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Why do people get into prepping? Why do people decide to get into survivalism?

I think it boils down to “Hope for the best but prepare for the worst”.

The question that begs to be answered is “what is the the worst?”. What is the worst case situation that we should prepare for?



For some people “the worst” might be losing their job. For others it might be a wildfire, for others it might be a hurricane or flood. Then there are the people that plan for a complete collapse of society.

Does being a survivalist mean you have to prep for a complete collapse? No, it does not.

To understand survivalism, we need to understand what drives a survivalist. One of the highest levels of human thought is to think about what we think about. Why do we do the things we do, why do we think about what we do, why do we act a certain way, why do we make certain decisions.

Nobody is born a survivalist. Joining the survival community is a conscious decision we make. As with everything else in life, our decisions are influenced by the way we were raised, culture, society, events in our life,,,.

Why do people get into coin collecting? Why do people get into stamp collecting? Why do people get into the hobbies they do? Do they find the hobbies challenging, maybe a way to occupy their free time?

Survivalism is a practical hobby. Grow your own food, preserve and store your own food, just like people used to do decades ago. Maybe survivalism should be considered as a return to basics?

There was once a time when people grew their food during the spring and summer. Then preserved the food to last the family through the winter.

Today, families keep just a few days of food on hand.

What happened to society?

What caused people from storing months of food from their harvest, to keeping less then a weeks worth of food on hand? I think the availability of food is what happened.

Over the past 50 or so years the majority of the population moved from rural areas to urban areas. People no longer had access to land to grow their own food. Instead of growing and preserving their own food, people were forced to buy more and more processed foods.

Relying on processed foods creates weak spots in society. When the trucks stop rolling, the grocery stores will run out of food within days. Members of the prepping community know this.

Its not just the food supply that has people worried, its the economy, corrupt government that bows to the bankers, tensions with Iran, Russia, China, our manufacturing base has been shipped to China, the sheeple have been brainwashed into believing voting for the same two parties over and over brings about real change, rogue nations are developing nuclear weapons, the federal reserve and U.S. treasury prints money out of thin air,,,, only to name a new things.

At one time the U.S. had the greatest manufacturing base in all of human history, but not anymore. Where did our factories go? To communist china.

In the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, if someone tried to send massive amounts of manufacturing jobs to communist china, he would have been strung up by his ball sack. today, its business as usual.

Our enemies grow stronger as we grow weaker.

Why has society grown weaker, instead of stronger?

The degradation of society is one thing that helps drive part of the survivalist community. An uncertain future is another driving factor.

Uncertainty Contributes to Survivalism

Over the past 20+ years I have seen certain time periods where there was a surge in people interested in prepping.

When bill clinton was elected, firearms sales surged as people were worried about a gun grabbing democrat being elected president.

GATT and NAFTA being passed, which facilitated off-shoring of U.S. jobs.

Waco incident.

Ruby Ridge incident.

Oklahoma City bombing.

The Y2K scare.

The 9/11 attacks on New York.

wall street and the bank bailout.

Another gun grabbing democrat being elected into office.

Swine flu scare.

obama signing the National Defense Authorization Act.

Iran developing a nuclear program.

obama has probably done more to further the prepping/survivalist movement then any other president in U.S. history.

The Economy

Its not just the worry of an overzealous government, nuclear war, disease outbreaks,,, that drive prepping, Its also the small things like losing a job, sickness, illness. Ever lose your job? Did you find comfort that you had a stockpile of food and a some money put back?

People are worried about the economy. This worry causes people to stockpile essentials, such as food, gold, silver, and cash.

For the past 3 decades, the U.S. has been bleeding jobs. Over the past 10 – 15 years, that job lose has been more like a cut artery then a slight scratch.

The manufacturing jobs that supported the vast majority of the middle class are gone, never to return.

The lack of manufacturing jobs and the lack of skilled workers has left us in a state of disadvantage. We have few factories that can retooled during times of war.

History

Sooner or later some new disease will breakout, war, climate change, human migration,,, nothing remains constant.

When the swine flu was first reported in Mexico, president obama refused to close the borders. Companies stood to lose too much money from closing the borders with Mexico. Protecting profits were put ahead of public safety.

It is a matter of time before the human population faces a new threat.
 

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VA / NC
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12,688 Posts
Like to know I have health insurance if I become ill, car insurance should an accident happen, homeowners should something happen to the home, and prepping / survival insurance should something happen to society.

It's a nice feeling of confidence to know you and your family is insured.
 

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I have control issues
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5,979 Posts
Why do people get into prepping? Why do people decide to get into survivalism?

