Prepper vs Survivalist – Which One Are You

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There is a huge rise in the prepper and survivalist circles these days and millions of people are starting to consider the possibility of disasters in almost every county in the world. It has become a multi-billion $ industry and people around the world are cashing in.

If you are a person who believes that a catastrophic disaster or emergency is likely to occur in the future and are making active preparations for it by stockpiling food, ammunition, and other supplies, then you are a prepper. If you are a person who practices outdoor survival skills as a sport or hobby Or a person who tries to ensure their own survival or that of their social or national group, then you are a survivalist.

Prepping, as it is most commonly known, is frowned upon by some and is a way of life to others but prepping is not just prepping. There are Preppers and there are survivalists and there is a distinct difference between a prepper vs survivalist. They have generally been treated as the same thing but they are defined differently, or are they?

In this article, I will show your the difference between a Prepper vs Survivalist – How To Be The Best Of Both is the aim of this article

What Is The Difference

According to the Oxford Dictionary, A Prepper is:

“A person who believes a catastrophic disaster or emergency is likely to occur in the future and makes active preparations Prepper vs Survivalistfor it, typically by stockpiling food, ammunition, and other supplies.”

They define a Survivalist as either:

A person who practices outdoor survival skills as a sport or hobby.


A person who tries to ensure their own survival or that of their social or national group.

As you will notice, these two definitions overlap, or at least in South Africa, amongst my people, the Boers, they do. We do not just Prep for a catastrophic disaster or emergency (a described in the prepper definition) but to ensure that our social group (as defined in the survivalist definition), the Afrikaner, and the broader white groups survive, as our politicians promise an imminent racial war against the whites.

So, in all honesty, we are both prepper and survivalist and we truly prep to survive.

Why Prep

There are a myriad of reasons for prepping for survival. These can be:

Whatever the reason, there are millions of people prepping around the world.

Why Just Survive

Preparing to just survive is OK for some scenarios where they will last a day or two and then help will be at hand to returnJust Survive things to normal, but what about the long term disasters like;

  • Wars,
  • A national power outage that could take months to restore
  • genocide
  • economic meltdown
  • water/food shortages

With these types of scenarios, one will need a longer-term plan. Stored water and food will be unlikely to last long enough in these circumstances. Something more is a must.

The Long Game – When Surviving Is Just Not Enough

There is much to consider when making plans for these scenarios and it can be overwhelming, scary, and something that most people avoid addressing, But, address it you should. It is all good and well surviving the event, whatever it is, but what to do next is what needs to be considered and prepared for. There is no place for prepper vs survivalist discussions. You have to be the best of both if you want to survive the catastrophic event and thereafter.

Let’s consider that you got out of the city in time and you made it to your end destination, where you are now relatively safe. Now you need to consider;

  • How long your food will last
  • Where will you get water
  • Where will you build a long term home/shelter
  • Did you bring tools
  • how will you cloth your family
  • What about medicines
  • The Children, how will you educate them?

and the list goes on. If you have not considered these and developed a plan of action, you need to start. If you are new to prepping, a good place to start would be here.

What’s Your Plan

Your Bug Out Bag gets you out of the city and hopefully to a safe destination, wherever that might be, but now life must goPlanned Survival on, albeit just for a few months or for years. This will depend on the prevailing circumstances. There are several opinions out there and the average that I found is that SHTF will last 2 to 10 years. Are you prepared for that?

Most people plan to escape the madness but have not looked at what they will do thereafter. I strongly believe that aid from any source will not be in a rush to reach us. I would rather prepare to survive long term and not require it than not to plan and no help arrives!

My suggestions, Plan for the long game! If you need help on where to start, follow the link, read the article here.  To receive your copy of our PDF workbook that will help you develop a plan and work out a list of what you need to collect, buy and learn request it via the form below.

Have You Planned For Long Term Food and Water

One of the most important things you will need in a SHTF scenario is knowledge. Do not underestimate how much you need to know to survive when nothing works, There will be few, if any working taps for water, you will need to know how and where to find water, how to purify it and make it safe to drink.

How about transporting and storing water? How long can you store water andWater transportation how do you store it.

Do you know how much you will need a day? it’s definitely more than 2 litres a day per person in a long term scenario. In the workbook, you will learn how to calculate your water requirements and store it.

Barter – The Financial System Of The Future

The only time when money will have some value will be in the first few hours or days of the SHTF scenario. I am afraid that all you money that you have saved will be of little use to you. Now I am not advocating spending all your money because it might be worthless at some stage, but I am suggesting that you look at purchasing some items that will provide you with currency if and when your money is worthless.

There are three reasons for ensuring that you have something to barter.Bater - the new commerce

  1. The first being to enable you to acquire items that you might not have, which have maybe run out. Having items to barter with will provide you with that option.
  2. The second is more ominous. If people see you surviving and you are not sharing in some way, they will probably believe that you have a huge cache of stuff, and some of them will want to have some, if not all, of it. this places you and your family in a risky situation. If you are surviving and people do not know how you are managing to do so, they will make up their own mind on how you are doing it.
  3. The third reason is that you now become part of a community where you learn who you can trust, where you can get help and how you can help develop a community. All very important if you are to survive long term.

If you plan and prepare well now, you will not need to go short in the future. Luxuries might be scarce but you can still live well.

So what are Barter Goods?

