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Lets talk about the different types of survivalist. This article is based on my experience with different types of survivalist over the past 25+ years.

With organizations like FEMA, and the preparedness divisions of the separate states telling people to stay prepared for a disaster, there is no reason not to listen. All families should have at least 7 days worth of food in their house, and a small stockpile of bottled water. Some people stockpile MREs, while others may stockpile canned goods, beans and rice, or even freeze dried foods.

By previous examples, the government is either inept, unable, or unwilling to protect its citizens during a disaster.

Lets take the outbreak of the swine flu for example. When the swine flu was first reported in mexico, President obama refused to close to borders with mexico, citing companies would lose too much money of the borders were closed. By that example, when it comes down to profit or protecting the citizens, the government will protect the profits of big business over the safety and welfare of the citizens.

With the government willing to sacrifice safety in the name of profits for big business, is their 3 - 5 days worth of food and water sound advice? I do not think so.

In some kind of disaster, the less prepared people are, the more dependent they will be on the government. This is where the concept of stockpiling survival gear comes from. Lets say that some kind of long lasting disaster happens - civil unrest (LA riots for example), hurricane, natural disasters, another world war,,,, I do not want my family standing in a food line to get something to eat. I would rather have a garden, and stockpiled food to help us get through what ever happens.

How about a random video about stockpiling survival gear


In my opinion, there are about 4 levels of prepping:

Short term preppers – these are the people that buy enough food for a couple of weeks. they may keep a months worth of canned goods, rice and beans on hand. These are the people that go into panic buying mode when there is news of a disaster. When the news says there is a hurricane on the way, these are the people that run down to the store and buy as many supplies as they can afford. I do not consider people who keep only about 1 – 2 weeks worth of food stockpiled “true” survivalist.

Medium term preppers / survivalist – these are the people that might keep 4 – 6 months of food stockpiled. They may be stockpiling mountain house foods, storing rice, beans and oatmeal in mylar bags.

Long term survivalist – these are the people that store food in every closet, basement, closet and corner of their house. Long term survivalist try to keep around 1 year of food and water stockpiled.

Top tier survivalist – these are the ones that have planned food production past one year, have access to a farm, have prepared a secure Bug Out Location, have land to garden and places to hunt and fish. A top tier survivalist would rely on stockpiled food in the short term, or until they can get their livestock and garden production up to sustainable levels.

*** The name “top tier survivalist” may not be correct, but its the only name I could really thing of at the time. I think there needs to be a division between people that stockpile a years worth of food, and people that go past stockpiling food.

John doe has a 1 year of food stockpiled.

Jane doe has 1 year of food stockpiled, plus enough seed to plant a garden for 2 or 3 years.

Both john and jane doe would be considered long term survivalist, but only jane has "real" long term plans.

Besides dividing survivalist into groups defined by how much they stockpile, there are another series of groups – the hobby prepper/survivalist, your lifestyle survivalist and the radical survivalist.

Hobby survivalist: Are the ones that jump on and off the prepping bandwagon, depending on current events or who they are influenced by. The hobby survivalist probably does not keep a good inventory of their survival stocks, probably does not keep more then a few weeks of supplies on hand.

Lifestyle survivalist: These are the people that make survivalism part of their lifestyle. Everything they do in some way revolves around prepping. Whether its fishing, hiking, hunting,,,, lifestyle survivalist associate the activity to survivalism.

The radical survivalist: These are the people that stockpile weapons and ammo in the fear that the US government is going to enforce marshal law, round up everyone that opposes the government and send those people to FEMA death camps. Radical survivalist are nothing more then fear mongers.
 

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You might consider combining your top tier survivalist with your lifestyle category and simply call them homesteaders.

I grew up on a small farm and we raised nearly all our food from our garden, orchard, and livestock. No one is prepared to grow their own food who is not currently growing at least part of it now.
 

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Good points, very interesting. We would consider ourselves "lifestylers" here on the Spartan Farm. We simply enjoy being more and more self sufficient! Being prepared for a catastrophe or huge economic down turn is just gravy then! With goats, rabbits, chickens, gardens, building useful things out of scrap lumber, it gives us a huge feeling of satisfaction. It is a huge bonus then to know we will not have to depend on others or the government for a bite of food, or a drink of water, during hard times. It is less of a task when a survivalist enjoys what he is doing! We do nothing out of fear, out of radicalism against authorities, or to be on the bandwagon. We do it because of self respect and for the good feeling being a little more independent each day. It builds character.
 

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My homestead falls into 3 catagories: Top Tier Survivalist, Life Style Survivalist and Radical Survivalist.

I prep for each of these events.

However, there are times I just want to forget about prepping for awhile. That is usually when I am on vacation.

Right now vacations are out since my husband has medical issues that will take the next couple of years to take care of. But I still prep between Doctor/hospital visits. This is for both our benefit.

I really appreciate your survivalist break down. It helped me figure out that I am further along then I thought I was.

God bless and keep on prepping.
 

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Oh great, now i feel like a radical lifestyle survivalist.
I no longer trust our government. And I have been into survival since the 60s.
When I was in high school (1982 - 1986), the father of one of my buddies was what I consider a radical survivalist. He had a firearm hidden in every room of the house, to the point of knocking holes in the walls, hiding a firearm inside the wall, and then putting a pictures over the wall. His reasons for having firearms in every room was so that when the FBI or BATF raided his house, he would have a firearm within reach.

