The Raney family thought they had seen just about everything, traversing across the United States to help people adapt to living off the grid for two seasons of “Homestead Rescue” — but boy, were they wrong.
Do you or a fellow homesteader need the Raney’s help? Go to discovery.com/HomesteadRescueCasting.
The Discovery reality TV show following expert homesteader Marty Raney and his two children, Misty, a farmer, and Matt, a hunter and fisherman, features the Alaskan family as they travel across the country teaching inexperienced homesteaders how to survive in the wilderness.
According to Discovery, more than 2 million people have tried to live off the grid over the past 10 years — known as homesteading — and most have failed:
For the hundreds of families who decide to become homesteaders, the learning curve is a steep one.
Before families decide to ultimately tap out of homesteading and rejoin civilization and the conveniences of modern life, Raney and his kids are called in to give them the tools and know-how to stick it out a little longer.
And as one couple recently learned, the learning curve is much steeper than they imagined.
Chantel and Emanuel moved to Bear Creek, North Carolina, to enjoy a simpler life, but neither of them had any experience in carpentry or livestock.
Living in vast woods for five months, Chantel explained that Emanuel had more experience than she did with homesteading.Screenshot/Discovery
But their background didn’t leave the Raneys too impressed.
As the family first approached the ramshackle dwellings, they were in disbelief over the couple’s living conditions:
Misty: “Man, look at this place.”
Marty: “It’s a shack.”
There, in the middle of the woods, was a small plywood home raised on cement blocks with wires hazardously strung through walls.
Worse, they soon discovered the couple kept their chickens indoors.
Chantel explained their previous brood had been poached by owls and hawks, which led them to seek protection for the chickens inside their own home. Misty asked:
“You have chickens in your home? You live with your chickens?”
The couple’s solution left Misty “at a loss for words.”Screenshot/Discovery
The Raneys soon discovered that Chantel is terrified to hunt, that some of those haphazard wires they first saw run through the shower, that the wood-burning stove was improperly installed and posed life-threatening danger, and that the cabin was overrun with mold.
The conditions were so precarious that the couple’s home was referred to as a “Homestead of Horrors.” Ultimately, Marty deemed the house so dangerous that the couple was better off sleeping outdoors.
Marty said that in over 40 years, he has never had to condemn someone’s cabin.
As Marty explained in a recent interview with Fox News, his goal isn’t to make it easy for homesteaders, but to let them experience what it takes to live off the land successfully:
“[I’m] not necessarily [there] to give them a handout but to give them a hand up….everyone wants a handout and I’m sensitive to those people, and those people I don’t visit…I’m more impressed by the doers and the workers than I am the talkers and the dreamers.
What made America was the homesteader, the people who built their own homes. Those people built this country, hard workers, people not afraid to roll up their sleeves. That is a dying breed. I know because I’m one of them.”
“Homestead Rescue” airs on the Discovery Channel on Wednesdays at 10 p.m.