Every once in a while, someone stumbles on an old article of mine – “Why We’re Giving Up Prepping” and doesn’t realize that it’s actually an April Fools Day joke! I am 100% in this mindset to stay, and would never stop prepping, not ever (which is why I wrote this article as a follow up to my April Fools Day Joke).
But being forever-a-prepper doesn’t mean that I approve of absolutely everything that goes on in the prepper community, and I’ve found over the years that when it comes to the prepper community as a whole, it can feel a lot like a double-edged sword.
Let me start by saying, I’m talking about the prepper community at large with this article and not about the More Than Just Surviving community specifically. With MTJS – I do feel like I’m living in something of a bubble – where our attempts at being as down-to-earth and practical as possible about prepping, survival, gear, and the like are taken quite seriously by you – our fabulous community. So (and yes, I know this will sound incredibly biased) I honestly don’t believe the dislikes I have about the prepper community at large apply to the More Than Just Surviving community at all. Every once in a while, though, I go browsing around some other prepper sites, or a stray comes this way and leaves a flowery comment for us without really understanding the MTJS community at all, and it reminds me of just how lucky we are to have our community the way it is, with so much of the good and not so much at all of the bad.
Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the prepper community at large very much. A lot of good comes out of it. A lot of excellent, useful information and knowledgeable people are a part of making this community what it is. I wouldn’t even know how to start trying to figure out how to quantify all the benefit I’ve reaped out if it to date – impossible I think considering how much help and support I’ve gotten over the years! But that doesn’t take away the fact that there are also things I am not at all a fan of that go on in the prepper community.
Enough of a disclaimer, though. Let me know if you agree about these likes and dislikes – and if you can think of any others yourself.
10 Things I Love About the Prepper Community
1. How knowledgeable preppers are.
Knowledgeable preppers are the #1 most amazing thing about this community! It’s unreal the extent to which some people’s knowledge in this community goes (Not sure which insurance types are worth getting? No worries, many other preppers have thoroughly researched the answer). Considering nearly any bit of information can help you if an emergency situation happens, it makes sense that really knowledgeable preppers would be all over the place, but still I think it’s a really special thing to have that not many communities can boast.
2. How creative preppers with finding useful solutions to problems.
I can’t explain to you how many times weird random issues have come up (Issues with gnats in your kitchen?), and how quickly and easily just asking preppers about these regular daily-life frustrations leads to insightful and even creative solutions that I haven’t found recommended frequently on the net. Why are preppers like this? Obviously, the emphasis on adaptability and creativity comes with the turf – but it’s one thing to think you could be creative when a SHTF situation happens, and another thing to actually be creative enough to think up solutions to new problems. I think a lot of preppers actually deliver the goods on this front – more that might be expected considering creativity and adaptability are not at all easy traits to develop.
3. How preppers continue to strive to learn new things always.
There are a million and one different ways to go about this whole prepping thing, but no matter what kind of a prepper you are, you understand the value of knowledge in preparedness and you’re always willing to learn more. It’s not easy stuffing your brain full of new things or changing how you do something because someone’s pointed out there’s a better way – but I do think preppers do an excellent job of continuously learning and trying to discover new things that could help them with their preps, then doing their best to apply that new knowledge. Considering most people are happy with the knowledge they have and don’t really care to learn more, I think this is a huge boon of our community.
4. The way preppers look ahead to the future, and don’t simply fixate on the present.
I never have to explain to a prepper why it’s important to think ahead, plan for the future, and make sure you sacrifice at least a little today to make sure you have a better tomorrow. Do you know how uncommon that is in our day and age?
5. The fact that preppers aren’t instant gratification junkies.
Again, it’s so rare in our day and age to find a group of people who aren’t fixated on getting more cool stuff now. I know it may sound ridiculous, but talking to people who are constantly getting new renovations and upgrading homes and the like can be exhausting when you’re working toward bigger, more important goals. It’s huge peace of mind to be a part of a community that agrees with you on where priorities should lie. Making your future better is the most important goal for a prepper – and this is a given. Huge weight off my shoulders to not have to fight to explain every day.
