I don’t mean to get all Nostradamic but because of my involvement in this niche and community, I feel like my experience can be of use to the many preppers out there. As a freelance writer, I work in tandem with many prepping blogs and business owners. My income depends on the success of their blogs and products. This gives me insight on how the outside world affects the prepper community.
My journey has brought me face to face with people in the prepping world that are clearly in it for the wrong reasons. Fortunately, a lot of people realize this quickly and choose not to support them in their efforts. Instead, people are flocking to sites that produce detailed, accurate, and useful information.
Most recently I have taken ownership of the Prepper Broadcasting Network. I am now even more involved in the situations, guests, professionals, products, services, restraints, struggles and successes of the community and the industry. It’s a very unique opportunity and I am very grateful for it.
What I want to talk about in this article, in particular, are the trends and outside forces that will affect the prepping community in 2019. This is not going to be an article all about gear or products that will be coming out in 2019. Rather, it will be about the atmosphere around prepping and how I think the industry and the community will be affected over the next 365 days.
Preppers talk about guns, they talk about violence and sometimes they talk about religion and politics. The multi-platform digital fasci has taken action against some or all of those topics. Critical income streams like Google AdWords, Facebook search and YouTube, have cut down or cut out those with opposing views or interests.
While this may not seem like a big deal for the average prepper, it is having a huge effect on the websites that preppers visit each day. Some of these sites have built a base on these AdWords and forms of income that are being suppressed. Digital suppression will undoubtedly take out some content providers in 2019. It will be conservative based and firearms-based bloggers and YouTubers. This happened in 2018 as well.
This form of digital suppression is going to be an underlying factor in the type of content that some prepper media outlets bring to the public. Hopefully, many of these sites will seek out new ways to monetize their content but talking about guns and religious beliefs will be a short path to demonetization in 2019.
For those who are considering their own blog or YouTube channel on prepping or survival, it’s very important to consider what you build your income base on. If you build your site’s income on advertisements or things like Amazon affiliate links you must beware. These income streams can be taken from you.
Like all things in the ever-digitizing world, data drives a lot of what we do. This type of efficiency is going to play out in the prepper community in 2019. With the advent of easy to use software like the tools at www.bunkerdays.com and prepperlytics.com, you are going to see more preppers using data to understand their level of preparedness and make improvements.
Obviously, this method of prepping does not fit everyone. Some people just enjoy the hard copy checklist. I don’t. For me, seeing my inventory in a digital spreadsheet and having the option to filter and compare items is something I really enjoy. Of course, in a grid down situation, we will all be relegated to the paper checklist. Till then, however, I like using technology to my advantage.
While it might not be these two sites in particular, preppers who pride themselves on efficiency and progress are going to use data, in its many accessible forms, to create a clearer picture of things like threats and resources.
An Evolution of Prepper Content
We have a lot of written word in the prepper community. Although I have spent over 2 years sifting through prepper and survival websites, I still find new ones that have been around a while and have a great following.
The written word is a huge benefit and having that resource online, for FREE, is truly a gift. That said, I think we will see prepper content evolving in a few ways in 2019. Don’t forget, this is coming from a guy who provides that written content for a living.
We are going to see an emphasis on new presentation methods. While the infographic has proven to be an effective tool for conveying information they too are upgrading with things like animations and drill down options.
Video is always going to be a big deal and we will see a massive increase in the quality and content that regular video content creators present to the prepping community. Things like 4k accessibility and drone filming technology are going to make it harder to watch the old still shot low-grade videos of the past.
There is a part of me that is wondering when prepper and survival content will make the jump to VR. I think there are some serious training benefits that could come from that. That may not be something we see in 2019, or maybe it will be.
No matter how you look at it the world of prepper content will expand in 2019 and that is great news for all of us!
Affordable Soft Body Armor Options
There has been a flood of high quality, lightweight body armor put on the market. With the outbreak of mass shootings and particularly those that happen at schools, parents who have no ties to prepping are paying attention. There are even companies making bookbags with built-in body armor.
As sad as it is, body armor has become much cheaper. With reasonable accessibility, we could see more preppers opting for body armor as part of their preparedness plans. Where it was once an out of budget cost for many preppers it might make more sense to slide a panel down into the EDC backpack or into your kids’ packs.
I have seen these slim panels stand up to all sorts of firepower and even multiple shots in the same area. These panels are tested in accordance with National Institute of Justice Ballistics Testing standard. Most are pistol rated but you can find some that will stop shotgun and even rifle ballistics.
These low-cost soft body armor options will change the way we all prepare if we consider our environment as one that dictates the use of body armor.
Between the wrath of mother nature, war and civil unrest, it would seem that no region on the planet is without a struggle. We have seen the emergence of violent migrant gangs in Europe and violent protests against the policies that created them.
In America, we have had two record-setting years of natural disasters and our own civil upheaval that appears to be a steady progression as we near the next violent election cycle.
There is really no reason to look at the landscape and not consider prepping. In 2019 we are going to see more people adopting the prepper name as the toxic fumes of Nat Geo and other prepper-based reality tv entertainment being to dissipate. The prepper moniker will not scare people as much. Instead, the massive community will offer answers and solutions to those who, through the explosion of internet information and news, are more aware of the threats we all face.
This is one of the more exciting things for me, as a prepper. My goal has always been to get as many people prepping as possible. It’s the cornerstone of what we do at the Prepper Broadcasting Network. It would be one of the great ironies to see the often scoffed at prepper become a leader in every community.
While this shouldn’t be something that keeps you from prepping, it is always nice to be accepted by the society you live in. This is particularly true if you are trying to be helpful!
We have long faced a strange relationship with society. Most preppers avoid bringing up their efforts because of being ostracized or having a negative effect on their OPSEC expectations. I have even had colleagues lean across the table and whisper to me, “I keep a little extra water in the closet,” as though the German Stasi might be listening!
I think the public has seen enough disaster and will come to grips with the importance of disaster preparedness. In 2019 acceptance of the prepper name and more importantly, the efforts will take be at its highest.
Things like food storage, water storage, and backup power will be ideas that most responsible Americans have in their sights. Maybe I am dreaming a little too much on this one, but I think the public is ready to take disaster preparedness more seriously in 2019.
Working in, supporting and enjoying the prepper community makes for a very interesting life. You must embrace the full journey of preparedness and how it changes you and your family. You must be mindful of becoming a harbinger of doom or a fear monger. While that can be good for business, it’s very bad for the soul.
The year 2019 will affect the prepping community in many ways. Some will be positive while others will undoubtedly be negative. Remember that prepping is about as personal an undertaking as it gets. While having a supportive community and a network of content providers to help you along that journey is wonderful, in the end, it’s you who must make the decisions.
We are nothing if not adaptable. So, face down the new year with that in mind and take advantage of all that is coming to the prepper world in 2019.
James Walton is the host of the I AM Liberty Show (www.iamlibertyshow.com) a podcast about 21st-century freedom. He is a freelance writer in the prepping and survival niche and likes to keep a healthy balance between prepping and enjoying life.