Prepper vs. Survivalist: Which are You, and Why?
There’s a thread on reddit about the respective merits of the terms “Prepper” and “Survivalist.” This is an interesting debate to me, so I figured I’d throw it out there for the AllOutdoor.com audience to take a look at. Basically, if you’re into “prepping” at all, do you consider yourself a “prepper” or a “survivalist,” and why?
Both terms are somewhat tainted with bad press–“survivalist” got beat up in the 80’s by the media and eventually became synonymous in many people’s minds with “milita member” and “ant-government extremist.” More recently, the term “prepper” has been taking its lumps, most egregiously at the hands of the show National Geographic show Doomsday Preppers. That show is pretty much the worst thing to ever happen to prepping, and it seems almost deliberately designed to make all preppers look like whackjobs and kooks.
As for me, I laid out my prepping philosophy in an early post on the site:
To use an investing term, I’m what you’d call a “hedger.” With my preps, I’m basically buying catastrophe insurance the way that most people buy auto, home, and medical insurance. I buy this insurance as a small hedge against a gigantic long position that we all share: civilization. And make no mistake: we are all structurally long civilization.
I’m pretty sure that the term “hedger” will never catch on, though. It sounds too much like a synonym for “gardener” or something. Nonetheless, I wish there were something out there that could replace both “prepper” and “survivalist.” Any suggestions for a better term for “people who make it a point to be prepared to get by for at least a few weeks without the basic infrastructure of modern civilization”?