There are many definitions and opinions of what a prepper is.
And while it’s a fun word to say and discuss, it’s also an incredibly important topic for survivalists, homesteaders, and those who are interested in learning more about living off the grid.
Some people think of prepping as just stockpiling food and supplies in case of a natural disaster or some other unexpected event, catastrophic disaster or emergency.
If you’re started out prepping, you might want to check out our beginner prepper checklist 🙂
But this term has become very linked with survivalism, which is much more focused and targeted toward a specific group of people who want to be prepared in the event of a unforeseen event, societal collapse other emergencies, or even something on the scale of an apocalypse.
So in this article, we’ll do our best to understand exactly what a prepper is and how this relates to survivalism – and ask are the two things actually separate?
Table of Contents
- What Is Prepping and what does it mean to be a prepper?
- Different Levels of Prepping
- Preppers Throughout History
- Back to the Land Movement
- 8 Common Misconceptions About Preppers
- How can you start being a prepper?
What Is Prepping and what does it mean to be a prepper?
Prepping is a term many use to describe preparing for the unlikely event that a catastrophic event will occur. It might be something as simple as stocking up on food and water or hoarding weapons and supplies in case of an emergency or if they need to bug-out.
For some, prepping is a way of life; for others, it’s just a precautionary measure.
There’s no one right way to prepare for an uncertain future, but there are some common themes that unite preppers across the country.
Preppers often share concerns about global politics and the economy.
They worry about potential pandemics and natural disasters, and they believe that these events are only the beginning of a larger trend of instability.
In order to survive these challenges, preppers often stockpile supplies in case they become necessary.
They may build shelters or reserves of weapons in preparation for civil unrest or large-scale disasters.
Some even believe that preparations for economic collapse could be necessary in order to maintain personal safety and liberty during tough times.
Prepping can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive if you have the right resources at your disposal.
Different Levels of Prepping
Prepping can be broken down into different levels, as there are different types of preppers.
Here are three levels of prepping: minimal, basic, and comprehensive.
Minimal prepping is the most common level and entails acquiring just enough supplies to get by until help arrives.
Basic prepping includes acquiring supplies that will help you survive in a short-term crisis situation, such as food, water, shelter, and medical supplies.
Comprehensive prepping entails stockpiling enough food, water, medicine, and other essentials to last for an extended period of time in case of a major emergency or disaster.
Some people prefer to do minimal prepping as it is easier to keep track of what they have and there is less waste.
Others choose to do more extensive preparations in order to increase their chances of survival in any type of emergency situation.
There is no single right way to prepare for an emergency; what matters most is that everyone makes choices that feel comfortable for them and reflect their specific needs and preferences.
No matter what their preparations may be, preppers all share one common goal: to make sure they are as prepared as possible for whatever might come their way.
Preppers Throughout History
Preppers have been around throughout history. They are people who have prepared for any kind of emergency, whether it be natural disasters or potential threats from other countries.
Back to the Land Movement
The 1970s were a time of great change. Many people became more aware of the environmental crisis and the possibility of nuclear war. People started to look for a simpler way of life.
This led to a growing interest in homesteading, which is a lifestyle focused on self-sufficiency and simplicity.
This new lifestyle involved living in rural areas and starting small farms. It became the equivalent of “going back to the land.”
This trend was also seen in the world of alternative energy. Solar panels became more affordable, and many people sought to build their own windmill or solar power system.
Many say that this movement was brought about by Don Stephens who wrote a series of books on what he termed ‘becoming a retreater’, centered around the idea of moving to remote areas to become self-sufficient in order to prepare for concerns at the time that the monetary system in the USA would collapse due to hyperinflation [source:Wikipedia].
To many people, Don Stephens is regarded as the ‘grandfather’ of survivalism and prepping.
8 Common Misconceptions About Preppers
There are many misconceptions about preppers, some of which are harmless and others that can be dangerous.
Here are a few common ones:
1. Preppers are paranoid.
This is perhaps the most dangerous misconception. People who believe this about preppers put themselves at risk by creating an environment of fear in their neighborhoods or workplaces.
Preppers aren’t afraid; they’re prepared for anything.
