Are Preppers Crazy? Not As Much As You May Think

The number of conflicts and natural disasters in the past few decades has motivated many people to become preppers. After seeing so many of these people on tv, many ask, “Are preppers crazy?”. Here’s the answer:

Many preppers aren’t crazy. However, the crazy ones tend to garner the most attention. In fact, many prominent business people and elected leaders could be considered preppers, but that is overshadowed because the crazy ones are more entertaining to read about and watch.

Here are some reasons why prepping, and the preppers who dedicate their energy and resources to it aren’t crazy. I’ll also share some reasons why some preppers could be considered crazy.

Why Preppers Aren’t Crazy

Preppers come from all walks of life and can be found all over the world. You probably know at least a few and you may not even know it. Here are some good reasons why preppers do what they do and why it isn’t so crazy after all.

Governments and Businesses Prep

One of the biggest reasons why preppers aren’t crazy is that they are doing many of the same things that every government and major business do. Governments and businesses all formulate plans that will help ensure they remain operational should a disaster take place.

The plans formulated by these governments and businesses are wide-ranging and comprehensive. It is believed that some governments even have plans that detail the response to an alien invasion. If our governments plan for unlikely situations like that, the average person isn’t crazy for prepping for things like natural disasters, pandemics, or social unrest.

Also, it is important to realize that these plans are designed specifically to ensure that these businesses and governments remain operational. The average person is not considered and would likely be on their own, at least for some period of time.

Many preppers are aware of this and feel the need to develop their own plans. If some of the most powerful organizations on our planet feel that emergency preparedness is important, maybe the average person should too.

Events such as a pandemic, social unrest, and economic hardship are all far more likely to occur than many of the things our government has prepared for.

Even events that occur with some frequency, such as hurricanes can cause people to be without utilities for a month or more. If a disaster impacted a large area, any government response would be extremely limited. Events such as these are what many preppers are trying to get ready for.

The Rich Are Prepping

Many people don’t realize this, but some of the wealthiest people in the world are preppers. They may not identify as preppers in the traditional sense, but the affluent spend huge amounts of money on preparedness.

One area where this is evident is the survival shelter (bunker) industry. Thanks to recent events, shelter builders have been enjoying a boom for the past several years.

If you think about someone taking shelter in a bunker, you may picture someone like the crazy guy from 10 Cloverfield Lane. However, many bunkers are actually owned by extremely wealthy and successful individuals. Bill Gates is rumored to own several.

Some wealthy people have chosen to have custom shelters built on their own land. Others have opted to pay for a high-end survival condo, complete with security. Businessinsider.com showed some of these bunkers on their website. You can see their article by clicking here.

This should really get the rest of us thinking. The wealthiest people in the world all rub elbows with one another and with global leaders. They have access to information that the rest of the world simply doesn’t. If people with that type of information are concerned, then the rest of us should take notice as well.

Prepping Is About Self-Reliance

Another reason why preppers aren’t crazy is that many simply want to be more self-reliant. They want to be the ones responsible for keeping themselves and their loved ones safe. Preppers are likely to believe the mantra, “If you want something done right, you have to do it yourself”.

The most obvious application of this is probably a person’s ability to provide financially. However, it can also be applied to providing food, water, or even protection when the systems we normally rely on break down.

It should be noted that most world governments actually encourage some degree of self-reliance. Organizations such as FEMA encourage citizens to be able to provide for their own basic needs for at least three days. Given, this is a much shorter period of time than most preppers are preparing for. However, governments recognize that they benefit when the general population isn’t entirely dependent on them.

People who are prepared for an emergency reduce strain on resources, allowing them to be used where they are needed the most. During a disaster, first responders and relief organizations will have limited manpower and supplies.

Preppers who have their own food, water, and supplies will be able to use theirs instead of those provided. This will reduce the number of people who won’t be able to get supplies because there weren’t enough.

This is true even if grocery stores are still operational but are having problems keeping shelves stocked. When panic hit, I was able to purchase fewer groceries than others because I knew I had a backup supply of food. Because of this, I was able to leave more food for others.

Not All Self-Reliance Is the Same

A prepper’s desire to be more self-reliant can take several forms. Some may simply store supplies and develop plans, while others may purchase a homestead where they can grow their own food.

The form of preparedness that a prepper chooses will depend on things such as their life experiences and financial abilities. Regardless of how they go about it, all preppers at their core have a desire to rely less on others and more on their own abilities.

Bad Things Do Happen

Another reason that preppers aren’t crazy is that many of the things they are preparing for happen with some frequency. Wars, natural disasters, and economic hardships are only a few examples of events that can upend the lives of countless individuals. Unfortunately, events such as these are likely to occur again.

