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What is a survivalist?

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posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 09:46 AM
One thing that I always find fascinating when people find out that you prepare for power outages, earthquakes, tornado's, other natural or man-made disasters, they alway label you as a "SURVIVALIST". What does that term mean actually? Aren't all who are alive and wish to remain so active, participating survivalists? Is the determining factor between being labeled as a survivalist or not the storage of ammunition and firearms? Is it when your preparation exceeds 3 months, 6 months, longer? What do you think the term means and why is there even a label at all? Why aren't we just people who are prepared?

posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 10:07 AM
Good Post

I for one make no efforts to hide the fact that I prepare for bad times I have been labeled as everything from an alarmist and survivalist to the local neighborhood swiss army knife (the latter being my favrorite)

Being prepared often times is being able to make the best of a bad situation
with what you have at hand, the problem I think lies in the fact that the world has become specialized in that a farmer grows food (farmers do far more than this) an auto mechanic fixes cars and so on and so forth.

I guess what I am trying to say is that we just pay people to do things that we could do ourselves and A)save a little money and B)learn a little something

it was less than 100 years ago that people had knowledge in various fields because it was prudent... saved money and was just a smart thing to do..

My grandfather alway said to learn to grow your own food and learn to be self sufficient so that you have to count on people a bit less in hard times and you may be able to help others in these same bad times.. ( I read that glenn becks grandfather told him the same) my point with this is that the men who suggest these things lived through the depression maybe only as or teenagers but they have seen things like this before and no matter how good the current times may be in relation to the great depression hard times could come again.

So survivalist maybe, survivor definitely....


posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 11:23 AM
Labels, labels... humans love to label things... it's easier for our memory.

I think a famous sentence is need here:

Expect for the best, prepare for the worst.


posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 11:40 AM
At one time everyone was encouraged to prepare. I can remember CD drills in school. Now it seems that those that are preparedness fans are labeled survivalist. Those that believe in the constitution are labeled terrorist, or at the least freaks. Much of this I think has to do with the govt. and the socialistic drive to dependence on them. An independent prepared person is much harder to control than one that obtains necessities from others. That is not a desirable trait in those that you wish to control. Much like zero tolerance in our schools. You get locked up for spreading peanut butter with a plastic knife, or heaven forbid drawing a picture with a knife in it. In the late seventies I carried with the approval of the school a pocket knife. No one thought twice about it. Boys would go hunting before school and bring loaded rifles to school for safe keeping instead of leaving them in the car. Are we a safer society since then? I don't think so. I try to train my children to me more self sufficient. It means teaching them that what they learn in schools is not always right. [i.e. guns are bad]It takes a lot of time but my kids lives are worth it. As much as I hated to do it, my older kids might not be able to defend themselves with a knife but they sure can lobotomize someone with an ink pen. We are indeed in sad times.



posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 11:59 AM
A hippie with a gun.

It's an oversimplified term used to describe anyone from the guy with a 12 gauge a few boxes of ammo to the guy canning his home grown veggies in his kitchen to the hermit living under some leaned up brush in the middle of some multi-thousand acre forest.

I guess it's just somebody who expects to be ready for something.

posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 01:08 PM
Most people believe survivalist are kooks that live on the fringe of society waiting for the sky to fall. Me personally, I like to think of a survivalist as a person who has prepared themself and their family for all eventualities.

It doesn't matter if it's an economic downturn or a full-out, end of the World scenario. Having backup food stores, water, medical supplies, guns and ammo, emergency power equipment, communications, etc. just makes good sense.

You never know what disaster may be waiting around the corner for you and your loved ones. I've personally stopped telling anyone about my preps due to odd looks, smug commentaries, and snickering. I also realized that by disclosing what I had, I might possibly be making myself a target for looters and/or moochers. They'll most likely be the same people who laughed at your preparations, and now believe you should share the fruits of your hard labor with them. Once you're supplies are gone, they move on like locusts leaving you high and dry!

How many times have you heard friends or relatives say "If the # hit the fan, I'm coming to your house!" Guess again..

While we are industrious like the ant putting in stores for harder times, the majority of people are grasshoppers, wasting their resources and failing to plan for that inevitable rainy day.

[edit on 18-1-2008 by LLoyd45]

posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 01:44 PM
" Survivalist" has become a durogatory term or at the least a bad joke to most people. I credit this to the media and how they in conjunction with the goverment have portrayed anyone with an alternative opinion as a " radical".
We are frequently told of "extremist" militia groups who will, almost in the same breath, be labled " survivalist".
I have seen news reports where the ATF are bragging about busting a " subversive militia" for stockpiling weapons.
When I have seen these reports i have wondered at what point does being prepared and arming ourselves become " stockpiling weapons" ?
Specificly what are the criteria they use to determin one from the other?
Is it the number of guns you own?
Is it the type of weapons you own ?
Is it the amount of ammunition you have stored ?
Is it your public stance on not trusting the govement ?
In any event when people snicker and call me a " survivalist", I tell them i have preperations for survival, for the same reason i have auto insurence.
Not because I expect a problem, but just in case it happens.

