I Wouldn’t Exactly Say We’re “Preppers”…

But if the homemade silent-trek stalk boots fit… just kidding.

Being outdoorsy is great. We have a lot of fun, we can vacation for pretty cheap, and we’ve got enough gear to see us through just about any kind of crisis. But when people throw out the word “prepper” as though you have to stockpile ammunition and adjust your tinfoil hat to be part of that crowd, I admit I cringe a little.

There’s nothing wrong with “prepping,” since it really just means being prepared. Yes, if your prepping hobby starts to interfere with your grasp on reality, you probably need help. But if your interest in preparedness doesn’t extend beyond making sure you keep a few rechargeable lanterns, a well-stocked first aid kit, and knowing how to purify water in the event of a disaster, you’re probably still sitting on this side of normal.

Having said that, there’s nothing wrong with studying up on a few survival techniques. If it makes you feel safer to carry a hook, some fishing line, and a homemade bobber when you go out on the water, then go for it. If you can’t leave shore without a system to harvest liquid water from the air, you might need to read some statistics and understand just how safe you are.

I will admit this much: learning some of the same methods that “preppers” and “homesteaders” use is actually really interesting. Reading a few homesteading survival guides will give you not only a keen sense of what it took to survive in the olden days, but also arm you with a little bit of back-of-your-mind knowledge for those unexpected situations. Do YOU know how to make a natural deodorant out of oil, corn starch, and flower petals? See, I didn’t think so. But homesteaders do!

The most important thing any outdoors family can do is to understand what the viable threats are, and know how to prepare for them. Knowing how to build your own life raft is cool…if you’re actually in danger of being stranded on an island. Those of us in landlocked states are still trying to figure out the deodorant, thanks.

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