to view preppers as the gun-toting nut-fringe.

    I learned my lesson about creative editing when I was in a documentary about ISP’s back in the mid-90’s. Without creative control, the producers will spin/splice/edit the segment into whatever viewpoint they are trying to get across. For Preppers, this can be disastrous.

    @Martin and Sarah Colvill: You guys had a great segment and I instantly liked you. Keep doing what you are doing. I think if NatGeo highlighted more people like you, this conversation probably wouldn’t be happening.

    • Sarah Colvill says:

      Thank you Chris. We were pleased with how it came out too. We had a lot of input into what we did and how it was presented as well as who the other people were who were involved. That is why I am having so much problem with being lumped into an overall opinion that some people are posting without having seen our show. And yes we do see it as our show. We didn’t have to do it but we felt we needed to share that it is possible for anyone to live a prepared lifestyle. We believe we were allowed to convey that message. We are not fringe idiots that give other preppers a bad name.

      • Tom says:

        You probably did have a good episode Sarah, I didn’t see it, but I will. I didn’t bash you or lump you in either. None of my opinions and criticisms have been directed at the participants. My criticisms have always been directed at the “way” the producers of the show portray preppers.

        If you had a lot of control and input on your episode, then great. But I no more would criticize you for your episode than I did Lisa Bedford. She did an outstanding job, yet they still edited one of her statements to say the exact opposite of what she said, plus they staged a delivery truck to come to her house in the middle of suburbia in the middle of the night. It’s those sort of things I’ve been criticizing, not the participants and what the participants “actually” did and do in their prepping.

        Despite all the criticisms that the show and the participants have gotten from others and despite my own opinion on the way the show is produced, I still commend the preppers who participated and I would commend them if they participated again in other episodes They have all helped to get the word out about prepping. So please don’t take my opinions personal, they never were directed at you.

      • Chris says:

        @Sarah – If you guys ever get to North Idaho, I’d love to meet you!

        Safe travels!


      • Michael says:

        All one has to do is refer back to the Children’s story of “The 3 Little Pigs”

        The Three Little Pigs
        Once upon a time there were three little pigs and the time came for them to leave home and seek their fortunes.

        Before they left, their mother told them ” Whatever you do , do it the best that you can because that’s the way to get along in the world.

        The first little pig built his house out of straw because it was the easiest thing to do.

        The second little pig built his house out of sticks. This was a little bit stronger than a straw house.

        The third little pig built his house out of bricks.

        One night the big bad wolf, who dearly loved to eat fat little piggies, came along and saw the first little pig in his house of straw. He said “Let me in, Let me in, little pig or I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house in!”

        “Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin”, said the little pig.

        But of course the wolf did blow the house in and ate the first little pig.

        The wolf then came to the house of sticks.

        “Let me in ,Let me in little pig or I’ll huff and I’ll puff and I’ll blow your house in” “Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin”, said the little pig. But the wolf blew that house in too, and ate the second little pig.

        The wolf then came to the house of bricks.

        ” Let me in , let me in” cried the wolf

        “Or I’ll huff and I’ll puff till I blow your house in”

        “Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin” said the pigs.

        Well, the wolf huffed and puffed but he could not blow down that brick house.

        But the wolf was a sly old wolf and he climbed up on the roof to look for a way into the brick house.

        The little pig saw the wolf climb up on the roof and lit a roaring fire in the fireplace and placed on it a large kettle of water.

        When the wolf finally found the hole in the chimney he crawled down and KERSPLASH right into that kettle of water and that was the end of his troubles with the big bad wolf.

        The next day the little pig invited his mother over . She said “You see it is just as I told you. The way to get along in the world is to do things as well as you can.” Fortunately for that little pig, he learned that lesson. And he just lived happily ever after!

        “Only Preppers and the Meek shall Inherit the Earth.”

  17. canid says:

    Just once, I’d love for one of the people featured to say “I’m preparing for the heck of it. You can’t expect the unexpected.” Or maybe just “I’m not sure, but I’d like to be ready for any emergency I can.

    No BS, no solar flares, no 2012 pole shift. That or a deadpan, straight faced zombocalypse prepper.

  18. Jeff says:

    I’m a newborn prepper. I personally feel that EVERY bit of knowledge should be taken with a grain of salt; whether it be from TV, radio, internet, or your best friend. There is so much corruption in the world, and the fact that we know so much about psychological manipulation makes me feel this way. I don’t trust even my own mother 100%, strictly because I feel every person has the capacity to turn on you no matter what you think. I think about turning on my friends and how much it could benefit me if I did, and because I think that (knowing I never actually would) it leads me to believe they are the same. That’s the major advantage AND disadvantage of being human.

    I myself am a naturalist prepper. I disagree with how most people are prepping (that I’ve seen because of the show) in that they are prepping to preserve the life they currently live, even though its obvious that our current lifestyles are destroying mother earth. Most of you seem to be in the mindset that your prepping for “anything” and disagree with the “end of life as we know it” mentality (although by being preparred for anything will help no matter what, I agree that’s helpful no matter what).

    Maybe I am an extremist by thinking life as we know it will end with social corruption, which will result from an oil crisis. Everything we depend on, everything that most preppers seem to be prepping with, is oil based. There’s no argument that our lives today are a direct result of the oil boom. Watch the 2009 documentary called Collapse, directed by Chris Smith I believe, and you’ll understand where I’m coming from. We need to be prepping ourselves with KNOWLEDGE of nature and everything about it because guns will rust, we’ll run out of ammo, and we’ll be living like cavemen again. Maybe I’m partially ignorant because of how the show is presented , maybe not?

    Basically what I’m trying to say is stop worrying about how the media portrays you, or what other people think of you and your prepping, or anything of that concern. All the time you guys wasted (including myself now) arguing back and forth about a useless and unhelpful for anyone topic, could have been focused on gaining knowledge for your survival. Writing this article was useless, taking offense of other articles/shows/opinions does nothing to further our cause and belief in living a full and happy life and continuing humanity.

    Why not strictly focus on helpful topics and recources for increasing your knowledge. It doesn’t matter how many items you have in your bug out location, none of it will help you in the long run. Everything you have will deteriorate. Everything has a beginning and end. The only thing that is certain is your mind and what it carries; it doesn’t matter how much rain falls on your head your mind will never rust. What’s in your mind will always be available as long as you’re alive. Stop worrying about the media that you already know is untrustworthy. Stop arguing. Start being supportive to each other no matter what. Share what you have discovered to work with everyone. The only way humanity can survive is as a community of constant support, negativity and getting butt hurt only hinders our desire to be prepared for anything and everything. Let it go and focus on useful discussion; not whether a TV depicts you as a saint or a maniac.

    • Tom says:

      Jeff you make a very good point. Maybe would should focus much less on what people think of us and focus more on ourselves, You’ve also given me a really good idea. Preppers really need an adjective to focus more about what they are prepping for, that would separate them from the “Doomsday” label. Some of us are Naturalist Preppers, Some are Homesteading Preppers, Some are Realist Preppers, Some are Urban Preppers or Suburban Preppers, Some are Storm Preppers. If you don’t want to be associated with the Doomsday crowd then use a different adjective. Call yourself a Naturalist Prepper. That way when someone new asks if you are like those Doomsday people, you can simply say no, that’s a different kind of Prepper, I’m a Naturalist Prepper

    • Trapper John says:

      Here here! Well said Jeff!

  19. Megan says:

    I totally agree with what you think of the show, and it gives people a lot of reason to pass the whole thing off as for crazy people…But I would also like to think there are a lot more people like me. I do a lot in my home to coupon and catch all the best sales (yeah another show :P) and it’s paying off more then i could of asked for. I realized after some time that my stocks of long term food and all kinds of basic things have made me feel more secure. I figued if anything happened I can live in my home for quite awhile comfortably. Of course, i figured that was silly and other people don’t think about those things. I never realized the “prepper” idea existed until this show got my attention. Like most hopefully, I’m skeptical as hell of TV reality shows so it brought me to sites like this! I feel a lot of relief knowing so many others are thinking the same way and there’s so much more useful information out there on the subject then i thought! The show’s entertaining but i take it with a grain of salt. Thanks!

  20. Kevin says:

    I think what most people forget is if it is on TV it better have some clue of entertainment. This is the only reason for making the show. I think NETgeo does what it does. It will make it entertaining for the general public. Yes I watch the show and have gotten a couple great ideas for things I could do better. But there were some I cringed when the show put them out there. NETgeo wants to attract new viewers or the show gets canceled its that simple. This article only explains what is happening when people agree to be apart of this. Even Phil stated “Some things are staged” again if the show cannot draw people in and get companies to buy advertising time it will go off the air.

    1 Rule when dealing with TV that I live by.


    its that simple.

