Doomsday Preppers – Is Reality T.V. Trying to make Preppers look bad?

Is Doomsday Preppers designed to make Preppers look crazy?

“Inspiring people to prepare a personal fortress and pray for cataclysm so they can start blasting away at their neighbors”
According to the New York Times this is what prepping is all about.

Doomsday Preppers TV Show

In an article released earlier this week, the New York Times categorized preppers as “offensively anti-life and full of contempt for humankind.” The article was an expose on the newest trend in Reality T.V. – PREPPING

If this is the face of prepping, the Emergency Preparedness movement is Screwed!

Over the last couple of months, Prepping has become the newest trend in Reality T.V.

While I’m usually all for people learning about preparedness, these shows have very little to do with emergency preparedness or survival. In fact, they seem to be designed to do only one thing – To make Preppers look like complete Wackjobs!

Think I’m kidding? Check out this promo for National Geographic’s Doomsday Preppers

Most of the people featured on these so called “prepping shows”, are not at all what Emergency Preparedness Movement needs. In fact, I think these people and their shows do far more harm than they do good.

Playing With Guns

One look at a show like Doomsday Preppers will tell you everything you need to know about these shows. From featuring some dude who shoots his thumb off, to people who I would be afraid to stand next to at the range, it is painfully obvious that these shows are created to denigrate those who prep.

Here is the latest mishap on Doomsday Preppers (keep in mind that it’s not a misfire when you put your hand in front of the barrel!)

In my opinion these shows are made specifically to exploit the subject of prepping, and they have turned emergency preparedness into something that can be ridiculed and laughed at by the mainstream media.


  1. Pete
    March 14, 2012 at 2:50 pm

    I have been watching these shows with a skeptical eye as to exactly what the producers are trying to accomplish. I believe the goal is less about education and more about picking out some people on the fringes and painting all preppers in a bad way.

  2. Torc
    March 14, 2012 at 3:01 pm

    Could not bring myself to watch this farce. I knew when I first heard it that the people they would get would not be level headed, because that does not raise the ratings.

  3. Jimi
    March 14, 2012 at 4:02 pm

    Reality T.V.

    that says it all.

  4. hisbilly
    March 14, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    these people are most likely Democrats/ libertarian leftwing nut jobs to begin with, in the end it is thier fault they voted for obama to be in illegally to upser, defy our constitution, make ridiculous laws, yet they cant defend themselfs, they have to hide behind a law suit or they beg federal agencies to genocide “in the future” or arrest without trail because there pussies. they support communism and, islam.

    theres a simple to this to make sure ppl dont reconize you as a prepper be the real 1776 operator, be incognito shut up about it! disseminate it and, give propaganda back yo the leftwing because they least expect you, stalk them, find their vulnerabilitys.

    • tex
      March 14, 2012 at 9:26 pm

      No need to dig up “likely Democrat/libertarian left wing nut jobs” to make preppers look bad when there are so many over the top, anti-government, doomsday soothsayer, right wing religious wacko nut jobs so eager to do it for them.

      Prepping to me is not a right wing vs left wing or Republican vs Democrat point of view. Far left field or deep right field points of view just incite derision and invite authoritarian suppression.

      Even if those are your views or feelings- better to trust no one and keep it to yourself while building family and neighborhood relationships no matter political views and religious commitment. Blood then community ties being thicker than water.

    • lordcliff
      March 15, 2012 at 8:49 am

      Umm, libertarians wouldn’t vote for Obama. Liberals did. Libertarians want smaller and less powerful governments, and abhor the big brother nanny state.
      Please don’t group libertarians in with Democrats. Or Republicans for that matter.

      Liberals and Libertarians are very different politically.

      • Scott
        April 5, 2012 at 3:45 am

        On the libertarian slip… Good catch. I didn’t even see that.

        • Dragon
          May 31, 2012 at 12:02 am

          This Big A little L did vote for Barry Sotero.
          What is funnier is that I predicted the Obamma win during the primary. Take off the green glasses as you are not in OZ.

