By the author of Be Ready for Anything and The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide
As a prepper, even though our numbers are growing, we have a pretty unique view of the world. Because of that view, there are things people outside our sphere say to us over and over when they learn of our survival mindset. And if you are one of those unprepared folks, let me put you on notice. There are some things preppers are sick of hearing.
Don’t get me wrong. Most of us love to answer questions if you’re really serious about becoming more self-reliant. (If you want to get started prepping, check out this guide.) But if you’re just asking about your “crazy friend” out of morbid curiosity, we’re not too interested in satisfying that.
10 things preppers are sick of hearing
Have you heard any of the following things preppers are sick of hearing from a significant other, a family member, friend, or acquaintance? I’ve heard all these things more than once, so I can’t be alone, right? (For more prepper solidarity, check out this article.)
I’ve included my responses to the top 10 things preppers are sick of hearing.
10.) Don’t you already have enough X?
Have you ever thrown something in your grocery cart only for the person at the store with you to say, “Don’t we have enough toilet paper/soup/rice/Oreo cookies?” Or perhaps you open the hall closet and dodge the avalanche of paper towel rolls and your visitor says, “Got enough paper towels?”
No, I don’t have enough. There’s no such thing as “enough” if I feel like I’m facing a long haul ahead.
9.) Do you think it’s morally okay to have all this stuff when other people can’t buy any? Save some for everyone else.
I can see your eyes rolling from here. Don’t you just love the morally superior folks who feel as though you are personally responsible for any shortages in the stores, as opposed to governmental policies, mandates, port closures, and transportation issues?
If we preppers are taking care of ourselves, then the self-proclaimed “morally superior” will have less competition when it comes to getting their government-rationed supplies in the future. I’d much rather take care of my family than stand in line waiting for a handout, and I also don’t want to take those handouts from people who truly need them if I’m able to supply them myself.
8.) Isn’t this selfish?
The media loves to portray preppers as selfish folks grabbing the last case of water and the last roll of toilet paper off the shelves during an emergency. But here’s the thing. We already got our stuff. We are not the ones out there clearing the shelves like a horde of hungry locusts.
Preparing to take care of your family is anything but selfish. It shows a sense of responsibility and forethought. Prepping is one of the most loving things you can do for your family members and I can’t understand those who deem that “selfish.”
7.) Are you a hoarder?
Yep, sometimes there’s a fine line between hoarding and prepping and we try to be careful not to fall onto the wrong side of that line. I consider prepping items that you need currently or potentially, not just piles of old newspapers and rubber bands. As well, if your supplies are well organized and you can walk through your home without tripping over supplies, you are on the prepper side of that line.
Hoarding is no laughing matter and actually a serious obsessive-compulsive psychological disorder.
Hoarding disorder is a persistent difficulty discarding or parting with possessions because of a perceived need to save them. A person with hoarding disorder experiences distress at the thought of getting rid of the items. Excessive accumulation of items, regardless of actual value, occurs.
Hoarding often creates such cramped living conditions that homes may be filled to capacity, with only narrow pathways winding through stacks of clutter. Countertops, sinks, stoves, desks, stairways and virtually all other surfaces are usually piled with stuff. And when there’s no more room inside, the clutter may spread to the garage, vehicles, yard and other storage facilities. (source)
If you believe that you may be suffering from hoarding disorder, here are some resources for getting help.
If you find yourself with more stuff than you can keep organized, here are some tips for organizing your stockpile.
6.) You are never going to be able eat/use/drink all this.
Some folks can’t imagine stocking more food than they could eat in a month. They can’t fathom stashing away a year’s worth of food or more.
These folks don’t understand that prepping is a system of first-in/first-out. Most preppers keep careful track of “use by” or “expiration” dates and rotate their supplies accordingly. We’re not investing all this money just to waste our supplies. We also spend a great deal of time and effort properly storing our food for the longest possible lifespan.