    I’m proud to say I’m an average person and I prep, its an insurance policy. I know NETgeo would not want to come to my house to film….Why because for me its just a way of life. Nothing sensational about why I do it or the methods of how I do it.

    Just my 2 cents


  21. mike proulx says:

    I personaly dont care what anybody thinks about prepping,I do it for my family and will continue to do it.The fact is if you dont do it for yourselves it wont get done.The more people that think we are cazies,the more it benifits us in that they wont survive long enough to be a possible problem.The future will belong to those that are ready for a varitey of situations.As for weapons,they are a vital part of the whole picture,I have made many sacrifices to ensure my family and I have a fighting chance to carry on in a given situation,and I will do absolutly what ever it takes to protect my family and myself with no apologies.

  22. Trapper John says:

    Folks, we preppers have the foresight that the sheeples have not figured out yet. I read the comments posted by sheeple, not on this web site, to these “doomsday” shows, and I realize they still want to lump preppers along with Jim Jones and the UFO crowd! The Myans did not predict the end of the world, just, maybe, the end of the world as we knew it, the Ozzie and Harriot “happy motoring world”. We are preparing, not for the end of the world, but the end of the world of the last 110 years of oil based growth. It cannot be substained, so accept, learn, grow, educate, and give your kids a fighting chance to continue the path their great great grandparents instilled in them. Teach me so I can teach them.
    Trapper John

  23. countrygran says:

    Kevin has nailed it. We are not prepping for any other reason than providing for our families during what we each perceive as the ultimate threat to their existance. The TV and all it’s drama has made gullible society of today take itself way to seriously. I certainly don’t believe that bringing preppers into the “mainstream” TV has done us any favors. I to am an average person who is prepping for the unknowns we face everyday. I have never seen the show(s) but I have seen the shorts on my computer. Come on let’s us all get real for a change…real people do not live like Jersey Shore (do they?!) The Real Housewives of whereever is as unrealisitic as the WWF. So I don’t put to much stock in TV reality or otherwise. (Yes that includes the 6:00 news as well) So I guess the best thing we can do is ignore all this and hope the season ends quickly so we can slip quietly back into the sunset and get on with our lives.

  24. Ray The Prepper says:

    Those who beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks will be plowing and pruning for those who don’t.

    • Ed says:

      What you say sounds good but at what point when a mob of people show up to take your food and rape and kill your wife or your 11 year old daughter are you going to wish that you had one of those heavy weapons that you seem to hate and thought that your money was better spent on golf, a boat or other toy , and yes they will show up as there only 3 days of food in the stores if there is not any looting. I have a year of everything me and my wife need put away for whatever my happen. If I don’t draw the line and let you take it I would have no choice but go hunting for someone like you that is not set up to defend theres. That is the reason that we are set to bug out to a remote location because I don’t want to shoot some one over food but if it comes down to them or me they are going to lose. Not preparing is a choice just like your whole paycheck at the track if you loose there is a price to pay being hungry. The shame is it is not only you but your family that has to pay the price and that could be death.

  25. Bradford Prepper says:

    The show brings awarness to people that may never have considered a SHTF problem. Prepping for a huricane or a EMP is no different as I see it. Some will prep and some will try at the last minute, the rest will pilfer and steal anything they can. Example New Orleans after Katrinia. I have been prepping for about 12 years now, and still need to learn a few things. I consider watching the show as research, and have picked up a couple different ideals from the show. Knowledge is power as the saying goes, and I’m a belever.

  26. Lewis Ratliff says:

    I think it’s great that these people (that I’ve seen on TV) have the vast amounts of money to invest in their “hobby”.

    1. If I was to go to these lengths, the LAST thing I”d do, would be to put myself, family location, etc, on national TV. Get for real people. If these circumstances were to be reality & you’re the only one in town w/the “life saving resources”, just how long do you think you can defend them? (and I don’t care how many guns, auto-turrets, you have, your far outnumbered by the determined “zombies” out there.)

    2. Think of the odds! Most of these people are banking on one particular type of apocalypse. When you consider the variation, monetary, asteroid, tsunami, nuclear, etc,etc,etc, isn’t it just flat out stupid to build on one?

    3. PREPAREDNESS IS SMART, BUT… flexibility is the key. Having walked out of New Orleans with Katrina, I can tell you plan on the unplanned. For years I relied on the idea of a sea kayak. This scenario worked well for about a day until it was commandeered by the NOPD. (which put me & 2 dogs back on foot) Which brings another point to mind. Water travel IS BEST, FASTEST AND EASIEST, (EVEN IF YOU PADDLE), but in any case, AVOID OTHER PEOPLE, (especially if they’re cops) . Avoid refugee “shelters”. Think the Superdome & N>O> Convention Center post Katrina. Anticipate, no, be sure, that county/state borders will be closed & check-pointed. (Another good reason for water travel)

    4. Bottom line & best advise. $200+/- spent on a good backpack & supplies is the best overall hedge. Guns are good, but check on local carry restrictions in emeg situations. “Guard type” dogs (2 are ideal) are a great asset. Remember, you have to sleep occasionally. I’m sure that mine prevented numerous confrontations during, and even after return to post K N.O. Stay flexible my friends.

  27. brice says:

    This is on TV because it is real. Doomsday is a real event. Real things are going to happen. Believe it or not.
    So this show is actually helping a movement that is necessary, it is just terrible we are now worrying about it. We have been aware of this event for at least 25 years. We need to be prepared for what is real. Some of the people on the show are preparing for the wrong thing however most will be prepared for what is coming 12-21-2012. See: more here CLICK HERE!! A Dooms Day! Click Here!

  28. Wondering says:

    Watching the show, I noticed that many preppers are worried about big earth quakes of some form or another. They have all their supplies on shelves. Many is glass jars. What is to prevent all those supplies from flying off the shelves in a big quake? I see the reasoning behind peoples fears and why they prep. But, am I the only one questioning the supplies on shelves, in glass jars, with nothing to hold them still if diaster strikes?

    • FedTopCop says:

      That was my observation as well. Earthquake? Glass jars and shelves without retention.

      • Howling Wolf says:

        10.4 on that. I quit watching because the premis that most of these people assume is tunnelvision. Guarantted that whatever comes (from multiple options) will be the unexpected. Waste your life & $ on a 1 to 500 bet, I don’r think so.
        If these wacos “really belive”, why would they advertise their locations on nat TV?

    • Patti Bage says:

      I’m a canner and prepper and had the same thought; what about a quake with all those jars. Even in a motor home they have rails to secure items from flying off. While these shows are skewed to deliver a certain point of view they also are informative and I’ve seen some real needs in my own life. I watch some episodes more than once if I can. Preserving food in new ways was a real eye opener. Even a snow storm can knock out power for over a week and can disrupt food trucks from getting throught to stores.

    • cheryl says:

      My husband and I were watching the show today and he said the exact same thing. Say good-bye to all that food you worked so hard on saving when the earthquake your preparing for does hit.

  29. Brice says:

    I believe what may happen is catastrophic in some realities. Our technology that relies on satellites, and our magnetic fields will be wiped out. Solar flares would cause this, along with possible, floods, volcanoes erupting, earth quakes, and tsunamis. The Myans were right, and so was there timing.
    WANT MORE? Click Here To See More!

  30. tatuguru says:

    You know I have read the main article and all the ones that followed. There are a lot of good points that have been said, then again there are some that are quite disturbing. As far as the guy that thinks we just want a reason to start opening fire, all I have to say to a person like that, is this; Sir, you make rash judgements about people you know nothing about. Your opinion appears to be based off of a narrow glimpse of someone elses true self, from a television show. You have to be kidding me! You want me to take your opinion with an objectionable view, but you have to understand that doing this is a really hard task for me to do. You apparently make judgements from viewing a television show. Tell me you aren’t one of those folks that sits there and thinks that it must be true, cause it is on TV. Wow! You must really be an educated man. How many years of school did you attend, to be able to make a far stretched statement like that?

    As far as the show Doomsday Preppers is concerned, I applaud it. Not for its gripping commentary or the shows ability to misrepresent the prepper population as a whole. I applaud it because, I just bet since the airing of the show, preppers numbers have increased. Look at it like this. They (Nat Geo) have helped to mainstream the idea behind becoming a prepper. We are all apart of this forum to help those that come here and ask for it, share knowledge, and to care for others by showing them to care for themselves. Yes they do seem to edit their clips to make some folks look a little less “normal” or just plain silly at times. well i ask you this, do any of you care what other people think of you in the first place? I don’t, and I am proud of the fact that I am doing my part for my family. I am doing my part to help my fellow man as best I can, but he has to have the “want” to help himself first. Okay, so the public thinks I am crazy. Who cares? The show might make preppers look silly in the publics eye, but it is not for us to justify taking care of our families to anyone. We (preppers) look at the long term and try and make sure that no matter the situation, our kids will eat, and we will be able to take care of them. People will always go their own route, and do their own thing. let them as they will, let us as well. Please remember the most important thing. Whatever happens or whether nothing happens, no matter what you are prepared. That’s the cut and dry of the whole thing; right?

