Posts Tagged ‘exercise’

Doomsday Preppers: Tyler Smith

Season three continues with the episode ‘We Are the Marauders’, a title that thankfully only applies to one of the folks profiled.
Like I said at the beginning of the season, unless I see good things (demonstrating positive, life-affirming attitudes, progressive thinking, and real solutions) or jumping-off points for serious issues that need discussing, I’m keeping these short. And unfortunately, this guy’s profile is probably the least ‘good’ we’ve seen yet.

© NatGeo/Sharp Entertainment

All the production values and dramatic lighting in the world can’t disguise the fact that he has a BudK hunting knife bolted to his arm.

The short and sweet version goes like this: Tyler Smith (and a group of his family/friends/neighbors) apparently has no interest in increasing his disaster preparedness by stockpiling beans, bullets, and band-aids. Instead, he’s got it in his head to be a ‘marauder’ (of the sort regular survivalist guys always bring up as the reason they have fortified bunkers and multiple firearms per person)…and to broadcast this intention on television.

Although it’s not mentioned on the show, a little digging reveals that Tyler “is the leader of Spartan Survival”, a group “founded…in 2005 to train and prepare others on survivalism” with “more than 80 dues-paying members.” Note that he’s not described as the Owner or Instructor of his outfit, like you might see with someone with a legitimate wilderness survival school like Cody Lundin’s Aboriginal Living Skills School or Creek Stewart’s Willow Haven Outdoor. Similarly, such actual schools have paying students, not “dues-paying members”. Basically, what this boils down to is that Tyler has managed to put together his own personal local militia, with himself installed at the top. How he managed to sucker in so many people is beyond me, because he creeps me right the fuck out. Oh well, “hard times flush the chumps”, or something.

And hey, while we’re talking ‘marauders’, here’s some food for thought from Cormac McCarthy on the type of post-disaster-warlord private army I’m sure ol’ Tyler would love to rule.

He woke in the morning and turned over in the blanket and looked back down the road through the trees the way they’d come in time to see the marchers appear four abreast. Dressed in clothing of every description, all wearing red scarves at their necks. Red or orange, as close to red as they could find. … An army in tennis shoes, tramping. Carrying three-foot lengths of pipe with leather wrappings. Lanyards at the wrist. Some of the pipes were threaded through with lengths of chain fitted at their ends with every manner of bludgeon. They clanked past, marching with a swaying gait like wind-up toys. Bearded, their breath smoking through their masks. The phalanx following carried spears or lances tasseled with ribbons, the long blades hammered out of trucksprings in some crude forge up-country. They passed two hundred feet away, the ground shuddering lightly. Tramping. Behind them came wagons drawn by slaves in harness and piled with goods of war and after that the women, perhaps a dozen in number, some of them pregnant, and lastly a supplementary consort of catamites illclothed against the cold and fitted in dogcollars and yoked each to each. All passed on.

 Anyway, why he believes it’s necessary to be a roving band of marauders is beyond me, seeing how he claims to have a fifteen-acre rural property, which could probably very easily be converted into a self-reliant off-grid compound, doing away with the need to wander in search of supplies.

Oh, and they have three kids—aged three, two, and one newborn—which brings to mind the term ‘brood mare’. Of course, the latest one is still in utero during the segment, so if you like getting the willies, just think about this guy giving a DIY cesarean in the barn. Really. I trust this guy about as far as I could throw him.

