When most people hear the word 'prepper' they think of the people who own zombie proof tanks and trucks and live in underground nuclear shelters. While there are some people who are that kind of prepper and are featured on things like Doomsday Preppers on TV, the majority of preppers are a mixture of people who you wouldn't think twice about if you passed them on the street. In these posts I'll be looking at what preppers do, the equipment they use and why, the importance of being prepared, prepping tips for everyone, budget prepping, home medicine, self sufficiency topics, prepper fiction, prepper non fiction, and interesting life hacks that everyone can benefit from.
"Hope For The Best, Prepare For The Worst"
So what is a Prepper?
Prepping is more of a lifestyle choice than a personal quality or label. There are different ways of being a prepper and different ways of becoming interested in it. Everyone has a different definition of what it is.
People who have lived through rationing in the war may grow their own vegetables, can and preserve what they grow and have extra items around the house 'just in case' it is needed. They have been through an extreme event, know what it is like to be short of things and are more likely to be ready in case another comes along. They are also more likely to be able to live without modern gadgets, having come from an era where housework and cooking meant more physical effort. Others live in areas prone to earthquakes, tornado, volcanic activity and hurricanes and may have certain supplies of food, water, batteries and other essential things just in case they lose power or are stranded in their homes for a period of time. This is smaller scale prepping when you think about it.
There are others who from watching the news and the internet carefully, become convinced that their country is perhaps in danger of an upcoming disaster. They might look at activity on the stock markets, the state of housing markets and government spending and think we are on the road to economic collapse. They might think we are at risk from a new pandemic starting in another country which is not getting airtime on mainstream media. They might look at the increasing size of solar flares or climate change conditions and think that a natural disaster is more likely. Watching the news at the moment could increase worry about nuclear war with North Korea. These are the preppers who are serious about the supplies they need to gather, who have definite plans on sheltering in safety at home or bugging out to a safer location, and who ensure they have weapons to protect what they have if things go bad .
Others like to life a self sufficient lifestyle without relying on the government for help. This is about living off the land by producing their own energy, growing their own food and preserving them in food stores, having their own water supply, practising herbal forms of medicine, raising animals, making things like cheese, bread and soap. They might be referred to as hermits or reclusive but really, they just want to live their own lives in peace without the government sticking their noses in but it's surprising how many laws are being brought in to try and stop people living in this way. That will feature in other posts.
Then there are the hardcore preppers who have appeared on the prepper TV shows and whose lifestyle looks very extreme to the normal viewer. They might be building a self contained nuclear shelter underground on their property, have fully stocked cabins in various locations, a weapons supply that could outfit an army and zombie proof homes and vehicles. They might already be living in communities with other like minded people. This tends to be the image people get of the word prepper, but as you can see there are various things that can be considered prepping and those who become interested in prepping can adapt some or all of these things to suit their own circumstances.
You can see the variety in the types of preppers I have mentioned. There are also the rural and urban prepper distinction. You don't have to live on a country ranch or have a cabin in the woods to prep though doing it in an urban environment certainly has challenges and limitations. But not everyone can afford these rural properties and have to make the best of what they have. You have to adjust your prepping to the environment you live in and do the best that you can.
I firmly believe that everyone can be a prepper, even on a lower budget though of course it is easier if you have money to spare. I feel it's important to at least be ready for basic problems like power failures after storms or being snowed in so you can easily cope with a few days or weeks of discomfort. I'll be looking at all these things and more in the coming year.