Josh Duhamel is a doomsday prepper: ‘if things go south, I have a place to take my family’

Josh Duhamel is burned into my brain as “the guy who cheated on Fergie at a strip club.” I don’t even know how I absorbed this information back in 2009 when that happened because I wasn’t paying attention to celebrity gossip. But that is who he is in my mind. He and Fergie stayed married for a shockingly long time, separating in 2017. Then he got married to someone 21 years younger than him, model Audra Mari, in part because he wanted someone young enough to have more children with. He now splits his time between Los Angeles and an off-grid cabin in North Dakota. I guess he works steadily enough because he has a new movie coming out, Buddy Games: Spring Awakening. In an interview to promote his new movie, he talked to Inverse about his off-grid life and his interest in doomsday prepping, hunting, and self-sufficiency. Now he’s burned into my brain as “guy who tries to kill a deer with a bow and arrow.”

His first cabin was a pit: 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.

He was inspired by a book: 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.

He can’t hunt a deer yet, but he’s trying: 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.

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’ve become a bit of a doomsday prepper, I guess. So I’m learning how to hunt. I have wells. We have water. We have fuel. I’m building something so if things do go south, I have a place to take my family. And I believe that we could live off the land out there. I’m not very good at it yet, but I’m getting there.

He just got a real toilet after 10 years: We recently got actual plumbing with actual flushing toilets. For the first 10 years, it was outhouses, which my wife did not love; to go outside in the middle of the night to go to the bathroom, especially when there’s wolves and bear all over the place out there. So I still keep two outhouses just for nostalgic reasons, I guess.

[From Inverse]

My first thought is “who is coming for Josh Duhamel”? Like why does he think if Los Angeles erupted into chaos that he would be a target? He’s not on the top of anyone’s list. No shade, but he is not. He could just hide out in Topanga and have a homestead there. That’s what people do in Topanga, they get donkeys. My second thought is, why put up with an outhouse for ten years? People get used to having outhouses and plumbing is complicated. But I cannot imagine getting up at 2 AM and going out in the snow with bears sniffing around, when someone like Josh has the resources to install a real toilet. I know he’s not megastar famous but the man can afford to pay a plumber. I hope his wife put her foot down.

He also shouts out “Elon Musk’s Starlink” and the book he mentions was written by a “Constitutionalist Christian libertarian”…so I’m getting conservative vibes from Josh with all of this. I think this “doomsday prep” trend may be more popular among conservatives, just a hunch. It’s kind of ironic to me that conservatives fret over an “impending societal collapse” when they’re the ones who won’t work to address climate change. It’s almost like they want it to happen. Anyhow, my theory is that the pandemic made a lot of people of all backgrounds want to “go back to the land.” One of my close friends is very liberal and she has a dream of buying land, getting into organic farming and creating a compound where her extended family can come stay. I watch a lot of YouTube channels where people share their experiences of homesteading and going off grid. I find it fascinating. I don’t think I’d ever do that, but I hope I’ll have a big enough backyard to have some chickens and a vegetable patch someday. Homesteading is hard work and physically demanding. However, I think it helps people feel connected to the earth, and that’s something I know I long for sometimes. But not enough to have to use an outhouse every day.

Photos credit: JPI Studios/Avalon

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28 Responses to “Josh Duhamel is a doomsday prepper: ‘if things go south, I have a place to take my family’”

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  1. Ameerah M says:

    Do we know where he was on Jan 6th? Because if dude is reading a book with the title “Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse” it tells me a LOT about his politics.

    • poppedbubble says:

      Thank you! Living off of the land is not the same thing as doomsday prepping…I guess for the civil war that is going to erupt in LA. He needs to shack up with Rick Schroeder and invite Scott Baio while he’s at it

  2. Torttu says:

    Who on earth wants to live after doomsday? Who wants to live in a bunker for five years and then in a destroyed, burned world? Sitting on a rock, eating canned beans?

    • OperaCake says:

      It’s not necessarily “Doomsday”, a nuclear apocalypse or the like. Some people are preparing for a world of scarcity, where we go backwards in terms of the 20th century luxuries we got used to: no more planes, no more fast fashion, no more consumerism. A “contracted” world where we’ve had to let go of the superfluous, and where even basic necessities might be harder than before to obtain, so becoming self-sufficient is the answer.

      It’s already happening, in slow motion, but it’s happening.

      • BeanieBean says:

        Eh. Kinda cute that he & others assume there will be deer for them to hunt in this world of scarcity. And this guy’s from North Dakota, as I recall. No way he’s even lived in that cabin through a winter, he’s just summer vacationing. North Dakota winters are brutal & long. And @Carina: if there’s snow on the ground & you need to use the outhouse, bears won’t be an issue ’cause they’re hibernating. And wolves haven’t been resident in decades.

  3. Kittenmom says:

    ICK. He was so charming when he first started out on soaps. But now he sounds like a cultist. And looks like Ricky Schroeder. I’ll bet he capes for Kyle Rittenhouse too.

  4. Twin Falls says:

    No way would Fergie have put up with pooping in the woods.

    I just know him as the guy who reminds me how much I love Timothy Olyphant and need to see what he’s up to now and maybe watch some Justified.

  5. Lila says:

    “My first thought is “who is coming for Josh Duhamel”?” is absolutely cracking me up. Brilliant. Seeing as I’ve only seen him in Win a Date with Tad Hamilton and a couple Transformer movies, I guess the Decepticons?

