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Beware: 17 Types of Preppers You Should Avoid



Feature | Beware: Types of Preppers You Should Avoid | Prepper Categories

Not all preppers are created equal and it's best to steer clear of preppers who will harm rather than help you. It is always good to know the warning signs so you can spot the preppers you should avoid from a mile away. Check out our list of the types of preppers you should avoid when SHTF… trust us, it's for your own good.

Types of Preppers You Should Avoid

When it comes to survival and preparedness, it's true that there's strength in numbers. But there are some preppers you don't want to hitch your wagon to. In a survival situation, these people are sure to drag you down, and maybe, even put you in danger. These are the ones who make rash decisions, don't take prepping seriously, crack under pressure, or just flat-out don't know what they're doing. Have you met someone from these prepper categories before? In this article, we'll cover some of the most common preppers you should avoid and tell you how to avoid them. Check out the list below to have a more efficient prepper life.

1. The Newbie Prepper

This prepper isn't bad, but he is new. Since he's taking his first steps in the prepper world, he will need a lot of help and may make a lot of mistakes.

Newbie preppers have a tendency to become overwhelmed with how much needs to be done. They may require continuous advice and guidance, which is a drain on your own time and energy. The desire to learn is there. But in a SHTF situation, they won't pull as much weight as they need to, and you'll be left to pick up the slack.

Are YOU a newbie prepper… or know someone who is? Don't worry! We can easily fix that.

2. The Commander Prepper

This type of prepper uses fear, intimidation, and power to get his way. He forces others to follow his commands by pointing out his superior survival knowledge and perfect bug out plan.

The Commander Prepper | Beware: 17 Types of Preppers You Should Avoid | Prepper Categories

But as bad as the situation might be, nobody wants to be pushed around. Having one of these preppers in your group could create tension and affect the group's ability to function. As a result, their chances of survival will be put in jeopardy. There’s a fine line between commanding and leading people.

Here are some proper prepping tips so you won't have to work with the bossy-type preppers.

3. The Homesteader Prepper

This type has the tendency to hunker down more than anything else. They grow their own food, have a sustainable water supply and more. They have a great amount of knowledge on homesteading survival skills.

However, that may all there be to it. When it comes to other serious survival skills, especially knowing what to do in a bug out situation, they may be lacking. The negative side of this type of survivalist is they love their home so much that they might refuse to bug out, even if the situation calls for it. Overall, the key is to develop the skill to determine whether you should bug in or bug out.

4. The Panicky/Weak Minded Prepper

The Panicky/Weak Minded Prepper | Beware: 17 Types of Preppers You Should Avoid | Prepper Categories

This type of person would most likely get you into trouble because they mostly rely on their emotions. They easily get upset and have a very short temper. If placed under pressure, they are always the first to break and make hasty decisions that could put the whole group at risk.

5. The Gun Enthusiast Prepper

The Gun Enthusiast Prepper | Beware: 17 Types of Preppers You Should Avoid  | Prepper Categories

All these preppers think about is guns, guns, and more guns!

Don't get me wrong — you should be well-armed in case disaster strikes. But it's possible to go overboard. If you focus on guns as your main or only priority, during SHTF, you'll be ill-equipped in other areas. These gun-obsessed preppers are usually the ones who end up raiding other groups for supplies.

Click here to see an alternative to guns when things go south.

6. The Accidental Prepper

These people aren't prepared because they're truly passionate about survival — they're really just very organized and have supplies on hand for handling everyday emergencies. For example, they might have a well-stocked first aid kit and a drawer full of flashlights and batteries in case of a power outage. These are great things, but in a true SHTF situation, they're not enough.

Accidental preppers are only good for the short-term and they are only prepared for mild disasters that are easy to predict. When it comes to unexpected emergencies and major disasters, they will have a hard time surviving.

7. The Bragging Prepper

This type of prepper prides himself on how prepared he is for any apocalyptic event. He finds it hard to keep his mouth shut about his food preparation, water supply, and his self-sustaining environment that he built as a whole. The problem with this is if a disaster does happen, those ill-equipped groups will surely come for these religious preppers first.

