Preppers, a growing generation of ‘crazy’?

Prepper's Will - Preppers are not crazy and here's whyWhen most people hear of words such as preppers or survivalists and even off-gridders, they assume that there must be something wrong with these people. They think we are crazy and that we should wear a tin foil hat. Preppers can be labeled as eccentric people, but they are certainly not crazy and here’s why.

Last week, I was waiting in line at Walmart and in front of me there was a lady with her son. Right next to them, a senior citizen was waiting to pay his groceries, just like the rest of us. Out of the blue, I hear the boy say “Hey mom, look at this old man…I bet he’s one of those doomsday preppers” and she replied “Well boy, there’s all kinds of crazy in this world”. After hearing them, I’ve looked better at the old man and noticed he bought a lot of water bottles and canned goods (mostly beans and tomatoes). The thing that shocked me the most wasn’t the fact they labeled the man as a prepper or crazy person without knowing anything about him. I’m used with people acting like this and I’ve stopped paying attention to such behavior a while ago. What bothered me the most was the tone of her voice, she said it with such hate and disgust like somehow, he did them wrong. I will never understand why people condemn others for their choices, especially if it doesn’t affect them in any way.

Following this experience, I decided to write this article in order to shed some light about the differences, but also about the similarities between preppers and the average Americans. Most people will be surprised to find out that there aren’t so many differences and in fact, preppers are no different from you and me.

From personal experience I can outline the following about preppers:

Preppers are not hoarders

A hoarder is a person that accumulates resources during a period of scarcity and it’s more of a mental disorder rather than a method of emergency preparedness. It might be true that preppers and survivalists gather food, water and fuel in anticipation of a large-scale disaster event, but the reality is totally different. Most experienced preppers aren’t focused on gathering supplies and they are putting all their effort into becoming self-sufficient. Gathering supplies is just a small stage of emergency preparedness, becoming self-sufficient and having everything one may need is the ultimate goal of all the preppers. There isn’t such a big difference between preppers and the average person when it comes to stockpiling supplies and it’s just a matter of perspective. You probably gather a lot of car parts for your hobby; you have a good collection of baseball cards and what not. Does this make you a hoarder? Even more, almost 40% of all Americans have a water and food supply that can last them for at least a week. You can’t say that there is something wrong with all these people, just because they have a safe-net. Personally, I feel bad for those who think that supplies will always be in reach and food and water shouldn’t be a concern.

Most preppers have life experiences that are harder to find in today’s world

For some people, the majority of preppers are just ‘old-timers’ while for others they are grandfathers and grandmothers. The reality is that most of the preppers out there are not teenagers anymore and many of them have witnessed events that you hear only in stories. Even more, they lived through times when things weren’t as easy as they are now and they had to work hard for everything they have. They witnessed how our society decayed over the years and how things changed…for the worse. These preppers learned it the hard way and there wasn’t any smartphone to tell them how to start a fire or how to calculate the tip for the waitress. They learned from their mistakes and they’ve accumulated enough life experiences that they could easily write a book about it. In today’s modern world we are all spoiled kids, we have everything handed out to us and rarely do we get involved into creating or building something from scratch. There are a lot of smartphones used by dumb people. I’m not trying to offend anyone here, but you have to look at yourself and think about the last time you did something that made you feel like learned something that day. We are more and more glued to our TVs and Computers and we fail to notice the world going by. We think we know so much, but in reality, we don’t learn anything that could be useful for us. If you would spend a day with your grandparents, I bet you will have a lot to learn about the old ways, things that no smartphone can teach you.

Preppers are frugal and so are you (or you should be)

Most of the preppers I know are frugal and they have developed a lifestyle that provides them with everything they need, without spending too much for it. Maybe it is all due to their life experience, or it may be due to the fact that they value and respect money, I can’t really tell you for sure. What I can tell you is that they are not spinning in today’s whirlwind consumerism that is trapping more and more people. They do not care about the latest IPhone model or about the latest flat screen TV and they learned to make do with what they have. Most of them witnessed how the dollar lost its powers over the years and how debt is constantly increasing. They do not waste food, they prefer to cook rather than eating out and they prefer to save for darker days. Being frugal is a common thing and preppers are not the only ones thinking about the financial situation of our country. You are probably doing the same thing, but the difference is that while preppers save money to buy things useful for their homestead; you are probably saving for a new TV or a fancy beer cooler. They buy canned goods on sale, while you buy Doritos and beer. As I said, it’s just a matter of perspective and everyone is free to save money for what they think will be of use for them later on.

