American vs Russian Prepper [Free, Invincible or Dangerous]

american vs russian president

Let’s compare two prepping styles belonging to two world powers – American vs Russian prepper.

See what are the differences and similarities that occur in these main categories — Food, Water, Shelter, Security, and X-Factor.

To make things easier to explain, I named the American prepper — Joe, and the Russian prepper — Ivan. Joe and Ivan (or Donald and Vladimir) are purely fictional avatars based on not so popular generalizations.

Comparing the two prepping styles won’t be an easy feat. Deciding the winner will be even tougher. That’s why I will also explore and compare historic factors, politics, lifestyle, leaders, armies, allies, housing, transportation, etc., in order to fully understand two opposing preppers.

I have spent countless hours on Russian survivalist forums, online news portals and American sites, YouTube channels, and private blogs. I feel competent enough to moderate this virtual face-off.

Please bear in mind that these are just my observations and personal opinions presented as a fun theoretical exercise.

I will keep score so read on to see who wins: American vs Russian Prepper. The last category, the X-Factor, could tip the scale. Interested? Let’s play.

SCORE American Prepper 0:0 Russian Prepper


American vs Russian Prepping Style

When you google search the word prepper using Russian spelling, you get results for rappers.

There are no preppers in Russia, according to Google.

Russians use the term survivalist. This difference is interesting to notice. Americans are focused on the prepping process — preparing yourself the best you can for emergencies.

Related post: Free Russian Preppers Are Invincible Survivalists In 2020

Therefore, when SHTF Joe rushes to a nearby store and buys a ton of food and gear. Remember the empty shelves and no toilet paper left? Joe already has a ton of stuff, safely tucked away in multiple locations, but he can always use some more.

Meanwhile in Russia, the whole Prepping movement is just starting to gain popularity. Russian preppers are focused predominantly on survival.

Preparing is not Ivan’s main focus. He thinks a lot about how to react in a SHTF situation, like a nuclear disaster or WW3, but doesn’t take coronavirus as seriously.

Winner: American Prepper

American vs Russian Prepping Skills

Americans learn about prepping from childhood. Just remember the Boy Scouts. Joe started young, learning all about the knots, how to start a campfire, building a shelter in the woods, finding water in nature, using a compass, etc. As an adult, Joe can easily refresh their knowledge by skimming through his old trusted Boy Scout Guide.

Ivan relies on learning from parents, and grandparents who mastered survival skills due to necessity. Russian history is full of political turmoil, and people were forced to learn how to survive. It feels like everybody knows of somebody who survived the WW2 or prison.

It is only in the last decade that prepping awareness and real courses came to Russia. It feels like they’re catching up, but slowly.

Ivan knows how to build a campfire, but with the sole purpose of making a barbecue. Building a shelter in the woods is never on his to-do list. And why bother with finding drinkable water in nature when there’s always vodka.

Winner: American Prepper

American vs Russian Prepping Resources

Both countries are global leaders with plenty of natural resources — land, water, gas, metals, etc.

But, in this category, I am more interested in what resources are at the disposal of the ordinary man.

American prepping industry is clearly ahead of anything else on the planet. There are plenty of options whether you are prepping on the budget, urban prepping, or building your own high-end underground bunker.

If an American goes online right now searching for prepping information, he will find tons of pages, blogs, YouTube videos, books, etc.

Americans are masters at stockpiling. A typical American house has a basement filled with supplies. On the other hand, a lot of Russians live in small flats, without basements and the possibility to hoard.

Russian preppers are not into shopping resources. They are great at preserving food for the winter months. But, canning fruit jam and making sauerkraut just can’t compare.

Winner: American Prepper

SCORE American Prepper 3:0 Russian Prepper



The average Joe lives in the suburbs, in a detached house, with a basement and a yard. He has a family but is usually distanced from his relatives and nearby neighbors. Joe has a lot of Facebook friends, and Instagram followers, but close, reliable ones are extremely rare.

