The Well Dressed Prepper
Dr. John Woods 08.07.18
There is an element amongst the prepper movement that seems to want to assume the role of a pseudo-commando or para-military type. Most of the folks active in the prepper movement are generally wary of these types. Being a prepper or survivalist, however you define yourself, is far removed from a militaristic characterization or should be. As such, be careful how you dress and present yourself, lest you be categorized within a group label not of your choosing.
It has long been advised by prepper counselors and trainers that people interested in prepping and survival lifestyle planning should pick clothing choices that are simply non-descript or discreet at best. It has never been a good idea for preppers to appear or parade in public wearing surplus G.I. uniform clothing much less web gear and such. You want to remain as anonymous as possible.
This issue popped up recently at a trade show where many products were being sold including prepping supplies, survival gear, information, as well as firearms and ammunition. One of the vendors had a mannequin “prepper” dressed in a full scale field combat uniform of a very current military camouflage and complete gear configuration. It sent the wrong message, but I suppose the vendor was looking for shock value. Who knows?
I was asked by a show attendee if that was the appropriate appearance that a prepper should convey? I gave them my own opinion a resounding “NO.” It portrayed the complete and opposite overt appearance that a prepper should present for themselves.
A well-dressed prepper will simply wear practical and hard wearing clothing for long lasting durability and comfort. Now, if this were to happen to be some pants, a shirt, jacket or coat bought as war surplus for example as the price might have been very attractive, then I see no issue with that. However, preppers should avoid donning a complete military type outfit especially in public.
The rare exception to this mode might be at a secluded bug out location or in the act of hunting for food resources, or security patrolling. In the confines of a bug out camp or other type of isolated emergency hideout, then military uniform items and web support gear might be more appropriate. Just don’t wear it into town to the hardware or grocery store.
In camp or when being seen or confronted by trespassers or poachers, such an outfit might serve a purpose to alert the threat to a possible counter-threat. But for all other general purposes, dress down in your role as a prepper and act accordingly.