What Type of Prepper Are You?

Avatar Gaye Levy  |  Updated: July 3, 2019
What Type of Prepper Are You?

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When disaster strikes, a lot of things happen. There are people fleeing the area, people rushing into the area to help, people in shock who can’t figure out what to do, people who jump into action right away — and the list goes on. Everybody is different, and everybody reacts differently when put in a disaster situation.

Learning how to prepare for a disaster is an important thing to do, even if you don’t think it will happen to you. Some people may be born preppers, meaning they are constantly doing what they can to get ready for a disaster. Some people believe that nothing bad will happen to them, so they don’t bother.

What Type of Prepper Are You | Backdoor Survival

When Answering, Be Mindful of the  Psychology Behind Disaster Situations

Here is a list of some of the most common types of people during disaster situations and what you should know about them when preparing for or dealing with a tough and possibly dangerous situation.

The Denier

This type of person believes that if disaster strikes, it won’t affect them. They see natural disasters and other terrible things happening on the news or online, but they wholeheartedly deny the fact that such a thing could ever happen in their hometown.

These people avoid the daily stressors that come with anticipating disaster situations and may lead more laid-back lives, but if a disaster ever did strike, they wouldn’t know what to do at all.

If you come across this type of person, share with them the importance of preparing for an emergency situation and give them a few pointers. If nothing else, they’ll at least have some advice if the time ever comes to deal with a disaster situation.

The Self-Defense Guru

Some people understand that they could be put in bad situations and want to be prepared for situations where they can fight their opponents and defend themselves and their family. These people work out often to build muscle and become strong and confident. They may also invest in weapons to keep in their home in case of an intruder.

This type of person is probably well prepared for violent disasters or attacks close to home, such as break-ins or gang violence. However, they are not prepared for natural disasters or situations in which the problem is not a physical person who can be fought. If faced with a disaster they cannot defend themselves from, they may become panicked and violent — which could lead to more potential problems such as road rage and aggressive driving.

Keep the self-defense guru in your life close. They can definitely come in handy for some of the situations mentioned above and are a great person to have on your side. Talk to them to find ways that their strength and abilities can come in handy during other disasters, like severe weather.

The Outdoorsman

The true outdoorsman is ready for anything. These people are typically strong, have good survival skills, know what to do when faced with harsh conditions and are ready for anything. They may enjoy being off the grid and living life deep in nature.

The outdoorsman is very well prepared for basically any type of disaster. They can survive anywhere they may have to flee to, are strong enough to fight off enemies and have experience living in harsh or unpleasant conditions.

When dealing with outdoorsmen, remember that for them, spending time outdoors and off the grid is where they feel safest and most comfortable. Support their lifestyle and learn anything you can from them — in case the time ever comes for you to enter the wilderness with nothing but a backpack.

The “Doing the Best I Can” Prepper

Some people don’t let prepping for a disaster take over their lives, but they have the basic skills and materials to protect their family. These people may be single parents, young adults living alone or families who simply aren’t making disaster prep their main focus.

People who are doing the best they can may have some food stocked and have an evacuation plan in place. They might also have some basic self-defense skills and could probably defend and protect their family if it came down to it. However, these people aren’t consumed with the idea of a disaster striking, which is probably a healthy outlook to have.

The “Doing the Best I Can” prepper is typically very logical and reasonable. Having conversations with these types of preppers about potential disaster situation can probably be eye-opening for both parties. Don’t count these people out.

The Final Word

The bottom line?  People are different.

How people handle disaster situations isn’t just a human reaction. Everyone is different. If somebody has been through a traumatic experience before, post-traumatic stress disorder may force them to replay those scenarios and prepare themselves for another situation.

People who maybe haven’t experienced a disaster situation firsthand, but have seen them on TV, can feel a variety of ways, depending on their personality. Some might feel thankful it didn’t happen to them but are realistic in the fact that it could. Some people will look at the news coverage and shrug, believing it won’t ever happen to them. If somebody has family members who have been affected by disasters, they may constantly feel a sense of fear about somebody they love dealing with another bad situation.

Truly, everybody experiences disaster situations differently, and individual reactions depend on a lot of factors. How you deal with these situations is unique to you, and the best you can do is prepare in whatever way makes the most sense to you.


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Author Bio: Bobbi Peterson loves writing and regularly posts on her blog Living Life Green. She’s also a freelance writer, green living advocate and environmentalist. You can find more from Bobbi on Twitter.

Bargain Bin:  Regardless of the type of prepper you are, these seven items are universal and what I consider must-have's.

LifeStraw Personal Water FilterThe Amazon Top Ten Most Wanted Survival and Outdoor Items   Backdoor Survival: 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.

