I’ve noticed two things lately about prepping and related blogs: an increase in interest from readers and a jump in the number of new prepping and survival blogs. This increase is based on my own anecdotal observations, not on hard data. But we have seen an increase in readers at Prep-Blog and an increase in new blogs looking to promote their sites here.
As the alleged Mayan apocalypse approached, talk about survivalists and doomsday preppers increased in the mass media. But after the date for that hypothetical catastrophe passed without incident (Whew! Close one!), the interest in prepping continued. I’m hoping now to see less talk in the media about the doom-and-gloom approach to prepping, and more on prudent and reasonable emergency preparedness. I have seen lots of interest from commentators on our blog in the more moderate approach to prepping.
And this brings us to the subject of this post: what is the usefulness of reading various prepping and survival blogs? I would suggest a number of benefits:
1. Bringing new preppers into the fold. When did you first hear about prepping and how did you get started? Chances are that many preppers first learned about prepping online. Reading survival and prepping type blogs is one way for non-preppers to learn about the topic and perhaps become preppers themselves.
2. Exchanging ideas among preppers. There is no one definitive authoritative book or source on prepping. There are many different ideas on how best to go about preparing for various possible disasters, small and large. It is eminently useful to read what other preppers are saying, and to consider a wide range of different points of view. I have picked up a number of good ideas from other prepping blogs, on how to prep and on what to write about.
3. Influencing the narrative. The mass media often represent preppers in an exaggerated way. They highlight the most extreme examples of prepping, like underground bunkers made from converted missile silos, or people who are preparing to cut themselves off entirely from the rest of society. The mass media are controlling the narrative about prepping so as to produce distorted and sensational storylines: news-ertainment, as I call it.
But preppers who blog and the many readers who add their commentary can re-appropriate the narrative, and turn it in a better direction. We can talk about the reasonableness of being prepared. We can discuss first aid, nutrition, gardening, solar and wind power, self-defense and many other prudent measures. In this way, we counter the misrepresentation of prepping in the media.
4. Developing skills and knowledge. Reading about prepping on various survival blogs is a first step in gaining more knowledge and skills. Preparedness is not mainly about buying products and storing food, water, and ammo. It is more about developing an understanding that disasters, of various types and degrees, will occur, and that we can prepare by a wide variety of different means.
If you read around various prepping and survival blogs, you will find many different useful skills described and much beneficial knowledge. Most of these blogs are fairly practical, offering suggestions as to ways you can prepare for general disasters and for specific types of events. Of course, you need to do more than reading to gain skills and knowledge. I would say that knowledge is often gained as much by doing as by researching. But reading blogs on a topic is a good start.
5. Considering what to buy. Sure, prepping is not all about buying stuff. But it reaches a certain point, as you develop an interest in prepping, that you will need to buy some goods: food to store, water and water purification equipment, first aid supplies, various tools, and all manner of useful things for dealing with difficult situations. Reading blogs on prepping can help you figure out how to spend the money you dedicate to prepping in the most efficient manner.
As someone who writes for a prepping blog, I can tell you that there is a wealth of ideas and topics to discuss. It is a broad subject area, that subsumes large portions of other subject areas: first aid, gardening, firearms, economics, home security, and many other topics. We need more good prepping and survival blogs to spread the word and hopefully see more and more persons properly prepared for whatever may happen.