Marty Raney is an American television personality, builder, and homesteader probably best known for his role on the popular Discovery Channel show “Homestead Rescue”. The show was launched in 2016, and features the Raney family as they help struggling homesteaders improve their properties and achieve self-sufficiency. Marty’s success on “Homestead Rescue” even got him his own show called “Homestead Rescue: Raney Ranch” which launched in 2020. The Raney Ranch house caught fire, and the incident was featured in episodes eight and nine. The incident is hotly debated among fans as some believe that the fire was staged by Discovery producers.
Who is Marty Raney
Born on 28th July 1956, Marty Raney grew up in North Bend, Washington State where he first developed his passion for nature. Since his early childhood, Marty preferred to be out in the wilderness rather than cities. His love for the outdoors led him to drop out of school when he was 16 years old and work as a logger, thenin 1974, he moved to Alaska in pursuit of freedom and a life off the grid; he still lives in Alaska to this day.
In Alaska, he first settled in a logging camp on Prince of Wales Island. This home was Marty’s first taste of the off-grid life, and he hasn’t turned back since. That same year, he married Mollee Roestel, and they had four children together. Following their marriage, the couple moved deeper into the Alaskan wilderness to a remote place in Haines.
In 1979, the Raney family moved to the Wasilla Area, which is located near the Denali National Park, which gave Marty the opportunity to get into the mountain expedition business. Marty’s first time climbing the Denali Mountain was in 1986, and he started guiding expeditions in 1998. Due to harsh Alaskan weather making hiking expeditions impossible in the winter, Marty found other ways to keep busy during that time. He founded his company called “Alaska Stone and Log”, and focused on building and renovating homesteads. His business, as the name suggests, is run with basic materials, such as stones and logs which are easy to acquire.
Marty is a proud homesteader stating that “What made America was the homesteader, the people who built their own homes.” He continues in their footsteps, never afraid to roll up his sleeves and get to work. “I’m a man of action” – words that perfectly encapsulate everything that Marty Raney stands for; sitting around and talking is a waste of time for Marty, and he shows his tough love to the homesteaders he works with. Giving handouts and charity to the new homesteaders is not something Marty is known to do, despite his empathy. Only when they get to work can they earn Marty’s respect.
Living the rough life in the Alaskan backcountry has made Marty appreciative of nature, and he shares his passion with the people in his life. Marty’s life story is filled with resilience and ingenuity, things that are necessary for survival without comforts that are easily taken for granted. “Some people have an adventure of a lifetime; I’ve had a lifetime of adventure”. These words perfectly epitomize the unique life Marty and his family continue to live to this day.
Marty’s wife, Mollee Roestel
Marty’s wife Mollee also occasionally appears in “Homestead Rescue” giving the fans a glimpse of their family life. Mollee is highly skilled in various aspects of homesteading, such as gardening, preserving food, and raising livestock. She is also skilled in making crafts from natural materials such as birch bark and animal hides.
Despite her TV appearances, Mollee values her privacy and prefers to live a simple life off the grid – She and her husband have been passing on their skills and knowledge about self-reliance to their children and grandchildren. In addition to her homesteading skills, Mollee is also known for her warm and caring personality, always willing to lend a helping hand to those in need and deeply committed to her family and community.
Marty Raney’s career
The unique lifestyle of Marty and his family have given him the opportunity to star in several TV shows such as “Ultimate Survival Alaska” on National Geographic channel and “Homestead Rescue” on the Discovery Channel. His first big break came in 2013 when he was cast for “Ultimate Survival Alaska”, a competition reality show featuring survivalist men and women in Alaska. He was cast on all three seasons of the show, earning wide support of fans. However, most of Marty’s popularity came after he was featured on “Homestead Rescue” in 2016, in which he quickly became the soul of the show.
He was approached by producers of the Discovery Channel with the idea for the series, and it all seamed too good to be true. The producers claimed that they wanted to try something new, and recreate the style of Discovery’s early days. Marty was compelled by the idea that he would be able to build and help people in need as part of the show, and quickly took up their offer. His children, Misty and Matt, also joined him in the show after about a month of consideration.
Marty’s biggest concern about the show was authenticity. He remained adamant in his desire for less scripting and more realism on the show, and he was met with excitement from the show’s producers. The people Marty helps on the show are total strangers to him, so their interactions always feel raw and real. This also goes for the locations of the homesteads, although the production crew does visit the site beforehand and takes care of the paper work.
Comparing the authenticity between “Ultimate Survival Alaska” and “Homestead Rescue”, Marty says that there is no question about “Homestead Rescue” being the more authentic one. Filmed in harsh Alaskan weather conditions for 100 days in a row, Marty and his team work on the homesteads from daylight to sundown, which he finds taxing on every level. The snow is Marty’s biggest concern, as their first day of filming was a “baptism of snow”, with over 36 inches of snow coming down.
