Interesting question about "preppers"

RustBeltCowgirl Posts: 1,403 ✭✭✭✭✭

This is an opinion article. I agree that "preppers" for the most part do not want the world to end. Civilizations have broken down over the many centuries. Most want to have the opportunity to be prepared for situations.

What do you think?


  • ltwickey
    ltwickey Posts: 369 ✭✭✭

    I agree completely. Preparing for the worst case scenario shows that some people have learned from the past!! Though it seems the vast majority have not learned from the past....

    Preparing for the worst and hoping for the best has been my motto for years and I truly believe it is the foundation for preppers!

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,353 admin

    I always say that I am not a prepper, I am a homesteader. My goals are similar - resilience and as much self sufficiency as possible. However, my lifestyle is not preparing for an event. It is simply how I choose to live.

  • Torey
    Torey Posts: 5,502 admin

    I don't think anyone has a real desire to see a total collapse event, whether it is an economic one or a natural catastrophe. There is an awful lot going on in the world right now creating a great deal of fear everywhere. Prepping might be a way for some people to try to take back a bit of control over their lives.

    I agree with @judsoncarroll4. For many of us here on TGN, it is a matter of life style rather than being a prepper. As ranchers/farmers/gardeners/foragers/medicine makers we tend to have a year's worth of harvest in stock to do over to the next harvest season. Some of us live far enough off grid that we don't get to town often, so our grocery carts and feed store orders might look like we are prepping. We are just prepared to be self-sufficient because we choose to be. Doesn't make us preppers or survivalists.

    I think the difference is that we do it all the time so we are always ready. Preppers are just getting ready for something to go sideways with stockpiles of food and goods, but continue on with their regular lives. Prepping can be a good thing in some respects. If their is any kind of natural disaster, people will be more prepared to be on their own for a few days and won't have to rely on what could be a very taxed response from emergency personnel.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin

    I don't think they want it to end either, but tend to hyperfocus on it with fear as a driving/motivating factor.

    To be driven to be prepared for everything known and imagined must be a stressful way to live. Being prepared for the known future things (the usual, floods, fires, hurricanes, etc.), plus a little extra is just wise planning. Any old farmer knows this. Just the same, you could lose all that prep in the blink of an eye anyway. There are no guarantees and reliance on your stuff just doesn't always work. I also want to say that this movement is largely American based & mainly followed by Americans.

    I do agree with @judsoncarroll4 on this. Being a farmer or modern homesteader rather than a prepper is a more relaxed, practical lifestyle (each with its own varied stresses), and just by its very nature, prepares you for unknowns, but without the same level of fear.

    I addressed this subject with some thoughts last Sept.

    I had an internet acquaintance who had declared herself to be a homesteader and wanted to authenticate that by aligning with those whom she perceived to be the same...until one day, she decided that she was suddenly a prepper instead. She dropped me like a hot potato with a lot of insults (I was now beneath her in usefulness and she was enlightened).

    I don't consider us even to be modern homesteaders, but farmers. I had a lot more written on why, but thought it best to not get into that in this thread.

    I am not sure...being a modern homesteader was really popular for quite some time, then being a prepper became the fashion. Then it seemed to be modern homesteading. Has it become more of a mix now with current events? 🤔 I just am not sure what to make of each trend at this point. Maybe it just fits in with all of the other cultural/societal confusion.

    The good news, though, is that people are considering that growing food for themselves just might be a good idea. We will see how much lasting power it has (just like covid-...not home-schooling) if things ever settle out.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,353 admin
  • frogvalley
    frogvalley Posts: 675 ✭✭✭✭

    I love the way you put it @judsoncarroll4 especially "simple." Our lives are simple and as such, hopefully the coming events won't impact us as deeply as some others. My husband was saying that he felt guilty the other day buying a pack of cooking foil sheets as opposed to a roll. The truth is that one pack of 25 sheets may last as long as a year, so I indulged him. We are still using the same plastic wrap that we bought in our pre-enlightened days over 15 years ago, it could be 20 years, but I lost count and it may still be here in another 20 years. And so it goes for most of our existence. I bought new socks and underwear last year, so I'm set for another 5 or 6 years.

    I don't want to fear. I want to to live on my own simple terms.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,353 admin

    Absolutely! I was trying to explain to someone the other day... though I didn't convince her... that inflation is a real issue and that we are likely in for some very hard times, especially in certain states that place more restrictions on folks and put them under a heavier tax burden, where people have become extremely reliant on government services often because they have no choice, and where natural disasters and crime are more likely. I related what the old folks I grew up with used to tell me about the Great Depression. "We wouldn't have know there was a a Depression at all except for reading it in the newspaper. Nothing changed for us in the country. We just kept right on farming and living like we always had." That is resilience, when the only thing that can really rock your world is a major war.

  • dipat2005
    dipat2005 Posts: 1,225 ✭✭✭✭

    Thank you for all of the comments, I learn so much on this site. I am trying to be self reliant. I have lived on acreage and wished I still did but as a person who is younger (older-I never use that term) I am closer to things I need by living near my children. I know that when we had lockdowns I didn't go out for a long time (over a month). It certainly doesn't help to panic but it does help to be prepared.

