Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
PSA
Member Login

Site Notices
Posted: 4/15/2008 11:16:19 AM EDT
     So, here's what gets me thinking.  Why are Preppers/Survivalists so darn rare?  How many of you have a bunch of friends who take this stuff as seriously as you do?  I meet alot of guys who find out I, Prep/am a Martial Arts Instructor/Firearms Instructor.  What usually follows is a conversation in which they espouse total agreement with why I "do or prepare for whatever".  They earnestly say they want to learn "to take care of themselves and their families", what do lessons cost?  Yada,yada,yada.  I usually tell most of them this: I'll share any prep knowledge I have, come to a few classes before you decide to pay for MA lessons (I have a high bruised ego drop out rate), and here is the fee schedule for firearms classes (intro. and safety lessons are free).  Here's what follows 90% of the time at lesson #1:  

Me: Do you have a 72 hour kit ?

x: Oh yeah, of course.

Me: What's in it?

x:  Ummmm, let me see...(produces a ziplock bag).  Band aids, a safety pin, some Jolly Ranchers, rubber band, and a candle (from birthday cake).

Me:  Here's a list.

x:  That's alot of stuff...you have all that stuff?

Me:  Uh yeah...so does my wife and each of my kids.

x:  ...We have a bunch of stored wheat too!

Me:  Do you have a wheat grinder?  Stored water, yeast, sugar, baking powder, powdered milk?  What will you cook it in if the power goes off?

x:  

This is usually followed by 2 martial arts lessons in which the very winded "x" pants: "yeah...this is...great...can't wait to...learn more.  Hey...owwww (stitch in side), my wife ...has something... for me to do the next two weeks, but... then I can't wait to... start back up."  "x" Then fades into another excuse two weeks later, then finally feels free to offer no more excuses and give up.  

I've found that trying to "nurture" people into the lifestyle has a VERY high failure rate.  They have bought a pistol-gripped shotgun, some wheat, potato flakes, and call it good.  Anything more is "too hard", "costs too much", or is met with "that will never happen!".  People who prep throught their "nature" seem rare indeed.  I have met a handfull in my whole life.  So, what do you guys think?  Can Sheep truly be Converted, or will they merely adopt the ideology with no real follow thru?  Do you have many friends you can really count on to be prepared if TSHTF?    
Link Posted: 4/15/2008 12:05:10 PM EDT
I think there are fewer sheep than we think - they just haven't been "activated" yet. I grew up in an urban quasi-slum where "prepping" consisted of keeping the super's phone number on the wall near the phone and knowing which neighborhoods to stay out of. I've... um... "evolved" a bit since then, to the initial confusion and chagrin of my family. A few decades later and most of them are on-board and learning the curve on their own.

My current company was Land of the Fluffy Bunny People when I started last summer. Guns were icky. I was apparently the "token conservative" solely because I openly discussed shooting. Since January, I've taken a least eight of them shooting, one now wants to take a tactical pistol fighting class and is asking for advice on a decent hunting/defensive rifle, one just bought his first pistol, another one is shopping for *his* first pistol, another one asked me to give his wife and son some lessons as well (hosted all three at the range last Sat & his kid is a great shot with a 10/22 - could put meat on their table pretty easy from what I saw). Another, of course, had a great time and thought it was fun but was horrified when he saw an AR15 in someone's trunk at the range - "Why would you want to own *that*?" And they'd *all* (well, maybe not "tactical chick") put me back into the "crazy" category if I suggested they might want to stock food, water, meds, et cetera.

Nuture goes a long way but I think there are people who are willing to accept the truth - that sometimes shit happens and no one can/will help you but you - and those that won't see it no matter what.
Link Posted: 4/15/2008 1:28:21 PM EDT
I can only answer the title question as it applies to myself.
I an a product of my genetics. As far back as I can remember, my mindset was 'ok, if I fail this test, whats the worst thing that can happen'. I found it as a way to mentally relax and sort out the future options.
And of course, I always had any kind of weapon I could lay my little hands on and built 'forts', etc
Link Posted: 4/15/2008 1:30:49 PM EDT
I was thinking about this very thing the other day.  I was wondering where in my life the preparedness bug caught.  Looking a bit into my history did it for me.  When I gradated high school, my dad lost his job, so being the oldest, I worked full time to make half the money for the family.  I watched my dad look for jobs, and end up going way out of state just to look and start over again before the rest of my family joined him.  I stayed behind, and really never gave it a second thought, helping your family is what you are supposed to do.  Fast-forward to now, I am married, have a house, and a 5 year old son.  A preparedness mindset is not what I would have called it, before I found this site, but thanks to everyone on the survival forum here, that is certinally what it is now.  So, to sum up for the original question, for me, it's nurture, or at least environmental.

jim
Link Posted: 4/15/2008 1:48:02 PM EDT
common sense when the person is willing to sit down and take a long hard look around them.
Link Posted: 4/15/2008 3:30:22 PM EDT

Why are Preppers/Survivalists so darn rare?


the short answer is that kids aren't raised with the fondness of the outdoors like before. i was lucky to have family and friends that loved the wilderness. most people are not raised in a self-reliant atmosphere nowadays. self reliance is the most important aspect of a survivalist, most people just lack that trait.


