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Survival Skills

Five reasons normal people shy away from the prepper world

Five reasons normal people shy away from the prepper world
How many times have people looked at you kinda funny when they find out you store food in your home? I get that frequently, and when that’s combined with my hobbies/passions of hunting, hiking, camping and fishing, I sometimes get lumped in with the nut cases.  (I guess it doesn’t help that I carry a pocket survival kit and “survival” knife in my briefcase.)
Lisa Bedford is well-known in the preparedness world as the Survival Mom, and author of the best-selling book “Survival Mom. In this article she explains why some people are turned off by the whole preparedness idea.
By Lisa Bedford

The Survival Mom
I don’t believe I’ve ever started an article with an apology, but before I go any further, my apologies to preppers for this headline! I’ve met hundreds of you over the past year or so and you are all so normal!
A tornado could destroy roads and bridges and strand people on the disaster scene.

A tornado could destroy roads and bridges and strand people on the disaster scene. Being prepared for emergencies can help a lot!

I hope my apology is accepted! Now on to my story.

Last week I recorded an episode of my show and included 6 lessons kids should learn from the Trayvon Martin case. #6 was, “Be aware of how others perceive you,” and it included some great quotes from a black minister who works with kids of all races.
As I thought about perception, I remembered a conversation with an Oregon woman who displayed a dramatic negative reaction to the term, “bug out bag.”
“Don’t use that term!” she said. “It makes you sound like a crazy survivalist.”
Well, I’m not crazy and I don’t consider myself to be a survivalist in the traditional sense, but if we hope to draw others into the ranks of preparedness, our loved ones in particular, then maybe we should consider how others perceive us.
Here are a few reasons why I think “normal” people shy away from anything related to the prepper world.
1.  Our terminology has negative connotations. “Bug out bag” begs the question, “Exactly why do you think you have to bug out?”
“Bug out location” sounds a lot like a robber’s hideout or the stereotypical 500-square-foot log cabin in the wilds of Idaho, home to toothless refugees from “Deliverance.”
“Bug out vehicle” — getaway car, anyone?
“C-Day” — Collapse Day, as in the day the United States of America collapses.
See what I mean? And I don’t think it’s a strike against anyone outside the prepper world who hears these terms and thinks, “What the heck?” If you’re not a religious person, this is akin to being around people who talk church-speak all the time. It can be a big turn-off.
2.  Ditto for our acronyms. 
  • SHTF: Sh*t hits the fan.
  • TEOTWAWKI; The end of the world as we know it.
  • WROL: Without rule of law.
  • GOOD: Get out of Dodge

In the real world, who talks like this? If your friends need an acronym dictionary to figure out what you’re talking about, they may decide the prepper world is some sort of secret society with “special” handshakes and creepy initiation ceremonies. (Editor’s note: The proper way to use an acronym is on SECOND reference. Otherwise, there is no way to tell what the acronym means. NRA, for example, doesn’t necessarily mean the National Rifle Association. And do you really want to explain what SHTF means to someone you ran across at church? End of Leon’s rant.)

3.   They think we’re too negative. 
When conversations naturally veer toward topics related to preparedness, that’s one thing, but if your stream of emails consist of doomsday alerts from Alex Jones and the like, they will begin to steer clear of you, guaranteed.
4.    Negative portrayals on TV.
Let’s face it. “Doomsday Preppers” didn’t exactly do any favors for the prepping world. Too many of their preppers aren’t relate-able. Many are downright weird. If this is what your circle of friends and acquaintances see as the norm for preppers, do you blame them for not wanting to join the club?
5.   Preppers scare them.
Nearly every prepper website focuses on topics like pandemics, collapse of civilization, the U.S. becoming just like Somalia, FEMA body bags, guillotines…well, sometimes people just want to think about the fun they’re going to have this weekend at the bowling alley. Who wants to be around people who scare them all the time? 
5.   They really don’t see the need to prepare.
This one you can’t do anything about. Until a person is motivated by their own observations, they will likely not do anything. People believe their own data and will act accordingly, thus the popularity of Home Depot hours before the arrival of a hurricane!
Now, in no way am I saying preppers are crazy and that we shouldn’t prepare. My point is to consider how others perceive us. If we come across as scary, obsessed, or weird, then it’s no wonder that they shy away from the prepper world when it’s possible that being prepared has been on their minds!
You can’t do anything about Doomsday Preppers or all the fear-filled websites out there, but you can demonstrate by words and actions what a rational, completely sane prepper looks like!

Lisa Bedford

Lisa Bedford

 Lisa Bedford is the author of the wildly-successful website, hosts The  Survival Mom Radio Network, and is the author of the best-selling preparedness book Survival Mom: How to Prepare Your Family for Everyday Disasters and Worst Case Scenarios
Check out Lisa’s website here.

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Survival Skills

Leon Pantenburg is a wilderness enthusiast, and doesn't claim to be a survival expert or expertise as a survivalist. As a newspaperman and journalist for three decades, covering search and rescue, sheriff's departments, floods, forest fires and other natural disasters and outdoor emergencies, Leon learned many people died unnecessarily or escaped miraculously from outdoor emergency situations when simple, common sense might have changed the outcome. Leon now teaches common sense techniques to the average person in order to avert potential disasters. His emphasis is on tried and tested, simple techniques of wilderness survival. Every technique, piece of equipment or skill recommended on this website has been thoroughly tested and researched. After graduating from Iowa State University, Leon completed a six-month, 2,552-mile solo Mississippi River canoe trip from the headwaters at Lake Itasca, Minn., to the Gulf of Mexico. His wilderness backpacking experience includes extended solos through Yellowstone’s backcountry; hiking the John Muir Trail in California, and numerous shorter trips along the Pacific Crest Trail. Other mountain backpacking trips include hikes through the Uintas in Utah; the Beartooths in Montana; the Sawtooths in Idaho; the Pryors, the Wind River Range, Tetons and Bighorns in Wyoming; Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado, the Catskills in New York and Death Valley National Monument in southern California. Some of Leon's canoe trips include sojourns through the Okefenokee Swamp and National Wildlife Refuge in Georgia, the Big Black River swamp in Mississippi and the Boundary Waters canoe area in northern Minnesota and numerous small river trips in the Midwest and Pacific Northwest. Leon is also an avid fisherman and an elk, deer, upland game and waterfowl hunter. Since 1991, Leon has been an assistant scoutmaster with Boy Scout Troop 18 in Bend, and is a scoutmaster wilderness skills trainer for the Boy Scouts’ Fremont District. Leon earned a second degree black belt in Taekwondo, and competed in his last tournament (sparring and form) at age 49. He is an enthusiastic Bluegrass mandolin picker and fiddler and two-time finalist in the International Dutch Oven Society’s World Championships.

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