Okay, here’s what we call an Opinion / Op-Ed piece. I’m going to talk about prepper fear and paranoia. Specifically, how it pertains to some recent comments I’ve had.
Note I don’t hold back with opinion so a few people might get triggered. Keep in mind, tone cannot be read and I have nothing but respect for those preparing when others are not. Please don’t assume I’m attacking anyone.
Another Note While this article is written as if I were talking directly to YOU, that’s only the case if the message applies to you. It probably doesn’t but I believe you’ll get a lot out of my monolog to the fellow preppers I’m talking to. A LOT of benefit.
Number One Prepper Fear – They’re Going To Come And Get You
The idea that someone is going to break your door down and drag you out of your home is a very scary prospect. Is the prepper fear of something this extreme reasonable?
Well, it depends. Are you a criminal on the run? If so, I can imagine the police coming to get you but that’s not really what we’re talking about, is it?
No, we’re talking about the dozens of articles, videos, and thousands of comments from fellow preppers.
They all follow the same protocol used by the military – OPSEC (Operational Security). That’s a good thing. Only some take it to an extreme.
I agree that OPSEC is important, for many reasons. For example, we don’t want to allow our personal information to float around the net for hackers to scrape and use to steal our identity. I know, too late – it’s out there.
Also, OPSEC is a good idea to keep potential stalkers at bay.
For example, anyone with an online presence (creating public content) could be considered a public figure. That can mean unwanted attention from someone a little unstable.
Look at me instilling fear. So ashamed.
It was due to OPSEC that I never “liked“, followed, or added my workplace to Facebook or any other social media site.
Imagine walking to your car after work to find an obsessed fan waiting to greet you. This actually happened to me about ten years ago.
“Hey, are you the Brian Hawkins that runs Hot Blog Tips,” says the creepy-looking guy. Does he want an autograph or to display my stuffed body in his foyer?
Crap, I did it again. Sorry
Paranoid Preppers – Beyond Prepper Fear
Let’s segway that into the big green elephant in the room – paranoid preppers. (I say that with affection). Many preppers, if not most, feel they need to stay under the radar when it comes to their preps.
I totally agree with that for the most part.
There’s nothing wrong with that. I wouldn’t dream of arguing with that perspective. It’s a legitimate concern.
It is the degree of that concern that might take us beyond being cautious to becoming paranoid. Remember, this is MY opinion.
For example (You know I love examples, especially if it’s a story), I published a video showing my prepper pantry last year. An actual prepper pantry tour.
OMG, you’d have thought I’d just threatened the Mandarin and gave him my home address.
So many comments! The vast majority of comments I receive are fantastic comments by great people. I am thankful for that.
Truly. Over a thousand comments on the pantry tour video and I replied to almost every one of them.
I do get some hateful comments as well. We all do, it’s part of the deal. I’m okay with that. It just got me thinking about what makes some preppers so paranoid. Anyway, I digressed.
So, those hateful comments… I deleted most of them. They were all along the line of…
You just got yourself added to a government list and once the SHTF, they’re going to lock you up for hoarding and confinscate all of your preps.
“You idiot, your neighbors are going to drag your dead body out of your home and steal your food“.
You’re so stupid. You just killed your entire family by posting that video.
Here is one of the worst ones (Ten years ago I might have decided to get proactive):
Thank you for sharing, when it hits the fan I’m going to take your home, your food, and your guns and live like a king.
Are They Making A Mistake?
Here’s the thing – While I understand the concern and actually agree with most of it, I refuse to hide in fear, stifling my calling – to help and inspire as many preppers as possible.
Building Communities? Can you see how the level of prepper fear that some people have prevents them from building communities or helping others prepare?
Sure, I know some preppers say they will “vet” certain people and try to bring them into the fold but most of that’s just talk in my experience.
Distorted Viewpoint? Think about this, some preppers go as far as employing countermeasures (mostly just disinformation) in an attempt to mislead their would-be attackers.
Here again, nothing wrong with that – in my opinion.
Yet these same people often drive around in expensive trucks flashing their wealth around like a badge of honor. Where’s the logic in that?
Criminals won’t take your money or stuff but they’ll risk their lives to steal my cans of corn. Really?
The Government Is Going To Come And Get You
Seriously? We’re going to go there? Okay, fine.
I admit there’s some scary truth to that but… What can you do about it?
It is 2021 (So much for evergreen content), where thousands of websites, both government and privately owned sites, literally have millions of data points on your personal information and know more about you than YOU do in some ways (True story).
Do you think caching your ammo in a hole somewhere and using the Brave browser is going to keep you off some kind of list?
