Common Misconceptions about Preppers

Common Misconceptions About Preppers

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I want to share a few common misconceptions about preppers. Let’s be honest, our society doesn’t have a great view of preppers because of the wrong stereotypes that have been created for them over the years.

We’ve been brainwashed with books, magazines, the Internet, and movies to believe that preppers are only interested in doom’s day scenarios, even insisting that they’ve lost all sense of reality. Please stock, Flashlights with Batteries or Solar Flashlights

As it turns out, most preppers are people that are the furthest from “crazy.” They’re usually calm and collected people who simply prefer to be prepared before a disaster strikes.  In case you missed this post, 30 Pioneer Skills We Cannot Lose

Common Misconceptions About Preppers      

Some of the myths floating around about prepping are actually quite comical and make me laugh to myself. If you happen to be someone who has no interest in prepping, it could be due to one or two of these incorrect beliefs. I’d love to “un”-misinform you. These are the most common misconceptions about preppers that you should know about and what it really means to be one. 

Common Misconceptions about Preppers

They are Preparing for the Apocalypse 

For all you people who have watched one too many zombie or apocalyptic movies and think that’s the reason that most preppers prep, you’re sadly mistaken. While being prepared for the apocalypse certainly wouldn’t hurt, prepping has more to do with having enough food, water, and supplies following a natural disaster or other types of emergency that have struck.   

They are Paranoid Conspiracy Theorists 

This is the number one reason why most of the skeptics out there have a hard time with people who prep. They believe that preppers are paranoid individuals who live their lives constantly in fear. Television shows, movies, and even our own government have done a good job creating this false belief about prepping.  

This reminds me of the movie “Conspiracy Theory” with Mel Gibson. (It’s an excellent movie if you haven’t seen it.) Anyway, when the movie is first starting out, we’re led to believe that Mel Gibson’s character is crazy, believing that the government is out to get him. 

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In his home he has what most would think of as overkill for an alarm system, and even has a gas mask lying around, indicating that he’s prepped and ready for anything.

But as the story plays out, we discover that his character wasn’t so paranoid and loony after all. If he hadn’t prepped for those situations, he wouldn’t have made it to the end of the movie.   

They are Strange Lonely People

This again is simply not true. While there are a few preppers who prefer to live in isolation and away from other people, this isn’t how it is for most prepping households. They don’t have to live in the desert or deep in the wilderness where the government won’t reach them. So don’t have the impression that you have to sell your home in the city where you’ve lived for years to be a prepper at heart.

Prepping has more to do with being self-sufficient and not having to depend on our government when things have taken a turn for the worse.

They Live Below Ground in Bunkers 

Another misconception out there about preppers is that many of them live like garden gnomes beneath the ground in their tiny little bunkers. While there are plenty of stories and interesting tv shows about preppers who have gone to these extremes, this is not the norm.

In fact, most preppers like myself, live in an average home in a pleasant neighborhood. Prepping doesn’t necessarily mean it consumes your entire way of life, but to be someone who plans ahead so they’re prepared when a disaster ever occurs.  

You Have to Be Rich to Prep

Chances are very likely that most of you reading this are not millionaires, join the club. Prepping certainly can cost you a fair amount of money, but the truth is, you don’t have to be rich in order to be a prepper. Many preppers out there today didn’t make it a one time deal and head to the store to buy every single prepping supply all at once. 

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Prepping should be done gradually over a longer period of time. Think of it as a long-term goal, and hopefully one day you never have to use what you have stored away. It requires planning and patience to find the best deals. Sometimes it even requires heading to thrift shops to find supplies that don’t necessarily have to be brand new.    

They are Heavily Armed

Have you ever watched “Doomsday Preppers?” Many of the episodes showed men and women and their underground arsenals that appeared all decked out with guns, along with thousands of rounds of ammunition. 

This isn’t real life folks. Most of us preppers know the importance of owning a defensive weapon for protection, but our basements are not lined from the floor to the ceiling with AR-15’s and grenade launchers. Again, you don’t have to be rich to be a prepper.  

So, what is prepping then? 

Hopefully, at this point, you have a better understanding of what preppers are not, but now you’re probably left scratching your head wondering what prepping is really all about? I’ll keep it simple. Prepping is about… being prepared.

That’s it. You don’t necessarily have to be prepping for Armageddon, but rather for natural disasters and emergency situations that certainly could happen. 

Just like with any other thing in life, there are different levels of prepping. Whether you plan on being a prepper who has a week to a few months’ worth of stockpiled food and supplies, or one that has enough equipment and supplies to live for on your own for a few years, you choose what you’re comfortable with. 

Common Misconceptions about Preppers

Final Word

Oftentimes, I’ve discovered that the people who are the most skeptical or bring the backlash about how others live are usually the ones who don’t really have a clue about what they are fighting for. We’re all guilty at times of having misconceptions about something that we don’t fully understand, but prepping shouldn’t be one of them.

Being prepared for a natural disaster, such as a tornado, hurricane, flood, or earthquake, doesn’t sound like something crazy to me. In fact, it sounds very smart, especially when you live in high-risk areas and know how common they have become recently.

