Doomsday Preppers: Martin Colvill

The series’ fourth episode starts out with a look at Martin Colvill, an ex-cop (and apparently a voice actor as well!); he is now another trucker with miniature dachshunds.
Having lost their home to foreclosure in ’08, he and his wife have now become semi-nomadic, living out of the cab of their big rig. Having firsthand experience already with the financial crush, he says he’s preparing “to survive the next great depression caused by a worldwide economic collapse.” He predicts this will occur within the next three to five years, probably brought on by China calling the US debt.
As a trucker, he recognizes the fragile nature of our current system—and that without trucks to make deliveries, America stops. And so, “to help America be the country it should be again”, he is dedicated to preventing total collapse by making his deliveries in a safe and timely manner—so basically, he’s the Postman of freight!

Here is when this show gets it right—showing something besides family after family who have simply spent a bunch of money to build a bunker/storeroom and fill it up with canned goods. I like that this guy’s motivation is more than just simple fear—he has a great can-do, 20th century-American ethic. I like that he reminds me of one of my uncles. I like that they have a sewing machine in their truck. I like that their food storage is mostly dehydrated veggies.

Anyway, concerned about his parked truck being an easy target for roving bandits, he heads to a sporting goods store to check out camo netting. While there, he brings up bugout bags with an younger employee, and to his surprise the kid admits to having one too! Martin explains how he wants to survive so he can be part of the rebuilding process (his heart’s in the right place, but I still cringed), and the kid’s reason? “Hey, it’s all gonna hit the fan sometime!” Like, it’s just somethin’ to do, man! While I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this kid putting a pack together, I don’t think that’s good enough. If people are going to start making plans for their own survival, I think they should really sit down and have a good, long think about their motivations for doing so.

During this profile, it’s revealed that his wife Sarah has some kind of cancer. This is sad, but it’s a good example of what the folks over at Zombie Squad call an ‘everyday zombie’ (they use the zed-word to get attention, but it’s really a metaphor for any kind disaster). For all the guns and camouflage and dried foods, it’s kind of silly to obsess on the remote possibility of a major catastrophe, when the person sitting next to you is wasting away. While End of the World-type prepping is big and exciting, folks should really focus on the possibilities that have the higher likelihood of happening—which are probably going to be smaller-scale, close-to-home disasters (losing one’s home to foreclosure, or one’s wife to cancer, for example).

The last section of this segment has Martin’s ex-Air Force brother organize a weird little scenario to test his skills or something, some kind of simulated highway accident that turns out to be a trap. They set it up to be some huge firefight, but it ends up with Martin facedown on the road for wanting to help an injured motorist (like I said, his heart is in the right place). His brother leaves him with advice that boils down to: watch out for yourself and the wife, and that’s it. Every man for himself.   Harsh.


9 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Red on 3 March, 2012 at 12:46

    Overall a good assesment of Martin’s segment. A couple corrections that will, I hope, clarify/clear up what Martin’s plans are. First, Martin is a retired police officer not a ex-cop. Second, Red is a retired AF vet, not ex. These are important so the audience knows that Martin and Red have more than a few years experience to fall back on when developing their plans. The filming took less than 2 days to complete and the folks filming this for NatGeo did a great job and were flexible on the scenarios as the crashing thru a road block was nixed by the truck company Martin works for so we went with an alternate scenario and used what little resouces we had at the time to put that together. I’m sure the same types of modifications were made with the other folks highlighted in this show. Much was left on the editors floor that would have cleared up many questions I see in the different blogs. Please keep in mind you can only squeeze in so much for a 15 minute segment…Again, a great review. In case anyone is wondering…yes, I’m his brother Red and yes I pulled no punches when it came to evaluating Martin and sarah’s plans…with her condition and lack opf mobility he’s pretty much on his own out there and needs to think more about their survial vs others. He doesnt like it and neither do I, but when the crap starts flying he needs to get to one of his safe havens then we can regroup. Thanks for letting me comment.


    • Posted by B on 20 October, 2012 at 20:38

      I really appreciate you and your brother, wish you guys the best. You are strong people and an inspiration to me, may your god protect you and help you, and your wife Sarah, she’s a strong woman, may you both stay out of harm’s way. Wish you guys the world!


  2. I’m trying to contact this guy and his wife to help them overcome his wife’s cancer. Anyone got any ideas?


  3. Posted by Julie Vollmer on 29 November, 2012 at 01:23

    Good luck to Martin and Sarah.


  4. Posted by Mary on 6 December, 2012 at 12:20

    I think that he should consider painting his cab and possibly the trailer camo color. That would make it a lot easier to conceal.


  5. Posted by Sarah Colvill on 6 March, 2014 at 16:35

    For those who followed us on Doomsday Preppers. Thank you for all of your compliments. For right now my cancer is well under control and not making any significant demands on my body. The unfortunate part of this is that the chemos that have controlled my cancer have led to congestive heart failure and last fall while we were in Utah to visit some friends who are also preppers, my heart, lungs, liver, and kidneys shut down. I spent a week in a coma and then the next three months in rehab in Utah. Since I have been back home I have received a pacemaker with a defib in it to keep my heart functioning and next week I will return to rehab. All through my recovery, Martin has had to keep working so I have been in the care of friends. We talked a bit about our network of friends across the country in our episode. They became very necessary when I became so sick. And thankfully a number of them and even others whom we didn’t know before and many whom we still do not know made it possible for Martin to continue to work..For us being constantly on the road we knew that we needed to establish a network of places where we could stop if necessary. The truth is that in a disaster situation everyone needs to have a network of friends in the areas where they might be. You never know when you might be in an accident or become seriously ill. The last two places where I was under treatment in Utah had places where Martin could park the truck but the first one didn’t. So for that first hospital a friend of a friend of a friend loaned him a truck to get back and forth during that time. Bottom line… if you don’t already have a good network of friends, get started on developing one. Sarah Colvill


  6. Posted by Tricia on 11 September, 2014 at 21:26

    I would like to help Sarah. Please contact me so I give her recipe that I’ve used on several people I met and I’ve had great results. It can’t hurt to try.


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