If there are such lists, you’re already on them. Google knows you’re bowel movement schedule, you don’t think they know you like guns? They have a better idea of how long you’re going to live than your own doctor does. Say it ain’t so. 💯
Truthfully, things are likely to never get THAT bad to begin with. Wow, did I just say that? Yes, Kyle, I did (I love talking to Kyle).
And if they do, are you so special that you’re going to be on a confiscation list and a team of highly trained operatives will break your perimeter and steal your cans of spam?
Because you have enough to feed an army, right?
I absolutely love dystopian novels but some people need to lay off the fantasy juice for a while.
I’m No Expert But a Little Prepper Fear Can Be Healthy
Fear helps us stay survived.
For example, I have a healthy fear of petting a wild and angry bear out in the woods. That fear should help me not get eaten by a bear. At least not from trying to pet it.
It’s when that fear becomes so extreme that we become irrational that it takes on that hint of paranoia.
So, if I become so fearful of bears that I erect a six-foot electric fence around my Manhatton suburban home with bear traps scattered everywhere, I might be a little paranoid.
Just for fun, let’s replace a single word in that last sentence ⬆ and see if it suddenly seems like a plausible mindset among a few preppers.
So, if I become so fearful of refugees that I erect a six-foot electric fence around my Manhatton suburban home with bear traps scattered everywhere, I might be a little paranoid.
Sadly, we have people in our survival community with that level of prepper fear. Paranoia can be dangerous.
Thankfully, that level of prepper fear is rare. Or is it just conveniently hidden?
All of those YouTube videos of wannabe GI’s running around in full kit as they assault their imaginary friends is a little troubling.
On another note, as a veteran, I have a tough time watching a video like that without laughing.
Some guy setting up a camera and tripod, imagining himself evading the enemy in a staged urban environment or out in the woods.
It’s not much different than watching my eight-year-old grandson swinging his swords at the invisible dragon in my front yard.
Sorry, that wasn’t very nice.
I’m sure there really was a dragon there.
Prepper Fear-Based Tips
Let’s Get Real – Wrapping Up My Prepper Fear
Okay, now that I’ve had my fun, I actually believe a certain amount of prepper fear is not only justified – it is smart.
In my humble opinion, we need a balance. A balance of life and safety.
Let me give you a few prepper fear-based tips that I agree with – to a degree.
- Keep your preps and your prepper mindset off of social media. I used to say if you’re posts are set to public but now I say just don’t do it.
- Ask yourself, “Am I overreacting whenever you find yourself thinking along the lines of burying food and supplies or moving into a hidden bunker?“
- Don’t advertise your preparedness mindset with stickers, signs or custom licence plates.
- Don’t walk around dressed like Rambo. It scares the kids.
- For the sake of all reason, PLEASE diversify your information intake. Don’t keep injusting the same content from the crazies or you WILL become one of the crazies.
- Try to verify any outlandish news you find with a couple of trustworthy sources before you start applying the camo paint. (Good luck finding trustworthy resources. That’s kind of the point, isn’t it?)
When It Comes To My Own Prepper Fear
Honestly, I’m not sure if I’m low on fear or common sense but I have decided to compromise some of my “Op-Sec” in order to teach and inspire in the form of this website.
My Motivation – Fighting The Fear
So my prepper fear can’t get in the way of my mission.
I believe I’ve done that – albeit with a limited amount of risk along the way.
Yes, those are my cars up there.
Everybody, let’s freak out now. 😛
It would be pretty tough to inspire new preppers to build a prepper pantry simply by telling them that they should without any example or trust while hiding behind a pseudonym with my face blurred out of every photo.
No, that took a real video of my actual pantry. That’s the way to show I’m the real deal and I know what I’m talking about. Not to scare or brag but to teach and inspire.
Can G.I. Wannabe with his chest rig and face paint say that?
Yes, some are the “Real Deal.” They tend not to scare so easily.
How Prepared Am I?
As far as the prepper fear of someone coming to take my preps? Think about it, if I’m THAT prepared when it comes to food and water, how prepared must I be on security and defense?
Two things you won’t find personal detail about me online – Security and Defense. Now that would be mega-stupid. “Hey, look at all my hidden cameras and there’s a motion sensor right there.” Yeah, not happening.
That means “After Post”. LOL
I had some fun with this little rant but I don’t want to make light of true fear. Fear is a real concern among our community, especially when it comes to paralyzing fear.
I just participated in a live online panel discussion about fear last Friday: Fearing The Future.
If you’re interested in solutions rather than my little opinion piece here, I recommend my friend Mic Roland’s article on the topic? New Preppers and Fear-Addiction
Call To Action / Next Step
Next Steps: Avoid many of these prepper mistakes by creating your Preparedness Action Plan right now.
Stay safe. Stay prepared.
Easy Sharing – It Couldn’t Be Easier
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