Here’s my humble opinion. A survivalist makes plans for a widespread apocalypse including societal, governmental and economic collapse. He stocks up beans, bullets and bandaids. He has a plan for every contingency. He owns a bug-out vehicle, fully stocked to take him and his family to his ultra-secret bug-out location where he will hole up and ride out the storm. For him this is nothing short of a sacred calling. His passion is kept in check only by his concern for “op-sec”, that is operational security, otherwise he will be doing his best to convince everyone in earshot of his amazing skills, plans and inventory of supplies. His guns, his food, his skills and his supplies are going to carry him through until sanity is once again restored.
The prepper knows that someday the lights may go out and he will be required to get by on what he has on hand. Power outages, wind storms, tornados, blizzards and earthquakes are more his concern. He knows if an event disrupts the normal flow of life around him, he will have what it takes to get him, his family and yes, maybe even some of his neighbors through the crisis.
Ultimately both guys are planning for the same thing. And that is to come out the other side of whatever happens to interrupt the status quo.
Both are planning on success, both are being wise with their opportunities at the present, and both are taking precautions on a future event that may or may not happen.
Now this may not concern you. But I’m betting that you carry a spare tire in your trunk. Why?
So the difference between a prepper and a survivalist is, the person doing the prepping. Their motivation and their mindset distinguishes their behavior and how they interact with their neighbors. No matter which category you identify with, whether you prefer the toe-tapping music of a fiddle or the melodious strains of a well-played violin, your end result is the same. And that is to emerge from the other side of an emergency reasonably intact.
As always send your comments to firstname.lastname@example.org. Previous columns may be found on my blog at www.disasterprepdave.blogspot.com. Dave Robinson is a retired Postmaster and the author of “Disaster Prep For The Rest Of Us,” available on Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, and other online booksellers.