{ 17 comments… read them below or add one }

Vote -1 Vote +1Joe
September 15, 2010 at 2:19 am

This weeks episode was interesting to watch because the colonists for once have a team mentality. That was obviously due to the security they feel having Tick around. I see him as the Michael Jordan of the colonists, he can pull them out of just about anything, but If he’s out due to some mishap, then they can go right back to their defeatist attitude. I’m thankful that he’s there for them though.

As far as being put in the middle of the colonists and having to deal with their cluster of a colony, there’s always a solution. People need to”shine” even if they really don’t contribute all that much. Find out what everyone’s strengths are and devise a way they can be useful. It’s imperative that everyone act like a team, and in doing so become a well maintained piece of human machinery. There’s always going to be someone who brings division in any type of group. It could be the know-it-all, the hot-head, the count-me-out, or any other type that can put a damper to your groups morale. Always bring to his/her attention the problem that seems to exist with them, maybe they don’t even realize what they are doing, or just need someone to vent to, in order to feel better and get back on track again. This bring up a good point, once a colony is started there should be some type of code of conduct written and be abide by. This should also include reasons for expulsion of anyone who no longer shares the core principles of colony, and/or commission of a criminal act (physical violence, sabotage, theft).

One last thing, Tick seen something I saw in the first couple of episodes. I thought for sure that Jim was going to step-up and take the reigns of the colony. I had told my wife a few weeks ago, that he must of felt incapable of leading since so many of them have no serious need for teamwork. Jim is flawed like all of us humans, but he did come in right away with a great attitude and took immediate action to resolve some of their basic needs. I’m glad Tick is giving him some duties where he can again be a man-of-action/problem solver.


Vote -1 Vote +1Keith_Indy
September 15, 2010 at 11:48 am

Yes, making sure everyone feels a part of the overall team is very important. If everyone has something they can contribute, it helps everyone.


Vote -1 Vote +1Lorenzo Poe
September 15, 2010 at 7:39 am

A guy that I work with, his Dad distills alcohol. He uses it to power his farmall A. He is required to add a % of gasoline to it so that it is non-consumable. He did this through the Dept of Ag. Check into it.


Vote -1 Vote +1Glenn
February 11, 2012 at 11:37 am

As a home brewer, I can tell you that for home use, the law allows for 200 gallons per year!

I imagine that there is some sort of allowance for distilled spirits, though I have not researched that portions of the code. Technically, it is the selling that is illegal.

i believe that BATFE has a web site in which that could be researched.


Vote -1 Vote +1Keith_Indy
September 15, 2010 at 11:45 am

Even the paperwork you need to make alcohol for fuel is pretty onerous. Sorta tells you where we are as a country.

Found a site with multiple still plans, for this purpose. http://running_on_alcohol.tripod.com/index.html

Haven’t watched the latest episode yet, but it sounds like they are finally getting their act together. I have to wonder what the rules are off the show for the participants. It seems like they are operating off a checklist handed to them by the producers.

A generator could have easily been made with a bicycle and a cars alternator.

As for what to do with useless idiots. No work, no food. Unless they are injured, disabled, or physically challenged. At the very least, if all they can do is sit and watch, then put them up in a guard tower.

I’ve always tried to let groups (at work and in personal situations) lead themselves for the most part. The hard part is getting everyone on the same page.

I’ve found, the easiest method is to facilitate a brainstorming session, with a list of issues that need to be addressed. Making a list also allows people to speak their minds. It’s important though that in these first meetings not to get bogged down with details. Go over broad topics, shelter, fire, water, food, security, etc. What needs to be done right now, what needs to be done in next several days, weeks, etc. The purpose is to get a list of actions that are needed to satisfy the goal (survival.)

Then people in the group can volunteer for things they may be good at. Small groups then would come up with plans to achieve the actions under their section.

When most people are contributing, it’s easier to shame those that aren’t. And easier to enforce the no work, no food rule.