6. How many “veteran preppers” don’t just hoard their knowledge – they share it happily.
It’s an amazing thing watching preppers help other preppers. Even more amazing watching preppers who have been at it for a long time coach less experienced preppers with regards to what they’ve learned in the past and how they’ve tackled some of the problems life’s dealt with. You technically don’t have to share knowledge to learn at all, you can just hoard knowledge, but that’s not what frequently happens in this community. People do help out, even when there’s no advantage to doing so. I appreciate this so much.
7. How no one rests on their laurels – they’re always striving to be better and have better preps.
Again, part of the turf considering you can never be too prepared and there’s always something else you can do to further your preparedness. Still, it’s amazing to see how time and time again, those who are so much more prepared than even the rest of the prepper community will strive to get further and further with their preps. I don’t think that kind of continuous growth happens in many communities at all.
8. How good preppers are at durable DIYs and giving incredibly useful DIY related advice.
I know there’s a huge DIY community online. I know that most of the DIY communities do a good job showing you how to get the most bang for your buck, but I think preppers do their best to DIY things slightly differently from the norm in that they’ll value longevity and durability over aesthetics every time. And that’s important to me. If I have a DIY question, I know it can be answered within the prepper community in seconds. Whether it’s natural remedies DIY’d at home, home repairs, or pretty much any other type of DIY under the sun, if you’ve got a question, you’ll get an answer from anyone in this community that automatically takes into account cost and durability. That’s pretty awesome.
9. How pretty much any topic under the sun is up for discussion.
When this blog first started up, we did a lot of articles on prepper stockpiles, a few on wilderness survival, and quite a number of gear reviews, then we expanded our first aid section, now we’re taking a look more into security topics, and we’ll probably continue to add new and interesting sections to this blog over the years (maybe one on gardening once we have a house again!) and still will never be truly “done.”
No prepper has ever minded this juggling back and forth between topics (though some have expressed boredom in us doing too much of one thing, the reviews for example, but tough ’cause we like doing reviews). So long as the information is accurate and somehow relates back to the topic of prepping, which I’d like to argue that nearly everything under the sun does, it’s not weird or out of place at all to be discussing so many different topics. You can talk about nearly anything through the scope of preparedness, so many different hobbies and interests (lock picking anyone?) and it will always be completely up for debate and easy to open up a conversation about. Amazing for people who like to jump from one topic to the next, learning a bit about everything, like Thomas and I do.
10. Taking self-sufficiency seriously is a given in this community.
It’s nice to have a community that values the same things you do, and while self-sufficiency is valued in some other communities, on the whole in our society, it plainly is not. This is another one of those things were I’m just so grateful to not constantly have to be explaining to others – why is it important that I’m as self-sufficient as possible? Well unfortunately, if you don’t feel there’s something inherently uncomfortable about having a complete lack of self-sufficiency it’s really hard to explain. No explaining needed in this community since we all have that unease about being too dependent on others and the government.
5 Things I Hate About the Prepper Community
Again, I actually feel the More Than Just Surviving community does phenomenally well in the “things I like” section, and rarely, if ever, do we get a few stragglers who pass through our community who end up committing any of the following “things I hate.” It’s more about the prepper community at large – though even there, these things don’t happen everywhere, and certainly not all the time. Either way, let me know if you feel me on any of these.
1. The overly hyped up doom and gloom messages that frequent the prepper community.
You knew this was coming, so it had to be #1. Ebola anyone? Yes, it was a threat. Was it as much a threat as many in the prepper community were hyping it up to be? Hell no, and many of you figured that out right off the bat. I hope all the rest have figured out that this was too over-dramatized/hyped up considering no one is talking about Ebola anymore. It is so frustrating watching “hot topics” like these hijack the industry, cutting off our circulation of practical and useful information and replacing good articles with TEOTWAWKI is tomorrow b*llshit. Sorry, but I can never approve of this type of hype, considering all I see it as is…
