One of the single worst setbacks for preppers to be taken seriously and not as crazy, gun-hungry kooks has to be the so-called “prepper” shows that have been appearing on TV in recent years. While they are opening up what is usually a very private lifestyle to a much larger audience, the shows are taking something that can be and should be done as a part of everyday life and turned it into an activity where building underground bunkers and trip wires is completely normal.
Anyone familiar with prepping and the prepping lifestyle knows that these are extremes and most people that prep go completely unnoticed by society because once you have a solid prepper’s mindset, these extremes are just that: extreme.
Bunkers Aren’t a Bad Thing
This isn’t to say that if you have the resources available to you that it’s a bad idea to build yourself an underground bunker complex but that’s not what prepping is all about. Having a prepper’s mindset is about seeing the possibility in everything. Knowing that only you can be in charge of your own survival and that you need to be self-reliant when the time comes.
As a society we grow up with the understanding that others will do the hard work for us and that all we need to do is go to a grocery store to get food. Self-reliance is not something that we as a nation reward or even think about. Prepping is about becoming completely self-reliant and knowing that you can take care of yourself when the time comes. Being self-reliant can mean you spend less on groceries, fix your own household and automotive issues, and come up with solutions that other people hire specialists for.
Too often the prepper shows portray the idea that it’s the prepper versus the world and that once the SHTF you’ll be by yourself forever. Instead of you versus the world, the prepper’s mindset should be more focused on helping yourself so you can help others. If something were to happen that forced society to break down, the goal would be to ultimately bring it back to a place that we can all feel safe and thrive, but if the world is filled with hoarders hiding in bunkers and safe houses in the middle of the woods, things will never get better and ideally they’ll probably get a lot worse.
On the other side of things, the prepper’s mindset needs to be one that is strong and can take a great deal of loss, stress, and physical strain. We all live comfortable lives where our biggest stresses are getting work projects done and making time to go see a movie on the weekend. While there are bigger stressors, none compare to those that involve your everyday survival as you would experience in a survival situation. A great deal of this mental preparation comes from the preparations you make for food, shelter, and water right now. With those taken care of, survival can be a little less stressful.
The prepper’s mindset is less about what you believe might cause the downfall of society and is mostly about thinking ahead and making sure you and your family are as safe and prepared as you can be. After that, your mindset should be on rebuilding and helping because without a society we’re all really just waiting for someone bigger to come along and take what we have, and there’s always someone bigger and more prepared than you. The prepper’s mindset should be about getting the world back on track, not trying to be the best or to one-up your neighbor. This doesn’t mean you should share your prep with the world, OPSEC is still vitally important, but it does mean that you should do whatever you can to help as many people as possible.
Be better than the rest because you’re willing to help more than the rest. Help you and your family first, then do what you can for everyone else. That’s the prepper’s mindset and we’d all do a lot better in not only prepping but in the world if we all took that mindset on every day.