    • Jan
      March 15, 2012 at 12:15 pm

      You apparently know nothing about libertarians – they do not tend to side with or vote for democrats and are not lefties.

    • tupelojo
      March 15, 2012 at 5:49 pm

      I think we just found the next candidate for the show!

    • ParadoxTraveler
      September 12, 2012 at 1:52 pm

      I don’t think you understand politics very well. You’re obviously uneducated. Get off the computer, and go back to school. Libertarians are not left wing and should never be grouped with liberals. They are two COMPLETELY different ideologies. YOU are the kind of people that give preppers a bad name.

    • piercat
      June 16, 2013 at 11:09 am

      Politics have nothing to do with the world-wide environmental crisis going on earth as we now it. All the people in the world are creating this crisis. As for an economical crisis, there is no political group in the world that will be able to prevent this from happening. The longtime greediness of all politicians has created a world of hurt for everyone worldwide and it will get worse. The reality show is to show what smart people are doing to prepare and survive these events that have been taking place on a small scale, and will continue to take place and get worse. Non-preppers will be fighting to survive in the streets of mass chaos.

  5. Tim Harp
    March 14, 2012 at 4:50 pm

    I agree Pete. Kinda like saying I believe in aliens or bigfoot. Well they can be made fun of and so can I but I am not stopping.

  6. church
    March 14, 2012 at 5:01 pm

    Hype….. eon’s ago the mountain men that forged across this country prepped before setting out..oh I forgot they don’t want you to know about that..they’ve quit teaching history in schools this days….my bad…I’ve been a survivalist for more then 35 year now …prepping isn’t about the contempt for human kind it’s about the preservation of it..the will to live no matter far as the neighbors they’re free to do as they please as long as they leave me alone…I’m not wasting ammo on they’re dumb axx…until I started posting on this web site no one knew I was a prepper…keep your mouth shut and stay alive what ever the cost….

    • church
      March 14, 2012 at 5:10 pm

      its a ploy by the gov. …..oh its ok to stand up and admit I’m a prepper…..bullsxxt….all they want to know is how many and where they are……ITS CHEESE for the trap….can you all not see it….open your eyes people…keep your mouth shut about it….STOP LOOK & LISTEN…there’s more to surviving then running you mouth….

    • SurvivalArtist
      March 15, 2012 at 3:21 pm

      Nice! I wish there was a “Like” button. I’d hit it

    • Scott
      April 5, 2012 at 3:53 am

      Excellent! One of the best strategies in a survival situation is to not draw attention to yourself…unless you are trying to be rescued of course. But prepping is about self-reliance, not counting on someone else comes along to save you. And it doesn’t matter how many resources you’ve secured if the whole town forms a mob to take them.

  7. Maveth
    March 14, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    For the idiots who have not yet figured it out: the purpose of this show is to not only to belittle “preppers”, but to show them as unstable and dangerous to society — thereby preparing the public for rampant approval when the gov’t “has” to move against the preppers “for the greater public good”.

    That’s the bottom line.

    • tex
      March 14, 2012 at 9:29 pm

      Divide and conquer…

    • topcat128
      March 19, 2012 at 4:34 pm

      You are 100% right. The whole point of these TV Reality Shows is to show Survivalist’s as a danger to society. That will give the government a excuse to go after them with no negative effects.

    • piercat
      June 16, 2013 at 11:01 am

      You obviously are not aware of the world-wide economical and environmental crisis going on earth as we now it. The reality show is to show what smart people are doing to prepare and survive these events that will take place. Non-preppers will be fighting to survive in the streets of mass chaos.

  8. Lowdown3
    March 15, 2012 at 5:46 am

    Great article! + 1

    The media and gubmint have no reason to truly help folks like us that are preparing. They crave control and we seek FREEDOM. The two do not mix. Take a hard look at all the psychological angles they are working with that show. From the fat lady that gets pi$$ed that her hubbie spoke ahead of her, to how they focus on the bored or scared looks from all the children at JUST the right time. It all paints a picture. Also, it’s further the promotion of BAD preparing information- like the handwarmers in food BS, etc. Showing some one with practically no long term experience and showcasing them like they are knowledgeable. Great article, thanks.

