What is a Prepper?

A prepper is one who gathers resources, makes plans and hones skills in preparation for surviving a major disaster, catastrophe or cataclysm. So basically, a prepper is a person who is prepared for emergencies.

Have you ever rushed to the store to grab some bottled water in preparation for a storm of natural disaster? Well, you might be a prepper!
I'm a Prepper, He's a Prepper, She's a Prepper...
The fact is, that most people prepare daily. Checking the weather to know if you should bring an umbrella is an act of preparation. It isn't necessarily a survival skill, but it does spawn from survival instincts. Being soaked can be uncomfortable and present challenges that could have been prevented. We crave comfort; and the lack of resources that provide comfort impacts daily life, so we prepare.

Preparing for today or even tomorrow is habit for most and the majority of people do some type of preparation when there are natural disaster threats. Then there are those that regularly grab an extra pack of toilet paper while shopping or always keep a full tank of gas. With that, well, now you are entering the Prepper mindset.
Motivating Factors
The motivations behind prepping vary. Some individuals are driven by a sense of personal responsibility, wanting to protect their families and loved ones. Others may have a deep mistrust in government or institutions and seek to rely solely on themselves. Preppers value self-reliance, preparedness, and the ability to adapt to challenging circumstances. While some may view preppers as extreme or paranoid, they often see themselves as prudent and proactive individuals who prioritize survival.

What is Prepping

Technically "Prepping" is the process of preparing for something. Our readers are typically preparing for emergencies, dangers and life changing disasters. What people prepare for depends on their perspective of danger, their location and their circumstances.

If you are an urban prepper then your stockpile of supplies and ability to self-sustain is typically limited, so you may focus on making the most use of space, growing gardens inside and carrying an EDC with emergency supplies. Urban preppers typically focus more on short term survival and personal protection. If you live rurally then your prepping habits are probably more focused on long term survival, your storage potential is greater, and you can be more self-sustaining.

Going back to the definition, prepping means to get prepared. What prepping looks like is based on what you decide to prepare for and defining what sufficiently prepared and fully prepared look like.

Prepping has been growing in popularity over the last couple of decades. Perhaps it is the political landscape, civil unrest, pandemic or threats of war. Whatever the reason, many more people have started prepping in recent times and the concept of prepping is being adopted by more families.

Source = Google Trends

Types of Preppers

People are all different and so are preppers. They have individual motivations for being prepared with relative survival timeline goals. Here are the most common types of preppers to help you understand the differences. These categorizations are not exclusive, and many preppers fall into more than one type.

Why Preppers Prep

Preppers make preparations because they know that the only constant is change and there are many threats that could impact our daily lives. The thought of not being prepared when disaster strikes is an unsettling thought for these individuals, so they prepare for uncomfortable times.

General Preppers tend to focus on common disaster scenarios and potential emergencies for short term survival in uncomfortable situations. Where Doomsday preppers are preparing to be members of the new civilization post cataclysmic event. Some preppers just desire to be more self-sustainable to distance themselves from the dependencies of the infrastructure.

Preppers typically focus their preparations on defined survival timelines. Preppers like to consider how many days they will be able to comfortably survive after facing a disaster scenario.

One Day Survival

Our hope is that everyone has taken some level of precaution and made preparations for surviving without common amenities. Most households tend to have flashlights, batteries, bottled water, and other basic preparation supplies. Preppers tend to have additional one day survival preparations like a power generator and home defense systems. Carrying an EDC (every day carry) bag is basic to surviving unexpected emergencies or making your way home after an accident or disaster. It can even support survival for up to a few days and is a must have for most preppers.

Three Day Survival

Sometimes the power is out for several days, or you are forced to evacuate; perhaps you get snowed in. There are many reasons you may need to survive for three or more days. A three-day survival scenario is typically just another Tuesday (wed & thur) for most preppers. This is a baseline timeline for anyone who wants to consider themselves prepared.

