Survivalists & Preppers: What are they, and what do they Believe?

Survivalist and a Prepper

What is a Survivalist?

The term survivalist started popping up in the 1960’s after people started warning about the devaluation of our currency, the possibility of nuclear problems because of the cold war, and the skyrocketing inflation rates that were hitting the country. Around that same time, the increased urbanization of our way of living caused many to worry that this new urban model would eventually become unsustainable, causing supply shortages and chaos in large urban centers.

What is a Prepper?

The term Prepper is actually a relatively new term, made popular after T.V. shows like Doomsday Preppers started to exploit the term.

In my opinion, the term prepper is really just a modern variation of the term survivalist. Just like the term survivalist was demonized back in the 70’s, the term prepper seems to be the latest go to phrase when the mainstream media needs a scapegoat.

When it comes down to what these terms really mean, the best way I can describe both terms is through the lens of self-reliance. Whether you consider yourself a prepper, or a survivalist, it basically comes down to wanting to be able to provide for yourself and your family without having to rely on some government bureaucracy to keep you safe.

It’s actually pretty weird, and quite sad that we even need these phrases to describe something that was once considered human nature. Unfortunately, we live in a time where people have forgotten how to fend for themselves; they now rely so heavily on the government and large corporations in so many areas of their life that should something ever go wrong we are going to see mass chaos beyond what a majority of people are prepared for.

We’ve talked about the problem many times in the past, but most Americans are still blind to what’s really going on.  

  • Government Handouts: Over 50% of our population now relies on at least one government handout to live, which accounts for 18.4% of all income.
  • Government Handouts: As of December 2012, 1 out of every 5 households (47.8 million people) relies on food stamps to feed their family.
  • Pharmaceutical Dependence: The average American fills 12 prescription medications each year, the average senior fills over 31 prescriptions every year.
  • Pharmaceutical Dependence: According to the Journal of the American Medical Association, in an average week, 81% of Americans use at least one medication, 50% take at least one prescription drug, and 7% take 5 or more drugs.
  • Technology Dependence: In 2012 over 91% of Americans used cell phones; they sent over 2.27 trillion text messages.

In my opinion, this country has been teetering on the edge of a socioeconomic collapse for the last couple decades. From Nixon’s policies in the 1970’s that took the world of the gold standard to the financial crisis of 2008, our country has done very little to solve our economic problems. In fact, both sides of the political aisle seem to doing everything they can to make it worse.

Our county sits at over 16.8 trillion in debt, with unfunded obligations that put the actual number well over $120 trillion. Our government has created an economic Ponzi scheme that literally depends on debt to stay afloat. While politicians may talk about getting out of debt, the truth of the matter is, this country’s insolvent. The Federal Reserve can’t continue to create money out of thin air for much longer; eventually the entire Ponzi scheme is going to collapse.

So what is a Survivalist, and why is prepping becoming so popular?

We are people who realize our system of debt and government reliance can’t last forever. It’s only a matter of time before the whole thing comes to a screeching to a halt, and when that happens things are not going to be pretty. When things go bad you’re going to have to deal with a whole host of threats, many of which the average person has never considered or properly prepared for.

So you can choose to keep adding cards to a house that’s about to collapse, or you can start to rely on yourself and make sure you’re able to provide for your family when everyone else is wondering how they’re going to put food on the table. In my opinion, the choice is pretty simple; you can continue to rely on a government and a way of life that got us into this mess, or you can start to take back your freedom and learn how to live a self-reliant lifestyle.

If and when the system collapses, you’re going to have to fend for yourself. You might want to be Prepared!

Shirts of Liberty

OFFGRID Survival book



  1. I am not a nut or a prepper. I was raised to take care of myself and my family. Not because the government might go bust or any other reason. But because its the responsible thing to do! I was taught government handouts are for poor people who can’t work. I was further taught that if you can’t pay your bills you can’t afford to play!

    My father made sure that my brothers could cook,clean and mend their cloths. He made sure me and my sister could change our own oil and tires.
    I could go on and on but all I am saying is that we could fix it,build it,and grow it because we were taught to take care of ourselves.

    So sad people think this is not normal, but the government rushing in to to save them is. Katrina and Sandy should have taught most how speedy the government is!


      • I totally agree. I think their will to live go out the window without technology and the comforts they are so accustomed to.

      • Turn off the “Drone Machines” ( cell phones, videogames, internet, cut them off from social influence and be parents. Give them a reason to “Want” to learn” be parents, and mentors to your children. Go out into the woods and share what we are losing ( or what is being taken away) My 4th son is only 4 aND KNOWS MORE ABOUT SURVIVING THAN MY ADULT NEIGHBORS. mY 9 YEAR OLD BEGAN RAISING MEAT & EGG CHICKENS AT AGE 5. Children become what parents allow. Our Generation began the “TECH” age. Look what we have done to ourselves…

        • You guys overreact we play zombie games war games and buy custom knives just for fun, in your old ages you climbed trees and jump in ropes get to the game and prepare… -,-

      • Yeah it is sad that a majority of the younger generation only cares about unimportant things. I have been interested in this sort of topic since I was about eight or nine years old, from when I experienced a major flood in my hometown. Although I wasn’t fully aware of everything, I made emergency kits, and saved cans of soup. I am twenty-three now and have progressed even further. I plan ahead in almost everything I do, and try not to allow myself to get distracted by unnecessary things like binge drinking or raving, whatever today’s young adults seem to be into. There’s a few of us out there with some sense.

