The 7 Types of Preppers You Need to Avoid

Forget the lone wolf mentality! The best way to prepare for disaster and survival is to get your community on board for strength in numbers.

This is why a lot of people are being proactive and joining survival communities.  Aside from strengthening our resources and security together, there is also a lot to learn from other preppers.

However, there are some types of preppers who won’t just drive you crazy, but could put your life at risk.

Avoid these types of preppers!

The Bragging Prepper

It is great to be prepared by having a stockpile of food, a self-sufficient food system, rainwater harvesting system, and off-grid energy source.  It is even great to talk to your neighbors about why this is important.  What you do NOT want to do is brag about how much prep work you’ve done.

Even though it is common sense that you should shut up about your disaster stockpiles, a lot of preppers can’t help themselves.  They feel the urge to brag about all their prep work.  And guess whose door the unprepared neighbors are going to come knocking on when SHTF?

That’s why you need to avoid bragging preppers!

The Conspiracy Theorist Prepper

It is great to keep up on the news so you can take action at the first sign of a big disaster.   What isn’t good is when you read so far into the news that you start to see conspiracies everywhere.

Even when there IS a legitimate conspiracy theory, it doesn’t mean that it is okay to be a “conspiracy theorist prepper.”   You just waste time talking about all those cover ups and plots.

I personally prefer to avoid these types of preppers because I’d rather save my time and energy for doing actual prep work instead of listening to bitching and complaining about conspiracies.

The Tunnel Vision Prepper

A tunnel vision prepper is someone who is so convinced that XYZ disaster is going to happen that he spends all his time preparing for that specific disaster.   Of course some disasters are more likely than others.  And we each have disaster scenarios that worry us on a personal level more than others.  But focusing on one type of disaster isn’t going to help you.

I find that tunnel vision preppers often overlook the very basics – like going to great lengths to prepare for a long term power outage but forgetting to secure their homes from burglars.

You don’t need to avoid tunnel vision preppers completely.  Often, they are so focused on the one disaster that they have thought out every single detail of it.  This can be very valuable information for you.

However, tunnel vision preppers can often waste your time in a discussion because they don’t want to talk about anything but their particular disaster.

The Gun Enthusiast Prepper

Gun rights is a really popular topic in the prepper and survival communities.  I don’t want to get into the politics of it here.  But I do want to warn you to avoid gun enthusiast preppers.  These are the types of preppers who are so fixated on their guns that they fail to fully plan or prepare for disasters.

They think that guns will be the answer to all of their problems.  When confronted with a weakness in their plan, their answer is just to stockpile more guns.

Yes, guns are definitely a good survival weapon and can help you in a lot of ways.  But a gun isn’t going to help you make a shelter, find clean water, cure a bacterial infection, and so forth.

Stay away from the gun enthusiast types of preppers.  In a SHTF situation, they’ll probably be the ones doing stupid stuff like shooting at everyone, wounding your family, and giving away your location.

The Commander Prepper

There is a big difference between a leader and a commander.

As this website says, commanding relies on getting people to do things the “commander” wants through the use of power, coercion and fear of punishment.  By contrast, leaders inspire performance and desirable actions by gaining the group’s trust and respect, and by having common goals.

Even if the commander does know survival skills and has a good disaster plan, he isn’t going to be able to get his team to respond.  Everyone hates being bossed around.  The group dynamic will quickly suffer and everyone’s survival will be put at risk.

We need people to work together in SHTF situations, so avoid commander preppers!

The Religious Prepper

Don’t get me wrong.  I believe that everyone has the right to worship, and I also think that religion will be a great comfort to people in disaster situations.  In this sense, being religious and having faith is a great asset.  What is NOT an asset is being obsessed about religion to the point that you read doomsday dates in the bible.

Even if it does turn out that the date of doomsday is somewhere in the bible (hey, I’m open to all ideas), I still think you should avoid the religious types of preppers.  They are so obsessed with their own idea of doomsday that they can’t see the reality in front of them.  It reminds me of that joke about a woman stuck during a flood:

A woman was stuck in her house during a flood.  She began to pray to God to rescue her.  The neighbor came by and offered her a ride in his pickup truck.  She refused, saying, “I am waiting for God to save me.”