    Remember, Doomsday Preppers is a television show, and it is true to itself by being just that, a television show. As a TV show it has to be entertaining, and offer the viewer a reason to return for another episode to come. I ask you all to think of it this way. As grossly entertaining as it may seem to you, be objective. Can you answer or think of anything good that show brings to the table? My favorite way to look at it is like this; how many people watch this show and then start prepping, secretly, but still they are prepping? How many of you learned something from the show? Have you ever found yourself a bit more motivated to stock up to that extreme?(and I am sure there are those that have more stockpiles that are a part of this forum. Lastly, why do you care if people think it makes preppers look any certain way? More than likely they would have judged us worse before the show ever aired. Could they have represented the prepper better? Sure, but they only have so much time and they only have so many days a calender year that they can air within the season they paid airtime for. Yea people might think its crazy, and yes the show might be helping to fuel that fire. Maybe its okay to be a little crazy? Maybe a little crazy is just what it is gonna take to get a fire lit up underneath folks, that way folks will learn to take care of themselves instead of waiting on a politician to do it. I don’t know about you guys, but its not the governments job to take care of me and mine. Its mine!!! As crazy as those folks might seem to appear, at least they realize the same.

    just a thought to remember



    • Lewis Ratliff says:

      I would say do the math.

      I’d say do the math.Suggested formula:

      (chances of event U envision (Odds…1 in ?) X (odds of any/all other possible events) X (odds of sucessful access to facility {bunker, etc, if applicaple) X ( number of alternative plans), etc,etc,etc, factored somehow with available funds=OVERALL SUCESS RATING

      I’m not a mathematician, you figure it out. But having walked out of Katrina, I can say that if the big ” IF ” comes along, things won’t turn out as you planed, & you better splan on some simple, down & dirty alternatives.

    • Patti Bage says:

      Well said!

  31. Angela says:

    I think that had Doomsday Preppers not been on I never would have begun the type of “prepping” I am doing. Everyone I know that watches it says the same thing “I went to bed wondering and thinking about what I need to do to make my family safe”. I had begun creating a pantry prior to the show, but the people on the show gave me information that I didn’t have and my husband and I have begun incorporating it into our lives. I didn’t know that a “prepper network” even existed. I’m glad the show has been on as it has helped out my family greatly.

    • cheryl says:

      Same way with my husband and myself.

    • Randy says:

      I totally agree i feel the same way i amam trying to get started but having problems getting my wife on board.

    • Ed_B says:

      To the extent that DDP has raised the level of consciousness about being prepared for disasters, it is a good show. Do most of us agree with the premises of the shows? Probably not. For one thing, I just hate it when someone is preparing for an economic collapse, a VERY real possibility IMHO due to the incompetence of the banks, the Fed, and the federal gov, and the Nat Geo people congratulate them for prepping and then state that “economists think that this scenario is unlikely”. Well, la de dah! Economists, huh? Aren’t those the same folks who totally missed the Internet stock bubble, the housing bubble, the banking near-collapse of 2008, and the Great Recession that followed? Yes, they would be the ones. Some experts!

  32. syd says:

    I’ve watched the show with interest. I have lots of questions, though.

    It seems to me that a prepper can never venture far from his bunker. If vacationing, if might be impossible to get back to its safety.

    What if one has guests when an emergency happens? Does the prepper escort them to the door, wishing them well in coping with looting gangs while he heads to his bunker?

    I saw an electronic periscope. Neat! Even with bulletproof glass covering it, it could be made useless by one or more paintballs. In fact, someone could just walk up to it and put a paper bag on it.

    If the bunker doorway is visible, what’s to keep those who resent not being allowed in to pile a lot of extremely heavy junk against the door?

    What’s to prevent someone from digging a few feet to find the bunker, then using a torch or other tools to make a hole. Not so good for the preppers.

    What happens if an occupant dies while the rest on the bunkees are waiting out a nuclear winter? Is there some sort of body bag which will seal in the gases?

    The woman who lived 15 miles from the nuke plant was interesting. I wonder why she doesn’t sell her house to some sucker, then move to a safer area. Do all retired cops in New York have that kind of money to outfit a bunker?

    Just wondering.


  33. scout1881 says:

    Some of the prepper information is actually very practical and makes sense. I watch, but I do have a question for you all. What is the biggest reason for prepping? Does the current economy have any influence on your determination to prep? I know for me the economy and the fact that we aren’t being given honest information about the economy has made me more inclined to prep in my own life.
    I hope you will check out my blog in about a week when I write my next blog on prepping.

    • Sarah Colvill says:

      Our primary motivation for prepping is the current economy. However, as cross-country truckers, we are also motivated to a certain extent by the natural disasters that we have seen in the last few years (ie: hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, earthquakes, tsunamis, etc.). Were we to get stranded in an area that was hit by such a disaster, we would be able to take care of ourselves and probably a number of the locals that are affected by same. So far we have not been stranded by a natural disaster, but on a number of occasions we have driven through or into areas that have been devastated by tornadoes, hurricanes, and floods.

    • Daniel Hayes says:

      scout, i cant speank for everyone but to me the biggest reason for prepping is summed up in this little phrase. LIFE HAPPENS. economy is one of many reasons that prepping is our choice of options. The producers of “Doomsday Preppers” ask all the guest to pick a reason to justify prepping, but in reality a “true prepper” (my opinion only) is more like a swiss army knife. we have the tools we need no matter what the situation is.
      i know that i watched hurricane katrina wipe out cities, not just one but several. lives were lost needlessly. i live in tornado alley so weather plays a big role in how we survive as well. look at the tidle waves in japan.
      so in essence i say this to you. why would you prep? is it important why, do you have to have a reason? or would you rather be a number or statistic? life happens and when it does i want to know that my family will be able to endure. this is why i prep, as it is a lot of other folks as well. i hope your prepping starts well for you. my greatest advice is to never feel behind the gun or overwhelmed prepping is a chore but it is not one that you can do in one day. the best thing you can do to prep is to educate yourself. until next time

  34. TED says:


    • Ray says:

      What are you babbling about? I thought we were discussing preparing for potential difficult times. You’ve given a new definition to the term “pointless chatter.”

    • Ed_B says:

      Ray, your comment was not helpful. In fact, it was quite rude and unnecessary.

      While Ted may not be as articulate as some on this site and it is annoying when someone types in all caps, his point was relatively clear. A hundred years ago in this country, there was no “prepping”. Back then, it was simply called living and everyone did the best that they could with what they had because they knew that hard times would come to them at some point in their lives… and probably sooner rather than later. They had large gardens and they canned, dried, and preserved as much of it for winter as they could. They hunted, fished, and raised animals for food too and they salted and smoked as much of that as they could. They did this because those who did not often starved to death back in those days if they did not. Because of this, they taught their kids and grand kids all they knew about ensuring that they had enough to eat, enough to drink, and a warm dry place to sleep. Achieving that was no mean feat at times. In fact, it was incredibly difficult back in the 1930s. Those who lived through those times tend to be strongly opposed to being wasteful because they were taught to “waste not, want not”. This was not just a trite comment, it was the way things were back then and could be once again.

    • Jalapeno Gal says:

      I remember when my grandma use to say things like that and it seemed so annoying to me when I was young because I did not actually understand what it meant. Then I grew up lol. You are absolutely right about everything you said. If our youth, and even us, could understand and save, for instance sewing a button on those jeans rather than throw them out and get a new pair, they could use that money for prepping. I started canning a while back and i make my kids sit with me and help if they can. Most often this is just a time for us to talk and spend time together, but even if they aren’t helping with what i am canning, i am explaining everything and why as we go along. I do this in hopes that one day, if they have to they will have the know how to do it. Things that were normal back then are non existent today and it is up to us to instill these knowledgeable things in our children so they pass it on. This is off subject a little but proves a point. The other day I had some photos printed. (yes on real photo paper lol) And my hubby and I were picking out photo frames. He looked at me and said ” I can see our grandkids walking up to this and trying to swipe it to another photo ( like the touch i pads and phones and stuffs) because they dont know what a regular photo in a frame is. I laughed but at the same time shook my head. We are losing the simple things from our past and again, it is up to us to make sure that doesn’t happen. I use to work in a nursing home and I loved it! I loved talking to the elderly people there about the way things were when they were kids, its amazing. Maybe one day that will be us lol.


