Prepping sliding scale

Where are you on the Prepper scale?

Where are you on the Prepper scale?

Only a very small proportion of UK citizens currently regard themselves as a 'prepper', however it is recognised that this is a growing trend.

Unlike in the USA, where prepping has been a long established phenomenon, in the UK it has remained extremely niche.

But what really is prepping, and how is its popularity being affected by current events?

Prepping is really attempting to identify and acknowledge potential risks or threats, and then take certain steps to be more prepared for them. 

Everyone is unique, and clearly different risks exist on everybody's radar, and one person's sense of urgency might be extremely different to another's.  Overlaying financial resources, skillsets and capacity to prepare, and what results is an extremely diverse approach to 'being prepared'.

But, what drives 'prepping' and why are some people more drawn to it than others?

Prepping is usually driven by fear or concern about external threats that are out of one's control, and the sense that there is a significant chance that these threats will manifest in a disaster or crisis that will directly impact you and your family.

Just because the root cause is a degree of pessimism or worry, doesn't mean that it draws in negative people - in fact there is something very satisfying and 'back to basics' in not taking everything for granted, assessing your priorities and building essential skills.

Humans are complex, and there will always be differing perspectives on the same facts.  Cognitive biases will have significant impacts on people's narrative and to a degree each individual creates their own reality.  For example, 'recency bias' will lead people to assume that if food has been affordable and in surplus for decades then this will definitely continue.  Or conversely 'confirmation bias' may lead people who are concerned about a particular risk to interpret new information as confirmation of this pre-existing belief or opinion, resulting in over-stating the likelihood of a particular threat.

Is there a logical 'optimal' position on the prepper scale?

Yes, although this in not fixed and differs for an individual based on specific circumstances. 

The key influencing factors are -

  • an accurate and current risk assessment of key threats,
  • your country/location
  • your financial resources
  • your personal skill set
  • your age and health
  • interest and enthusiasm for prepping (if you enjoy it then even if no threats manifest, then your time has not been wasted)
  • the opportunity cost (i.e. time and resources invested in prepping could have been invested elsewhere, generating a more significant return).

The most important factor is really the initial attempt to build an accurate sense of the risks, however this is also the most difficult.

Developing a clear crisis plan for you and your family would also be sensible, with key equipment and supplies pre-purchased to ensure you are on a strong footing in most scenarios.  Then, with relative peace of mind, focusing on living your optimal productive life in the most effective, happy and meaningful way. 

So, on the sliding scale shown on the visual, you'll know roughly where you are currently positioned, but it is down to you to assess all the factors to try and understand whether this is the optimal, logical position, or whether it is time for you to make a change.

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