They may have a heightened sense of awareness because they know that something could happen that would cause them to need to be self-sufficient and ready for whatever comes their way.
2. Preppers stockpile food and ammo in preparation for a major emergency.
Prepping isn’t just about having enough food and ammunition and being well-stocked; it’s also about being prepared for the everyday emergencies that can happen, like power outages or anything else modern society (or mother nature) can throw at you.
While it’s important to have these supplies on hand in the event of an emergency, over stocking them will only make things more difficult if there is no emergency at all.
3. Preppers are doomsday preppers.
This term doomsday prepping is often used to describe people who stash weapons and supplies in preparation for the end of the world.
While there are some preppers who are interested in this kind of preparation, most are not.
In fact, most preppers are simply preparing for the possibility of a major emergency.
4. Preppers are not survivalists.
The two terms are often used interchangeably, but there is a big difference between them.
A survivalist is someone who is interested in skills and strategies that can help them survive in the wilderness.
While preppers have a similar goal, their preparation focus is on everyday emergencies and not surviving in a hostile environment.
5. Preppers are paranoid.
While there is no harm in being prepared for the worst, preppers don’t live in fear of anything.
Most preppers are confident in their ability to handle whatever life throws at them, regardless of the situation.
6. Preppers live in a bunker.
Although many preppers stockpile supplies, they don’t live underground like some kind of survivalist cult!
Most preppers live normal lives while still being prepared for anything that might happen
7. Preppers only care about themselves.
This is also While some preppers may focus exclusively on their own needs and personal preparedness, most are prepared to help others if necessary.
They may have skills that can be useful during a disaster or crisis, like caring for injured people or providing food and water to those affected by a disaster.
In fact, being able to care for and support others in an emergency is a central motivating factor for many preppers.
Preppers have got your back!
8. Preppers are hoarders.
This isn’t true; the majority of preppers have sensible storage methods for their supplies, like storing them in sturdy containers that can survive a storm or earthquake.
However, there’s no harm in being aware of the potential signs that someone might be storing too much stuff – like overcrowding or poor sanitation – and talking to them about it if you have concerns.
Hoarding can be a sign of mental illness, not prepping.
In fact, hoarding is defined as ‘an abnormal preoccupation with acquiring and storing material possessions, to the point where it interferes with daily life’. Prepping does not interfere with daily life, if anything it should enrich it.
How can you start being a prepper?
Prepping can seem like a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be.
There are a few simple things you can do to get started, and over time you’ll be able to add more complex tasks and strategies. The most important thing is to have a plan and to stick to it.
Prepping isn’t about having everything perfect in advance; it’s about reducing your chances of being stranded or facing an emergency situation that you couldn’t have predicted.
You don’t need to be a survival expert to be a prepper.
Anyone can learn basic survival skills, like how to build a shelter and start a fire, by following prepping advice online or in books such as The Well-Prepared Homeowner.
A prepper’s gear shouldn’t be all about protection from the outside world; it should also protect you from the inside world.
For example, having enough medical supplies will help you survive an emergency while having enough storage space will help keep your family safe during economic strife.
Preparing for emergencies isn’t just about stockpiling food and water; it’s also about being physically prepared to handle difficult situations.
You might need to carry medical supplies with you when you leave your home in case of evacuation, or gear that will let you survive in extreme weather conditions (like cold or snow).
Preppers should have an understanding of global events that could impact their area of the country or the world at large.
For example, if there’s a pandemic happening overseas, then a prepper would want to be aware of how it could affect them locally.
A prepper’s mindset is just as important as his or her gear ; being mentally prepared is key to surviving any kind of crisis. This means staying calm under pressure and planning ahead – even if everything seems impossible right now.
No matter how prepared someone may be, emergencies always happen unexpectedly. So always keep your eyes open for warning signs that something might be wrong, so that you can take steps to prepare yourself accordingly
So there you have, now you know that preppers aren’t crazy people!
They are people who have taken the time to plan for difficult situations and are ready to handle them when they come up.
Prepping is definitely not a luxury – it’s something that everyone should consider doing, in order to be as prepared as possible for whatever life throws our way.