Many people consider homesteading and prepping to be two different things, when in actual fact they are quite similar. Sure, the focus of each community is distinctly different.
Anyone who runs a homestead will know that they need to prepare for the winter, make sure they have a lot of food in stock in case they’re snowed in, and they also need to provide plenty of food for their family and animals. Preppers are people who are preparing for the worst. In times of uncertainty, in the event of a natural disaster, or a complete breakdown of the economy it’s important to know that you and your family have enough food and water to get by, as well as having the ability to keep yourself safe and well.
Preparing for the worst
Homesteaders prepare for the worst in the same sort of way that preppers do. Although they may not necessarily buy they foods that can be stored for years at a time, they do preserve and start canning foods so that it’s available throughout the year. For example, if you grow a lot of peaches on your land, and you have too many to sell or give away, are you going to throw them in the trash? Absolutely not. In fact you’re going to preserve the peaches so they can be enjoyed later in the year. I used peaches as an example, but you can preserve almost any produce – as you can see from the how-to posts on Homesteading Hippy. Canning, fermenting, preserving and dehydrating are all good methods of preparing food so that it can be eaten at a later date. Check out this guide on pressure canning.
Preppers often buy dried meals in so that they can be eaten at a later date. Although many preppers will not start canning foods, some do, and this makes their activities very similar to homesteaders’.
Some people will disagree with me and tell you that homesteading and prepping are two different things.
Preppers buy in a lot of the goods they want to set to one side, whereas homesteaders tend to harvest their foods before they store it. Homesteaders also tend to make a lot of their own products, such as soap for example, whereas preppers are more than happy to buy it in and store it for future use.
The fact of the matter is that the way preppers and homesteaders do things are very similar. It doesn’t matter where you get your products from, or whether you make them yourself, you’re saving food, water and other products so they can be used at a later date.
Using up what you have in stock
One big difference between homesteading and prepping, is that homesteaders tend to use a lot of what they have in stock. Preppers have no intention of using the food that they have in stock unless it’s about to expire, or in the event of an emergency situation. It’s highly unlikely that you’ll find a prepper in his basement, searching through the goods and wondering what they could have for dinner.
Homesteaders will look through what they have in stock and they will plan to enjoy some of it for dinner. They stock things up so that they can be used through-out the fall, winter and spring when perhaps there isn’t much fresh food available.
The use of firearms
Both preppers and homesteaders alike often have firearms in stock. Not only will both groups of people use firearms as a means of defending themselves, but it’s likely that they will also use them as a means of hunting for food. Preppers are likely to have the firearms stored away so that they can be used should the worst happen, but homesteaders are already there and using them. A lot of homesteaders frequently go out and hunt animals so they can enjoy eating meat. They do this all year ‘round (pending the regulatory hunting seasons) so they can put fresh tasty meat on the table. Many preppers have a little experience hunting for food, but for the most part, they have the firearms on standby should they need to hunt for food in a SHTF situation.
What about security?
In the event of a SHTF situation, who do you think is more likely to be secure? It’s fair to say that a lot of preppers really go out of their way to ensure they have a hideout that is difficult to enter. A secure room that the family can comfortably live in, coupled with firearms and some self-defense skills can make preppers the type of people that you don’t want to cross. Homesteaders may themselves be security experts, as they may have experience when it comes to dealing with someone or something trespassing on their land. Although homesteaders are usually experts at preserving food, it is fair to say that preppers are more likely to be a little more security conscious as keeping themselves and their family safe is vital in an emergency situation.
Who will fare better?
In the event of an emergency situation, who would fare better? Would the well-armed and well-stocked prepper who has the occasional practice drill be more likely to survive? Would the homesteader who uses firearms frequently, and knows exactly how to keep water fresh be the one to survive? It’s hard for us to say exactly who would be better off in this situation, but it is likely to be the homesteader. My reason for reaching this conclusion is that many homesteaders practice survival techniques on a daily basis. They do not know that the butter they are churning, and the foods they are canning are part of survival techniques. Although they may not have as much food in stock as a prepper might, they will be psychologically stronger, and it’s this that can make a big difference.
You can fill your home with food and water that you have in stocked in case an emergency occurs, but if you find the situation way too stressful, you’re less likely to get through it unscathed.
Anyone who has lived on a homestead for more than a year will understand how tough this kind of life can be. You are constantly trying to store water, feed your family and keep your livestock and crops health. This is my reasoning behind thinking that homesteaders may in some cases be better prepared. I do however, still consider homesteading and prepping to be the same, because it’s clear that the same sort of planning techniques are used, and that ensuring your family has enough food to survive on, is at the forefront of their mind.