The Culture of Preppers
The Culture of Preppers
Are you a prepper? Or have you heard of the word “prepping” before?
Whether the answer is a yes or no, prepping is not a new thing. In fact, it is a culture that exists for decades and has been on the rise over recent years with a noticeable escalation in 2020 since the outbreak of Covid-19. Every culture has its own meaning for its existence. Sociologists have been studying this culture to figure out how it got developed, why people practicing it as well as what are the things the followers of this culture do. If you are a culture lover or perhaps looking for something interesting to read about, this article is going to unveil stuff about prepping culture.
The Origin of Preppers
According to the Oxford Languages, prepping is defined as the action or process of preparing something or preparing for something. People who engage in prepping practice are known as preppers. The history of prepping can be traced back to the time where our ancestors gathered and preserved food to get ready for the winter. During wartime, American citizens were asked to grow food on their own due to the food rationing system. Therefore, the practice of prepping in the past is not an option but a necessity to avoid starvation. As society evolves, prepping is no longer a necessity but more like an option to many due to the ubiquitous of supermarkets and ready-make food.
Despite the convenience provided by technological advancement, a part of the community continues the practice of prepping until today as reflected by those who do fishing, hunting, and farming. What makes it different is such practice is motivated by their interest rather than their survival needs. Although growing food might not be a viable option or common for those living in the urban cities, the prepping culture is preserved in another form. For instance, carrying a small torchlight when looking for something in the dark.
What is the Difference? Survivalists vs Preppers
Being a prepper doesn’t mean you are a survivalist. This confuses many. The history of preppers is intertwined with a concept called survivalism (a proactive preparation for emergencies like natural disasters or when there are disruptions in the political, economic, and social order). The prepper’s history is rooted in survivalism. Back in old times, survivalists are often associated with firearms, violence, extremist, militia movement, anti-government, and living on the fringe of the society). Due to these negative connotations of the survivalists, people started to self-identify themselves as preppers for being self-reliant and self-sufficient. Unlike the survivalists, preppers focus on preparing for rainy days.
Survivalists: Those with gun history, can live off the land readily with bushcraft skills (eg. building shelters, starting fires, gathering food from the land and etc) in the face of adversities.
Preppers: Those who keep a normal life and have a rational and calmer approach to prepare for whatever that could possibly throw at them, including the pending disasters like Katrina Hurricane. They are preparing for known and unknown adversities.
Why Being a Prepper?
There are various drivers for becoming a prepper. Check this out and see which is your primary motivator.
• The increasing trend of the natural disasters
• The declining trust towards the institutions and infrastructure of the nation to handle the chaos due to the political, economic, and social collapse as well as the ecological disasters caused by climate change
• Knowing the medical and food inventories are insufficient for personal protection in the face of natural or human-made adversities
• To be self-reliant and self-sufficient
• To achieve greater autonomy
• To obtain a feeling of control
• To empower someone when disruption comes
• To advocate for self-sustainability
• To advocate for a DIY approach
Prepping could be a lifestyle for some people or it could be motivated by the uncertainty people having towards the world and their own lives which we have experienced personally at some point in time. This is without a doubt for those who are paying attention to what happening around the world.
Common Practice of Preppers
There are different types of preppers, ranging from those with a mere interest in prepping such as reading blog articles and participating in forum activities to taking practical steps to prepare such as buying, storing, amassing, concealing supplies, as well as developing and honing a variety of skills that can help you to survive comfortably. Below are the common prepping categories:
Food is the top prepping item for every prepper. Preppers usually stockpiling shelf-stable food that can last for many years. Some preppers would do canning on the meats they have hunted or fished besides canning vegetables.
One can never survive without water for at least 3 days. Stockpiling water is one of the ways while making use of the water purification tablets to access the clean water is another way if you happen to be in a remote land and figure out ways to stay alive.
Firearms, ammunition, large knives, and pocket knives are what preppers commonly stockpiling for. A part of the prepper community carries them every day to prepare for any emergencies or when they need them to complete a simple task like cut a cord.
Stockpiling medical supplies like medicines and first aid kits are a must for every prepper as they are crucial to save a life. A person might not get cured with these supplies but at least, these supplies will help to lengthen their lifespans until they receive proper treatment.
One thing to take note of is knowing what supplies to stockpile is never enough. The skillsets in using them will definitely make you a better prepper to survive comfortably in the face of adversities.
Besides the EDC (aka everyday carry) kit, most preppers also prepare a bag packed with survival supplies to be ready for rapid evacuation when the emergency arrives. But bear in mind that you should always have the most essential stuff kept around you in case you lost the survival bag due to various reasons such as being stolen, being robbed, or simply lost it in the chaos. To prepare for this situation, one of the ways is to keep them in the pouches or hidden compartment of your belt. In this case, what you need is a strong belt that can withstand a sufficient amount of weight but doesn’t restrict your movement when you are on the run.