It’s no secret that prepping has skyrocketed in popularity within the last few years. With TV shows like Doomsday Preppers and the popularity of post-apocalyptic sensation The Walking Dead, it’s no wonder that our ranks are swelling with folks just itching to fight off the angry hordes and live off MREs for a few years.
The thing is; fads come and go faster than a Budweiser frog can say: “Wassupp!?”
So this does beg the question of where the preparedness community will be 5 or 10 years from now, and if it truly can break the mold of media fads and continue to grow in popularity.
First and foremost, before we even attempt to answer this question, some may be wondering why we’d even care. Preppers typically don’t do a lot of advertising about their activities (offline at least) and when push comes to shove, we’re really only in this to take care of our own. So why does it even matter if prepping continues to become more and more popular?
The answer is simple really, the more preppers we have in this country, the less likely it is that a lot of these large-scale disasters everyone is preparing for will actually happen; and if they do, the more people that are prepared, the less damage these disasters could cause to our society.
As much as we prepare for these disasters, I think we forget sometimes that the best way to prepare for any type of disaster is to try and avoid it. If we could recruit a few million more preppers into our ranks, we’d be a lot safer as a country overall.
With that out of the way, let’s get down to business. How likely is it that prepping will continue to grow in popularity in the coming years?
You can’t answer this question in any sort of definitive way. All we can do is make educated guesses.
Probably not… in my opinion, preparedness will not only not grow in popularity, but I actually think we’ll see a large decline in our ranks in the coming years unless some type of major widespread disaster makes preparedness a daily necessity for the masses. I think we’ll continue to grow, but we’ll soon lose a huge chunk of the people who are only into prepping as a fad, but will continue to see organic growth as we always have.
In short: I think the preparedness community is in a bubble right now, and at some point in the next few years, it’s going to pop.
Doomsday Preppers (in my opinion) is one of the worst and best things to happen to this community in a very long time. On one hand, the producers of this show have absolutely no interest in actually educating people on practical preparedness. That should be fairly obvious to anyone that’s seen the show. They make our community out to be nothing more than conspiracy theorist nut jobs and do nothing but rake in profits while inciting internet arguments between online showboats about who has the best tactical defense plan against the hordes of imaginary marauders.
This won’t be news to most of you, but that show is nothing but a smash and grab job that’s designed to leech away a few bucks from this community with advertisements, nothing more. If you do your research, you’ll find that the producers of this show have even said publicly that they couldn’t care less about preppers, it’s all about getting into our community and making a quick buck. They know their time in the spotlight is short, and they want to make as much of a splash and as much revenue as possible before Doomsday Preppers becomes nothing more than the butt of nostalgic, obscure jokes.
To be fair though, Doomsday Preppers has also brought a lot of people into this community that have seen past the reality TV BS and have truly become valued members of this community. Honestly, though, this is few and far between.
The problem with this show is the same problem that causes a lot of preppers to get burnt out from the preparedness lifestyle to begin with. The problem is that when you define “prepping” as simply stockpiling stuff to face the end of the world (in whatever form that may be) at some point there’s nothing more to learn, see or do. When the novelty of prepping wears off, when the spouse starts asking tough questions about the pallet of MREs in the garage and all those episodes of Doomsday Preppers all start looking the exact same, these would-be preppers simply burn out like any other short-lived hobbyist. Prepping becomes a never-ending money pit that gets old real quick.
In my opinion, this is exactly what’s going to happen to Doomsday Preppers and with this expanding community. At some point that show is going to get cancelled because it’s simply not sustainable. Even now those producers are scrambling to find anything that will set these episodes apart from each other. They come out with crap like the “Marauders” episode simply as a last ditch way to stay on the radar of this community and keep the ad dollars coming in.
The thing is, that show cannot survive on the relatively small amount of dedicated viewers it has. Serious preppers hate it, and the public is getting bored with it, and the small amount of dedicated viewers that are left cannot generate enough revenue to sustain the cost of that show. It will be cancelled and will leave literally nothing behind that has benefited this community. We’ll be left with a handful of post-apocalyptic shows like The Walking Dead; and while I’m as big of a fan as the next, it’s not a show about prepping.
The other reason why I don’t think the prepper community will continue to grow at this explosive rate is the same reason why this country is the shape that it’s in.
That’s right, laziness. Every day I see people who are simply lazy preppers. They focus 90% of their efforts on these end of the world scenarios and they spend thousands of dollars on bugout bags and other gear that they’ll never use (even if they knew how). Yet 90% of them have less than a couple weeks of food stored, zero water stored, no way to defend themselves and half of them are so far into debt that an economic collapse would probably be the best financial windfall they’ve ever had; and yet these are the same people that will be the first to tell you that your preparedness plans are completely wrong.
The good news is that when the fad of “prepping” goes away, these are the people we will lose, and I’m all for that. As much as I want to see this community grow, I would rather see a much smaller, organic growth than the explosion of misinformation, fear-mongering, profiteering and sensationalism that’s plaguing this community right now.
All this being said, I could be completely wrong. Doomsday Preppers could become the next Cheers of television, our ranks could continue to swell and prepping could become as commonplace as smartphones and continued inflation. There’s no sure way of knowing.
Either way, the community will continue to grow, whatever that pace may be. New people are waking up to our way of thinking every day, many of which are simply tired of not having control of their lives. Many feel the same knot in their stomachs as we do, that knot that tells us that something is coming, something bad. Many of them simply want to reclaim that which has become lost to most of society; self-reliance, independence and above all else, our own survival.