Suggested article: Useful strategies to pay down debt

Preppers are smart

Once again, I’m not trying to offend anyone here and it’s just a personal opinion. I’m not talking here about having an academic degree or something like that. I’m talking about the kind of wits that makes one person work things out with what he has at hand or with what he manages to find. The kind of knowledge you get after many trail and errors, after many life experiences. Preppers are curious people and they try to learn as much as they can. Most of them will be happy to try new ideas and learn for their mistakes because they believe that a day that thought them something was not a wasted day. Since most of the preppers are frugal, they had to come with all sorts of ingenious methods to make things work. Everything from procuring food to fixing things around the house gets a new approach when it comes to preppers. You are smart too, but you probably use all your knowledge during working hours or for various crafts to decorate your home. Just because someone is a prepper it doesn’t mean that he is a tin hat wearing moron. Given the chance, you might have something to learn from them. Looking down on people just because they are preppers shows how close-minded some people can be.

Preppers respect the Earth and the resources it provides

Preppers, survivalists and off-gridders are hardworking people and they respect the environment. They do not waste resources and they’ve learned that if they treat the Earth right, it will reward them in the future. Most of them are farmers or gardeners and they respect and treasure the land they own because they depend on it. Living off the grid requires a special connection with the environment and preppers know how to use every resource. They know how to protect the environment so that it can sustain them. They do not hunt for sport and they respect all wildlife. Many of them forage for plants and use them as food or medicine, and they are probably the only ones that keep this skill still alive. They are an odd presence in today’s world, when everything is made to get broken so that you can buy more and more. Preppers know how to recycle and they will think and rethink about ways to use what others may consider trash. A prepper, survivalist or off-gridder will look at a metal can and find multiple uses for it, while the average person will just throw it away. If the world will stop functioning tomorrow, those who know how to use what is left of it, will be the ones who survive. You are probably used to recycle as well and you might care about the environment. If you would learn how to use resources for other purposes than their obvious scope, you will probably be considered a prepper as well.

Related article: Off-grid limitations that no one tells you about

Preppers do not prepare only for themselves

This is trend I’ve noticed among my prepper friends and I would like to think it’s a general approach for many of the preppers out there. Many will include in their prepping plans family members and close friends, even those that think it is ridiculous to prepare for a theoretical disaster. Many of the ‘old-timers’ chose to become preppers not for them but for their family. They are aware that all their supplies and self-sufficiency solutions will be left as legacy for the younger generations and it is one of the things that make them push forwards. It may be due to their age, it may be due to their nature, nobody can say for sure, but one thing is certain: they aren’t selfish people. They will give a helping hand when time comes and they are even trying to teach you a thing or two right now, despite you calling them crazy. You have better chances of receiving a helping hand from preppers rather than from the government when a disaster strikes. I can’t say the same things about the others, the unprepared. Do you think that anyone who fights for his life will stop and help you? The desperate ones will see you mostly as a prey rather than a human being.

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Preppers fear something, but it’s not what you think

Every prepper fears something and it’s not a crisis event as many believe it to be. Most preppers I know fear God’s judgment and they will not harm others, unless they are forced to do so. They believe that every life is important and must be cherished and they aren’t part of the vast majority that has a different kind of faith. They do not worship money, they do not care about taking selfies or bragging about material things. Family comes first for them and faith is the main thing that helps them going when times are rough. These are the kind of people that you need to have around when SHTF because they will come to your aid if it’s in their powers to do so. They are God fearing people and they think that everyone deserves a second chance. When the end comes, would you rather be surrounded by these type of people or by those who are shallow?

Preppers, survivalists and off-gridders communities are growing each year and one should stop and think about this. Are they all wrong? Is it possible that they are able to see the constant changes in our society and that they would rather be safe than waiting for handouts when society crumbles?