Many people in the United States and other “First World” nations do not see prepping as necessary because they have never experienced truly bad living conditions. Immigrants from less-developed nations are more likely to embrace preparedness because of experiences in their home countries. However, this isn’t publicized because they are low-key about it and aren’t as interesting as the redneck that hates the “gubment”.

If you watch the news it won’t take long to learn about some horrific incident that just happened. Most of these only affect small areas, but others have the potential to have a much farther reach.

Most of us live in a bubble of privilege where we are insulated from many of the bad situations people in other parts of the world face. Because of this, we feel almost untouchable. Sadly, it only takes one event for that perception to change.

Some preppers have even experienced these things personally, which is why they feel prepping is important. Many people become preppers after their home is destroyed in a hurricane or earthquake. Others become preppers after they face a personal financial disaster, such as job loss.

Some Governments Are Untrustworthy

Another reason why preppers aren’t crazy is that some governments have proven themselves to be untrustworthy. Some may be steeped in corruption while others are simply incompetent.

An example of this would be the local government of Flint, Michigan. That name may sound familiar because it was ground zero for a massive scandal involving the public water supply.

The story of Flint’s water supply and its problems is long and complicated. However, the bottom line is that the government failed its citizens. Miserably.

When looking at situations such as this, it is completely logical for someone to want to make their own emergency preparations instead of relying on a governmental organization to do so.

After all, even if a government is acting in the best interest of their citizens, they are acting in the best interest of the group as a whole. Individuals may still be left to largely fend for themselves, even if some aid is provided.

Modern Life is Vulnerable

Preppers arent crazy

The modern life that we enjoy depends on a complex web of interconnected systems. Unfortunately, these systems are vulnerable to a wide range of potential threats. Once you are aware of these vulnerabilities, preppers look a lot less crazy.

Take, for example, our food supply. Like many other goods, foods are traded from one country to another. When you walk into your local grocery store, there is a good chance that the groceries came from several different countries.

In order for this food to make it to your table, it has to be grown, processed, and shipped. It must also be approved for export and import. Any number of factors could prevent the food from reaching its final destination.

Pandemics, for example, can stretch food supplies when workers in meat processing plants became ill. When this happens, the plants are forced to shut down, reducing the amount of food that is available for purchase. This, combined with panic buying, will make certain items difficult to find.

Another area of vulnerability is our electrical power system. Much of the equipment that comprises these systems is old and outdated. It is also fairly insecure from both physical and cyber attacks.

Take, for instance, in 1859, a solar storm resulted in a coronal mass ejection. When it hit Earth, it caused telegraph equipment to fail catastrophically. Sparks flew out of the equipment, shocking workers and even setting fires. A similar event missed Earth’s orbit by only 9 days in 2012. That is the cosmic equivalent of surviving a drive-by shooting while sitting on your porch.

Had 2012’s solar storm hit Earth, it would have been a disaster. Our power lines would have acted like antennae, just like the telegraph wires did in 1859. This would have destroyed much of our electrical infrastructure and electrical devices. It would also have likely caused numerous forest fires over large areas.

Prepping Allows You to Help Others

Another reason why preppers aren’t crazy is that being prepared puts you in a position to help others. When you are on an airplane, the flight attendants instruct you to put your mask on before helping other passengers. Prepping is similar to this.

If you have food, water, or other supplies that someone else needs, you can help them if you choose to do so. At the very least, being prepared will allow you to save any supplies or aid that may be present for those who need it more.

While there are limits to how much you can help without depleting all of your supplies, it is nice to have the option to help.

Prepping May Just Be a Hobby

Another reason why many preppers aren’t crazy is that, to them, prepping is just a hobby. It could also be a way for some people to combine several activities that they enjoy.

While every prepper is different, many share similar interests. These can include hunting, fishing, gardening, shooting, and even less obvious things like couponing. Prepping can give people a different way to enjoy activities that they already participated in.

Take me for example. I grew up enjoying camping and hunting, and as an adult, I have come to enjoy building useful things for the house and other DIY projects. Much of my preparedness revolves around things I have always enjoyed. However, it makes them more purposeful, and in some ways, more useful.

What Makes Some Preppers Crazy?

While many preppers aren’t crazy, unfortunately, others are. This is true for every group of people, but the crazy preppers tend to stick out. Here are some things that certain preppers do that make them crazy, or at the very least, seem that way.

Some Preppers Are Loners

One personality trait that many “crazy” preppers share is that they are loners. This type of person isn’t just an introvert or someone who is shy. Someone like this may simply not want to have anything to do with others. On the other hand, they may be socially awkward, causing others to avoid them.

