Doomsday Preppers: Doug Huffman

In this latest episode we finally get to meet Doug Huffman and the ‘spider-hole’ they’ve been playing up in the promos for weeks now. From northern California, he’s a retired ‘defense contractor’, whatever that means, as Max Brooks explains: “…‘contractor’ sounds like I should be laying drywall and smearin’ plaster. ‘Private security’ sounds like some dumbass mall guard. ‘Mercenary’ is the closest, I guess” (WWZ, 105).
Semantics aside, this northern Californian seems to have his shit together—although there’s no sign of a significant other? —but it’s nice to finally see a solid example of a ‘Type 3’ survivalist.

His claim—which initially sounds fanatical—of prepping seven days a week for upwards of fourteen hours a day isn’t really that bad…because he is a survival instructor!
Likewise, his estimate of having invested $30 to 40,000 in his preparations is downright stingy, at least compared to some of the others this show has featured.

His compulsory single-issue concern is a second worldwide great depression. Based on the inherent instability of civilized life (my words, not his), he expects that “at some point, all this will collapse, and we’ll have a massive reset”. I don’t care about the collapse (it’s been all-but-inevitable for 5,000 years), but it’s the reset that worries me.

He rightly thinks that “if something should happen, you are only going to survive in a communal group.” Damn right, Doug. I’m all about the lone-wolf-thing once the dust has settled and we’re in a longterm, Mad Max/Postman/Road/Book of Eli-type PAW, but for the short term we should all be solidifying our affinity groups and getting ourselves reacquainted with tribal living—it’s how we evolved to live.

Finally, we get to see the ‘spider-hole’ we’ve been hearing about. Weeks of previews have led me to expect this is his hidden underground bunker…but nope, it’s a coffin-sized hole in the ground. It’d be nice to see how he built it; I thought I saw some wood framing in there, so I don’t think it’s just a hole in the ground.

While he’s creeping back up to his house, there’s a shot of his feet. He’s wearing heavy boots, and surprise!, his feet are striking heel-first. Doug needs to hang out with Lundin and learn some barefoot injun sneaking skills to complement his serious camo discipline.

The show describes his creation of a team “to help him rebuild from the ashes”. *eye twitch*…there’s that R-word again. Anyway, they spend some time with the ‘Junior Rangers’ group he leads of kids ages 10-to-19. After checking out his survival school’s website, it’s obvious that the kids program is just one course among many that he teaches. But the way the show depicts it, I had to ask, ‘how is this not a militia or cult?’ To me, it looks like tacticool skool—too many camo BDUs, tight t-shirts, wraparound sunglasses, and accessorized black guns on three-point slings. Where’s the guy in the linen trousers and wool shirt with the WW2 gun on a homemade sling? Once again, I’m not on this show.

In the end, while he might be a touch overconfident, he seems like an alright dude. With the lack of fences and motion detectors, a big greenhouse, and the homestead-y root cellar, stocked pond, and meat animals, he’s got the best of the low-tech ‘Type 2’ survivalists, plus the militarism/defense foundation of the ‘Type 1’, while advocating skills-based education, and group living over individuals. It’s a pretty solid mix.


12 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by Michelle Christie on 30 March, 2012 at 16:32

    I think Doug is a Awesome example and He knows he shit…..He is by far the best example I have seen…I want to be on his side when tshtf….I am a single mother of a 16 yo daughter, we both KNOW something IS going to happen. I am a RN an I am starting to prep, yet I live in FLORIDA where I want to get out….I want my Daughter to learn the things Doug is teaching…however there is not any preps. here. I want to find out how to get some way to find out if Doug has a answer to help us find a way we can find other preppers like him or how or if we can come to some of his trainings? i want and will relocate because I know tswhtf and we need to be ready…..thanks Michelle


  2. Posted by Rors21 on 6 April, 2012 at 17:56

    Having watched the episode it seemed pretty apparent to me that Mr. Huffman is just looking for an excuse to shoot people. The glee with which he described “dropping people” and “taking you out” is a sad statement about a deranged person who fetishizes violence above all else. It’s too bad this man dedicates his life preparing for the destruction of civilization rather than using his on earth to contribute to its advancement. Sad little people.