Hopefully, this has helped some of you out there who may have been on the fence about prepping. I’d love to hear your thoughts.  May God Bless this world, Linda.

Copyright Images: Disaster Management AdobeStock_338910990 by Roger

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  1. I fall somewhere in the middle. I’m not a prepper I’m a survivalist. I’m ex military and bout to retire LEO. I am heavily armed well trained and very experienced in a life most should never know if there’s enough of me doing what they do. I rely heavily on skills as much as supplies.

    But importantly I’m a husband, father and grandfather who’s job it is to protect, provide, love and care for.

    That means everything from them not having a car when theirs breaks down, to always having a pocket tool to fix Barbie to a full blown “I Am Legend” caused by an untested vaccine where I’ve got supplies and plans for ALL of us. It also meant that they were trained as they grew up and even if they didn’t embrace the lifestyle they still have the seed planted and like a desert flower it blooms to be seen from time to time which makes me proud.

    Paranoid: My job isn’t to trust but to verify. I do not expect you to trust me nor do I want you too. Expect the same from me. That’s earned.

    I don’t live in a bunker because I can’t afford it and most importantly the wife frowns upon such activities lol.

    Preparedness is as much my job as a man as working, loving and being.

    Y’all stay safe. Be the best you that you can be.

    1. Hi Matt, we are so much alike in a few ways. I have to verify everything I hear. I’m not a prepper or survivalist either. You will always be someone I look up to because you have seen things we will never see. You have experienced things many of us will never experience. The “Barbie”, being a grandpa or grandma is the best thing ever. Now, I need to go watch “I Am Legend”. I love your statement, you have planted seeds, that is the best thing, a father, mother, or grandparent can do to teach their offspring. Good job, great example. I can’t wait until you retire. Stay safe, Linda

  2. I don’t prepare for doomsday. I prepare for every day catastrophes. Anything can happen at an time. Yes, an EMP May hit, or the power grid may go down, but if it does, I’ll survive. I have survived many things in my life, so I know I can survive. I love being prepared for whatever comes my way. There have been times I haven’t been, and truly regretted it. I live through it, but sometimes, just barely. LOL My children were my reason for going on so many times in my life. Now, my husband and grandchildren and great grandchildren are. Well, my children are, too.

      1. Susan when I was young, 50yrs ago, a bunch of my family moved to Kalifornia because we had it all wrong and they had a large part of why it is what it is.
        Kalifornia as a whole isn’t going to change.

        The People will decide to leave when they’ve had enough or stay miserable. Being the “United States” means we’ve got places for different values. I’ve zero desire to live there and zero desire for them to live around me.

        As far as the millionaire/billionaire exodus that’s not a good thing because they are trying to keep their ideas that caused them to leave in the first place. They’ll ruin what’s left of Texas.

  3. I don’t know what I am preparing for. I just think it takes way too much faith to think that we could never have an emergency (It couldn’t happen here, or to me). My mom grew up during the depression and always had a well stocked pantry and freezer.

    1. Hi Janet, I totally agree with you. I grew up poor, although I didn’t know how poor we were. LOL! We always made bread, biscuits, and had a pantry filled with food. It was only a closet but that was our pantry. My mother always had that water in those 5-gallon containers that you would trade out that sat on top of a refrigerated deal with a spigot. At the time, she bought it because the water tasted so bad in Las Vegas, Nevada where I grew up. Looking back my mom had water storage, not to the extent we store now but we had a few 5 -gallon bottles. It’s a way of life for me as well. And the freezer was always stocked. I’m glad we both learned from the best, our mothers. Linda

  4. My parents grew up during the Great Depression and while they didn’t talk a lot about what they lived through, they modeled what they NEVER wanted to go through again! We always had a full pantry, 2 freezers full of meat, etc. If my mother could see the shelf in the pantry she knew it was time to get to the grocery store!

    When I left home I took that mental picture with me. I don’t have the scope of preps that my folks did but it is only me now. But I learned from growing up that way.

    People who give me push-back are told one of a couple of reasons: 1) having a stockpile is just insurance against a) inflation b) illness c) stay home orders! OR 2) not able to go to the grocery store because of a) a weather event; earthquake, volcanic eruption b) any number of emergency situations.

    But, like Matt said it is more than just having food and weapons stored away for the WHAT IF… It is about skills. In some of those “doomsday” movies/books, those who had both food/weapons AND skills were the ones who survived.

    1. Hi Leanne, you know we both learned from our parents to be prepared before it was really “popular”. Thank goodness they taugh us and we taught our kids. Life is so good! Linda

  5. Prepping for me was instilled from birth. My mother taught me sewing, gardening and canning. My father taught me hunting/shooting and creative thinking(a tinker’s mind). As I aged I expanded hunting to cutting and preserving meats and tanning hides. I guess my point is that prepping isn’t an unique experience, I’m surprised when I meet folks who are surprised by my ‘stash’. I have gotten a few of them to have a month’s worth on hand at least to manage budgeting and simplify menu planning. Most of my primary skills have duplicate tools electric and manual just in case, ie Gramma’s treadle and a beetle and froe.

