When it comes to preppers, there’s a lot of common misconceptions going around that a “prepper” is just someone who thinks the world is about to end and so prepares for the very worst with no hope for the best in sight. This is more of a “survivalist” attitude, and a survivalist is merely a type of prepper, but does not cover the vast majority of prepper lifestyles. Let’s break them down.

Kinds of Preppers

There are a number of prepper categories, so these are just some of the types. Let us know on social networks or in the comments if there are any you think we’ve missed.

Survivalists – These are the guys who are building the complex in Montana awaiting the New World Order to try and take away everything they hold dear, which will start “Civil War II,” the inevitable battle between the overly large government and it’s people. They’re called Right Wing Extremists, Fear Mongers, Conspiracy Theorists, and everything in between. They believe that someday soon just about everybody is going to be torched in a giant nuclear explosion, drowned in a flood, frozen to death in another ice age, or abducted by aliens. And hey, when we look at the craziness happening in the world today, who says it’s not possible?

Food Storage Parents – These are generally middle aged fathers and mothers who think of “surviving” or “prepping” as having a basement or storm shelter full of canned goods that they’ve purchased or canned themselves. You will not find these parents with empty cupboards! These types of people are actually quite common, particularly in the southwestern part of the U.S.

Boot Campers – These are generally former military personnel, and treat everything like it’s the battlefield. They borrow all the acronyms, abbreviations and terminology from their military days. They’re also into firepower and blowing things up.

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Emergency Economists – If you’ve got paper money on hand, it will soon be worthless. That’s the attitude of the Emergency Economist. These are the guys you see investing in things like raw materials and precious metals — gold, silver, and copper in particular. They also invest the money they do have in various markets so that if one economy collapses to rubble, they’ll still have savings on hand with which to survive and thrive. They’re also those people that prepare for unemployment before it happens.

First Aiders – These are the guys and girls that take all the first aid training needed to be able to perform CPR, emergency surgeries, treat and dress wounds, triage the victims of mass destruction, and anything else having to do with medical or first aid. You’re definitely going to want one of these in your group if the Survivalists (see above) happen to be right.

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“Amish” Preppers – While not necessarily Amish, these are the hippies of the group and can generally be found in farmer’s markets and similar stores. They live off the land, make their own clothes, build their own homes, and grow their own food. Many pagans can identify somewhat with this group, as they like to be “at one” with Mother Earth.

Outdoorspeople – These are outdoorsmen and outdoorswomen, and absolutely thrive off doing anything in the great outdoors. Everything from hunting, tracking, animal calls, hiding in bushes, and even analyzing tracks and guano. Members of the Boy Scouts of America and, in some cases, the Girl Scouts of America, are part of this group. They become Well Prepared by obtaining merit badges for various survival tasks like building a shelter or fire, using tools, surviving and thriving in the wilderness, navigating without GPS by using a map or the sun, and countless other tasks.

These are the main categories. Of course, you might also come across quite a few Closet Preppers. These are people that might identify as one of the categories above, but have kept their lifestyle, concerns, and merits quiet for fear of ridicule by society. Hopefully this type of prepper becomes increasingly less common as prepping is embraced by a growing segment of the population.

Which type are you?