  • blevinandwomba
    blevinandwomba Posts: 813 ✭✭✭✭

    @judsoncarroll4 one time my Dad asked my Pappy(his father-in-law) what living in the Depression was like. Pappy was a farmer and was born in 1914. He said something pretty similar to what you were told, that life didn't change much for him.

  • LaurieLovesLearning
    LaurieLovesLearning Posts: 7,356 admin

    I was thinking if these experiences were this way be because of where they were located? I think that on the generally more harsh and windy (sometimes almost treeless) prairies, it might have been felt a lot more than in the more humid hills and treed southeast...and west coast areas. Trees do help regulate a lot.

    I think people in general had more adaptive skills back then than what is seen today. Nobody was quite as consumerism focused either. "Stuff" wasn't as big of a thing, so people often made due with less than we might expect today.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,353 admin

    I think this says it all... Jimmy Rodgers, 1932:

  • MaryRowe
    MaryRowe Posts: 736 ✭✭✭✭

    @LaurieLovesLearning I agree--my Dad's people were self-reliant family farmers, and his dad did some horse-raising and trading on the side for a little income, but they lost everything in the 1930's when the Dust Bowl hit. They were living in the worst of it. The weather killed their crops, then their animals, and then destroyed their farm. They just gave up and headed West because there was nothing else to do. But they got by on their skills, adaptability, willingness to make do, resourcefulness and limited need for "stuff".

    Eventually they got to Washington state, where they found relatives living happily on a small farm there, with no real sense that a major economic depression was going on around them. Those folks had been spared the natural disaster, and their lifestyle was getting them through the man-made one just fine.

    So part of surviving these major events just comes down to luck and location, but skills, resourcefulness, adaptability and attitude will always be the most important part.

  • judsoncarroll4
    judsoncarroll4 Posts: 5,353 admin

    That was the other aspect of my conversation with my ... "friend". Yes, where she lives is beautiful, and the business she is buying is successful... but in a resort area, totally dependent on a booming cyber economy and skiing. Taxes are over 50% combined. Rents are outrageous. Lots of money comes in, but lots go out just as fast. How could I ever leave the "good ole sunny south", when I can survive here no matter what? Where she lives is to arid to actually live off the land. I've been through hard times. Here, I always have clean water, an abundance of food, ways to make a few dollars using natural resources, taxes are low, crime is low. Winters are tough but only 4 months. Summers are rainy, but that just means more wild food and a low maintenance garden. So, I reckon I'll continue to be lonely but comfortable, saving more than I spend, enjoying a very, very quiet life.

  • Monek Marie
    Monek Marie Posts: 3,535 ✭✭✭✭✭
    edited May 2021

    @judsoncarroll4 Your area is a lot like mine, but I have 6 month winters. Probably not as severe as yours when winter sets in. But it all depends on which way the wind blows here. I love the green and herbs are so abundant.

    I consider myself a farmer or survivalist, not a prepper. I grew up in farm country, back when they farmed and everyone canned and put food away.It was just the way of life. Its been lost and the farmers have fallen in a rusted.

    My goal is to help people find their way back to a better healthier life and a more pleasant one in my opinion.

  • stephanie447
    stephanie447 Posts: 404 ✭✭✭
    edited May 2021

    I think there are some preppers who really enjoy the "doom porn" and on some level want the current system to collapse because they think it is all messed up. But I don't think anyone truly wants to live in a post-apocalyptic world. I sure don't! :-)

  • Sharie
    Sharie Posts: 276 ✭✭✭

    Both sides of my family lived through WW2 so I grew up being prepared for the worst case scenario. I can't understand why some people don't even have $1 cash, an empty gas tank and no extra water or food stored and yet that is many people's "normal". Not mine! I lived through a 3 day blackout and didn't have a problem. I hope to get to the point where I don't even notice what happens "out there"!

  • frogvalley
    frogvalley Posts: 675 ✭✭✭✭

    I've been thinking a lot about my earlier comments and was apologetic about making them, but after reading the recent postings, I feel a lot better about my life and my choices.

    A brief walk through the grocery store had me all worked up because I imagined that 80% of what I see is going to be useless waste in less than a month. There is so much plastic, paper and foam used to pack goods that I got to thinking what losing 75% of my purchasing power would look like for others and for me. How hard would it really be?

    Driving home today, hundreds of things keep popping into my mind like these that we could certainly do without and it would make the world a better place for it. My family rarely ate dessert, bought a few pieces of clothing once a year, dined in a restaurant once a year, ate everything on our plates, and borrowed books at the library. We weren't poor, that was just what was done back then. We weren't given stickers or little plastic toys at school, there were no Halloween costumes to purchase in a store and fresh produce wasn't covered in wrap. I could adjust easily and I dare say so could many on TGN. Unlike during the Great Depression, we do have this TGN community and other online resources to help us.

  • Cornelius
    Cornelius Posts: 872 ✭✭✭✭

    I was watching reruns of the TV show "Bones" yesterday and they had an episode that made people that prep look crazy (of course the killer was one of them). I think after a year in this pandemic a lot of people now see that being prepared for unexpected circumstances is a good thing. I am not a homesteader yet (I can't wait to be able to do that though). I currently have prepared by growing plants (I am growing a large garden, have a large seed collection, am studying herbalism, etc.).