The "Average" Survivalist

Survivalists are individuals who have come to the inescapable conclusion that the world is a dangerous, unpredictable place.  They acknowledge that while they may not be able to eliminate the danger, they can take steps to reduce the threat and to make sure they and theirs are better able to survive whatever dangers materialize and the aftermath.  In short, survivalists have taken responsibility for their well being and the well being of their loved ones by preparing for the worst-case scenario.

Survivalists and preppers are people who have accepted responsibility for keeping themselves and their family safe.  They are prepared to feed, shelter, protect and keep themselves and their families healthy under extreme circumstances without relying on outside resources. Depending on the situation, survival may be uncomfortable, frightening and difficult, but it will be better than the alternative.

In our experience, the average survivalist reached a specific point where they made a decision to protect their family from the randomness of life.  Maybe they had a close call, or maybe they witnessed something happen to someone else, and they said “There but for the grace of God go I.”  Maybe they had a child and realized how vulnerable that tiny creature was.  Maybe they lived through a long power outage or a terrible ice storm and wanted to be better prepared next time.  Maybe they read something in the newspaper or watched Fox News Channel and saw someone else suffering and decided they did not want to be a victim.  But from the time they first decided to take steps to protect themselves and their family, they started down the path of preparedness, which ultimately leads to survivalism.

Captain Dave not only practices survivalism, he has spent the past fifteen years dealing with survivalists, meeting them in person, talking to them, reading their literature, selling food and gear to preppers, and answering e-mail from them.  So he knows them well enough to knows that there’s not an “average” survivalist.  Survivalists come from all walks of life.  But typical survivalist tends to be:

  • Smart and often well educated
  • Conservative
  • Christian
  • Family-oriented
  • Hands-on

Although not necessarily the majority, many survivalists:

  • Have military or law enforcement experience.  (Captain Dave believes this is because they have seen the other side and know how vulnerable out society is.)
  • Are gun owners. (If they weren’t when they became survivalists, they probably quickly became gun owners once they adopted the survival mindset)

It is interesting to note that survivalists do not skew towards one sex or another.  Although male survivalists tend to be a bit more gung ho, there are certainly plenty of vocal, active female survivalists, some of whom are preparing their families for TEOTWAWKI in spite of their husbands.  In our experience, one spouse often tolerates or goes along with the other’s survivalists leanings, not fully endorsing it, but willing to let him or her make some preparations “just in case.”  Clearly, the best situation is when both like being prepared and approach survivalism as a team. But it is better to prepare in spite of your spouse or partner instead of not preparing at all.

Don’t worry whether or not you fit any of these descriptions.  The above generalization is just to show you that we’re not camo-wearing, assault-weapon-toting, tobacco-chewing, veterans who live in the woods eating grubs and building man traps to catch the unwary.  However, an experienced survivalist may keep camo in the closet, own an AR-15 as well as a deer rifle, have tobacco seeds so they can grow it for trading after TEOTWAWKI, and know how to build a trap or snare to supplement the long-term storage food they have stashed in their basement or a closet.