As I watched the premiere of National Geographic Channel's New Reality TV series "LIVE FREE OR DIE" ... I kept thinking over and over ... "they're gonna die".  All the hopes, dreams and livelihood  of the individuals featured on this episode appeared; in my opinion, to be based on one thing ... "hunting for food" or as we preparedness-minded like to say ... the basic need of food supply.  But I was thinking as a prepper.  The people featured on this series are (said with love with no disrespect intended) ... earth lovers, tree huggers, nature lovers, flower children throwbacks, hippies, greenies, granolas ... or the new term (at least to me) human rewilding-ers.  They live in the country’s backwoods and swamps with fewof the trappings of modern society - freed from the constraints of a technology-fueled existence - relying only on skill and intuition to harness the natural environment.  

I love watching any show that gets you away from the modern world of consumerism and into a more ... "poo-hits-the-fan-have-to-rely-on-what-you-have-right-now" sort of scenario - and that is exactly what peeked my interest with this new series Live Free or Die.

Watching these individuals, again through the eyes of a prepper, I continued to see over and over the shortcomings of "just" living off the land with no thought or planning.  Yes, some had gardens, some a great water source, but most had no back-ups for their ... well in truth, it didn't seem like there were any back-ups. Most focused on eating for the moment on anything off the land, rats, mice, fish and ... road kill.  Yummeee.

The show did however show a glimpse of a world that some of us may find ourselves living in - hunkering down in a wooded/rural existence with none of life's creature comforts.   

colbert wildColbert; a Geogia swamp dweller, left his life as a financial advisor, after a divorce and bankrupcy (not sure if this was because he was left broke or not - just saying) twenty-years prior; choosing to live as cheaply as possible.  From the looks of his hair cut,  ... not self done I'm sure ... he is closer to consumerism than what he would have us believe - living with his gas stove and "selling" of pelts as a professional trapper - a good one.  

I will admit, there are some pretty interesting things that were done on the espisode, however nothing that a skilled prepper, bushcrafter or boyscout wouldn't already know how to do.  The one fact that did stick with me; and will be forever branded into my brain  (you can't unring a bell), is in the part in which Colbert shares a little known secret about what he does with the anal glands of the beaver after they are dried and macerated leaving the castor sac scent glands (and their secretions).  Just suffice it to say vanilla and raspberry, and perfumes and colognes, will now take on a whole new meaning. Oh and not to worry ... the process is safe according to the Flavor and Extract Manufacturers Association (FEMA) (I'm not making this up!!!) and the FDA. Hiney juice anyone?? Colbert sells these "sacs" for $50 bucks each - so even though he's not living a consumer lifestyle he's adding to it.  Just sayin.

Thorn (ya think that's his real name?) is a North Carolina neighbor and the great white hunter (with a facial tattoo to prove it) - oh with the exception of the "great" part.  He is only as good as the protein source will allow, and unfortunately that was Thorn's thorn in his side in this episode.  As for his homestead ... okay, his hut, well I thought he could use a little help with some of the bushcraft survival manuals on how to properly construct a shelter; especially in -1 degrees.  One strong wind and well I think the hut would have been history.  Thankfully if his tracker skills don't pan out he can use his skills as a glove maker.  

Live Free or Die: The Life of a Tracker

Living off the grid, woodsman Thorn talks about tracking while making a bow and arrow.  


Tony and Amelia, more fellow North Carolinians, are definitely what I call throw back flower children (again said with love).  Well Tony at least.  He is the earth loving, mushroom eating, wimp in the family, who in his past life spent his time working at a Starbucks and playing video games.  Amelia on the other hand is the the constant of the family (I should say the one who wears the pants in the family.)  Raised in a rural setting on a farm Amelia has all the skills needed to maintain the sustenance needed to feed the family ...  even if it means eating road kill (while Tony cowers as he attempts to stifle his dry heaves.)  I'm sure you will agree - she definitely knows how to pass the smell test.

Live Free or Die: Road Kill: It's What's For Dinner!

North Carolina homesteaders, Tony and Amelia, cook road kill given to them by Amelia’s Dad. 


Gabriel has that classic California surfer-boy talk.  He lives with his wife, Luna for seven months on the sea coast and the remainder 3 months of the year by himself up in the mountains honing his skills learned from native people around the world.  There were some pretty eye-ball popping moments as Gabriel shares his knowledge of fish and the benefits of their anatomy and got a little crunchy while eating his fresh kill of the day.

Rise of the Wild is the first of three episdoes airing on National Geographic Channel.  Again, Live Free or Die premieres tonight (Sept. 30) at 10pm/ET on National Geographic Channel

Live Free or Die episode guide:
Live Free or Die: Rise of the Wild (premieres Tuesday, Sept. 30 at 10pm ET/PT)
Live Free or Die: Trial by Fire (premieres Tuesday, Oct. 7 at 10pm ET/PT)
Live Free or Die: Blood, Sweat & Tears (premieres Tuesday, Oct. 14 at 10pm ET/PT)

Watch it ... learn what to do and what not to do!

Just sayin',






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