Now, because his survival plan is to simply roam around and help himself to other folks’ stuff—and said folks wanting said stuff for themselves—he expects to get shot at. And instead of letting that possibility act as the impetus to reassess his survival plan, he decides to enlist the help of his skeezy cousin Jesse Pinkman Chris and make some homemade ‘body armor’.
His wife asks him if he’s going to build her a suit of armor, too? Tyler indicatively replies, “No, you’re going to be a stay-at-home prepper, dealing with all the stuff I kill” Of course! Because a societal collapse couldn’t also mean collapse of patriarchy, enforced outdated gender roles, and macho posturing, right?
Their recipe involves woven fiberglass, bathroom tiles, roofing tar, and of course, duct tape.
Honestly, I’m confused…because it looks like once they make their (not-)bulletproof tiles, then they go ahead an make a ‘suit’ out of steel plate and some mesh stuff? Anyway, it’s about what you’d expect from guys who not only don’t know what they’re doing, but also have no sense of aesthetics (I have a very bad feeling that such postapocalyptic function-before-form will be the death of craftsmanship as we know it). Tyler puts on the ‘suit of body armor’ and cousin sycophant proceeds to ‘test’ it by hitting with rocks, pipes, and a 12-gauge shot across the bow…which is to say, he never comes close to actually shooting him. Some have suggested they actually took the shot out of the shell.

In the end, despite his overcompensating and posturing as a hardcore, ultimate badass survivalist ‘apex predator’…I don’t think anyone is afraid of Tyler. Thankfully, the general interwebs consensus seems to be that “He’s an asshat”, as well.

And so, folks living around Tacoma, Washington, you’ve been warned. You’ve got a volatile idiot in your midst. Take care.

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Doomsday Preppers: Mike Evock

The show continues on to Laurinburg, North Carolina, where it will spend a half hour gratuitously pandering to the lowest common denominator of Red State American cable-tv viewers.
© NatGeo/Sharp EntertainmentMike Evock runs a 700-acre ‘ATV park’, which somehow (he claims) doubles as his bug-out location. We’re told that “what most people don’t know is that the family business is a front”…well, they do now!

He’s ex-Special Forces (of course), and based on those experiences he’s prepping for a bio/chemical attack of some sort, possibly involving cropduster planes?
Apparently, Evock’s site has some interesting water filtration systems and watchtowers, but of course the audience might actually learn something useful from seeing those, so instead the producers give us an uninspiring look at Southern internal-combustion-engine-enthusiast culture.

There’s a Task segment where we watch Mike’s goofy son Junior put up a ‘biodome’ while dad does laps. And when I say ‘does laps’, I don’t mean he goes for a jog in the interests of cardio and mental/physical well-being, but instead (because this is ‘Murka!) he just drives his four-wheeler in a circle around a track. Dude, if you’re worried about surviving various disaster scenarios (unless you’re really only worried about biochem attacks—in which case you’re completely shortsighted), learning to get by without petrol would be an excellent first step; swap the Ancient Sunlight Juice for Person Power (use your own two feet!).

There’s a big chunk of chasing-trucks-with-four-wheelers, something with anti-marauder maneuvering? In this case the marauders apparently have come for their treasured (remember, this is NASCAR country) checkered flag.

And so we get yet another ‘welding-crap-onto-a-petrol-powered-vehicle-over-generic-rock-music’ montage, because four-wheelers aren’t extreme enough by themselves – they need armor plating and machinegun(excuse me, ‘Weapons Systems’) mounts!

While they’re camouflaging the quad, Mike reminds his son that “Nothing in nature has straight edges”; wanna guess what shape his ‘body armor’ is? Yup, a square. And besides, a single two-foot square of armor mounted dead-center just looks pretty ineffective. Couldn’t they have welded some sheet steel between the wheels, to shield the driver’s legs from the sides? Or some angled pieces above the front wheels, to shield the driver’s arms and body? Unless the operator is protected from multiple directions, you don’t have much business calling it a “mini tank”. I dunno, I’m just not a fan of people getting all puffed up when they only do a project half-assed.

Oh, and I guess it’s now required that preppers give their overkill vehicles a macho, tactical-posturing name.

© NatGeo/Sharp Entertainment

behold, ‘the Interceptor’…*yawn*.

Mike shows his father-worshipping son how to make caltrops out of sheet steel, and then they burn some more petrol to test them out on a car. Yeah…I’m pretty sure they didn’t really work.
And we wrap up with even more chasing of trucks with four-wheelers. Except this time, they can train a rifle on the truck and make them stop and hand over their precious checkered flag.