Do you have many friends you can really count on to be prepared if TSHTF?


about 20 people, i know have supplies, equipment, and skills that would be put to good use if teamed up.


I've found that trying to "nurture" people into the lifestyle has a VERY high failure rate.


not necessarily, just have to follow the three E's

Easy-simple to understand, convenient, low physical stress, gradual improvement.
Entertaining- enjoyable, fun, build confidence, relate to good experience.
Essential-show the importance of the activity, make it useful.

Link Posted: 4/15/2008 5:24:44 PM EDT
To directly answer your question - People are indoctrinated by many systems to be socialists.  The old western ideology of individualism is regarded by the current rulers as akin to satanism.   Most gun owners have some sense of individualism and those that start to question the nightly news (infotainment) begin to want to take care of themselves because that is their nature.  These people are currently in the minority for several reasons.

In the old days, nature weeded out the really stupid people and your were left with people who had common sense and were individualists because that was the only option.  There was no big nanny to take care of your every need and pick you up if you made a mistake.  You worked or you starved.  With today's queers and gooders running the show, we have a disgenic population that nature would have weeded out 30% without the regulations keeping the world safe for morons.

Schools do their part by indoctrinating that the state is good and the individual is bad or selfish.  Lessons are more wrote memory, less thinking and god help you if you question the bolshevik ideology.

Sociopathic leaders also appeal to peoples darker side by telling them that equal outcome should be available to all regardless of input by the individual.  If something goes wrong, the government will take from those that have too much to give to those without.

I would say that 10 percent max are natural genetic prepers / individualists and that 30 percent could be coached.  Since most government organizations are working against your message, you should be careful to coach the 30% gently and not jam it down their throat.  Even among us on this board there have been things said that looked ridicules five years ago that are almost common knowledge today.

When confronted with the realization that you must prep people start off  small because that is all they can handle emotionally.  Then as you learn more you prep more and those at the lower level think you are tinfoil.  To paraphrase George Carlin "those who prep less than me are sheeple and those who prep more than me are tinfoil".  You almost saw those exact words in the NY Times article.

Link Posted: 4/15/2008 5:35:11 PM EDT
I'm guessing most survivalists simply don't talk about it in public so may be rare but not as rare as you might imagine.  But I know damned few.  

Self-reliance is huge and can't be over-emphasized, folks simply are not willing to take care of themselves and/or accept responsibility for themselves or their actions. Furthermore, I'd say many people are just plain lazy, they won't do anything that requires much actual work or spend time learning.  Kinda like they just want to buy the pill that makes it all happen or they think they know it all already.

I might be wrong here but I'd go out on a limb and say many "survivalists" have fallen on hard times in the past at some point and have learned what it takes to get themselves out of it.  They now know it can happen to them, they are willing to adapt to get out of it, have prepared for such things, and now that they have prepared - these things are far less apt to occur with as much severity.  They are those who are naturally self-reliant (whether from "good stock" or learned along the way), willing to make sacrifices, willing to put forth the effort, and understand the reasons why.  They don't complain about shit - they just do what needs to be done.  I kinda hate to say it but unless one meets these criteria - might not truly "get it".  Doesn't mean you stop trying but don't have big expectations that others will see the need or reasons why, at least quickly, else they'd already be doing it.

JMO
Link Posted: 4/15/2008 6:38:10 PM EDT
Most of us who are well into the lifestyle have had some direct experience with how broken the system really is.  It doesn't have to be Katrina, job loss, disabling injuries, etc all bring it home that even in good times, you are on your own.

Ops
Link Posted: 4/15/2008 7:23:46 PM EDT
There is no "one" reason.  As an aside, we live in a society in which everything has to have a reason or a cause or a fault.  Because of lawyers, we can't accept that sometimes things just "are", or have multiple causes that bear equal weight.  Anyway . . .

When I was a kid I was always fascinated by camping, the scouts, survival, etc.  I remember by dad telling me to stop telling people I was a "survivalist" because it made people think I was crazy.  Had to have been like 6 or 7.  My eldest brother was just back from Army basic and was also into survival.  Thinking he was older and wiser he asked, "Ok, so what IS survival?"  I replied, with only a little hesitation, "making the best out of a bad situation."  He smiled and said "Damn, that's pretty f*&^%g good".  There's your "nature".  I just thought it was cool, fun, and smart, and still do.

Just a couple of years later my parents and I were living in KSA when 4 events took place;  the fall of the Shah, the hostage crises in both Mecca and Medina (anyone living in the Middle East in the late 70's will remember these events, don't think they were reported on much in the States), Desert One and the kick off of the Iran-Iraq war.  It got so bad that a guy living in our compound that just happened to have known my dad in Vietnam (and we later found out was CIA) had managed to get a hold of some Grease Guns, 1911s and had paid for a C47 and pilot for us should the need arise.  It did not, but the whole experience left a lasting impression on me.  There's the "nurture", so to speak.  Not something my parents did on purpose, but still a formative experience.

