This post may use affiliate links from Amazon and other retailers which may earn a commission for purchases made at no extra cost to you. Learn more.

Ever wondered what is a prepper? Picture this: it’s an average Tuesday, but then the news breaks – a hurricane is barreling towards your town. Or maybe there’s been an unexpected (or not so unexpected) economic collapse. 

How would you fare? Would you be left scrambling in packed supermarkets for bottled water and canned goods?

In these situations, being prepared isn’t just practical; it can mean the difference between surviving somewhat comfortably or facing extreme hardship or even death. That’s where preppers come into play.

So what is a prepper? It’s really just someone who is prepared for any disastrous event.

‘Prepping’, once seen as an activity for the weirdos, has now become more mainstream thanks to TV shows and national disasters that exposed state infrastructure vulnerabilities.

Our guide dives deep into what is a prepper and the different levels of prepping and preparedness. It explores why guys should gear up for emergencies or natural disasters on a grand scale and busts common myths about preparation. 

It answers the question: “What is a prepper?” Let’s dive in.

what is a prepper

What Is A Prepper?: Understanding Preppers and Prepping Practices

The term “prepper”, first coined in 1904, defines a person who prepares or makes arrangements in advance. In our context, we’re referring to guys who start prepping and readying themselves for emergencies like natural disasters, societal collapse, or even apocalyptic events.

The Evolution of the Prepper Movement

Prepping is not some niche activity that sprang up overnight. It has deep roots extending back to Cold War-era bomb shelters and further still into practices adopted by early settlers against harsh winters and crop failures.

In recent years, though, it’s evolved significantly thanks to shows such as ‘Doomsday Preppers’. This popular culture exposure coupled with real-world incidents (think COVID-19) has led more people towards adopting prepping practices. Today, nearly 73% of Americans have taken at least one step toward disaster preparedness.

Not to mention the Covid “pandemic”, or “plan-demic”, and all of the recent events going on in this crazy world.


Differentiating Between Preppers and Conspiracy Theorists

While doomsday preppers may sound akin to conspiracy theorists and there is a lot of overlap here, they’re fundamentally different.

The key difference lies in their motives: while conspiracy theorists often focus on secret plots or hidden truths behind world events; ‘regular preppers’ are more concerned about tangible threats like natural disasters or supply chain disruptions due to mass events.

However, many “normal people” have started prepping simply because we have seen that many of the ‘conspiracy theorists’ theories ended up being true after all. Like COVID being leaked from the lab in Wuhan.

Be it stockpiling supplies like food storage with long shelf life for hurricane seasons or for total economic collapse to rebuild a New World Order- practical prepping is becoming part of everyday lives across America today.

That is as it should be, especially in today’s climate where the lines between a “conspiracy theorist” and a prepper are getting increasingly blurred.

In truth, this doesn’t matter either way and you still should prepare for the worst while hoping for the best. Do your best to get credible information from credible sources beyond the mainstream media and move forward.

What Is A Prepper?: Different Levels of Prepping Today

Prepping isn’t something that’s applicable to everyone in the same way. Just as every man has his own strengths and weaknesses, each person’s approach to preparedness will be unique based on desire and budget.

Basic Preparedness

This is where everyone should start. Basic preparedness means having enough supplies to get through minor disruptions like power outages or road trips gone wrong. Think about the essentials like bottled water, canned goods with a long shelf life, and first aid supplies. 

You know, the things that could help in a pinch if the grocery store isn’t an option.

The key difference between basic preppers and those who don’t prep at all? Awareness. 

A basic prepper knows that it’s always a good idea to have some extra essentials around and even toilet paper before anything goes down (remember when people were hoarding and fighting each other during COVID?).


Moderate Preparedness

If basic preppers are casual joggers on this survival marathon, moderate preppers are getting ready for their first half-marathon. They’ve got more than just necessities stockpiled; they’re starting to think strategically about potential scenarios – from natural disasters like Hurricane Katrina or Sandy to nuclear war possibilities.

