What is a Prepper and What’s Prepping? | Meanings and Explanations


What is a Prepper? What is Prepping?

Prepper is someone who actively makes plans to survive any situation including, but in no way limited to, natural disasters, financial crises, or any emergency situations. A common focus among preppers is self-sufficiency, rather than relying on help from society or governments. This act of preparing yourself for all situations is called Prepping.

The term Prepper and Survivalist are often used interchangeably, though some feel the modern day use of Survivalist depicts those more focused on living off the land in a more primitive fashion.

With that in mind, many preppers aim to not only survive the worst situations, but to also maintain as close to their current way of life as possible. This leads preppers to:

  • Stockpile supplies like water, food, and medicine.
  • Ensure adequate shelter for nearly any situation.
  • Have alternatives sources of electricity.
  • Be able to defend themselves when needed.

The portrayal of preppers in media can often make us look crazy, but here’s my reason for prepping and creating this website:

I love my life and the people I’m close to. There are numerous negative events in this world that could take place and are completely out of my control. These events could greatly impact my way of life. I want to give myself and my loved ones the best chance to maintain a happy and healthy life, no matter what the world throws at us.

Keep reading to learn why you’re probably already a prepper, whether you know it or not.

Who are Preppers?

The stereotypical prepper is often thought to be a conservative, Second Amendment loving American.

Other, more extreme, views of preppers include tin foil hat wearing conspiracy theorists.

On the other end of the extreme, there’s been numerous stories of (often more liberal) Silicon Valley tech entrepreneurs building bunkers to survive anything life throws at them. See here and here for examples.

When it comes down to it though, there’s nothing stopping anyone from adopting the prepper mindset. No matter your religious or political views, you can start prepping to ensure your well-being and the well-being of your loved ones in any situation.

You also don’t need to label yourself a “prepper” to become more self-sufficient.

You’re Probably Already a Prepper, Whether You Know It or Not

Do you do anything on this list?

  • Save for retirement or save money in general?
  • Buy groceries to use at a later time than the present?
  • Have a first-aid kit in your home or vehicle?
  • Know how to perform the Heimlich maneuver or administer CPR.
  • Workout and/or eat with your long-term health in mind?
  • Have a designated location in your house to go during a tornado or other natural disaster?

Chances are, you do at least one of the items on this list. If that’s the case, then you’re already “prepping” for the future, just in more common ways.

Those that may label themselves preppers, simply apply this forward-thinking approach to prepare for a greater number of possibilities.


Throughout most of human history, individuals have lived in small groups or tribes. Historically, people were far more personally responsible for their basic necessities including water, food, and safety.

As technology has flourished over the past few hundreds of years, most of us have become fully reliant on society. An obvious example of this is food. The average city dwelling human has no idea where their food came from and wouldn’t know where to start if grocery stores and restaurants weren’t an option.

Before getting into the negatives of this, I want to clearly acknowledge the positives. While the world isn’t perfect today, people in western cultures have the highest quality of life that they’ve ever had. The fact that people don’t need to farm or gather their own food has allowed society to create all the modern conveniences we now take for granted. You’re able read this thanks to the internet, which never would have been possible if we continued living in small tribes.

The downside to this, is that most people are screwed in the event of any sort of major degradation or collapse of society or infrastructure. The next section of this guide lists some scenarios which preppers fear could lead to this, while also including more basic scenarios to be ready for.

What are the Scenarios to Prep for?

While the general mindset of preppers is to be ready for anything, some focus their attention on specific scenarios. This may be because they think certain disaster scenarios are more likely to occur or because of financial limitations on how much they want to/can spend prepping.

Here’s a list of some of the scenarios preppers prep for:

  • Car Crashes
  • Medical Emergencies
  • Self-Defense Situations
  • Power Outages
  • Common Financial Troubles
  • Tornadoes
  • Wildfires
  • Flooding
  • Blizzards/Winter Weather
  • Hurricanes
  • Earthquakes
  • Drought
  • Volcanic Eruptions (Including Super Volcanoes)
  • Solar Flares and EMPs
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Financial Crises
  • Terrorism
  • Cyber Attacks
  • Civil Unrest
  • Nuclear War
  • Radiological Disasters

Admittedly, as you go down the list, these scenarios generally seem less likely to take place. With that said, researching these possible scenarios has led me to believe most people underestimate their likelihood. Regardless of their likelihood, it seems to me undeniable that some of these scenarios would have tremendously negative impacts on individuals and society as a whole. The question is, whether or not you choose to prepare for these possibilities.

Prepping and a Happy Life

It’s true that prepping often deals with the doom and gloom in life. However, that doesn’t mean it has to lead to a generally paranoid life.

Personally, I view prepping as an extension of  self improvement. In addition to trying to thrive in current modern society, I also want to be able to survive and thrive in the event my environment drastically changes. As I continue to become more prepared, my confidence and optimism for my life actually increases.

The prepping mindset has also led me to seek improvement in my financial and personal life.

There’s no doubt that increased resources will improve your chances of survival and well being in the event SHTF (S**t Hits the Fan). Gear and supplies cost money, leading to further motivation of achieving maximal financial success.

In the unfortunate scenario of SHTF, you’ll likely also want to have close trusted people around you. In this way, prepping has led me to build better relationships with family and like-minded friends.


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