How would you heat your home if a snowstorm tore through your area leaving the power lines down? What would you eat if truckers were on strike and there was no food available at the grocery store? Could you survive for a week if you ran out of gas in the middle of nowhere? If your hometown were hit by an asteroid and you were the only person alive for hundreds of miles, do you have the skills to reach civilization?

A Preparation Mindset

If you could answer any of these questions positively, then it’s likely that you have a preparation mindset. You may have thought about situations that could easily threaten your current lifestyle, such as the loss of a job, severe physical injuries or destructive storms if you live in tornado country. Maybe past experiences have given you cause to be prepared. Today, there are two descriptions for people with the tendency to prepare for possible scenarios: prepper and survivalist. If you answered the first two questions positively, you may have been described as a prepper. If you answered the second two questions positively, you may be a survivalist. What are the similarities and differences between the two?


The term “preppers” is used to describe those people who believe that there are real threats to their livelihood and that they’d better do something about it. These people may stock up food, grow their own fruits and vegetables while saving seeds for the future, plan for home security and save many gallons of water. These people may have long term plans for a major disaster or could be preparing for a short term power outage. Today there are a number of vendors who offer prepper food that is convenient to store and fairly easy to use if and when a disaster did take place. This might include buckets of powdered eggs or hard wheat and beans.


Survivalists have a similar desire to prepare for future events, but with a little different outlook. These people spend time learning how to survive without access to food and shelter. They study ways to locate and purify water. They practice skills that would allow them to find food if they were in a primitive environment. These people may spend time enduring hardships in the wilderness to test and strengthen their ability to survive with minimal access to supplies and other people. If you were to purchase survivalist foods, you may have dehydrated meats and MREs.

A Combination of Attributes

It is possible that people can be both survivalists and preppers. For example, people who have experienced natural disasters or a loss of income for an extended amount of time may have plans for surviving without support from others that include storing food and knowing how to create a fire from basic supplies. If you’ve put money away in a savings account without a specific goal in mind or created an emergency kit for your car, then you’ve taken steps towards a prepper or survivalist lifestyle.

Do You Consider Yourself to Be a Prepper or Survivalist?

If you consider yourself to be a person who prefers not to rely on others, then you may appreciate learning more about survivalist and prepper lifestyles. Things in your life could go bad for a variety of reasons, but with a bit of reasonable preparation, it may be easier to weather the storm.