Another new episode of Doomsday Preppers, ′Back to the Dark Ages′, aired last night on the National Geographic Channel. Once again, NatGeo TV introduced us to three groups of preppers, each with some unique skill sets and views on the state of our world. One family in Texas grows moringa, an interesting crop with many health benefits, including purifying water. Another group plans on using ancient Native American skills and hide out on a small island in Minnesota trapping beaver and living in a wigwam. Our third family is in Vermont is headed by a retired physics professor who uses his brain to come up with a survival dome that can hold up against most weaponry, including a home-made air-cannon. Being in Vermont, he also makes maximum use of maple trees and built an ice house to keep provisions frozen all year round. So let us meet our preppers…

doomsday preppers back to the dark ages
Doomsday Preppers Lisa Roulette and Lloyde Dahl train at building a wigwam and using other Native American skills with their family. Image Credit: National Geographic.

Chuck Vessey works in the natural gas industry in Texas and has a farm about an hour outside of Dallas. He had family in Joplin, Missouri back when a tornado destroyed the town. It took a week to locate all of his family, which survived the disaster intact. But the lessons learned turned him into a prepper. Fearing a societal breakdown due to an EMP event, either caused by a solar flare or terrorist nuke, Chuck focuses on surviving through barter. In addition to stockpiling trade items, including gold and silver coins, he also makes wine and grows moringa. Often used in hydroponic gardens to clean water, moringa has many health benefits being rich in various essential minerals, like iron and potassium. When dried and ground into a powder, moringa can actually remove about 90% of bacteria from water, making it drinkable.

Being close to a major urban population center, Chuck preps for potential looters by hiding stuff. He hides guns and other goodies throughout his home concealed in innocuous items. At his front door, a painting hides a pistol, pepper spray, flashlight and a knife. He also has many Faraday cages to protect his electronic devices from an electromagnetic pulse. Chuck is fond of plastic blue barrels, too! A home-made wind turbine uses two halves of a blue barrel to generate electricity. He also stashes extra food supplies in barrels and buries them all about his property. In the event of looters, Chuck uses a secret code based on the Holy Bible to help his sons locate the barrels. Chuck scores a 60, giving him and his family 8 months of survival after the apocalypse.

For Lisa Roulette in northern Minnesota, tragedy occurred when her fiancee became depressed one long winter and he committed suicide. Fearing a global disaster from climate change, she now preps for doomsday with her new fella, Llyode Dahl, of Native American ancestry. Their prepping skills include practicing traditional Indian methods and techniques for living off the land. In the event of the apocalypse, they plan to bug-out to a small, uninhabited island on one of those 1,000 lakes we hear about in Minnesota.

With Lisa′s three sons, the group canoes to the island they have selected on a wet, cold day as part of a training drill. They first conceal their canoes and then set up a defense perimeter using foot traps spiked with punji sticks. While Llyode sets some animal traps for game food, the rest dig up one of several supply caches prepositioned on the island. Then Lisa and her sons get to work on building a wigwam fro shelter. The ground is frozen, making construction a bit difficult. Once finished, they next build a lean-to for sleeping in, as they do not want to sleep near their main camp site, should they be raided. Lloyde returns with a beaver he caught and they waste no time, or beaver, in processing it. Everything usable is utilized, especially the meat and fur. Lisa and Lloyde score a 75, giving them 14 months of survival.

Finally, we have Tom Tailer of Vermont, a retired physics professor. He was in Argentina back during a currency meltdown, so he has first-hand knowledge of what life is like during an economic collapse. Tom subscribes to the whole ′peak oil′ thing and foresees a day when fuel and food will run out or be too expensive, causing social unrest. Tom grows rice and a lot of it! Enough for his whole, local community. He also uses Vermont′s most famous crop, maple trees, to gather syrup and makes water filters from slugs of maple wood. During the winter, he freezes 500 five-gallon buckets of water and uses them in an ice house he built to keep supplies frozen all year long.

Knowing that he might be forced to bug out to avoid marauders, Tom designed a geodesic dome shelter he calls The Dome, make from recycled materials. Each panel is light in weight but quite strong. Tom and his pals test the panels in resisting gunfire. Only rounds from an AR-15 actually penetrate the test panels, which are about half the thickness of those for The Dome. Tom then tests his panels using his own, home-made cannon, powered by compressed air. The weapon fires a wooden projectile right through the panel. Ouch! Tom scores a 63, giving him 9 months of survival time.

Thus wraps up another exciting episode of Doomsday Preppers, ′Back to the Dark Ages′, on the National Geographic Channel. Dark Ages is right! This episode was one of the darker ones for NatGeo TV. I′ll give Lisa credit for her skills and determination, but she is a real downer. Her segment was like a crate load of quaaludes. My hats off to you, Lloyde! Tom and Chuck were fun people. I liked Chuck and his wine making and his growing moringa. Also his concealment techniques using a Bible code. Tom is a real cut-up. He has come up with a lot of good stuff, especially his air cannon. Awesome!