The Difference between a Paranoid and Prepared Prepper


Recently there have been several discussions in many of the online prepper communities about the risks of posting any information about preparedness online. Many claim that as soon as join an online preparedness community, “Like” any prepper page on Facebook or create an account on a prepper forum, you’ve opened yourself up to extreme scrutiny and that the all seeing eye of the government is now looking through your window and documenting every move you make. Or even worse, rouge bands of violent looters are making a list (and checking it twice), documenting everything you say about your preps, just waiting for the SHTF disaster to finally come so they can show up at your door and take what you have.

If you can’t tell already, today we’re going to discuss the difference between preparedness and paranoia. We’re going to go over two of the main topics of debate going around the about this subject and hopefully put them in a more practical perspective.

 In the book “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” the author talks about something that I think is very fitting for this topic. It’s called “The circle of influence vs. the circle of concern”. In a nutshell this concept basically means that people should only be concerned about things they can actually do something about. As preppers, I think this logic could be used in a lot of topics such as the likelihood of a SHTF disaster, bugging out and the types of preps we’re buying.

There are a lot of things we as preppers are concerned about…I mean that’s kind of the point of prepping right? We’re concerned about realistic disasters (both big and small) that could have a direct and negative impact on our lives and we do things to help mitigate those concerns. However, at some point I think we should all be asking ourselves: “How far is too far?”


Government Surveillance & You

A lot of preppers are concerned, especially lately, about how much information the government is collecting on us. While I fully agree that the government PRISM program is a direct slap in the face to every freedom-loving person on the planet, there’s not a whole lot we’re going to be able to do about it. The government is going to do what the government is going to do. Our collective voice and opinions in that system was lost ages ago. They don’t care what we think, so the invasion of privacy is only going to get worse and honestly, censoring what we say online, disconnecting ourselves from technology and watching over our shoulder every day for any sign of that black NSA surveillance van isn’t going to do anything to stop them.

Are we worrying over nothing?

Unless you are very high up in government and directly involved in these monitoring systems, every assumption you make about how much the government knows about you is just that….an assumption. You honestly have no idea how much the government knows about you and for all we know, preppers are the last thing on the government’s mind. Honestly, with as many issues as they’ve stuck their hands in recently, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if preppers were the least of the government’s concerns….but then again, we really don’t know do we?

Now on the flip side of that coin, this doesn’t mean that we should be ignoring government surveillance, not worry about things like OPSEC or stick our heads back in the sand. Absolutely not, but what it does mean is that we need to put some perspective on this issue and instead of being paranoid… act like preppers.

The bottom line…

I’m not going to let the government force me into hiding and I’m not going to let them control what I say and do by fear. This is America, and I’m going to continue to enjoy my freedom to say and do what I please regardless if the government has forgotten that it’s my right to do so. If the government wants to watch over my shoulder in the meantime, well fine, maybe they’ll learn something.  

Discussing preparedness online – No one’s coming after your stuff!

There seems to be this growing concern in parts of the prepper community that we shouldn’t be discussing preparedness online because “they” (I’m still trying to figure out who they are) will know all about your preps and that when the SHTF they will show up at your door and try to take what you have by force.

I find this to be an extreme form of paranoia and a even more so, a direct attack on the community we have all built together. The preparedness community (at least a big chunk of it) is full of great people; people that help one another and learn from one another. Countless life-long friendships, careers and relationships have been formed by networking with other like-minded preppers. This type of “don’t say anything” paranoia goes against all of that.  

You’re honestly concerned that if you talk to other preppers on Facebook or forums that somehow some lurker is going to show up at your door when the SHTF and take all your stuff? You honestly think there’s someone out there keeping a log of people’s preps so that they can target you in a disaster? Well maybe there is, there’s a lot weird people in this world, but that’s one, very, VERY small risk you take when networking or putting yourself out there with any kind of community. To me, the benefits of interacting with all of the awesome people in this community far outweigh any paranoia that someone might show up to my door wanting my Mountain House when the zombies take over. If you’re really concerned about it, don’t share personal information, use an alias and don’t talk about the specifics of your preps.

A manageable portion of paranoia is healthy. If we weren’t all at least a little paranoid we probably wouldn’t be preppers. We know that there are risks and threats out there, many more than the average non-prepper realizes. However it’s important to keep some things in perspective. While it’s healthy to have a little paranoia, if we don’t keep things in perspective, what kind of life are we prepping for?

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  1. woodsman 61

    And I agree. My motto for that is ‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’. I’m of the age where a lot of small things like this doesn’t bother me anymore . Just keep focused on the ‘Big Picture’ and forget the rest !!……..I’m just a grain of sand on the sea of life . Good Post , thanks……

  2. Dogboy

    Our biggest risks come from unprepared friends, family, neighbors, and combinations of the above. If a serious disaster happens, they will deplete your supplies, and then when the supplies are gone, they will not believe you and become violent.

    I wouldn’t broadcast my preps to total strangers, simply because I don’t want to have to shoot people that I could protect simply by keeping my mouth shut.

  3. Echo

    when the cops and the sheriffs can show up at your door because of something someone downloaded without knowing that something else was embedded in that file??? and that person is in danger of going to prison for 20yrs or more??? yeah, i am going to disagree with you big time and worry about the all seeing eye of the gov.

    i’m not the most intelligent person around where computers are concerned and so that adds to the worry of what i have shared and may yet share on the internet. do i keep a constant look out behind me? no, but that does not mean that i am totally unaware either.

    bottom line is like what “DogBoy” said above. keep your mouth shut. better safe than sorry!!!

  4. Colt XSE

    I just found you guys and what a breath of fresh air. I am in the process of reading all of your posts. I really love the way the articles are written, nice flow! You write them so that a newbie will grasp what you are talking about and the knowledgeable planner can also appreciate your view, common sense, and real world wisdom. I read in one of your articles a term “vanity prepper.” I loved that. I am a thinking man’s planner. I have been doing this for years and have had changing viewpoints on the subject. I am really looking forward to reading your articles. Keep up the good work. I am sure you will. I am sure I will leave comments. Thanks, Colt XSE

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