  35. Toni Montana says:

    Well I for one love these episodes, and I would have to say I am a pretty Mainstream. I think the Press is way downplaying the number of people who are alarmed by the way our Governement is behaving right now (I’m sorry, but signing Bills allowing Martial Law to be put into place does not exactly let the general population have a warm fuzzy feeling that everything is going well!) If you are at all observant, and I am surrounded by that type of person, you will be aware that some big changes will be coming in the near future and that it’s quite possible no one is going to be able or willing to take care of those people who are used to the system taking care of them. Look at the rest of the world and then try and tell me it could “never happen here”.

    I grew up on a Ranch but due to the fact that it could really only financially support 1 of the 5 kids’ families, and I was one of two girls, the chances were pretty slim I could have swung it over the 3 boys, I went to college and left it behind (later the person who “inherited” it married and the wife decided it was too remote, so it was sold to a neighbor and now is out of the family). Sad, because when you grow up on a ranch, you are always “Prepping”, in case the snowplow doesn’t make it to your road for a while after a big snowstorm, or the cattle all have to be sold cheaply due to a drought or the high prices of hay or even gas prices make it difficult to run the heavy equipment to raise enough hay and oats and wheat to make it through the potential 9 months of winter…. I grew up with a root cellar and an acre plus of garden and a milk cow or two and lots of chickens running around. However, that was hard work and I left it all behind with relief in my late teens! I did not end up buying a farm and married someone with no intention of doing so. So now here I am in a nice suburban home looking at current world events with a vague sense of alarm and nowhere to “prep” and it is all coming back to me again. I honestly don’t think any of the people I have seen on the show are too off base on their assessments of upcoming events. They kind of sound like my Grandparents who lived through the Depression. On a ranch they said they didn’t really notice it, as everyone around was pretty much equally poor and you had almost no chance of starving when you grow all of your own food… I wish I had married more of a “prepper” because I am currently the only one that gives it any thought, and am told “don’t be silly-nothing is going to happen” and “I don’t want a bunch of clutter around the house” and “Don’t even think of buying a gun”. So I guess I will have to gather a few extra things in the pantry and have my backpack ready to go in case I have to get out quick. I do look kind of longingly at the large corrugated pipe underground bunkers in rural woodlands while watching preppers, however. I am currently WAY more interested in survival gear than the latest fashions – and so far I have not seen anyone on the show that I would consider to be very “fringe” (most of them remind me of the very sensible Ranchers I grew up around)-actually, now I find them much more attractive than I would have back in my mis-spent youth! ;o)

  36. Ed says:

    I’m sure others may have differing opinions on Doomsday Preppers the series, however it got me thinking again and if you came from the civil defence days the i think you can relate.

    Great site thanks

  37. Thunderbolt says:

    How about this tip….
    Big plastic bucket with a plastic bag inside with cat litter for a portable loo? Just scoop it out when done.

    • Daniel Hayes says:

      thunderbolt great idea, i drove a truck cross country for a lot of years and i keppt a bucket on my truck in case i ever got caught out in the desert. i have used it more times than i care to share but it is a good sanitary option for traveling. a bit bulky tho if you were on foot. but thanks for sharing the tip

    • i mentioned that on camping survival on facebook and was laughed at lol

  38. Rebel-Belle says:

    Great article! I saw “Doomsday Preppers” for the first time last night, so am definitely commenting from a “newbie” perspective. While I have an “earthquake kit” (several, actually) I was completely unaware that anything approaching what I saw last night and read about today even existed.
    I agree that the Nat-Geo folks are definitely leaning toward the sensationalist side of the preparatory movement. It doesn’t help when one of the “teasers” for an upcoming episode shows a woman emptying a clip into a target, and then proclaiming, “then you do the happy dance”. As a card-carrying NRA member who would gladly give my life–or yours–(your choice) to protect my family, I found this display gratuitous and offensive, and can easily see how it creates an unpleasant association with the prepping ideology. This notwithstanding, I had the following questions/observations about “preppers” as I watched the show:

    **I don’t think any truly serious/skilled prepper would be featured on the show. I don’t see how you can appear in the “sound-bite” segments without revealing more than you would care to about your preparations, your location, your supplies, or your ability to defend same.
    **I am relieved to read in Phil’s article and some of the other comments that there is a prep mode that validates preparing simply for self-reliance, rather than a specific cataclysmic event. Reference the psychiatrist who has elaborately prepared for Avian flu. My question was, “how prepared are these people (any of them), if IT (whatever IT is) is something other than what you have anticipated?” Now I know from reading this site that the middle of the road model seems to be a more prevalent approach. I’m not sure I could live with the constant worry of “what if IT happens”. I can, however, begin to prepare for self-reliance—that is easily within my means and comfort zone.
    **I am not certain how some of the folks on the shows I watched can live with the constant fear and worry that motivates them. One woman said, “I just want to know we are READY” but I could tell from her 15-minute segment that she would never reach that point. There would always be more to fear, more to get, more to do, and more time to trim from their bug-out drill. Is there a time when you feel that you are reasonably prepared for IT (whatever IT is?) It seems to me that prepping should increase one’s comfort level, but I didn’t get that from the show. Will I be buying into more worry instead of less as I take my first step into prep?
    **I question the amount of resources and their allocation from some of the segments on the show. $50,000 seems like a lot for something that “might happen” when a doctor buys cases of antibiotics for a specific pandemic . It’s great that one young lady took fire-arms training, but where will she get a bolt-action sniper rifle? I suppose this comes down to a previous question, “when is “enough”, enough?”
    **Whatever the show is, it has at least started me thinking and talking with my family about what we need to do to prepare ourselves to be more self-reliant. We lived through the 1993 Northridge earthquake and ensuing aftermath, so I’ve had a taste of how far my prep carried me. We did OK with what I had set up and put aside, along with some improvisation. Our neighborhood chipped in collegially, and we had an almost “festive” few days with our informal network. I doubt, though, that had the situation been more serious (yes, hard to imagine it could have been worse) or very prolonged we would have been in dire straits. I can definitely see the need for formalizing a prep network. When I took stock of the neighborhood I realized within shouting distance I have a deputy sheriff, a registered nurse, and a general contractor. Time for a neighborhood get-together, I think.
    So, you see, I’ve been given lots to think about in a couple of hours of TV time. The means might not be the best, but if one of the aims was to educate (or just increase awareness) then the show has hit the mark there. I have tried not to over-generalize from these first impressions, and I hope others will do the same. One good take-away was from the gentleman who freely said something to the effect of “I am completely OK with being socially unacceptable.“ I look forward to reading and learning more from this site and your posts.

    • Daniel Hayes says:

      hello rebel-belle
      hey thanks for contributing i go by tatuguru when i post forum post in the american preppers network (APN) and i have been lucky enough to be chosen to write an article for this website as well. i invite you to read it as i am a new prepper and trying to accomplish my goal of what prepared is. if you were to ask me what i am preparing for, i am not sure i can tell you anything other than i live in tornado alley and our weather has not been as study as i am used to. i am not happy with the way things are looking with the government on a global scale. i also am not going to sit by and wait for a government to assist me when it is my job to fend for myself. my greatest hope is that our world calms down and stops to take a look at the ways we have taken advantage of one another and our resources. i am not one of these guys that believes that global pandemic is going to take over the population of our planet, but i am not the guy that is gonna say it cant happen either.
      i really enjoyed ready your post on this subject and i am extremely glad that you watched the show but didn’t take the accepted response as someone looking from the outside. as preppers we sometimes forget that we are suppose to accept the thoughts about the way you look at things and it is hard to think that another point of view might actually place you “in the box” human nature is such a funny thing. i hope we see more of your thoughts in the forums and welcome to the apn

      and i hope i am allowed to speak for the rest of the crew here in the APN but we really appreciate you not generalizing or accepting a first impression about all preppers.

    • Ed_B says:

      “I suppose this comes down to a previous question, “when is “enough”, enough?””

      Ah, therein lies the rub. To true preppers, there is never enough. Something always remains to be done or improved. This is because prepping is not a destination, it is a journey that lasts a lifetime.

  39. Prepper 47 says:

    As a 64 year old prepper for over a year now, it occured to me one day that several things have a higher chance of interupting our day to day life than in past years so I started prepping. I did not want to have my kids look to me for food when there was non in the stores and I had none either.
    With 330 million people in the US needing 1 billion meals every day, what would it take to interupt the food chain? Those writers who think all preppers are crazy can’t think beyond their nose. While I hope nothing ever does happen, if it does, I am prepared for most problems.

    • Ed_B says:

      Congrats, Prepper 47. As one who is of similar age and concern as you, I appreciate your comments. It is not at all unusual for there to be only 1 or 2 preppers in a family. Because of this, we have the extra burden of prepping for those in our family who either will not or cannot prep. That being the case, it is a burden that we shoulder freely… because we can and we must. Family is THE most important thing in a person’s life… at least, it should be. It is worth all the extra effort that we make to help insure that they will have what they need in a disaster. Personally, it is those who look at the world today and do not prep for potential disasters that seem loony to me.