The Bragging Prepper | Beware: 17 Types of Preppers You Should Avoid | Prepper Categories

You wouldn't want to be with or near him when that happens, would you? Having the right mind-set is as important as having supplies when SHTF.

8. The Sheeple Prepper

This type thinks or believes that nothing will go wrong. Thus, they splurge their money on other things instead of spending it on things that they will need when SHTF.

If you ask if they're prepared for a disaster, they'll tell you that they are. But the truth of the matter is they’re not! They just say so just to get you off their back. If you partner up with them, you will most likely have to pick up the slack.

9. The Parasite and Nosy Prepper

This type of prepper is presumed to be the most dangerous kind. Knowing of your readiness and supplies, they join in and will not contribute to the group. They will live off of your stockpile and the comfort of your bug-out location.

The Parasite and Nosy Prepper | Beware: Types of Preppers You Should Avoid | Prepper Categories

If an opportunity presents itself, they will be more than willing to rat you out for their own benefit. Avoid these preppers at all costs. They are a liability.

Read more this extremely dangerous type of prepper by clicking here.

10. The Fake Prepper

 The Fake Prepper | Beware: 17 Types of Preppers You Should Avoid | Prepper Categories

This type of prepper tends to exaggerate on their bug-out location and stockpile. The truth is they just talk the talk and don’t walk the walk.

They do this with the hope that you will also give out detailed information on your level of preparedness. Once they have that information, they might try to seize your stockpile by force when push comes to shove during a disaster.

11. The King of the Cul-de-sac Prepper

This person often has get-togethers in his home after a long week. They invite friends and neighbors into their home for a barbecue and a couple of beers.

 The King of the Cul-de-sac Prepper | Beware: Types of Preppers You Should Avoid | Prepper Categories

The problem here is there may be one or two people that they don’t even know. If they happen to accidentally stumble upon his stockpile, they would most certainly make a mental note of that. Guess whose house these people would raid first when SHTF?

12. The Pay-for-Membership Prepper Group

The Pay-for-Membership Prepper Group | Beware: Types of Preppers You Should Avoid | Prepper Categories

These preppers would require you to pay a fee in order to become a part of their group. This alone is already a red flag. Make sure that you only join legitimate prepper groups.

13. The “Hold My Beer” Prepper

This prepper is overconfident and doesn’t think on his feet most of the time. They have a tendency to show unnecessary display of bravado.

The “Hold My Beer” Prepper | Beware: Types of Preppers You Should Avoid | Prepper Categories

The risk of putting your group in danger is high with this kind of prepper. They either end up hurting a fellow group member or hurting themselves.

14. The Bug-Out Prepper

The bug-out prepper is sort of the opposite of the homesteader prepper. Instead of focusing on preps at home, the bug-out prepper puts all their time and energy into finding and developing the perfect bug-out location.

This isn't a bad thing… until disaster strikes at home and they haven't stocked up on the necessary supplies. It's best to have a balance between home preps and bug-out plans, so you know you'll be prepared when SHTF, whatever form that takes.

15. The Hoarder Prepper

This type of prepper just buys stuff on the list but never actually uses any of it. These types of preppers are more about collecting the latest gear and showing off than actually being prepared. When SHTF, they won't have the slightest knowledge of how to actually use all the gear they've stockpiled.

You can't afford to have this dead weight around when you're fighting for your life in a survival situation.

16. The Economist Prepper

This prepper hoards raw goods and precious metals in case money won’t be worth anything at all. Bartering will be his main focus for survival. He also believes that if SHTF, he can use his stockpile to trade for supplies.

The Economist Prepper | Beware: Types of Preppers You Should Avoid | Prepper Categories

The problem is his priority is on investing in items for trading rather than developing survival skills. If supplies for trading run out, he's pretty much lost for what to do next. And guess who he'll ask for help when he realizes that his gold doesn't have much practical use in the post-SHTF world?