Portable Solar Charger:  With so many important documents and eBooks stored on electronic devices, having the ability to recharge them when the grid is down is a personal priority.  I have reviewed many over the years and with each new unit, the form factor, efficiency, and the price gets better.  My current favorite is the Archeer 21W Foldable Solar Panel.

Portable Outdoor LED Camping Lantern – Collapsible:  I admit to owning a number of these collapsible lanterns. They use  30 different LEDS and are powered by AA batteries, including rechargeables.  Instead of a switch, you turn these lanterns on by extending the lantern from its collapsed condition.  There are many different brands available but I have not found much difference between them.  Shop by price.  For more, choices, click here.

Kershaw OSO Sweet Pocket Knife:  A decent pocket knife made it to the list.  We use ours almost daily and I cannot imagine getting by without a knife.  This is our favorite; currently priced at $22.

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Paracord Planet Mil-Spec Commercial Grade 550lb Type III Nylon Paracord:  An ideal all-around utility cord in the field, paracord is tough and long lasting. It is made from 550-pound test nylon and features a seven strand core for maximum strength. Also, it is manufactured in the United States.  Note that some colors may be more expensive than others.  Need ideas? See 44 Really Cool Uses of Paracord for Survival.

 Light My Fire Swedish FireSteel:  This “Scout” is the one I own. Using this basic pocket fire-starter, you can get a nice fire going under almost any conditions. This is a small, compact version and is my personal favorite.

iRonsnow Dynamo Emergency Solar Hand Crank Self-Powered AM/FM/NOAA Weather Radio, LED Flashlight, Smart Phone Charger & Power Bank: This newly upgraded $25 unit has it all in one portable package.  It can be also be powered four ways:  hand crank, integrated solar panel, Micro USB, or AAA batteries.This is a great value and in my opinion, works just as well as though costing double this amount.


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A frequent question I get on Backdoor Survival has to do with healthcare matters when there is no doctor around. This is the definite source of survival medical information for all Prepper’s and is my go-to bible for survival medicine.

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6 Responses to “What Type of Prepper Are You?”

  1. I’m a doing the best I can prepper. I do a little every week to add to the stores. Now that I’m retired I have been cleaning out ALL my business clothes. Took 5 bags to the Goodwill this weekend after I didn’t get any response from the women’s shelters that go on air and ask for donations of business clothing. I am still clearing out clothing I’ve hung on to in the futile hope I would lose weight,LOL. DH made a crack about getting his half of the closet back again. I didn’t realize how much I HAD been holding on to until I started to clear it out. It’s easy to forget when it sits in a closet. I reorganized one of the bedrooms to fit the Pack’N’Play for the newest grandchild (after March) when Son1 and DIL come home for visits. I have set a goal to have everything reorganized, labeled and inventoried by December of this year.

  2. The red IS-088 radio you have the link for cannot be powered with batteries. The bullet points indicate as much. The model that can be powered with batteries is the iRonsnow IS-092. It’s a trade off. I find the former to be more streamlined and functional but it doesn’t carry a charge as long. The latter carries a good charge and seems to recharge fast, but the clock is useless and the radio station resets if you run out the power.

    • Thanks for letting me know. The model I purchased uses batteries which makes me wonder if they changed out units on Amazon from the time when I first purchased mine. Or I linked to the wrong product which I sometimes do.

    • There are a LOT of different models of this radio and they all look so similar, it would be hard to tell which did what unless you had them all in front of you to poke at. And you’re right, you could have ordered one model and received an upgrade without knowing it and without being told. I use the blue one all the time. The red one I have in the dishwasher along with a spare cell phone in case of an emergency. I’m sure someday my husband is going to turn to me and ask “Dear, why do we have a radio in the dishwasher?” The only possible answer is “Because I’m taking care of us in case of an EMP and the dishwasher is a reasonable approximation for a Faraday cage.” Yes, I expect some eye-rolling, but the radio stays put, regardless.

  3. I’m a ” Doing the best I can” prepper. When the power goes down, I’m set, and I think about what I still have to do to be ready for LONG power outages. I still have work and $ to spend.
    Now I have the added anx of #45, and what he and his cabinet will do….especially when it comes to my income.

  4. I’m a Self Sufficiency Type of Prepper……meaning, as I learn how to do something for myself, I try to implement it as a part of my life NOW. I do this for 3 reasons: (1) I enjoy learning new things and I have lots of time since I’m retired. (2) The food I grow and preserve is healthier for me than store bought junk; the soaps/shampoos/deodorant/toothpaste/body butters, etc. are healthier likewise. and (3) There won’t be much of a shock or need to make big adjustments in my lifestyle if/when things hit the fan.

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