  40. these people put themselves at real risk exposing their preps as well just for 30 secs of fame

    • Martin says:

      Some of us are not interested in fame. Some of us want to help people. Doomsday Preppers was one way of doing that. It reached many more people than has been reached before. Fame is fleeting and empty. Wisdom is forever and much more rewarding. And if you want the fame I’ve experienced since the show you can have it.

  41. Munoz says:

    people we all know the drama is the new thing , but the question ???? Is (what if) look  around 
    Tell me are thing getting any better , we pay more for food ,gas ,materials . Out of 51 states 48 of them are out of money ,the climate is changing ,last year 300+ tornados in tornado alley  the normal wast 100+ an the was on  a bad year, look read wake up !!!!!!!! what if .     

    • El says:

      Munoz, you sound as though you are completely defined by the one group that won’t let you across the border. Grass isn’t greener, is it? The whole “what if” deal is an OCD-level type of preoccupation. So what, you have food.So what you have weapons? So what you have all the ‘things’ you think you need to have because you listened to some other message. Pharaoh thought he was prepped. Got snagged in the Red Sea, didn’t he? Let go. Relax. Enjoy a peaceful lifespan. I am down to my three feet of space. THAT is where IT goes down, my friend. When some mug is just too darn close to you and you don’t have the courage to step away or demand that they do. PREP for THAT! Doomsday is a mugging in broad daylight, where a zombie took your life (as well as your iPod, Kindle, laptop, wallet, keyring, etc.). Real prepping is not all this BS on tv. Real prepping is handling the freak you though was your friend. Peace.

  42. Bubba says:

    The reason there won’t be any food in a disaster is because of all the preppers hoarding it. I guess when the big one hits, some of us will be working as a community and the rest will be trying to look out for themselves and their families. If it gets so bad that everyone has to fend for themselves, I don’t think I want to live in that kind of world. The question is if you have all the food are you going to share it with people in need or are you going to let people die because you prepared and they didn’t. This mindset is a moneymaker for some companies.

    • Bubba,
      I have so much to say about what you just wrote. First of all, the reason unprepared people will die is because they are unprepared, not because we has preppers are hoarding food. What your saying is this…..because we spent our hard earned money on preparing for disasters instead of luxuries or going out to eat all the time, we should share it with people who dont care about preparing for their families. That to me, is like saying, “I worked my whole life and bought this nice home for my family, but because there are 20 homeless people in my town they have the right to come live with me because they might die out there in the big ugly mean world” It’s sort of the Obama mindset….because this person has more money, food etc over have to share with that person over there. ( the ones who dont work and live off the government, aka all of us taxpayers)
      That being said….this website is here for a purpose and it is to teach people how to prepare. What they choose to do with it is on them. The sad reality is, for people who dont prepare, they will have to rely on the government (FEMA camps) or family to dig them out of whatever happens. Do you really want to be one of those people? Or would you rather be one of the people who hoards food/money to feed all of the people who dont care and expect you to do it?
      Now, that being said….we as a community, where i come from, are more than willing to stand together and share with like minded people. Those who can contribute to the community and have been preparing themselves, not those who want to sit back and just feed off the community because they feel they have that *right* just because they are human. Is this harsh? Perhaps it is. But if it is really “the end of the world AS WE NO IT TO BE”, then the fact of the matter is, it will be every man for himself because the people who are unprepared will force it to be that way because they are starving. However, if its just a natural disaster such as a tornado, fire, hurricane or whatever, then for me and my family, yes we would share. We would not let our neighbor die if his house burned down or if he was homeless due to a natural disaster.
      As a friend, i am pleading with you to change your mindset and to wake up to the reality of the world. If it came down to your child starving to death, or a stranger, who would you pick and would that make you a horrible person?
      My family is prepping in case of natural disasters or war, but the truth is…im preparing for retirement lol.

    • Ed_B says:

      Well said, Jalapeno Gal! Personally, I LOVE sharing what I have with others when they come prepared to do the same thing. Anyone foolish enough not to be prepared for disaster who shows up here empty handed will get a share from my empty hands as well. If someone does not bother to buy car insurance, wrecks their car, and then wants me to pay to fix their wrecked car has more b@lls than a street lined with pawn shops. There is nothing stopping people from being prepared for general disasters… nothing but their own intransigence that is. Believe it or not, folks, disasters are nothing more than tests of our ecological viability. It is sad that so many just are not viable and no, merely because they are breathing at the moment does not make them so.

  43. quinbyites says:

    These people need to be the first to go. The children on these shows look terrified and I call that mental abuse of children. At least they are spending a bundle of money which contributes to the economy. ;)

  44. I love this article Phil. I think you hit the nail on the head. I stopped watching Doomsday preppers myself because I didn’t like how it portrayed Preppers. But also because of the short time they give each prepper to try to explain how and why they do what they do. I’m sure a lot of it is edited out to portray them that way though. I am also sure that a lot of those preppers are just like us to. When we start to categorize ourselves into groups is when we will fail as a community. I think that is important to remember as well. At the same time though, none of us needs to get offended by another’s point of view. Just because we may disagree on certain issues or articles doesn’t mean we have to have hard feelings about the subject. This is just my two cents after reading some of the replies.

  45. Daniel Hayes says:

    hello bubba,  first i will tell you that when i read your post i was a little miffed and dismayed.   we are all allowed to have our own opinion, and with that being said, i would like to ask you one simple question.  Are you prepared to take care of your family or yourself if something bad were to happen?  or are you going to hope for best just by hoping that someone close to you will “give” you items to take care of your needs.   My whole life i have never waited to be given anything.  i have had to work for what i have and i will work for what i get.  as far as the prepper movement buying up all the food is a misnomer.   i go into the store every week and i buy my staples and they have LOTS available to everyone that will purchase those items.     my greatest hope is that you to will prep for your future.    good luck

  46. f jacobs says:

    We feel that what we want is to survive whatever may come & to not have to “open fire” if possible. Conflict is not our goal, but to survival it is. We continue to improve our knowlege & to stock whatever my help our family to be able to care for ourselves. we are starting to networl with other preppersin our area to build a strong support for ourselves. We feel this is what prepping is about. Much of the stuff they show on tv is sensationalisim & ment to get ratings :-(

  47. New Girl says:

    Hello everyone, I am new to blogging or replying but I came to this website hoping to learn a little more about your community. After being introduced to your movement through NatGeo it was kind of like all of the things that I had in the back of head was brought to the forefront. I see that a lot of you are upset by the series, but for intelligent viewers it is nice introduction to different scenarios, ways of protecting yourself and your family, and being able to survive after a disaster, whatever that may be. I am learning a great deal about farming, supplies that I could purchase that will last a long time and not go to waste. Underground bunkers have been around since the 60s, people brought them for bomb raids but they turned into excellent shelters from mother nature and to date have saved countless lives, but then society got full of itself and looked down on folks for putting them in unless you lived in Kansas, Alabama or where you get tornadoes. But the farming community have always been preppers, they would raise livestock, oats, grains, veggies and can for the winter when you couldn’t go out to the grocery. I learned about these things from my grandparents who have a large farm, and helped with preparing the meats and veggies, and making preserves and so on to make it through the winter and hard times. Today my grandparents are no longer with us and that generation always prepped, they had to for fires that could take out their crops, harsh winters when you couldn’t get off the mountain, and the list goes on, along with collecting the seeds so that they could be used for next years harvest. To me prepping has been a way of life for the farming community always. The show may not be what you envisioned but a lot more people are taking notice and are quietly joining you, myself included. I also like to watch the show with underground bunkers. The self defense shows are good too. The American people used look out for their neighbors, but then we got divided by property lines, society and status and suburbia came into play. While people may make fun of you, the government has quietly changed a few laws to keep you from prepping. Check your state law about planting a garden on more than an acre, you might be shocked. I was wondering who had ideas on what do you on that issue. Science channel is letting the public know about the genetically altered livestock, and vegetable crops that are making bugs and bacteria stronger, and our children sicker. That organic is the natural farmer that doesn’t used their cheaper deadlier seed, and they pay for that by not getting the government subsidies, that alone is scary but others would make the folks that prefer to go to the local farmer’s market seem like they are crazy one. That even the bottled water that everyone buys can be toxic when the plastic sloffs off into the beverage when it gets hot. I guess I am saying that I like preppers because you guys seem to be the ones that are paying attention, and yep NatGeo is piece milling it to the public so that they don’t cause a panic, but if people really knew what you guys know the large supermarket chains would be empty and the local farmer markets would be brought out. Oh and Kudos to the farmers who do not use the altered seed or feed for their harvest. Thank you for your time, and for those of you who do share on the program I am very thankful for your insight on ways to better preparing for the future.

