A life long prepper / survivalists thoughts on preppering and preppers.

This is a guest post and entry in our non-fiction writing contest  by Susan B

I was raised in a family where my father had built a bomb shelter during the cold war days, bay of pig etc next to our home; he was preparing us for a nuclear war. I grew up with Geiger counters, guns and food storages etc, along with a cabin in the woods to bug out to when the fallout died down. This was my childhood. We were told we would have to fight off the neighbors if they should try to get in out shelter and may need to shoot them. We learned how to shoot at early ages.

My father was a young boy during the great depression, often he went without food and shelter. I’m sure the effected his whole life.

I’m pretty sure we were the only family in our area with a 4 wheel drive WWII transport jeep, benches on both sides in the back, of course by dad put a modern camper on back, it was quite the sight on the road trips up to the cabin from the San Francisco bay area to the Sierra’s during the Vietnam war. Us kids, (there were 12 of us) would be giving people the peace sign from the windows.

My father lived his whole life waiting for the bombs or and economic collapse to happen. It didn’t, of course but that doesn’t mean he was wrong, just his timing was off. I realized none of us can be certain how things will really come down or when they finally will. It took several hundred years for the fall of Rome to finally happen. This time it is much more complex. One thing for certain, when it serves the powers to be to collapse currencies, cut off credit the most they will.

They will be safe far away from the danger areas. Their hand-picked leaders will be safely underground waiting for word by their owners. Yes, Obama, Bush and the next president are owned by a group of people who control much of the world’s resources and control almost all of the world’s currencies. They can decide to wipe out a whole nation should they decide, or starve or vaccinate a whole country. They can poison the water, air and food.

So with knowing this why does one even bother? Because we are designed by our creator to survive as long as we can. It is abnormal to do otherwise. Instinctively we know life is a valuable gift. Aside from all the plots by those who seek to control or destroy others there is still great beauty in life here on earth.

Our spiritual growth ultimately is what matters, as it grows so does our appreciation, our depth of love or joy of even a simple sunset or engaging with our loved ones. It is instinctive to want to protect our children, family, friends and grandchildren from danger. It is unnatural to feel otherwise, like a mother bear will kill anyone who poses a threat to her cubs;

It is natural for us as well to do the same.

I am an optimist at heart; I believe our soul lives beyond this time and body. This life is about learning about love, how to love, to know love, to understand and see love in everything and everyone. To come to the understanding that we are all connected. Love is the not just the opposite of hate but of fear. So how does one live knowing about all these dangers and have no fear? Because we have a choice. Yes, we can still be preppers out of love for our families even though we may die long before any of it is needed.

No one questions life, car or house insurance and I believe one day no one will question prepping either. It was a normal way of life here just 2 generations ago to have a panty, root cellar full of food and the majority of families grew most of their own food. How can anyone think this is odd when most of the world still lives this way and our own did such a short time ago? Two generations ago there were no nursing homes either. People cared for their own loved ones.

To be a prepper is not to say we are fear mongers on the fringe, it is to say we are more in touch with our intuition/instincts about the realities of life. There was nothing wrong with the way my father chose to protect his family; it was obvious he never wanted to see his children suffer the way he did. His father died in 1932 leaving a young widow to fend for her self with 2 small boys during the worst depression the country had ever experienced.

Many starved to death in America during that bleak period. My father’s generation is dying off and will be gone in the next decade so it is my generations turn to step up to the plate and pass on what we’ve learned from them. I learned from my dad that love is more than words or feelings, it is actions, it is working to protect and provide for those you love for their safety and happiness.

So I hope you all are motivated out of love to protect you families rather than fear. We are all in this life for love, to know love is to know God.

It is the truth that across this planet as I write this a mother, father, or child has just watched a family member die from starvation. Would they see the love and wisdom of planning and preparing to deter such from happening to other families?

Never forget that you peppers are truly involved with loving your families and communities in a most deep and profound way. This endeavor nourishes your soul as well as other’s.

This blog is a love effort to help others; it was an idea, a plan and action of love for the betterment of one’s fellow-man.

