Monday, April 21, 2014

Ten thoughts on doomsday preppers (as presented in National Geographic documentaries)

In the last couple of days I've been watching some 'prepper' documentaries on youtube. They're a fascinating mix of clever and stupid, inspiring and insane.

Here are some thoughts.

1. I think I'd prefer to spend my kitchen time doing prepper food prep than normal family meal prep. It would be cool to finish a session in the kitchen and have something to show for it ten minutes later - 20 large bottles of preserved beans or the like. Similarly with the grocery shopping. How good would it be to do your shopping, pack it away in crates in the well organised garage and say, "Well, that's 4 months supply of long life food." At the moment I pack my shopping away and hope it will last us for 2 days.

2. None of the preppers ever felt they had enough food. Those with 4 months supply really felt they needed to get to 6 months. Those who had 6 months supply thought they needed a year's supply. Those with one year supply aimed to double it. At what point would they be satisfied that they had enough?

3. Preppers have cool gear and make cool gadgets. Bug out bags, knives, weaponry, tools, dehydrated food, camouflaged tree houses, pimped up school buses, booby traps, solar power systems, self sustaining water purifying fish farms... Cross between MacGyver and boy scouts. It's must be a real buzz to make and have the gadgets and gear these guys have.

4. Preppers are afraid of many, many things. One guy thinks a lightening storm is going to bring down America. Another is afraid of foreign invasion, another of a solar somethingorother. A big theme is that when disaster comes, all hell will break loose, human decency will vanish and the government will not be able to help. All of the food hoarding and evacuation plans are expressions of this fear. Preppers want to be in control whatever happens.

5. The preppers on the TV documentaries have a very small circle of concern. They are concerned for their own families. Not for their neighbours or community. In the post apocalyptic world, they want to be full while everyone else is hungry. They want to be the one driving over everyone's collapsed houses in their tank-like buses. Makes me wonder if all this prepping is revenge for feelings of social inadequacy. Just wait till doomsday comes. Then you'll see how cool I am and you'll be sorry you didn't let me into the cool group in school... 

6. If you buy into the prepper world view, then (almost) everything they do makes sense. If a major disaster is coming, then preparing for it is a good use of your time and resources.

7. The prepper worldview is INSANE! A lightening storm is not going to bring down America! A hurricane isn't going to trigger doomsday! Weather events like storms and hurricanes can be bad but they are generally localised and as much as you hate Obama, the US government is competent enough to get the nation through these things. The chances of a cataclysmic event that wipes out 95% of the world's population happening in the next couple of years is slight. I'd imagine there's a much greater chance that a prepper would be killed in a prepping accident with a saw or gun than in an apocalyptic catastrophe.

8. With all this preparation, preppers have to be eagerly awaiting armageddon. Surely they want to see if all of their gadgets and plans succeed!

9. Christians need have no part in all this frantic 'prepping'. We have a heavenly Father who is in control of all things. We are not driven by fear. We are told to give not hoard.

10. We Christians know that there is a certain apocalypse approaching. We prepare for it not by accumulating stuff but by trusting in Jesus.


  1. DP is a great show, and I applaud the mainstream media for covering this growing movement. Only thing is, they make their guests seem irrational with their "over the top" antics and doomsday plans. Most preppers are just regular people seeking common sense precautions for events that occur regularly on our planet. The lack of common sense prepping prompted me to start my own business specializing in emergency prep no matter the skill level. You can check us out on

  2. Oh, Simone! You watch youtube stuff for me so I don't have to and you crack me up. Must go. I've got some canning to do.

    1. Honey is good to stock up on because it doesn't go off ever.

    2. That's really helpful, thanks, Simone :) I have a big bucket of honey that's been in my pantry for several years now (I don't clean out my pantry too often...) and I was wondering if it was still okay. It looks a bit different to the newer honey, but we've used it in a few marinades to try to use it up. Good to know it's still okay!

    3. Don't eat it now, Karen! Keep it for the apocalypse!