Vote -1 Vote +1MP
September 15, 2010 at 12:14 pm

With the way Mikey is making alky, I tend to think this was pre-arranged by the producers wth the ATF to make it all legal. Granted, with Mikey having the skill of doing that, one may tend to think that he’s now a “target” of extra observation by the alphabet soup groups out there.

As far as dealing with useful idiots, I tend to agree with the first guy, try to build on everyone’s strengths and skills instead of just dumping tasks on any given person and expecting them to do well. You wouldn’t take a guy with mechanical skill and expect him to prep a community garden for food production no more than you would take a home builder and give him the duty of repairing firearms. Everyone has to make it known what they know how to do and do best, and that way they can be assigned a task that we know they’ll be able to do efficiently.

One may also have to be ready to deal with harshly those that refuse to do anything to help towards the overall survival of the group, whether its no food or other priveledges like movie night next to the generator or something of the such. We may hate to think of it, but if someone just flat out decides that they want to disrupt the group’s operation, all the way to eventually sabotaging things, then it may be a hard decision to make as to what to do with such an individual, since they may eventually come back to try and take what you’ve all worked for.

One thing to look at is working on convincing everyone that survival can be achieved with just simple contributions by each member of the group. Would it be too outrageous to blindfold a dissenter and take him 20 miles away from your area? He may find his way back and this time come with some boys, just like the colonists nemeses have done.

Personally, the water cannon, while it sounds good on paper, I think I would’ve stuck with the PVC spud gun idea, make a big shotgun for shooting debris like broken glass or what not. A few cubic inches of 125 psi air behind a dixie cup full of broken glass will do a lot more to disrupt the advance of rowdies versus water. Hell, the bad guys only need to just hide behind the people in front of them, let them be cannon fodder as they advance and once the water is gone, charge full force. An air cannon will make a lot of noise and do a lot to hurt someone, which for all intents is probably why something like that wasn’t even considered, even using paintballs instead of sharp objects for shot instead.


Vote -1 Vote +1Robert
September 15, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I realize that The Colony is a made for TV program and like David, the only reason I watch it is to learn from the mistakes the colonists make. In reality most of the colonists would probably be dead by now if the events portrayed on screen had played out in real life. After 6 weeks the perimeter is still screened with weeds, brush and structures making it easy to get close without being seen and their gate was not secured strongly enough to keep raiders out. I haven’t seen any indication that they have a night watch and if I were a raider I would surround their shelter at night and threaten to burn them out unless they gave me everything they had. They also haven’t scouted the area to determine where the raiders are coming from. They left their only knife vulnerable to theft where Tink used it to staple his message to a board.

After Tink was assimilated into the group I thought he would teach them how to procure food using nets, snares, deadfalls, set lines, etc. The fishing net they used to construct an ineffective drag seine could have been used in several other very effective configurations for fish in addition to several net traps for game. Garage door cable makes an excellent snare for big game (including raiders) as well as a set line for ‘gators. Wire found in boat and car wiring harnesses makes good snare wire for smaller game. Excellent resources can be found online under homemade traps and snares.

Speaking of smaller game, where are the rats, mice, raccoons, and oppossums? There should be thousands of small animals in that environment and all I’ve seen is a few flies. You need to protect your food from scavengers as well as two legged raiders and scavengers are a valuable source of protein.

I’m curious to see how the air boat scenario plays out. Under controlled conditions the 10 gallons of mash could produce about 2 gallons of 170 proof ethanol which has a higher octane rating than gasoline. Given that they can get the aircraft engine to run without modifying the carbuerator jets and depending on the engine displacement, they have enough fuel for about 30 minutes max.