You could use many items for barter, but consider this, If your wares are finite, they will run out. By all means, take things like;

  • a case of cigarette lighters, they will always be in demand
  • Salt
  • Soap
  • fuel
  • Dried and tinned food
  • candles
  • cloth
  • plastic sheeting etc.

These things will all run out and then, what do you have to trade? It would be wise to consider things that you can replenish. Things like:

  • Seed ( I would not give my seed away but grow produce that I can barter with).Chickens
  • Livestock ( if you can take a few chickens, rabbits, fish or pigeons etc to breed with and use them for food and barter). The smaller animals are easier to convey and feed.
  • Skills. This is a biggie. If you know how to make soap, you will be able to make and barter soap.
  • The same goes for building shelters, tools, water filters, waterproof material, sharpening knives and axes, repairing generators, making wood gas etc.
  • Books ( swap with others)
  • Hunting
  • cooking ( a whole new way of cooking will need to be learned. Open fires, baking in dutch ovens etc). Trade your home-baked products.

Join a Survivor Group

Is it worth the risk? This is something that only you can decide as a family. There are pros and cons and one needs to access them in each situation.

Joining a group can place you at risk. There are many reasons for this;

  • There is more risk of your plans being leaked.
  • you have less say in what is going to happen.
  • You have to rely on a leader that you might not agree with.
  • You might have to share your stores?
  • Your destination might be more visible because of the number of people there
  • Health issues (spread of disease)with large numbers in an informal camp and the list goes on.

Joining a group also provides you with certain advantages;

  • More safety in numbers.
  • People can share dutiesWeapon
  • More skills such as medical, military/police, survival skills, agriculture, mechanical etc.
  • More defensive weapons
  • A larger pool of knowledge

You need to weigh up the situation and decide what you consider to be the best for your circumstances.

Educating The Youth

We need to keep foremost in mind that there are children and younger generations that need to be educated, taught our traditions and Home Schoolingcultures. We will need to educate them and this will probably be in the form of homeschooling. now this is no simple task and you will need to research it now and acquire the necessary material to ensure a balanced and adequate education for them.

Do not choose just the subjects that you enjoy or are proficient at, but ensure that you cover a proper syllabus. It definitely will not be a current school syllabus but one that will also teach them how to survive and prosper in their current situation if SHTF.

To Be The Best Of Both You Need To Plan And Act Now

There is a lot to consider when you contemplate prepping. A lot of people get overwhelmed and that is not necessary. Don’t think of trying to get everything at once. If you have the means, with the greatest of pleasure, get everything tomorrow but it is a sizable amount of money and a lot of it will be wasted if you have not taken the time to research and plan.

For those of us that do not have all that disposable cash, there is a simple, practical and cost-effective way of doing it. Start with Research and here are a few articles that may help you;

  1. What is a bug out bagBug Out Bag
  2. How to start – A beginner prepper food list
  3. DIY Food Preservation Vs Buying In Processed Food
  4. The Best Lightweight Nutritious Foods For Survival
  5. How To Make And Store Pemmican – Practical Survival
  6. How To Plan A Practical Long Term Survival Supplies List

There are thousands of prepper pages that you can research. I do however ask one thing. Do not take any list as your go-to list. Lists are made up to suit certain circumstances and preferences and these circumstances and preferences might not suit your circumstances. Uses them as a guide, by all means, but evaluate them against your circumstances and your preferences. NO LIST IS PERFECT! They are simply a guide to help you make your own.

You can start today, with whatever extras you have in your grocery cupboard, and you will be better prepared than you were yesterday. Build your stock slowly, as you can afford it. Life must go on now so you need to sort out your current needs first and then worry about the future.

Commercial items are not always the best. When they break, how do you replace them when stores are no longer available? Better to learn to make your own and you can use those skills in the future.

Don’t Panic, Plan.

It is better to be prepared and never need it than to need it and never have prepared for it.

If you have any questions, please ask them here.Ask Questions here

Your opinion counts

Be Aware. Be Safe. Be Prepared!

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4 thoughts on “Prepper vs Survivalist – Which One Are You”

  1. Wow, you have certainly thought of it all from a case of cigarette lighters to seed. You definitely sound like a prepper of note to me. I think I would lack sorely in this department, as I barely pack enough to get myself through a long weekend, being a minimalist of note.

    I am also South African, and I haven’t even given a thought to preparing for things like tornados and hurricanes, as I think we may have slightly different problems. Thank you for this article as it was a real eye-opener to me.

    • Hi Michel, Yes, our issues are somewhat different to the weather. There are a lot of very worried people out there and I am keen to help them with some of the prepping issues. I subscribe to the belief that you prepare for the worst and pray for the best.

      It is surely better to be prepared and never need it than to need it and not be prepared. Good old Eskom could really tip the scales for us.

  2. Interesting stuff here as honestly I had no idea what a Prepper was before I read this post. Also I was unaware of the circumstances in South Africa, so I appreciate you bringing awareness here. I could be wrong but I imagine that being a Prepper is an important service in such volatile times and could be, when we’re talking business, lucrative. Would I be accurate in comparing it almost to being an insurance salesman, or no?

    • Being a Prepper is an important service to yourself and your family. If you live in a region where disaster can strike and you are not prepared, you have done yourself and your family a disservice and you could become your communities problem.

      It is surely better to be prepared and never need it than to need it and not be prepared. Lets face it, what would you do is the power grid goes down. It would not be a 2 minute quick fix.


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