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Do You Think Prepping Has Died?

Avatar for Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: December 16, 2020
Do You Think Prepping Has Died?

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Shortly after the 2016 election, I read an article by one of my blogging colleagues titled “Is Prepping Dead?”.  I felt so strongly about what she said that I shared her article throughout the social media, hoping that others would see it and continue their preparedness efforts.  Now, one month later, I can confirm that I too am seeing signs that prepping, while not dead, has certainly slowed down.  This seems odd to me since the likelihood of a disruptive event has not changed.  It is as strong now as ever.

What are those signals and why should we continue to be prepared and to proudly call ourselves “Preppers”?   Let me explain.

Do You Think Prepping Has Died | Backdoor Survival

Signs and Signals That Prepping Has Slowed Down

Every legitimate blogger I know has a sickness called “check your stats”.  And, with the exception of the fear mongers and those pitching to extreme preppers, all of us have seen a sharp decline in blog traffic since the election.  In addition, most of the sponsors I deal with have told me sales are sharply down.

Another signal that prepping mania has slowed comes from the many emails and comments I receive.  Lately, there has been a shift to homesteading and self-sufficient lifestyle questions.  Very little has come across my desk relative to a long-term disruptive event such as global economic collapse, EMP, or cyber attack.

Has prepping reached a saturation point?

To help answer this, I called my economics guru, George Ure, over at Urban Survival, to get his take on this matter.  To paraphrase, here is what he said.

Right or wrong, the stock market has soared these past six weeks.  This is in spite of fundamentals that do not make sense.  We have a national debt problem that is not going away anytime soon, automation and robots are still gobbling up manufacturing jobs, and health care for an aging population will continue to skyrocket, the repeal of Obamacare notwithstanding.

You know this as well as I do, Gaye, market down and prepping is up  Market up and no one cares.

In my opinion, there are simply too many moving pieces for all of our economic woes to go away with a snap of the fingers (that being a metaphor for “change in national leadership”).  And then there is Mother Nature.

Why Prepping is a Long-Term Lifestyle Investment

When it comes to disruptive events, the one thing we are unable to predict are the ravages of Mother Nature.  Hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, floods, wildfires and other natural disasters are going to happen.  We just don’t know and precisely where.  Anyone with an ounce of common sense knows that a natural disaster is not an event that only happens to someone else.  Far from it.

There are disruptive events caused by bad people.  An EMP, cyber attack, pandemic and other catastrophic, apocalyptic events caused by man give us a strong incentive to keep on prepping.  More common scenarios are a job loss or the cost of an extended hospital stay.  And what about a nuclear accident,?  Even the best-prepared preppers will be at risk.

With so many things that can go wrong, there are those that are going to argue that the cost is too high.  They claim that prepping is expensive.  To them, I say get real, buddy.  Tap water is almost free and so are empty soda bottles.  Yes, I do own an expensive water filtering system but my garage and freezer are also filled with repurposed soda bottles filled with free tap water.

I own dozens of flashlights but many are of the variety.  Perhaps not the highest in quality but they do work and are better than being in the dark when the power goes out.  I know how to build a fire using biomass and to keep it going so I can cook food.  The space under my bed is filled with canned fruits, vegetables, and beans picked up on sale for less than a dollar a can.  Now tell me again, prepping is too expensive?

Additional Reading:  100 Budget Friendly Items for the Frugal Prepper

The bottom line is that people at all income levels can find an excuse for not prepping if they want to.  Sadly, this is a problem for the rest of us because we are the ones that will be left holding the bag, and defending what is ours if the stuff hits the fan.

It is my opinion that to get around this, we must continue to evangelize and continue to educate those that are willing to listen.  One way to do this is to tell them that prepping is an investment just like insurance.  But unlike insurance, prepping is not a use or lose proposition.  At the end the year, your preps carry forward, there for you should a disruptive event come knocking on your door sometime down the road.  Can you say that about your car insurance whose clock starts over each year?

What To Do Now to Keep the Prepping Glow Alive

The rules of engagement have not changed.  Here are a few things you can keep on doing to ensure your stats as a prepper of the highest order.

  • Live below your means and save what is left over for your preps
  • Get out of debt
  • Continue to store food and water to get you by during hard times
  • Develop basic skills such as cooking from scratch, building fires, and purifying water.  Beyond that, develop more advanced survival skills based on where you live and the number of people who depend on you for shelter.
  • Learn a pioneer skill that you can fall back for barter income on in the event a catastrophic event throws us back to the 19th century
  • Stockpile first aid supplies and medications.  Learn about natural remedies you can use when traditional medications are not available.
  • Learn to become a MacGyver when it comes to making household repairs.
  • Use it up, wear it out, and make do!