A moderate prepper doesn’t just stockpile supplies but also develops survival skills such as learning how to fix broken stuff or purify drinking water from a swimming pool during emergencies.

They begin to build essential survival skills and build a real preparedness plan for when things go south.

what is a prepper

Advanced Preppers: Going Off-Grid

Folks going off-grid represent an advanced level of readiness often linked with the doomsday-prepper-type people we see on TV shows. 

I think of families that were on the TV show ‘Homestead Rescue’. They are a real representation of realistic preppers versus the overly dramatic ‘doomsday’ type vibe.

Advanced preppers also typically tend to have bug-out locations ready, complete with sustainable food storage techniques and advanced survival materials. Some even have passion fruit vines growing in their panic rooms.

Prepping is not a niche activity anymore; it’s becoming more mainstream each day. So remember – whether you’re just starting out or already going off-grid, every step towards preparedness makes you stronger.

Key Takeaway: 

Prepping varies from basic readiness for minor disruptions, like power outages, to advanced preparation for significant crises. Basic preppers focus on essentials and awareness, while moderate ones develop survival skills and plan strategically. Those going off-grid take it further with sustainable techniques and resources. Remember: each step towards preparedness makes you stronger and more self-reliant.

Why People Prep

In addition to asking what is a pepper, you might wonder why people take up prepping. 

After all, isn’t it just for the conspiracy theorists or people expecting a zombie apocalypse?

what is a prepper

But you’d be surprised to learn that most preppers are everyday people like us who choose to prepare for more common scenarios like wildfires and other natural disasters. More recently, considering all that has transpired since 2020, people are waking up to the fact that things are not going well and getting worse.

A huge reason many start prepping is due to natural disasters. We’ve seen the aftermath of events like Hurricane Katrina and Sandy where aid supplies were slow in coming, leaving people without essentials such as bottled water and canned goods. 

Preppers aim to avoid being caught unprepared in such situations by stockpiling supplies ahead of time. This is the very essence of what is a prepper.

Nuclear war now doesn’t seem too farfetched because it now feels similar to the Cold War era these days. The fear then was real enough that bomb shelters became standard in new homes. While not everyone today fears a nuclear event, many are beginning to prepare with this potential disaster in mind.

what is a prepper

Potential Disasters and Their Impact

In addition to natural disasters and threats of war, other reasons include economic collapse (remember 2008?) or supply chain disruptions which we saw during COVID’s toilet-paper fiasco at stores nationwide. That’s one reason why preppers stockpile supplies.

The fact is, that emergencies can occur on any given day without warning. That is why it’s important to create an emergency preparedness plan

This realization makes prepping an appealing activity because it offers control over your personal preparedness rather than relying solely on state security measures or the government’s emergency support systems when a crisis strikes.

Remember how the government handled things in the huge Maui wildfires in 2023?

what is a prepper

Daily Basis Preparation Practices

It’s also important to note that not all preparation folds into apocalyptic events either. Many adopt practical prepping practices for regular occurrences too: power outages from storms; road trips gone wrong; even having a year’s worth of food storage to help with budgeting or if someone loses their job.

At the core, prepping is about developing a sense of autonomy and resilience in an ever-changing environment. And who wouldn’t want a little more control in this unpredictable world we live in?

Key Takeaway: 


Prepping isn’t just for conspiracy theorists or zombie apocalypse fans. It’s about everyday people preparing for common scenarios like natural disasters, economic collapse, and supply chain disruptions. The aim is to have control over personal readiness rather than depending on the government during crises. Also, prepping extends to practical situations such as power outages or job loss – it’s all about ensuring that you’re equipped to handle any curveball life might throw your way.

Essential Supplies for Prepping

The world can be unpredictable, but with the right supplies in your stockpile, you’re ready to face anything. It’s like packing for a road trip; you wouldn’t leave without filling up on gas and grabbing some snacks.