17. The Super Prepper

This prepper thinks he knows it all and tries to do it all on his own, even when in a group. He will make decisions on his own and doesn’t feel the need to communicate with the rest of the group.

The Super Prepper | Beware: Types of Preppers You Should Avoid | Prepper Categories

The problem with this type is he will most likely drag you down more than anything else. Because of his being a lone ranger, he might refuse to listen for the betterment of the whole group. His mistakes could be costly for everyone.

Having the right companions can mean the difference between survival and death when disaster strikes. While it can be an “every man for himself” scenario during this time, it's still safer to be with people you trust literally with your life. We hope this post will help you identify the warning signs for the types of preppers you should avoid when SHTF.

Did we miss any preppers you should stay away from when SHTF? Tell us all about them in the comments!

Up Next: The 7 Deadly Sins of Survival

Placard | Beware: 17 Types of Preppers You Should Avoid | Prepper Categories

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***Disclaimer: The contents of this article are for informational purposes only. Please read our full disclaimer.***

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on June 11, 2018, and has been updated for quality and relevancy.

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  1. chris Rhodes

    October 12, 2016 at 9:34 AM

    The point of the article is, try to be all of these and get over yourself!

  2. Nuttus

    October 15, 2016 at 8:35 PM

    Each type you listed (save a couple) will have its uses in a community (group if you will), generally having a small trusted group with each having several skills in the various fields (prepper, homesteader, and survivalist) I believe would be an effective team, though as each group works together would it not be best to ensure that each has overlapping skills in case of injury, death, or other reasoning they can not fulfill their duties?
    Also, many who come out here don’t seem to have taken into account ONE aspect that has already marked and recorded their interest in this/these skills. We ALL listed that we came out on here to learn in the least about it and data doesn’t get deleted or lost. (Just saying, we do have a digital fingerprint complete with email, IP address, and every letter typed.)

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  4. PowderKeg

    September 2, 2017 at 9:23 AM

    You forgot one…..the invisible prepper! There are more than enough of these preppers! We have the ability to shop and store without anyone noticing. I don’t need to brag, because when the SHTF, there is going to be enough people that are unprepared and begging. We’ll just state, we are in the same boat…but little do they know. I can’t save the world, only my family.

    • Anonymous

      September 3, 2017 at 1:38 PM

      Absolutely myman…. Couldn’t have said it any better..

  5. Robert V.

    September 2, 2017 at 9:37 AM

    I am guessing, I am the homesteader. Or, I would call it “shelter in place prepper”. Since, I am in advanced age, I don’t have the mobility of a 20 year old, to bug out. The problem, I see with a homesteader, is if you don’t have the arms and man power to defend what you, then it will all be taken away. Reason, I am into hiding food in plain site. Pecan trees, oak trees, black berry patch, mushrooms, and such.

    • Bob

      February 21, 2019 at 2:31 PM

      ………….but always keep in mind, a cougar always has a second exit from it’s cave

  6. Sam Williams

    September 2, 2017 at 12:19 PM

    You missed the Combat Prepper that wants to fight but has no concept of strategy. They might open fire exposing the group, when the best course would be to withdraw.

  7. OldandGray

    September 2, 2017 at 12:27 PM

    Not taking a cheap shot at the author, but wouldn’t the author fall into 1 or 2 of these categories? I think the human character of every individual harbors a little bit of all or several of these. Most, if not 100% of anyone prepping has in their specific individual plan – their family members. Each family member brings their own set of considerations (assets & liabilities) to the table. Are we to avoid/cast out these family members due to their nonconforming attributes? This eludes me to one of the categories you left out – The resistant/reluctant prepper. Because if you have a family there’s a strong chance you will have one of these, but they too come around in time.

    Preparing for catastrophic or short range survival is extremely personal and most of us keep it tight to our chest. I think PowderKeg says it best – Invisible and then Nuttus who knows that not all of us are the same skill or wherewithal stage, yet as a TEAM we shore up each others weaknesses, learn off each others strengths and it is a continual building process going forward.