The average Ivan lives in a big city, in a small flat that he has lived in for his entire life. It is inherited from his parents or maybe he even still lives with them. He knows all of his neighbors well and they are like a second family. His friends are all his old kindergarten buddies and he sees them regularly.

Since Prepping is about being a part of the community, helping others, and being able to rely on their help, I feel Ivan should have this win.

Winner: Russian Prepper

American vs Russian Transportation

Although all brands and models of cars are available worldwide, I feel they are out of reach for average Ivan. While Joe regularly switches from older to newest models, Ivan takes public transport. He probably has a twenty-year-old rusty car parked on the street but uses it only occasionally to travel to the countryside.

I feel that Joe is more concerned about switching to electric vehicles, at least e-bikes, and being self-reliant. Some American preppers buy trucks and military vehicles, and I can easily see Joe in one.

Ivan? Not so much. Russians are in love with their Ladas and proudly show off their stunts on YouTube.

Winner: American Prepper

Food and Water

Both American and Russian stores offer enough produce to Joe and Ivan. This fact made Joe a bit more spoiled.

Joe and his family rely on McDonald’s, take-away pizza, dining out in restaurants, and microwaving your dinner. Yes, there are more eating choices in the US than anywhere in the world. But, during the COVID-19 epidemic, a lot has changed.

When Joe’s family finished all the cereal boxes, peanut butter, and jam, for the first time in his life Joe had to learn how to cook. Who knows what would happen without the Internet?

Ivan and his family cook for themselves every day. Dining out has always been reserved for special occasions only. Ivan is a great cook. His home pantry is always fully stocked with versatile ingredients. Boxed cereals have never been considered food or staple in Russia.

Water was never scarce in both countries. Although Joe is used to buying bottled water, natural water resources are abundant.

Winner: Russian Prepper

SCORE American Prepper 4:2 Russian Prepper


American vs Russian Healthcare system

Healthcare in Russia is free for all. If Ivan gets sick, he will get the medical care he needs.

On the other side of the globe, Coronavirus exposed all the flaws of the American healthcare system. Without a doubt, the US has state of the art medical facilities. But, millions of Americans don’t have access to basic care because they don’t have medical insurance.

If Joe loses his job, he will lose medical insurance and the potential disease could cost him dearly.

Coronavirus Vaccine

Both the US and Russia are racing toward finding a cure. This contest reminds of the race to send the first man to the Moon. So far, all efforts have been useless despite Trump’s and Putin’s bombastic and purely fictional announcements.

Related post: How Russian Preppers Fight The COVID-19 [Sputnik V Update]

Winner: Russian Prepper

SCORE American Prepper 4:3  Russian Prepper


Diplomatic Relations

In the Prepping world, friends are a valuable resource because they can help you survive.

In politics, it’s the same.

Both countries appear without fail in various conflicts worldwide. They are mostly found on opposing sides, throwing words at each other and flexing armies, while the rest of the world watches in terror.

Related post: How To Survive Political Turmoil

So, who can Joe and Ivan turn to help?

Let’s see. According to statistics, the US has diplomatic relations with almost all of the countries on the globe. This list doesn’t include only 5 countries — Bhutan, Iran, North Korea, and Syria, and the UN observer State of Palestine.

Russia is also globally present, with some offices closed in Africa due to financial reasons. In the 21st century, Russian politics are seen as aggressive. Analysts blame the conflict in Ukraine on Russian cyber warfare.

It seems that Joe has more foreign friends than Ivan.

Furthermore, according to the Pew Research study, the United States is seen as a top ally by most countries in the world.

For now, I’ll count the score without taking into account the loyalty factor. Allegiances come and go in politics, but not so fast on the state level.

Winner: American Prepper

american vs russian president
Photo by rob walsh on Unsplash

American vs Russian President

Trump vs Putin

Both leaders feel like two sides of the same coin. Some even say Trump looks up to Putin.