Man, car culture (and its devotees) just leaves me completely uninspired. Blech.

Doomsday Preppers: Alex Dunbar

Up next is the episode ‘People Become Animals!’, which seems to continue the previous profile’s theme of low-key prepping. On the whole, this one is pretty much the Least Prepper-y Episode ever—nobody shoots anything, and incredibly, nothing blows up.
© NatGeo/Sharp Entertainment
So we begin with Alex Dunbar, of around San Luis, Colorado. He’s former USMC, which usually translates to supertactical and generally obnoxious. However, he seems pretty down to earth, as you’d expect from someone who claims to be “training an army of dogs to survive World War Three”.

Of course, I think—like most of the folks on the show—he’s really just appearing for some publicity for his dog-training outfit.
His rationale is something about “the whole world hating America” or some such. I dunno, the world didn’t always hate us back in our isolationist days, but about a hundred years ago that started to change. Now that we’re the imperial World Police, you can’t really blame them. But don’t worry—every empire in the last six thousand years (which is to say, all of them) has collapsed after exhausting their landbase and/or stretching themselves too thin.

In order to confront his hypothetical scenario, Alex has “pre-bugged out” to a 320-acre compound out in the middle of nowhere, very well-suited to his dog-training enterprise. As he says, a well-trained German Shepherd can fill all the roles of a body guard, offensive weapon, defensive alarm system, &c.

There’s a bunch of unnecessary focus on the individual dogs, giving them names and headshots and stuff. Bleh.

As you might imagine, it could potentially cost a lot of money to keep this many big dogs fed, so Alex takes the DIY route and makes his own dog food, using fruits, veggies, and yak meat. I think he says something about planning to raise yaks? That’d be cool, everywhere could use more megafauna.

Something I thought was interesting was how Alex has chosen to train his dogs in Slovakian. The rationale being the idea that it would give him a slight edge over anyone he was operating against, expecting to hear ‘Attack! Heel! Sic balls!’ or whatever, only to hear some completely foreign language (unless he’s invaded by Slovakians, that is). It’s probably not a bad idea.

The producer’s stunt comes when Alex takes one of the dogs (who has a fear of heights) and rappels with him off a 50-foot bridge. The dog doesn’t freak out too terribly, so I’d say Alex trains them pretty well.

On account of his isolation and pre-bugged-out-edness, experts award him 70 points for a year’s worth of initial survival time.

The Suburbs: The Wilderness Downtown

As smart and innovative as the Sprawl II dance-video is, Arcade Fire found a way to top themselves, with The Wilderness Downtown web experience.

wilderness_downtown

note the use of fractal-based ‘roots’ to form the words—
the sublime wonders of Nature!

This amazing interactive is based around the song We Used to Wait and therefore ties deeply into the underlying themes of The Suburbs—roads, connection to place, escape, youth, the wild, and interaction with technology—while at the same time being a potent showcase of digital wizardry (it was designed to highlight the capabilities of Google Chrome and HTML 5).

Unfortunately, TWD is custom-made to each user’s environment, so I can’t put up a video for you to watch; you’ll just have to try it yourself (although this page provides a decent overview). It’s recommended to use the address of your childhood home, which works really well if you grew up in the ever-shifting sprawl of American ’burb-land, because it’s quite likely that said environment no longer appears as you remember it (“this town’s so strange/they built it to change/and while we sleep we know the streets get rearranged”). Me, I grew up way out in the country, which doesn’t pack nearly the same punch.