Because "stuff" happens, and if you have half a brain in your head, you'd better be prepared to deal with it! My parents grew up during the Great Depression and went through WWII (Dad fighting, Mom living with rationing, etc.) There were also times when the NAVY would screw up on the pay, and Dad would get a pay stub stating "No pay due" in error. It could take MONTHS for the Navy to get it straightened out, so Mom always kept several months worth of food on hand (as well as a garden) so that at least we'd have food on the table.

"Stuff" happens. "Prepping" helps one deal with it. "Survivalism" is about keeping your butt alive and well when most of the others around you are dropping like flies.
 

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Registered
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9,207 Posts
I prep because I want to protect my family and myself from as many bad things or times as possible. I can't fathom watching my family go hungry or be cold because I did nothing to prepare.
 

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I love this *****
Joined
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33,879 Posts
Why do people get into prepping? Why do people decide to get into survivalism?

I think it boils down to “Hope for the best but prepare for the worst”.

The question that begs to be answered is “what is the the worst?”. What is the worst case situation that we should prepare for?



For some people “the worst” might be losing their job. For others it might be a wildfire, for others it might be a hurricane or flood. Then there are the people that plan for a complete collapse of society.

Does being a survivalist mean you have to prep for a complete collapse? No, it does not.

To understand survivalism, we need to understand what drives a survivalist. One of the highest levels of human thought is to think about what we think about. Why do we do the things we do, why do we think about what we do, why do we act a certain way, why do we make certain decisions.

Nobody is born a survivalist. Joining the survival community is a conscious decision we make. As with everything else in life, our decisions are influenced by the way we were raised, culture, society, events in our life,,,.

Why do people get into coin collecting? Why do people get into stamp collecting? Why do people get into the hobbies they do? Do they find the hobbies challenging, maybe a way to occupy their free time?

Survivalism is a practical hobby. Grow your own food, preserve and store your own food, just like people used to do decades ago. Maybe survivalism should be considered as a return to basics?

There was once a time when people grew their food during the spring and summer. Then preserved the food to last the family through the winter.

Today, families keep just a few days of food on hand.

What happened to society?

What caused people from storing months of food from their harvest, to keeping less then a weeks worth of food on hand? I think the availability of food is what happened.

Over the past 50 or so years the majority of the population moved from rural areas to urban areas. People no longer had access to land to grow their own food. Instead of growing and preserving their own food, people were forced to buy more and more processed foods.

Relying on processed foods creates weak spots in society. When the trucks stop rolling, the grocery stores will run out of food within days. Members of the prepping community know this.

Its not just the food supply that has people worried, its the economy, corrupt government that bows to the bankers, tensions with Iran, Russia, China, our manufacturing base has been shipped to China, the sheeple have been brainwashed into believing voting for the same two parties over and over brings about real change, rogue nations are developing nuclear weapons, the federal reserve and U.S. treasury prints money out of thin air,,,, only to name a new things.

At one time the U.S. had the greatest manufacturing base in all of human history, but not anymore. Where did our factories go? To communist china.

In the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s, if someone tried to send massive amounts of manufacturing jobs to communist china, he would have been strung up by his ball sack. today, its business as usual.

Our enemies grow stronger as we grow weaker.

Why has society grown weaker, instead of stronger?

The degradation of society is one thing that helps drive part of the survivalist community. An uncertain future is another driving factor.

Uncertainty Contributes to Survivalism

Over the past 20+ years I have seen certain time periods where there was a surge in people interested in prepping.

When bill clinton was elected, firearms sales surged as people were worried about a gun grabbing democrat being elected president.

GATT and NAFTA being passed, which facilitated off-shoring of U.S. jobs.

Waco incident.

Ruby Ridge incident.

Oklahoma City bombing.

The Y2K scare.

The 9/11 attacks on New York.

wall street and the bank bailout.

Another gun grabbing democrat being elected into office.

Swine flu scare.

obama signing the National Defense Authorization Act.

Iran developing a nuclear program.

obama has probably done more to further the prepping/survivalist movement then any other president in U.S. history.

The Economy

Its not just the worry of an overzealous government, nuclear war, disease outbreaks,,, that drive prepping, Its also the small things like losing a job, sickness, illness. Ever lose your job? Did you find comfort that you had a stockpile of food and a some money put back?

People are worried about the economy. This worry causes people to stockpile essentials, such as food, gold, silver, and cash.

For the past 3 decades, the U.S. has been bleeding jobs. Over the past 10 – 15 years, that job lose has been more like a cut artery then a slight scratch.