    I sincerely feel that the best of all of us comes out in a disaster, with exception to a few. These few are the ones that this article does not or should focus on. Avoidance of perspective team members should be steered more by ethics, integrity and morality. I personally avoid thieves, liars and evil-hearted persons, and lastly the drama queens or snakes (team busters). Everyone else is trainable, deserving of a chance and usually becomes a viable team member in a short amount of time. But back to Powderkeg’s comment, “I can’t save the world, only my family.” This is another one that wasn’t mentioned in the article – The Save The World or Everyone Prepper.

    The article mentions “The Commander Prepper”. I get it, yet I don’t get it! Especially, when bounced against “commanding and leading”. I guess if taken in the context of just prepping, I sort of get it. But if associated with after the catastrophe trigger has been pulled, I definitely have a problem with it. I do not know the leadership experience the author has had or even claims to know, but I do know from personal experience that situational and operational awareness, eminent actions and the make-up of your individual team dictate the three leadership styles. There is not enough time for discussion here, but you should research this on your own. Their is no replacement for hands-on experience, but leadership disciplines can be quickly studied, learned and put into practical use.

    Lastly, there are no “EXPERT” preppers that I know of! Just as there should be no one directing, suggesting or quantifying anyone’s efforts toward being ultimately prepared. We are all in different stages with any of the attributes required to be our best, not someone else’s best. There are just way to many factors that have to go into the equation for one person to know it all. I learned a long time ago to never point out a problem without recommending a solution. I feel survival training through this venue is best served by not casting doubt, mistrust and pointing out scary gaps in plans being worked on. Instead, Train skills, knowledge and attitudes. The “How Tos”, “Where to Find Useful Info” and just the considerations of the attitudes. Let the individual prepper decide how it fits into their specific plan.

    • Cmac

      September 2, 2017 at 12:41 PM

      The “Commander Prepper” as referred to in the article is the know-it-all who comes into a functioning group and tries to take over the leadership not because they need a leader but because HE (or she) just “HAS” to be leader and will not accept someone else’s leadership.

  8. Jim

    September 2, 2017 at 1:45 PM

    I don’t think anyone is left after the people from those various groups are eliminated.

    • Fatboy

      September 2, 2017 at 6:44 PM

      Lol…..exactly what I was thinking!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      September 15, 2018 at 11:00 AM

      I agree

  9. Jumpoff A

    September 2, 2017 at 5:36 PM

    There is follow the leader Prepper. This is the guy that will follow anyone that he/she feels has superior prepping skills as long as they don’t have to put themselves out there or be alone.

  10. PJ Pires

    September 3, 2017 at 11:48 AM

    Better to be with a really small pack with yourself being a leader.

    • Chub41186

      September 15, 2018 at 9:54 AM

      I do understand, out of my friends and family I’m the most prepared. I constantly go out to the middle of nowhere and put my skills to the test. Just for argument sake, but what if someone is more equipped than you? What if someone else is better prepared ie: more knowledgeable, more practical experience, time in the field putting skills to use than all others in your group? What then, does it mean that you would sideline someone more equipped mentally than you and all others to lead over your own pride?, Or would you go against what you have said and actually not jeopardize your groups well being and let the more experienced person led. To give your group the best possible chance of survival, or would you possibly condemn your loved ones and friends to a fate of death or even worse over your pride?

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  13. Mary Burkett

    October 2, 2018 at 12:50 AM

    The Modern Lifestyle Prepper is another one to avoid. It’s not just a game of stock up enough to maintain creature comforts until normalcy is restored. A genuine situation will require the skills and abilities survive with what is available. Can you build a shelter, how long will it take, can you make fire, do you have basic medical knowledge, can you actually trap an animal, can you walk into the woods right now and get dinner?

