The prepper community comes with dogmas and it came by those dogmas honestly. Before we talk about those dogmas we need look at the communities heritage. Preppers and the prepper community is pretty much a product of the 21st Century. Y2K or Year 2000 may have been a player in the prepper evolution. For those that don’t know, or don’t remember, there was a computer software glitch that was going to bring the world to an end because the software was not set up to go from the 1900’s to the 2,000’s. This was discovered or at least publicly acknowledged in 1999. There were all sorts of doom and gloom predictions on how everything was going to come to a standstill. This encouraged people to prepare or prep for the upcoming disaster.
Prior to Y2K, there was the militia/survivalist movement. Individuals and groups that based their focus on survival and surviving the nuclear holocaust. They formed para-military groups, and focused on living off of the land. Contemporary to this movement was the movie “Red Dawn” (1984) and the book “Survival Guns” by Mel Tappen (1979). During this time, there was also a get back to land movement which gave rise to Mother Earth News and books by Helen and Scott Nearing. It was around this time that these movements started to be influenced by commercialism. Magazines, in edition to Mother Earth News, included Survival Magazine, and Soldier of Fortune. Today, prepping is big business with lots of money spent trying to get you to buy the “thing” you need or your will die.
Taking one more step back we had the Civil Defense movement which was a government project to help people prepare for nuclear attack by the USSR. Those of us old enough, remember scampering under our desks at school during an air raid drill. Some may remember their parents building fallout shelters in their back yards or basements. Larger businesses and hospitals had shelters that were stocked with food and supplies. Some of this movement was precipitated by the Russians installing nuclear armed missiles in Cuba just 90 miles from our shores. This was probably the closest we came to nuclear war. It was a 13 day standoff in October, 1962.
Prior to that was post world war two where the world was trying to return to a normal peaceful life. Recreation and leisure were the topics of the day. It was the time of the house with the white picket fence. Mr. Wilson’s biggest fear was Dennis the Menace.
This is a brief and incomplete timeline of the prepper community however, all or most of the high spots are covered. Like I said, we come by our dogmas honestly and the dogmas are promulgated today through some of the same avenues as yesteryear. Consumerism and fear. Fear can be healthy and buying things is not always bad; however, buying things because of fear that someone else is putting into your heart is. “Buy this or you will die!”
All I am saying, is prepping like anything else should be objectively looked at. Money for the most part, is a limited resource and should be used in a pragmatic manner. Shiny new gun, or 20 buckets of food? If you can’t shoot your shiny old gun, you aren’t going to be any better with a shiny new one.
One dogma that I find amusing and sad is the Bug Out Bag or BoB. Many folks build them to march off into the wilderness to survive and live off the land. Sometimes these things weigh in excess of 50-60 pounds and doesn’t include the weapon, ammo, and body armor they also plan on wearing. Many times these kits are built with large sums of money and then shoved in a closet. I have witnessed both in person and watching YouTube, someone going through their BoB and the pieces are either missing or falling apart because they haven’t checked it in years. What does a person do if the end of the world happens, they are 30 miles away at work; and their BoB is at home? If they have it with them, how far can they march with it?
I don’t have a BoB, I have a BoT or Bug Out Truck. If I have to Bug Out, I am loading the truck with as much as I can stuff in it and driving away. The probability of having a no notice Bug Out is very slim. Take a look at the Ukraine War, they had months to leave. I can pack and go in as little as an hour with 3-4 being optimal. What if I have a no notice Bug Out? I have a Flee Bag. It weighs 14 pounds and is small enough to take with me when I leave the neighborhood. If you are on foot with your BoB, it is likely that someone may be looking for you, and trying to evade with a heavy unwieldy pack will be difficult. I won’t be glamping, but I will have enough to get by; enough to get to point B. I go through my bag a couple of times a year.
So what am I doing now? I am continuing to prepare the homestead with every needful thing. I have increased my range time and verifying zero on my firearms. I am reviewing my fieldcraft skills, to include SERE, navigation, shelter creation and other survival skills. I have one book recommendation for Fleeing and that is ATP 3-50.3 Survival Evasion and recovery (August 2019). If you find yourself alone with your BoB or Flee Bag, these are the skills you need.