How come, when asked to describe a prepper or survivalist, people always think of some wild-eyed, camo clad conspiracy theorist? Most folks think of that one goofy ass caricature that probably couldn’t survive a week in any type of real SHTF event. Everybody completely overlooks the 330 million of us in this country who go about our daily lives just trying to survive. Thankfully, camo and outlandish beliefs are no longer a prerequisite to labeling oneself as a prepper these days.
In her growing up years, my mother and her family were part of that group who was in a struggle just to keep some turnips on the table. Being sharecroppers, every able bodied family member was expected to be out in the fields. Momma just turned 81 a few days ago and she still talks about how those sharp bolls would stick the end of your fingers when picking cotton. That was after she got big enough to actually go to the fields. Before that, she stayed home and took care of her two younger brothers. At seven years old she was watching two younger siblings and preparing a meal on a woodstove for her folks and older brother, who had been out in the Oklahoma cotton fields all day long. That is being survivalists.
I’m not knocking what folks do today, but there used to be a time when learning certain skills was just a natural part of life. You either learned them, or you didn’t eat that winter. If you didn’t learn how to sew, your children didn’t get a new dress, or that new shirt when a new sack of flour was bought. If you didn’t watch Granddad as he was smoking meat, you didn’t learn those skills and little tricks that made keeping meat on your own table possible when you were feeding a family of your own. Families had huge gardens and again, every able bodied member of the family was expected to have their behind out there working it. And when those vegetables came into the house, the women and girls went to canning. These and many other skills were taught and learned as a matter of survival.
Look around today. Folks are learning these skills because they want to, not because they have to. Look at all the people who have got in the habit of buying a little extra every week when they go to the grocery store. Have you noticed the migration of families from the city to the country? Go to a local farmer’s market and you can see the younger mothers who appear to be buying in bulk just so they can go home and break out the canner. Ask the guys at your local gun stores how many first time gun buyers have been in to get a new firearm and instruction. We have a government who loves us (wink wink nudge nudge) and will take care of our every need, yet all these people are wanting to learn skills our parents and grandparents took for granted. And it may not necessarily be because they think the end is near, but rather, so they can better take care of their families and provide the best possible life for them.