Once your experience is compiled, we open with an anonymous, hooded young person running through the streets of The Suburbs. Based on the urgency expressed, he’s clearly not just out for a jog. What is he running from? As we’ve seen throughout the album, when the prevailing narrative of Modern Kids raised in the ’burbs is to seek escape by fleeing to the city only to return to the ’burbs as ‘adults’—who wouldn’t blame him for wanting to Get Out?
wilderness_downtown runner
Throughout, we follow our running figure from high overhead, drifting along with a flock of birds, as well as at street-level courtesy of Google.
Eventually, the video culminates with some very-likely eco imagery as the trailing birds begin to divebomb into the ground, causing trees to grow up beautifully and cover the map in a sea of rewilded green. Of course, this is really only effective if the map—and therefore your childhood home—is in a deforested suburb.
This all transpires over the song’s final section, in which Win implores us to “Wait for it!” As I’ve said before, the song is all about cultivating patience in the face of a technologically-increased pace of life, which brings us to The Wilderness Machine.
Now, back during the middle section of TWD—over the “I’m gonna write a letter to my true love, I’m gonna sign my name” verse—we took a break from watching our harried runner and were invited to “Write a postcard or advice to the younger You”, using super-cool fractal-roots. Now, while Arcade Fire was still touring to support The Suburbs, their concerts would coincide with appearances of said Machine—a steampunk-y contraption which would print out postcards submitted from TWD. While that alone is a great way to play around with the back-and-forth between digital and analog suggested by We Used to Wait, here’s the best part: the postcards that the Machine printed out were embedded with tree seeds!—so that you could take someone’s former self’s postcard home and reforest your own environment, thus bringing TWD’s video experience full circle into the real world.
And believe me, nothing cultivates patience like growing a tree.

Doomsday Preppers: David Lakota

We go from one extreme to the other, leaving Alaska for a visit to Hawaii, and a look at David Lakota. As the show describes him, David is a ‘New Age Spiritual Prepper’. Ohboy.
david-lakotaSo, not unreasonably, David has fears for a mega-tsunami that might hit the island. Hey alright, it’s Hawaii, center of the whole Ring of Fire thing, I get it.

Then there’s something where he talks about how he wants to get away and live “free of violence, pollution, hypocrisy, and the self-destructive nature of people.”
Look close, dear reader. Within that sentence hides a single word that holds the Big Lie of Our culture. Do you see it?

It’s people.

You see, David—like most of the folks in Our culture—is a victim of what has been called ‘the Great Forgetting’. The short version goes something like this: by the time aggressive agricultural (“civilized”) cultures started showing up in the ‘Fertile Crescent’ several thousand years ago, so many years had passed since the pre-agricultural times that folks forgot there ever was such a time: when they looked back on their dirty cities, miserable workers, corrupt officials, and intensifying warfare, they saw only farmers! They naturally assumed that farming and city-dwelling were the natural way for humans to live, and that humans had been born as such only a few thousand years before! They assumed that the wretched way they lived was just the way humans were meant to live, and all the bad stuff was just a result of some unsolvable flaw in ‘human nature’.
Of course, discoveries in the field of archeology have showed us that this notion is completely untrue, so the sooner Our culture can rid itself of this fallacious thinking, the better.
The truth is, not all people live a self-destructive life of violence, pollution, and hypocrisy. It’s not Humanity that needs fixing, it’s just one culture—Ours. /soapbox.

Now, should said Big Wave be forthcoming, how will David learn about it? Does he leave his NOAA weather radio switched on all the time? Does he get text-message alerts from the Pacific Seismographic Institute? Nope! He plans on predicting the wave based on his “mystical connection to the land”. Or, alternately, “in a bad dream” the night before. Ohboy.

So, if I lived near the ocean and was worried about a 300-foot-high tsunami wave, my plan might sound something like ‘live at high elevation, away from the coast’. If I heard about a tsunami warning, and happened to be near the coast, my reaction would be something like ‘grab my pack; get to the highest possible elevation by the fastest possible means’. David’s approach is quite different – because he apparently plans on outrunning the incoming wave with a fifteen-mile-long kayak trip! And with no supplies, to boot!
Now, based on what I know about how this show works, I’m pretty sure David’s profile is probably just ‘minimalist kayaking/hiking/rockclimbing canyon-adventure’, spun as a barefoot bugout…but I wish they would just come out and say so. As hippy-dippy as he seems, I have a hard time believing what we see is anyone’s disaster-escape plan.