2. How the hype distracts many preppers from practical prepping.
Distraction. That’s all this doom and gloom hype is. The same threats that were most pressing, urgent, and likely to take place yesterday are the same ones that are pressing, urgent, and likely to take place today. You know what those are: power outages, natural disasters, economic bubbles bursting leading to large-scale job loss – that kind of thing. Yup, they’re boring things to prep for. Yup, it’s a lot more frightening to die of Ebola than it is to die due to a natural disaster. Does that mean the hype is worthy of distracting you – wasting your precious time, effort, energy, and even money on? No. I can’t think of a time when the answer to this question would have been, “Yes.”
3. Some preppers rush to point out mistakes instead of rushing to correct, help, and aid others.
Of course not even close to everyone in the prepper community does this. Most preppers are SO helpful, even if they aren’t in a position where they benefit from sharing their knowledge. But the few preppers who do this – rush in and “criticize” (i.e. sh*it on the poster for making an effort) without actually leaving any useful tips or advice for improvement – spoil the conversation for the whole bunch!
If you’ve ever seen this happen, say someone drops by and leaves a comment like, “How stupid,” “This is just wrong,” or “So much misinformation here” and leaves their comment at that full stop, please take a moment to write “NOT HELPFUL” in response to their comment. We need to train people to see how utterly useless it is to point out “something” is wrong without pointing out what actually is wrong, what could have been written better, or what, in their opinion, is good advice to have given instead.
Replying in a way that criticizes without offering any form of help shuts a conversation down and essentially makes the environment toxic. Commenters like this are not helping anyone: not themselves, not the person who started the conversation, not anybody who might stumble on the conversation later – all they’re doing is being an epic a**hole, stopping those who otherwise might have wanted to engage in the discussion from wanting to do so, and discouraging the original poster from wanting to bother trying to help again in the first place.
4. Because of the aforementioned point, how difficult some preppers make it for newbies to start prepping.
Not everybody is at your level. Most in the prepper community remember this, but the bitter few who comment in the overtly negative fashion mentioned above don’t seem to ever take this fact into consideration. They may have an enormously good reason for believing something is factually incorrect, but shutting down the conversation with a, “That’s stupid,” is not only enormously unhelpful, toxic, and frustrating to read, it also does one extra thing that can really damage this community: it makes our community exceptionally unwelcoming for newbie preppers who have just started or have little experience prepping.
Yes, newbie preppers will probably ask stupid questions. They’ll probably regurgitate information that isn’t true or accurate. But no, it’s not helpful for anyone to shut down the conversation and in the process make a newbie prepper feel completely unwelcome. We don’t need to discourage those who have taken the first step toward being more prepared from wanting to continue prepping because they get hostility whenever they try to engage and learn. The world could benefit from having a lot more preppers in it, so if something negative needs to be said (which is often the case), it should actually be constructive – pointing out exactly why what’s wrong is wrong.
5. How some preppers wish SHTF/TEOTWAWKI situations to happen.
Yes, I understand, you’ve prepared for this and you’re happy about your preps. You’re itchin’ for something bad to happen cause it’ll give you a chance to strut your stuff, to “shine” – even considering how much you’ve done to advance your position in case a bad SHTF situation happens.
But if you’re looking forward to a SHTF/TEOTWAWKI situation, you are essentially wishing harm on a lot of people. I know the sheeple are silly and keeping their head in the sand is bad news, but that doesn’t mean they deserve harm. I’m sure you know and even like a lot of good people who are not preppers and would be devastated if the kind of SHTF/TEOTWAWKI situation you’re hoping will take place actually came about. Have a little sympathy, at least for these people, and realize that a SHTF situation happening is a terrible thing no matter how prepared you are for it.
What Do You Love & Hate About the Prepper Community?
What about the prepper community do you like and dislike? Feel me on any of the points mentioned above? Think I left something out? Leave me a comment below.
(And to the trolls, yes, I’m expecting a lot of “This is stupid” comments already – don’t you worry! They’re even welcome on this post, means you read it).