Did VOPA confiscate all the guns? There are going to be a few guns left even after massive government intervention and if you have a gun and they don’t guess who is in control?!! That being said, the old addage of honey attracting more flies than vinegar still applies. The chances for everyone’s survival increases if the colonists and raiders merge forces. If that can’t be negotiated the raiders need to be neutralized and if that means killing them when they attack you need to think about what to do with the bodies. Burning them in a useless building is the most efficient. You also need to deal with retaliation out of anger by the survivors (if any). Once you cross that line there is no going back. In total anarchy the raiders aren’t going to go away after a minor skirmish and starving people will kill for food. In the real world you may have to kill just to stay alive and that means having a weapon of some kind within arms reach at all times. That’s why I appreciate the links David includes to TFT and CQC. All the survival preparation in the world is useless to me if I allow myself to become a victim.

Finally, The Colony is a good reminder of how most people are going to react under similar circumstances. Those of us with the proper knowledge can become teachers and that knowledge can even be used to bargain with. I would think it would be more effective to spend some time teaching the raiders how to procure their own food than to waste my time defending against them. If possible I would rather trade knowledge for peace. The really successful groups are going to be those that learn to integrate others into their organization, thereby expanding their their skill base and increasing their security.


Vote -1 Vote +1Drew
September 15, 2010 at 5:42 pm

Robert hits all the right points in his remarks. Ive been saying for weeks that with a viral outbreak and most of the poplulation dead, there would be plenty of guns to find.
They accepted Tick so fast, why is everyone else considered evil? why not contact the other survivors and see what kind of skills they have? Combining with another group or two would give them a lot more power.
Without getting others to join, I do agree with them leaving because that area is just too big and hard to secure with the number of people they have.


Vote -1 Vote +1MP
September 17, 2010 at 11:36 pm

Robert’s right when it comes to the access to weapons after a SHTF situation like that, ANY weapons for that matter, survivors will stumble upon battle fields where people may have died, leaving some arms behind. Even the idea that a lone survivor may have died in a house, with his weapon by his side, there are too many weapons around, even simple air rifles would be plentiful for the most part.

The other comment he made about burning out the colonists is the exact thing that always concerned me about staying in place and trying to defend a position. You would almost want to have different levels of security to hold back an attacking force, the last thing you’d want is to be in a position where baddies can just walk up to your door and knock. Just like Robert said, all it takes is for a couple of guys to lob some molotovs through the windows after you shoot a few of their boys and its game over, they may have the mentality that if they can’t have the goods, then nobody can. You would wanna be in a position where you can spot baddies far enough out that you can take action before they get close. You would want plenty of time to defend against them while they’re still far enough away to not be a major threat (unless they’re armed to the teeth then you just better be a damned good shot).

But then again, that’s where safety comes in numbers, the more people in the group the better, even if all they are doing is watching over the area. An old man who may not be able to do anything physically but is a crack shot with a hunting rifle would be more of an asset than a young bum who don’t wanna do anything.

Again it comes to just feeling out everybody’s strengths and emphasizing ALL of them to the survival group’s advantage so as to ensure the survival of everyone. Everybody should be able to do something or have a skill that would be useful in a SHTF situation, hell, even a guy who’s a good car thief could come in handy if the group needs a vehicle for transporting goods found in the urban ruins, just thoughts that come to mind, like everyone says, improvise and make due with what is available, to the fullest extent.


Vote -1 Vote +1Marcia
September 16, 2010 at 12:18 pm

I really enjoyed this week’s episode. They are getting down to the wire now being in day 45 so I am interested to see how they will wrap up this season. I think the colonists have struggled with hunger and attacks so much more than the colonists did last season which is good viewing because that is probably more realisitic. I have learned so much from all of you and I really appreciate the information and to you David for hosting this site. All the sites I have been visiting lately seem to agree that their is strength in nujmbers and the only way to real survivability. You may not have a total choice of what people might end up in your particular group just like you don’t get to choose all the people in your current life ex: co-workers. So I guess the best I can glean from it all is to be open to others and to know when to keep my mouth shut. Most people have something to offer but there will always be those who are smarter or stronger. At this point the moral question comes in, do only the strong have the right to survive and heck with everybody else? I don’t know. I would hope I would be able to help someone else and someone else be helpful to me but it may be unrealistic in a true survival scenario. I know one day I will stand before the Lord and I hope I here the words “Well done”. How about you?