  9. Leauxryda
    March 15, 2012 at 11:55 am

    This is the mantra of mainstream media…..the fact that they even have this show is indicative that people want attention for themselves…..and because of this, expect unwanted attention now:

    1) Children shown in these shows will be the target of every “Dr. Spock” expert that needs to be saved from their parents…..government already thinks they can raise a child better than a parent….this will give them another opportunity.
    2) Guns, guns and more guns…..AND lots of ammo…’s the reason Japan didn’t step foot on American soil…’s also the reason the government is pushing for gun legislation virtually each and every day. Can’t control an armed populace.
    3) Don’t be too naïve to think that government wouldn’t look at preppers storing food as “hoarding” from those who are starving…..including water.
    4) When people fear the government, they discuss it with their friends…..when their friends incorporate due diligence, they can recognize it and begin prepping as well. On an on, suddenly these people become a concern….
    5) When people become “independent” of the grid, they wind up contributing less to the infrastructure…..government can’t have all that “tax” taken away from them.
    6) If preparing for a SHTF or TEOTWAWKI situation is ridiculous, why is the government doing it?

    It’s hard to consider whether a prepper should be concerned with how they are perceived. That’s up to the individual. But as one who prepares for the worse, you are better positioned to revitalize one’s respective community and family. And that friends, is leadership…not selfishness, nor lunacy….

    • Keith
      March 16, 2012 at 10:56 am

      You got that right. I will not let anyone know if I’m prepping… or not (except for the other folks at our BOL. We have enough to do without letting everyone know about it. Don’t understand why someone who is worried about gov’t would actually go on tv, of all things, and show what they are doing.

      That is not prudent at all. lol! Like your comment very much

      • Leauxryda
        March 18, 2012 at 6:58 am

        Thanks Keith….

        There are moral issues in all of this that will come into question. Those answers will be dependent on the ones doing the analyzing. We could likely agree what those results would be.

        You’re correct, prudence is part of your prep. Trust in only family and the closest of loyal friends. Helping those who are willing to help themselves will see one through virtually anything. There will be times to help those who aren’t as prudent so preparing for that also will solidify ones character and soul. But there will be other times when “protecting” said prudence will be required. In that time will be the truest test of all. Any moral person with a spiritual awareness of sort, will know the right direction to take.

        Despite the “characters” of the show, there is value hidden within both character and content….we as people who wisely see this will gain from it….

        Our best to you and yours….

  10. Dollarstore Prepper
    March 15, 2012 at 1:09 pm

    The only show where you might be considered a nut Job for getting an “A” in survival. I don’t care what the majority thinks about prepping because the masses are asses. I left these short sighted imbeciles when I graduated High School. Is the show trying to paint them as extreme sure. At least this show is interesting. The crappy self centered behavior of other reality shows is more frightening than this show. This show will double the amount of preppers in this country. That is the best thing about it. More good people to be on the side of freedom. Ron Paul 2012

  11. SHTFTX
    March 15, 2012 at 1:37 pm

    What I want to know is who was responsible for the selection process of the people they decided were “preppers”? I find it insulting that they allow those slack-jawed morons to portray what real prepping is all about. We are not sitting in our bunkers with our MREs, AR-15s in a prayer circle asking God to end it all so we can test our new .44 loads on our next door neighbors who come over to get some water cause they are thirsty. Frankly, it makes me sick to think that this is the show that is inspiring people to be prepared for emergencies. Unfortunately it is only going to spawn half-cocked, gun-toting liberals to prepare themselves for something that is never coming.

  12. JOHN.S
    March 15, 2012 at 11:03 pm


    • Scott
      April 5, 2012 at 3:56 am

      All caps. …wow.

  13. BIO
    March 16, 2012 at 5:29 am

    I always thought this show was alittle on the crazy side since day one. Some info is worth knowing but most is just nutso for drama TV. Just another reality series to put the sheep into a deeper trance as the plan is played out daily.

