Local Preppers ~ They Do Exist!
Much to my great surprise and ticklement, a group of local preppers is forming, and I’m in the thick of it. Our first get together is next week – most of us haven’t met each other before. I’m full of hope at the possibilities. Group trips to the gun range, sharing skills among each other, perhaps a lending library of obscure survival fiction (of which I am probably the home branch). A road trip tour of Tampa’s army-navy surplus stores. Who knows!
But really, the ultimate goal of a local group of preppers is to get to know one another, establish trust and, with any luck, find folks you feel comfortable enough having as a support network before the SHTF and possibly collaborating as a group afterwards. Wouldn’t that be nice? We all like to imagine our well-stocked rural retreats with our diversified team members – perhaps a mechanic or all around MacGyver, a doctor or nurse (Check! We have Nurse Jane!), a few tactical guys (like Snake Eyes), your local wild foods expert (me, but not in Florida), your local hunter/trapper type.. Ohh, and throw in a person who can cook from scratch, like make bread with nothing but wheat storage, a grinder and some newly hatched yeast cultures (Nurse Jane is getting there actually).
Who knows what will ultimately come out of this group… I just know I’m happy to see it forming. If nothing else, it’ll be nice to meet more preppers in person, and prove to myself that they do indeed exist. I spend much too much time around people with no prepper mentality (dare I say Sheeple..) that it’ll be refreshing to talk about subjects like firearms and food storage in person. It’s not something I can bring up with most folks I know (think OPSEC) – they just wouldn’t get it, or have already demonstrated themselves to be the type who would show up at my house in a disaster. If they could find it. And won’t they be in for a surprise if they do. Ha.
You’re probably wanting to ask, “How did this group get together?” and “How can I find other local preppers?”. I don’t have a perfect answer to either. To the first, this group formed online through a website that links people with similar tastes/interests (no, not the new Survivalist Singles website! Not Facebook either). Seek out the same as one way.
I’ve read some fine articles on Survivalblog.com on how to meet other local preppers, and they all involve the same basic principles:
- Find Preppers by doing things other preppers would do – strike up a conversation at the gun range. Talk to the guy next to you in Costco who has a cart full of rice and beans and mylar bags. Find a hunting/fishing group. Talk to the mom who always has a well stocked first aid kit in her car at the kids’ games.
- Be careful, and don’t reveal too much. It’s a tricky proposition – how do you find out if someone else is a prepper without coming outright and saying you are too? This takes time, and more than one get-together. Meet up, maybe have your fishing buddy over for dinner. Or the really involved parents at boy scouts/girl scouts. Make friends.
- Built trust over time; feel them out with various topics – watch a post-apocalypse film together and talk about it. You can generally get a good gist of someone’s mentality by discussing a good movie. Hunger Games, anyone?
I’d like to add a few thoughts of my own… it takes trust to make trust. I don’t mean that you should go out and tell someone you just met about your dreams of a bunker in the basement and your 5 years of stored food, but I mean sometimes you need to volunteer a little information to get some back. For example, like a few weeks ago for me, if you’re at a business networking outdoor event and a teenager gets hurt, volunteer your first aid kit. When asked why you have one in the car, eyeball the inquirer and respond in a way that says, “Doesn’t everyone?” and see how they take it. If they laugh guiltily like they’ve always meant to have one, but don’t, they’re not quite ready for a deeper conversation. If they nod and sensibly agree that it’s a good precaution, file that away and see what comes next in the relationship. And then when twilight falls while they’re still patching up the kid, hand them your EDC flashlight too, and see who looks at you with a growing sense of respect, and who expresses momentary and passing gratitude. Next time, if there is one, see if the same person has their own first aid kit and flashlight.
But with this group, hopefully we’ll be able to use phrases like BOB and SHTF freely, and get a feel for each other and what kind of events we might want to do together in the future. I’m looking forward to it, and I’ll let you know how it goes.