This article is not meant to convince people to become preppers. It is just a personal opinion that aims to show that preppers are not crazy people. There aren’t so different from you and me, and they have a place in this changing world. You probably have food and water to last you for a couple of days, you probably have an electrical generator and other supplies needed for when you will be cut-off from the municipal utilities. You are probably a prepper without knowing it and that’s a good thing.

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13 thoughts on “Preppers, a growing generation of ‘crazy’?

  1. Well done. The only disagreement is with the statement that most preppers are farmers. I know many who are city dwellers, but they are gardeners, and have a small (or large) vegetable garden.

  2. I felt this article was very disparaging of anyone not considered a prepper. The tone set here doesn’t exactly sway one to consider the prepared lifestyle. If your intention was to educate people and tell them the benefits of preparedness, it definitely fell short. Rewrite this without the finger pointing and insults. Not everyone is all wrapped up in consumerism. Some may simply not think about prepping because they haven’t been through hard times. Insurance, seat belts, fire extinguishers, 401k, medical plans. . . All these are there to help you prepare for the unexpected. Simply show people there is far more out there they can utilize. Teach, don’t lecture.

  3. Great article and so true…..they are smart in every way and they will be the ones who have a better chance of surviving what is coming,which I believe is a depression…..as for that disgusting woman, when it does hit she will be the first one screaming, ” why weren’t we told” I hope she remembers those words she spoke to her son!!!

  4. all but the last point are true…. I wont harm anyone unless i absolutely must but , that has to do with being a decent person not religious BS

  5. I can only point out that the term ‘preppers’ includes many diverse categories. I’ll try to quickly outline a few:
    1. those as in the article – God-fearing, capable and concerned individuals who have it within to just ‘be ready’ for whatever life may throw at them

    2. those same as above more or less; but, think a post-collapse or ‘event’ world would somehow resemble an open-air street market where all would come to “share, trade and barter” peacefully.

    3. Again – more or less the same as in ‘1.’ – but lacking the moral or ethical character; and, willing to take/plunder from those weaker than themselves

    4. the sheep who think that somehow all will return to normal quickly and that if they’ve sufficient supplies on-hand, stored ….. that all they have to do is ride out a wave of unrest. These people usually haven’t the skills or know-how to produce anything

    Feel free to add your own.

  6. I wonder how many of those replying have lived thru a life changing event, flood, tornado, earth quake etc… I wonder how old they are and what they remember of the past.
    I know growing up in the sixties, I remember my grandparents having a years worth of food, or enough to get them thru to the next years growing season. But all of this was before there was a store on every corner. Now everyone is used to getting what they want at anytime of the day or night.
    I know as I grew up there were times when we didn’t have things and we had to make do. I know when i got married I promised myself that my children would not go thru that and I thank God for that I was able to provide for them, NOT B.S. like some think.
    What will you do if something in your area does happen like Katrina? Will you wait on FEMA? Help is faster getting to other countries than here in the good old USA. Remember no one showed up for a couple of weeks and then what real help did they get. How many people died waiting? How many crimes were there? Will you expect your family to take care of you? How long should they if you want plan to take care of yourself?
    Why do people criticize others who are taking a stance? Why do they even read these articles unless they just want to make fun of others.
    I could go on but whats the point you are what you are. If you don’t want to plan OK. If you trust the gov’t will be there for you when you need them OK. Look at Katrina. If you think all of your finance planning will be there when you need it OK. Look what happened in Greece. If you think all will be a bed of roses in you life and nothing will ever happen to you or yours OK. Talk to those who have lived thru a life changing event.
    But don’t criticize those who believe different than you.

  7. I found the article to be fairly spot on the money. I did not see anywhere in the article, (specified as personal opinion) where the author disparaged any other feelings or thoughts on being prepared.
    I have found a number of folks who “choose to be offended” usually will be at the slightest chance, to be shallow minded, intolerant of others, and bigoted, in my personal experience.
    There is nothing wrong at all in being a “prepper”, I wear that title proudly,even IF, I am now approaching “emeritus” status in my life. I refuse to see my loved ones go hungry or, even worse, be at the mercy of FEMA, and the hordes of entitlement brigades. That’s MY personal responsibility to make sure our children and grand children don’t go hungry because of OUR selfishness.
    If that makes others “uncomfortable” with our actions, tough noogies.