  14. church
    March 16, 2012 at 4:49 pm

    the one guy wasn’t much of a survivor ….he didn’t know witch end of the gun was dangerous….get real…HYPE nothing more…

  15. Gina
    March 16, 2012 at 11:00 pm

    What I find amusing, and every one here seems to have missed – if you are a real ‘prepper’, the last thing you want is to give away your game plan.

    Did anyone else notice that these folks have between $200,000+ to build these “bunkers”? Not to mention their homes are well over 300ft from the bunker entrance. Ask a deer hunter or ex-military how hard it would be to pick off one of these fools en-route?

    Watch the show for the entertainment value, watch Swamp People for survival tips.

    • Scott
      April 5, 2012 at 3:57 am

      Good points.

    • ucmc
      April 12, 2012 at 10:03 am

      good point i know people that can shoot you so many times in 300 feet you will die of lead poisining

    • ThrivalistJ
      May 17, 2012 at 7:20 pm

      Very good points.

    • Skip Jensen
      May 27, 2012 at 12:04 pm

      Now that’s the first thing I’ve read about this article that makes sense. The rest of this crap is ludicrous.

  16. church
    March 17, 2012 at 12:16 am

    when the pioneers move across this country in wagons they were preppers they left pianos, table, chairs,grandfather clock, even granny’s hope chest along the way because the wagon was to heavy….my point…what you did not see them leave along the trail was the barrel of flour,the water barrel the bags of rice & coffee nor the axe,shovel..but they had they’re preps with them you couldn’t survive with out it….every cold or hot blooded creature on the planet preps.even the smallest bird caries nesting material an insects back to the bird…

    • church
      March 17, 2012 at 12:25 am

      Cheese & crackers….I managed to leave out the most important part…..GUN….do ya really think they would leave along the trail side…or give it up willingly……get real modern man or you want survive…

  17. Doc
    March 17, 2012 at 7:51 am

    I laughed my ass off when that guy said “I had a weapons malfunction and my hand went in front of the barrel…” I’m glad you guys pointed this out. I watch Doomsday Preppers, but it’s more for comic relief. I’m not saying that I will be looting, but if I saw all of these cabellas rangers the first thing to cross my mind would be “hmmm, this guy doesn’t KNOW anything, but he has A LOT of gear.” KA-CHING!
    Btw hit me up on twitter. I’m a medic, looking for a prepper community in the Midwest (I’m in Indiana) 6 years of experience (army) trauma and clinical experience, still hold my EMT license (like it will matter)

  18. Hector
    March 19, 2012 at 4:20 am

    On a positive note if is true only 7% of the population are getting ready for XYZ some of the information will be to some use to the other 93%

  19. topcat128
    March 19, 2012 at 4:41 pm

    What real Survivalist would ever go on one of these so-called reality TV Shows? I bet most of the programs were made-up to make Survivalists look bad with most of the programs staged with actors and etc. We real people are going to keep low and under the radar.

  20. Chris
    March 24, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    Started watching this program and some other program (A&E?)where a guy has a company building underground bunkers made of steel girders & sheets. Like one place was costing something like $250,000? Or the former professional water skier who bought a Titan missile complex for $40,000 then made it into an underground home that was 20,000 square feet? All these preppers seem to have money coming out of their donkey. Just what is it these people do for a living to buy this stuff?
    I believe some of these people are sincere in their beliefs, but what “experts” is National Geographic using to grade these people? NG never says. As to others, think they’re getting their rocks off thinking about the end of the world and how they will survive after beating off the hordes of starving/diseased people. Come to think of it, has any of them mentioned December 2012 as the day for the world to end?

    • church
      March 25, 2012 at 5:38 am

      THE world is NOT going to end on dec,21 2012….you are going to wake up on dec.22 2012 just like always……they just ran out of rock to chisel on that’s all… had better look through D.C. for your demise…..

  21. TheWiredWorld
    April 7, 2012 at 10:07 pm

    I’ve been kind of thinking for a while…this may be the start of it, but long story short – most extreme opposite of the spectrum:

    They make prepping illegal. And due so by attaching some bull**** “suspicion of terrorism” bit to the bill.