One Month Survival

The one-month mark is a staple for "real" preppers. In fact, many preppers don't even consider themselves preppers until they reach this milestone. If a bad enough hurricane, blizzard, or other disaster hits your region; the power could be an extended period of time, your home could get damaged and displace you for weeks, among other extended un-comfortable situations. Being prepared for these multi-week disruptions in every-day life is the true definition of a prepper.

Regardless of the individual circumstances, a common reason Preppers prep is to protect their families. This reason is why we at Prepper Life® put Family first.

Stages of Preparation

Not all preppers are in the same stage of preparedness. Living a prepper lifestyle means you are always preparing, but most people define "prepared" by evaluating the supplies and skills obtained to survive the scenarios that are most relevant to them.

Researching Preparedness

If you are just beginning your journey towards preparedness, you are in the right place. When you first begin and ask yourself what threats you are most concerned with, it is easy to get overwhelmed by the number of threats that actually exist. It is important to remember that you don't need to prepare for everything. There is a bit of an awakening when you first realize you are just unprepared and that needs to change. Start with the threat that concerns you the most or is most likely to occur. Create a list of the skills and supplies you will need to feel prepared for that scenario.

While researching preparedness topics individuals should avoid feelings of doom & gloom and keep in mind that they cannot control everything. There are many threats, and that becomes increasingly obvious as you expand your research. While many of the scenarios we cover happen daily, others may never come to fruition. Focus your journey on being prepared for situations that are more likely to occur to you or your family and remember, they, are the reason you prepare.

Getting Prepared

If you are already getting prepared and still working on preparations, good for you. We really hope our publication helps you improve your overall preparedness and well being. At this point you should already have the basic supplies necessary to survive for one day or respond to common emergencies; if not start there.

While getting prepared you will learn the importance of bags and supply checklists.

Sufficiently Prepared

Being sufficiently prepared is often the goal of most general preppers or minimalist preppers. The objective is to have the supplies and skills necessary for handling a defined set of threats. The definition of sufficiently prepared is relative to the individual or family, but the goal is the same. Deciding what "Prepared" means, means reaching a milestone that provides the sense of security that comes from feeling prepared.

If you live in the city and use public transportation, then you might define sufficiently prepared as being ready to defend yourself in case of an attack and have emergency supplies on your person while away from home.

If you are striving to be a homesteader or live off-grid your definition of sufficiently prepared will include power sources, livestock, stored supplies and self-sufficiency skills.

If you have elderly or disabled family member and pets, being sufficiently prepared includes response plans that cater to their special needs.

Once you reach this stage you will find yourself in a maintenance cycle of replenishing and rotating supplies that get used or expire. From here you just keep honing your skills and keeping one eye on potential threats.

Fully Prepared

Fully prepared preppers have been at it for some time. Whether they grew up a prepper or have evolved into one, people in this stage are living a much more sustainable existence than most of us. Preppers at this stage have become entrenched with long term survival. When you ask yourself "where would I go if SHTF?" the answer that comes to mind is typical towards someone that fits in this category. If you don't know anyone in this category, then it needs to be you. Even if you do know someone in his category, it should probably still be you. Unless you are part of the "Family" they have prepared for then how you will be welcomed comes into question.

Being fully prepared is a rather elusive goal. Most preppers find themselves is a sufficiently prepared state for long enough time, that they call it fully prepared. They are willing to accept the outcome of some of the more dangerous threats and those beyond their control and have settled in to living the prepper life. I mean, are we ever fully prepared?

New Civilization

This stage is reserved for the individuals that expect to come out on the other side of a cataclysmic event. Preppers at this level have invested a large amount of time and money to be in position to survive events that could wipe out most of humanity. Underground shelters and compounds are being constructed around the globe, but these endeavors come with a price tag that only a small percentage of the population can afford. People like Mark Zuckerberg can afford to spend hundreds of millions on a doomsday bunker in Hawaii. Other wealthy preppers can purchase rooms in survival condos built from old missile silos.

