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Every once in a while, it’s nice to read that somebody in Hollywood gets it when it comes to prepping. Most of the time, however, they have some weird fantasy version of survival and preparedness. So when I saw the headline, “Josh Duhamel Is Obsessed with Doomsday Prepping,” I rolled my eyes.
But I went to read the article anyway, and I’m glad I did. Because Duhamel really does seem a lot like one of us (except with a crap ton of money). Here’s what I learned.
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Who is Josh Duhamel?
Duhamel is a long-time fixture in Hollywood. According to his bio on IMBD:
Joshua David Duhamel was born in Minot, North Dakota. His mother, Bonny L., is a retired high school teacher, and the Executive Director of Minot’s Downtown Business & Profession Association, and his father, Larry Duhamel, is an advertisement salesman. Josh has three younger sisters: Ashlee, McKenzee, and Kassidy. His ancestry is German, and smaller amounts of Norwegian, French-Canadian, English, Irish, and Austrian (his last name is very common among Francophones in the world). Before his acting career, the football player studied biology and earned his Bachelor’s degree at Minot State University with the intention of pursuing dentistry.
He’s had a reasonably illustrious career.
Duhamel can be seen in Vince Gilligan and David Shore’s CBS series, “Battle Creek.” He is in production on four films: “Lost In The Sun,” “Bravetown,” “The Wrong Stuff,” and “Beyond Deceit.”
Duhamel also starred alongside Hillary Swank and Emmy Rossum in the George C. Wolfe directed drama, “You’re Not You.” Duhamel also starred opposite Julianne Hough in Lasse Hallstrom’s “Safe Haven,” a drama based on the best-selling novel by Nicholas Sparks and the thriller “Scenic Route,” which tells the story of two friends stranded in the desert. In addition, Duhamel was seen in the star-studded, ensemble comedy “Movie 43” alongside Emma Stone, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Kate Winslet, Richard Gere among many others. Co-directed by Peter Farrelly and Patrik Forsberg, the film features various intertwining, raunchy tales.
Other projects include Garry Marshall’s “New Year’s Eve” alongside Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert DeNiro, Halle Berry, and Hilary Swank and Michael Bay’s “Transformers: Dark of the Moon,” where he reprised his role of Captain William Lennox for the third installment of the franchise. Additional film credits include the romantic comedy “Life as We Know It” alongside Katherine Heigl, “Ramona and Beezus,” “When in Rome” and “The Romantics.” On television, Josh is best known for his role as Danny McCoy on the NBC crime drama “Las Vegas.” Additionally, he lent his voice to Nickelodeon’s Emmy Award-winning animated series “Fanboy & Chum Chum” and starred in several seasons of the long-running ABC soap opera “All My Children,” in which he received three consecutive Daytime Emmy nominations.
He was formerly married to the musician Fergie from the Black-Eyed Peas, with whom he has a son, and is currently married to Audra Mai.
Sounds typically Hollywood, right? Actually, wrong.
How he got started prepping
According to the aforementioned article, he was inspired to start prepping when he read Patriots, by James Wesley Rawles.
I read this book called Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse years ago, and it freaked me out a little bit.
And then there was a movie or book about these guys who had this little community where everybody had their own specialty. One was weapons, one was canning, one was construction, one was medical. And if you didn’t have something to bring to the group, you were out. I’m not saying I’m that crazy about it, but it is a comforting feeling knowing that I could survive out there.
That’s not actually so different from how a lot of us got started. I know quite a few people who were inspired by Rawles’s book or by One Second After. We read about this fictional world and say to ourselves, “No, that will not be my family if I can help it.”
His purpose will ring relatable. When asked why he is working so hard on his retreat, he said, “I’m building something so if things do go south, I have a place to take my family.”
Duhamel has a bug-out retreat he’s built over the years.
Also, like many of us, his retreat didn’t emerge, fully stocked and ready overnight. The article is peppered with prepping terminology that did my heart good to read it.
It started with one little cabin in the woods with no electricity and no water. We would go and we didn’t wanna stay for more than a day or two. You could tell the mice had overrun it. It was disgusting.
Then, the cabin on the property next to that one went up for sale, and I bought it for like nothing; this beautiful little idyllic cabin on the water. Suddenly I had 54 acres out there. So I had two cabins, one with no electricity or water. They both have wells and electricity now, but they’re both really small.
We shaped the land. We created trails through it. I’m actually growing crops out there.
The property started out rustic, with outhouses, no power, and no running water. Over the years, he’s improved things with flushing toilets, new wells (that can of course be used manually if need be), a water filtration system, and Starlink internet. Like any prepper worth his salt, he left the outhouses “for nostalgic reasons,” which we all know, of course, means, “just in case.”
Duhamel is also working on his skills.
Lest it sound like Duhamel thinks he can buy his way through the apocalypse, he’s also spending time learning skills. Here’s a snippet from the interview:
We shaped the land. We created trails through it. I’m actually growing crops out there.
What kind of crops?
Well, we started with clover and chicory and stuff, mostly just to feed the deer. It was my first time ever tilling, you know, clearing a space of land and tilling it and seeding it. This year I’m gonna grow pumpkins and corn.
Why would you want to feed the deer?
It’s called a food plot. My idea is that I want to be able to hunt a deer. I’m not a hunter by any means, but I have this crazy fixation on what happens if sh*t hits the fan in LA and I have to take my family out there and live off the land.
I’m working on those skills. I wouldn’t call myself an expert or a survivalist by any means, but I’m getting better at it…
…You mentioned hunting. Are you also studying how to butcher an animal?
Yeah, that would be part of my getting a deer. I’ve never shot a deer. I tried last year with a bow. It was totally unsuccessful. I wanna learn how to actually dress a deer and take the meat and freeze it and have the ability to feed my family if I need to. It’s not anything I did growing up. I don’t like the idea of hurting animals, I really don’t. But I’m OK with it if it’s allowing my family to eat.
…How long could you survive out there without any extra supplies?
I mean, we could live out there just by fishing…
…We’re so deep in the woods that, especially in the winter, if you run out of any of these things and you get snowed in, you’re suddenly Jack Nicholson in The Shining.
His Instagram has photos of him learning skills such as this little series of a chair he built.
Will Josh Duhamel survive the zombie apocalypse?
I’m not saying that this guy is the be-all and end-all survival guru. But I like that he’s living a different life than a lot of his counterparts in Hollywood. I like that he’s learning the same skills the rest of us are, and I respect that he’s taking steps to keep his loved ones safe and secure. It’s a nice reminder that preppers come in all shapes and sizes, from every walk of life, and many different occupations.
Maybe if a few more people came out of the bunker, we preppers wouldn’t look quite so crazy after all. Maybe by making survival skills cool, we can take back our country, one self-reliant person at a time.
So, there’s your light-hearted entertainment post for a summer Saturday morning. Sometimes we need a respite from the daily doom and gloom.
What are your thoughts? Do you think Duhamel’s set-up sounds reasonably down-to-earth? Are you surprised that this fellow in Hollywood is out there preparing to live off his land? Do you think there are more folks than we realize who are getting ready for what may come?
Let’s discuss it in the comments section.
Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, adventure-seeking, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites. 1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty; 2) The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived; and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. Her work is widely republished across alternative media and she has appeared in many interviews.
Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books, 12 self-published books, and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses at SelfRelianceand Survival.com You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.