Additional Reading:  12 Frugal Lessons From the Great Depression

The Final Word

According to George, his crystal ball is telling him markets will reach an all-time high late in 2017 or early 2018.  Furthermore, when the market falls, there will be panic prepping.  I do agree that when and if that does happen, things will be bad for those that are living high on the hog based upon the value of their investments.  Savings and retirement accounts could vanish and we will have 2009 all over again.  Maybe worse.

For that reason, my own investments are not in the stock market but in food storage, property, and the supplies I need to be self-sufficient.  Nothing has changed in that respect.  Nothing.  Yes, I am thrilled that we have new leadership in Washington, but as a realist, I know that effecting change takes time.  In the meantime, I want to be ready so if the SHTF, I am safe, I am well-fed, and I am comfortable.

To wrap up, it is my opinion that prepping is not dead.  Prepper-mania may have waned, but for those of us that want to secure a future of self-reliance, prepping will never be optional.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

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 Below you will  the items related to today’s article as well as other personal favorites.

Mini CREE Q5 LED Zoomable 1200 Lumens Flashlight:  I am calling this my “3 buck flashlight”.  It took a few weeks to get here but since arriving, I have been doing my best to get it to fail but so far, it is working perfectly.  It uses a single AA battery (I am using a recharged Alkaline battery).  This is another one of those great deals that is difficult to pass up.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter:  The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultralight personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2 oz. making it perfect for the prepper. For more information, see my LifeStraw review.

Emergency Mylar Thermal Blankets (Pack of 10): I do believe in helping my neighbors in the community so a supply of these will be handy to hand out to those in need. You will be surprised at how warm these will keep you. Be sure to test one out in advance so that you have the confidence to trust the blanket in an emergency.

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Mighty Charger for Both Alkaline and Rechargeable Batteries:  I don’t know why I have not reviewed this nifty battery charger yet but I do need to do that.  The Mighty Charger is a compact charger that works with both Alkaline and Ni-MH AA, AAA batteries and 9V batteries. I like it’s small form factor and the fact that it will automatically detect the type of battery and charge it up.

EcoZoom Versa: This rocket-type stove burns wood, charcoal, and biomass. It is easy to use and fast. It will cook a pot of rice, as an example, start to finish in less than 20 minutes.  I actually own two.

Tac Force TF-705BK Tactical Assisted Opening Folding Knife 4.5-Inch Closed: This is a great knife that is currently priced with free shipping.  Not only that, it is ranked as the #1 best seller  in both the camping and hunting knives categories.  The reviews raved about this knife so I bought one, used it, and can recommend it.  See The Inexpensive Tac-Force Speedster Outdoor Knife.


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64 Responses to “Do You Think Prepping Has Died?”

  1. my theory is: a lot of people who voted for president-elect trump did so because they perceived him as a kind of messiah who would solve all our problems once he was in office; in fairness to them, that’s exactly how he presented himself (“i’m the only one who can save you…”). and when you have a savior (or a “good daddy”) to take care of you, there’s no need to take care of yourself. or, as some commenters have put it, people are breathing a sigh of relief. as for myself, i have redoubled my efforts, since i expect that the trump presidency will sound the death knell for the american prosperity that we have considered our birthright during my lifetime. as for the stock market, i agree with you that a crash is coming soon–it always has when trading skyrockets like it has lately; but i suspect that most preppers aren’t that aware of or interested in the stock market in good times or bad, so i doubt that’s a factor. i’m sure there are also some liberals who just feel too depressed and hopeless to do anything right now; but most of them will get over it, and i predict that prepping will be more popular than ever in a few months’ time. i just hope new preppers don’t get taken in by the proliferation of useless junk and scare-mongering that i see going on lately!

  2. *Live below your means and save what is left over for your preps—Years of experience
    *Get out of debt—2 years of FREEDOM
    *Continue to store food and water to get you by during hard times—Yep, ongoing
    *Develop basic skills such as cooking from scratch, building fires, and purifying water. Beyond that, develop more advanced survival skills based on where you live and the number of people who depend on you for shelter.—Working on it everyday
    *Learn a pioneer skill that you can fall back for barter income on in the event a catastrophic event throws us back to the 19th century–Done, & acquiring additional
    *Stockpile first aid supplies and medications. Learn about natural remedies you can use when traditional medications are not available.—Never enough
    *Learn to become a MacGyver when it comes to making household repairs.—Years of experience
    *Use it up, wear it out, and make do!—Years of experience.

    It might seem like it’s slowed down, but for those of us who have been living this way for quite some time have probably gotten to the point where we’re quieter about it, are busy obtaining new skills, or feel confident enough that a wee break in heavy prepping won’t hurt.

    As for the others, well, don’t come knocking on my & mine won’t be there.

