Several years into the production of The Survival Podcast I began to assemble a group I refer to as the TSPC Expert Council. These individuals have all demonstrated some key attributes before they were asked to join.
First – They are absolutely experts in their fields and have a track record of providing spot on, actionable and accurate advice.
Second – They are all community members and have all contributed to our community as members before being given a position on the council.
Third – They are all dedicated to helping others achieve individual freedom and liberty in their lives.
To ask a question of one of our council members, just send an email to me at jack at thesurvivalpodcast.com with “TSPC Expert” in the subject line.
In the body of your email first tell me the council member your question is for. Second ask your question concisely in one to two sentences maximum. Third provide any and all details after that. This is the formula to give you the best chance of getting on the air.
I do what I can to get as many of your questions as possible on the air but can’t always get to all of them. Our council is made of a wide variety of experts in everything from the tactical to the practical and everything in between.
The Members of our Expert Council Include…
J.R. Haley – Guns and Gun Gear – J.R. is a lifelong gun enthusiast that coupled his early love of shooting and shooting sports with a 21 year career in the United States Air Force. He can answer your questions on firearms and firearm related topics.
J.R. grew up on his family farm in Oklahoma where he was given the freedom to explore their 320 acre farm with firearm in hand. From the beginning BB gun to .22s, shotguns and deer rifles, it fostered his love for all things guns. Along with the freedom to explore, from the age of 12 until the he left for the military, he was the target thrower for Oklahoma’s second oldest Sporting clays course that was established just a mile down the road from his family farm. Naturally, as a young boy hanging around older men who also loved guns and the shotgun sports, this further entrenched his desire to learn more about firearms, and exposure to many different types of firearms.
His military experience in the Air Force saw him assigned to a Combat Communications unit at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma where he quickly joined the Opposing Forces Team for their Combat Training Schoolhouse. This was the beginning of the exposure to the Martial Fighting fundamentals of firearm use. Through many deployments, he was exposed to curriculum and practical application of Army Combat Schools, including Close Quarters Marksmanship, and Foreign Military Tactics from militaries such as the Jordanian Special Forces Team. He was able to compile each of these experiences and mend them into his Combat Communications units school curriculum and Opposing Forces Teams tactics and training.
J.R. has been a formal trainer for the military in basic firearms instruction and continues to use those skills and his love for firearms to this day to introduce new shooters to the fold. He has trained with civilian instructors in Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico along with attending Massad Ayoobs 20 hour 2 day seminar on Armed Citizens Rules of Engagement.
Jessica Mills – www.HomemadeWanderlust.com – Jessica “Dixie” Mills is an avid backpacker and YouTuber who has completed the Triple Crown of Hiking (Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Continental Divide Trail). She is excited to answer your questions about backpacking/hiking, planning brief outings or extended trips, gear, general enjoyment of the wilderness, leave no trace principles, vlogging in nature and pursuing dreams.
Jessica, better known by her trail name “Dixie”, first dreamed of thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail when she was 4-5 years old while on a family vacation in North Carolina. As most childhood dreams do, this idea was pushed to the back burner. She graduated from Auburn University in 2012 with a degree in Biosystems Engineering and a minor in Agronomy and Soils.
After years of listening to TSP, Jessica realized she had gotten caught up in society’s plan and wasn’t designing her own life. It was then at the end of 2014 that Jessica quit her job as an engineer in Colorado and go take a 6-month walk on the Appalachian Trail (2,189 miles). She decided to capture her journey and share it with others by vlogging on YouTube. In 2017 and 2018, she completed thru-hikes of the Pacific Crest Trail (2,650 miles) and Continental Divide Trail (3,000 miles) and also documented those hikes.
Jessica currently resides in Opelika, AL with her two dog children when she isn’t being a stinky hiker. In the off season, her channel, Homemade Wanderlust, is dedicated to helping others learn more about backpacking. To follow her adventures or learn more about backpacking, visit her channel: www.youtube.com/c/HomemadeWanderlust and her website at www.homemadewonderlust.com
Steve Wise – Steve is a retired police detective from a major police department in the Southeastern part of the United States. He will answer your law enforcement related questions. During his career he worked the street as a patrol officer and as a bicycle cop and later became a detective in the Crimes against Children unit.
The Crimes against children cases lead him into the field of Digital Forensics, and the collection of digital evidence. Steve also received training in electronic surveillance and worked with the department’s hostage negotiation team. Steve is a State certified police instructor and has provided training to other law enforcement and civilians in digital forensics.
The digital forensics and specialized computer security knowledge has lead me to my current position as an Information Security specialist for a large corporation. Steve is also an amateur radio operator and focuses on emergency communications with his local ARES team.
