Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Doug Huffman prepared for anything


SIERRA SURVIVAL SCHOOL instructor Doug Huffman stands in his root cellar on his property in Placerville. Democrat photo by Shelly Thorene

From page A1 | July 03, 2013 | 20 Comments

There may be no zombie apocalypse in our future, but no matter what comes our way, Placerville resident Doug Huffman, 54, is ready for it.

More than ready for it.

The owner of a business called Sierra School for Survival, the Placerville resident models what he preaches by living a self-sufficient lifestyle and teaching others how they can as well. Part of the prepper movement, he is one of those who believes there will be a societal collapse in the not too distant future.

Huffman was even featured in the National Geographic series on Doomsday Preppers. Huffman claims the episode he is in was the most popular because, ”literally I was the only sane one on the show.”

Huffman operates his survival training business from a 300-acre ranch in Placerville. He owns part of the ranch property and is caretaker of the family trust fund on the other 260 acres. He said at one time the ranch was the site of the largest producing gold mine in the county.

But the property’s real value may be as refuge of sorts from what Huffman says is coming. And to prepare for it, he is making it as self-sustaining as many homesteads were hundreds of years ago. ”For me, it’s the perfect lifestyle,” he said. “I love it. Is there going to be an economic collapse? Absolutely. There will be a reset of the dollar within the next two years along with food shortages.”

To that end, Huffman grows his own food with a wide variety of meat sources to choose from, including rabbits, sheep, pigs, goats, chickens, ducks and geese. In addition, the 16-acre lake on the property is stocked with bass, catfish and crappie. “They are all organic,” he said, adding that he also makes his own MRE’s (ready to eat meals). ”I don’t eat processed food because of this lifestyle. The worst thing for people is processed food and sugar.”

Eliminating waste and repurposing everything seems designed into the ranch. Rabbits are grown for their meat with leftovers ground up with the bones and fed to his two dogs, both of whom appear to have a job. The Anatolian Pyrenees guards the livestock and the Queensland Heeler seems to be Huffman’s personable but no-nonsense bodyguard. Below the rabbit hutches are bins to collect their droppings. Those plus worm castings make up the compost he uses to grow vegetables.

Down the path from the hutch is his 52-by-26 foot Quonset hut-style greenhouse. Currently he is growing 16 different vegetables plus an assortment of herbs for eating and medicinal use. He’s also in the process of setting up an aquaponics system that will combine fish farming with vegetable growing. “I don’t buy meat or vegetables anymore,” he said.

And no survival compound would be complete without a food storage building that originally was an old root cellar. He said it holds a two-year supply of food and others items needed in an emergency. “Preppers often stock up on food but fail to consider hygiene,” he said. “The No. 1 killer in the world is lack of clean water and sanitation. Preppers have lots of guns and ammo but spend nothing on sanitation. You need a lot of soap, shampoo, and water purifiers. And the water purifier needs to be one that is one micron absolute.”

Huffman said he doesn’t worry about water because he has three wells plus a lake on the property. And he said he’s generating energy using solar, wind, hydro and earth magnetic generators. With the goal of being 100 percent off the grid by next year, he’s now adding to his energy store by building a small hydro plant near the lake that will generate electricity off a six-foot waterfall. He said when operational, it will generate enough electricity to run six banks of batteries that will run any 110 outlet.

“We lost power three times this year,” he said, “but we just hit the generator and it was on again. Most people can’t get their car out of their garages without power.”

The professional soldier

Huffman seems to be at this place in his life after a career that took some unexpected directions. He said he started out as an indoor volleyball player from the eighth grade through college and then played pro for 10 years.

At 28 he became a technical consultant on the U.S. national volleyball team and traveled around the world studying how other countries trained their athletes. He also cross-trained with teams from other countries.

In 1991 he retired and became what he called a “professional soldier” or “defense contractor.” He said the government frequently recruits triathletes for positions with elite forces.

“Warriors are built. They tear you down and build you so you can accomplish whatever the job is,” he said. “The limits I push myself through are much different and are way past what other people do, like hiking 20 miles a day with an 80-pound pack or going three days without food or water.”

Later he worked as a construction contractor and then went back to being an overseas contractor. During his career he said he’s been a consultant to the Navy Seals, the Navy, Army, Marine Corps, FBI, CIA, and Sheriff’s Department. “I did tactical and combat tracking and the termination of people,” he claims.