    • Your opinion was very well spoken and also expressed some things I hadnt thought of. How, even though some of may not like doomsday preppers, it is in fact bringing more people to the community, Thanks new girl.

  48. New Girl says:

    OK, I just saw the prepper from Tennessee, they have taken his guns and called him defective because he didn’t want to have tubes in his throat. Be careful out there. Watch the video:

    • Yeah, but he is a little strange lol. There was huge controversy over this after it happened and *supposedly* it was because at one point he was suicidal or something and if you have a record anywhere in history of being in a mental institution you aren’t aloud a gun.

  49. El says:

    I dunno. I read the article and yes, I could embrace some of the sentiment. I believe that NatGeo are profiteers and fear mongers (as is the case with any media campaign worth it’s salt). They know the average white American is scared of everything. Now that the President is a black man this is the perfect time to air what level-headed farmers have known for centuries. Fend for yourself because folks are nuts. When this phase blows over we can all give this mega-fake-food-and-supply crap to our kids to play camp-out with in the backyard!

  50. New Girl says:

    Just a quick note. Has anyone seen the latest commercial and plea for help from Israel? So stay strong in your preparedness, another epedemic of foot shortage and the inability to be able to feed themselves because they can no longer afford the high price of food. It makes my heart hurt that the elderly are made to suffer because of a failing economy. They said that we would never have an oil shortage, but today we are way more dependent on foreign oil then our own home resources. The gentleman that runs his car on biodiesel is one smart fella because he is already making a split from the dependency on foreign oil but oil is used in so many products that a lot of people are not even aware of. Since watching preppers I find myself even more aware of just how much things have gone up. I really like ideas of collecting seeds, alternative heat sources. I think I am turning into a sponge, because everything that I am seeing is what is happening all over the world as well as here in the US. I am sure that those elderly people over there never expected that the prices could rise so much that they could not afford to feed themselves in their end days would ever come. But it is here. Just food for thought.

  51. Gare says:

    Hi, I disagree with an aspect of your article. The part where you basically said that because of the negative light NatGeo painted you in, it was causing people to think of you as freaks pretty much and turning them off to the whole prepper thing. I’m not quoting exactly because I can’t find it now, but I think you understand.

    See I’m a Marine. I was active for a while and now I’m in the reserve (should’ve stayed active or got out though haha). I have always had a mindset that my grandfather gave me of being prepared and always having the things in case you need them. The ole “Better to have and not need than need and have” lifestyle. But I was never a prepper more like just a thinker with a few supplies if that makes sense. When NG launched this show, yeah I’ll admit it openly, I thought it was a bunch of crazies. I thought it was weird and I did kind of laugh at it. But then I started thinking about it some more and then Googled a little here and there. And now I’m way into it and it’s all because it got my curiosity going. Granted I’m new so I have a long way to go, but I have increased my food and water storage and made better plans for various scenarios because, and I do agree, NG did make it seem like everybody was preparing for one thing and that is just plain bullsh*t. I guess what my point is, is that had NatGeo NOT made it seem weird or crazy, I wouldn’t have watched it which means I wouldn’t have prepared more. I think the majority of the viewers probably had the same experience as me, I don’t know for certain, but the same thing happened to my dad and two younger brothers….Mom still thinks we’re crazy, but it’s okay we have extra for her just in case. I wouldn’t sweat it honestly. NG probably did do it just for ratings, but what show doesn’t now-a-days? I say let the show run and keep showing the weird people to get folks curious and think about it in a humorous light at first instead of them never hearing or thinking about it at all.

  52. barbarian says:

    let me say this,, back in ’94 we had a very bad ice storm and was without power for over 2 weeks,, lost our water. no way to cook food except by single burner camp stove, unable to really travel to store. no heat cause no power to operate furnace, got water in buckets, jugs so could use toliet,
    thank goodness for guns and ammo as used them to kill squirrels and deer for food. got no help from government was completely on our own, I remember this, so now Im saving food and things that I know will be needed if it happens again, being in the dark and hungry with a family is no fun or a joke. If you dont believe me in winter cut off your lights, water, heat and check it out for a couple weeks.

  53. Jill says:

    The entire doomsday scenario is something that is relatively new to me. As a newbie, I enjoy the Doomsday series as informational and the different ideas you can get from each prepper featured. The more they show, the more holes in my own plan are revealed to me and allow me to better think through the issues. Yes, each person only gets their “fifteen minutes”, but I feel like the message of the neccssity of preparedness is getting across. It is interesting to watch and learn from a newbie’s perspective. 

  54. Logical Thinker says:

    First things first, prepping for doomsday is hard to do in any situation, preppering for any of these situations is almost impossible. For example, you prep for a nuclear disaster and you underground bunker gets destroyed in a flood, or you prep for some kind of chemical attack but you were out doing some shopping when it strikes, miles away from your preparations? The best way to prep is being prepared for any situation. Being able to move quick, defend yourself, think an adapt to the situation at hand, and have a bit of luck, you might be ok. If some of these preppers actually sat down and thought about the how to real prep for doomsday, their best bet would be to sell everything them have, move to some remote stretch of the world with an abundese of naturally resources and live off the land. Think about it, what will these people in a year when they 1 year food supply runs out in a year for they are still alive?(And I don’t want to hear anything about that seed bullsh*t). I’m not saying that things won’t happen, but of you are prepping for just one thing you just as doomed as everyone else. 

  55. Alex says:

    At first, I was reluctant to post a comment… But I felt it appropriate to mention, as others before me have, that “Doomsday Preppers,” a show depicting preppers as “gun nuts” or not, actually did a bit of justice for the prepper community by pulling in my attention, and making me think about the future and what might happen. Prior to watching the program, I had always assumed I was well prepared for anything that might happen, but in conclusion I realized I am not as close to being prepared as I would like to be. Watching the program put me in the mindset to actually do something about it. Now, I’m ready to train myself to provide the protection that my family needs.

  56. Ricky says:

    Wow! An article without sensationalism & bafoons! Well done, great read. I’ve only recently begun prepping, after my family urged me to think about all the risks involved with NOT prepping. lol I’ve already spent about $10k, but I was really motivated after watching this guy’s video:

  57. John M says:

    Mr. Burns put forth a very good article. Prior to reading it, I was becoming quite concerned about NatGeo’s broadcasting of the “Singular Doomsday Scenario” played out by the participants in this series, and the 15 minutes of fame that they collectively enjoyed by revealing their personal secrets that only a precious few should be privileged to.”Prepping” as it is so called nowadays, will always be subject to ridicule by those who believe that government is there to take care of their every need. While I don’t knock a positive outlook on life, I am very wary of those who choose to only see the “GOOD” in everyone, look at life through rose-colored glasses, and don’t prepare themselves for eventualities that may or may not occur. Surely if events transpired to the negative, these people who ridicule us will be first in line, with the loudest of shrill protests…for the government to intervene and “GIVE” them some of the hard-earned provisions that we have labored and paid for over the years. Don’t believe me…go back to Katrina and evaluate the aftermath more closely! For those of us who choose to live this way my advice is to remain silent, be vigilant
    I myself have been “Prepping” since January 1994. I was stuck in an apartment in Chatsworth, CA after the Northridge quake with two bottles of water, some Cheerios, maybe a couple of cans of junk food, less than ¼ tank of gas, no electricity for 4 days, and my facilities were becoming quite odiferous. I said to myself…”This will never happen again”; hence the start of my lifestyle. For 15 years I did not know that I was a “Prepper”, I only knew I needed to plan for any eventuality that could be thrown my way. What made matters worse in my book, was the fluffy-bottomed press coverage that chose only to focus on the folks that were doing the right thing and pitching in…I was there, and I testify that such situations were not as common as the press made them out to be. Crime was rampant!
    For those of us who choose to live this way my advice is to remain silent, be vigilant, and resist the need to see your own face on the wide-screen (even if it is in High-Def). AND…get used to ridicule by the liberal bloggers. Go about your lives as if everything is normal, pray that everything does remain normal, nurture your family and friendships, but BE PREAPRED. There is no singular scenario that could occur except one being caught with his/her fly open. There is nothing bizarre about emergency preparedness, except maybe to the Paris Hilton’s, Brittany Spears’s, Cher’s, and George Clooney’s of the world. The rest of us must live in reality.

    Regards to all,

  58. Professor says:

    I understand that many people would rather put their head in the sand than to even consider a major change in lifestlye. These preppers want to survive….period. They are not wishing for the worst case senario, just being prepared. Don’t want to prepare, don’t. Don’t damn people for a different view than yours. Look at the evidence at hand. Just look at the science. Become observant of your surroundings. We are in a time of climatic change. Plate tectonics. Solar flares. The earth has experienced mass extinctions multiple times. Just because humans are here isn’t going to change anything. Don’t like what we are getting ready for, don’t look. You have that freedom……so do we!