People are social creatures, and as such, tend to view loners with suspicion. Here is an example:

Scenario 1: You are on a subway platform late at night. You are with some friends and there is no one else around except for a lone male standing a few feet away. He doesn’t say a word.

Scenario 2: You are on a subway platform late at night with some friends. The only other people around are a couple that appears to be married or dating.

Which scenario is likely to make you more uncomfortable? Most people would select Scenario 1. A seemingly unfriendly loner is easy to brand as a potential threat. This is even more true if it is night or you are in a bad part of town.

Unfortunately, many preppers do actually consider themselves “lone wolves”. If a disaster were to take place, their plan is to look out for themselves alone. They are often very vocal and proud of this.

Other preppers who have families may not be loners, but they are only concerned with their well-being and that of their family. While most preppers agree that there is a limit to how much they will be able to help others during a disaster, these people have zero desire to whatsoever.

Some Preppers Are Hoarders

One thing that many preppers do that some consider crazy is hoarding. Food and ammo are some of the most common items that preppers like to hoard.

It is important to note that storing supplies does not necessarily make someone a hoarder. Storing basic supplies, such as food, water, and other essentials is a good way to be prepared for a wide range of possible scenarios. Storing certain goods, such as ammunition, is a good way to hedge against rising costs and possible future unavailability.

So when does a prepper who stores large quantities of supplies become a hoarder? It occurs when their storage becomes impulsive or otherwise negatively affects their quality of life or the quality of life of those around them.

A prepper who is a hoarder will buy and store items even if they already have enough or can’t afford to do so. They don’t acquire these items as part of a preparedness plan, but because of an incontrollable impulse.

Another thing that could make a prepper a hoarder is storing items in such a way that it makes their house less livable. This would occur when their home is so packed with freeze-dried food or other supplies that it is difficult to move around in.

Preppers who are hoarders may also obsess over one type of prep, such as food or weapons. An example of this would be someone who has 50,000 rounds of ammunition but no emergency food. This could be considered hoarding because they are not storing items according to a well-thought-out preparedness plan.

Some Preppers Want Something Bad to Happen

One trait that some crazy preppers share is that they actually hope for a terrible event to happen. They sit around watching the news, hoping that some terrorist detonates a dirty bomb or the Yellowstone Supervolcano blows its top.

There are different reasons why people want something bad to happen. One could be that they aren’t happy with their normal lives. They may feel that once the world is turned upside down, then they will be able to take their “rightful” place at the top.

Another reason why a prepper may want something bad to happen is they want to be proven right. They may be frustrated that people have ridiculed them for being a prepper and feel vindictive. The thought of rubbing everyone else’s nose in it and declaring “I told you so!” is something that they look forward to.

Some Preppers Are Violent

One of the biggest reasons that people think preppers are crazy is that some are violent. A perfect example of this is the guy on Doomsday Preppers who proudly claimed that he and his friends were “marauders”.

Their idea of being a prepper was to pillage other people’s preps by force. They thought they would be able to roam the countryside and kill anyone who got in their way. Fortunately, he already had a criminal history and was arrested for being a felon in possession of a firearm. That put a definite damper on his plans.

This individual would fit many people’s definition of crazy (including mine). Fortunately, not every prepper who owns firearms thinks the same way as “Mr. Marauder”. Most preppers look at individuals such as this with disdain and would only use their weapons for defensive purposes.

Most preppers have a moral compass that would prevent them from involving themselves in such activities. In addition, most sane people would recognize that attempting something like this will more than likely end up resulting in the deaths of those taking part in them.

Unfortunately, many people like to assume that all preppers are like this. This is largely because violent preppers tend to be fairly loud-mouthed. In addition, people such as this are more likely to gain attention from the media and be depicted on television. They may be crazy, and that makes it hard for many to look away.

Some Preppers Are Obsessive

Another thing that makes some preppers crazy is that they obsess over prepping. This obsession could be over prepping itself, a specific event that may happen, or a combination of the two.

Preppers that simply obsess over prepping center their whole lives around it. Event-specific preppers focus only on one event, which may or may not be likely to happen.

Both of these are unhealthy situations that can strain relationships with family and friends. While I obviously feel that prepping is a wise thing to do, I also think that it is important to realize that something “really big” may never happen.

Because of this, prepping should be done in such a way that it enhances your quality of life, regardless of if some sort of major disaster takes place. You should have plans and resources to deal with those events should they take place, but neglecting other aspects of your life, especially people, for prepping should be avoided.

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