Vote -1 Vote +1Joe
September 16, 2010 at 7:47 pm

Marcia, you bring up a good point, if you are in a survival situation do you reach out your hand to help a stranger when you yourself have very little. I think the first season colonists did great with this kind of situation. A couple of times they had to decided whether to give some food/water to some stragglers. If I remember, they did the right thing one time and on the other situation they were burned by the seemingly nice people. They did right because they discussed the situation amongst themselves and made a corporate decision based on their hearts and supply stock. In the scene inside the aqueduct one of the colonists decided to give a straggler part of his own personal food ration. This was good because he still had a heart for people, but it could of been bad if this had been a completely different situation.

I was a Hospital Security Manager in another state, when some of my fellow security associates in New Orleans experienced flooding of their hospital’s off-site medical facility during Hurricane Katrina. They got flooded out of their building, gathered up fellow staff members and had to somehow get themselves to Georgia or Texas without any outside help. They came in contact with National Guard, gangs of looters, other survivors and municipal authorities You would be surprised who turned out to really be the good guys. They had to decide early on who to trust, and if they were going to help anyone else on the way. To make a long story short, they had to depend on there own wits, and to question all persons they came in contact with. This staff of strangers had to fight off a small street gang while National Guardsmen stood by and watched. At the last minute, they decided to use their M-16’s to stop the gang.


Vote -1 Vote +1andrea
September 18, 2010 at 8:41 pm

I would like to learn more about or see the 1st season of Colony.
does anyone know how I can see David’s review of last season? Or, is it availabile online to watch? I anyone knows, please answer here. Thanks, Andrea


Vote -1 Vote +1MP
September 19, 2010 at 12:08 am

The first season of the colony is available on discovery’s website, that’s how I watched it all the way through since I work in the evenings and was unable to catch it when it came on. Allows you to not worry about wading through several minutes of commmercials either when they leave you hanging after each segment.


Vote -1 Vote +1Valerie Bate
September 19, 2010 at 6:49 am

The biggest, most important thing I’ve learned watching this was to open my mind to be ready for anything. I didn’t see the beginning of the series so I’m not sure how they all ended up there together. But when I was watching for the first time I kept telling my son how PO I would be to be stuck there. I would use everything in me to get home. Home is where all my “stuff” is with the exception of my 72hr bag in the trunk of my car. I also must have said ” OMG are you kidding me” a dozen times while watching them do things. SO it has been a good lesson for me and really brought home exactly what David has been saying about my mindset and skills being my most important “survival” prep.


Vote -1 Vote +1Marcia
September 20, 2010 at 1:01 pm

Joe, thanks for sharing what happened during Katrina. i guess you don’t know what you will do until you are in that scenario. I do usually go with my “gut”. Maybe none of us will ever have to find out. I am hopeful but prepared.


Vote -1 Vote +1john
September 22, 2010 at 8:42 pm

joes right u have to see who you can trust and it goes back to preparing before the situation turns desprerate and they you are in a world of hurt and have no one to blame but yourself and since we are in preparation month no one have any gumption to get ready and we are back to square one on relying on the govt to protect feed cloth and keep us happy (remember katrina) fubar happen and if you are going to depend on the govt good luck dummys. and vopa will be consfiscating all the guns and they will from the weak minded and willed no matter what happens keep your guns and ammo and also when the crap hits the fan the only one you can depend on is you and your group and to heck with everyone else. as for tick he is the only one who is actually doing anything beside the mechanic and she is useful to with her skill, which comes back to this any one with skills medical mechanical military or farmer etc will be a very valuable person and also the downside will be likely have a higher risk of being kidnapped


Vote -1 Vote +1Pvc Machine
November 25, 2010 at 2:04 pm

Excellent info indeed. My mother has been waiting for this tips.


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