You Know You’re a Prepper When… 29 Surefire Signs You are a Prepper!

Last Updated: June 7, 2023

Ever wonder if you are a prepper? You might not be one of those “crazy preppers”, but if you can relate to any of these telltale signs, then you most definitely can call yourself a prepper!

1. Acronyms like BOB, TEOTWAWKI, and SHTF make sense to you.

teotwawki prepper acronyms
Preppers use some pretty crazy acronyms to talk about their plans.

  • BOB – Bug Out Bag
  • TEOTWAWKI – The End Of The World As We Know It
  • SHTF – S*it Hits The Fan

2. You never have to rush to the store before a big storm.

Items like bottled water, batteries, and first aid are the items that go first when SHTF.  You don’t have to worry about battling the mobs, though because you’ve got them all stockpiled at home!

3. You are pretty confident you could survive with just this.

Bug Out Bag contents
Heck, maybe you’ve even tested your Bug Out Bag during drills!

4. Your basement looks like a grocery store.

emergency food stockpile
Basements aren’t actually the best place to store survival supplies, but you ran out of room in your pantry and had to expand!

5. When your wife says, “are you really wearing that out?” she isn’t talking about your clothes!

signs you are a prepper
Hmm..maybe you should have actually bought that N95 mask instead! 😉

6. You’ve had frank discussions about which insects are the best source of nutrients.

edible insects
And probably also debated the best way to cook insects for survival!

7. You think the people on Doomsday Preppers should have done more.

Doomsday preppers garden
I mean, really, they didn’t even put a generator-powered electrified wall around their survival garden!

8. Your Selfies look like this.prepper selfie

9. Even your dog has her own bug out bag.

dog bug out bag

Because disaster planning includes emergency preparedness for your pets too!

10. This is what your family vacations look like.

survival course training

Nothing like family bonding during a survival course!

11. You put a WaterBob on your Christmas list.

Because you can never have too much emergency water! See WaterBob review.

12. Your family has matching taste in paracord bracelets.

paracord bracelets

You even made your own paracord keychains and other projects.

13. You clear the shelves of all the Band-Aids, ramen, and tissues every time you go to the Dollar Store.

dollar store prepping
Got to love all of the cheap prepping items you can get for just one dollar!

14. You’ve got one of these but pray to God you’ll never have to use it.

emergency toilet

It sure beats not having any emergency toilet at all because that would really bring a new definition to “SHTF!”

15. You build your kids the coolest forts.

survival fort

It’s never too early to start teaching kids how to make a wilderness survival shelter.

16. You’re actually happy when someone gives you candles as a gift.

emergency lighting candles
Because you can never have too much emergency lighting!

17. But it’s okay if you run out of candles because you know the burn time of Nutella and crayons.

burn time crayons

18. Relating when you heard that Ted Cruz bought 100 cans of soup after his honeymoon.

food stockpiling

While the media was bashing him for being crazy, you were thinking, “That seems like a great honeymoon present!”

19. Never having enough storage space.

messy shelves with prepping supplies

Once the pantry space runs out, it is only a matter of time before all those bags of grains, instant meals, canned goods, and paper products make their way into the garage, basement, and bedrooms!

20. Wondering whether your kid should get the KA-BAR 1258 or Ontario RAT-3 knife for her 9th birthday.

While other parents are locking up their knives, you’re making sure your kid knows how to use one!

21. Wishing you could afford an underground bunker, but being happy with your bug out location instead.

underground bunker

You only need $17.5 million to buy this underground bunker.  Hmmm… maybe I’ll invest in that off-grid cabin for my bug out location instead. 😉


22. Admiring your grandparents’ generation for their self-reliance.

grandparents with grand children

These are just some of the forgotten survival skills of our grandparents that you may be working on.

23. Getting mad at the government for making rainwater collection illegal.

rainwater collection barrel

Yes, rainwater harvesting really is illegal in some states. I guess I’ll just have to put those rainwater barrels underground…

24. That you can never have enough water.

FEMA recommends a 3-day supply? Screw that.  I’m going for at least a 30-day supply!

25. Or enough toilet paper.


26. Having to set a shopping limit of $10 per week at the Dollar Store because you once spent a fortune buying up all of their band-aids, gauze, and medical supplies.