The manufacturing jobs that supported the vast majority of the middle class are gone, never to return.

The lack of manufacturing jobs and the lack of skilled workers has left us in a state of disadvantage. We have few factories that can retooled during times of war.

History

Sooner or later some new disease will breakout, war, climate change, human migration,,, nothing remains constant.

When the swine flu was first reported in Mexico, president obama refused to close the borders. Companies stood to lose too much money from closing the borders with Mexico. Protecting profits were put ahead of public safety.

It is a matter of time before the human population faces a new threat.
I think that one motivator (at least for me when I first got into it) was fear of the unknown. Fear is always a great motivator. Since then, it has turned from fear to common sense. We hear of natural disasters all the time. The Japanese and Indonesian tsunamis come to mind but also Katrina, Mt. St. Helens, etc. Then, there is the loss of that all-important job. I've been there and done that and know exactly what it's like to worry about tomorrow.

We had a snow storm last October that left us without power for 36 hours. I was the only person around with a generator and propane heaters and alternative lighting. My wife and I stayed warm and cozy and our refrigerators and freezers remained operating for the entire time. So, from personal experience I know that prepping is the right thing to do.
 

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In memory of Rokitdog
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After a short period in my younger life when I had to mooch from my parents or filch some cabbage and califlower from a corporate farm to feed my self, I swore I would never be without food again and started my prepping. 30 years later still prepping!
 

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I started of a nuclear war retreatist and slowly became a preparedist as I aged. I grew in age and in education, as well as in my knowledge of the realities of survival both long term and short.

I think why I got into prepping is simply that I always seemed to see things my friends and family did not. I always had different priorities than them. I always felt...I don't want to say afraid because that is not the right word...I always felt like the other shoe was gonna drop any second and no one else knew it but me.

I started watching post apok movies and reading the books to give me ideas of stuff to acquire and things to do. As I matured, I realized the realities and got actual training and acquired quality equipment (though I still enjoy some of those movies and books).

Prepping is like anything else a person does. Why buy house or car insurance? Why get a dental or medical checkup? Why buy a new winter coat when it is summer right now?

To me, it has always seemed like a natural thing to do.

Even when my friends and family thought I was nuts.
 

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I first started after I saw what happened with Katrina, and how it took less than 48 hrs for society to break down, realized if it happened here, i had no way to defend myself. went and bought a glock 40, and 12 gauge pump. realized i hadnt shot for years so started practicing.

next the power went out in our town for a few days (blown transformer) saw the panic buying, and all the stores get mobbed immediately, with people fighting over stuff, also no one could get fuel from gas stations. talking to the sce repairmen, i found out our local power grid was built in the 1950,s, has never been upgraded, and is basically jerry rigged together with a hope and a prayer.

lost my business and everything i worked for my whole life in 2008, and took a job as a construction superintendent. since then i have worked on various potable water systems, and high voltage power lines and what i encountered was eye opening, to say the least. high voltage buses arent even made in this country anymore that we could find, and are made to order( took 6months) from what i have seen myself, our infrastructure is hanging on by a thread.

the world has changed dramatically in the past 10 years, and just from the little i know, its obvious things cannot go on unchanged forever. my eyes have been opened to coming new reality.

thank you all for valuable info gained on this site
 

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i started minor prepping a year or so before the october 2011 snowstorm that killed power to my area for a week. that snowstorm is what got me into prepping overdrive.

my eyes were never opened to the whole history behind food storage until i began prepping. i never knew it was the norm back in the 1900s to have large amounts of food stored away. but now that we have the conveniance of grocery stores right down the street, preppers are seen as a bunch of crazies because everyone else thinks those stores will never become unavailable.

i've found some gaps in my preps recently. a while back, i was sick and had no desire to eat anything besides the packaged lipton noodle soup. opened the pantry, found one box of it, good enough for two bowls. soon as i got better i went out and bought another ten boxes of it, for when i get sick again and have the same desire to eat nothing but noodle soup.

i was watching CNN a couple months back and the headline read, "Toilet Paper Shortage in NJ." at least i'm pretty sure it was NJ...made me take a double check on my TP stocks and noticed we didn't have even a months' worth. needless to say...i fixed that the next day.

what got me into prepping? like kev said, it's a return to basics. and as others have said, everything about today's society is fragile, outdated, and extremely vulnerable. i can't imagine how i could live with myself after a disaster knowing i had the chance to prepare for it ahead of time, but elected not to.
 