Add to that a whole laundry list of shit I've experienced that has just validated the survival mentality.

But hey, that just one guys opinion.
Link Posted: 4/15/2008 9:04:47 PM EDT
I think one of the biggest factors is the "soft" life most Americans have lived for the last 150 years or so. We haven't had a war on our soil for most of that time, and we have enjoyed a time with relatively few natural disasters. There was the Great Depression, but that was a slow-motion kind of disaster, and even through that, most people survived it. Our government has been fairly stable(there are a lot of other countries that can't say that). Imagine the reaction if you ask whether a revolution or Civil War is possible in the US. The idea strikes most people as absurd and impossible, even though it's not so impossible for other countries. We've enjoyed a relatively long stretch of moderate climate, which climatologists say isn't "normal". Most Americans can't even imagine going through things which happen often in other countries, much less things which rarely happen elsewhere. They seem to think bad things CAN'T happen to them, even when they do. Just look at the flood victims who rebuild in the same place.
Link Posted: 4/15/2008 10:24:54 PM EDT
I've never heard of a survivalist gene or an independence gene.  Your hair and eye color is dependant on genes.  

Behavior is by leaps and bounds dictated by your up bringing.  If you were raised around livestock and gardens, church, community, hard work, and the attitude that the Gov. should leave you alone,  that is probibaly the course your life will take.  

If you were raised around wellfare, fatherless familys, gangs, crime, wealth envy, and the attitude that every one should take care of you, that is the course you life will likely take.

One must also consider the fact that natural selection is virtualy nonexistant in humans in the world today.  Darwins model of evolution doesn't really work for humans today bacause we strive to support the weak, stupid, helpless, disabled..  Wether that is good or not is a moral argumant.  The fact is we are weakening our species by activly supporting the weakest at the cost of the strongest.


None of this is set in stone, black and white
Link Posted: 4/15/2008 10:28:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 4/16/2008 7:51:05 PM EDT by tx_snafu]
Double tap.
Link Posted: 4/16/2008 10:33:57 PM EDT
I had a nice easy middle class upbringing and was in boy scouts and also had an uncle into spelunking.  My dad and I went spelunking until my dad realized some of those stories of cavers caught underground because of heavy rains could have been us.

Part of our summer vacation included dad and his brothers at a state park with cabins we would rent, best ever was 5 rented cabins all together and we had our own little "town" since they let the kids have a cabin or two surrounded by the adults.

Other than that I learned growing up you either got your own glass of water or asked for a glass of water.  It was simpler for me to get mine if I really wanted it.

extrapolate that on out and I am to where I prefer to be able to handle stuff myself but I am realistic as well.
Link Posted: 4/17/2008 11:51:15 AM EDT
Coming from a prepping newb - prepping is hard!  I also find it overwhelming at times.

Example - I've been lurking on these types of forums for going on 10 months.  I've always had firearms, and good 'woods skills', but didn't 'really' start prepping until two or three months ago.  

I finally got 195 gallons of water put up in the basement, 100# of rice, 50# of beans, 50# of chicken in freezer, and a few weeks of canned food - or at least I thought.

I was feeling pretty good about myself until I really started looking at my preps.  It's just my wife and me, but we'll likely have five other close family (non-preppers) that will end up at our house.  So for all practical purposes we'll have a minimum of 7 people.  I barely have two weeks of provisions.  I figure I need another 300# of rice, and more water than I can feasibly store to get up to my goal of three months.  So yeah, it's hard, and overwhelming sometimes.  

I'm pretty dedicated to it, and know I'll get to my goals some day (and then of course I'll set new ones).  

I think most people lack that dedication, and find it easier to stick their heads in the sand though.    
Link Posted: 4/17/2008 11:56:00 AM EDT

Originally Posted By Tarsus:
Just a couple of years later my parents and I were living in KSA when 4 events took place;  the fall of the Shah, the hostage crises in both Mecca and Medina (anyone living in the Middle East in the late 70's will remember these events, don't think they were reported on much in the States), Desert One and the kick off of the Iran-Iraq war.  It got so bad that a guy living in our compound that just happened to have known my dad in Vietnam (and we later found out was CIA) had managed to get a hold of some Grease Guns, 1911s and had paid for a C47 and pilot for us should the need arise.  It did not, but the whole experience left a lasting impression on me.  There's the "nurture", so to speak.  Not something my parents did on purpose, but still a formative experience.



I was also influenced by a late 70s middle east experience.  My dad was stationed in Iran in '79.  The women and children were evacutate that year.  Busses full of women and children crying with dads and husbands running behind waving on the way to the airport.  Scary for everyone - but especially when you're seven.  (We all made it out safely, but we lost probably 90% of our household goods.)  

Yeah no 'one' reason, but we're all shaped by something I suppose.  
Top Top