From the title of this post, you probably think that I’m going to list off all of the many doomsday events that are just waiting to happen. And there’s a lot of them…
- EMP attacks
- Solar flares
- Martial law
- Mega earthquakes
- Or any other number of events which would bring out “The End of the World As We Know It” (TEOTWAWKI in prepper jargon).
But the real reason that I’m a prepper actually has little to do with these doomsday events which may or might not ever happen.
Being a prepper is a lifestyle choice, and it is one that I’m proud to have made.
The World Thinks Preppers Are Crazy… And We Are to Blame!
The media has done a good job of making preppers seem crazy. The prime example is the show Doomsday Preppers.
As Joel Lambert points out, Doomsday Preppers has been both a blessing and a curse for preppers: “On one hand, it got people to realize that they’re not the only ones out there who realize that there are real threats in the world… On the other hand, they hand-picked people and sensationalized what they found when they edited the shows, making some of them seem like total lunatics.
But it isn’t just the media which is to blame. We in the prepping community do a good job of coming off crazy on our own.
Reason 1: The Prepping Lingo
I love The Survival Mom’s article about 5 Reasons Normal People Shy Away from the Prepper World. She talks about how the lingo and acronyms (doomsday, apocalypse, SHTF, etc.) can put people off. It makes us preppers seem crazy instead of responsible.
One women named Linda even commented at the end of the article how she avoids using prepping lingo because it will scare off her community. Yet, she is the one everyone always turns to when they have forgotten a snack or need a splinter removed. It’s rather sad that she has to disguise the fact she is a prepper out of fear that she’d be outcast – despite the fact that her community obviously values her preparedness!
Reason 2: The Doomsday Scenarios
Another reason that preppers are seen as crazy is because they fixate on doomsday scenarios. We spend more time talking about disasters like nuclear meltdown and complete grid-down than we do everyday disasters like hurricanes, flooding, and homelessness!
Yes, even I talk about extreme disaster scenarios on this blog. I believe that prepping for the worst-case scenarios allows you to be prepared for everyday disasters too. It also builds up mental toughness.
But a problem with focusing on doomsday scenarios is that people will respond with comments like this,
“The idea itself – very noble. But in practicality, in reality, if there is an apocalypse, where are you going to go shopping with your gold and silver coins… What is to stop the military from seizing your supplies.”
Thus, people got it into their head that prepping is useless because it is impossible to be 100% prepared for everything. To a prepper, obviously that is BS. Just because I can’t prepare for everything, does mean I can’t do my best to keep my loved ones safe!
It Matters What the World Thinks of Prepping
I get really annoyed when fear-mongering websites like Infowars says things like, “Use your right to remain silent when it comes to prepping.”
This is echoed all across the internet. Preppers believe that, if they tell their neighbors that they are preppers, then those same neighbors will come steal all their supplies when SHTF.
Yes, this might be true.
But the idea that you can take the “lone wolf” approach to prepping is even dumber than flaunting your supplies.
The truth is that WE ALL ARE SAFER when our neighbors prep. If everyone prepped even just a little bit, then we wouldn’t have chaos on our hands after a disaster.
Thus, it is really in our best interest to get everyone prepping. Coming off as crazy doesn’t help the situation! *I suggest reading How to Get Your Neighbors Started with Prepping
Most Preppers Are Completely Normal
While there are plenty of types of preppers to avoid, most are perfectly normal. My favorite example is the journalist Ted Koppel.
Ted Koppel is a far cry from the stereotype most have of preppers. He is well-educated, urban, and even incredibly liberal (he worked for NPR and I’m pretty sure he is a Democrat).
Well, Ted Koppel also happens to be the author of the well-respected book Lights Out which talks about the risk of electromagnetic pulse. He has openly talked about his disaster preparations on liberal news outlets, such as on The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.
I Consider It My Patriotic Duty to Show People How Normal Preppers Are
Yes, I get that most people reading this probably prefer the lone wolf mentality. It is easier to believe that you can rely just on yourself to get through hard times, rather than facing the reality that survival depends on other people.
One reason I encourage people to start prepping is out of a sense of patriotism and community. But there is also a selfish reason. I know that I can’t survive if others aren’t also prepared.
When you take away all of the fear-mongering extremism, the off-putting lingo, and cult-like attitudes that appear in the prepping community, you will find that it is very easy to talk to people about prepping in a very normal way. And even get them started with prepping!
Which brings me to…
Why I’m a Prepper
- I love my family and want to do everything that I can to protect them
- I feel a bond with my community and want to contribute to it
- Because, even though it is impossible to 100% predict and prepare for disasters, I feel good knowing that I did my best.
And Why I’m Proud Of Prepping
- I have learned valuable skills like hunting, self-defense, food preservation, gardening, carpentry, plant identification, and much more
- I enjoy the level of self-sufficiency I have achieved
- I’ve drastically reduced my household expenses because we produce so much of our own food and energy
- I’m reducing my impact on the environment by using sustainable resources
- My family spends a lot of time outdoors instead of in front of screens
- Learning survival skills helps instill confidence and leadership qualities in my daughter
- I’ve feel like I am a valuable part of my community
These are things that everyone can relate to. Regardless of age, gender, race, or country of origin, we all want to provide for our families and feel valuable to our communities.
So it is time to reclaim the title of prepper from the fear-mongers, racists, and politicians. Call yourself a prepper and be proud of it!