  8. 1 Timothy 5:8 But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.

    Nuff said.

    • I like to interpret this verse as follows: And whoever does not provide for relatives and especially family members has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. Preppers are the ultimate providers for their families.

  9. I live my life simple and frugal (at first because of a divorce and having everything I valued taken away, including a 4-year old boy.) today because I found I don’t need the latest whatever item. I got the forced training (divorce) on how to live on almost nothing. I have zero-debt and now pay cash for everything. The X-Wife still lives a debt-based life of a wage-slave having no money to speak of, but she, her husband and kids have the latest electronic toys and all kinds of other junk. Did you know you can get a rent-to-own mattress? I didn’t till she mentioned she has one. This mentality has kept her and millions of others tied to debt that makes it very hard to acquire the things we preppers have in abundance. She also has no idea what is going on or what could be just around the corner. Last year she found I was planting a garden and she said “Why grow things when Kroger is just down the road”? I didn’t try to explain for a few reasons, first it’s not my job to enlighten her, and second I don’t want her and all her kids to shoe up if it does hit the fan.

    Living without debt and smart buying has allowed me (and many of us) to get a fairly good stock of supplies and food put up. In the last 15+years (since the divorce) I have really become a lot more self-sufficient in my lifestyle. I for the first time have a LOT of silver put up (bought a safe at a thrift shop for $25.00 that had no combination and paid a lock smith $30.00 to figure the combination out and both of my brothers helped me get it in the house as it’s HEAVY, looked on-line and it’s worth $750.00 on e-bay) I have so much food I don’t know how long it will last, at least a year or more. I have solar panels and supporting hardware. Several water filters. I have a lot of tools to support my work (self-employed handyman / home repair) that I believe will still be in demand post SHTF as things still will break. I do a lot of bartering now so I’m ready to do it later.

    I also keep my mouth shut about what I do and have as far as prepping. If people don’t like preppers now, they sure as heck are not going to like us when they are going without and hungry when we are doing well, or as well as can be expected and not hungry as they probably will be.

    As far as worrying about what some woman and her kid think of me, I don’t care as I live my life for me, not some random Wally-World person.

    This article really points out the need to fly under the RADAR of your neighbors and those you interact with that don’t prep. As you can bet they will remember your preps and come demanding to be fed. And they will have nothing to offer in exchange as in a world short on food there is nothing that is more valuable. It’s not a big deal with a random person at Wally-World as they don’t know you or where you live, but we need to be aware that our neighbors houses have windows and people can see what we are doing, and what we take into our houses.

    My guess is when it really hits the fan there is going to be a big buy-off where people are going to want to sell their electronic toys (Playstation’s 50-inch TV’s and the like) for things that are inexpensive right now. I can see a time where a bag of rice and a case of soup or Ravioli or even Spam could be worth a 50-inch TV. But I don’t need that stuff now, I’m sure not going to blow OSPEC and trade food for that junk later…

  10. Good article. Unfortunately like too many prepper articles, it gives links that require me to sit and watch some advertisement movie. I would much rather read what they have to say, should I choose to. I get tired of automatic links to videos.

  11. Great article. Only thing is you mixed me up with my grandparents. They were the ones buying Doritos and beer AND cigarettes, whilst I was buying canned goods on sale. They had three new TV sets in the space of one I bought and used until it went to that big TV factory in the sky

    They even made fun of me because my first stop in the supermarket was the reduced meats section, the second stop was the reduced fruit & veg section, the third the main reduced to clear section, and then I shopped for anything else needed.

    They laughed when I bought Christmas presents in the summer sales.

    In all their years my grandparents taught me nothing of use. My ‘adoptive’ grandpa, aka my neighbor across the street, well he taught me electrics, mechanics AND plumbing. He was more of a grandparent than my actual grandparents ever were, and I miss him all the time.

    Many older people are a wonderful resource and you can learn so much from them, but some aren’t. When my grandparents died we spent less than a week clearing the house because, aside from a few photos of my mum, there was nothing but junk in the house.

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