Before we can begin to answer the question Are Homesteaders Default Preppers we have to first look at what a “prepper” or “homesteader” is.
One definition of prepper is (from Wikipedia): Preppers are individuals 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., a survival retreat or an underground shelter) that may help them survive a catastrophe.
Wikipedia defines homesteading as: A lifestyle of self-sufficiency. It is characterized by subsistence agriculture, home preservation of foodstuffs, and it may or may not also involve the small scale production of textiles, clothing, and craftwork for household use or sale.
While we can discuss how accurate these definitions are, I do not think that there is any doubt that both Homesteaders and Preppers are both centered round being more self-sufficient. I also feel it is self-evident that the idea of a Bug-Out Location or Retreat is obviously a homestead.
Both Preppers and Homesteaders are interested in:
- Personal Responsibility
And most share similar interests.
Almost every prepper stores food, as do almost all homesteaders – the reasons may be different, but if two people put forth the effort to become Doctors, does it matter more that they had different reasons, or that both of them can perform the work?
Personally, most of the reasons people turn to homesteading – The ability to increase my personal independence by creating the majority of my own essential supplies, the self determination of being my own boss and deciding my own actions, and the health benefits of home grown food and daily outdoor work.
Even if I was not a “prepper” first, I would be drawn to the homestead movement. However, as a prepper, I cannot help but notice the wealth of knowledge found in homesteading circles. The conveniences that come with modern infrastructure are only a few generations old – but the concepts of homesteading goes back to the beginning of agriculture thousands of years ago. Even the Ancient Romans had self-sustaining homesteads. The majority of my library is devoted to homesteading books, as they have already solved many of the problems preppers are faced with.
If you were to Venn diagram the relationship between preppers and homesteaders it would look like the picture to the right.
The size of the circles is based upon the idea that not as many people in America are self-labeled as homesteaders, as are self-labeled preppers.
The amount of homesteaders that overlap into the prepping world is, necessarily larger, than the amount of preppers that overlap into the homesteading world. This is due to the large amount of preppers that are planning for relatively short duration events and have chosen to store their own food rather than develop methods to produce their own food.
In my mind, any prepper that realizes if the event lasts long enough that they would run out of stored food, and begin to learn how to supplement their stores enters into the overlap.
A friend of mine coined the term Prepsteader and I think it best describes the connection of the two groups.
One of the biggest things I think preppers can learn from homesteaders concerns attitude. Preppers take precautions for what may happen, and think in the terms of surviving disasters. Homesteaders live the lifestyle every day, and since they have a lower level of dependence on modern infrastructure – many disasters that preppers work to mitigate don’t even apply – and others such as storm damage are just part of everyday life. To homesteaders it is “This needs to be done” to preppers it is “This may need to be done”. In my mind, I feel that the distinction helps ground the individual and stop the tendency that some preppers have (at least one that I have) to go past the logical limits of what may happen – or to try to prepare 110% when it is impossible to prepare for anything 100%.
On the other hand, I think that this difference in mindset has positives for preppers that homesteaders can use – namely – preppers have less normalcy bias – and can react to changing situations much more rapidly because they (as a group) already assume the worst can happen at any time.
But really, it doesn’t matter how you label yourself – if you want to learn how to become self-reliant, or already are living a self-reliant lifestyle both groups have room for you. We all have much more in common that we have to divide us.
To that end, I want to share some good homestead resources that you can glean for your own preps. I have included (in no particular order) blogs, forums, .gov sites, and magazines that I use when I have homestead related questions that may pertain to prepping.