    I honestly think it’d be time to get out at that point – as it’s obvious they’re trying to secure their plan to pin us into having to comply in a SHTF situation.

    • church
      May 7, 2012 at 5:56 pm

      the wired world…..this didn’t just start ….look this up on you tube…its called..Iron Mountain Blueprint for Tyranny.aui…this shit started in the 50’s

  22. dman73165
    April 8, 2012 at 3:34 am

    Preppers are a like minded group of folks just wanting to survive, tom be left alone and to raise their family to their liking.

  23. B-Man
    April 16, 2012 at 3:02 am

    1)Many of you should add a dictionary to your preps.
    2)Relax. Its not a government plot. Like any reality show, they only show those way out there. Those are the “interesting” people. Well thought out preps would make about as interesting a tv show as filming a trip to the grocery.If you keep your preps quiet (as you should) the wingnuts shouldn’t make you look bad.

  24. church
    May 7, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    brovo brovo….b-man’s got his game on ….I’ve been a survivalist more than thirty five years now and this people have shown up in the last four to five years… No one has never known me or given me a second glance..the key to surviving is the sheer will to live that’s why I’m one of the few key masters…I practice my skills year round..the art of finding water, the burden of building fire, the craft of building shelter, hunting fishing, thirty five years strong…..

  25. Ethegreat
    May 9, 2012 at 5:54 am

    I think the show is entertaining, some of the stuff is useful some crazy, but the show did get me thinking about what may happen and that I should be prepared for it for my family’s sake but it is entertainment. And that episode where the guy shot his finger off was funny as hell

  26. ThrivalistJ
    May 17, 2012 at 7:17 pm

    I do think that there is something around the corner. Due to Biblical reasons, I do not believe in the whole 12/21/12 jargon. I believe in
    Economic collapse. We watch our nation continue to be in trillions of debt, our dollar depreciate & stay way under value. All I can say, is get/do what you can NOW to make your time a little better when the SHTF & TEOTWAWKI. Buy your foods, sanitary supplies, plant your heirloom gardens & wait. Stay under the radar & keep your assets close. Prepping isn’t merely acquiring items it’s a way of life. IF nothing happens in
    Our lifetime, awesome. However, maybe you’ve passed on info that will aide your children/grandchildren. Watch Nat Geo’s show, maybe you’ll get some sort of comic relief or idea from it. Nonetheless, preppers know that “Loose lips sink ships!” that’s my take on all this!

  27. PistolPackinPretty
    May 21, 2012 at 4:27 pm

    wow! I’m honestly a bit surprised by the reactions and name calling.. Especially by those who claim to be “for realzz preppers” it’s so easy for you guys to call these t.v. Preppers nut jobs but I’m sure you all have been called nuts by friends and family for prepping. Besides, every one is a little quirky, prepper or not. I personally think the show has planted a little seed of awareness in most people who’ve seen it. I know my parents opened up to the idea more because of the show. Yes, some of them are a little out there but a lot of them are very smart, have some good ideas and more
    importantly.. They’re prepared, more prepared than most.

    • Off Grid Survival
      May 29, 2012 at 1:31 pm

      I don’t think everyone on the show is a nutjob, but the show sure as hell does everything they can to make them look nutty.

      Most of the people on this show, the jackass that shot his thumb off being a prime example, are on the show seeking fame and fortune and do not represent most preppers.

  28. shtf
    June 6, 2012 at 8:09 am

    Well I disagree with the article and about 99% of you. I watched Doomsday Preppers and have started prepping due to this show.

    I guess it had the opposite effect on me.

  29. DB RN
    June 15, 2012 at 11:06 am

    For every prepper that agrees to go on this show there’s 1,000 more that know better.
    They’re violating rule #1: operation security.
    But like the above, there are probably a lot of people waking up and doing a little prepping because of the show… the right ones.

  30. bill
    June 22, 2012 at 5:07 pm

    finally someone agrees with what ive been saying since i saw the first episode. These shows are a joke.