This is an entry in our non-fiction writing contest where you could win:

First Prize) Winner will receive a Nomad – 1 Person Standard Survival Package courtesy of Shepherd Survival Supply, a One Month Food Pack courtesy of Augason Farms, a $150 gift certificate for Remington Ammo courtesy of LuckyGunner.com and a EcoZoom’s Versa Stove courtesy of EcoZoom stoves. A total prize value of over $875.

Second Prize) Winner will receive two (2) Rothco Sure Paks With Heater courtesy of Camping Survival, a Wise Food Vegetable bucket courtesy of LPC Survival and a Wonder Junior hand grain mill courtesy of Kitchen Kneads. A total prize value of over $509.

Third Prize) Winner will receive 3 – 27 Variety of Non Hybrid, Heirloom Non GMO Survival Seeds, 2 – Fruit Pack of Non Hybrid, Heirloom Non GMO Survival Seeds and 2- First Aid Kit with Sutures in a Waterproof Resealable Bag courtesy of Be Prepared Now. A total prize value of over $215.

Contest ends on March 30 2012.

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of TheSurvivalistBlog.net. He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. Charlie (NC) says:

    I read this in the newspaper of a nearby town this morning. It’s a fun little historical snippet but it also has advice, warning and a sence of realism to the prepper community. 3 years before this event how many folks would have ever dreamed of it?


  2. wow, Susan…your article really resonates with me…yes, life is a wonderful gift…and I enjoy taking the time in my life to understand all facets of my life…be it spiritual, mental or physical.

    I can only imagine what your life experiences have been to give you such excellent insight into at least this prepper’s life…we all know how this is going to work itself out…and we prep accordingly…even though we know our physical life is finite and tomorrow is promised to no one.

    I too believe that our souls continue on when our corporeal body is past its use-by date…however, we are not alone while we are here in a physical body.

    I know without a shadow of a doubt that I am guided, protected and nurtured on every step of my journey…don’t feel alone even when am on my own, instead have a heightened sense of peace, joy and contentment…so I take active steps to ensure I spend time alone to allow for deep contemplation and sheer enjoyment of my serenity.

    Thank you for posting this timely article as the world and current events are demanding, and becoming more so, and can distract and lead many astray.

  3. Texas Nana says:

    Susan B
    I really enjoyed this post, you have a great mind set. I can truly say that I don’t prepare out of fear, has I believe I have limited control over anything outside my “home/family”. But I never thought of it as preparing out of love, but you are correct. I do prepare has as a means to protect & provide for my family out of my love for them. Your father has instilled in you a great deal of love, the most important being the love of our Lord.
    Thank you!!
    Thank you

  4. farmergranny says:

    what a great article! I knew that prepping for my family was done out of my love and concern for their well-being, but reading that someone else feels this way is such a reassuring feeling. My belief is that the Lord has, in the past, given guidance to preparing for the future (Noah, Joseph) and is doing so now. Having lived through the “drills” of the cold war, it was just something expected…I cannot recall that I ever questioned why we were in the hallway with our hands over our necks and heads. My kids and grandkids have never know a world without war…how sad. But I’m grateful that God has inspired many to begin preparing for harder times…no matter what the form.

  5. KR Prepper says:

    This is a great article. I see so many armchair preppers talking about the ease of taking someone’s life. Life is special. I’d rather be early than late myself

  6. arkieready says:

    Yes! Yes! Thank you.

  7. At the beginning of 7th grade I remember asking my parents if we were going to build a bomb shelter. We routinely had air raid drills, duck and cover, rehearsed evacuation routes from school to home etc. so why didn’t we have a bomb shelter? We were within 25 miles of a major Air Force Base and we knew it would have been a prime target (still is). If the nuclear bombs came, we would not have survived. I have come to realize that my parents had more urgent priorities. They were struggling to keep food on the table, a roof over our heads, and clothes on our backs. Nuclear bombs were not an issue they could do anything about. As children of the Depression, they made sure our basic needs were met, often times through creative ways.