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  23. Rick

    February 21, 2019 at 9:17 AM

    Situations are different. Those living in very urban conditions and some dense suburbs will need to plan differently than those in a semi rural setting. Background, outdoor education, and experience can make planning more effective.
    If you have to leave how far do you have to go? Can you realistically get there? Have you a cache down range in that direction? Think a rental store room. Have you thought of road blocks? Are you in shape to walk if you have to? Can your family members do the same?
    It’s not just weapons, attitude, and cammies. You will need pre approved friends. A teams have twelve members for a reason. Being in good physical condition and walking regularly with your pack is as important as shooting skills. Can you navigate without GPS?
    Prepping is planning…good realistic planning and then practicing your plan. Shooting at the range is a small part of that plan.

  24. Linda H

    February 21, 2019 at 11:41 AM

    I’ll take a person with common sense over one who has a lot of survival knowledge and skills. There is too much emphasis out there on wilderness survival. That will be a rarely needed skill set. More common will be urban survival, and suburban survival. Age and physical condition will have more to do with being able to survive a long-term disaster. As a senior I have difficulty convincing myself and my peers that hard core survival skills will be possible or necessary. We can only prepare for those things we feel we have any chance to survive anyway.

    Bossy, know-it-all, and super preppers are dangerous to everyone that is part of a group of people trying to help each other survive. Too often preppers tend to undervalue someone who may not fit the mold they are trying to fill. They discount someone not physically as capable without realizing wisdom and common sense gathered over a lifetime can often outweigh and/or supplement their own preps. Often long-term survival requires skills that are quiet, less visible, and more subtle but will keep you comfortable longer. The end goal is re-establishing normalcy in society.

    The most dangerous people in a survival situation is the gang of outlaws who only want to take what they need and don’t care about what happens to the owner(s). The hardest to know what to do with, and for, is the individual (person or family) who has done nothing to prepare for emergencies or disaster. It’s hard to want to help someone who does not, and will not, help themselves. But it’s endemic to our society – it’s all about big brother taking care of you, or “the government” being your friend. It’s about entitlement. It’s about not caring about other people, only yourself/family. They are the 2 true dangers to preppers.

    Our best hope for survival as a society, let alone preppers, is to fix the above 2 problems. Otherwise, surviving as an individual or family won’t matter in the long run, because there won’t be a society intact with which to integrate.

  25. Laura

    February 22, 2019 at 4:13 AM

    If you have a friend, (in our case a family) and one of them is Bi Polar, consider NOT partnering up with them,. Even if one of the adults is very well versed in many survival skills.and the adult who is Bi Polar is good at thinking on the fly. No matter how well balanced and in hand the one seems, at some point their condition will manifest and it could well spell out major problems over all. If they are addicted to CHAOS (and many of them are), they will go out of their way to CREATE issues of some type within the group that will do NOTHING of value to insure survival

    We had been friends for at least 12 years and knew that the one was Bi Polar, she seemed to have her act together over all, but when we allowed them to live with us, within just a couple of months, problems started that would potentially cause any type of cooperative survival situation to go right down the toilet. We still feel sad about losing the friendship we had shared, but have to admit that God blessed us with knowing what sort of crap COULD have happened very easily in a SHTF situation.

  26. Eric Sepulveda

    March 25, 2019 at 10:43 AM

    then there is the Trust in God prepper

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  30. SilverHawk

    May 17, 2019 at 9:18 PM

    The problem with most of you prepper types is that you are way too early and wasting your energy. Yes of course I know what you’re all thinking is that we all must be prepared always and yes that is after all the whole point. But all things considered, past present and future .. technology is the real enemy and it has not yet fully evolved. Keep this date in mind and any years that are multiples of 9, (9-18-2027), have enough fuel to make it to the dessert, remove the battery and SIM cards from devices, bring dried food and chlorinated water water and dig in deep, good luck.

  31. Jeanie Wallace

    July 5, 2019 at 7:41 AM

    Just make sure as much as possible that you include a mechanical engineer in your group. If you can never go home again a good engineer is valuable. Also have one person carry the book “How Things Work” . You can’t remember how to build everything.

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  33. Mark

    April 25, 2021 at 11:25 AM

    Not inclusive and valuable. All groups are valuable to prepping for a situation or disaster. I would suggest to be more open minded when posting online.

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