A friend once said that while he was away on vacation, he was going to consider himself to be “off the grid,” simply because he wasn’t planning on answering his phone. However, he posted that very message on Facebook with his phone while he was on that vacation. I think that exemplifies just how connected we all are in modern society, and just how “on the grid” everyone is and how lost we all likely would be if we truly were to find ourselves living without not only phones and computers, but more basic essentials, like electricity and running water.
History Channel — fresh off its huge ratings success with the Hatfields & McCoys miniseries — presents a new series starting tonight that looks at several people who do embrace this actual “off the grid” lifestyle, at least to a degree further than most of the rest of us do. Mountain Men, premiering tonight at 10pm ET, follows three men — Eustace Conway, Tom Oar and Marty Meierotto — who have devoted their lives to survival in its simplest form. But is it really that simple?
From the rugged Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to the seven-month-long winters on the Yaak River in Montana to the frigid northern range of Alaska, the country is full of unforgiving terrain. Throughout the series, these men face off against this terrain, battling mudslides, falling trees, ravaging weather and even hungry animals, to make sure they obtain the food and supplies they need to make it through the brutal winter months ahead.
The Mountain Men featured in the series are:
Eustace says that when he was 16, spirits told him to live off the land during a Native American ceremony. So he and a few friends bought a 1,000-acre piece of land in the Blue Ridge Mountains called Turtle Creek Preserve, of which he owns 500 acres.
Marty was 8 when his dad took him fur trapping for the first time. From that moment, he knew he’d be trapping for the rest of his life. At 25, with $10 in his pocket, he set out for Alaska, where he’s now known as one of the top trappers in the territory. He lives in a cabin 100 miles south of the Arctic Circle with his wife, Dominique, and their daughter Noah.
Tom was a bronco rider on the rodeo circuit for 28 years. When the work started to take a toll on his body, the long-time trapper taught himself tanning to support himself and the love of his life, Nancy. They’ve been a team for more than 40 years. But Nancy worries about Tom working the trap lines every day: wolves are becoming a big problem, and he’s not a young man anymore.
Mountain Men premieres May 31 at 10pm ET on History.
Here’s a clip from the premiere episode, “Winter Is Coming”: