Do you have to be Independent to be a Prepper?

People on a crowded city sidewalk at night
The city is fun, Always something to do and somewhere to go, but not the best place for a prepper.

My wife recently told me that friends were going to Key West for the weekend. A decade or so ago, we spent a week in Key West, and while I had fun, I have little desire to go back.

Key West wasn’t bad. We ate fried seafood at Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville; she went shopping; we saw Hemmingway’s house; we ate key lime pie; we visited museums; we rented a sailboat for a day trip and did some snorkeling; we went to the beach; and we drove towards Miami with the top down in a rental Jeep, and visiting other keys. What I remember most is that we ate and a variety of restaurants, some quite good and some not so good.

Having done all that once, why would I want to go back and do it again? Especially now that the prices are have doubled. Likewise, I’ve been to the Grand Canyon. It’s an impressive sight. Even flying over it is impressive. But having been there, why would I want to go back? I’d rather see or do something new or different.

Plus, I like where I live. I see no reason to vacation from it.

They say if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. I guess I’m suggesting that if you love where you live, you will never need a vacation.

Visiting a Swamp

I ran into a lady I know from a local business and asked how her vacation had been. “Oh, it was great. I just love the Okefenokee Swamp.”

That caught me by surprise, so I laughed and said something inane like, “Well, that’s not something you hear too often!” (I later had to Google the swamp to learn that it is a 438,000 swamp and wildlife refuge on the border of Florida and Georgia.)

“Oh, I love the outdoors,” she said.

“Then you are living in the right place,” I told her. It’s true. You drive half a mile out of town and you are in the great outdoors. If you are in a valley, you will see farms and fields. If you turn down any of the side roads, you will be surrounded by forest, and every road seems to follow a stream. All we have around here is outdoors.

Move where You Want to Live

I often urge my readers to leave the city or suburbs behind and move to the country. That’s easy for me to say, because I love living in the middle of nowhere. I like the slower pace, the friendlier people, and the community.

I am modifying that advice to “move where you want to live,” but if that’s not the country, then have a bunker or a retreat somewhere off the beaten track.

As an introvert, I like that I can go days without seeing someone else. As a prepper, I appreciate the country for the many positive things it offers related to survival in a post-SHTF situation: low population density, room to grow our own food, more firewood than I can harvest, the ability to shoot guns in my yard or off my deck, and wild food resources, including hunting, fishing, and foraging in the forests for edible plants.

I appreciate being off the beaten path and being unlikely to attract criminals. I also like having the ability to install a gate at the end of our driveway. I enjoy living in a place where many other people are self-reliant, have gardens, own heavy equipment, and are a bit taciturn. There is at least one other family on our road that raises chickens. On the way to town, I pass other chicken coops and one family raises turkeys, plus there are people with pigs and a farm with beef cattle.

That’s the kind of community I want to live in when the SHTF and the cities fall apart. Thankfully, it’s also the community I want to live in now.

City Living versus Country Living

I admit I enjoyed living in New York City when I graduated from college. There was always something exciting or entertaining to do, always a place to go, and you could get breakfast served at 2 a.m. But as I grew up, other things became more important than a party or being entertained. About the third time someone broke into my car, the downsides became more obvious. I left before I was 30.

I know a couple who quit their decent jobs in California to pile their two kids into an RV and spent the next four years traveling the country before settling in South Carolina. Those are the people I consider brave, not the mothers who stick their kids in a Pride shirt. (That’s just trying to conform.)

It is the young couple who move to an old, overgrown homestead and work to bring it back to life and live closer to the land that are beating the system, not the folks who work 60 hours a week at a job they don’t like for a boss they can’t stand so they can pay 40 or 50 percent of their income in taxes. Sure, the latter may drive an expensive car while the former drives a beat-up pickup, but driving the pickup down a country road brings me more joy than being stuck in rush hour in any vehicle.

If you fit that stuck-in-a-job-you-hate rut, think about breaking out. Not just from the job, but from the rat race, the living in an apartment or house identical to the others in your apartment or block. Think differently!

Prepper = Nonconformist

If you are a prepper, I suspect you are already enjoying some freedom of thought. Even after COVID, being a prepper will win you few friends and might get you made the butt of some jokes. It takes independent thinking to realize that the government can’t save you, the police won’t protect you, and the world as we know it is in a rapid decline. It takes fortitude to spend money on prepping instead of that new car or a vacation to Key West. Finally, it takes commitment to stick with it, even when the next big disaster hasn’t materialized.

As the socialists build their political power, we need people who will not conform. One day, we may need people who will march in the street or even pick up guns and fight tyranny, but for now, acting contrary to what they want is good enough. That could include going to church, homeschooling your kids, staying out of debt, and limited or eliminating screen time and social media use. Start rebelling on a small scale.

I choose to not conform by living on land I own rather than rent, reading my grandchildren banned books, watching politically incorrect movies and comedians, telling dirty jokes, owning and shooting AR-15s, raising my own food, cooking from scratch, and starting a business to allow me to deduct business expenses. I refuse to conform by paying in cash, putting my phone in a faraday bag when I travel, using a VPN whenever I am online, and not having a single social media app on my phone. Of course, I also prep. I stockpile food and gear. I hang out with like-minded people. And I don’t live in a city.

Cities as Targets

I think of cities as containment areas that give the government the ability to control the populace. It’s easier to enforce martial law in a city where people are packed together in neat little boxes. Shut down the elevator and half the people in large buildings won’t be able to get in or out. It’s also relatively easy to stop traffic in and out of a city, and it’s easy to shut down mass transit, block bridges and tunnels, close entrance ramps to highways. They have total control and you are trapped in concrete tunnels.

Big cities will also be targets for enemy attacks and terrorist wanting to demoralize the populace.

If you love the city, then I feel a little sorry for you, and I think your odds of survival are lower than people who live outside the city, but I wish you luck.