Survivalists And Preppers

Survivalists are defined as individuals with an extensive set of wilderness skills to use during an emergency situation or as part of an outdoor recreational hobby.

They know how to purify water, forage for food and survive in disaster situations. Furthermore, they know how to remain calm under pressure situations while avoiding making avoidable errors.

What Is A Survivalist?

At its core, a survivalist is someone who actively prepares for and adapts to potential emergencies, disasters, or challenging circumstances. They believe in being self-reliant and self-sufficient, acquiring the necessary skills, knowledge, and resources to navigate through uncertain times successfully. The focus of a survivalist is not solely on surviving life-threatening situations, but also on maintaining a sustainable lifestyle that can withstand unexpected disruptions.

Survivalists often adopt a holistic approach, encompassing various aspects of survival preparedness. They emphasize acquiring essential survival skills such as first aid, navigation, and self-defense. Understanding how to procure food, water, and shelter in different environments is crucial, as is possessing the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Survivalists may also learn about primitive techniques, such as fire-making, hunting, and foraging, to enhance their self-sufficiency.

Shelter Building

Shelter building is one of the core survival skills every survivalist or prepper should master. Being able to erect even a basic tarp tent or lean-to can save your life in wilderness areas or urban settings following disaster, as exposure to elements often proves fatal; either too cold, such as hypothermia, or too hot leading to dehydration and heat stroke can kill.

Site selection is the key element in building a survival shelter. When picking an area for a shelter, make sure that it offers shelter from wind and features flat ground while being away from any sources of water. In addition, building materials should be easily available nearby such as firepits with enough tinder for creating fires for warmth and cooking food.

Beginning by building a frame from logs and filling it with debris such as sticks, leaves and pine boughs. This will keep out rain while keeping body heat inside; essential as most body heat is lost through ground transference.

Once your basic frame has been assembled, it’s time to add the finishing touches,such as covering it with a cover like a tarp that provides excellent rain coverage, as well as protection from sun and wind. A hammock or cordage suspension system would work perfectly as this prevents it touching the ground and collecting moisture.

Another consideration in building your survival shelter involves adding an insulation barrier around its entire outside surface, which may take the longest. Insulation materials could include bark pieces, leaves or moss for best results.

There are various shelters you can build to protect yourself in both wilderness and urban environments, including lean-tos, poncho shelters and adobe brick walls. Understanding various options will enable you to select one best suited to your survival situation.

Water Purification

Water is one of the essentials needed for survival. Without access to enough clean drinking water, a person can quickly become dehydrated, which leads to serious health complications including fatigue, dizziness and confusion.  Water purification an invaluable skill that every survivalist or prepper should possess.

There are various methods for purifying water, but one of the most reliable is boiling, as this will kill any microorganisms present. A hollow fiber filter, with its long lifespan and use again and again, also filters out bacteria, fungi and pathogenic organisms from your water source. Furthermore, chlorine tablets or drops are available that will sanitize and disinfect.

Modern water treatment plants use various techniques to purify drinking water, such as adding chemicals like iodine, chlorine or potassium permanganate directly into the system as liquids, tablets or drops .  These chemical agents have proven their worth at killing harmful organisms while making water safe for consumption.  Their effectiveness depends on factors like quality, temperature and duration of exposure time with each chemical agent in question.

Other methods for purifying water include using sterile filtration systems like survival straws to filter out most large particles and produce clean, clear water. Filtration through fabric or wood filters also work to cleanse water before any other process such as distillation is undertaken, which separates its salts and minerals from it. 


Survivalists or should possess one of the core survival skills: foraging. This ability will enable you to gather food if you become lost in the wilderness and cannot make your way back home. There are various methods for foraging for food.  One effective technique involves learning which plants are edible in your region and where to find them; This knowledge may also come in handy when planning emergency survival kits which should include several days’ worth of provisions.

Foraging is an indispensable survival skill that will enable you to fend off wilderness survival on a tight budget. There are various edible plants available.  It is vital that you positively identify anything before eating any wild plants from nature. Many survivalists carry plant identification books so they can quickly locate food sources in an emergency situation.  Before eating any wild plant from nature, it is advisable to perform the universal foraging taste test to make sure its safe consumption.