" Your only called a paranoid if nothing happens "

posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 01:49 PM
when all is said and done, and all the marchismo bs is thrown out the window, there's only one thing that is truly boils down to.

The Survivalist is the one that is still around after the event. The Survivalist is the one who survived.

posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 01:54 PM
reply to post by 1ShotDeal

I really dislike the term paranoia. I prefer the word hypervigilant.

Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they aren't out to get you!:

[edit on 18-1-2008 by LLoyd45]

posted on Jan, 18 2008 @ 02:18 PM
What is a Survivalist?

Let us first examine the word itself. Split into two parts: "Survival" and "-ist".
It actually makes more sense to examine the last half first.


Suffix, -ist Added to words to form nouns denoting:

  • One who follows a principle or system of belief.
    Survivalist: One who follows the principles of survival.
    Survivalist: One who believes they can survive.

  • A member of a profession or one interested in something.
    Survivalist: One who is interested in survival.

  • A person who uses something.
    Survivalist: One who finds survival to be useful.

  • A person who holds biased views.
    Survivalist: One who prefers to survive.

    So then, what does survival mean?


  • (noun) The fact or act of surviving; continued existence or life.
    Survivalist: One who is interested in continued life.

  • (modifier) Of, relating to or aiding survival.
    Survivalist: One who gathers gear and knowledge neccessary to live.

    Therefore, logically, when the word is assembled in whole, we get:


    A Survivalist has the desire and willpower to continue living, and gathers the tools and knowledge necessary to ensure it.

    [edit on 1/18/2008 by thelibra]

  • posted on Jan, 19 2008 @ 12:36 PM
    So If I am a "Survivalist" than what are they? Unprepared and Dead?

    I have a bumper sticker on the back of my Jeep Rubicon, lifted (correctly for actual off road prowess) extra gas cans, winches, snorkel and stuffed with survival gear....

    It says "Prepared..not Paranoid"

    People that like to label us these silly things are just afraid, lazy, naive, uneducated or any combination thereof.

    Aliens may not come...war may not come and natural disasters may not come...but history has PROVEN that at least 2 out of the 3 have...and thats a 66% chance, which is better than 50/50 that something will occur. So with LOGIC such as that, why wouldn't you be prepared?....anything less is just taking a useless risk.

    posted on Jan, 19 2008 @ 01:12 PM
    reply to post by HYRYSC

    i reckon its meaning is indivudually unique,
    I for instance see the stereotypical or idealized 'survivalist' as being
    similar to the lifestyle of the early america colonists---

    then later on in the manner & lifestyle of the pioneers who went west-->
    or stayed in the middle american frontier, built sod houses, eeked a survival on the crops & produce that one farmed or ranched from nature.

    so, the common factor between colonists-pioneers- and today is the ability
    to function without all the luxuries of the society-as-we-know-it,
    such as electric grid, AC, pop-culture, tap water, public transportation
    as a few examples...

    just having 6 months+ of pantry goods does not make one a survivalist,
    just having several firearms & ammo isn't a trademark of a survivalist,
    Rangers, Seals, Delta Force are extreme survivalists (meaning they have a 'mission' & surviving at all costs is the only way to accomplish their mission)

    i don't think i actually gave you a definition, but rather just parted the curtains,

    posted on Jan, 19 2008 @ 02:25 PM
    I regret that i dont live in the states... sometimes.. as at least you have access to a lot of survivalist gear, when it hits the fan i sincerely hope it does not but i think most of us are expecting it; not many people where i live will be feeling very safe or at least better able to protect ourselves and our loved ones..

    posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 10:55 AM
    sorry guys...alot of this stuff in the media is crap...simply crap..dung...propaganda.

    I dont know where the corner was turned ..dont really consider this all that important but the corner was simply turned without most Americans and other westerners knowing it.

    How do we as a people become so "enlightened and civilized" such that th bulk of us think survival means our cell phones work and we can stock up for tonights game on the boob tube. This is survival??

    That the rudiments for our survival are someone elses responsibility?? How dumb do you have to be to think this is "Civilized and enlightened"???

    I have ,over the years, determined that much of the media news coverage is propaganda and they are a mouth piece for the various political parties. Very little daily usable news there for public consumption. Lots of news in the media to bolster or prop up the political system..just not usable news for us as individuals. So when I see someone labeled as militia or survivalist I immediately think of the governmnent stance covering thier insecuities. They are insecure. They would rather have the rest of us insecure and helpless too then being independent of them and thier body politic.

    For those of you who dont get it ...they secured New Orleans quite well...did they not??..I mean by this ..local, state, and federal?? This is not the first time this has happened. What is so disappointing about it is the obvious attempt by someone in the political system to use the plight of this city to play politics wiith the problems of these peoples. To make merchandize of them.

    People who have a survival mentality do not look to politicians and government to secure them ...this is their crime and must be exposed/labeled at all costs. This is not what happened in New Orleans..these folks mostly had a mentality of the government will take care of me. We know how that turned out.