A good prepper starts by building their bug-out bag. Think of it as an emergency kit that helps when natural disasters or unforeseen situations strike. This isn’t just about stashing away piles of toilet paper during a supply chain crisis. A solid bug-out bag contains essential survival materials that would make Bear Grylls envious.

what is a prepper

Food and Water

You don’t want hunger knocking at your door during an emergency. That’s why emergency food storage is key when you start prepping. Canned goods are reliable choices due to their long shelf life, but don’t overlook other options like dehydrated meals or survival food buckets

Most experts suggest diversifying your stockpile with foods rich in protein and vitamins. Which is why I have gone out of my way to get a discount code (STRENGTH15) for you to use at Nutrient Survival. They are by far one of the best emergency food suppliers in the industry.

Water purification tablets and water filtration are also must-haves since access to clean water may not always be possible after any disaster hits. Ideally you would have purification tablets, a portable water filter, and a larger water filtration method for everyone at home.


Clothing and Shelter

In the same way we change our wardrobe based on weather changes – from sunshine-friendly tees to winter-ready coats – having appropriate clothing for your local climate available is crucial.

Be sure to have outdoor gear and supplies that make sense to your area.

Beyond clothes, consider tools that could help set up shelter if needed such as tarps and compact sleeping bags. These are all items that go on an essential prepper’s supplies list for a bug-out bag or preparedness kit.

Miscellaneous Tools

Everyday tools like flashlights, knives, and rope can prove incredibly handy in emergencies. In addition to the usual tools, medical supplies like bandages and antiseptic creams are essential for any emergency situation.

I cannot stress how important medical supplies are so I’ve partnered up with MyMedic to get you all a discount on anything with code “Strength15”.

The prepper world might seem intimidating at first but remember: Rome wasn’t built in a day. Take your time to gradually stockpile these essentials; you’ll be well-prepared for whatever life throws at you.

Key Takeaway: 


Prepping is all about being ready for anything. Make sure your bug-out bag has essential survival items that can handle any curveball life throws at you. Stock up on food and water purification methods so you’re not left hungry and dehydrated during an emergency. It’s important to have the right clothes and tools to set up shelter if needed too. Don’t forget everyday tools along with medical supplies, because they are lifesavers in certain situations.

What Is A Preppers Food Storage Techniques

When it comes to prepping, your food storage game needs to be strong. Not just a few cans of beans and tuna – we’re talking about diversified stockpiles that can last you through thick and thin.

Diversifying Your Food Stockpile

Beyond canned goods, there are other food types worth considering. Think freeze-dried meals with long shelf lives or survival food buckets that provide dense quality calories. Also, don’t forget about dried fruits or vegetables – they’re easy to store and packed with nutrients.

Shelf life matters, but so does taste. Rotate your supplies regularly not only to ensure freshness but also to avoid getting stuck eating something you despise during an emergency situation.

Rice and pasta offer great value as well – cheap, filling, have a long shelf life, and are versatile when it comes to cooking different dishes.

If space is tight at home think outside the box (or house). Consider getting a secure shed or using the garage as storage. Just make sure it’s secure against both weather conditions and unwanted visitors especially if you are preparing in an urban setting.


The Art of Preserving Foods

To go one step further into self-reliance consider preserving fresh produce yourself through canning and jarring. Pickling cucumbers from a garden in your backyard will give you healthy snacks throughout the year while providing essential vitamins too.

Learning how to properly can fruits, vegetables, and even meats not only increases your food supply but also allows you to control what goes into the jars. Remember, when it comes down to survival situations every little bit helps which is why serious preppers tend to do this in the prepper community.

The goal here is simple: plan for the worst-case scenario while hoping for the best. Whether that’s a natural disaster or just a sudden rush on toilet paper at Bed Bath & Beyond for whatever reason. You shouldn’t need to worry because you’ll have what you need to hold out for a while.

