National Geographic's ‘Doomsday Preppers’ visits Buckley survivalist group
Tyler Smith stands back with two of his sons as wife Katie blasts pumpkins Friday at their home in Buckley. Smith started the survivalist group Spartan Survival to protect his family from a doomsday event. Smith will be featured on “Doomsday Preppers” at 6 and 8 p.m. Tuesday on the National Geographic Channel. DEAN J. KOEPFLER — Staff photographer
Though the scenarios of how an apocalyptic event would paralyze or destroy society varies, a group of like-minded individuals in East Pierce County believes a good defense is the best way to prepare for doomsday.
And some believe a good offense is even better.
“We’re not in it to stockpile. We’re in it to take what you have and there’s nothing you can do to stop us,” Tyler Smith says. “We are your worst nightmare, and we are coming.”
Smith, 29, is the leader of Spartan Survival. The group has more than 80 dues-paying members. Smith founded the organization in 2005 to train and prepare others on survivalism.
On Tuesday night, Smith’s story will be told on the National Geographic Channel survivalist TV show “Doomsday Preppers.”
“Doomsday Preppers” chronicles those who believe a disaster will strike the country and cause overwhelming societal upheaval. They often go to great lengths to protect themselves and their families from all manner of danger — including other people.
Smith thinks a major domestic terrorist attack is the most likely scenario. He envisions a day when martial law will rule the land and he’ll have to protect and provide for his family.
For Smith, survivalism isn’t just a hobby or a philosophy. He makes his living from being a survivalism consultant.
Back at home base the couple have medical supplies, food and weapons.
National Geographic got some of the facts about Smith wrong in the show. They say he has a six-month food supply. Smith says it’s more like two years.
Smith keeps some of his supplies on his farm. On Friday, he and the other members hauled out dozens of sealed containers of beans, rice, sugar and pancake mix. He also displayed some of their dozens of 25-pound bags of rice and beans. The group has buried caches of food in the region, the locations of which they keep secret.
The food would be supplemented by deer, elk and other animals they hunt.
Smith also has MREs — beef stew is his favorite — a rain-catching system and homemade pepper spray.
Spartan Survival is not a political group, Smith says. Contrary to expectations, he says he is pro-government and a supporter of President Barack Obama.
“I totally love this country and I would do anything for it,” Smith says. “We feel we’re doing a service to our nation by being prepared.”
He and his compatriots just fear what might happen if society breaks down. They plan on being survivors, not victims.
Most preppers, Smith says, are concerned with marauders taking their supplies. It’s not an unfounded fear, he says.
“We are those people,” he says. “We’ll kick your door in and take your supplies. … We are the marauders.”
As part of his strategy, Smith and Pedrini are developing a suit of armor to wear on his foraging forays. Smith says his homemade protection will be bulletproof, lightweight and stronger than anything sold in a store.
“It will also make me the apex predator in my area, and that’s all that matters,” he says.
The pair used salvaged and bought steel and aluminum. A steel grill from an old security gate makes up some of the protection. Smith wants the suit to weigh from 80 to 100 pounds.
Smith used bathroom tiles wrapped in woven fiberglass and coated in roofing tar as one of the bullet-stopping layers. The suit must survive bullets from .22- and .30-06-caliber rifles and a 12-gauge shotgun, he says.
In addition to those weapons Smith’s arsenal includes .270-, .30-30-, .223-caliber and AK-47 rifles and 9 mm and 45 mm handguns.
Black Blade: How absurd. My experiences abroad tell me such people who plan to survive by "stealing" won't live long. Eventually they are removed by attrition and vigilantes. As he's an "Obama Supporter" that tells me he doesn't think things through very well. Lemme see, he's fat, out of shape and will wear 80-100 lbs of armor while carrying off his "booty"? He will die of a heart attack first. Sort of a "dead man walking" when the SHTF. What people won't do to be on television. Sheesh!