The rise of the Digital Age came and advanced quicker than we anticipated. Technology has rapidly been integrated in our daily lives. In many ways, it’s clear that we as humanity aren’t as ready mentally and emotionally for it all, so many of us seek for alternatives. Homesteading has grown in population in recent years, as more and more people are opting to go offline and off grid. It’s a totally different way of life that very few people could really handle. In Discovery Channel’s Homestead Rescue, we’ve seen a ton of city folk try to make a go for homestead living. It isn’t easy, and it’s fortunate that the rescuers are around to provide assistance and encouragement. The Raneys are some of our favorite homestead rescuers, and here are 10 things about their family that we all should know about.
1. Ultimate Survival
When he began Homestead Rescue, Marty Raney was not a television rookie. Prior to Homestead, Raney was a series regular on National Geographic Channel’s Ultimate Survival Alaska. According to Realityblurred.com, he starred in all three seasons on the show, which was basically a survivalist competition. Marty’s teams never won any of the seasons. His son, Matt was also a contestant during season 1.
2. The family
Marty’s children, Matt and Misty, are both regular cast members of Homestead Rescue. However, the two aren’t the only children that Marty has. Him and his wife Mollee had two children before Misty and Matthew. Melanee was their first-born, and Miles came next. The family has lived their entire lives surrounded by harsh conditions, and they’ve all learned to live and grow with each other. Even though only the two younger children are regulars on the show, all the family members are very close to each other.
3. Southeast Alaska
The Raneys have been living in Alaska since 1974, when Marty moved to Southeast Alaska. In fact, the Raneys still reside in the area to this day. That’s 45 years of being part of the Alaskan wilderness. Marty and Mollee settled in the area of Haines, a remote area in the state. The Raneys have found this to be their home, but it is also home to many wild animals, especially a lot of Alaskan brown bears.
4. Chilkoot Pass
This article from Earnthenecklace.com recounts the story of how the Raneys taught their children to build character in the wild. It happened when the kids were all younger than 10 years old. The entire Raney family followed in the historical footsteps of the 1898 Klondike Gold Rush miners, and they trekked the entire Chilkoot Pass. You can only imagine the conditions that the entire family had to endure. But the Raney adults believe that “the absence of luxuries” is ultimately what builds the best character in people.
The matter of authenticity was a big factor for the Raneys upon taking on the television show. This was especially for father and son Marty and Matt, who both had reality TV experience beforehand. They knew it was difficult to avoid some kind of scripting when it came to doing Homestead Rescue, but both were adamant about keeping the show as authentic as possible. Luckily, both production companies responsible for the show–Discovery and Raw–agree with the Raneys’ bid for realness. Even Matt says that Homestead is more real when compared to Ultimate Survival.
6. Family business
The Raneys may be in the wild, but that doesn’t mean that they’re constantly scavenging for food. The family actually owns a business and has been running it even before the children were born. The Raney children actually grew up in the family business, Alaska Stone and Log, and they continue to share the responsibilities of operation today. Every single member of the Raney family has some type of homesteading skill–farming, hunting, stone masonry, building, carpentry, and more. They use these skills in the business and in keeping up with their homestead.
7. Married Misty
Misty is actually no longer a Raney; she’s now a Bilodeau. She’s married to carpenter and surfer Maciah Bilodeau, who’s actually from Hawaii. The two have a son named Gauge, who’s now about 8 years old. The couple splits their time between Alaska and Hawaii, both beautiful places in their own right. We can imagine that Misty would want to bring up Gauge in a world that doesn’t rely on luxuries–just like the kind of childhood she had–but probably with lesser harsh elements.
8. Game night
The Raneys share a lot of common ground with average American families. For example, they have game night as well–except they do so in their homesteading. Being natural survivalists, you can imagine just how competitive every member of the Raney family gets when it comes to game night. Most of the time, the parents compete against the kids, and no one ever backs down. Living life in the homestead has made this family closer than most, and it’s quite wonderful to witness even on screen.
9. Mountain climbers
Marty Raney is a seasoned mountain climber. He’s climbed Alaska’s Mount Denali many times, and often he climbed as a guide for other climbers. He’s even shared his passion with daughter Misty, and the two have gone up the summit a few times together. Their first climb together was even made into a documentary in Japan. That particular climb was especially emotional and difficult for the two Raneys and the nine Japanese climbers that were with them on the climb. Marty ended up getting sick along the way, and the decisions they both had to make was all for their survival and the survival of those who were with them.
Marty’s current net worth is at $1 million. Only a small portion of that money comes from his family show, Homestead Rescue. The truth is Marty is a self-made millionaire. He made his fortune through his business and through his music. It’s true. The homestead expert is also a recording artist. There’s no way but up for the Raneys, and the best part of it all is that they make their way up without sacrificing their values and beliefs.