The water started rising higher so the woman climbed onto her roof.  A boat with rescue workers came by and urged her to get on the boat.  She refused, saying, “I am waiting for God to save me.”  The rescue workers drove off in the boat.

Now the water was even higher.  A rescue helicopter flew by and spotted the woman on the roof.  They sent down a rope for her.  But once again the woman refused, saying, “I am waiting for God to save me.”

The water rose over the roof, swept the woman away, and she drowned.

When the woman reached heaven, she asked, “God, why didn’t you save me?”  God replied, “I sent you a pickup truck, a boat, and a helicopter!  What else could I possibly do for you!”

In other words, don’t get so obsessed with your interpretation of religion that you overlook what God is doing and offering right in front of you.

The Fortune Teller

Here is the final type of prepper you should absolutely avoid.  Fortune teller preppers are the ones who think they know exactly what will happen when SHTF.  They are the ones who say matter-of-factly, “When EMP strikes, the entire grid will go down.  Within 3 days, half the population will be rioting in the streets and looting.  Within 1 month, people will have reorganized into groups…”

Yes, we CAN predict some things about the aftermath of a disaster fairly accurately – like that supermarkets will run out of food and that looting will occur.  We know this from past experience with disasters like blizzards, earthquakes, and hurricanes.

However, NO ONE can predict exactly what will happen in a major SHTF scenario.   For example, I’ve got a friend who survived the Bosnian war.  He was trapped in Sarajevo during the siege which lasted 44 months.  Instead of neighbors turning against each other and fighting for resources, they came together and helped each other.  He’s got one great story about how they all took turns hauling water up the elevator shaft in his building since the plumbing and power were out.

It is great to listen to theories about what will happen during a SHTF disaster scenario because then you can prepare for the many possible outcomes.  But avoid fortune teller preppers.

They will be so stuck on their idea of what will happen that they won’t be able to help you make well-rounded preparations.

What types of preppers do you think need to be avoided?

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  1. What makes you believe that these other “bad preppers” want to be associaciated with YOU?

    This person thinks his poo smells like roses….

    Get over yourself.

  2. Correct me if you think I may be wrong, but shouldn’t we all (EVERYONE),, concentrate on ourselves and not what others might have or know that would help or contribute to our own Survival Plans? If we worry about this in others, we will loose our own Valuable Traits and our own Possessions, not to mention Time, that would be waisted. Which could be the difference between Life and Death.. So if our own groups have “Peppers” in them, then that’s where the Line of Survival is drawn.. So using all from everyone in your group could and should be Voluntarily laid out on the Table for the Ability of the whole groups survival, and not just one, or one’s greedinous and choice to survive on their own or their Loved ones only..

  3. I’d would like to add the “tacticool scaredycat” prepper. Has all the right toys and looks absolutely ready for it, but when you ask them to join you for a stroll in the woods or even near a cemetery at night they blanch…

  4. Thirty years ago, a street guy who worked for Spooks-R-Us mentioned that it was possible to learn to treat almost everyone as a potential source. He was referring to sources of useful strategic & tactical battlefield intelligence. Let’s expand the concept a little more. Even though we may not want any of the 7 types mentioned above in our lives, they’re already in our lives, every day.
    They are our friends, neighbors, co-workers, family(?), etc. Certainly, we won’t bring most of them home for beers & BBQ, but what can they do for us in extremely dangerous times? You can be reasonably sure they’ll have information we need. They might also have skills we need. Tools? Supplies? POINT: Learn to treat people, respectfully, as sources. They just might save your life.

    • That’s a very good outlook. You never know what knowledge a person has. Building good relationships with your neighbors and community is one of the most important (but overlooked) parts of prepping!

  5. In my opinion the first house I am going to will be the guy with guns because remember that you have to go through intensive evaluation to actually be able to own a firearm and those people will ube able to defend you and your family.

