The first prepper featured on this series’ third episode is Tim Ralston of Phoenix, AZ.
He is worried that an electromagnetic pulse from a hostile nation’s nuclear weapon will destroy the electrical grid, which will put us, as he says, “back to the Stone Age!” Clearly, Tim is of the widespread assumption that Stone Age life was short, brutish, nasty, and otherwise unlivable. Dude needs to read him some Ishmael.
Like others on this series, Tim has something to gain from appearing on it. In this case, he’s some sort of survival gear inventor/entrepreneur, and this profile focuses on the “crovel” (crowbar+shovel?), which is basically the ‘Lobo’ of WWZ fame brought to life. It’s a glorified folding e-tool, with a pick and a hammer on one end.
I guess it’d be useful.
Even though his plan is supposedly based on fear of getting his electronics fried, Tim’s bugout plan is to throw the gear in a trailer…and head out of the city in a jeep. I’d really have liked to see his plan for an on-foot bugout, because it would probably throw into sharp relief how tenuous modern life in the southwest really is (read The Long Emergency for more on this). Sure, a trip to your secret survival base may take only 40 minutes on the unrestricted highway pre-disaster, but what about post-disaster? What if your car gets all EMP’d? Are you prepared to hike that distance? And then there’s the matte of water. Unless you’re Cody Lundin (a man with decades of minimalist, quasi-injun survival experience in this region), you’re probably going to have a hell of a time ‘roughing it’ out there.
So, assuming one manages (somehow) to reach the elite compound, what are we going to be looking at? A semi-underground, earth-bermed, south-facing, low-profile earthship that blends into the landscape? Nope, just more shipping containers! We see Tim arrange to buy three big metal boxes (at $2,500 apiece) which he plans on burying in the desert, and in which he will live with sixteen other people. Well, good luck with that.
Since he doesn’t actually have this pillbox built yet, he takes his sons out to the site to do some plinking (I do like the idea of using different-colored balloons as good guy/bad guy targets). Nothing wrong with that…until ol’ Tim goes and blows his thumb off. Yup, you heard that right; headline reads, Man disregards Second Law of Gun Safety. “If you are not willing to see a bullet hole in it, do not allow a firearm’s muzzle to point at it. This includes things like the TV, the refrigerator, the dog, or anything else that would cause general upset if a hole appeared in it.” Clearly, ‘one’s thumb’ falls neatly into that category.
Luckily, the film crew had both a medic and a helicopter standing by to fly this guy off to the hospital where he gets it reattached, although it’s now missing a knuckle, and I don’t see it being very opposable.
So remember, folks: