When you stop expecting people to be perfect, you can like them for who they are. ― Donald Miller
It’s interesting to analyze such a big community to look at the different personality types. Each type has their own particular beliefs, inner conflicts, OUTER conflicts and so on. I’ve always been fascinated by human behavior and today I want to do something special.
Just this once I want to take a break from prepping advice and analyze the actual people that are prepping. I’m gonna try to be objective (wish me luck with that!) and observe both their good qualities and their defects. Ok, so I may get on some people’s nerves but – hey – you can’t get everyone to like you, right?
OK, let’s look at some of the common personality types of preppers out there:
#1. The Sheeple
It’s not that I think sheeple are preppers but they are, for all intents and purposes, at level zero. We’ve all been at this level, right? The funny thing is, if you ask them, they actually think they’re prepared simply because, in their minds, nothing bad will ever happen.
Pros of being a sheeple:
- you’re less worried because you don’t know what’s about to come or don’t believe it will happen
- you get to spend your money on other things rather than food, gear and survival courses
- when the brown stuff hits the fan, you’re pretty much done
#2. The Hoarder
I really don’t want to get into the old debate on whether preppers are hoarders. In my opinion they are not and to me, a “prepper hoarder” is a guy who stockpiles a lot of stuff and neglects everything else.
- he’s got food and water to last him 5 years, and typically lots of ammo too
- he’s very good at finding amazing deals
- he has to maintain and rotate his increasing stockpile
- he has to eat a lot more survival food than the average prepper (unless he’s willing to throw it away when it expires)
- he has a narrow view of how things will turn out, he believes he’ll be able to bug in no matter what type of disaster strikes
- he’s often overweight, which could be an issue when bugging out. He may have trouble adapting in a post-SHTF world where he’ll have to work hard everyday to survive
#3. The Accidental Prepper
Have you ever talked with a prepper who was doing this even before they coined the term? They’re not advanced, they don’t have any bushcraft skills but they’re prepared for short-term emergencies.
These people started prepping on their own either because they are born organized or because they felt instinctively something was wrong; they didn’t have to read about it online.
- they use their head (they must be good at it since they figured it out all by themselves)
- they’re good, out of the box thinkers
- they’re handy in at least one aspect of survival (maybe it’s woodworking, maybe they’re good mechanics etc.)
- They’re not prepared for a wide variety of short-term and long term disasters, only on the ones that they think will happen. If the crisis lasts more than a week, they probably won’t make it even if they have to bug in ( due to lack of water, food, etc.)
#4. The Average Prepper
Most preppers fall into this category. They have their food stockpile, their bug out bag, and so on. They even moved to the suburbs to be able to quickly run to their bug out location when IT happens.
They’re not looking to have a 2 or 3 year stockpile or 3-4 guns in their home, but they do have food and water for anywhere from 1 to 12 months and at least a firearm.
- they have solid preps
- they know the basic skills they need to have in a post-apocalyptic world
- they sometimes lack essential skills, such as survival medicine or bushcraft skills (which they haven’t gotten around to learning yet)
#5. The Survivalist
If you read 10 articles on the difference between a survivalist and a prepper, you’re going to get 10 different opinions.
My own belief is that a survivalist is a prepper with bushcraft skills, who likes to be off grid as much as possible.
Most in this group also flip the finger to modern society and it’s rules, although they still are generally law abiding citizens.
Pros of being a survivalist:
- they will have no problem surviving in the woods, under harsh conditions because you have all these skills
- they know which plants are poisonous
- they know basic survival medicine
- their skills and experience have them covered from every angle, nothing can take them by surprise
- survivalists are often lonely and isolated by their own will (not that this is a bad thing necessarily, just something to keep in mind)
- they put themselves at risk when it comes to medical emergencies by having limited access to a doctor
Truth be told, the terms prepper and survivalist often overlap, meaning you don’t have to be one or the other. You can be a father, a husband, a protector, and a patriot and forget these stereotypes.
#6. The Homesteader
Needless to say, the homesteader typically intends to bug in when disaster strikes.
He knows everything there is to know about growing his own food, he’s at least partially gone off grid, and has the skills to make anything from soap to his own clothing.
He has his own ecosystem and could probably live on his own indefinitely if need be.
- homesteading skills (obviously)
- they can make their bug out locations feel like home 🙂
- they know how to save money
- a lot of homesteaders aren’t really prepping, they just want to be off grid, save money, and conserve the tradition of doing things the old way, the way their grandparents used to;
- tending the garden and fixing and improving their homes is hard work
- a lot of them aren’t really preppers even though they think they are, meaning they sometimes have serious holes in their preps
- they’re too much in love with their homes to bug out if need be
#7. The Self-Defense & Fitness Prepper
We’re gonna talk about gun enthusiasts in a moment but the self-defense prepper is different. He knows martial arts and he’s in very good shape.
Thus, it’s very hard to beat him in one on one combat. His main concerns are daily SHTF events such as riots, rapes, violent gangs, and so on.
