Prepping with non-preppers: Don’t burn bridges before SHTF
By Zoey Sky // Sep 01, 2021

There are many misconceptions about preppers, such as they're weird hermits who hoard supplies. But nothing could be farther from the truth.


Compared to non-preppers, preppers are simply people who take the time to prepare for disasters before anything bad happens. And if you're a prepper worried about your non-prepper friends, consider teaching them how to prep so they can take care of themselves when disaster strikes. (h/t to

Are you prepared to teach your friends how to prep?

Before SHTF, whether it's a natural disaster or a long-term power outage, preppers probably already have a sizeable stockpile of supplies along with gear, firearms and ammo.

But what about your non-prepper friends? Have your personal relationships suffered because your friends don't understand why you prep?

Did you lose your temper and cut off ties with friends or even family members who don't understand your lifestyle and prepping priorities? (Related: Intermediate prepping: How to deal with non-prepper neighbors when SHTF.)

Instead of burning bridges with non-prepper family members and friends, try teaching your loved ones why you're prepping before anything disastrous happens.

This ensures that when you're facing disaster, you have a better chance of surviving with more people who share the same values you do.

How to convince your friends to prep

Conversations with non-preppers can lead to arguments, but don't lose your temper while having the preparedness talk with your loved ones.

If you're not sure how to start, here are some tips on how to encourage loved ones to start prepping:

Don't try to scare them

The scare tactic won't always work when you're trying to convince someone to start prepping. This can backfire on you and this is the fastest way to start an argument.

Focus on real, possible scenarios like natural disasters common in your area and the advantages of prepping before SHTF, not after.

Encourage them to start small if their budget is an issue

While having the prepping talk, your friends might become hesitant once they realize they have to spend money to prep. It's true that prepping can be expensive. It also takes a lot of time and energy to set up a stockpile.

But if money is an issue, tell them it's fine to start small, as long as they start a.s.a.p. Teach them about simple and easy projects like how to prepare a bug-out bag.

If they want to start a food stockpile, teach them that even if they only buy one or two extra items while getting groceries, if they make it a habit they will soon have a stockpile that will last them at least a couple of days.

Teach them how they can save money by starting a food pantry 

If your friends aren't worried about natural disasters, you might get their attention by teaching them how prepping and starting a food pantry can help them save money.

Stocking up on food now ensures that they have the supplies they need when SHTF and before prices skyrocket, like it did during the pandemic.

Here's a list of food items they should stock up on if they want to start their survival stockpile:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Beans
  • Breakfast cereals
  • Canned fruit
  • Canned meat
  • Canned vegetables
  • Coffee and tea
  • Cooking oil
  • Dried corn and grains
  • Dried fruit
  • Flour
  • Nuts
  • Pasta
  • Peanut butter
  • Powdered milk
  • Rice
  • Salt
  • Soups
  • Spaghetti sauce
  • Spices
  • Sugar
  • Whole grains

Watch and discuss a disaster movie with them

Does your family love watching movies? Try to watch a disaster movie with them and eventually steer the conversation towards prepping.

If they know you're a prepper, you can talk about how you would prepare for a similar scenario using your skills or gear, which can help convince them about the benefits of being prepared before SHTF.

Give them useful prepping gifts 

Everyone loves gifts, even preppers. For birthdays or the holidays, give your loved ones a prepping kit or a useful item like a multi-tool. Teach them how to use it and they might just remember it when disaster strikes.

Talk respectfully to your audience

The prepping conversation isn't always easy, even if you're talking to loved ones.

Remember to be respectful so you can convince them why you prep. Do not call them stupid for refusing to listen. Be patient and explain things properly when they seem interested and ask questions.

Live your life while you're prepping

Things aren't always doom and gloom. While the situation is peaceful and quiet, remember to take a break and enjoy your life.

If your loved ones still don't understand why you prep, agree to disagree and show them the other benefits of prepping, like having a home garden with fresh fruits and vegetables or a food pantry that helps you save a bit of money.

Prepping doesn't have to revolve around survival skills and firearms. Let your friends know that buying a couple of extra cans of food can help a lot when disaster strikes and you are unable to leave the house to buy more supplies.

If you're tired of explaining things, keep prepping on your own. Buy gear for your stockpile and keep learning new survival skills.

If the conversations about the value of prepping aren't enough to convince them, leave them be and continue prepping on your own. When SHTF and they see how you get by thanks to your preps, they might just realize that there is value in being a prepper.

Don't burn bridges with non-preppers. First, try to encourage other people to prep by talking about the benefits of being prepared. If they're not convinced, at least you tried.

Visit to read more articles about the many benefits of prepping.

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