The Prepper Philosophy

Last week I posted a question related to ammunition. I got many answers, most completely unrelated to the question I had actually asked. This motivates me to talk about the philosophy of prepping.

Simply, a good prepper follows the Boy Scout motto: Be Prepared —Be prepared for anything — Be prepared for everything.

The first step in prepping is to assess what are the potential problems. My list is long. It includes heart attacks, nose bleeds, broken arms, unemployment, floods, and severe weather. I mention these specific ones because they are events I have had to live through. I’ve loaded several co-workers into an ambulance, lived down stream when the Teton Dam broke and I’ve been snowbound while at work on three occasions. None of these were big problems because I was prepared, and none required any firearms.

A good assessment will be extensive, will consider the probability that a particular event will happen, its magnitude and how much effort and money would be needed to prepare for that problem. It also takes into consideration training and professional skills. I have several radiacs (Geiger counters). I seldom recommend that anyone get them. The difference being that I am an expert on radiation exposure. I can look at the radiation meter and know whether I have a big problem or a little problem.

About fire arms: In my case, I’ve decided they are very low on my list of prepping needs. My evaluation shows that the need is small for my position, location and situation. My sister has done a similar evaluation and has bought multiple weapons and is taking the training to use them. I agree with her evaluation because she is in a much different situation. She is a target. I am not.

I think about M. Davison who said to a group of us, “You think there will be a big event and everything will be gone. Let me tell you what it was like from someone who had to live through one of these. (He had been in Holland during the German occupation.) You go to buy shoes and there are no shoes for sale; so you put newspaper in your shoes to make them last. Then one day you can’t get newspaper. Things disappeared one at a time.”

I think about a friend of mine who was invited to be part of a prepper group. They show him their collection of firearms. It was impressive and included 50 caliber. Then they showed him their food supply. It was small. He said, “Guys, you’ve built Fort Knox but you don’t have anything inside.”

I think about prepper Steven Harris ( who preaches that it is easier to feed your neighbor than to shoot him.

I think about the disaster in Sarajevo where weapons and ammo were essential, but that is not typical. In most survival situations that I’ve read about, they were not. Then again, we’ve never been faced with potential problems of the magnitude that we face now.

The image of a prepper with guns and bullets sitting in his bunker with a stack of MRE’s can only be valid for the first few days. In a total societal collapse, there will be the need for cooperation and the building of alliances and the establishment of business.

So basically, I’m saying all these things must be done in perspective and balance. Each situation will be different and each answer will be different.

About erharoldsen

Information about Family Life, Family History, Humor, Emergency Response, Disaster Preparation, Latter-day Saint Religion (Mormon) and other stuff that tickles me. Contact me through erharoldsen at But use the @ symbol. (This helps me avoid spam.)
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