“There is no real ending. It’s just the place where you stop the story.”

― Frank Herbert

Friday, June 6, 2014

Unplugged, the Sportsman Channel


I watched the premier of this new series last night on the Sportsman Channel.  You never know what to expect with the series produced for small outdoor sportsman type channels. Some are very good, some are on the level of home movies, but this one was quite well done.

The first show featured a couple who live relatively near to me, just across the border with South Carolina.  He is an engineer, and she is a pharmacist.  Both well educated, well spoken people. More to the point, both of them had good jobs so they could pour vast amounts of money into their survivalist lifestyle.  That word , the "S" word, was never used but that's what these people are. For one thing, they've been doing this full time for more than twenty years, and the "prepper" moniker didn't exist back then. For another, these were some serious individuals.  They had all the bases covered.

The first thing I noticed was that they had backups, to backups, for every kind of equipment and gadget you could desire. The man said he spent more than $60,000 on his solar system, and he had a very good diesel generator system with plenty of fuel.  He also had outdoor furnaces that allowed him to heat his house and water using wood alone.  They had multiple tractors, including one that had no ignition system other than a hand crank.

This couple had purchased every kind of machine for preserving food, including their own mini canning plant. They raised cattle,  did their own gardening and preserving.  Their water system was amazing, including a type of pump for moving water that used no electricity at all and had been running for years without difficulty. I had never heard of it before. All in all, they had both the wherewithal and the technical expertise to put together an excellent retreat.  While they live there full time, other members of their small group would join them by prearrangement if the situation were to merit that.

I'm looking forward to seeing upcoming episodes of the show.  If "Doomsday Preppers" had been done on this level, serious with an eye to being informative and educational, I wouldn't have quit watching it.

9 comments:

  1. A solitary pepper can make a go of it but a true partner has got to be the best asset, by far. He's a lucky man.

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    1. They were very down to earth, normal people. I was dreading this show would be another "Doomsday Preppers" but I should have known better, the Sportsman Channel is pretty conservative. You are right. You can't do this without a wife who supports the theory behind it. She was a real asset, not just somebody who suffers in silence to placate an eccentric husband. I was impressed with the show and hope it holds up the same tone throughout.

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  2. Is the pump that you mentioned a ram pump? Those things are pretty cool. Inefficient, in terms of water movement vs. water not moved, but it requires nothing but gravity and even if it only moves a little water every few seconds it adds up quickly. They were kind of a 'forgotten technology' until a few years back when it seemed like everyone rediscovered them. Speaking of non-electric pump, I've been sitting on this link for a while..you might find it interesting: http://waterbuckpump.com/main/

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  3. I think that is what it was called. It splashed a lot of water out into a drainage channel, but it also moved water up slope to a tank. It was like a perpetual motion machine, as long as water came in, it would keep pumping without any other power source. I had never heard of such a thing, and if I hadn't seen it I would have said that it couldn't be, but it clearly worked and he said it had been working, untouched, for many years. I'll take a look at that link, thanks.

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    1. Yup, thats a ram pump. Theres all sorts of videos on YouTube about them. The idea is that the velocity of the incoming water will, once it 'hits' the bottom of its travel, compress a bit and create some pressure....its a cleer design and it's only weaknesses appear to be making sure the valves don't wear out and, of course, you must have enough 'head' or altitude of water for it to build up some velocity as it barrels down the pipe towards the ram.

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    2. I have been watching his videos on YouTube for years. If you are interested, he has some on the ram pump. His channel is under engineer775. He has them on wood gasification and all sorts of interesting (and useful) topics.
      -Havenseeker

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  4. Zero, that could have applications here. I have an spring that bubbles up on my land. The flow is good except in times of drought. I could put a tank up slope of the buildings , and let a pump like that fill it, then gravity feed the water to the house. I don't really need to do that while I have diesel, but if the diesel ran out in a big event, that would beat hauling water from the creek.

    Havenseeker, I never heard of this guy until the show. But he had clearly been doing this for a long time, and between his willingness to work hard and his amazingly deep pockets, he has a good set up. I appreciate the link very much. I've been a survivalist for more than thirty years now, and I am always surprised when something totally new that I've never heard of pops up. But I'm also glad.

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  5. Funny that you mention Doomsday preppers and how lame it had gotten ( my words ). During the first season and, I think, the second, this man was one of a pair who were the experts that the narrator referred to at the end of each segment.

    The other one was Dave ( youtube channel = southernprepper1). His channel is very good.

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  6. I didn't know that. Well, I'd say his credentials as an expert would stand up under scrutiny.

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