    1. Hi Nancy, great comment! Thank you for sharing your thoughts. You learned a lot of skills from your father and mother. I wish the kids today were able to learn the things we all learned. I cut up one deer, that’s my extent of cutting up an animal. My husband brought home after hunting. We cut it up in our kitchen. First and last time. I admire you for all you learned after hunting. Life is good, Linda

      1. I keep a full pantry because I have been poor and cold. I didn’t learn from my mother, so I had to teach myself, everything from canning, to budgeting to living beneath our means. I respect my husband and how hard it is to earn a dollar so I do my best to not waste it. The safety and security I find in our home is beyond money. We owe no one, and I like it that way. I am still learning everyday from all of you.

        1. Hi Chris, however you learned you rose above your situation and saved every penny or however you want to say it. What a great life you have, you owe no one. Your husband and YOU worked hard to get there. I admire those that live beneath their means. Mark and I have always done that, I think because we were grateful for whatever money he made and we didn’t want for much either. In this group, we all learn from one another. We all bring something to the table. Great comment, Linda

        2. Chris, good going! My mother taught me to prepare for ‘just in case’ but she sure didn’t learn That from Her mother! My mom said sometimes it’s what we learn Not to do that is more important. What you’ve done as an adult is awesome: you’ve learned skills and show appreciation for other’s efforts. My mom would be proud of you.

          1. Thank you so much for your gracious comment. I have come to realize just how little I knew starting out, and hope I have been able to do better by our children. If your mother is still in your life, please give her an extra hug this Christmas from me.

  6. People mock preppers until they’re hit with with a hurricane or tornado and they see the crazy, insane, paranoid selfish prepper’s dealing with the situation better than anyone and even helping out their neighbors.

    I always considered myself more of a survivalist, but in reality most of prepare for emergencies thus the term prepper actually better describes the actions and activities of those who desire to be prepared. I have studied how to survive daily events such as muggings or being left alone in the wilderness and spent a lot of energy learning how to survive after a nuclear war or societal breakdown. In reality, it’s all the same. The learned and prepared will always fare better.

    Of course things have changed since the “Cold War” years and we have adopted more of a homesteading position than simply being people with supplies, jeeps, radios, firearms and wearing camouflage. But the labels and impressions given or fabricated by others are meaningless. We’re all different with different goals and styles. The most common element is that we survivalist or preppers know how to live life, keeping ourselves fed, sheltered and safe. There is nothing insane about that.

    On the flip side, not caring about one’s well being seems kind of crazy if not foolish.

    1. Hi Frank, wow, wow, wow. I love your comment. It is so true, we are here to be prepared, to survive and help our neighbor. My God bless all of us to remember that. Linda

  7. this prepper “misconception” has always been more Fake News inspired more than anything else …

    and these days the Fake News is carrying the water for the powers-to-be that want nothing but obedient sheeple types – the last people that are wanted are the self-thinkers with an independent streak ….

  8. I used to live in a rural area in the Yukon and you never knew when you might not be able to get to town for whatever reason so you made sure you had enough stuff on hand to get through. You also kept survival gear in your vehicle “just in case”. Even though I now live in an apartment in a more southerly town that way of life just seems to make more sense to me. Especially since we’re all kind of waiting for the big earthquake to hit. Even the provincial government recommends emergency preparedness. I had just topped up my TP supply as usual (I buy by the case when I get to about 1/2 way through) when the pandemic hit. Talk about timing!

    1. Hi Alice, I think our life experiences make us think about preparedness. We now, think “what will I need if?”. And the story goes on. We must be prepared for the unexpected. The TP, we will always remember this year as the year of Toilet Paper or the lack of! We have to laugh or we would cry over this crazy year! Linda

  9. Linda, from non Prepper’s I hear 2 things about Prepper’s all the time. One is, that you brought all this on yourself by glorifying the topic and trying to get everyone to see your side of it to prepare. The other is, wow, I am going to your house if anything happens! I don’t need to prep. I personally like the position where you don’t show or say anything about your preps and ask them how to prepare for a specific weather (etc) calamity and is this what you have in your pantry? Opens up a different type of conversation I think!
    (stay safe)

  10. Thank you for writing this article. I’m writing a book about a prepper. One who must explain how not all preppers are “DOOMSDAY” ones. She’s living in rural Colorado. So she must prepare for blizzards and 8′ snowdrifts. She enjoys convincing “DOOMSDAY” preppers that a E.M.P. strike is highly unlikely.

    1. HI JONESCRUSHER, how exciting, I was asked to write a book as well. “Prepare Your Family For Survival”. I’m not a Doomsday prepper either. I am more worried about a total power grid outage than an EMP. Let me know when you finish writing it, this is exciting. Have you read “Light Outs’ by Ted Koppel, thats the best book ever. Our country has three power grids. The East Coast, West Coast and Texas has its own power grid. They each sell power to other states, cities, etc. They are so antiquated, it’s just a matter of time……Linda

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