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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
What is a prepsteader? It is someone who combines prepping and homesteading. However, the complete answer is a little more complicated.

To see the whole picture we need to go back to at least the 1970s, or maybe the early 1980s. What we consider prepping today was everyday life during the cold war.

During the Cold War, people lived under the constant threat of nuclear war. Because of that people kept a stockpile of food and other supplies. After all, you never knew when the bombs were going to fall.

When the Berlin Wall came down after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States entered into a short lived period of peace. For the first time since the end of World War II we were at a true peace.

The came along Waco, Ruby Ridge and the Oklahoma City Bombing. When it came out that Timothy Mcveigh was part of a survivalist group, the name survivalist became taboo almost overnight.

Survivalism In The 1990s

In the mid-1990s I had a couple of co-workers that associated survivalist with terrorist. I am not kidding guys and gals, when a couple of co-workers found out I was a survivalist, they accused me of being a terrorist. One guy asked me straight up, “Your a survivalist, so you blow up buildings?”

Since Timothy Mcveigh was a survivalist, that meant all survivalist were terrorist.

The result of the Oklahoma City Bombing was the word survivalist became taboo. Rather than calling ourselves survivalist, the name prepper was developed. Timothy Mcveigh was a survivalist, I am a prepper.

The long term effect was that survivalist were driven underground for better than a decade. Even gun magazines stopped publishing ads for Paladin Press.


In the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s there was a demographic shift in the United States. During that time the last of the people born in the 1800s passed away. With their passing, an enormous amount of knowledge also passed away. The only thing we have today are letters and journals from that era.

This was a generation who went from kerosene lanterns and hand dug water wells, to putting a man on the moon.

Homesteaders today are trying to figure out what was not passed down from one generation to the other. In previous generations children did not venture very far from the family. With the creation of the vehicle, people at instant transportation available.

With a car, a child could go to college, then move away and get a job. This left nobody at the farm to pass knowledge down to. As a result, generations of farming, gardening, and homesteading knowledge was lost in the 1960s, 1970s and even into the 1980s.

Homesteading is being self-sufficient. Even someone living in the city can be self-sufficient. Plant a garden, plant a few fruit trees, get some laying hens, and the person becomes an urban homesteader. Someone does not need to own acres in a rural area t be a homesteader.


The Prepsteader is attempting to become self-sufficient, and then combine that with prepping. Or rather, combine homesteading with survivalism.

For the more radical wing of survivalism, maybe survivalsteader would be a better word? However, prepsteader rolls off the tongue better than survivalsteader. The word prepsteader is also more politically correct than something associated with survivalism.

My goal here on the farm is to develop a semi self-sustainable farm. There is an old saying, “No man is an island.” As much as I would love to live completely off the land and isolated, it just is not possible. Even the Amish need contact with other people.

All of this is factored into my long term survival plans. Make contact with neighbors, and maybe we can work together in the even of a collapse.

Final Thoughts

Short answer, a prepsteader is someone who combines prepping and homesteading.

The long answer is a little more complicated. As a survivalist I consider myself more extreme then yo-yo peppers. Where a yo-yo prepper may go in and out of prepping, survivalist remain constant.

Survivalist also may consider themselves more militant than preppers. Where a prepper may have a few firearms, a survivalist may have enough firearms to start a war in a small South American country.

9,587 Posts
In that case I'm a survivalstedder.

I think 2008-9 has had a lot to do with it. Millions of people, like my parents and my wife parents fell from middle class into to bankruptcy and destitution and never recovered. Seeing how fast a entire way of life can vanish was a wake up call for a lot of people I think. A lot of us now remember growing up in better times and seeing it all slowly die year by year. Just a few minutes ago I raided my storehouse for potatoes to give to my parents as its another week until the SS check comes in and they have nothing to eat. I see that in my future as well and it scares the hell out of me so I'm working to build a lifeboat for my family as the world continues to slide back into darkness.

I belive that if I do not achieve a defensible, relatively self sufficient homestead now it could be hundreds of years before my descendants can become landowners again.

2,571 Posts
Modern labels. Homesteaders in history were a tough lot and fought every kind of enemy, land barons, Indians and all nature could throw at them and they survived. And they could make just about anything, grow their own food, and of course had to stockpile to survive to the following harvests. So in my humble opinion all these words are interchangeable now. But the original original was homesteader.

Apto Aut Morior
708 Posts
This is such a pervasive problem. Attempting to create then define new words, names and labels with the intent of being more acceptable to society.

Overall, a total failure.

You even contradict your own definition; first you're a "prepper" and McVeigh (why TF bring him into this anyway???) is a "survivalist".

Then a few sentences down you further describe this made up term as "combining homesteading with survivalism". This draws a direct line of commonality with McVeigh. Good job. That's what the general public needs to read.

To compare any part of what I do to McVeigh is a false equivalence, and only perpetuates the notion that we're a bunch of wackos.

And you wonder why your YouTube vids don't get more traffic???


6,885 Posts
In my view, another useless term.

A homesteader can also be a prepper. A prepper can also be a homesteader.

Trying to pigeon hole people in ways like this makes it sound like a person cannot have more than one interest...

A person can like dogs and cats, they can be into motorcycles and still enjoy knitting, they can like Poker and Monopoly...

Just because you are a prepper does not mean you cannot be (or MUST BE) interested in any particular other thing.

BTW, I used to consider myself a "survivalist" for many years. I met MANY like minded individuals back in the days before anyone ever used the term "prepper".

Some of them were great people with a strong concern for the state of the country or of the world.

Some of them were exactly the sort of out of their mind loons the press and government worry survivalists are.

I like to think I fell somewhere in between the two extremes...

859 Posts
Interesting nomenclature, I was there in the 70s, Mel Tappen, was the man. This was the attitude then. Live on a piece of land as the world goes to ****. My parents were born in the early 1900s, they went through the Depression, WW2. I was brought up right after WW2. People had gardens, canned, were more self reliant. I like that. The power went out the other day. I had a fire in the fireplace, back up batteries worked. We had no real disruption other than no TV, I have to start the generator for that and it was on two hours with no power. We have solar panels, a developing garden and orchard. Food and firewood storage. But add a home based business to this and we are more like a 100 years ago.

Run Silent, Run Dark
892 Posts
Prepsteader. I like it. It fills a word void for me. We own some land and it has a small trailer on it that we call a 'cabin.' I didn't feel comfortable saying I was a homesteader. To me homesteading is starting from nothing and taking chances with wealth and life.

Prepsteading to me is the hobby of homesteading without the risk. The risk may come later if there is an event that requires us to move to the 'life boat' and use it for a BOL. Right now the property is used for recreation.

We have about a month of common food there, a small amount of ammo, a lockable gate, and are planning on a small garden this spring.

We have electricity, a shallow well and propane heat. We bought it that way. To minimize risk we had the well, septic, electricity, and building inspected before purchase. Paid for a title search and warranty deed.
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