Aside from his careers as a TV personality, Marty has also ventured into the world of music. He is a talented musician and songwriter probably best known for his singles “Alaska Tattooed Lady”, and “I Caribou You”. One of his songs entitled “Adam and Steve”, written in the 1990s, found itself in the midst of controversy after resurfacing in 2020. The song features some homophobic elements, and so was quickly removed from streaming services.
In addition to writing music, Marty’s also written a book on homesteading entitled “Homestead Survival”. The book was published in September of 2022 and provides insights into homesteading, and through which Marty shares his first-hand experience in building homesteads and living off the grid, while also serving as a rudimentary guide for new homesteaders.
Marty Raney’s Net Worth
Marty’s success on the shows “Homestead Rescue” and “Ultimate Survival Alaska”, along with other on-screen performances, has made him reasonably wealthy. His net worth has been estimated at around $1.5 million.
“Ultimate Survival Alaska”
“Ultimate Survival Alaska” was a reality TV show that aired on the National Geographic Channel from 2013 to 2016. The show followed several teams of survival experts as they competed against each other in a series of challenges in the Alaskan wilderness.
Marty Raney was one of the most popular cast members of the series, in which he was able to display his skills in hunting, fishing, trapping, and building shelters from natural materials. Since Raney has been living off the land for over 40 years, his experience gave him an edge over other competitors, and earned him the support of fans. In the show, Raney was known for his toughness and his ability to think on his feet, in even the most challenging situations.
The show was very successful with fans, who enjoyed the insight into the dangerous Alaskan nature, environment. Cast members were frequently seen in dangerous situations such as scaling cliffs, crossing dangerous terrain, and surviving harsh blizzards. There was no grand prize for winning the competition, just the pride of having survived and conquered the challenges of Mother Nature. “Ultimate Survival Alaska” stood as one of the landmarks of survivalist TV shows, with a 7,9 star rating on IMDb.
— Ultimate Survival AK (@SurvivalAlaska) April 16, 2015
Homestead Rescue follows the Raney family, including wilderness expert Marty Raney, his daughter Misty and son Matt, as they help struggling homesteaders to survive in some of the most remote and inhospitable regions of the US.
Each episode of Homestead Rescue features a different family or individual who has been living off the land but is facing serious challenges, which can range from lack of food and water to dangerous wildlife and extreme weather conditions. The Raney family works with the homesteaders to assess their situation, identify their needs, and come up with a plan to improve their homestead and make it more self-sufficient.
The Raney family brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to each homestead they visit. Marty is skilled in hunting, fishing, trapping, and building shelters from natural materials. Misty is an expert in sustainable gardening and raising livestock, while Matt is a skilled carpenter and builder.
Throughout the show, the Raney family faces many challenges, including extreme weather conditions, dangerous wildlife, and unforeseen setbacks, but remain committed to helping the homesteaders and improving their lives. At the end of each episode, the homesteaders are left with a more sustainable and self-sufficient homestead, thanks to the expertise and hard work of the Raney family.
When building the homesteads, Marty and his family try to repurpose everything that is possible on the property, which allowed for some ingenious ideas to be executed. However, if they deem it necessary, they turn to Discovery for a budget that would help them make significant improvements to the homestead.
“Homestead Rescue” has been praised for its educational value and for showcasing the importance of self-sufficiency and sustainability in today’s world. On the other hand, the show has also been criticized by some for its dramatic and apparently contrived moments, but overall, it has been well-received by audiences and has remained popular since its premiere, earning a rating of 7.9 stars on IMDb.
Season 10 of “Homestead Rescue” premiered on 28th of February 2023.
Raney Ranch House Fire
In 2021, the Raney Ranch suffered a fire at Marty and Mollee’s cabin. The cause of the fire is assumed to be the fireplace chimney, which was designed to maximize the heat transferred inside the house. This posed a significant problem for the Raneys as they spent a lot of time working on that cabin in pervious seasons, and now were forced to rebuild it before winter.
Discovery Channel used the incident as a way to promote the season, which caused skepticism in fans. Marty posted a video on Facebook as the fire was spreading through the house, pleading for help. Unfortunately, the fire spread too fast and the entire cabin was engulfed in flames and destroyed.
Some fans thought that the fire was a scripted event designed to draw in more viewers to the show, while others found it hard to believe that the producers would burn someone’s home for views. What fueled the controversy even more was the lack of information about the fire in the show itself. Fans were upset that episodes ended in cliffhangers with little news about the fire, and promoting the following episode.
Season two of “Homestead Rescue: Raney Ranch” saw the Raneys building their new cabin with the entire family getting together for the build. The new cabin is now completed ,with a brand new look, having demonstrated again all the skills for which the family has become famous.