The Fast History of Preppers and Prepping


Have preppers and survivalism been around forever?

From the earliest times, people have taken disaster preparedness measures to prepare for the troubles they knew were coming. Humans strive for security and protection. Just remember the story of Noah’s ark and Noah and his family building an ark in preparation for a natural disaster.

It is human nature to collect food and store it for the winter. People have always worked to be prepared for the problems that lie ahead.

Prepping started with people trying to make it through the winters and other hard times.

Did some social event trigger prepping beginning?

Prepping as a social movement arose after the end of World War II. People realized (after two big wars) that they had to prepare better for the next disaster. Then they began to be more active in preparing for the world cataclysm.

Through the influence of the media, the whole world could see local disasters and emergencies (earthquakes, floods, tsunamis, fires, droughts, volcanic eruptions, man-made disasters, epidemics, pandemics, power outages, lack of water and food… The fear of disasters grew more and more.  

The early roots of the prepper movement grew out of paranoia surrounding the Cold War in the 1950s.

Due to the fear of nuclear war, and especially after the dropping of the nuclear bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the first books on survival under an atomic attack were published by 1950.

At the same time,  the governments are talking about the possibility of social and economic collapse due to nuclear war.

First books and seminars about prepping

The fear of nuclear war is growing. 1960s. The movement is getting stronger as the inflation rate increases.

The crisis affects cities and urban centers. Also, there are Shortages that begin in the supply of food, energy, and electricity. There are also problems with drinking water. So the first seminars have started.  The seminars promoted individualistic survival.

Howard Ruff wrote his famous preparedness book, Famine and Survival in America, which, based on the difficult financial times, created the groundwork for many of the concepts of our modern prepper movement.

The Cold War, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Vietnam War, and the Oil Energy Crisis of the 1970s caused perhaps the biggest crisis in American history.

That’s when the first serious disaster survival manuals were launched. Their main topics were firearms for self-defense, residential architecture, designing shelters, survival in nature, and gold instead of paper money,…

Disaster Prepping continues to grow

The movement continues to grow stronger everywhere in the world in the 1980s. The most responsible for this are the bloodiest military coup in Turkey, the greatest inflation in France, the economic crisis in the Balkan countries, and major political changes in Eastern Europe.

There is an increasing emphasis on preparations for an economic collapse, famine, and power shortages.

The fall of communism and the end of the cold war in the 1990s should have calmed the movement and the fear, but it didn’t. One of the bloodiest wars in the Balkans began.

Thousands of refugees came to Europe. The Soviet Union collapsed and caused enormous poverty in Eastern Europe.  Tycoons appear in Russia, the growth of corruption and organized crime. In addition to all previous fears, there is also the fear of collapse that can be caused by computer program errors.

In The 21st century

The terrorist attack in New York 11.09.2001. changed the world. People realized that a new type of threat had appeared. After the attacks, many people began stockpiling supplies and creating evacuation strategies.

New fears are also emerging, from war, bird flu, environmental disasters, and global climate change. The swine flu X1H1 burdened the health systems of all countries. There is also a credit collapse and a global shortage of grain on the world market. It moves a wider range of people to engage in disaster preparedness. The survival strategy due to disasters is also changing.

From 2010 to 2020, there were many shootings and murders in schools and public places. The increased interest in firearms began after an American elementary school shooting. During the Covid-19 pandemic, the World Health Organization declared a public health emergency of international importance. So, many people who traditionally contested the idea of prepping became preppers.

Now Modern Preppers

The modern era of prepping started in 2008. With the global economic crisis and fear for survival, the great growth of the preppers community began.

Until 2008 and the financial crisis, the unofficial rule was that you should keep your preparation completely hidden. That is because the media started reporting about preppers like “crazy people” who live in the woods and give guns to their children.

The term Prepper emerged in the early 2000s.

Preppers distinguished themselves from survivalists who historically focused on self-defense and stockpiling ammunition.

Survivalism today emphasizes self-reliance, stockpiling supplies, and acquiring knowledge and skills for survival. Stock up on survival kits that everyone should have. Preppers learn to provide for their needs without existing infrastructure or at least how to effectively store what they need. This can include food, water, shelter, transportation, clothing, and more.

Preppers have recently become a popular topic. Preppers are those who actively prepare for all types of emergencies from natural disasters to civil unrest. The term “prepping” often refers to the act of preparing oneself for life during and after an apocalyptic event.

As you can imagine, this requires a great deal of planning and expertise. Most people start small and then increase their prepping measures as they learn more. As a result, there is a great deal of variation among preppers: Basic Preparedness, Preparing for a Disaster That Lasts a Month or More, Preparing for a Long-Term Catastrophe, Off the Grid Preparation.

Preppers have also formed visible communities on several popular social media platforms. Facebook has hundreds of active prepper communities. There are a lot of BOOKS written about this topic.

In conclusion, prepping today means different things to different people. Despite any minor differences, being prepared for whatever life may bring is a common trait among all preppers.

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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