    • Ed_B says:

      “We are in a time of climatic change.”

      Professor, everyone has always lived during a “time of climatic change”. It is a ludicrous assumption that the climate of the Earth is static. It isn’t. It is always changing. Sometimes it changes more than at other times but it is still changing. We haven’t had an Ice Age in about 112,000 years when the Ice Age cycle is more like every 100,000 years. When Leif Erikson sailed to Greenland about 1000 years ago, he called it “Vineland” because the island was covered in wild grapes. There isn’t a single sign of a grape vine there now because it is simply too cold to support them.

  59. Carolyn says:

    Reading from the top was funny. Seems that many of you only think the people that prepare are repubs and seem to be very anti Obama, not sure why that needs to be in here. For some background info, I’m a dem, voted for Obama because I think he was the better man, gosh I even have guns, and may not be considered a prepper but yet I’m prepared. I have quite a stock of food on hand, even keep bags for the dog, cat, and food for the chickens. Have a stock of fuel on hand, 40 pounds of wheat for bread, and other items.

    I know how to sew, cook, can, plant a garden, and my husband can fix about anything. We are not far from the coast and have been through some hurricanes. We have generators, extra fuel. We had lights, running water, we have a well. I can cook because we have propane for our stove and water heater, also can run our furnace. We cannot run the W/D because of the electronics but we can run the one in the motorhome.

    I probably have more skills from my growing up years then many could imagine, I don’t have to develop them. If some of you would learn to be more self sufficient and teach yourself a lot of skills that might really help you in the long run if something did happen, but also will help you in your lives. My husband is a carpenter, mechanic, electrician, and fixer of most anything that has helped us to save our money. If you just learn a lot of skills to make your lives richer and you will have a lot of the skills you need to survive in any economy and any catastrophe. Cooking and hunting skills help also and having extra of supplies can’t hurt. All these things will help you have a good life no matter what and none of it is extreme. Hope is well for all of us.

  60. al-kaeda.smith says:

    It’s sad to see that NG has to resort to trash reality programming to compete for ratings, “preppers” could perhaps move them a couple points close to the steaming pile of sh*t that is prevalent in telecast today.

    Note to preppers: its a waste of time and energy and I feel very sorry for your children who have to live with your paranoia and later suffer severe psychological issues later in life.

  61. Andrew Ramus says:

    I developed a home invasion prevention door bar. This device works and is essential for preppers. Please check out my site. We hope to hear from you. Thank you, Andrew.

  62. Jeanie says:

    The most “prepared” I have ever been is to always have some sort of first aid kit available and I had two weeks of water available for the big “Y2K” event that never happened!  I just watched my first episode of Doomsday Preppers and I have to tell you that I disagree with the author of this article.  I DO NOT consider anyone who prepares for a catastrophic events to be “nut jobs” or “crazies”.  As for the NY Times well, it’s the NY Times and they will skew EVERYTHING!!!

    • Ed_B says:

      “As for the NY Times well, it’s the NY Times and they will skew EVERYTHING!!!”

      Yep… and ALWAYS to the left. ;-)

  63. Phil, thank you for helping people understand that prepping is a frugal lifestyle choice, not a license to get ready, aim and fire. I especially like the way you ended the article “As for those few in our community who may be “wanting a license to open fire” – our official policy is to please leave our community and go find a different one – Thanks!”

    Being a APN meetup coordinator, I am finding individuals with that sort of attitude and have to work hard at keeping the discussions positive and less about “Rawlesian Survivalists” ideas as I go about encouraging every family to become self-reliant. Your article hit the nail on the head. Thank you.

  64. f jacobs says:

    If they mistakenly make the assumntion the we are a subculture that should be avoided, it will be interesting to see how that changes if TSHTF> I storongly feel that they will ‘all of a sudden’ decide to beat a path to our doors for food, shelter & protection, once they realize it might not “come back” for a while & OMG what do they do now(????)

    Prepping is a way of life, we chose not to be caught out & believe it is our responsibility to take care of our families. Things happen in life, we choose to be prepared as best we can for whatever may come! I believe we live a happier less stressful life by making a choice to be prepared!

  65. mmkkpro says:

    I think knowledge is the best thing a prepper can have,its about knowing how to protect your family in many ways,building a fire,collecting water,knowing where to look for food sources,its not about being able to say i told you so,most of the things you need to survive any situation you need anyway,after the great depression people prepped,canned food,made thier own clothes,self  reliance in not a bad thing in my opinion,we live in uncertian times being prepared is common sense,the last thing i think of is hurting someone,i love life,i love my country and i love my family and as the man of the house its my responsibility to take care of my family its been that way since cave man days,i work everyday,i live my life just like normal,work on my hot rod go cruzin around town,prepping does not control my life but i take caring for my family seriously,but im not consumed by it.I can say i sleep better knowing i can feed my family for a little while,cloth them,hopefully provide a roof,the prepper community has taught me much and i appreciate you all.

  66. Don says:

    Whether or not the show Doomsday Preppers did the prepper community any good is certainly debatable. On one hand you have folks like my wife who thought the people were nuts (and would’ve regardless of how they were portrayed). On the other hand for people who are not preppers, but agree that there are a myriad of unfavorable circumstances that could befall us it served to open our eyes to some employable strategies. Moreover it caused thought and open discussion on this topic that will likely continue for some time. The truth is that it’s never a bad thing to be prepared for the worst. Some people you will never be able to convince though because they are afflicted with a bad case of “that-couldn’t-ever-happen-to-me”. It seems to be a  big theme in the prepper community to want to teach others self reliance and I certainly  understand the strategy behind it, but the truth remains that you can lead a horse to water…but  you can’t make him drink. There are many out there that no matter how practically you present  prepping will still be opposed. For the more pragmatic of us however the discussion needs to be open and better publicized and National Geographics program did that. Perhaps APN should round up some resources and present a counter point that they find less damaging?

  67. anon says:

    The Times article is right in the one regard that part of prepping is an “I told you so” mentality.  This attitude isn’t merely restricted to preppers though.  Religious people do it, so do those of various political affiliations, self-appointed experts in all fields do it, as well as intellectuals.  Since this mentality appears across many different belief systems and areas of life, it’s safe to assume that humans in general are susceptible to it.   At one point or another, we all like to think we’re part of a special group or are privy to special information.  Sometimes we fancy ourselves the lone voice of reason in a world gone insane.  I’m not shooting anyone down here, just making a statement about people in general.  

    There’s always a hint of truth in what an opponent has to say about you.  Perhaps some preppers do worry too much about what other people are doing.  Maybe they are a bit too eager to validate what they spend so much time doing.  The solution here is to be satisfied in doing it for the right reasons.  Nobody should actually want the world to end.  Yet some seem to want it to.  I prep because I get to learn new things and I find it to be a neat hobby.  A nation-wide disaster would be horrific and extremely unpleasant no matter how well you prep.

    I watched the show thinking preppers would be made fun of and I was surprised they weren’t.  The “experts” give the gentlest of criticisms and it seems the only people making a big deal are the journalists and prepper communities.  Some of the preppers in the show ARE being silly about certain things.  The woman who was prepping for a viral outbreak or biological war, for example.  She was doing things that made no sense and no real plan outside of hanging plastic sheeting.  Being an ignorant prepper gives us all a bad name and those people should be criticized.  They’re more harmful than beneficial.  We shouldn’t be afraid of speaking against them because the mainstream media did too.    

    • Bart says:

      spent the last few hours reading the whole thread and it just struck me
      almost everyone is a prepper to a certain point…. even the people that think preppers r nuts of the people that not prepping activly how many of them have a fire extinguisher in their house im pretty sure they have it in case they have a fire not coz they are planning to have one. im not a prepper just yet but the show opened my eyes to the idea that one day for whatever reson society might collapse and that beeing prepped even if it means that i only have more knowledge and skills that would help me in a event like this

  68. David re says:

    I see myself as a sort of “prepper ” I’m trying to become self-sufficient but primariliy as part of a strategy to save the world, definitely not just myself.

     This show just seems like the latest veiled attempt to sell guns to morons unsuspicious that they are being manipulated by their “friend” the TV & military industrial complex but suspicious of almost everything else… though I admit it made me want to vomit so much I didn’t watch that much. Is this the best national Geographic can come up with to save humanity from self-destruction “Buy a Gun” ???!!! Very weak. That’s how it seems to me anyway. Cheers.