  6. Mel says:

    Tell me you’re a maga nut cake without telling me you’re a maga nut cake. Sigh… so disappointed. Boy, bye!

    • Cherry says:

      Ok, my husband grew up hunting deer because it was an easy source of food and in upstate NY they breed like crazy, so it’s not uncommon.
      But WTF Josh. Bow and arrow! That’s so cruel. It’s not something to take lightly. You never want the animal to suffer. And the way he goes about living off what you sow is so naive. I’ve been trying to grow carrots to two years and all I get are greens with nipples 🤣

  7. HeyKay says:

    I live in Minnesota, land of 10,000 Lakes.
    Many people long for a cabin by the lake as their retirement homes.
    Lots of hunting, fishing, snowmobiles, outdoors stuff.

    So, that kind of chat is nothing new.
    The “prepper” stuff is completely a different mind set from “Get some extra coffee at the store. I don’t want to drive back after work” Items in house in case of a blizzard, is normal behavior, the stuff he is talking is not typical.

    Btw, he is not some stunningly handsome man.
    Throw a rock in MN, ND, SD and you can hit entire families of men who look very much like him.

    Good Luck to the young wife tho.
    He was pretty vocal about his search for a young woman because he wants more kids. Kids being the goal, not a loving supportive wife who he enjoys spending time with. He also famously threw his back out on their wedding day by dancing, needed to make a trip to the ER. Good Luck, sweetie. I really mean that.

  8. Haapa says:

    “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.”

    Living in a communist commune to own the libs.

    • Skyblue says:

      Good grief. I don’t even think North Dakota has a resident wolf pack and typically bears aren’t lurking around outhouses. (Claiming authority as a 3rd generation Montanan) And honestly, I’m more afraid of the MAGAs loose in our forests with automatic weapons than I am of any animal.

  9. Normades says:

    After the apocalypse we’re gonna be stuck with the worst people.

  10. ElsaBug says:

    I used to go to a lot of homesteading/back to the lander events – those places have a lot of folks who are either very liberal or very conservative with very similar doomsday prepping philosophies.

  11. Whyforthelovel says:

    Fergie hon, you dodged a bullet.

  12. GrnieWnie says:

    considering that “the fragile chains of supply and high-technology infrastructure” didn’t fall despite China’s paranoid commitment to zero-Covid (which did more to upend supply chains than anything else), I’d say they’re pretty resilient to collapse. And socioeconomic crises are created by policymakers, not looting and riots. Former US Army intel officer reads the world through the lens of military intelligence – surprise, surprise.

    (quoted from the blurb for “Patriots: Surviving the Coming Collapse”, seemingly published in March of 2021…not exactly years ago).

  13. Dara says:

    Good luck getting from LA to North Dakota if society does collapse. No amount of prepping is going to help you with that. You may as well just put jam in your pockets dude, cuz you’re gonna be toast.

    Why do these fools always decide that retreating to the woods is the best survival strategy? I’ve got forty bucks on the bear, a c-note on the mountain lion, and I’ll go all in on the mice and ticks.

  14. Kate says:

    He sounds fun

  15. Rnot says:

    There are useful tidbits to be gleaned from apocalyptic fiction but a large subset of readers get stuck in a fear response and wander off to the hinterlands, both metaphorically and literally. Whatever he’s doing is wanking, not rational preparation. I just shake my head at these fools who think they could provide for their families by hunting deer. If things go seriously sideways, the deer will be hunted to near extinction within months. Dressing a deer isn’t difficult but it’s not easy and obvious either. Novice hunters would inflict staggering amounts of suffering and waste. Then there’s food poisoning if they try to improvise traditional preservation techniques.

    • Visa Diva says:

      My dad was a hunter and dressed the deer and elk the killed and knew how to keep the carcass safe until it could be butchered and frozen. It takes work and you need to be with someone who’s done it to learn how to do it safely.

      As for the outdoor plumbing, definitely not my thing but my lived in Alaska and their summer cabin had an outhouse, so its not uncommon in some places

  16. Nikki says:

    If things ever go REALLY south, preppers will have to be willing to kill people who desperately need what they have.

  17. Doppelgangers R'Us says:

    People who have lived the off grid life, laugh at the wannabe wankers.
    I have lived off grid full time since 2015, and on the edge of off grid (very simple and basic living) since 2003. It is hard work, but the peaceful life is so worth it.
    Such as watching an eagle swoop down on our pond 2 days ago to feed.
    I bet on the wolves and bear for the win too. Lol Or maybe mountain lions. Came out to one on my car one morning. 😳

    • BeanieBean says:

      I know someone who lives off the grid as well & it was the cougar that was problematic when they needed to use the outhouse in the middle of the night.

  18. j.ferber says:

    He does sound and look like a Magat.

  19. Mcmmom says:

    Yeeeeeah – I am related to preppers and know a few more. I essentially grew up off the grid and some members would fit right in with Josh. None of them are MAGATS – as someone else said, extreme right and extreme left have a lot of similarities. Having grown up with parents who tried to live off the grid as much as possible, it’s hard to get that out of your system. I have a nice 401K and drive a mom car, but at the first sign of possible societal strife, I’m stockpiling tuna fish and planning my escape route.