I had the extreme honor of talking with Tim Ralston the other day about the Crovel, Prepping and some of the Gear Up Centers upcoming projects. What did I learn? There is some awesome stuff in the works at Gear Up and that Tim’s a nice guy with down to earth ideas about survival and life in general.
Tim grew up in Colorado, “My grandparents owned a full working farm. I would consider them the first preppers I knew, but to them, they were just self-sufficient people that got up at 4 in the morning and feed the chickens.” His father was a disabled Air Force veteran and because of that he and Tim got to spend a lot of time hunting, fishing and horseback riding. From the sound of his voice, I could tell that Tim had a strong bond with his father and that he played a big role in his life. Tim’s mother was an entrepreneur with her own business and all of this made a huge impression on him. “Living with my dad was like an instructor and recruiter all in one!…It was one of those, ‘So when you joining? What are you doing?’ What I did was I went right out of high school and into the service…Once I was there I volunteered and tried out for the Para Rescue Team in the Air Force.”
After making the team, Tim changed course and went into air traffic control and finished out his time in the Air Force in Florida. Getting out of the service, Tim decided to start his bucket list. “I did everything I thought I ever wanted to do…” He became a ski instructor in Vale, traveled through Europe and started working in the fitness industry and became a national sales director. “I got tired of doing that and wound up picking up a camera and became a fashion photographer…I thought that would be a really cool job!” It quickly came to an end when he met his wife and business partner. It would seem that marriage and taking pictures of beautiful women other than your wife doesn’t go hand in hand!
They went on to start a successful marketing firm. “When 9/11 hit we started to shift gears…and say where do we want to go that doesn’t require me to jump on a plane and head to the east coast every three days. We started looking at the trends and they started to go to the internet…” As the economy began to slow down they made the decision that they had made a lot of money for other people and now it was their turn. After determining that only three things are in demand in a tough economy or social break down…gold, survival supplies and alcohol…they got involved in all three!
As for prepping, “I don’t have that normalcy bias that most people have…I can go out there and share with people and get them to say you don’t have to be an extremist but for God’s sake, at least have the minimals.” A lot of it is self education and be willing to take the time to read, attend seminars and classes. “The reason we opened the store was to be able to sit down and chat with people and to help mentor them in what they need to do…having stuff doesn’t make you self reliant…” Tim place quite a bit of emphasis on education and getting as much of it as you can. But, beyond that “The will to survive is the most important thing.” Without it all the gear, stockpiles and training you have mean nothing.
One of Tim’s claims to fame is the Crovle. The first Crovel was made from his father’s entrenching tool. When the handle broke off Tim wondered how it could be remade so that it would never happen again…as he was thinking his eye caught an old crowbar he had in his garage. A little cutting and welding later the Crovel was born!… After a successful web launch “NatGeo found us and they said ‘hey do you want to be on the show?’ and I go ‘can I bring my shovel?’ and they go ‘You got it!” The Crovel was thrust to the forefront by Tim’s appearance on the Doomsday Prepper series and it took off like wild fire! Several versions are now available and they are finally getting caught up with all the orders.
In what seems to be typical Ralston Fashion, there are new products on the horizon and when talking to Tim, you get the feeling that the gears are always going. He’s a determined man with his gaze on the future and to that end he told me what’s coming next and to be honest, I was blown away! “We’ve joined [two] companies together to build the ultimate survival retreat…My company will outfit it with survival gear plus food…and they will give you a bomb shelter basically that’s fully functional underground and sleeps 10 to 12, and it sleeps 10 to 12 people up above in an above ground cabin that goes right over the top.” With solar power and off the grid services, these retreats are self sufficient and a ‘turn key’ solution for anyone looking to have a secure and fully stocked bug-out location, all for less than $100k!
Another new product is the Tim Ralston edition ROKON. For those of you that don’t know, the ROKON is an all wheel drive motorcycle that floats! Endorsed by Tim Ralston, the ROKON takes on all forms of terrain and obstacles giving you a reliable and capable form of transportation. Click here for the Youtube video of Tim using his…
Then there is the X Caliber. This is one of the best ideas I have seen in a long time and will really change the way shotguns are thought of and used. I could go on and on about this product but I think I’ll let Tim take it from here! Click here for a video on what the Xcaliber is…