Fast forward 25 years, and the guys house was never raided. I never understood "why" the FBI or BATF would want to raid the guys house anyway. He was a law-abiding citizen, so I did not understand where the paranoia came from.
 

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You might consider combining your top tier survivalist with your lifestyle category and simply call them homesteaders.

I grew up on a small farm and we raised nearly all our food from our garden, orchard, and livestock. No one is prepared to grow their own food who is not currently growing at least part of it now.
I used to grow more of my own food than I do now, used to raise chickens, rabbits and helped with sheep and cattle. Right now I don't have the time to get involved in all of it due to other more pressing needs, but I do raise a decent amount of vegetables. I do agree that if you start without any knowledge or hands on experience you will be in for a eye opening experience.
 

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I guess that makes me a proud Top Tier Lifestyle Survivalist.



Maybe change up Top Tier to Self-sustaining, and add the 'Homestead Lifestyle Survivalist' as one who already is actively close to or at self-sustaining stage.

So I maintain a 2 yr+ stockpile including seeds and reproduction supplies, actively homestead in a (nearly) self-sustaining manner, and maintain a self-sufficient lifestyle including actively using the survivalist knowledge and resources. So I'm a Homesteading Lifestyle Survivalist.
 

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Oh great, now i feel like a radical lifestyle survivalist.
I no longer trust our government. And I have been into survival since the 60s.
I think Kev is trying to illustrate some different mindsets, but the problem with labels is that they always fall short or misjudge. Individuals vary greatly and don't fit cookie cutters. I wouldn't consider everyone who believes it's important to have firearms and ammunition to be a "radical". I find that label dangerous in the context of our 2nd amendment rights.

And no amount of stockpiling is a long term solution. Production is the only long term solution. A thought provoking thread none the less.
 

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I think Kev is trying to illustrate some different mindsets, but the problem with labels is that they always fall short or misjudge. Individuals vary greatly and don't fit cookie cutters. I wouldn't consider everyone who believes it's important to have firearms and ammunition to be a "radical". I find that label dangerous in the context of our 2nd amendment rights.

And no amount of stockpiling is a long term solution. Production is the only long term solution. A thought provoking thread none the less.
I don't think it needs to include all people who have guns. I do have firearms and ammunition here BUT it's used as a part of the homesteading lifestyle. Not solely with the intention of guarding the home front from the evil government zombies.

I think that's a huge difference between 'lifestyle arms use' and 'radical stockpiling'. I CAN use them to defend against other people but the primary use is for hunting.
 

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I agree in general, except for the exceptions. :) My problem is with the leap from Long term survivalist to Top tier survivalist. One relies on what they can store and that's it. The other feels the need to have a separate place, needs a lot of land, with all kinds of natural resources but doesn't seem to see a need for long term storage. Where does that put people like me? Nowhere. I have long term storage, certainly for more than a year, because I'm preparing for two years without much food production. That may seem strange considering that I already have a great deal of my 1/3 acre lot full of edibles of all kinds but many things can happen. I have a few things stored that far exceed two years because I will never be able to replace them, such as rice and salt, if things get really bad. (I have rice seeds but grow rice from seed in Minnesota? Even I am not that good and I'm growing artichokes this year.) I also have taken care to prepare from learning to make my own yarn, to just about anything I can think of that will be of use. In other words, I'm way pass long term survivalist but certainly don't fall under top tier survivalist. Maybe the Homesteader suggestion would fit between the two.
 

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I would assume in order to be Top Tier, you would necessarily have to also be lifestyle in the sad event that you lost your homestead, so I'm working towards Top Tier by being a lifestyle survivalist until I have the means and opportunity to have a homestead.
 

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I'm currently short term prepper rapidly moving towards medium term. At my present rate I estimate within a year or so I'll move into the long term tier, mostly due to limited storage space. I'v been looking for alternative housing, just haven't found anything fitting my criteria yet.

Long term goal is to move into the top tier. My hearts always belonged on a farm. I love that special feeling that comes with an honest days work, especially at harvest time and the feeling of being self sufficient. I have many obstacles to over come but with hard work, determination and a little luck maybe I'll be there in a few years.

By todays standards I would be considered a radical because I still believe in those revolutionary ideas our founding fathers had so long ago. By no way do I consider myself a "radical survivalist" based on the definition provided.
 

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Well as of now, I would consider myself a Medium Prepper in between a Hobby/Lifestyle survivalist. For over 30 yrs I've been honing my skills in everything from household repair to outdoor/hunting skills and first aid. I felt safe as I was in a distant suburb of chicago but as the economy changes and my life is changing I find myself being forced closer to the evil city. With this, much of my preps will be downsized, from stocks of food to many different tools and yes, even my collection of firearms (thankfully I am not being forced into the nasty government of the City of Chicago and their barbaric/communist laws). Hopefully things will change for the better and I will be able to begin again soon.
 

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Hey Kev, how's the quality on those Coleman flashlights? Do they flicker at all, do the batteries flop around inside? Also how much were they?

Thanks
They are pretty good, I have one that has two colored LEDS (red &white) dropped mine from about 8 ft onto a hardwood floor and it never missed a beat. Just remember if you get the one with the lithium 123 batteries have a spare set on hand the y work up until the last little bit of juice and then they are done.
 

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I seem to be a medium prepper with a few top tier characteristics. I have a location set out for a BOL, have about 6 months of food, have plans and preps to grow food, can raise animals but don't have any at the time being. Then there are a few things that I would consider lifestyle as well that I do. I think that it is hard for most of us to fully fit into one specific group fully but it is an interesting point to see where we are.
 
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