He said he only teaches now and it’s been six years since he’s been one of those kind of contractors. Now he teaches hand-to-hand combat and works with military and law enforcement units on tactical and combat tracking. These are important right now, he said, because of all the drug growers and people on the run who have committed crimes.

Training in self-reliance

Huffman said very little of his business is local. Instead he travels extensively to other states to conduct training and does the rest online, teaching what he does to others. ”Everything I do on the ranch, I film. I teach online to a worldwide audience.”

His Website features hundreds of short videos for his members, instructing them on everything from tactical/combat tracking and yoga to ditch medicine and food storage and preparation. ”Nothing we’ve done has ever been produced elsewhere. It would take 20 different schools to do what I do.”

On a local basis, he holds monthly survival club meetings with several dozen families who come and study with him for four hours. Huffman said the people in the classes are, on average, living on 5 acres with their families. Both parents are working professionals and want a self-reliant lifestyle. “That’s what I see nationally,” he said.

Huffman also offers camps and a Jr. Ranger program to teach youngsters a variety of life skills to survive both in the wilderness and in urban settings.

Returning to one’s roots

Huffman said what he is doing is appealing to many people. “This is now the romantic lifestyle. People are returning to their roots.”

Saying he’s not anti-government, the prepper says he just doesn’t want to be dependent on the government to supply his needs. He said for three days after a major disaster, people will cooperate. But after that, all hell will break out as people fight for food, water and whatever else they need. “You have to make decisions beforehand of what you will do.”

As examples he cited what happened after Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy. “If the government can’t handle a small geographic area event like Katrina and Sandy, they can’t handle a national one,” he said. “They interviewed the EMS workers who showed up to help after the Katrina Hurricane and 95 percent said they wouldn’t show up if it happened in their region. They would save themselves and their families first.

“I don’t think I want my security and that of my family at risk. That’s why I lead this lifestyle.”

Contact Dawn Hodson at 530-344-5071 or Follow @DHodsonMtDemo on Twitter.


Discussion | 20 comments

  • cookie65July 03, 2013 - 6:15 am

    Hint: one of the secrets to successfully surviving a societal collapse is keeping your preparedness a secret. Some people won't prepare for themselves know you have done it for them.

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  • PhilJuly 04, 2013 - 2:22 am

    Huffman says"I was the only sane one on the show" LOL. He goes on to predict that "there will be a reset of the dollar in the next two years along with food shortages".Although it is smart to prepare for such things, stating with certainty that they will take place in two years is a sure sign that he is as crazy as the rest of them. His claimed background seems suspect too. This wouldn't be the first time the Mountain Democrat has portrayed someone with out doing any kind of checking on their own. Why not just sell this paper to some real journalists before you ride it into the ground?

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  • DarrinJuly 05, 2013 - 11:32 am

    @Phil, Yes, his claims seem questionable. The story states that in "his 52-by-26 foot Quonset hut-style greenhouse. Currently he is growing 16 different vegetables" Look at the photo inside that hut, is he going to feed his family from that little 10 by 4 area? Is that hot tub a trout pond, too?

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  • cookie65July 04, 2013 - 6:48 am

    Attention MD IT staff: The login box blocks the last comment when the commenter posts using the "reply" icon.

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  • cookie65July 04, 2013 - 6:55 am

    Phil, he doesn't want his families security at risk, so he is advertising his food and water supply in the local paper while he believes we are headed for a free-for-all breakdown of society. In a county where claim jumping was a way of life not to long ago. Someone need to call the elevator repairman.

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  • ken steersJuly 04, 2013 - 9:53 am

    Yea! Captcha is back! Funny comments you two. Regarding "professional soldiers". Just this week I talked two different people who know of Black OPS forces working for the US, who are arming insurgents in Syria. Happy Independence Day!

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  • cookie65July 04, 2013 - 10:23 am

    Ken, there is no Captcha on my page. Black ops arming insurgents is behind the Benghazi coverup. Happy Independence Day to you.

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  • Phil VeerkampJuly 04, 2013 - 10:30 am

    Ken, Captcha is back? Crap!!! And, yes, black ops IS BENGHAZI.

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  • Ken SteersJuly 04, 2013 - 3:07 pm

    Well Captcha for me anyhow. How strange is it that everyone knows he have troops in Syria except for the media?