27. Getting really excited about wood burning stoves.

You are almost wishing for a power outage so you can test it out!

28. Not minding when the power goes out.

emergency oil lamp

Candles? Headlamps? Hobo stove? Yep, you are ready.  You might even let the neighbors come over so they don’t freeze to death! 😉

29. Your wife is learning to make soap.

Not because she’s a bored housewife, but because it will be a valuable bartering item for when SHTF.

But seriously…

Being a prepper is nothing to be ashamed of.  Before we all got lazy and spoiled by technology, everyone was a prepper.

Just ask your grandma – she knew how to grow and can her own food, had an off-grid stove, and was ready to handle just about any natural disaster that could hit.


Even if disaster never strikes, preparing for disaster is something that you can feel good about.  You not only get the peace of mind which comes with preparedness, but learn new skills.

Oh, and your stockpiles mean you never have to make emergency runs to the grocery store because you ran out of sugar. 🙂

Would You Be Ready if a Disaster Struck?

Most people aren’t even ready for a mild disaster like a power outage or blizzard.  They’d quickly run out of food and water.

Like my friend from high school who only turned prepper after spending a 3-day power outage eating just saltines because he had nothing else in his house (he’s a bachelor).

Yet somehow most of us have a false sense of security, over half of Americans have fewer than 3 days’ worth of emergency supplies in their home – yet they think they could survive 16 days in a disaster!

Want to find out how prepared you are? Have a look at this Emergency Preparedness Checklist.

Getting Started with Prepping

It is actually a lot easier and cheaper than you think to start preparing for disasters. Here are some good resources so you can make it happen.

What the one surefire sign that gives you away as a prepper? 🙂

TEOTWAWKI” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by davide catania
AWOL_bag_inside” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by SlipStreamJC
Hardcore” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by niXerKG
McNee Ranch State Park” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by mtch3l
Inspection Day” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by Wellington College
Me and my boys’ paracord bracelets” (CC BY 2.0) by jason.odonnell
Family Dollar Store” (CC BY 2.0) by JeepersMedia
Example of a bucket toilet (two bucket s” (CC BY 2.0) by Sustainable sanitation
Cousins Fort” (CC BY 2.0) by LadyDragonflyCC – >;<
Candles, Coffee, Transistor Radio” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by Gene Wilburn
Candlelight Breakfast” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by Canadian Pacific
Empty supermarket shelves”  Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.
Bandana in New OrleansCreative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license.
Gas Mask Series” (CC BY 2.0) by brava_67
Warhol in Aisle 3” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by Sarah Hina
Toilet Paper, October Convience Store” (CC BY 2.0) by PinkMoose
legashee” (CC BY 2.0) by istolethetv
Cases of Bottled Water” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by techmsg
100312-A-4626D-015” (CC BY 2.0) by U.S. Army Alaska
 “1930” (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) by YlvaS
Funky Chicken Coop Tour – South Austin” (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Todd Dwyer
AWOL_bag_inside” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by  SlipStreamJC
Family Dollar Store” (CC BY 2.0) by JeepersMedia
Wood stove” (CC BY 2.0) by dphiffer
Power Outage” (CC BY-NC 2.0) by Roadsidepictures

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  1. But my grandma was urban and didn’t ” know how to grow and can her own food, had an off-grid stove, and was ready to handle just about any natural disaster that could hit.”

  2. We may not be the BEST Preppers, but it looks like we’re getting there! Always learn something from your posts.

    Thank you Jacob!

  3. Don’t know if I’m a prepper but after Hurricane Maria we are still without power 66 days in… Water was another story, for us it was back after 2 1/2 weeks.

    • Clip point knives (like shown in the picture) are very versatile and good for many camp chores. The shape allows for better precision. It was not designed to kill people. Swords are designed to kill people. My daughter does not own a sword.

  4. Remember the “Great TP Shortage of 2020”?? Yeah……it didn’t affect me one bit. I did have relatives ask if they could have a small pack of TP. Guess who became a prepper afterwards……..
    I’m no longer the crazy in-law who filled his wife with ideas of “Doom & Gloom”. Now they come to me with questions.


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