  6. I Think the Americans are doing så Great helping each other during this covid-19 crisis. I love how many from the prepping comunity has come forward with massive amounts of tips and solutions. It has been amazing to watch.
    I live in Denmark, and the people her has also joined and helps eachother. Our little street is a little community on our own, has Been for many years.
    I just love it when the goodness in people gets to shine, such as in these crisis times.
    Ofcourse there is going to be a couple of sour/rotten Apples outthere, just trust common sense and Your instinct, maybe practice trusting Your instinct.

    Btw Love Your blog, Thank You so much for sharing, I learn a lot. I am new to all this, but I did have enough, and then some, stored for our street, and for some elderly in our town.
    (a little proud I made it work)

  7. I agree that you should stay away from the gun fanatics and the religious fanatics. You should also not associate who people who believe that “all ______ people are criminals and rapists.

  8. Great comments by all. Some are very though provoking. Like most of us, we have had contact with some of all of the types of preppers to avoid. While the idea of being a “lone wolf” my seem attractive, truth be told we needs others to survive and flourish. Who we chose to be with, if and when SHTF is as important as prepping itself. I personally see myself with a little of everyone that has been described. Guess you could say healthy blend of personalities. LOL No, I am not nuts. The irony of this, is people I know have no idea that I prep. While I encourage friends to be prepared for emergencies, few give it any though as they believe someone or something will help them. Guess my years in the Marines reinforced the idea of being prepared is they way to survive anything. Prepper have gotten a bad rap for all kinds of reasons, some valid and some not. Being prepared is not a bad thing. Weather it is for the next bad weather event or total collapse of everything we know. Thanks for allowing to give my 2 cents. Enjoyed the article and comments. Keep Prepping!

    • Wise and balanced words John. Whilst this post is not meant to be taken too seriously it has provoked some interesting debate!

  9. I have known a few of what I call the radical prepper.they are ready for anything and will tell you so. I view survival as something that must be run like a business. as a contractor I know there are parts of the business have no business handling. the books are one. communication to others that I need their services. my grammar sucks! I hire people to do these specialized jobs so I may concintrate upon my job and get it rightso I make money.

    Survival is no different. the money received comes in you and your family living to the next day and with proper management, the company of people survives. where one person has skills that may get them by proper management within a group can provide a secure environment to survive. extending and trading with other groups provide even additional security knowing that they won’t attack your group and even provide support should others try to take what you have. this becomes a mini nation on a smaller scale. offering skills that are not present within your group.

    Just having a gun with a ton of ammo isn’t always the answer. you must sleep sometime. In my opinion, it becomes the organization that is formed by the cooperation of each member that provides security. cooperation must be clearly defined. rules and laws along with enforcement and punishment when the peace is violated. what becomes personal property and community property. more important what may be taken from the personal property for the need of the community. the rules for this must be clear. moreover, who makes the decision to take them. and this is where democracy should be practiced following laws that restrict the power of the ones who govern. elections are thus important and standards and limits set on the ones who govern.

    No personal gain for anyone that governs including friends or family must be allowed. within small groups, the times one is allowed to serve is determined upon their abilities and greed or abuse of power. this is one reason that the larger the community the better the odds for survival. the more skills one has the more value you have to the community. develop your hobbies to things that will be of use in a crisis. learn how to recognize the talent in people and how it can be used. Not just for immediate survival but for trade for items that others need or want. barter won’t always be possible. learn how to provide accurate measurement of metals and other items to consume. thus a banker. well I have put in both my rant and rave. if I have contributed one thing it has been worth my time. one last thing. knowledge weighs nothing.

    • Love this Grampa, extremely thought provoking and aligns with some of our views on the advantages of a survival community vs the lone wolf mentality. Thanks for the heart felt comment we appreciate it.

  10. A Very comical list!! The sad reality is, you will have a combo of these people and worse, in your group, it is unavoidable!! This simply means you need to have a strong inner circle of trust, your lower members can be these clowns, but not your inner circle!! Strong leadership keeps the weak and foolish at bay!!