I have rarely thrown away food (except for an unfortunate dehydrated hash brown/weevil incident – don’t ask) and occasionally, when things are getting closer to the end of their lifespan, I donate them to a food bank or someone in need.
5.) Do you have a bunker?
Thanks to overblown television shows like “Doomsday Preppers,” ordinary folks often think preppers have a WW2-era bunker or bomb shelter in their basement. (This is NOT to say I wouldn’t love to find a house with an existing bunker.) But most of us are pretty ordinary and while we might have a storm cellar or supply room, we don’t have a full-on, self-sufficient bunker in which to ride out the apocalypse.
The correct answer to this question is, “Yes. But if I tell you where it is I have to kill you.”
4.) Do you have guns?
If the uninitiated find out you’re a prepper, they usually think you have a dedicated Hollywood-style weapons room. (Alas, like the bunker, it’s not like I’d turn this down.)
Just about every time I am interviewed by someone in the mainstream media, they ask me, “How many guns do you have?” My go-to response is a sweet smile accompanied by, “That’s the prepper equivalent of asking a lady her age.”
See the answer to #5 for the answer if the polite version doesn’t work.
3.) You’re crazy.
Who among us has never been called a crazy prepper at least once? My friend Brian at Mind4Survival considers it a badge of honor. I know that more than once after things have happened and people have found themselves unprepared, they’ve come back and said, “I guess you aren’t so crazy after all.”
A lot of the “crazy prepper” hype comes from the mainstream media. Shows like “Doomsday Preppers” and “Naked and Afraid” don’t really do us any favors.
But if there’s been one good thing to come out of the past two years, more people than ever have seen for themselves that we aren’t so crazy after all. We’ve gone through a pandemic complete with lockdowns, an economic crisis, massive job losses, systemic collapse, and supply chain shortages. This doesn’t even include our regularly scheduled apocalypses like wildfires, hurricanes, tornadoes, and freak blizzards. Really, you’d be crazy NOT to prep after all that.
2.) How much food do you actually have?
Has anyone ever gotten a glimpse inside your cupboards or storage area and said, “Holy cow, how much food do you have?” It’s happened to me a couple of times – once with an extended family member and another time with a repair person who had to enter an area I hadn’t expected.
The right answer to that question depends on the person answering it. To the repairman, I truthfully said, “I donate regularly to the food bank.” I do – just not the contents of my basement. To the family member, since it’s someone I expect to house if things went sideways, I said, “I try to stay well-stocked in case of an emergency or a family member going through a difficult time. I buy things when they’re on sale.”
Much like the gun question, I’m not giving anyone specifics that is not personally involved in my preparedness.
1.) If something happens, I’m coming to your house.
Hands down, out of all the things preppers are sick of hearing, this has to be number one. Oh, the dreaded, “I’m coming to your house.” What prepper hasn’t heard that once or twenty times?
Just about everyone knows a feckless non-prepper who blithely thinks that they have no need to prepare because they’re in with you and will just arrive with an overnight bag in hand and be served a steaming hot meal from your stockpile with a space waiting for them in the guest room.
If you have no intention of teaming up with that person, it’s important to set that straight well before it ever happens. It might be time for a sit-down about why they need to be prepared themselves, or about what the requirements and contributions are if they are someone you’d let come to your place. As Selco notes, in a real societal breakdown, more people (as long as they’re willing to work) can be a benefit, so turning them away might not be your best bet. It really depends on the person saying it, but whatever the case, I prefer to set clear expectations.
What can you add to this list of things preppers are sick of hearing?
Have you been asked any of these things preppers are sick of hearing? How do you respond? Do you have anything to add to the list? Let’s talk about it in the comments.
Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, adventure-seeking, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites. 1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty; 2) The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived; and 3) PreppersDailyNews.com, an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. Her work is widely republished across alternative media and she has appeared in many interviews.
Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books, 12 self-published books, and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses at Learn.TheOrganicPrepper.com You can find her on Facebook, Pinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.