    • Phoenix, I was raised exactly the same, I’m not a prepoer or survivalist. I do not stock guns, food or bandages. I don’t feel like this country belongs to “me.” It’s United, liberty for all. So the US military will kill my family. It’s misplaced fear and nonsense.

  2. Since there are so few patriotic, aware, Americans alive today, we now need a special word to describe those who are. That’s word is “Prepper”. The operative word here is “aware”. I am overwhelmed at times by the number of good people who know somethings wrong but are afraid to face what it really is

    • In some arenas the word “Prepper” has a growing negative connotation. Perhaps a better and also appropriate word could be “Prudence” which has been defined in Websters Dictionary:

      1: the ability to govern and discipline oneself by the use of reason
      2: sagacity or shrewdness in the management of affairs
      3: skill and good judgment in the use of resources
      4: caution or circumspection as to danger or risk

      I like the idea of exercising prudence.

  3. With 50% of the people on a handout program, the system can not work,,,,doomed to fail.
    These programs were started as a hand up, not out but some lazy people had a idea.
    As far as preppers go, the Mormans had this idea a long time ago, as did the indian nations same game differant name.

    • If you are “LUCKY enough ” (not sure that that is a good choice of words, use the benefits to your advantage. Buy the healthiest food possible with it! Teach your children the value of what you are spending and why it is the way it is…

  4. life in the world is not going to change with out some sort of disaster the kid are getting crap like those ipads instead of book in the class room how the hell is a computer going to help you learn shit most kids now days could tell the differace between posion oak and an oak tree and all they want is their subliminal message vido game online

    • my public school just bought all the kids ipads they put all the textbooks on them saving the school alot of money (books are 60-80$ each)teachers are also able to quiz kids on what they just learned so they know if they should go on. i personaly have the sas survival manuel and many military manuels on my ipad plus i just built a solar charger with my dad to charge all the electronics so i think they are valuble tools to me. you are right most of my freinds today have no clue how to survie even my freind in the boy scouts thinks you start fires in 20 seconds by rubbing 2 sticks together. even some boy scouts (not all) are clueless because “that’s not important in today soceiety” my old scout master.

  5. I am 24 female and aware. But I also believe that the internet is a very important asset while it is still available to us. The amount of knowledge I have gained on the internet would probably amount to thousands of $$ in college”education” costs and books. Although I do believe its necessary to have how to manuels in paper. Think of all the money I wouldn’t have been able to save if I had to buy a book to learn it all!
    so as long as I have it available to me I am going to keep using this technology to my advantage.

  6. At this point in time I am using the internet (and my printer) to download maps and small references for things I want to learn.Using youtube for how to videos and just coming on sites like this. All survival related. (just in case it is not an option later on down the line) I have a BOB for myself, my 2 year old has a bag and my boyfriend has a bag.
    All bags include the dynamo flashlights (no batteries needed) a 1qt canteen, fishing gear, paracord, tools, first aid kits, maps, compass, whistles, instant reusable heat packs (you boil them after they’ve cooled to turn the crystals back into liquid), mess kits,emergency blankets, multiple ways to make fire (minus baby girls pack), etc. the list goes on. each kit fits the needs of each person.
    My original plan was one bag with everyone’s stuff, I didn’t want to play the role of ‘pack mule mommy’ so everyone has their own. I have much more I want to do. A prepper is never done, but I think I have us off to a great start

    I was raised camping, fishing and learning

    Much love
    – Missy

  7. I came across this site by accident looking for a movie that I forgot the name of. I am 24 years of age and I really only use the Internet to purchase items and books for cheaper than you can find at a local store or in a catalog if you can even find it there. I am a fan of books and I think that they offer a more tangible grasp of concepts that are more concrete than the freely floating unreferenced information that is on the Internet today. I would personally rather live in a cabin with my lovely lady in the middle of the woods with as many books as I could pack into it than spend one day in the city with nothing but a laptop to keep me company…. as for being a prepper or a survivalist, why not both? Its good to have a stockade just in case the situation calls for it but if whit hits the fan and you need to bug out then what choice are you really left with. In my mind there is not much difference between the two as far as vocabulary goes, a prepper stocks up to survive. And a survivalist prepares to bug out. In the end the goal is to see another day, one right after the other.

  8. My family has been showing prudence in our lives for over 10 years. We can food all the time and are avid gardeners. I am replacing my PAL so I can acquire a hunting rifle. And we have evac bags for all 5 of us and the cat.

  9. I don’t know about this really much,but It’s got me thinking about “If something really bad like something pandemic happen,What do I gonna do to save as much people as I can.At least my love one?” And I’m 16 with now serve for the country with being a military student like many people in Thailand do. So I know it now.

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