After doing some research I found out that Megan was misrepresented pretty drastically by the producers of Doomsday Preppers. She’s really a normal girl who preps on the side just like you or I, but the editors took liberties with some of the more extreme things she said in passing. At risk of derailing this post I’m going to save each objection for the section it’s covered in.
1. Oil crisis.
According to the interview with Megan after the show, this was one of the many scenarios she was preparing for, with the others considered too mundane for television. While the thought of an all out embargo is pretty far fetched, there is certainly lots of reason behind being concerned about oil.
Regardless of whether OPEC countries want us to have it or not, the supply of oil in the earth in finite. Peak oil was a theory put out by one of the foremost geologists of the 20th century, M. King Hubbert. His work with mathematical models is still used today to predict the oil output of a given geographical area. Hubbert himself was able to predict the peak of US oil production (in the mid 70s) as early as 1956.
The theory of peak oil extends this sort of analysis to the earth as a whole. Numbers differ on when the peak will be reached (if it hasn’t already) but regardless of when it happens we are in trouble because of simple economics. With rising demand for oil and falling supply, access to oil will become progressively more difficult. This extends to all aspects of international trade, shipping and production of plastic products and may cause the havoc National Geographic was trying to portray as ridiculous.
2. Crazy people and urban prepping
Megan brings up a very good point when she talks about how society will collapse after supplies run out, which will basically be in 3 days. This has been seen before relatively close to home with the state of New Orleans after hurricane Katrina – decent people and American citizens turning to looting and destruction in desperate times. How good you think your neighbors are goes out the window when their kids are hungry.
Even if she had the space to stockpile supplies, she doesn’t have means to defend herself in a city with hundreds of thousands of hungry mouths. This is the reality for many of us who live in cities (myself included). It may be better to focus on bugging out than pantry prepping in the traditional sense
3. Physical prep
In line with her bug out oriented survival plan, Megan is wisely undergoing physical preparation. I really like that she is doing bodyweight and calisthenics based training instead of working out in a gym. Mobility is the name of the game and nothing will build that faster than moving one’s own body.
Another good practice (specifically for her) would be rucking. For those of you not familiar this is basically marching with a loaded backpack, very common in the military. Meg was having trouble with stamina when she tested her bugout but this would have helped her out.
6. Raw fish and vitamins
Megan has an eye out for vitamins when she opts for eating raw fish instead of cooking it. There is an entire dietary movement around this known as raw foodism which is based on the health benefits of eating like this. However, in a true survival scenario I believe the risks outweigh the benefits. The loss of vitamins due to cooking is partial, but getting a food borne illness, especially while bugging out, can be potentially life threatening.
7. Shooting full beer cans
If there’s one thing that made me turn my head more than anything else in this show, it was the shot of Megan shooting full beer cans. I’ve seen some crazy things in my day but watching a Texan waste beer like that is too much to bear.
8. Ounces not pounds
My favorite quote of the series so far has to be Megan talking about ounces and not pounds when it comes to bugging out. With a strategy like this, urban preppers have to take a focus on minimizing the amount of equipment they have. While homesteaders and pantry preppers are focused on volume, urban and bugout preppers need to focus on economy. As we can see with Megan’s level of stamina during her dry run, even with extensive conditioning there is a serious challenge in bugging out. You’d better believe that every ounce counts when you’re trying to get out of dodge.