- he knows how to protect himself (obviously)
- he’s in good shape (crucial for bugging out)
- they lack a solid stockpile, tools, and a lot of preps for TEOTWAWKI scenarios
- his skills are no match for firearms
#8. The Minimalist Prepper
The minimalist prepper prefers to keep their stockpile to a minimum and focus on the skills. She believes that knowledge and practice is way more important than a stockpile.
- they spend less money on preps
- they have good skills
- they know what to do in the event of bugging out; they will be light and fast
- they have lighter BOBs because they believe they don’t need that much gear as long as they have the knowledge
- should they need to bug in for a longer period of time, lack of food and water stockpile could be fatal
- they might spend more money on learning all kinds of skills such as gardening, bushcraft, self-defense, etc.
#9. The Know-It-All Prepper
This type of prepper knows so much about prepping he could make even the most respected survivalists envious. The only problem he has is that he’s not doing much to prepare.
He knows at an intellectual level that skills are what matter most, but he’s so much in his comfort zone that he just doesn’t find the energy to actually put the knowledge into practice.
You can find him reading forums and giving these long, well-researched replies to people.
- good knowledge
- can help other people even though he himself hasn’t done it
- he can come up with all these SHTF scenarios and situations no one has ever though of (because he’s a thinker)
- he is unprepared
- his lack of real-world experience might be harmful to those who take his advice, particularly when it comes to bushcraft and survival medicine
#10. The Economist
This type of prepper is usually focused on stockpiling precious metals. He’s always up to date with the currencies and the dynamics of World economy.
The almost 20 trillion dollar debt of the U.S., is a huge motivator for the economist prepper, as they believe an economic collapse is very likely.
#11. The Doomsday Prepper
Although the Doomsday Prepper perspective has some validity, I believe those who speak all day long about how the world is about to collapse, and we’re all going to be ruled by militia in a world without modern conveniences, need to actually take action and start to prepare.
- very dedicated to their cause
- they are prepped to the teeth
- Sometimes they get too fixated on one Doomsday scenario and they ignore the others. They only listen to arguments which confirm what they already believe and tend to ignore the other warning signs.
- They end up spending too much money on preps and their spouse and kids might get upset (unless they are also on board with this)
#12. The Tactical Prepper
The tactical prepper is usually a veteran who sees the entire world from a tactical perspective. In a way, he sees prepping as an “us versus them” war, one that needs to be planned carefully if you want to win it.
- they have detailed topographic maps of their current as well as their bug-out location
- guns and ammo
- they know everything about staying low
- they have very good OPSEC
#13. The Religious Prepper
Some preppers are religious, others are not. I respect both beliefs as it’s not my place to judge anyone, other than maybe just to highlight a few of the things that make us different.
#14. The Gun Enthusiast
As you may have already guessed, the gun enthusiast has at least 3 guns plus several alternative survival weapons. His mantra is that as long as he has a gun by his side, he’s covered.
- they’re very good with guns, obviously, as they’re typically doing regular target practice
- they know where to get the cheapest ammo and have lots of it stashed away
- they tend to ignore all their other skills because they think they can get anything they need as long as they have a gun, which may not be the case
- they spend too much time debating which gun is better when they could be doing something else to prepare (I know guns are also a hobby, I’m not trying to bash gun owners in any way)
#15. The Bug-Out Prepper
He believes, as the name suggests, that no matter what, he’s going to have to leave his primary home in the face of danger. He usually has a bug out location 50 to 100 miles of where he lives and at least one bug-out vehicle.
When disaster strikes, he’s not going to stick around. He’s going to run, and run fast rather than put his life in danger.
#16. The Bug-In Prepper
The bug in prepper is, obviously, the opposite of the bug out prepper. He believes in defending his turf and has taken the necessary steps to stay inside no matter what type of disaster.
- he has a pretty good stockpile
- he has enough guns and ammo to withstand a home invasion
- he may not have a bug out location (well, some do, of course)
- bugging out is his weak point
#17. The Fearful Prepper
Frankly, I wouldn’t want to be this type of prepper. While it’s good to always be on alert should something happen, this type of prepper allows his emotions to control him. He’s waking up every single day expecting something bad to happen and, although I know it’s possible, we all need to get a life and then enjoy it.
#18. The Conspiracy Theorist
This type of prepper is focused on the rich and the corporations who are keeping the rest of us in check with their laws and their money.
Each of the descriptions above is an extreme version. Do you recognize yourself in any of these descriptions? Are you a homesteader or a Doomsday prepper? If so, use it as a way to moderate your prepping behavior.
Make sure you have a bug out plan or make sure you actually taking action and not just talking about what’s coming. Reflect carefully on the list of cons and take steps now to make sure you’ve adjusted for those circumstances.
So, which type are you? Let me know in a comment below.
My dad was military. My grandfather was a cop. They served their country well. But I don’t like taking orders. I’m taking matters into my own hands so I’m not just preparing, I’m going to a friggin’ war to provide you the best of the best survival and preparedness content out there.