And so, David—together with his partner Rachaelle—start their adventure with some sea kayaking, followed by some seaside stick-sparring of which we only see a few snippets. Somehow in the course of that, or landing the kayak, David cuts his foot, and their lack of first aid supplies means Natural Remedy Time! Yay! Rachaelle uses a noni plant to clean up his wound, which hopefully won’t become infected. Believe me, foot infections suck.

They continue moving—barefoot—upwards through the jungle, coming across a little waterfall. Before he whets his whistle, David explains that when doing anything—picking plants, hunting animals, drinking water, &c.—one should first ask permission of Nature, quieting one’s mind to hear the answer and such. Now, I’m totally onboard with that kind of stuff (in my interpretation, animism—because it seems that’s what we’re really talking about—is an underlying core of my Bendu-Jedi philosophy), and David is free to do so, but why does such stuff just sound phony coming from bearded white guys? I touched on this last season in my look at Ed Peden, but such stuff would sound totally authentic coming from an Amerindian, or a Pacific Islander, or pretty much any non-haole, really. Of course, there have been white cultures in history from whom this peaceful, ecocentric sort of thing would sound authentic, but unfortunately it seems they got Kurganized about six thousand years ago.

As I’ve said, they don’t have any supplies or food, so they’re probably getting pretty hungry when Rachaelle comes across some wild berries. Apparently it’s not a species that they’re familiar with, but don’t worry, because David has an incredible method for determining if they’re safe to eat. Now, he doesn’t follow the Army Universal Edibility Test, and he doesn’t carry a Petersen’s Field Guide for tropical plants. His method is as follows:
Option 1) Ask your Intuition, “Is this edible?”
Option 2) Ask Nature, “Is this edible?” Because “your body is an antenna”, or something.
Option 3) Just eat it! Because edible things taste good.

Ohboy.

Alright, I’m going to attempt to speak David’s language. Dude, I will now use my mystik Third Eye to channel the essence of the great Atlantean high priest Nur-Ab-Sal to predict that YOU WILL EAT SOMETHING TOXIC AND DIE.

Seriously. Sure, I would bet the first Homo habilis or whoever started learning plants did so through trial and error (“Hey Grog, whatcha eatin’?” “Purple berries.” <Grog dies> “Hey everybody, don’t eat these berries!”), but once they knew, the knowledge was passed on from generation to generation. Injuns and extant hunter-gatherer groups know a whole ton of edible plants, but they don’t learn which ones are safe by just pulling the answer out of the air, they learn by being taught by their elders. So until you’re a member of a functioning tribe, you’re better off with a field guide.

By this point, they’re high up the canyon and getting pretty thirsty (remember: by the time you’re noticeably thirsty, you’re already two percent dehydrated). I guess they had already drunk what little water they collected at the waterfall, because David decides the best hydration source for him is his own urine. Now, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen a prepper drink their own piss, but it is the first time they’ve drunk it straight—usually they’ll run it through a purifier or something first. But not David! He just whips it out, fills up a bottle, and takes a sip. Rachaelle says she’ll pass. At this point I have to wonder how much the producers paid him for this stunt?


Eventually, after some more hiking, scrambling, and free-climbing they reach the top of the canyon cliff. Yay, grungy hippy hug!

The experts tell David to consider storing food at his bugout location. Personally, I think for this kind of contingency it’d probably be best to keep it flexible and not have one set location to be heading for, but that doesn’t mean you can’t hike with at least some food or supplies! I’m all about minimalism and foraging as you go, but even natives would carry some parched maize or jerky or whatever:
“they brought with him in a thing like a bow case, which the principal of them had about his waist, a little of their corn pounded to powder, which put to a little water they ate.” See? Injun cornmeal fannypack. Yum!

The experts also tell David to LEARN PLANTS, and for once, I can’t agree more.

 David gives us a post-filming update, in which he announces that “even more threatening than tsunami, government shutdown, or other natural disaster, is boredom, complacency, and indifference.” And so, with some Thoreauvian quotation (“in wildness is the preservation of the world”) I guess he heads into the wild with his knife, rope, tarp, lighter, and big white dog. Whatever, dude; good luck.