Key Takeaway: 


When it comes to enhancing your prepper food storage, think beyond just canned goods. It’s smart to diversify with long-lasting freeze-dried meals and survival food buckets from certain prepper websites like Nutrient Survival. Don’t forget about dried fruits or veggies – they’re packed with nutrients. Remember to rotate your supplies regularly so you don’t end up stuck with unappetizing/bad meals in a pinch. Affordable staples like rice and pasta offer great value, and if space is an issue, consider innovative storage methods that are secure.

What Is A Prepper: Prepping for Natural Disasters and Catastrophic Events

We’re diving deeper into survival skills that could make a significant difference during natural disasters or catastrophic events like nuclear war.

Firstly, having an emergency preparedness plan is vital. This includes knowing your bug-out locations in case of evacuation and ensuring you have sufficient supplies stockpiled at these places. A bug-out bag with essential items should be ready to go anytime with medical supplies to food with a long shelf life, bottled water, necessary tools, and clothing.

In addition to the basics though, there’s another layer of preparation needed when dealing with specific types of catastrophes such as nuclear fallout. You obviously need to take cover immediately if caught outside during a sudden nuclear event. Get inside a building aiming for its center while avoiding windows.

In this particular scenario, having the right gas mask and/or breathing apparatus would be ideal to have clean air.

what is a prepper

Different Prepper’s Approach to Natural Disasters

When asking what is a prepper, a key difference between everyday folks who are preparing a little bit and hardcore doomsday preppers lies in their level of preparedness for common natural disasters. Many stop their preparedness journey at just natural disasters while the latter takes it all the way to preparing for nearly all scenarios. Regardless, both types prepare for any number of natural disasters out there.

This constant readiness isn’t born out of fear but rather due diligence and responsibility toward one’s own safety and well-being and the safety of your family. That’s your role as a man, to lead and protect those around you.

From earthquakes causing supply chain disruptions leading to shortages at stores nationwide; hurricanes like Katrina rendering areas uninhabitable for extended periods; tornadoes wiping out entire towns within minutes… The list goes on.

urban prepper, what is a prepper

Catastrophic Event Preparation: Going Nuclear

When it comes to nuclear war, prepping practices take on a whole new level. From creating makeshift bomb shelters out of storage units or basements; to having radiation detection devices handy – the preparations are intensive and specialized.

This level of prepping means you’re ready if one hits. Some things that would be included in their supplies may be:

That’s just to name a few of the nuclear-specific prepper gear some may have. To be frank with you, while not everyone can afford bomb shelters or other extreme measures, having these items on hand is well within reach for everyday people and should be added to your stockpile.

Being a prepper isn’t about succumbing to doom and gloom, but rather about acknowledging potential threats and being equipped to handle any situation that comes your way.

It’s not about dreading the most unfavorable outcome, it’s just guaranteeing you’re equipped to manage whatever life could present.

Nuclear war seems to be legitimately on the table these days.

Key Takeaway: 


Prepping is not only hoarding supplies but a thorough readiness plan for natural disasters and catastrophic events like nuclear war. It’s about having bug-out locations, survival skills, and even understanding how to react in a sudden nuclear event. This constant preparedness isn’t fear-driven but comes from a sense of responsibility toward personal safety. Preppers are always ready – they’re committed to being vigilant and proactive at all times.

Economic Collapse and Prepping

As a prepper, you are aware of the potential for an economic collapse that could make basic necessities scarce. We’re not talking about a minor recession but rather financial crises that can make basic necessities scarce. The key difference between normal people and us is we see this as another challenge on the horizon.

The Cold War era may have popularized bomb shelters, but today’s preppers know they need more than just shelter for long-term survival during an economic downfall. Just like how state security isn’t only about weapons, personal preparedness goes beyond canned goods in our basements.


Fiscal Crises Preparation: More Than Money Matters

During such times, cash might lose its value entirely – think post-WW1 Germany or Zimbabwe in 2008. 

That being said, some communities focus on building up trade networks based on barter systems ahead of time. This isn’t feasible for everyone but when the money becomes useless, there will be some form of bartering that comes into place so it is good to keep in mind.