If you want your family to be able to survive catastrophic disasters like nuclear war or asteroid impacts and be part of the new civilization, you may want to focus on obtaining wealth, because the wealthy are more likely to survive the end of days. From a prepper's perspective, everyone with wealth should be investing in long term survival preparations. But you don't have to have extreme wealth to be prepared for major calamities. There are also some rural preppers, homesteaders and off-grid preppers that have constructed long-term living quarters with the essential supplies.

Prepper Sterotypes

You can get mixed responses when the topic of prepping comes up. There are those that are impressed with your preparedness and often jealous that they are not as prepared as you. You can also get those "oh you are one of those" looks. There are many false perceptions of preppers and we work to break prepper stereotypes but none of them matter. All that matters is being prepared.
Novice Preppers
Novice Preppers

Survival Timelines:

1 Day
3 Days
...

A novice prepper is someone who is new to the concept of prepping and is just beginning to take steps to prepare for emergencies and disasters. These individuals are typically motivated by a desire to increase their self-sufficiency and protect themselves and their loved ones in unforeseen circumstances. Novice preppers may start by educating themselves on basic emergency preparedness principles, such as creating a family emergency plan, assembling a basic emergency kit, and learning essential survival skills. They may also seek guidance from more experienced preppers, online resources, or local community preparedness organizations to help them navigate the process of becoming more self-reliant.

Novice preppers often focus on building a foundation of essential supplies and skills that will enable them to respond effectively to a range of potential emergencies. This may include stockpiling food, water, medical supplies, and other necessities, as well as learning how to administer basic first aid, start a fire, or navigate in the wilderness. Novice preppers may gradually expand their preparedness efforts as they gain more experience and confidence in their abilities. While they may face challenges and setbacks along the way, novice preppers are committed to taking proactive steps to enhance their resilience and readiness for whatever the future may hold.

Casual Prepper
Casual Prepper

Survival Timelines:

1 Day
3 Days
1 Week
1 Month
...

Casual preppers can include people that live in the city, suburbs or rurally. They prepare for common emergencies, unforeseen accidents and a set of possible threats in their environment. When on foot, this individual is usually in possession of a bag; and when shopping, usually stocks up. These preppers understand the dangers that call for preparation and incorporate preparedness into their lives and a healthy way, making it enough of a priority that they can sleep at night, but not letting it impact living and enjoying time with the family they are looking to protect.

Casual preppers make up the majority of our readership and are the most common type of prepper. Casual preppers learn enough about preparedness to establish the definition of adequately prepared, form prepping habits and learn essential skills for the more likely disaster of emergency situations. Many casual preppers understand that "fully prepared" is an endless endeavor and elect to find a happy balance where preparedness gives them enough of a sense of security to be satisfied that they are prepared.

More advanced preppers may judge the level of preparedness that casual preppers are satisfied with, however, if you ask any advanced prepper if they are prepared, the answer is almost always "not fully". So, while some casual preppers might start to struggle after 3-5 days, only major catastrophe scenarios play out longer than that, so it becomes a satisfactory state of preparedness.

Urban Prepper
Urban Prepper

Survival Timelines:

1 Day
3 Days
1 Week
1 Month
...

An urban prepper is an individual who actively prepares for potential emergencies or disasters while living in an urban environment. Unlike traditional preppers who may reside in rural areas, urban preppers face unique challenges due to limited space, resources, and potential for higher population densities. Urban preppers focus on developing strategies and acquiring supplies that are tailored to their specific urban living conditions.

Urban preppers prioritize adaptability and resourcefulness. They may store essential items like food, water, and medical supplies in compact and space-efficient ways. They also consider alternative sources of energy, such as portable solar panels or small wind turbines, that can be utilized in an urban setting. Additionally, urban preppers may develop skills such as urban gardening, water filtration techniques, and self-defense strategies suited for urban environments.