Derek Bonpietro – AffordableDCGenerators.com – Derek can answer questions on automotive repair, learning how to work on your own vehicles, and outfitting vehicles for certain tasks.
Derek started learning the automotive trade in a vocational school around 2000. He trained for and won 1st place in an International Automotive competition. Since the age of 21, he has been instructing at the High School and College levels. For a few years Derek worked as a Project Manager for a residential solar company. Recently he transitioned into power generation equipment like residential and comercial standby generators. All along the way Derek has been an avid fourwheeler and building trucks from scratch for offroad adventures.
Starting off the 2019 year with AffordableDCGenerators.com, Derek is working on a startup to bring small scale DC power generation to an affordable level. “I have an AC generator for every use from my military surplus generator truck down to my little Honda 2000 but I’ve always needed a DC generator and couldn’t justify spending thousands on something so simple.” So he started putting a prototype together and will be working on developing a very thorough DIY kit so the average person with basic hand tools can assemble one at home.
Shawn Mills – HackMySolar.com – Shawn can answer your questions on off grid living, appropriate technology, and homestead automation design. His primary expertise is in solar thermal, solar photo-voltaic, and rainwater catchment systems and COST EFFECTIVE implementation of those systems. Shawn has been an active member in the TSP Community since 2013.
Shawn has worked in and around the power generation industry since 2000 and decided shortly after the Great Recession to build a lifestyle that was more self-sufficient. He has lived on his off grid homestead with his wife and two children since 2012 utilizing solar pv and rainwater catchment systems he designed and installed himself.
In 2017 Shawn started a consultation company hackmysolar.com to help others demystify solar and other alternative energy systems and implement them in their own lives. His customers have included new construction projects, remote hunting properties, and exiting homes and outbuildings with a variety of installation types. Shawn’s designs are based on customer’s overall goals and a holistic view of energy use AND cost of implementation where sometimes the “appropriate” answer is generator and gasoline rather than newer and more expensive technology. Check out his website at HackMySolar.com
Kelley Dees-Atkinson – DVM – Dr. Dees-Atkinson is a veterinarian on the Expert Council here to answer all of your fuzzy animal questions. She is a DVM and Magna Cum Laude Biomedical Science graduate of Texas A&M University, and has since practiced in Texas for over thirteen years focusing on small animal medicine. Dr. Kelley is an associate at a small animal practice where she was instrumental in getting it certified as a feline friendly practice. She is also a member of the American Veterinary Medical Association and American Association of Feline Practitioners.
Today, Dr. Kelley also wears many additional hats as a wife, mama, homesteader, homeschool teacher, blogger, Pinterest-addict, lover of hats, glitter, and throwing parties.
Dr. Kelley’s husband turned her on to TSP several years ago. In 2014, they embraced a life-changing decision to move out of the city onto a 4-acre homestead on the suburban-rural fringe to get away from it all, find more space, and homeschool their three children. When not performing surgery or keeping up with their active kids, Dr. Kelley tends a menagerie daily that includes four cats, one dog, several chickens, and six alpacas.
You can learn more about Dr. Kelley’s crazy-busy life at www.champagneandmudboots.com, where hard work and sweet celebrations meet. Let her guidance point you in the direction to keeping your animals healthy, and having a homestead worth toasting!
Patrick Roehrman MTKnives.net – Patrick Roehrman is a knife maker and bladesmith from Missouri, where he and his wife Emily home school their children. He can answer all your questions on knives, edged weapons, tools, and tool sharpening.
After his first child was born Patrick wanted to be able to work from home and be there with his family. even pass his skills on to his children. It took 14 years for his dream to come true. In 2010 he started making knives as a hobby, he soon had enough work to keep him busy but not enough to support his family full-time. Patrick worked as a lineman, always on call, cleaning up every storm. If the lights were out, he was out too. With help from Jack Spirko and the TSP community through MTKnives’ stakeholder program, he was able to run his MTKnives business full-time. All 100 positions sold out in less than 6 minutes.
Next came the knife sharpening video, Beyond Razor Sharp. Patrick knows how to make sharp knives and keep them sharp. He has accomplished some amazing feats such as shaved a balloon with a knife, and splitting a hair three times in the same spot. Patrick loves to share his knowledge and has traveled around the country teaching his skills.
