I’m Not A Prepper!

I’m Not A Prepper!

Andrew’s Note:  Today’s article “I’m Not A Prepper” comes to us from Grumpy G as an addendum to the first article he wrote for Prepography, The End Of The World Starts At Home.  Grumpy G and I have been discussing some of his home food production techniques and he has graciously offered to share some of his techniques with our readers but he must have been getting a little grief for a comment he made in that first article as he asked for an opportunity to clarify his comments.  I find his perspective which I call ‘evangelical self-reliance’ refreshing and distinct from my own version of Stealth Prepping.  Both approaches seek to maintain Operational Security (OPSEC) but each system seeks privacy from a slightly different approach:

A.J. and I have been discussing some contributions I can make to the Food Preparedness facet of his Full Spectrum Preparedness discussions but before I do, I have to explain a comment I made in my inaugural post, The End Of The World Starts At Home.  The blasphemy I uttered was that “I hate the word prepper.”  I know it seems weird that on a site named “Prepography” a featured writer would declare “I’m not a prepper” but let me explain…

My dislike of the word “prepper” comes in two forms with the second form building on the first.

First, the word prepper has developed negative connotations recently in some circles.  In these circles, prepper translates more as “That Prepper Guy”, as Prepography‘s editor, AJ describes him.  It’s not a flattering picture that the non-initiated create in their minds.

People enjoy talking about what they are passionate about.  Say in conversation it comes up that you have three months of food set aside (I know, major OPSEC fail but bear with me).  They ask, “Are you a prepper?”  You have prepared some, so you proudly reply, “Why yes, I am!”  Thanks to pop culture and sensationalistic journalism (I use the word journalism loosely) the mental picture many people paint is that negative image.  In their ignorance, they view you as a kook and anything you say thereafter is tainted by that “prepper” image no matter how pertinent, factual or well reasoned.   On the other hand, if in conversation you tell someone how you’ve canned, dehydrated and frozen your garden harvest, or hunted meat; those very same people will become curious and begin to ask questions.  In this teachable moment they become open to the possibility that maybe they can do these, dare I say it…preparedness activities as well.  I’ve piqued the interest of several people talking about hunting expeditions, tending my garden, and raising rabbits; all without using the word “prepper.”  By breaking the ice this way I’ve even managed to get a few folks to admit that being more prepared and self-sufficient is a prudent course.  A few have even taken steps in the right direction and asked me for additional guidance along the way.

My second objection builds on the “that prepper guy” stereotype as promulgated by some elements of our pop culture.  Many self-identifying “preppers” started down their path thanks to those very same pop culture references we’ve mentioned.  The fact that they are becoming more prepared is a good thing in itself.  However, the problem as I see it is that these pop culture influenced trendy preppers miss the preparedness point.  Sure, they’ve hit the local COSTCO, WalMart or online Mountain House sale and purchased three months of storage food.  They may even have bought a gun…which was most likely an AR…(or as I like to call them a “Barbie Gun.”  [Andrew’s Note:  I hereby and forever disavow any besmirching of Eugene Stoner, Armalite and Colt’s legacy by referring to one of the greatest firearms ever built as a “Barbie Gun”]  Maybe the new prepper has even shelled out the big bucks for their very own Bug Out Location (BOL).  At this point, many Johnny-come-lately preppers sit back and revel in the size of their stockpiles.  While material preparedness is important and an integral part of any preparedness plan they’re missing the most important facets of their preparedness plan.  Without knowledge, skills as well as resilience (physical, mental, emotional and even spiritual) these ‘preppers’ remain unprepared no matter how big the size of their stockpile.  Unfortunately, for many motivated by the current “prepper” craze, those preparedness efforts more in depth than opening their wallet is rejected because they don’t want to risk becoming “that prepper guy.”

The smart or intuitive among them understands that once the material supplies run out there will be nothing left.  In most survival, grid down, disaster situations this won’t be a problem because the event will be relatively short lived but in a truly catastrophic event the lack of knowledge, skills and resilience can be the difference between life and death.  Being prepared means than just having the stuff…it involves doing the things.  Gathering ideas, build knowledge, practice skills, improve your self…body and mind.  True preparedness means changing your lifestyle to be more self-sufficient.  It means mentally preparing for the worst even while hoping for the best.  These are some of the reasons that I like sites like Preography, The Survivalist Board, and The Survival Podcast; amongst others.  These sites are about leading a more prudent and self-sufficient life rather than just stockpiling preparedness supplies and toys.   In the end, you will most likely see me use the term “prepper.”  It is simply too hard to discuss preparing and preparedness without using that most descriptive of nouns to describe the preparedness minded individual.  Just understand that I am using “prepper” under my terms as a way to describe someone who is prudent, far sighted and attempting to live a more self-sufficient lifestyle.

Andrew’s Note:  Regardless of what Grumpy G chooses to call himself I think he’s got a lot to offer Prepography‘s readers.  To read more about Grumpy G’s background and self reliance philosophy check out his author biography.

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2 Responses to “I’m Not A Prepper!”

  1. Grumpy G says:

    For the record, I never said the AR platform isn’t a great platform. It is world class, and I gladly let my life rest in its care when in the service. I am still thinking of getting one, even. It, like the word “prepper”, has been abused, though. Hence the use of the term “Barbie Gun”. Give me a base M-16A2, or M-4, clone any day over a tricked out DPM or Bushmaster. Unless you are shooting 3-Gun, or are an operator, 90% of it is a waste of money, in my opinion. Plus, after shooting last weekend, you know what a real gun feels like, and you know deep down inside that I am right on the matter, even if you won’t admit it 🙂

    • Andrew J. Jackson says:

      Grumpy G is referring to a new toy of a slightly heavier caliber that I took out for a trial at the range last weekend.

      If the AR is a “Barbie Gun”…just call me Ken:)

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