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TEMPUS EDAX RERUM
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53 Posts
Been on my own since I was about 8-9 years old and as the oldest, took care of my siblings. Just always taken an active interest in being "Prepared" what ever that meant...
Being what some of us have had to endure from idiot "Adults" when we were kids, i am 100% for a "spartan" type of child rearing. At 13, off you go into the woods, come back and you too can be a part of society.

watch Afterburner: three and a half days


I weep for my generation...
 

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Be Prepared
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1,087 Posts
My wife's Grandmother was a true prepper before prepping was cool. She lived through the dirty thirties and remembers not having much food. She spend one winter living on canned cabbage and from that point on she always stocked up food for when the trucks stopped coming to the grocery store. She even asked the grocery store owner how long it would take to empty the store if the trucks stopped coming. He said three days but that was at normal rates of shopping. If there was a rush on food it would be gone in a day or so I suspect.

She moved to town and we purchased her farm. We haven't gone without food for long but we prep because of the lessons she learned eighty years ago.
 

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I think that people like to prep so they have a fighting chance not only from disasters but the people that come with it. See if you can check out a you tube video called life after Katrina the untold stories vol.1 #2. That video makes me understand why good honest hard working people like to arm themselves.
 

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You talkin' to me?
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8,463 Posts
My motivation is fairly simple. I'm 53, my time, my generation, is nearly done. I have several Grandchildren who live nearby, I am absolutly determined that they WILL have a fighting chance to live their lives. I am determined to pass on to them the knowledge, skills, and ability to adapt and overcome adversity and challenges that will kill the lesser prepared.

I prep to buy that time for them. They MUST be given a chance, nothing else matters.
 

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A Round American Woman
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539 Posts
I think most of today's world is driven by "Have To". You don't have to keep weeks or months of food on hand because you are always out and about with work or running the kids around. We have a very "now" society that thinks about what they want to eat 15 minutes before they pick up a fork! If you are preparing frozen meat from the freezer and dried beans for dinner you have to think a minimum of 24 hours in advance. That's a lot for many.

We don't have to think about water, you turn on your tap and someone has done it for you. We don't have to think about where the toilet flushes to, it flushes away.

We don't think about personal protection, call 911 and help is there (in theory anyway).

I watched a documentary once where someone said "Where is "Away"?" When you throw something "away" where is that?

I have always live with the seasons and preparred for the next, but lately I am learning more about longer term food storage and even trying mylar. I want to add a dehydrator to the mix this year as well.

I think that the "survival prepper" is just someone who can see through the trees. They can look past all the flashing lights to the "what if" hiding in the background. Many people out there just can't handle the "what if" scenario, or are just so wrapped up in the life of celebrities and their little gadgets that they just can't imagine life any other way.
 

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Prepping makes sense financially I used to shop and plan my meals based on what was sale that week. Then I figured out I could buy extra of what was on sale and have much more variety each week then I figured out I could do that with almost all consumables. I really enjoyed not having to run to the store late at night because my toothbrush got dropped in the toilet we had back up.

I learned to appreciate sleeping on good sheets that didn't pill and lasted more then a year and that quality well made clothes in basic colors lasted longer and I didn't have to be a slave to the newest fashions because of it. I have better things to do then spending hours trying on new clothes.

We've been through to many near disasters to not have backups. I didn't enjoy plowing through waist high snow for just a gallon of milk.

We enjoy the taste of food straight from the garden so much better. I sleep better knowing I have supplies in the house and when someone needs something I don't have to run to the store at a drop of the hat.

Kev you did a great job in the op of covering it pretty darn well.
 

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Deus exsisto laus
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3,963 Posts
I think some of us may be reacting to certain events in our lives that made us feel especially vulnerable. Prepping / survivalism gives us a sense of control over the uncontrollable. Maybe not in a PERFECT sense, but to whatever degree it makes the individual FEEL comfortable.It helps them cope,even if it is on a subconscious level,I think.

I also think there could be a "genetic" predisposition towards it in humans, some having a stronger sense of it than others. Since the Neolithic times, mankind moved farther and farther away from a subsistence, hunter/ gatherer paradigm, to one based on agriculture. No longer nomadic, he had to learn to store seed and food stuffs to survive the winters and any crop failures. Genetically, mankind has not changed much in the last 40,000 years,10,000 years of learned behaviour is hard to put aside. TP
 

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Super Gassy Moderator
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66,632 Posts
I prepare because it makes sense to. It always has.

All throughout history, mankind has encountered major crises. And all throughout history, mankind was fairly well prepared. Up until recent years when we became so dependent on others to provide for us. I don't like being dependent.

I don't prepare for any pet scenarios. I prepare for "whatever might happen". I think that's wiser.
 
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