One of the key aspects of urban prepping is establishing a network and community of like-minded individuals. Urban preppers recognize the importance of building relationships and collaborating with neighbors to enhance their collective preparedness efforts. They may form neighborhood watch groups, share resources and knowledge, and create emergency response plans specific to their urban area. By working together, urban preppers can increase their chances of survival and resilience during times of crisis.

Suburban Prepper
Suburban Prepper

Survival Timelines:

1 Day
3 Days
1 Week
1 Month
3 Months
...

Suburban preppers are individuals who live in suburban areas and take proactive steps to prepare for emergencies and disasters. Unlike rural preppers, suburban preppers face unique challenges such as limited space, stricter regulations, and closer proximity to neighbors. Despite these constraints, suburban preppers are resourceful and creative in finding ways to enhance their preparedness. They may focus on compact storage solutions, such as creating hidden caches or utilizing small outdoor spaces for gardening and food production. Suburban preppers often emphasize the importance of blending in with their surroundings to maintain a low profile and avoid drawing attention to their prepping activities.

In addition to physical preparations, suburban preppers prioritize building relationships with their immediate community and neighbors. They understand the value of forming alliances and fostering trust with those living nearby to establish a support network in times of crisis. Suburban preppers may engage in neighborhood watch programs, community emergency planning initiatives, or mutual aid groups to strengthen their collective resilience. By collaborating with others and sharing knowledge and resources, suburban preppers can enhance their ability to respond effectively to emergencies and work together towards common goals of safety and security.

suburban preppers often focus on developing a diverse set of skills that are relevant to their urban environment. These skills may include first aid training, home security measures, and communication strategies for staying connected during disasters. Suburban preppers also emphasize the importance of adaptability and flexibility in their preparedness efforts, recognizing that urban settings present unique challenges that require quick thinking and problem-solving skills. By combining practical knowledge with a strong sense of community and resilience, suburban preppers strive to create a safe and sustainable environment for themselves and their neighbors in the face of uncertainty.

Rural Prepper
Rural Prepper

Survival Timelines:

3 Days
1 Week
1 Month
3 Months
1 Year
...

Rural preppers are individuals who live in rural areas and actively prepare for emergencies and disasters. These individuals value self-reliance and independence, which are often easier to achieve in rural settings due to access to land and natural resources. Rural preppers focus on skills such as gardening, hunting, and food preservation to ensure their ability to sustain themselves during times of crisis. They may also have stockpiles of food, water, and essential supplies to last them through extended periods of isolation or disruption of services. Living in rural areas provides these preppers with the space and privacy to build shelters, store supplies, and create sustainable systems for survival.

In addition to practical skills and supplies, rural preppers often prioritize community building and collaboration with neighbors. They recognize the importance of forming strong relationships with fellow preppers and local residents to create a support network in times of need. Rural preppers may participate in mutual aid groups, emergency response training, or community preparedness initiatives to strengthen their resilience as a community. By working together and sharing resources, rural preppers build a sense of solidarity and security that enhances their ability to weather various challenges and crises that may arise in their remote environments.

Homesteader
Homesteader

Survival Timelines:

1 Month
3 Months
1 Year
5+ Years
Indefinately
...

A homesteader is an individual who embraces a self-sufficient and sustainable lifestyle by living on and cultivating their own land. Homesteading is rooted in the concept of living off the land and relying on one's own resources, rather than depending on external systems. Homesteaders typically engage in activities such as gardening, raising livestock, preserving food, and practicing traditional skills like woodworking and sewing. They prioritize simplicity, minimalism, and a connection to nature in their way of life.

Homesteading is often associated with rural areas, where individuals can have larger plots of land to work with. However, urban homesteading has also gained popularity in recent years, as people find creative ways to grow their own food and live sustainably in cities. Regardless of the location, homesteaders strive to reduce their ecological footprint, conserve resources, and promote a more self-reliant lifestyle.

Homesteading is not just a lifestyle choice, but also a mindset that embraces independence and resilience. It requires dedication, hard work, and continuous learning to develop the skills necessary for self-sufficiency. Homesteaders value the freedom and satisfaction that comes from producing their own food, creating their own energy, and being less reliant on external systems. By embracing homesteading, individuals can foster a deeper connection to the natural world, gain a sense of empowerment, and contribute to a more sustainable future.