Putin, in my opinion, is a far dangerous political figure. He managed to stay in the position of power for much longer than Trump, ruthlessly eliminating opponents and working toward one goal — autocratic rule.

Both the American and Russian leaders have incredibly low rating thanks to the disastrous handling of the coronavirus epidemic. So, who knows who will be the first to fall from the throne?

When it comes to which leader is best for its country, I feel Joe is in a better situation. Trump will eventually leave the office, while Putin appears more difficult to get rid of.

Winner: American Prepper

American vs Russian Freedom of Press

Wow, this is a tough one. (Said no one ever.)

Ivan might ask — what freedom? Writers and journalists in Russia have been, are, and will be notoriously sent to jail for criticizing those in power. Political opponents of any regime so far often ended up much worse.

American journalists still have the freedom to investigate and report independently. Trump may mock his critics, but this only gives them an incentive to come harder at him.

Winner: American prepper

SCORE  American Prepper 7:3 Russian Prepper



I turned to statistics to better evaluate and compare American and Russian armies.

According to global firepower, the US holds the top spot as an undisputed military power in the world.

Russia is in 2nd place, trying to keep up through modernization and experience (Syria).

Some of the many factors analyzed are manpower (military personnel, active, reserve, etc.), airpower, land forces, naval forces, natural resources (oil reserves), logistics (ports, railroads, airports, etc.), financials (defense budget), and geography (borders, waterways).

An article about Russian military exoskeletons in Forbes left me in awe. While the US movies like Avatar and Iron Man make us wish we had exoskeletons in real life helping soldiers and the disabled, Russia has already made the first move. Their exoskeletons may be low tech still, but look functional, useful, and promising.

Winner: American Prepper

American vs Russian Gun laws

Joe has to deal with some gun laws that are different from state to state, and fairly loose. Basically, you need a valid driver’s license, fill out a form, and you’re good to go. I even heard of a man getting a gun in Texas from a bank as a welcome present for opening an account. But, that’s just Texas, I guess.

Average Americans are mostly peaceful citizens, so Joe doesn’t own a gun and occasionally goes to the shooting range for fun.

Ivan lives in Russia where gun laws were non-existent until recently, but are becoming stricter in recent years.

A great article published in explains in detail the situation in Russia concerning owning, using, and carrying guns.

In short, Russian gun owners have to complete a psychiatric evaluation before obtaining a gun license. All applicants must go through training and pass a written exam. The license is valid for 5 years. Then you have to go through training again and pass the exam again if you want to renew your license.

You can expect yearly visits from the Russian police to inspect the safe storage of guns.

Ivan, like many Russians, owns a gun. Sometimes he goes to the countryside with his friends and shoots freely at whatever catches his eye. He is not very interested in complying with the law and has no intention of registering all of his (inherited) weapons. What the state doesn’t know can’t hurt it, right?

Winner: American Prepper

SCORE  American Prepper 9:3 Russian Prepper

The X-Factor

Russian prepper is a clear winner in this category. Russians are unpredictable, tough, unlawful, chaotic, and dangerous. That gives Russian Preppers better chances of survival.

I can imagine Ivan surviving the WW3. Easily. Along with the cockroaches.

Winner: Russian Prepper

SCORE American Prepper 8:5 Russian Prepper


The final score gives better chances of survival to the American Prepper Joe. According to the analyzed categories living in the US has more benefits than the Russian lifestyle.  Therefore, if disaster strikes, American preppers have a better support system.

What do you think, who is fitter for survival? Do you agree with my scoring? Is there a category that could make a difference?

Please comment below and share your ideas.

Greg - Prepping Insider

Hey, I'm a prepping enthusiast. Prepping for me is simply something of a passion. I have personally lived in many different rural properties that have given me a wealth of knoweldge and experience in practically living out survival and preparation situations. It’s not about getting the latest survival gadgets or buckets of food as its more of a lifestyle.

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