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  • Ken SteersJuly 04, 2013 - 3:09 pm

    We not he unless the typo is Freudian... I wonder if I'm divulging the same level of classified information that got the kid who didn't even finish high school in trouble. I do not want to live in a Russian Airport!

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  • JohnJuly 04, 2013 - 9:45 pm

    "A fool and his money are soon parted". Doug Huffman's school has found a way to separate the local fools from their money.

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  • MorrisJuly 05, 2013 - 1:57 am

    An individual that has actually served our government and/or black ops in the business of 'terminating' people will never publically disclose such employment. Ever.

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  • DanielJuly 05, 2013 - 10:42 am

    Just another form of dropping out, losing faith and giving up on something so many people before us gave their lives to build. I mean, basic precautions are OK for a temporary disruption of "society," but this borders on pathological. Think of the precious time and money wasted on this. Travel, see the world, work with charities, engage in activism to make things better. Get out there and protest to prevent this in the first place. This is the height of self-absorption and selfishness if you ask me. Besides, in the very unlikely event of a total and lasting meltdown of society, your best bet is to bond together in a community where you share and exchange resources. Individualism will get you killed eventually in that apocalyptic scenario. Prepperism is kind of childish thinking. The trend/fad is kind of a sad commentary on the state of our society and its individuals' abilities to think critically.

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  • DarrinJuly 05, 2013 - 10:44 am

    These Henny Penny "The sky is falling!" nut jobs crack me up. I am sure his stockpile would be raided in his scenario since everyone one in a 100 mile radius knows where he lives. One sniper... His statement that he is the only sane one in the asylum shows how nutty he is, to believe he is sane while ALL the others are not. Huffman claims the episode he is in was the most popular because, ”literally I was the only sane one on the show.” “It would only take nine days of hunger for the women to begin prostituting themselves,” Hunt tells me); Idiotic statement like this at Outside Magazine - Boom Times just show how nutty these folks are...

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  • MorrisJuly 05, 2013 - 12:07 pm

    Was wondering if anyone would catch the questionable aspects....and comment. To expand on Phil's observations, it seems odd that someone who does not eat processed food has, within his bunker, a one week supply of sloppy joe mix, his quick, one can of pineapple, one BunkerBee Tuna and a large bottle of Baileys. Further, statements such as 'I was the most popular episode', 'it would take 20 different schools to do what I do', 'largest fold mine in the county', 'going without food for 3 days' (that would be a 'fast', btw) and 'The limits I push myself through are much different and are way past what other people do...' are strong indicators of a need to express an inflated, grandiose sense of self-worth that is found in sociopaths and pathological liars. But what really seems a goatscrew here is that our military complex needs to recruit from pro volleyball stock the talent that somehow the Marines cannot? Or that West Point isn't producing enough of??? Yeah, I can so see the CIA bringing in Special Agent Wilson. Gimme a freakin break. 10 bucks and a can of deer jerky says that dude spends way too much time locked in the bathroom one-handed reading back issues of SOF.

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  • Ken SteersJuly 05, 2013 - 2:03 pm

    This guy reminds me of Rex. The Tae Kwon do instructor in Napoleon Dynamite.

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  • James E.July 05, 2013 - 3:02 pm

    This gentleman runs the Sierra School for Survival, and the article could just be a puff piece to advertise his business. So, no plans to feed his family vegetables from a 10/4 plot, just a nice little display for possible students.

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  • James E.July 05, 2013 - 3:10 pm

    Morris, terminating people, more appropriately termed 'direct action' is something that will never be discussed in polite society. And, Phil, as I have indicated in past comments, black ops, more appropriately termed 'covert operations' is the reason we will never know exactly what went on at Benghazi. I see, in the news, that the Congress wants to talk to a retired Marine colonel about Benghazi and the Department of Defense claims no knowledge of his whereabouts. The band plays on.

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  • James E.July 05, 2013 - 3:17 pm

    ADDED: Kind of silly that the DOD claims no knowledge. All they have to do is determine where they are sending his retirement check -- the colonel will be close by.

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  • MorrisJuly 06, 2013 - 2:31 am

    @James: Thanks for the correct verbiage. Interesting how the process) is labeled. a factory output @ Daniel: Excellent post. One of the best I've ever read. @Ken: LOL. Right on Rex. @Phil: We agree. Again. Perhaps those prepper'e ain't so crazy after all....we might have created a great black hole of commonality that rains frogs upon the greater Placerville metro area; thousands of manufactured homes and cameros lost to apocalypse.

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