Most preppers start with stockpiling long-term food storage, collecting precious metals, collecting ammunition, and other necessities that are essential to survival and defense in desperate times.

When desperate times do arise, all of the stores in the cities will be emptied in a very short while, as we saw during the riots of 2020. So it is important to know that, if you’re prepping to survive in the city, then you cannot rely on the market down the street for supplies.


Necessity-Based Stockpile Building

To prepare for these situations where shopping carts aren’t enough, we start by stockpiling supplies that help maintain hygiene, feed us, basic everyday tools, and the best tools to keep us safe, like the best AR-15 rifles and the best handguns.

A simple guideline many follow when deciding what makes it into their stash is if it’s essential daily basis stuff you’d regret not having access to after supermarket shelves run empty because of panic room scenarios – yes including even the infamous ‘toilet-paper dash-and-grab’ frenzy witnessed globally recently.

Mental Strength Amidst Financial Mayhem

When preparing for economic collapses, it’s not just about physical supplies. Building mental resilience is vital.

Resilience is defined as “the ability to adapt positively in the face of adversity”. It is not solely determined by our traits or environment. Research suggests that how we interpret and perceive challenges plays a crucial role in developing resilience (Yeager & Dweck, 2012). This means that resilience can be nurtured and improved over time, rather than being fixed or predetermined.

Here is a helpful resource that I want to share with you about the real horrors of a SHTF (sh*t hit the fan) scenario:

 “The Dark Secrets of SHTF Survival: The Brutal Truth About Violence, Death, & Mayhem You Must Know to Survive”

This book really goes into mental resilience from someone who experienced firsthand the horrors of a true survival scenario.

Just like we talk about in our fitness-focused articles, you don’t become physically or mentally strong or see results overnight. They come over time and with consistent training. Just like building a better physique, prepping requires time, patience, and a lot of learning on the go.

Key Takeaway: 


What is a prepper? It’s a lifestyle choice. It’s about planning for the future, adapting to changing circumstances, and cultivating resilience in the face of adversity. This mindset helps us navigate through life’s uncertainties with confidence and composure.

What Is A Prepper?: Debunking Myths about Preppers

There are a lot of myths and stereotypes about what is a prepper. Let’s debunk the stereotypes of preppers and get real about who they really are.


Separating Fact from Fiction in Media Portrayals of Preppers

The media often paints a picture of a doomsday prepper as an extremist or even as a crazy conspiracy theorist who’s hoarding years’ worth of supplies for an apocalyptic event that may never come. However, this isn’t the full story.

In reality, most preppers are normal people who believe in being prepared for emergencies like natural disasters or disruptions in supply chains due to pandemics. They’re not necessarily bracing themselves for nuclear war or constructing bomb shelters.

Rather than running around Costco with shopping carts doing toilet paper dash-and-grab at every hint of a crisis, they focus on practical things like food storage techniques that ensure long shelf life and assembling bug-out bags containing essential survival materials.

Recent events have also fueled growth within the prepping community and more people are focusing on personal preparedness.

A key difference between common perception and reality is that, while preparing does involve stockpile supplies, it doesn’t equate to over-the-top practices you might see TV shows depict. There are no compounds filled with passion fruit vines nor state-of-the-art surveillance systems typically involved.

BunkerIllBeInMyBunkerGIF 1

In essence, think less of “nuclear fallout” level disaster preparation and more along the lines of “a long period without access to fresh supplies” preparedness.

Yes, preppers are preparing for larger-scale catastrophes, like economic collapse or war, but it isn’t like what you see on TV for most people. 

So let’s put these misconceptions aside and grasp that at its heart, being a prepper is all about readiness and resilience – principles we can all appreciate.

Key Takeaway: 

What is a prepper? The truth is being a prepper is about staying ready and resilient in the face of uncertainty. It’s more than just stocking up; it’s adopting a mindset of self-reliance, strategic planning, and adaptability to whatever life throws our way.