    • Jim says:

      A gun is a tool. No different than an axe or knife. Depending on the job you need the right too. If you want to drive a nail you dont use a screwdriver. If you want to chop fire wood you dont use a hammer. If you want to protect yourself from an armed threat you dont use a cell phone. Military industrial complex? LOL just one of a million self defense stories

  69. Stephen9936 says:

    I love watching this show. I cannot believe that The National Geographic Channel would support this. Paranoia seems to be a big seller these days. I find this a “comedy show” Good luck on 12/21/1212. Some of your watchers are very sure it’s over. Well, email me if you are alive on 12/22/212. We will be here, will you?

  70. It’s just a freak show, I would think, from the perspective of the network.  No different in context than the shows that highlight drug addicts, hoarders, people who believe they are haunted, or all the rest of them.  National Geographic also has shows about people in prison, but in the few episodes I’ve seen there was never a mention about racism in the drug laws or the big business profit involved in our gulag nation.  It’s about examining the weirdos, not about social issues.

    The consuming public love to watch shows that make them feel better about their lives – hey, I’m afraid all the time and things seem to be getting worse, but at least I’m not overreacting.

    The prepping and self-reliant movement is gaining momentum each year.  As we – the minority that are preppers – became more common, it was just a matter of time until one network or another figured out that us weirdos are interesting to the consumers at large because they can sympathize with our perspectives as the economy struggles and the world becomes even more crowded and polluted.  That little segment at the end where the experts talk about how unlikely each scenario is the happy ending for the general public – hey, you don’t have to worry, but isn’t it interesting that these preppers aren’t even ready for the things they claim to be worried about?  In some way, it gives the viewer the feeling that even though they aren’t prepared for even a two or three day crisis, it’s okay because even the preppers can’t manage to do it right.

    The one good thing is that it makes it easier to explain to friends and family why I have buckets of dried beans in the guest bedroom.   

  71. TheDutchGuy says:

    I just read all the comments, and I just have to give you my opinion.
    First off: I really like the show. Before seeing it, I had no idea that people did this kind of stuff. In the Netherlands (where I live) almost nobody worries about natural disasters or political instabilities. This seems kind of silly, since half of the country is below sea level (with most of the population), and is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. The stuff I see on the show makes me think about how I could plan things (better) in case of an emergency, and I marvel at what ingenuity some people have.
    I do understand the comments from the critics though. It does look like the people that are doing this are a little, how do I say this politely, slightly off. I think this comes from the fact that they always put in a reason for WHY they are doing this. (usually something happened to them with a big life impact). As for the gun thing: “luckily” we don’t have that many guns in our country, as regulations are very, very tight. I realize that for you Americans guns are a necessity to stay alive, with so many guns around (seems like a big paradox to me).

    So what am I trying to say? well, I am glad Nat. Geo. aired this show, because it gave ME the idea that I am not alone. But I would really like to see more techniques en ingenuity, and less of the why. And you preppers should be glad too, simply because of this: The people who understand that being prepared is a good thing will not think you are crazy and paranoid, and people who do think you are mentally unstable, will hopefully (and probably) die soon out of starvation, disease and other peoples bullets when that smelly brown stuff hits the fan.

  72. Maria says:

    I am not really a prepper, but I am an engineer and volunteer fire/rescue & EMS. Having deployed a number of times to disaster areas, I think people in general would benefit from being more prepared, and I’ve made some adjustments to my own life accordingly, which is what led me, initially, to watch Doomsday Preppers. 

    My observations: most of the segments contain at least some good information. The majority of the people featured seem like sane, decent people who I probably won’t need to jump out of a helicopter to rescue during a storm. A few of the people featured, however, really come across as loons. Those few are, unfortunately, the ones who make the most lasting impression (like the woman who’s escape plan was to hike clear across a city to a vehicle that would likely have been stolen days before she could get to it). 

    One thing that I note here and on similar sites is an incongruous defensiveness. A NYT writer is looking from a very specific perspective. In NYC, even well trained police officers hit bystanders during shootouts, because when you stack 7 million people on top of one another, there is no harmless place for stray bullets to go. People in NYC cope very well with certain disasters, but there are quite a number of them who can neither drive nor cook. It isn’t easy to stockpile emergency supplies in a 600 square foot apartment. Point being, to someone from that environment, preppers might as well be aliens, not because the preppers are (as a whole) crazy but because there is almost no common ground. An article written for the NYC audience isn’t the best gauge of how the prepper community is seen even in the rest of NY, let alone the rest of the country. While I agree NatGeo obviously is adding drama for the sake of ratings I think overall people are more interested than anything else, and if it inspires even a few people to be more prepared at least for everyday emergencies, that’s a net positive.

  73. dear sirs i am big al from season 2 doomsday preppers i hope you enjoyed the segment seems like each day it makes a little more sense to prep. please checj out new prepper theme song from the show   the jokes on me [prepper song] artist big al bunker  also the video at www. hollywood reporter . com doomsday preppers musical teaser [exclusive video] if you can please help pass song around. thanx so much and keep on prepping big al

  74. I have to say, I disagree in a way to what you have said in this article. Before the show appeared on TV, I prepared my family for short lived natural disasters (enough food for 7 days and extra batteries and flash lights and some minor first aid supplies). I didn’t know what “prepping” was at the time. Since watching the show, my husband and I have decided to begin prepping for worst case scenarios (couponing helps us do this more efficiently). Because we do not own our home, our credit is horrible, and we have just began researching our prepping is a little limited at this time but the show had raised the awareness to me and my husband of the importance to be prepared for anything…which is what we prep for. The show has taught us some good tips such as how to start a fire with wool steel and a 9 volt battery, how to protect electronics for solar flares, and loading pepper home made pepper spray into a squirt gun that shoots 30 feet as your first line of defense to try to stop people before they get to your home in hopes to prevent yourself from needing to use lethal force. Though I do understand your sentiments, I think that most of the people who would have the assumption that all preppers are trigger happy paranoid loony toons would likely have that assumption with or without the show.

  75. RamboMoe says:

    In the immortal words of Ice-T:

    “Haters gonna hate.”

    TV almost by nature makes anything that isn’t mainstream look bad. A lot of times this isn’t on purpose, it’s just the effect of trying to make shocking television with slick editing. Add to it the actual INTENTION of trying to make someone look bad, and you get stuff like this.

    Everyone who was ahead of their time almost always ends up mocked and even persecuted. It’s just human nature, and the fact that there is a show making us look bad should almost be looked at a sign post that we are moving in the right direction.

    I mean… what DOES television aspire to? The Jersey Shore? My Sweet 16?


    I think I’d almost be more concerned if they aired a show that made us look good.

  76. While the show Doomsday Preppers does put an unflattering spin on the topic of doomsday prepping, it helped me learn that there are others who have a similar interest.    The show has even given me some ideas that I feel are reasonable (and not so far out there people will look at me as nuts).

    While we don’t believe the disaster will be nuclear strike, pandemic, or Zombie Apocalypse (not really sure how come that one is so popular now), we have lived through the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake in CA and know it could happen again.  Additionally, New Orleans and New York are two more examples of how Mother Nature can hand out enough damage to shut an area down for awhile.  Do I believe I need to own assault rifles and leave traps all around my property… no!  But do I believe that I should have means to cook, light and heat my house… yes.  We even have a plan for just in case the catastrophe destroys our house.  Though if you have the gear to car camp comfortably then you are ready for most disasters.  Is it reasonable to keep an eye to the possibility to protect your family from possible attack… yes, though again I don’t believe an assault rifle is the answer.  A shot gun, pistol or hunting rifle should do the trick.

  77. Muidmuncher says:

    I too like Doomsday Preppers. I understand it is entertainment, but there are alot ideas that I have taken from the shows. I am a trucker and have had concerns about safety while away from home, and how to get home if shtf. I no longer drive cross country. I am more regionally closer to home now, and carry supplies with to be more prepped. The show has opened my mindset for being better prepared on the road and at home. I am glad that because of the show which at times seems a bit crazy has led me to this site and others to help me better prepared to survive. It has been interesting reading all the comments here. Thanks!

  78. Shebow says:

    This is an important time to consider media portrayal of preppers, given frenzied news coverage of gun control and a recent publication of gun owners names and addresses.  All this in the aftermath of a tragic terror shooting linked by most media outlets to a prepper’s personal firearms.

    Doomsday Preppers represents one end of the self reliance continuum.  It’s no surprise that the media has selected this group for it’s series.  After all, nothing sells ads like fear, except maybe sex.  The program illustrates the extreme and in the absence of context could be used to bolster threats to the 2nd amendment.  Bits like this from New York Magazine, which describe Nancy Lanza as a doomsday prepper, don’t help…

    Tragic as the shootings at Sandy Hook are, the event is a statistical outlier from the perspectives of gun ownership and the practice of self reliance/preparedness.  It would be awesome to see that on the news, but instead of holding my breath I am buying ammo, safely storing all firearms I am not carrying, and looking to fellow preppers for reliable information.