  31. Bishop
    July 2, 2012 at 5:43 am

    I started prepping a few months for this show debuted because of a black out we had where I live. At first my family just thought it was odd that I would bother storing food, medical supplies, and other necessities, but now thanks to this steam pile of crap show they have the idea in their heads I’m some sort of nutjob getting ready to overthrow the government. A couple of them even had the nerve to call me unAmerican for prepping for worst case because I’m showing a lack of faith in our government…hell even the founding fathers didn’t trust the government to take care of the people, so why should I, especially when basic infrastructure seems to be a foreign concept to them

    • jeffchurch
      August 14, 2012 at 5:41 pm

      yep that’s why they wrote the Constitution………..

  32. Wes
    July 24, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    I think reguardless of how nutty the show makes the preppers seem, it’s a good thing overall. It will cause some people to think about prepping and after all, don’t we want that? The more people prepared to be self sufficient after the collapse of society, the more people will survive. The show is one of the reasons I’ve began my little stockpile. And my operational security is so tight even my wife doesn’t know what I’ve got stashed.

  33. preppon
    September 11, 2012 at 4:58 pm

    hahaa…stupid prepper shot his own thumb…hahaa…

  34. bok26
    September 17, 2012 at 10:26 am

    in my view.. its better to know if my soul is written in the lambs book of life.. things are funny with others ears but,let us just prepared ourselves for the time of our lord jesus for the time of judgement day.. lord i want to give my whole life with you for in the time i wanted to be with you..

  35. John Finland
    October 5, 2012 at 7:13 am

    That preppers-series was shown and I wat

    Looks like worlds paranoia is concentrated in U.S.A. Why? They have not seen war on their backyards for over 150 years and as far as I’m concerned Usa is among the safest countries in the world. Do they fear their own folks or are they stuck in wild west in their minds?

  36. nicole
    November 5, 2012 at 2:05 pm

    Admittedly, the Doomsday Preppers show is what got me thinking about prepping. I have been since doing a ton of research and learning to start slow, based on my own needs, and not get overwhelmed by all of the methods/information out there. I agree that the show highlights the most extreme, but it has to…it’s television and it has to be appealing. I think the NYT article by far intentionally sheds negative light on the people of the show, but I don’t think that the show itself is purposely trying to make preppers look like crazies.

    I’ve always thought about WWID in X scenario…primarily related to wilderness survival. But seeing this show actually made me start acting. I am only just beginning, but I at least have the sensability and early stage knowledge of having a few back up plans. I probably wouldn’t have been so interested and concerned by now if I hadn’t seen that show.

    I live in Philadelphia, and was completely unaffected by Sandy, unlike my neigbors 50 miles north east. Although my heart goes out to those affected, my eyes have been opened even further by the images of these people standing in line, waiting for someone to come save them. It amazes me…even those who “seem” independent, etc. in normal times automatically “expect” that the government will save them in times of tragedy.

  37. Mercenary
    November 8, 2012 at 12:33 pm

    Gotta tell you, I know one of the producers who worked on the pilot to this show, He is very disappointed in how they have skewed the facts and twisted the stories to paint the Prepper community in a bad light. I watch and even though some of the nice folks come off as a little off center every once in a while I pick up a decent tip.

  38. Rebs
    November 12, 2012 at 12:36 pm

    I don’t tell anyone I’m prepping.
    I’ve BEEN prepping.
    I would never go on a show to even show people what I do/how I do it.
    That being said, I still watch Doomsday Preppers. I think they ARE made out to look crazy, but I don’t think they’re all actually crazy? I think they insist you declare WHAT you’re prepping for. And I think ALOT of preppers are prepping for more than one thing. It’s called When the SHTF. That means ANY isht, not just this isht, or that isht.
    I won’t stop watching the show I will just separate fact from silliness. But I have seen quite a few good ideas on the show.

  39. shawn
    November 16, 2012 at 12:55 am

    I watch the show because some of these people are so damn funny. Last nights show had some folks using explosives to help build their underground bunker, then showed them digging it out by hand after loosening the ground. That got us laughing soo hard.
    there are some things to learn from the show but you have to sort out the hype from the useable information

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