The Future of Prepping

Peering into the future can be a bit like packing for a road trip. You’ve got to anticipate what’s ahead, prepare accordingly, and still leave room in your bug-out bag for unexpected surprises. So let’s examine where we’re heading as preppers.

We know that societal factors shape our practices – from stocking up on toilet paper during supply chain disruptions to scouring online deals to invest in cases of ammo, to finding the best AR-15s amidst rising security concerns. But there are more trends brewing beneath the surface.


Embracing Sustainable Practices

In an age where people are waking up to how horrible our food industry is, sustainable prepping is gaining traction as a way of life. That’s why we are seeing people growing other food sources at home and even taking up homesteading. 

These practices aren’t just about surviving an apocalyptic event but also thriving afterward.

Sustainability goes beyond food though; it encompasses energy generation too. Think solar panels instead of relying solely on state infrastructure that will fail us during disasters.

A Focus On Community Resilience

Prepping was once considered an activity pursued by lone wolves preparing for doomsday scenarios alone. Now it’s becoming part of community-building efforts in a lot of areas. 

More people realize strength lies not only in personal preparedness but also within their local networks which can offer emergency support when needed.

This shift towards collective resilience reflects how our perception of safety has evolved over time – no longer confined within four walls and high-tech security systems, but woven through strong ties with trusted neighbors and friends alike.


Diversifying Skills & Knowledge

Lasting changes often require diversification and this holds true even among preppers. Modern survivalists are learning that they need to broaden their skills, like adding tactical firearms and fitness training to their repertoire alongside traditional survival skills. 

This is the key difference between merely surviving and thriving post-disaster.

As we navigate these changing times together, one thing remains clear: The prepper movement isn’t going anywhere. The prepper movement has been growing rapidly since 2020, and is demonstrating our determination to face whatever lies ahead.

Key Takeaway: 


Lastly, diversifying skills not only boosts your chances of surviving emergencies but it also enhances adaptability. With this broader skill set, preppers are more prepared for a variety of situations and can navigate challenges with greater ease.

FAQs About What is a Prepper

What is the difference between a prepper and a survivalist?

A prepper anticipates future emergencies and prepares accordingly, while a survivalist masters skills to survive in various environments. There is a lot of overlap between the two.

How much does the average prepper spend?

The amount varies. Some may only spend $100 annually on supplies, while others could invest hundreds of thousands into homesteading compounds and an off-grid lifestyle.

What makes a person a doomsday prepper?

Doomsday preppers go beyond regular preparedness. They prep for catastrophic events that could disrupt society long-term or permanently.

What should preppers stock up on?

Besides food and water, essential items include first aid kits, hygiene products, clothing layers, shelter materials, and communication devices. Additionally, proper tools for self-defense are key.

what is a prepper


What is a prepper? It’s not just someone stocking up on toilet paper during an emergency. It’s a lifestyle choice, rooted in preparedness for anything from natural disasters to economic collapse.

The evolution of the prepper movement has shown us that it’s more than doomsday scenarios and conspiracy theories; it’s about practical readiness for any event that may come.

Whether you choose basic preparation or decide to go off-grid, remember that successful prepping isn’t only about hoarding goods. It’s also about learning relevant survival skills and creating sustainable systems.

And let’s bust some myths: Not all preppers are paranoid alarmists. Many are normal folks who simply want their families safe when disaster strikes.

Having a plan in place is always beneficial when facing an uncertain future. Because when uncertainty looms large, those with a plan have peace of mind—and sometimes even save lives.

“Be thou prepared, and prepare for thyself, thou, and all thy company that are assembled unto thee, and be thou a guard unto them.” – Ezekiel 38:7

Disclaimer: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links. This means if you click on an affiliate link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through my Amazon links as well. The price of the item is the same whether it is an affiliate link or not. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers. By using the affiliate links, you are helping support our website, and we genuinely appreciate your support.

Similar Posts