Have you ever met someone that is obsessed with prepping or survivalism? They keep their Get Home Bag ready to go, their Bug Out Bag is prepped and ready to go, keep a firearm in every room of the house,,, to the point where survivalism has consumed their lives. Would that be survivalism, an obsession or paranoia?
There is a fine line between a hobby and an obsession. If that is true, is there a line between a lifestyle and an obsession? What about a hobby and a lifestyle?
If we do the same thing everyday for 10, 20, 30 or even 40 years, would that be considered an obsession? If so, is work an obsession? Sometimes yea, work can be an obsession. Other times work is something we do to live.
If someone practices survivalism for 10, 20, 30,,, years, would that be a lifestyle or an obsession?
Maybe the deciding factor is how much survivalism affects our everyday life. Are we able to have normal relationships, are we able to live our lives as normal as possible while maintaining a dedicated survivalist lifestyle?
There needs to be a balance between prepping and living life as normal as possible.
Living In Fear / Paranoia
Back in the 1980s I knew a man who lived in constant fear that the government was going to come after him. Because of this fear he had a firearm in every room of the house, even the bathroom.
Then there are the conspiracy theorist who believe the U.S. government is going to round up people and ship them off to FEMA death camps. I have been hearing the FEMA death camp story for close to 20 years. Its getting a little old.
The Ruby Ridge and Waco incidents of the 1990s pushed conspiracy theorist into a frenzy. People believed that the U.N. led invasion could happen at anytime.
In the late 1990s there were a lot of publications that predicted the downfall of the U.S. before the year 2000.
Here we are 12 years after the year 2000, and nothing has happened. Its the same ole stories year after year, decade after decade.
My opinion, these are the dangerous people. They are the ones that draw the attention of federal agents, they are the ones that make the news.
If you want your picture on the evening news, do something for federal to pay attention to you.
If you do “not” want your picture on the evening news, abide by the law, and keep a low profile.
There are two simple rules I follow:
1. Do not break the law.
2. Do no harm.
Following those two rules will keep the eyes of the federal government off of you.
Do not break the law, do not make explosives, do not do “anything” that would harm someone else.
Militant Survivalist seem to plan for the absolute worst. If the crap hits the fan, everyone is going to go stark raving mad. To protect their families from the endless waves of looter, Militant Survivalist have to stockpile as many guns and as much ammunition as possible. There is no balance in their prepping plans, its guns, bullets and that is about it.
[Related Article – Survivalism as a lifestyle]
Ever seen the reality show “Hoarders”? Its kinda like that, but a little more organized. I put the hoarders somewhere between extreme couponers and real-life hoarders.
These are the people that stockpile everything, and by “everything”, I mean “everything”. Through some reason or another, hoarders find a logic to their madness.
After SHTF there will not be any hardware stores around, so lets just buy a couple of everything on the shelf.
For bartering supplies, hoarders will stockpile booze, first aid items, seeds,,, everything they can get their hands on.
If you have ever seen the reality show Hoarders, a lot of people affected by hoarding are either depressed, have a mental disorder, or have issues letting go of the past.
It is important to rationalize whether someone has a legit reason for stockpiling SHTF survival gear, or if they are hoarding due to a mental issue. This goes back to drawing a line between a lifestyle and an obsession.
These are the people that are obsessed with being as far off the grid as possible. There is nothing wrong with being off the power grid, or raising your own food. The problem arises when people seclude themselves from the rest of humanity.
People are herd animals. We flock together, talk, socialize, communicate,,, that is what drives our culture.
To isolate yourself from the rest of humanity is not normal.
There is a difference in living at the edge of society, and being an isolationist.
Some people live on the edge of society so they can stay out of urban areas. Some people enjoy having livestock, so they live in an area where they can have ducks, cows, goats, chickens,,,.
Isolationist may justify their lifestyle with the classic excuse, “I do not like being around other people”.
Once again, we need to define what is normal, and what might be a mental illness.
Having balance in your life
Like everything else in life, there has to be a balance with survivalism. When you go to your childs baseball game, if you bring your Get Home Bag and AR15, that might be a little extreme.
I have heard of people bringing a complete Get Home Bag to work with them, including gas mask and a weapon in the trunk of their vehicle. Do you live in downtown Chernobyl that you need so much gear?
Sometimes people need to unplug, step back and enjoy life. Go on a fishing trip without bring your Bug Out Bag or Get Home Bag, take an overnight trip with the family and leave all of your survival gear at home.
Do you bring your job with you everywhere you go? So why would you need to bring survival gear with you everywhere you go?
You know what bringing your gear with you everywhere you go is called? That is called “tacticool”. We do not practice tacticool. For one thing it looks stupid, and it draws too much attention.
Prepping for SHTF / TEOTWAWKI is a never ending process
If you focus on “when is the S going to HTF”, you are probably going to experience burnout. It’s like running a marathon. If you sprint all out, you are going to wear yourself down. Develop a pace that you can maintain for the long run. Even if that pace is walking, its better then nothing.
Back in the 1990s I had my firearms, rice, beans, some MREs, a Bug Out Plan, and I thought I was ready to go.
Over the past 20 years my long term survival plans have changed quit a bit. I have gone from stockpiling just rice and beans, to stockpiling #10 cans, food in mylar bags, planting fruit trees, having chickens, stockpiling supplies for a Berkey water filter,,, to only name a few changes.
I see a lot of people that join the forum all fired up and ready to go. After posting for a few months they get burnt out. I do not know if “burnt out” is a good term, maybe they simply lose interest.
The goal is to establish a maintainable pace for long term prepping. Do not expect to have your plans complete in 2 or 3 weeks, or even 3 or 4 years. Things are always changing, life is always changing, that is just the way it is.
Prepping can be compared to a hobby such as coin or stamp collecting. A coin collector looks through their spare change for that special or rare coin. A prepper looks for items that would help round out their preps.
Ok, lets see some comments.