    What you heard so little about in Louisana and Mississippi is the self sufficient people and their success/survival stories. The abscence of this is very telling. Blame the politically charged media for this.

    Mind you now..New Orleans and Katarina was a pretty extreme case but it did happen..did it not?? What did not happen was also pretty obvious.
    Dont let anyone BS you here ..this could happen in your area too. I hold little confidence in my local, state, and federal government in a situation like this .

    I know lots of people who can plan ahead for the big game and such events ,complete with stocking up for food and drink,but not for hard times.

    The big game, superbowl ,will be happeing in a couple of weeks. I wont be watching it. I dont watch much sports at all...not intrested...unless it is a fishing program. Lots of people will be stocking up before kick off time after some of them planning for weeks. AT kick off time they will be planted in thier seats in front of the boob tube. Not me...this is the perfect time to shop for necessities..the store/road traffic will be noticably down. That is where you will find me. It is just my way.

    Kick off time is survival to some is their religion and they are quite faithful and zealous.

    I am being facetious of course..but at the same time serious.

    What has gone wrong with some of us as a people.???

    Some good posts on this thread.


    [edit on 20-1-2008 by orangetom1999]

    posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 03:35 PM
    reply to post by orangetom1999

    I totaly agree. In my opinion what condemned New Orleans was a state sponsored psychology of dependence.
    If you look at the demographic of those stranded after the levies failed, you will find multiple generations of people with a dependence on state or federal assistance.
    These people had been conditioned like Pavlov's dog to recieve thier subsidies in exchange for following " the rules" of various state or federal agencies.
    They followed directions like good litttle dependents, right into an untenable inescapable situation.
    A bit more on topic and along the same lines of psychology I got to thinking about how people use and react to the word " survivalist".
    I am old enough, and come from a rural background, to remember when everyone kept a larder of spare food in thier homes. The average household always had kerosene lamps in case of power outages. The average family had a small garden patch in the backyard to suppliment the family diet.
    Almost every household had firearms which were used every hunting season to bring home wild game for the table.
    Young boys were given firearms safety class as part of the school curiculum.
    As a part of childhood you learned to fish and set snares
    In short all the things we are tsalking about learning and preparing for were just a part of ordinary life.
    Some would consider this a more primitive lifestyle, and shake thier heads while makeing jokes about living in Mayberry..
    This is where the psychology comes in.
    I have to wonder at what point did self sufficiency become a joke.
    In one lifetime our society has gone from independence to inter dependence, and I am wondering if it were planned to be that way.
    For the vast percentage of our society, making something unfashionable, or a subject of ridicule is enough to limit or stop it's proliferation.
    How many here have experienced the eye roll, or snickers of thier friends, or family when the subject of survival preperations comes up ?
    When you want to share the knowledge or experiences you have with those you would like to see survive, you can almost watch as thier eyes glaze over and you know they are not listening. If you persist they will laugh and dismiss you as a " survivalist nut "
    Even on these threads I have seen posters whom one would presume to be interested in survival, resort to the same mantra of " waiting for the authorities" to re establish order.
    Again I have to wonder if this campaign to stifle even the notion, much less the conversations, relating to survival is intentional.
    I don't consider myself a " conspiracy nut" but i have lived long enough to know that conspiracies do happen.
    The surrest way to control a population is to make them totaly dependent on you. That is one of the basic elements in " stockholm Syndrom" where a captive is psychologicly dependent on the captors to the point of becoming complicit in thier own capture.
    Even though i am no proponent of conspiracies in general, i can't help but wonder.

    posted on Jan, 20 2008 @ 06:50 PM
    reply to post by 1ShotDeal

    Thanks for your reply. Talk about a conspiracy. There was a city in Kansas hit by a tornado last year. I think it was called Greensburg, Kansas. For a couple of days you heard about how badly the town was destroyed...looked to me like 90 to 95% destruction. I mean total destruction.
    Once again in contrast, what I did not hear was stories of looting, killings, Victimization...Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton taking over for the sound bites...etc etc et al. There was none of the usual suspects moving in like parasites to make headline news ..witht the exception of the President.

    So what is the difference?? 90 to 95% of New Orleans was not destroyed as was done in this town/city.

    One thing is obvious to me from the starting gate. These people are more self sufficient and are not wont to make a good sound bite for the variouis political whores and choreographers skilled in the art of public emotional masterbation techniques. Pardon the crudity but that is precisely what it has become to me and I am always aware of this fingerprint when the news is presented in whatever media today. Victimization does not play well with these types of peoples in these states. Translate that to mean these people and their plight is not that newsworthy or merchandizable.

    It is the same with independent minded survivalists folks..only what the media can do in misleading the pubilc about these people in ridicule.

    I used to work in a shopping mall years ago. No thanks ..this experience cured me of the disease. I go to shopping malls only when I absolutely have to, get my goods, and get out immediately. I am not one for the "shopping experience." You will never impress me with a shopping mall as the apex of civilization..not happening!!

    Sorry olde man... but I detest this kind of silent flatulence from the media shilling for their whores..the body politic as if none of us would notice the odour. I think you get my point here.

    Thanks for your post,

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