This Movie Star Is a Full-On Prepper with a Bug Out Retreat

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Author of What to Eat When You’re Broke and Bloom Where You’re Planted online course

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.

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.

About Daisy

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), 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 You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, 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 on her website, 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), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

Leave a Reply

  • I didn’t get a deer the first season I bow hunted either.Or the second. But I did the third, and each season after that.Some skills take time to acquire, and it sounds like Mr Duhamel is putting the work in.I respect anyone who does that.

  • Pretty interesting. I’ll add him to my ever-shorter list of people I actually WANT to watch.

  • Yeah I think there are people who are getting ready silently. I am trying to help people around me learn some skills or learn about what they do already. Some people have skills you don’t even know about. Every year my church does a fun shooting event and Im learning who is a decent shot around me. (Honestly I was surprised that more than most of the guys are horrible at aiming!) But having 50+ acres is nice, but having skills and a community is better.
    I already can sew practically anything and I have a treadle machine and a crap ton of hand needles. (Plus a fabric stash. That alone I could trade for stuff.) I have seeds and gardens, I can forage reasonably well. I have goats, chickens and bees and can barter any amount of those things. I also, can shoot better than most and can field dress a large animal and pack it back (help would be nice, but with some planning I could do it alone.) Ive eaten and butchered plenty of deer and hogs in my life. I know how to skin a rabbit and cook it over a campfire. Same with squirrel and make stew if we have to eat. Protein is essential. I have been learning about herbal medicine after I left pharmacy so I could make up quite a lot of cures for things. (I need a diagnostician though. And would welcome a decent doctor/vet to my house in SHTF before anyone assuming they have a good personality and are willing to work.)
    All that to say, skills cant be taken away from you. If I had to cut and run there are a few books I would grab, but mostly I have the knowledge in my brain.
    What skill are you working on?

    • Dinie – Impressive list of skills! One critically important one you should consider adding, is how to filter, purify, and restore air. That’s filtering out toxins (to include radiological contamination), scrubbing the carbon dioxide, and restoring the oxygen content of the air for humans to breathe. Called IAQ (Indoor Air Quality) for short.

      In a true apocalypse like the previous five in the past 5,000 years, nobody survives on the surface of the planet. Everyone will need an underground storm shelter or cave of some type. Then you want to be able to purify air & water, and translate or upgrade all of your skills to an underground/indoor scenario.

      Most people make the mistake of “Hollywood Prepping,” which is basically thinking we are simply going to go through some sort of an economic collapse and grid down scenario. Realistically, what we can expect is that it will be impossible to survive on the surface of the planet, as the air will be quite toxic from volcanic ash, meteorite debris, nuclear fallout (etc) and winds will be above 300 mph and perhaps 2-3 times that during some of the firestorms.

      A good example is to study is the “Chinese Guest Star” of 1054 AD. Graham Hancock has written about it. We’ve had one of these cataclysmic cycles every thousand years since Biblical times, and are due for another convergence before the end of the decade. Not hard to prepare for – if you know what’s coming. But if all your time and energy has been put into Hollywood Prepping, then you will be surprised and unable to cope with the reality that manifests.

      I agree with you, the most important things are to have (critical thinking & survival) skills and a strong community of 2-3 dozen or so like minded people. And, along with your herbal medicine knowledge, you might add Vibrational Medicine to the mix, which can heal or cure just about anything.

  • The butchering of a deer reminds me of my childhood. We lived in Montana. My dad was a hunter. He would bring home deer, elk, antelope and one time a moose; had to have a permit for the moose. He would hang the carcass up on the rafters in the garage so we could cut and process it. Then we would wrap the meat in butcher paper and freeze it. I do not remember eating beef as a child.

  • Not gonna lie, I was praying it would be George Clooney… but I knew I was asking too much. 😀 But I am impressed with this gentleman. He is practicing, improving his skills over time, not just dropping big bucks on a prefab bunker and a bunch of freeze-dried food. Good for him.

  • Building community, one person at a time. It is the only sane, safe way. Learning the skills necessary to survive takes time. Glad to know that there are more and more people from all walks of life trying to learn.
    In my area there are a lot of us who seem to have come to the same conclusion at the same time and that is that we, collectively, will be fine working with each other toward a solid community built on trust and personal knowledge of each other.
    Recently a new police officer was hired locally having moved from a drug hellhole. We were talking at the local convenient store and as it turns out he is trying his hand at a first garden, never having done it before. We are trading gardening tips for police protection. Any and all skill has a value if you look for it.

  • I Think he’s smart. When TSHTF Hollywood won’t be passed over because it’s Hollywood. Eventually, things will be bad all over. Also, it depends on how much of your soul you might wish to give away to keep the status quo.

  • I applaud anyone who take the future seriously. As for your statement of “full-on pepper”, he is far from that. He is just getting started with just a couple cabins in the woods. Plus, hopefully, he is not telling everything that he has prepared. In order for him to have proper food plots, for personal not animal use, he would need to spend more time there, or have an association with someone to do it for him, a Garden Market Share. Good for you, Josh, keep going. I have the rest of what you need…

  • Hey, Preppers? Get salt. It keeps well and it’s currently still relatively cheap. It’s hardly ever discussed, but you will need it IF you need it. Know what I mean?

  • You cannot survive on just fish. You will die of scurvy before spring. You need a supply of vitamin C. There are many ways to get it ans store it, other than buying it int he store. Plant fruit trees, dehydrate or freeze dry the fruit for storage; or grow wild roses and harvest the rose hips.

  • Completely off topic: But why were Senators issued a Satellite Phone to be kept in close proximity to them at all times when traveling? Out of the 100 only 50- accepted them, what are they not telling us now?

  • You Need More Than Food to Survive

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