Prepping means different things to different people, and if you are a prepper that is about more than just having three or four days worth of supplies on hand and a map in the glove box of your car, you are probably thinking big picture, long-term and sustainable plans for the future.
If you are a prepper that is going “all in” with a lifestyle change toward that of personal readiness, you can make the journey that much easier and so much sweeter by moving to a state that is amenable to your goal.
If you are thinking about buying property in a rural community or remote part of undeveloped wilderness and making a go of it, you’d be wise to make sure you won’t have an abundance of government red tape getting in the way!
Believe it or not, there are laws governing what you can do with rainwater, what kind of guns you can own, what kind of vehicle is or is not road legal and so much more out here in this Land of the Free that we call home.
But, mercifully, that is not the case everywhere. Today we are bringing you a list of the top five states for preppers, places where you can, more or less, have it your way with the minimum amount of interference from local and state governments.
No matter what kind of personal preparedness lifestyle you have in mind, there is bound to be one or more states on this list that will do the trick.
- Pros: Varied terrain, generally few building codes, highly gun-friendly, pro-freedom culture, great options for off-grid power.
- Cons: Taxes on property can be high, extreme weather; border region is becoming a conflict zone.
Often thought of as the very freest state in a free country, Texas has curried much in the way of tourism and favorable trade owing to its cultivated ideology of rugged independence and devil-may-care attitude towards the thoughts of others.
Though the actuality of Texas does not quite live up to the mystique, the truth is that Texas is still a great state, and an excellent state for preppers who went to homestead, owing to varied terrain, minimal building codes in small communities and rural areas, and excellent options for generating your own off-grid power.
But a working homesteader or suburban prepper alike will still have need of and enjoy the states uniformly good gun rights, recently made all the better by the implementation of permitless constitutional carry, and an all-around attitude of independence, grit and can do attitude.
Most preppers will find a lot to love about Texas, whether you are on the rolling plains of the northern end or the dry, hard caliche of the southwest quarter, with the one “fly in the ointment” being the typically high property taxes and increasing troubles near the border with Mexico.
However, it is worth mentioning that Texas is prone to experiencing as much variation in the weather as there is in the terrain, and a lot of it is extreme. Swelteringly hot, humid summers are the rule and the state is infamous for the preponderance of tornadoes and severe thunderstorms.
Freak occurrences of cold weather aren’t out of the question, either, so you’ll need to be ready for anything if you’re going to reside in the great expanse of Texas.
- Pros: Low taxes on land and most property, culture of rugged individualism, strongly pro-gun, much of state suitable for farming and homesteading.
- Cons: Only so-so options for off-grid power, land in regions around cities quickly rising in price.
The first contender among the southern states on our list, though not one that is traditionally thought of as belonging to the deep south, Tennessee still remains a smorgasbord of advantage as far as living the prepper lifestyle is concerned.
A statewide culture of independence buttressed by neighborly hospitality, varying terrain including mountains on the eastern part of the state, low taxes all around and generally pleasant weather makes Tennessee a great place to be.
More to the point, however, Tennessee is proudly pro-gun through and through, with a very dim view of thugs, and hardly any major strongholds of leftist thought to be found. Tennessee is also rightly famous for its fertile soil that is suitable for a variety of growing endeavors, vegetables, fruit and livestock alike.
For the dedicated homesteader, though, the state does not score particularly high on ratings for suitability of off-grid power creation, with solar being the best bet though it is not outstanding.
No matter where you want to be and what sort of lifestyle you want to live, Tennessee can accommodate you and do so in a way that will synergize with a self-reliant mindset.
- Pros: Varied, usually pleasant weather, low cost of land ownership, excellent property rights, strongly pro-gun, amenable to true off-grid lifestyles.
- Cons: Incredibly hot, miserable summers
Alabama is an iconic southern state, and throughout its contentious history has remained a bastion for a certain kind of person who would rather rely on themselves than any sort of government or societal institution.
Those who want to go their own way will likely enjoy living in Alabama, with the state’s typically pleasant weather, very low cost of living and cheap land, and strong tendency toward affirming personal freedoms.
Off-grid lifestyles are more viable in Alabama than nearly anywhere else, with low property taxes, excellent property and water rights, staunch pro gun and pro self-defense laws, and minimal building codes when outside of major cities and other settlements.
If you want to set up a working homestead away from it all and live life your way, Alabama can help you make that happen. And by help I mean stay out of your way!
If there is anything to take away from Alabama, though, it is that one must be prepared for its incredibly hot, humid and downright miserable summers. Mosquitoes might as well be the state bird, too.
Also, many places throughout the state are quite poor so you must have a plan in place for legitimate sustainment or be financially set prior to committing because there will not be much in the way of commerce or any other safety nets to help you if you get in over your head.
- Pros: Excellent hunting and fishing opportunities, great place to disappear in, most small communities close knit.
- Cons: Property and water rights not particularly great, fewer farming opportunities.
Louisiana is a culturally varied state with something of a dark and mysterious past. To most outsiders, Louisiana conjures up visions of deeply shadowed, wooded, alligator-infested swamps, ancient voodoo practices, and a general air of unsavoriness.
Only half of that is true, because most residents of Louisiana are entirely pleasant, but the part about the swamps and the alligators is definitely true!
Louisiana is something of a Mecca when it comes to hunting and fishing due to a flourishing and greatly varied ecosystem. You will find all sorts of wild game to fill your freezer with, and this is a tremendous benefit to those who would prefer to return to the old ways of putting dinner on the table.
Also, much of the state is sparsely inhabited and quite difficult to get to, meaning that small communities tend to be close-knit and highly reliant on each other even in the best of times. Earning trust and fitting in might prove to be a challenge but once you do you will have a ready-made clan of fellow survivors to rely on.
Unfortunately, Louisiana is not the freest of the free states on our list, particularly concerning property and water rights, and that means you might be forced to move way out if you want to get out from beneath the ink-stained government thumb.
Additionally, the widespread swamp land that is so iconic to the state means you will have fewer opportunities for cropping or even putting in a garden depending on where you live.
- Pros: Varied terrain and weather, strong rights to privacy, generally good gun and property rights.
- Cons: Land can be expensive, considerable amounts of government owned land, certain areas have high taxes.
Utah is a state of contrasts. The terrain could consist of anything from rugged mountains to bait deserts to gently rolling prairie and everything in between. The state’s strong privacy rights for its citizens, is generally pro-gun, and has steadfast respect for the property rights of the individual.
On the other hand, Utah contains a dramatic amount of government owned land, private land can prove to be expensive and highly taxed in certain regions, and major settlements can prove to be quite clannish when it comes to politics and policy.
Despite this, Utah is still by and large a frontier lifestyle state, with those who want to move way out and start a ranch or a homestead finding much to like.
People generally go out of the way to be polite and mind their own business, so no matter who you are or what you are moving away from your new neighbors and fellow residents will probably be welcoming- so long as you don’t rock the boat too much!
With the overwhelming majority of the state’s population concentrated in just a couple of major cities, those who yearn for a smaller, close-knit existence that harkens back to the lives our parents and grandparents lived will find Utah to be just the ticket.
You can be a prepper anywhere, but some states will make the journey towards true self-sufficiency more difficult than others.
You can get a leg up on the task I had by settling in a state that will put the fewest amount of obstacles in your path, and offer you the greatest amount of survival-centric amenities. Take the time to review the states on this list and see which one looks the best for your desired goals.
Tom Marlowe practically grew up with a gun in his hand, and has held all kinds of jobs in the gun industry: range safety, sales, instruction and consulting, Tom has the experience to help civilian shooters figure out what will work best for them.