  11. The Yogi prepper. Those people never thought anything would happen and now they realize your not crazy. They have an hours worth of Oreo cookies. They can stay.

  12. also watch out for “Doomsday prepper” preppers, these are the ones who think they know what to do because they watched a semi-entertaining show about cooks with a bit too big of an imagination. Thank God that show stopped

  13. I like your list Jacob, quite funny indeed! xD
    I’d like to add a type of prepper I’ve encountered, named the “Call of Duty Prepper”.

    The type of guy who boasts his video game shooting skills as an asset.

    His valid argument was, “it’s a simulation bro, it prepares me for when SHTF!”… right.

  14. I liked the Bosnian wartime story. Unfortunately, in the US I doubt we’d come together in any major way, excluding rural folks, because of our low trust culturally heterogeneous society. Although, people never cease to amaze.

    • The overly political, ranting and conspiracy preppers are the most irritating and time-wasting @!!&?! you will ever wish to meet. They will depress the hell out of you as you realize that at 5’8”, 310 lbs. and on oxygen from 40 years of smoking, they ain’t too bright.

    • Hi Bob, here’s a great read on people working together when SHTF. Spoiler alert: it actually seems to happen after most disasters and yes, even in the U.S.!
      Rebecca Solnit, “A Paradise Built in Hell: The Extraordinary Communities That Arise in Disaster”.
      I think that we are very far from what dystopian stories in movies and books wish us to believe. If we humans want to work together, we will, but we should at least make the effort.

  15. Jacob,

    Your article was informative and educational. I have experienced the “prepper” (for the lack of a better word) individual you describe in your article. I often wonder if the word, “prepper” correctly describes the “type” you describe. I have met preppers who were bearded “over the top” dressed in tactical clothes and boots and had knives and guns on them. They acted like and looked like special ops, wannabe Navy Seals which they were not nor ever have been. You quickly learn they not only paranoid but are on the fence of being total crack pots. The other type of prepper I have come in contact with is half way between a special ops wannabe and a mountain man. Totally off the grid!

    • being a believer in the militia, im not willing to judge someone who wears that kinda stuff… as I do as well. however, the qeustion is why. if they are prepping for excessive government, as long as it aint tacticool, its actually the norm. and most good militias will certainly help out with all this in terms of ideas on what to wear. I usually ask former military for help when my youth makes me wanna buy something that may kill me. this being said, Im also working on more gray man tactics that way I can get to my better equipment safely should the need arise. its a balance. you dont want people knowing exactly what youre capable of until the need arises. Musashi once said to be like a boulder on the mountain. imposing, but still hidding the fact that your attached to a mountain. this avoids weaker foes from attacking you in swarms but also lets stronger foes underestimate you. Morality of Socrates comes to mind (I may be getting my philosophers confused here)

      • Really interesting comment Royce. You make a great point about getting the balance right, the boulder on the mountain is a way to look at it that I have never heard but makes a good deal of sense.

  16. The bullshit prepper (he/she has done and seen everything), the PETA prepped (cant/won’t hunt or fish), the diva prepped (doesn’t do much of substance), the aggro prepped (WAY too excited for this). I’m not personally fond of the overprepped prepper. It makes it seem like they were looking forward to this for way too long.

    • On the contrary, I think all these peppers are people to befriend. The over prepped guy may have things you need. Make him your friend. The gun enthusiast might have weapons or ammo that you need. Make him your friend. The PETA pepper is probably going to have a good set of heritage seeds. Make him your friend. The commander will be useful if a new order of law enforcement needs to be established. The religious guy can be a good source of comfort. The tunnel vision, know it alls, and fortune tellers will have amassed stockpiles geared to their own brand, and that could prove very useful if they’re right.
      The fact is that when things go bad the more people you affiliate with that are ready for it, thr more resources you will have access to. You don’t have to be bosom buddies, but keeping their boasting of what they have done in your arsenal can put you in a powerful position when the time comes. Or at least a safer position when you know who to call on for your needs.


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