Doomsday Preppers: Frank & Elaine Woodworth

Our last preppers on this episode are Frank and Elaine Woodworth, of Maine.
As in the case of the seeming majority of folks we’ve seen this season, Frank is Preparing For Economic Collapse, *slam bunker door*.
frankwoodworthAs usually happens when a segment wastes time on sensationalist appeals to the lowest common denominator instead of letting the subject discuss their issue, I don’t a whole lot to say about this couple.
Frank’s big kick is the idea of physical fitness as a survival tool – it’s survival of the fittest, guys! To accomplish this, he and his wife train with the ‘Irish Hand Grenade’, MMA fighter Marcus Davis. This is a good way to kill a few minutes watching an older fellow get knocked around the octagon.

So, when the stars proclaim the time has come (or however an economic collapse is announced these days), Frank and Elaine plan to hop in their bush plane and fly into the north woods to their hidden bunker. Now, unlike Bryan Smith from a few weeks back—whose massive, $150,000 Atlas bunker boasted all the comforts of civilized life—the Woodworth’s $24,000 bunker is apparently only 140 square feet. If that seems kind of small, that’s because it is. For a frame of reference, let’s remember that H. D. Thoreau’s one-man cabin at Walden was 150 square feet! So, with that little space, there’s really not much room to do anything besides sleep and do push-ups on the side of the bed. Hope they stocked up on reading material.

Because they are concerned about being able to reach their bunker, Frank makes a backup one (it’s what he does) to bury nearer their home. And because he seems to think that should they be discovered by marauding vandals, said raiders would attempt to breach the bunker by digging down and throwing some dynamite under it, that’s exactly what he tests. So before the thing gets buried, they wedge a few sticks underneath and set them off. Now, I’m by no means a demolition expert, but I seem to remember reading something about how a successful charge needs something to direct the explosion where you want it—likesay, if you’re going to blow up a parking garage, you don’t just duct-tape dynamite to the support columns and call it a day, you surround the dynamite with sandbags or something. Like I said, I’m no expert, but the way they do it seems kind of unscientific and ‘just for the lulz’.

Frank also seems to think that “America would be safer if more people had bunkers”, because there would be “less people out trying to steal food.” Well of course he’s going to say that – he builds bunkers! And for a very short-term disaster like a hurricane or tornado, maybe that’s true; if everybody had a well-stocked bunker off which they could live when things suddenly go south, then yes, people wouldn’t need to go looting. But a bunker is only ever a short-term solution. Unless you’re prepared to recycle water and grow crops with piped-in sunlight and your own humanure, you’re eventually going to have to come up for air.
Basically, it all comes down to this: a bunker isn’t going to help you survive the scenario that we never hear preppers talk about: the ongoing, Long Emergency-type slow failure of our unsustainable civilizational experiment we’re currently seeing across the globe. As overpopulation and climate change continue to ramp up, weather patterns get more extreme, our corrupted monocultural food industry becomes less productive, and people become more desperate and violent. I’ve never been one to deal with symptoms—I prefer to focus on the root of problems. And excluding celestial events that can’t be prevented, I can’t think of a disaster situation that doesn’t trace its birth to our 8,000-year-old culture of death and domination.

Anyway, the experts suggest that Elaine and Frank think about storing staples in their bunker, as well as consider a food resupply plan (because those food buckets aren’t going to refill themselves!) and joining a group of like-minded folks; on this last point, Frank stubbornly boasts that he doesn’t “play well with others.” Really? Dude, humans became human as social animals in communities; if you’re worried about survival, recognize that trying to fight your evolutionary heritage probably isn’t the best strategy.
In the end, the couple receive a score of 47 points for three months’ initial survival time – a new low.