    • Posted by A. on 7 April, 2012 at 09:50

      To be fair, Doug was in some kind of military special forces. If his homestead is being attacked, he’s going to approach/describe that situation in a manner that is familiar to him. ‘Taking people out’ is what he’s been trained to do.


  3. […] end, it’s too bad they end the season with this guy. Personally, I would’ve saved someone like Doug Huffman for the finale, to leave viewers with a pretty sustainable vision of survival. Because these […]


  4. Posted by John on 28 May, 2012 at 15:57

    I watched this episode this Doug dude said something about special forces. But he has a Marine flag on the wall in the background. He looks kind of old and the Marines just started their 1st special forces unit Marsoc back in 2005. I do t think he was in Marsoc based on his age. Only the Army, Navy, and Air Force would of had special forces units during a time when he would’ve been young enough to serve. So I question his special forces credentials in that respect. Other than that he seems alright although teaching kids the way it is depicted on the show makes him look like a nut. I liked the hippies the best. They have that. Bomb shelter and could survive pretty much anything. Also while chaos reigns above they will be smoking fat joints partying out of their minds with their hippie friends not caring about the chaos outside. Pretty cool. If I had a bunker like that I would get hotter babes myself. Anyways that’s it. John.


  5. Posted by Stan on 13 November, 2012 at 03:26

    i’ve trained with doug several times for wilderness survival, in the recent years before he was shown on this show. there are a lot of comments in this thread that are wildly off mark from reality, but i understand that’s what happens when you cant do much fact finding.

    i’m not going to try to correct them, as i’m just a voice on the internet and there’s no substantiating my claims, but if you believe me in saying that i know and trained with doug on occasion, he has indeed fought with the military, he is a really kind man, he is not a kill-hungry nut, and he does know what he’s talking about. the man walks the talk.


  6. Posted by Samson on 26 February, 2013 at 23:25

    Not sure if anyone is checking this anymore, I watched this episode just now and was doing some Googling and found this- I think this guy is a TOTAL FUGAZY aka Fake .. He is claiming Special Forces and has his Marine poster and “I’m a total killer lalalala” I am almost certain this guy was not any form of Special Forces, certainly not Army Special Forces *THE* Special Forces, and if he was a Marine Force Recon or even Navy SEAL he would have come out and named that unit. I am thinking he could be borderline “Stealing Valor” by claiming his ‘Special Forces’ status… I would love someone to contact those who do the checking for the specific units to see what if any history in the military this gent actually has and reporting that… I am interested big time, because I know a couple things about a couple things myself and I can spot a phony in this field a mile away.


    • Hi Samson,
      According to Doug’s website, he claims to have “worked with or instructed many organizations, including: Special Forces, Navy Seals, Homeland Security, Search & Rescue, FBI Special Agents, and Sheriff Departments”. While nowhere does he list unit and dates served, it’s entirely possible that the show’s producers ‘inflated’ his credentials from ‘trained Special Forces’ to ‘trained with/served with Special Forces’.
      Then again, one doesn’t need military experience to be a survival expert.
      Thanks for reading.


  7. Posted by dave on 5 September, 2014 at 14:29

    I realize this is an old post, but I suspect, strongly, that Doug Huffman is a lying blowhard. Just watched the episode on netflix and there’s a couple alarm bell. I don’t know one person in the spec ops community that doesn’t proudly state their actual duty assignments. Mine is A co 1/75 for example. Only b.s. posers post vague “special operations” and government contractor titles on their resumes. Most likely some service somewhere, but he’s very careful in his choice of words. They’re all claims that cannot be verified. If he listed his unit and times, anyone could verify them. I like his style and philosophies regarding “doomsday” so i give him good marks. The shit where he’s training kids is another big red flag. They’re naive and totally believe adults who are convincing. No signifucant other but teaching teenaged girls. Wonder how much he charges for that? Hmmmm


  8. Posted by Peter on 19 June, 2016 at 19:02

    It’s my firm belief that like most other folk on the Doomsday Preppers program that he’s just another fucking loon!


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