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From Prepping to Self-Sufficiency

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Emergency Preparedness Versus The Prepper Lifestyle

There is a profound difference between emergency preparedness and adopting ‘the prepper lifestyle’.Emergency preparedness works to meet a short term threat to life, or at least comfort.The prepper lifestyle requires a shift in thinking – a paradigm shift to adopt a different approach to life and how it is lived.


Emergency preparedness is generally the starting point for those who move forward into a prepper life.It may be motivated from living through a natural disaster, weather-related power outage, or personal crisis.Some people who feel the need to take mitigating action ahead of another such event tend to exhibit certain behaviors, such as

  • Expressing “I am not one of those crazy preppers”
  • Short-sighted focus on supplies needed
  • Failure to realize the weakness of their approach.

Most commonly, people who fall into this group have, as their core strategy, the ability to endure.An event has happened in their lives and they are looking to better endure such an event, should it happen again.


Those who choose to live a prepper life, often come, in my experience, from three distinct person groups:

  • 1.Rural folks who, for generations, have lived a more preparedness lifestyle, whether it was because of economics, unreliable available services such as utilities, or geographical obstacles to commerce.
  • 2.People, regardless of location, who through life events see the vulnerability of the approach they have taken to life and wish to position themselves to be more ready when future events occur.
  • 3.People, regardless of location, who have become aware of the weakness of our society’s systems and are concerned about the long-term viability of those systems.

Regardless of the group, each person has a common vision.When adverse events occur, people no longer prepare to endure, they prepare to thrive.Working tireless to cover all of life’s possibilities, these people want to position themselves and their families to overcome and move forward with confidence.

Becoming a Prepper

How does one who is motivated to endure become one who is driven to thrive?This question is on the mind of many preppers I know.They have friends or family members that they wish, and pray, would recognize the reasons to adopt a prepper lifestyle.We all know families who are suffering with life circumstances that could have been avoided, or lessened, through a previously-adopted prepper approach to life.

As one who has worked helping preppers for the last several years, I believe that there are three segments to successful prepping:

  • Gear and supplies
  • Skills and education
  • Community.

While all three are critically important, community is perhaps the most controversial and the most important for those of us who wish to grow the number of preppers.

Neither the mainstream media nor society-at-large encourages prepping.It is a countercultural approach to life.Some may even say that it’s revolutionary.Some say it’s just a return to the way our grandparents and great-grandparents lived.Regardless of what you may think, know that the prepper movement is worldwide.There are preppers all over the world with the same concerns and fears that you may have.

Usually it takes an event, a crisis, in a person’s life to convince them to take a different approach.Sometimes through a process that I call ‘erosion’, a person will finally come to the conclusion that changes are needed.In either case, this person needs community.They need a group of like-minded persons with which to exchange ideas, compare notes, and share companionship.With the prepper commandment of Operational Security, this can become difficult.

Proceed with Caution

Extreme care should be taken when revealing the extent in which you are prepared.There are many articles written on Operational Security and I encourage you to read more if you haven’t already.With that said, it doesn’t mean that you shun someone who is newly interested or that you should fail to talk with others about your concerns regarding society or events.It is through these discussions that you will find other like-minded, or freshly interested, people.As societal events occur that make life much harder, more people are going to express an interest in living differently.Below are some guidelines to sharing your prepper lifestyle with others:

  • In the beginning, avoid details.Talk in vague generalities.
  • Accept that most people will think you have lost your mind.
  • If someone appears interested, and you feel something of a connection to them, spend time socially.Get to know them.
  • Watch for red flags.Trust your gut.
  • Move slowly


As tough as it is sometimes, we, the preppers, have to understand that not everyone will join us or will understand why we do what we do.That’s okay.I know there are more out there who will join us.More families that we can reduce, or eliminate, suffering that life often brings.More that can know the deep satisfaction that comes from being prepared.Continue with your activities and make room for one more at the table.

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