Skip to comments.All hell will break loose: Inside the strange world of the 'Prepper' families planning for Doomsday
Posted on 12/22/2012 1:30:44 PM PST by JoeProBono
Once a week Tim Ralston and his wife Marie take their three teenage kids to a secluded cabin in the Northern Arizona desert.
Surrounded by wildlife and the cows, sheep and chickens they raise it looks like a perfect eco-friendly family retreat.
But the Ralstons are not there for an American version of The Good Life.
On arrival Marie heads straight to the pantry to check the 15 years worth of tinned and freeze-dried food theyve stockpiled, the kids test out their survival gear, first aid kits and water purifying tablets and Tim gets in some self-defence practice with his Crovel.
Its a 13-tools-in-one weapon he has designed himself and, as he is more than happy to demonstrate, it can slice a pig in half with two blows.
Its the Swiss army knife of shovels, explains Tim proudly.
The spike at one end, a pry bar, a hammer... and the blade itself is so strong its used as an axe. Its very hardcore.
Its also selling like hot cakes and has been voted the No 1 Zombie Killing Tool in the World by the more extreme members of the growing community who, like Tim, are getting ready for Doomsday.
Tim Ralston trains his children in the use of firearms so they are prepared for doomsday Planning: Tim teaching his family to use guns
For Tim and his family are Preppers, some of the tens of thousands of people worldwide preparing for Teotwawki or The End Of The World As We Know It in their language.
The survivalism movement has been around since the 60s when Cold War fears of atomic attacks prompted hundreds of thousands of Americans into stockpiling food and weapons.
In 1999, fears of the Y2K computer bug triggered another surge in prepping, while the 9/11 attacks and terrorism alerts drove it to new highs.
Survivalists used to be dismissed as wild-bearded weirdos living in caves.
But this week the Prepper phenomenon was thrown into the spotlight by the Sandy Hook school massacre in Connecticut.
Nancy Lanza, the mother and first victim of 20-year old shooter Adam Lanza, was a Prepper herself who stockpiled supplies at her neat suburban home and amassed a personal armoury.
Across the US, and in Europe and even the UK, apparently ordinary people are also preparing for WTSHF prepping jargon for disaster, or when the s*** hits the fan.
They have their own organisation, the American Preppers Network, their own TV series Doomsday Preppers and Preppers UK on the National Geographic cable channel and scores of how to prep shows on local radio.
Mike Holland reviews his stock of dry food storage in a trailer at the Holland family property in Warrenton, North Carolina The supplies: Stockpiles of food Reuters
Then there are the websites and blogs, magazines and books like Preppers Home Defence, a snip at £8.35 in Walmart.
And a huge industry is cashing in on their fears with companies selling special food and equipment such as the air-purifying SCape Mask as well as purpose-built shelters.
In North Salt Lake, Utah, builder Paul Seyfried is doing a roaring trade in bespoke bunkers which cost from £32,000 to £40,000.
Some Preppers will have woken up this morning feeling pretty confused as, according to one doomsday prophecy based on the ancient Mayan calendar, the world should have ended yesterday.
Tim, 49, a former IT consultant, did not believe that was how the end would come, nor does he think it will be a zombie apocalypse, plague, or bio-chemical attack, as other Preppers do.
He fears an electromagnetic pulse attack, triggered by man-made sources such as a missile or small nuclear bomb, or through the sun having a solar flare.
It would cause all electrical systems to blow up rendering everyday life impossible.............
Is this the dude that shot his thumb off?
I want a crovel.
First thing I thought when I saw the crovel.
“I would not have gone on that show though.”
That’s what amazes me - some of these people have great preps and ideas and seem pretty smart - but zero Op-Sec sense at all. Amazing.
This is what I don’t get. All the pluses you want to give the guy are negated by dumb stuff he’s done.
Attention whores won’t survive long.
Od course the govt has no idea whatsoever of the existence or whereabouts of all of these prepper hideouts.
That was sort of funny at the time.
Mormans prep, granny out on the farm prepped a 100 years ago, Native Americans prepped, mankind has always prepped but this author thinks it began in 1960.
It's almost like a dare to others..." You know where I'll be hiding out with my supplies, so you just try and take away my stuff!"
Something about them doesn’t make sense.
If they are only there once a week, who takes care of the cows and chickens?
How do they keep someone from breaking in to their cabin and taking all their stuff?
OpSec. No one know where their cabin is . . . except for a few million viewers of the show and people who read teh article and searched land records.
And what could they do if they do know? Go door to door and gather up stuff? The government can't even get a good head count once every 10 years at census time.
Reminds me of the Twilight Zone episode of a family bragging about their fall out shelter until the nuclear war warning sounds and the neighbors break down the door to get in.
I like the shovel.
Be nice if the handle extended to full length for easier digging.
We could drastically reduce the impact of an EMP event if replacement electrical grid transformers were built, purchased and placed where they need to be. (the at risk ones are enormous and very expensive.)
If Bill Gates is so bent on giving away most of his cash he should have these transformers built and stored somewhere. If an EMP occurred they would build monuments and name schools after him.
Best plan would be two shelters, one easily spotted and set up to look like it has already been looted. The other a fair distance away and nearly impossible to find.
I once knew a guy who bought a huge old used safe and filled it with junk that would rattle around and make lots of noise if it was pushed over. He stored his real valuables in small, cheap fireproof lock boxes he got at WalMart.
Idea being if someone broke in they would nearly kill themselves hauling out the safe-full-o-junk and not look too hard for the lock boxes buried under the back porch.
While the Crovel looks interesting, I would be a bit concerned that it was a “Jack of all trades, and master of none”.
For instance, if you think about a shovel, it is the kind of tool you want maximized for just that one purpose, because you are likely going to be digging a LOT, and you don’t want other stuff to get in the way.
If you eliminate the shovel, you get a tool much like the Trucker’s Friend, which looks something like a battleaxe.
If you want smaller but still versatile, there is the ATAX All Terrain Axe.
I used the same devious line of thought in combat engineer school. We'd break into small groups. Each group would lay training mines, and draw a minefield map. Then we'd rotate to where the last team was, and clear their mines, with their maps.
I would plant one, amateurishly concealed. A foot and a half in front of it- would be a bounding frag exquisitely concealed- but accurately recorded on the map. When we'd rotate to the next team's position, I'd stop and listen for the *pop* "F**K"! Very satisfying. :-)
Point of the story- considering the adversary's mind and manipulating it, beats a frontal assault or, a set-piece defense. Like your tag line, BTW. Dead on.
Crovel; gotta get me one of them things.
It reminds me of the “Lobo” described in the book “World War Z”.
Agreed. And we’d only need to stockpile, as a nation, a few hundred of them.
Unfortunately, the priority is to build more unreliable “green” energy and “smart grids” instead of safeguarding the power grid.
Considering your hand normally ends up at the end of a shovel and the spike placed there.. well.. could be painful.
Nationwide riots and don't try to go by skin color, there are 44 mil food stampers and by far they are not black. Higher proportion of blacks maybe but the majority are lily white.
You are right on... everyone “preps”... it’s the common sense thing to do! Now it’s considered weird and suspect! There is an old fable of the ant and the grasshopper... the ant was a prepper.
Nor did I say or imply that you did, I'm sorry you inferred that from what I said.
When I said, "don't try to go by skin color", I meant the collective "we", I should have been clearer.