Doomsday Preppers: Jay

JayThe last would-be survivor profiled on the Escape From New York episode is Jay (no last name, smart!), family man/stock trader worried about a second September 11-scale terror attack, possibly using a ‘dirty bomb’.To help him prepare, he enlists the guidance of Shane Hobel of the Mountain Scout Survival School.

If there’s one common thread running through all three of these people’s challenges, it’s one of resiliency. Margaret Ling was in fine physical shape but needed to focus on awareness of her environment and keeping vigilant against possible assailants, as well as finding it within herself to be able to physically harm those assailants in order to survive. Cameron Moore needed a little more physical exercise, but he also had some mental walls to break down—accomplished by ‘acquiring’ a bicycle for better transportation, and adopting a ‘spray first, ask questions later’ with regards to hostile encounters. Jay’s practice escape is no different. As a middle-aged urban man, he’s not as physically fit as he used to be, so undertaking a multi-mile hike on foot is going to challenge his endurance as well as his attitude. This is a good point to stress the pre– part of preparedness. It’s not postparedness for a reason—preparation is something that needs to be done before disaster actually strikes. One shouldn’t wait for a disaster to discover you can’t take it; get off the couch and get out there for some practical exercise. If your bug-in plan relies on heating with wood, don’t say, ‘Oh, I’ll start splitting firewood once things go south’, do it now! If you’re like Jay and are your family rendezvous point is twelve miles away, don’t assume that when disaster strikes you’ll instantly be transformed into a Tarahumaran marathon runner. These things take time, and if you wait until shit goes down, time’s up.

Since Jay is focusing on a dirty bomb attack, his mentor shows him how to use matches to determine wind direction; I’m not sure I buy it. Might as well lick your finger and hold it up in the air. Shane also tells Jay to walk into the wind, in order to get the threat behind him as soon as possible. In other words, late great Mitch Hedberg’s parade theory applied to radiation!:
“If you’re watchin’ a parade, make sure you stand in one spot; don’t follow it, it never changes. And if the parade is boring, run in the opposite direction. You will fast-forward the parade!”

After what I assume is several miles, Jay starts getting tired, so Shane takes him to a public fountain to get a drink. Of course, it’s full of algae and gunk, so Shane uses powdered charcoal and a bandana to filter the water. I don’t really buy that either. We’re told that such a filter method will remove chlorine (more on that in a minute) and sediments, which is all well and good, but it doesn’t kill microorganisms (what you should really worry about)–it just makes nasty water more palatable. The caption tells us that water can also be purified with household bleach, 1/8 teaspoon to a gallon. That’s more like it. Although personally, I prefer 2% tincture of iodine, which isn’t as affected by temperature as chlorine, and can also be used to clean wounds as well as water. To have really safe water, however, I recommend using at least two purification methods, and luckily there are lots of options. Take your pick: chemical solutions (chlorine, iodine), UV (SODIS, SteriPen), boiling, distillation, the list goes on. Once you’ve got the bugs out, then run your H2O through a charcoal filter to improve the taste.

I might’ve missed something, because Shane starts showing Jay a handy medicinal weed: Plantain! Not those starchy banana-things, but a common plant you probably have growing in your yard: plantago. I frequently use it on cuts, as the sap is great at stopping bleeding. But unlike what this guy shows, just crush up or bruise a leaf or two in your hand, don’t chew it up to get the juices out—if you have an open wound, you definitely don’t want mouth germs in it.

I can’t say the techniques this guy demonstrates are great, but it’s more than most folks know; I’m starting to think NatGeo should give Hobel his own show. Doomsday Preppers is great for looking at folks and their various approaches to what they consider survival, but there are certain basics (navigation, what to eat, how to drink, shelter, medicine, and fire-making) that people just don’t know.

In the end, Jay meets up with his family and they drive off to the Hamptons in their SUV. But not to worry, their bug-out vehicle has three bikes on the back rack! Which is AWESOME, as it’s nice to finally see someone thinking practically, sustainably, and survivably.

Looks like the next episode next week’s episode is also themed? And it’s superbunkers? Oh boy. Until next time, folks!