What’s a Prepper Anyway?
So, what’s a “prepper” anyway? I know a lot of folks are hearing about preppers for the first time or at least hearing about them on a much more regular basis lately, leading them to do a little more research on what exactly all of this is about… I understand the interest and I don’t think anyone will be disappointed in what they find when going looking for preppers! I’d also like to take a wild guess that many of the folks searching for information these days are going to be adding their names to the list of the converted.
The following information is just the basics from a long time prepper and sincere seeker of self reliance in a world that has continued to show itself as worthy of being prepared for. Just like every one of us is an individual, preppers are all very individual as well… For example one prepper or family of preppers could be concerned primarily about natural disasters. That’s a reasonable thing to be concerned about but another prepper might see the collapsing economic condition as the larger threat. See, different folks are going to focus on different things. The common thread though is that all preppers are concerned citizens and they are all preparing for something…
So, what does it mean to prepare? I don’t think that we even need to get out the dictionary for this one, do we? I think that 90% or more of the population are preppers to one degree or another. Most of us prepare at some level on a daily, weekly or certainly monthly basis. Do you have a savings account, even a checking account? Then by definition you would be preparing today for an event that won’t take place until some future time. Even if that event isn’t anything other then next months mortgage payment… If you didn’t put the money away on payday, then you might not have what you need when the bill became due! See what I mean? This is a very elementary example but this savings account is the basis for which all other prepping begins.
If we were to just look at “prepping” in its similarity to a savings account then we would see that the majority of us could be considered “preppers”. The difference is the degree in which and to what extent this savings program is taken. Some people are quite content with a few bucks left in their bank account at the end of the month; while others of us aren’t satisfied unless we see our balance growing at a regular and or rapid pace. To understand the “prepper” mindset, you just need to look at our other areas of daily life as savings accounts as well.
Let me give another example of where we all could be described as “preppers”… Lets just take a look in our kitchen pantry. What do you see? Most American families have at least a few cans of this or that. Those cans are what I’m talking about as a savings plan! Statistics show that as Americans we are at an all time low both as a nation and as individuals in how much food we have in reserve. As a prepper, I would want that particular savings account to be as robust as my actual financial savings account would hope to be…
Ask yourself what you’re trying to accomplish when you set money aside today in your bank account. The answer will undoubtedly be that it will be there for tomorrows need; whether a need currently foreseen or possibly something that might be unexpected. It is with this same diligence that the “prepper” goes about filling his, or her, various life accounts. These life accounts might be few but typically as a person becomes more involved with the prepping lifestyle, the list of accounts grows in length and depth. It is not uncommon to hear a “prepper” say things like – “Stack em deep” and we have a “deep larder”…
I’m sure you’re asking yourself, what exactly do these “preppers” store so much of? Well, I’ve been at this for a very long time and have dedicated considerable time and effort to filling my accounts. I can share some of the things that I store specifically and also speculate as to what I understand other preppers might have put away for a cloudy day or even a rainy decade…
That kitchen pantry is probably a great place to start. I believe we will all agree that we would enjoy eating every day. Most of us might actually desire to eat more than once per day, maybe even several times a day! That’s every single day for the rest of our lives, right? So, if we accept this as a fact of life then we would have to admit the value of having a growing food account to be prepared for any breakdown in our ability to regularly purchase new supplies.
What other areas of daily life do we count on to continue our current quality of life? I can tell you what these basic areas are for me and see if they correspond with needs in your family. I see my family using water regularly and while the water distribution system isn’t exactly fragile by nature, it doesn’t take a lot of imagination to see something that could threaten it. It’s true that not everyone would have the ability to provide for their own water supply but reserves could and should be stored to allow for disruptions.
What about staying warm? How is your home heated, if it is in anyway tied to the electrical grid then plan to have it go down from time to time. I don’t know about anyone else but my family sleeps much better when the house is heated. What types of things can be done today to store up for a need in the future? Along the same lines as home heating would be cooking, I bet that if your heat is dependant on electricity, your stove might be too… What could be done to provide a hot meal during that winter storm? These situations aren’t that far fetched right? Everyone has winter storms and periodic power outages. These outages rarely come when the sun’s shining and the family is heading for the beach at least that has been my experience. Cold food and cold homes often go together unfortunately!
How about the giant box in the kitchen that sucks up plenty of electricity, yes I mean the refrigerator… Might want to store a large cooler or have a backup plan to keep those nice thickNew Yorksteaks in the freezer from spoiling.
Do any of us count on the various systems to take care of our security needs? We have Brinks to alert us of intruders and the police department to come to our aid when the intruders are detected. Since I already consider myself a “prepper”, I’ll just say that a security plan that relies on the police for your family’s protection is an epic failure. The police do have their place; but it is not to prevent bad things from happening to your family. Sure they’ll be happy to drop in and take the after action reports but the job of protecting our loved ones is ours!
This leads us to the more controversial element of prepping, firearms! It’s these firearms that seem to always find themselves at center stage in the media reports on preppers. The fact is that most preppers do have stockpiles of hunting and self defense guns. These along with large stores of ammunition are the ways that preppers will provide protection to themselves and their family’s. What the media doesn’t like to admit is that these weapons are just one facet of the preps, balanced right along side all of the other items stockpiled against there future needs.
I think that you can probably see where this all is heading… Like an onion skin, the whole prepper mindset continues to unwrap a little at a time as each area of dependency is exposed. As each new area of vulnerability is discovered, the prepper will develop a plan to fill that gap. Plans always fill one need but often will lead to the discovery of other areas that could use additional reinforcing.
Prepping for self sufficiency is a journey and definitely not a destination. If you want to know more about what it takes to embark on this journey… Just make an honest evaluation of your life and lifestyle and see what those can’t live without areas are. It should be apparent that the more we do for ourselves the better off we are. This is truly the course all preppers are on and I’m proud to admit that I’m a prepper. The only alternative I can see to this lifestyle would be to put mine and my family’s future in the hands of the government or society at large; this is not an option!
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Keep on prepping, cause prepping is the answer!