Most importantly, they are not fully dependent on the grid and have the skills to sustain with the common infrastructure systems most of use depend on daily.

Survivalist
Survivalist

Survival Timelines:

Indefinately
...

A survivalist is an individual who is highly skilled in various survival techniques and is prepared to navigate and endure challenging circumstances and environments. Survivalists prioritize self-sufficiency, adaptability, and resilience in the face of emergencies or disasters. They possess a wide range of practical skills, including wilderness survival, first aid, navigation, shelter building, fire starting, foraging, hunting, and self-defense.

Survivalists often stockpile essential supplies such as food, water, medical provisions, and tools to sustain themselves for extended periods. They may also possess a diverse array of equipment and gear, including survival kits, camping gear, communication devices, and protective clothing. Survivalists focus on being able to handle unexpected situations with limited resources and are adept at improvising solutions to problems that may arise.

Many survivalists live rurally and practice homesteading and off-grid living. They are not only prepared, but they also possess survival skills and have the best chance of enduring tough times. This category of preppers includes many individuals that serve or have served in the military as well other tactically trained groups of first responders.

Off Grid Prepper
Off Grid Prepper

Survival Timelines:

5+ Years
Indefinately
...

Off-grid living refers to a lifestyle where individuals or households are completely self-sufficient and do not rely on public utilities such as electricity, water, or sewage systems. It involves disconnecting from the grid and finding alternative means to meet basic needs. Off-grid living can take various forms, from living in remote locations with no access to infrastructure to intentionally choosing to live off the grid in more populated areas.

One of the key aspects of off-grid living is generating one's own power. This can be achieved through renewable energy sources like solar panels, wind turbines, or hydroelectric systems. Off-grid individuals often invest in energy-efficient appliances and implement conservation practices to minimize their energy consumption. Additionally, they may use alternative methods for water supply, such as rainwater harvesting or well water, and employ composting toilets or septic systems for waste management.

Living off the grid requires self-reliance and a strong commitment to sustainable practices. Off-gridders often prioritize simplicity, minimalism, and a reduced environmental impact. They may grow their own food through gardening or permaculture techniques, practice sustainable farming or livestock management, and engage in activities such as foraging or hunting. Off-grid living fosters a deep connection with nature and a focus on personal responsibility for meeting one's needs while minimizing reliance on external systems.

By embracing off-grid living, individuals can experience a sense of freedom, independence, and resilience. They are less vulnerable to power outages or disruptions in public services and have greater control over their resources. However, it also requires careful planning, ongoing maintenance, and a willingness to adapt to changing circumstances. Off-grid living is a conscious choice that allows individuals to live in harmony with nature, reduce their ecological footprint, and forge a more self-sufficient and sustainable lifestyle.

Doomsday Prepper
Doomsday Prepper

Survival Timelines:

5+ Years
Indefinately
...

A doomsday prepper is an individual who actively prepares for catastrophic events that could lead to the breakdown of society as we know it. They anticipate and plan for various scenarios such as natural disasters, economic collapse, pandemics, or even the end of the world. Doomsday preppers take steps to ensure their survival and the well-being of their loved ones in the face of potential chaos and scarcity.

Doomsday preppers engage in a range of activities to prepare for these events. They stockpile essential supplies such as food, water, medical provisions, and other necessities to sustain themselves for extended periods. They may also acquire tools, weapons, and equipment for self-defense and security. Doomsday preppers often develop skills in areas like first aid, gardening, hunting, and alternative energy generation to enhance their self-sufficiency.

A doomsday prepper is looking to be part of the "new civilization". They are planning for long term off grid survival to come out on the other side of a major cataclysm. You may have a perception of these individuals that was forged by the television show that aired on National Geographic, but today's generation of top doomsday preppers are mostly made up of the uber wealthy.