  3. I have noticed a lot of people seem to have just pulled back or stopped everything when it comes to preparing since Trump was elected… It is like they think all the fears and worries just went away because of that..

    When in reality, nothing has changed. The ONLY change that might occur is whether he can pull us back from the brink of full on economic collapse.. Time will tell if that is to happen in his term… We are in dire straights and for some reason people seem to think the stock market going nuts and Trump being elected is the mark of all is well.. when in reality, we are still in major debt, still under the mound of entitlements and more that continues to pile on even now.

    Additionally, Trump being elected has nothing to do with all the other possibilities.. some space borne threat, some major natural event like Yellowstone or major earthquakes… Yet some people seem to think the election reduced those issues as well..

    For me, I will remain and continue to be prepared… One person does not change the whole.

  4. Prepping is changing demographics. Whereas preppers tended to primarily be conservatives and republicans, nowadays the new preppers are more likely to be liberals and democrats. They are a whole new flood of people just starting out, as opposed to those who have been prepping for quite a while and are just taking a break.

  5. Gaye,
    My two cents are as follows: I don’t believe prepping has stopped completely, however, I feel that many folks are breathing a sigh of relief as I think many expected rioting to break out after the election results were finalized. The rioting didn’t happen then, but, as we saw on the news, there seems to have been a coordinated instance of fights breaking out across the country. Those forces are still planning to disrupt our lives as much as possible.
    Also, did you see the article in the news about the massive sink-hole? Granted, that wasn’t intentional, but, disasters are still happening.
    And, how about the weather. That’s not going away any time soon.
    So, I hope that now that most folks have taken a deep breath, they’ll get back to doing what needs to be done… preparing! Maybe with a more focused direction.

  6. Dear Gaye,
    I am sorry that the prepper “kids” are giving you anxiety at this time of year! I’ll speak for myself—no I haven’t given up the prepper thing. I have continued to buy canned goods at grocery store sales. I have ordered a few things (like a solar charger) at the online sales with free shipping. I’m still going–maybe just distracted a little by holiday stuff with company coming, but I’m still there. We even had the son in law bring it up-for the first time! Now HE is distressed since the change in leadership-but whatever. Bring ’em into the fold!
    I have my planning going to homestead better and get the herbal plants in and many other things. I’ll keep going as long as I can walk and have a brain cell to function!
    Happy New Year to you!

  7. I haven’t stopped and my wife is now showing more interest whereas before she just kind of left it up to me. I’m glad to see her change. I believe her “change” may be a result of her reading Lights Out by Ted Koppel. I recommended it to her and she finally started reading it.

    We may have a new president who most people agree should lead us down a road more friendly to most conservative thinking people, i.e., more jobs, more border security, more 2nd amendment protections, etc., but that doesn’t mean there aren’t plenty of other “things” that can happen in your life that will cause you to need your preps. Going into winter, my focus right now is heat and cooking. If we lost our electricity from a squirrel in a power sub-station or from an EMP, either one, means we’ve lost our electricity and our ability to heat our home and cook food. It’s that simple. That’s why I’m currently building another bio-mass stove for heat and cooking. I have constructed a small rocket-type stove that works well for heating water for food preps, but I have nothing to effectively heat at least one room in my home with no electricity. I am putting together a simple wood burning stove capable of cooking on top of as well as provide enough heat for at least one room. It will have the necessary stove piping to vent the deadly gasses and smoke outside. When the heater no longer works, and it’s freezing outside, you will only have a few hours before the inside of your house will be nearly intolerable without a heat source. Do something about that now, while you can, while things are relative calm. This is only one of several events you need to prepare for, but start now and do something!!! You’ll never be sorry…

  9. Actually I’m hearing more people talk about being prepared for economic instability. Some previous prepper types seem to be more relaxed right now, but I think that will change as they see Mother Nature & human nature not changing.

  10. I have slowed a bit on my preps due to my lack of funding as I am on disability. But I do manage to set aside a little each month for larger purchases. I am currently waiting on 2 orders from Zaycon Foods, one is 40 lbs of boneless-skinless chicken breast, the other is 40 lbs of 93-7 ground beef. most of which while be canned. I bought the chicken breast on sale at $1.49 a lb and the ground beef was also on sale @ $3.89 a lb. (it is rare to find such quality meat on sale locally).I keep the freezer storage to a min of frozen meats in case of power outages. I can a lot of meat,veggies and beans.I made jams, jellies and breads for Christmas gifts instead of spending a fortune.I have printed my favorite recipes and placed in page protectors and put in a binder. I buy 5 gal of water every week as we are on a co-op well and I cannot drink the water without my reverse osmosis filter system. We also have several years of back up filters for the system. So, yes I have slowed a bit, but I am constantly on the watch for need items which means I will never stop preparing for the future.

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