As not all can afford a custom knife, and Patrick’s desire to have a quality knife in the hands of more people, he expanded his business to include some really cool neck knives. They were featured in 2015 in the Blade magazine Check out his site at MTKnives.Net
Nicole Sauce – LivingFreeInTennessee.com – Nicole can answer your questions on homesteading entrepreneurship, marketing, web development, and on turning major projects with insurmountable obstacles into achievable goals. Nicole can also take questions on working with (or getting around) public policy makers and local governments, increasing liberty in your life and local community.
Nicole’s foundation in liberty began when she was three. She stole a chocolate egg from a grocery store. Her mother soon discovered this and made Nicole go back, return the egg, apologize and pay the store owner. Despite this early lesson on personal responsibility, Nicole leaned toward socialism – communism, really, as the best means of organizing society. Then she took her first steps in a public policy issue – mass transit – after realizing that state-run systems are simply unfair. This launched a career working with free-market think tanks around the country bent on developing policy strategy, issue campaigns and putting a face on reform.
She has taught in a public high school, worked as executive coach for Fortune 500 companies and run a nonprofit organization, shaping her perspective on liberty, homesteading entrepreneurship and lifestyle design. Nicole cultivates her interest in learning to do things from absolute scratch – thanks to parents and grandparents who claimed you can learn to do anything you want. Nicole sang in a rock band for fifteen years, has fancy college degrees, and uses her podcast, Living Free in Tennessee, to help spark liberty and self-reliance in those who want to be all they can be. Check out her website at LivingFreeInTennessee.com
Doctor Bones and Nurse Amy – DoomAndBloom.net – Joe Alton, M.D. is a retired (due to extreme old age) but actively licensed medical doctor and Amy Alton, A.R.N.P. is an advanced registered nurse practitioner and a certified nurse midwife. They’re medical preparedness writers and are here to answer all your medical questions regarding just about anything, from disasters to epidemics to mass casualty incidents. Everything they write about assumes that some disaster has occurred and there are no doctors and no hospitals. Joe and Amy’s mission: To put a medically prepared person in every family.
The Altons are the No.1 Amazon bestselling authors of The Survival Medicine Handbook, NY Times bestselling authors of The Ebola Survival Handbook, designers of an entire line of disaster medical kits, plus a board game SURVIVAL! that was awarded the Teaching Preparedness Resource of the Week by the Prepared Family Blog.
You can find the Altons, as Dr. Bones and Nurse Amy, at their top survival medicine website at www.doomandbloom.net, their YouTube channel at DrBones NurseAmy, Twitter at Preppershow, Facebook at Doom and Bloom, and on their podcast “The Survival Medicine Hour” on blogtalkradio.
Ben Falk – Whole Systems Design – Ben can answer questions related to permaculture, site planning, energy efficient design and construction, modern homesteading and regenerative design. He is specifically an expert in cold temperate climates. Ben developed his landscape architecture studio Whole Systems Design, LLC to apply the productivity of farming and homesteading with the intelligence of ecology to home, school and public spaces.
Life as a designer, builder, ecologist, tree-tender, and backcountry traveler continually informs Ben’s integrative approach to developing landscapes and buildings. His home landscape and the WSD studio site in Vermont’s Mad River Valley align with his larger 175 acre silvopasture farm serve as a proving ground for the regenerative land developments featured in the projects of Whole Systems Design.
Ben has studied architecture and landscape architecture at the graduate level and holds a master’s degree in land-use planning and design. He has conducted about 250 site development consultations across New England and facilitated dozens of courses on permaculture design, property selection, microclimate design, and design for climate change. Ben is the author of the award-winning book the Resilient Farm and Homestead (Chelsea Green, 2013). For more, see Ben Falk’s recent TEDx talk.
Gary Collins has a very interesting and unique background that includes military intelligence, Special Agent for the U.S. State Department Diplomatic Security Service, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Collins’ background and expert knowledge brings a much-needed perspective to today’s areas of simple living, health, nutrition, entrepreneurship, self-help and being more self-reliant. He holds an AS degree in Exercise Science, BS in Criminal Justice, and MS in Forensic Science.
He often says: “Today we’re bombarded by too much stress, not enough time for personal fulfillment, and failing to take care of our health… there has to be a better way!”
In addition to being a best selling author, he has taught at the University College level, consulted and trained college level athletes, and been interviewed for his expertise on various subjects by CBS Sports, Coast to Coast AM, The RT Network, and FOX News to name a few.
His website www.thesimplelifenow.com, best selling Living Off The Grid and The Simple Life book series (his total lifestyle reboot), blows the lid off of conventional life and wellness expectations, and is considered essential for every person seeking a simpler, and happier life.
Darby Simpson – DarbySimpson.com – Darby can answer all your questions on full time farming for profit and livestock management. Specifically on pastured poultry, pork and beef.
