The Stuff of Life

The Stuff of Life
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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

The Rise Of The Prepper: How Uncertain Times Are Increasing The Popularity Of Prepping


Prepping is a term used to describe a variety of lifestyles. For the vast majority of people, the term is thought to describe an individual or group of individuals who recognize the risk of catastrophe, calamity and uncertainty and thus attempt to prepare for these uncertain times so as to be better equipped mentally, physically and tangibly to survive any situation presented. Preppers value being able to take care of themselves no matter what. They value not relying on the government or other agencies for their survival needs. They know and recognize the need to plan ahead to meet their own and their loved ones basic needs no matter whether the event is small or large scale.

Prepping Through Time:

Historically, prepping has been around for a long while. Our ancestors were adept at planning ahead for times when things might be more grim. They were nomadic in nature and survived and thrived by planning ahead for more difficult times. Only recently has the term "prepper" been used so widely. There were a variety of preppers spawned from historical uncertainty as with the Great Depression after the stock market crashed in 1929 and the Cold War era leading up to 1980. Many feared a nuclear attack and began stock piling preps and building shelters just in case.  Y2K and the widespread fear of electronic collapse also gave way to prepping for the unpredictably of the future. Following the events of the Great Depression, a lot of people no longer trusted the government or banks or anyone else with their safety and security. Lifestyle changes came about from having experienced a time of loss of prosperity and going without. From this period, a great amount of us had relatives or grandparents who salvaged and saved every spare piece of tin foil, butter containers, rubber bands and other odds and ends for that "just in case" time when they might need it and not be able to get it.

This Great Depression was, in essence, the spawn of the prepper mindset: A mindset and worldview that states that I might not always have access to food, water and medical care. I might have to find a way to take care of myself and my family. I might not always be able to count on others. I am going to plan ahead. I am going to save this tin foil and other items because I have had to go without and I learned a valuable lesson from that experience.

Modern Prepping:

Fast forward to our modern inter-connected, wired, heavily migrated and immigrated world and everything is far more complicated on a much grander scale. We know that today these uncertain events can become globally catastrophic. We also know that due to our higher population levels that our job markets are much more strained. We know that we could lose our job. We know that a pandemic could spread far more rapidly and globally than what the CDC (Centers For Disease Control) or WHO (World Health Organization) could compensate for and keep up with.

From the vast amount of internet, radio and television programming, we know that weather causes major catastrophic events all around the world. Now, more than ever before, we can watch war, hurricanes, kidnappings, terrorism, pandemics, economic challenges and international relations from our own living rooms. The world has always been a dynamic and potentially dangerous place, but now we really can't pretend that it cannot or will not affect us anymore. We would have to disengage from all types of media to include the newspaper in order to really tell ourselves that nothing bad could ever happen to us.


Prepping Awareness What Happens When McDonald's, Coke and Snickers Are Not Available:

This awareness is a catalyst for the rise of the prepper. Being prepared is now far more mainstream and acceptable. It is much more difficult to look at someone who believes in the value of having life-saving skills and supplies on hand and not question whether maybe we should do this too. To ignore the importance of prepping is to say that you actually believe that nothing bad will happen to you and if it does, someone else will take care of you. No one wants to verbalize that out loud. They know deep down that they should actively do what they can to be prepared. There is undoubtedly a sense of shame in admitting that you are ill prepared to take care of yourself or your family should you need to.

Following the sinking of the Titanic, no one wants to be on a cruise ship that doesn't have enough life rafts for everyone. Likewise, knowing the possibilities of things that could occur, no one should want to face severe weather, job loss or catastrophe without food, water and supplies. It just makes rational sense to do a risk analysis and contingency planning in order to be prepared for those risks. It's "just in case" insurance. We all should value the feeling of being prepared.

Preppers are no longer being viewed as paranoid or strange. They are slowly and surely being viewed as role models for the rest. They are actively showing and teaching others the value in having skills, knowledge and supplies to take care of yourself during uncertain times. The more and more that preppers share online or in writings or with other media and groups, the more mainstream this lifestyle and mindset becomes.

There has rarely been a time in history that was calm, smooth sailing with little to no worries, but now, more than ever our future is uncertain. Now, more than ever, we are made aware of this uncertainty. Now, more than ever we need to be planning ahead. Now, more than ever, prepping is gaining in popularity for a very good reason.

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