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Prepping For SHTF

What Is a Prepsteader?

Kevin Felts blogger and survivalistWhat is a prepsteader?  It is someone who combines prepping and homesteading.  However, the complete answer is a little more complicated.

To see the whole picture we need to go back to at least the 1970s, or maybe the early 1980s.  What we consider prepping today was everyday life during the cold war.

During the Cold War, people lived under the constant threat of nuclear war.  Because of that people kept a stockpile of food and other supplies.  After all, you never knew when the bombs were going to fall.

When the Berlin Wall came down after the collapse of the Soviet Union, the United States entered into a short lived period of peace.   For the first time since the end of World War II we were at a true peace.

The came along Waco, Ruby Ridge and the Oklahoma City Bombing.  When it came out that Timothy Mcveigh was part of a survivalist group, the name survivalist became taboo almost overnight.

Survivalism In The 1990s

In the mid-1990s I had a couple of co-workers that associated survivalist with terrorist.  I am not kidding guys and gals, when a couple of co-workers found out I was a survivalist, they accused me of being a terrorist.  One guy asked me straight up, “Your a survivalist, so you blow up buildings?”

Since Timothy Mcveigh was a survivalist, that meant all survivalist were terrorist.

The result of the Oklahoma City Bombing was the word survivalist became taboo.  Rather than calling ourselves survivalist, the name prepper was developed.  Timothy Mcveigh was a survivalist, I am a prepper.

The long term effect was that survivalist were driven underground for better than a decade.  Even gun magazines stopped publishing ads for Paladin Press.


In the 1960s, 1970s and early 1980s there was a demographic shift in the United States.  During that time the last of the people born in the 1800s passed away. With their passing, an enormous amount of knowledge also passed away. The only thing we have today are letters and journals from that era.

This was a generation who went from kerosene lanterns and hand dug water wells, to putting a man on the moon.

Homesteaders today are trying to figure out what was not passed down from one generation to the other.  In previous generations children did not venture very far from the family.  With the creation of the vehicle, people at instant transportation available.

With a car, a child could go to college, then move away and get a job.  This left nobody at the farm to pass knowledge down to.  As a result, generations of farming, gardening, and homesteading knowledge was lost in the 1960s, 1970s and even into the 1980s.

Homesteading is being self-sufficient. Even someone living in the city can be self-sufficient. Plant a garden, plant a few fruit trees, get some laying hens, and the person becomes an urban homesteader.

As long as someone is using the land to become self-sufficient, they are a homesteader.  Someone does not need to own acres in a rural area t be a homesteader.


The Prepsteader is attempting to become self-sufficient, and then combine that with prepping.  Or rather, combine homesteading with survivalism.

For the more radical wing of survivalism, maybe survivalsteader would be a better word?  However, prepsteader rolls off the tongue better than survivalsteader. The word prepsteader is also more politically correct than something associated with survivalism.

My goal here on the farm is to develop a semi self-sustainable farm.  There is an old saying, “No man is an island.”  As much as I would love to live completely off the land and isolated, it just is not possible.  Even the Amish need contact with other people.

All of this is factored into my long term survival plans.  Make contact with neighbors, and maybe we can work together in the even of a collapse.

Final Thoughts

Short answer, a prepsteader is someone who combines prepping and homesteading.

The long answer is a little more complicated.  As a survivalist I consider myself more extreme then yo-yo peppers. Where a yo-yo prepper may go in and out of prepping, survivalist remain constant.

Survivalist also may consider themselves more militant than preppers.  Where a prepper may have a few firearms, a survivalist may have enough firearms to start a war in a small South American country.


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