Darby grew up on his family’s seventh generation farm located in Central Indiana, just 25 miles outside of Indianapolis. However he never learned anything about the family business. He began his own farming enterprise in 2007 after reading “Pastured Poultry Profits” by Joel Salatin as well as several other sources of information pertaining to small scale pasture based meat production.
The operation produced 150 pastured broilers that first year that were quickly sold and generated a base of avid customers who were left clamoring for more. In 2008, the enterprise grew to 1,000 birds while pastured pork was also added, with the hogs all being spoken for thru successful marketing to the existing customer base.
By 2012, the farm was producing up to 3,000 pastured broilers, 125 turkeys, 60 hogs and 12 beef per year while using less than 20 total acres. The farm now financially supports Darby and his wife Brandy, along with their two young boys, Ethan and Zach. His success shows it is possible to build a business from scratch with little or no knowledge of what Joel Salatin affectionately calls “lunatic farming”.
Michael Jordan – A Bee Friendly Company – Michael Jordan can answer all your questions about bees, their care, use of bee products and other pollinating insects. Michael has been teaching the art of bees and beekeeping for over 15 years. He has studied bees in my many travels over the world. Bees and Beekeepers are different all over the world. The style of beekeeping used is up to you. There are over 20,000 types of bees and 1500 of them are a type of honey bee.
Michael is one of the few called a “Bee Activist”; his teaching on beekeeping has been heard all over the world. He has worked with Worlds of Wonder, Discovery Channel, Bee’s Without Boarders, The Pearl Foundation, Boys & Girls Scouts, various 4-H groups, The Rotary Club, and many youth programs
His absolute passion is teaching the lost art of beekeeping. His travels and stories of how biodynamic beekeeping and growing your own food can change the world will make you smile and cry. With his new type of bee hive, Michael hopes to put a bee hives everywhere. Mike has said, “when people tell me about green technology jobs and products, I laugh, because there is nothing greener then what I am. A beekeeper.”
John Pugliano – The Wealthsteading Podcast – While I personally manage my own investments, I consider John to be my most trusted financial adviser, period. He is a true professional, fully switched on and on top of it as a prepper himself that knows your preps are part of your life long financial stability.
John is a long time individual investor and late blooming entrepreneur. He is the money manager and founder of Investable Wealth LLC. Investable Wealth LLC. is a hands-on investment advisory firm that specializes in helping clients build wealth with active portfolio management. Their primary investment philosophy is tactical in nature, taking advantage of current market conditions with trend trading methodologies.
On top of all this, John is an all-around great guy with a cutting view into modern business and economics along with being a licensed HAM Radio Operator.
Geoff Lawton – GeoffLawtonOnline.com– Geoff Lawton is “the man” when it comes to permaculture in all climates and indeed all over the world. I personally consider Geoff to be my greatest mentor in the world of Permaculture and consider him responsible for my full indoctrination into the discipline.
In October 1997 Bill Mollison, upon his retirement, asked Geoff to establish and direct a new permaculture research institute on the 147-acre (0.59 km2) Tagari Farm. Lawton developed the site over a period of three years and established The Permaculture Research Institute as a global networking center for permaculture projects. The institute is a non-profit company limited by guarantee. It is currently located at Zaytuna Farm at The Channon in Northern NSW, Australia where Lawton is managing director
At his website Geoff provides opportunities to take his PDC to a limited number of students annually and some of the most incredible free permaculture videos ever produced.
Michael and Sue Laprise – HaloBySue.com – Sue and Michael are here to answer all your questions about homeschooling and family relationships. They have been married since 1985. Their homeschool journey has covered more than 25 years with five grown children, ages 18-29, who’ve graduated to adulthood and they’re currently homeschooling the youngest two who are 9 and 10. The three youngest are a sibling group they adopted seven years ago and as of this writing they have their name into the state of Texas for a sibling group of 7 that are up for adoption.
While Michael, the sixth of seven children, grew up in a triple decker North East environment where you were taught to do what you’re supposed to do, from an early age he worked in his dad’s butcher shop/grocery store on the first floor, Sue, who was the youngest of seven children, was brought up with rural gardens, chickens and ponies from Malibou Lake to Oregon, learning from a “let’s try this” lifestyle. While they make an interesting couple what they share is freedom, loving learning and strong families.
Their Homeschool Adventure Learning Opportunities grew out of a desire to help families learn together by establishing homeschool co-ops, family scout troops and organizing many adventures with friends. If you’re looking to “Design a Life You’d Love to Live,” and understand that it’s a process, you’ll want to check out what they’re doing at Halobysue.com.