Prepper Versus Survivalist

Prepper Versus Survivalist

Are You A Prepper, Survivalist or Both?

In order to answer the Prepper versus Survivalist question we first need to understand how each is currently perceived.

According to the Oxford Dictionary, A prepper is:

A person who believes a catastrophic disaster or emergency is likely to occur in the future and makes active preparations for it, typically by stockpiling food, ammunition, and other supplies.

They define a Survivalist as either:

A person who practices outdoor survival skills as a sport or hobby.


A person who tries to ensure their own survival or that of their social or national group.

Prepper Versus Survivalist – Are They Different?

Some people believe that although Preppers and Survivalists have a common aim there are key differences between the two. Others consider Preppers and Survivalists as the same group of people.

Let’s take a look at some factors that may have influenced their opinion on this subject.

What Do Preppers Have In Common With Survivalists?

Even if we accept the dictionary definitions mentioned above that show Preppers and Survivalists are different from one another. It is still clear that there are similarities between both.

For example, Preppers, and survivalists both spend time and money researching and preparing for impending disasters. They both constantly practice and improve their skill set.

Both Preppers and Survivalists have a strong will to survive and so prepare themselves and their families for survival.

Perceived Differences Between Preppers And Survivalists?

Some people believe that Survivalists and Preppers are different because of the way that they make their preparations. And their overall ideals for how they plan to survive an extreme event or disaster.

However, there are also a number of similarities between the two groups. Both Preppers and Survivalists will do whatever is needed to make sure that they can survive a potential disaster and thrive in the aftermath.

People who believe that there are key differences between Preppers and Survivalists believe that the two groups prepare differently for disasters and unforeseen events.

For example, Preppers are often perceived as stockpiling huge amounts of non-perishable foods whilst Survivalists are thought to prepare with a much smaller stockpile and more reliant on seeds to grow their own food.

The Survivalist Reputation

As indicated above it has been suggested that Survivalists differ from preppers because of how they make preparations and their overall idea of surviving after an event.

For example, Survivalists are often seen more as people who would use the wilderness for most of their survival needs. Planning to live off the land instead of stockpiling food and water. Obtaining the skills and knowledge that will allow them to grow their own food, hunt, and forage for their survival needs.

They are not seen as people who plan to rely on stockpiled home comforts to sustain them during or after a disastrous event.

The Prepper Reputation

As mentioned earlier Preppers are often viewed as people who will usually stockpile large quantities of non-perishable food supplies and other items that will help them to survive. With an outlook of retaining a degree of comfort during and after a disaster. A prepper will typically stockpile enough food and other supplies to not only get them through the initial disaster. But to also sustain them until rescue or beyond.

Preppers are usually considered to be the more serious in their preparations. Sometimes being labeled paranoid or extreme by people who don’t fully understand.

Prepper Versus Survivalist = Survivalism

Until now we have looked at the preconceived differences on the subject of Preppers Versus Survivalists. However, both of these groups have also been considered to be at one with each another under to principle of Survivalism.

Wikipedia’s definition of Survivalism is as follows:

Survivalism is a primarily American movement of individuals or groups (called survivalists or preppers) who are actively preparing for emergencies, including possible disruptions in social or political order, on scales from local to international. Survivalists often acquire emergency medical and self-defense training, stockpile food and water, prepare to become self-sufficient, and build structures (e.g., survival retreats or underground shelters) that may help them survive a catastrophe.

As you can see this firmly paints both Preppers and Survivalists in the same light. And whilst the snippet above indicates Survivalism is an American movement I would suggest that this is now a worldwide movement.

Prepper Versus Survivalist Conclusion

So are you a Prepper, Survivalist or Both?

It’s not important how others perceive your Prepping or Survival activities. What is important is how you perceive your own Prepping and Survival activities.

Some of us will consider ourselves to be Preppers others will call themselves survivalists. What matters is that whatever side of the fence you sit on we all have a common goal of surviving whatever comes our way.

Personally, I consider that I fall into the group of Survivalism, I am a Prepper that is open minded prepared to consider any method or skill to ensure the survival of myself and my family. My preparedness activities do indeed include stockpiling of food and supplies. But they also include learning wilderness skills with the ultimate aim of achieving self-reliance even before a disaster strikes.

If you have any feedback on how you perceive yourself or have any other comments about the Prepper versus Survivalist debate. Feel free to leave them in the comments section below so other readers can join the debate.

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3 thoughts on “Prepper Versus Survivalist – Are You A Prepper, Survivalist or Both?”

  1. Name is irrelevant issue. The only thing that matters is what you do and how you prepare. If someone wants to call you X or Y .. so be it. Who cares?

    1. survivalists are a minimalist group while preppers try to cover a comfort level. The difference is very basic. Those who have had to survive can become preppers but those who are preppers that have never HAD to survive will most likely not understand what survivalists are capable of. Some survivalists get hooked on the high of surviving and love the strength of the basic.

  2. I have always said that Preppers, especially here in Britain, are people who prepare to survive an event, usually a short term event, but at some point in time, usually weeks or months, expect things to get back to normal.
    Survivalists on the other hand prepare to survive for much longer, years rather than months, maybe permanently and put more reliance on skills and knowledge to enable them to survive when any stockpile of food is long gone.

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