  8. JP in MT says:

    My prepping started with “Alas Babylon” and my being a conservative/pessimist. Couldn’t do much in the service and ex-wife would not have been appreciative. DW is definitely on board and agrees with most of my crazy ideas. So now it’s something that we do with “excess” income (in other words, whatever doesn’t get spent to get us through the month.) I suppose it would be nice to take a vacation somewhere, but we still end up going through used product stores, surplus warehouses, and bulk food retailers. So it’s pretty much the same only different.

  9. Susan, beautifully stated. Thanks.

  10. michelle says:
  11. Pineslayer says:

    My name is Pineslayer and I am a lifelong prepper. We all have a different story of how we got here. My dad grew up poor and my mom was raised in WWII Germany, nuff said. Funny thing is that neither were into being prepared. I am the anomaly in my family, no one else is prepared for anything. I was the kid who would spend all day in the woods, alone, and be fine with it. So why do I “prep”? I hate losing and don’t believe in quitting. Now that I have a 2 daughters my motto is :
    “Forging the Future”. No matter how things play out, the future will be tough in the short term and tougher in the long term. All that I do now is keyed to us being able to surthrive in that future. From college funds to pantry it is all prepping. Those that think we are nuts or fringe freaks, well good luck to them, they will need it.

    Thanks Susan B.

    • Pineslayer,
      You stated, “I was the kid who would spend all day in the woods, alone, and be fine with it”.
      I too was lucky enough to grow up only two blocks from several thousand acres of woods, and was not only fine with it, but had some of my best and most fun memories there. I’m not a loner by nature and like people a lot, but have made the same determination that I need to be in as much control of my situation as I can, and have always worked to that end. I think in some ways that this attitude is the essence of being a prepper.

  12. Northbound says:

    Susan, I agree with your point of view. Loving service to others can never be the wrong thing to do.
    As I’ve been learning how to prepare my household for the future, it’s seemed as though extremism has been such a loud voice. While I don’t discount any information as a whole, I’ve had to set many of the parts aside because they strike me as virulently outlandish. But there is also much wisdom to be gleaned once the chaff is culled from the wheat.
    My approach to prepping has been to investigate all information that comes my way, to choose a plan that works for our family, to include in the plan a way to help others, and to take action as it’s possible financially and physically.
    Many prominent folks in the prepping community advocate heavily-armed isolation when the hard times come, citing roving hordes and “zombies” as dangers to us. To be honest, I’m still not convinced that completely isolating ourselves is a good path to walk. Community seems a much better way to prepare for and live in a hard future, which I have no doubt will come.
    I much appreciate your level-headed approach, and will incorporate some of your points into our preparedness plan. Thanks for the thoughtful article!

  13. Great read! Thanks for sharing! It’s a nice refresher to think in terms of how God would have us act vs. how our flesh wants to be controlling of all situations. Thanks for the reminder…

  14. My Dear Susan,
    I know you spoke/wrote from your heart because as I read it, it was as if it came form my heart.
    Wonderful article and I thank you for writing it.

  15. Growing trends in emergency survival and disaster preparedness includes having emergency seed storage. Because of the uncertainty of events in the world you should consider not only stocking up on food and water but an emergency seed supply.

  16. Thank you all for your kind words, I was up at 3 am when I wrote it, I should have proof read it before sending, the spell check wouldn’t work; it made me cringe when I read the posting later. I promise the next one will be sans all the typos. I am working on solar one that I am excited about. I hope it will encourage others to wade into the solar waters fearlessly and also at a huge discount as well.
    I really enjoy this blog, so many great people. Sue

  17. Sounds like you fun growing up, Sue. My folks were from that generation, Dad lived through the Depression, Mom grew up during WWII. We didn’t deal much with bomb shelters and all (lifelong renters, you see), and my dad witnessed one of the A-bomb tests and concluded if a nuclear war started, survival would be next to impossible, but I digress. They did teach me indirectly how to do all this stuff called ‘prepping’, and until recently I never used that term. I just called it ‘being prepared’. Boy Scouts must’ve taught me something. BTW, love that part about ‘…Us kids, (there were 12 of us) would be giving people the peace sign from the windows…

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