Foraging has become one of the most sought-after survival skills today, offering another dimension to emergency survival kits. But foraging comes with its own set of risks. As with any activity, foraging should only occur in areas that have granted permission, taking only what you can consume within a short period of time and without overharvesting any species of plants. 

Self Defense

Self-defense is a key survival skill every survivalist or prepper should posses. Possessing firearms, stun guns, knives or any other form of weapon is an integral component of their arsenal.  Learning how to use these weapons properly, through practice sessions with them on a regular basis, will guarantee you can defend yourself effectively in an emergency situation.

To successfully use self-defense as a defensive strategy, two “reasonable beliefs” must exist: firstly that you are physically being attacked, and secondly that the amount of force used is reasonable given the threat level. This is a serious matter, and anyone using any form of weapon should fully understand their state or local laws regarding such matters.

Survivalist Vs Prepper

Survivalists tend to take a more broad-based view of possible world-ending events and therefore possess more general survival skills. Additionally, they may follow trends more frequently or follow news more regularly than preppers.  Some may even suggest this mindset has too much paranoia.

Preppers tend to focus more on what specific events they anticipate happening and dedicate their preparation efforts accordingly. Preppers frequently work in groups and make plans with one another so as to better ensure survival rather than trying to survive on their own.  The prepper mindset is more realistic, such as dealing with power outages, or supply chain shortages.


Preppers typically focus on amassing enough non-perishable foods, tools and supplies in their homes to enable a comfortable living if a catastrophic event were to occur. Survivalists take an extreme approach in order to ensure their survival.  This often includes creating emergency bug-out locations away from their primary residence for use if disaster strikes.

Survivalists tend to believe that modern societies depend on complex, interdependent networks of supply. If these break down and cause chaos, survivalists view themselves as secular millenarians preparing for what amounts to social Darwinism: an end of society as we know it where only those fittest survive.

Survivalists tend to place greater importance on developing skills such as hunting, fishing, foraging and gardening than prepper do, as this allows them to be more self-sufficient during times of emergency without depending on others for support.


Survivalists and preppers strive to become as self-reliant as possible; not out of fear but rather with an intense desire to live life on their terms.

Preppers frequently stockpile food, water, and supplies for use as emergency shelter. They may also possess generators or alternative forms of energy as well as survival tools and supplies for their emergency preparedness plans. Survivalists might keep food and water stored within their home but focus more on cultivating survival skills that allow them to survive without access to outside resources.

Survivalists possess the knowledge and abilities needed to construct a tourniquet, sew stitches, stop intense bleeding quickly and disinfect wounds quickly, hunt, and fish for their own food and forage for it. In addition, survivalists possess a keen understanding of primitive survival tactics such as avoiding traps or tracking animals as well as building shelters quickly in case of disasters.

Preparedness Strategies

Survivalists and preppers take an aggressive stance towards preparedness for unforeseeable events, with both groups sharing an interest in surviving in a post apocalyptic world.  However, their strategies vary slightly in approach.

Preppers typically concentrate on stockpiling non-perishable food and water supplies, medical supplies, weapons, bug out bags and other emergency items in preparation for emergencies. They also aim to make their homes and escape routes more secure in case there is ever an immediate need to retreat during an emergency situation.

Survivalists tend to focus on preparing themselves for an entire collapse of society and learn and practice various survival skills and defensive tactics, such as gun shooting and martial arts, along with practicing to defend against an attack from society. Survivalists may choose solitary living arrangements and prepare by farming survival crops themselves, or keeping livestock such as chickens for eggs and raising wild game for meat.  Some even spend money protecting their property with protective fencing or bunkers.

In conclusion, a survivalist can be defined as an individual who actively prepares for emergencies, disasters, or unexpected situations by acquiring skills, knowledge, and resources. They adopt a holistic approach, focusing on self-reliance, self-sufficiency, and community collaboration. While the term may evoke images of extreme scenarios, survivalism encompasses a wide range of preparedness activities that aim to ensure personal and collective resilience.

Survival As A Niche

There are several subsets of the survival niche, such as food prep, defense, shelter, medical, and equipment. You can even move to more traditional topics, such as camping, hunting, and first aid.

It is hard to recommend a particular strategy, since there are so many options. There is equipment that can be purchased through an affiliate link. People want ‘how to’ content in this niche, so you could produce content in any subject with the goal of monitization.

Recommended reading: Primitive Technology

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