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Can You Be A Minimalist AND A Prepper?

Mac Slavo
April 26th, 2019
Comments (23)

Minimalism is having a moment, and a quick perusal of YouTube will have you wondering why you haven’t tried it before, other than it seems like it is diametrically opposed to prepping.  But why can’t you be both?

Minimalism and prepping can actually go hand-in-hand. There’s really more overlap in ideas than most will admit. On the surface, minimalists and preppers look very different, but all you have to do is dig a little deeper and you will find that the methodologies both employ are actually very similar.

Serious preppers understand that survivalism is not just about the hoarding of stuff, but about carefully selected items that will give them a leg up during an apocalyptic event.  Minimalists also usually only keep items that are useful to them, making them not only unburdened by the baggage of “stuff”, but capable of distinguishing from wants and needs, overlapping the area into the “prepper’s mindset” quite easily.

Minimalists are used to living with less. They don’t need designer handbags and extravagant body washes to get through. Because of this, they often save a good portion of their income, freeing up more money for those needs (like a water filtration system) by saving on the wants.

Minimalists also often choose smaller homes (the tiny house movement is having a moment) since they have fewer items they need to store. But those small abodes are easier to take off the grid in a SHTF situation too. They require substantially less power than a standard sized American home.

Just like prepping, minimalism is not for everyone.  Many will have trouble giving up their beloved possessions and the public is often skeptical of both.  Many look down on preppers too for taking their survival into their own hands and storing extra food and water while average people hoard things like shoes. Others tend to look down on minimalists for wearing the same few shirts in rotation and never replacing them until they are worn out.

Minimalists and preppers also share another common thread: those who practice one or both are above the rampant consumerism ravaging the lives of and indebting most Americans. Both avoid buying up every sale item in sight just to have it and both really evaluate every purchase made making certain it’s necessary and “the right one.”  The truth is, neither prepping or minimalism is “normal” to the average overspending, deeply indebted American who has no idea why they can’t make ends meet.

Additionally, most preppers and minimalists reject the very idea of waste—food, perishable goods, and money. Both have learned to tailor their lives (whether it’s prepping or minimizing) in a way that allows the use of literally everything (composting, for example, is a great way to eliminate food waste.)   Minimalists often employ this strategy too and eventually grow their own food decreasing their reliance on others.

Minimalists don’t “go without,” rather, they’ve learned to live with less. They simply narrow their focus and really hone in on what is truly a necessity just like preppers do.  After all, there’s only so much you can fit in your bug out bag.

You can be both! The key is to find balance and do what’s right for you. There is no right or wrong way to prep, just like there is no right or wrong way to be a minimalist.

“Hang onto the joy and peace you get from not being weighed down by excessive belongings while maintaining the comfort and confidence you get by knowing you are prepared to be self-sufficient in the event that any ordinary support systems break down.” –Off Grid News

Another great article on the similarities between preppers and minimalists can be found by clicking here. Off Grid News did an excellent job highlighting how you can be a minimalist and a prepper at the same time.

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Author: Mac Slavo
Date: April 26th, 2019
Website: www.SHTFplan.com

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  1. The Deplorable Renegade says:

    Mac, this is definitely one of your more interesting articles. I’ve always managed to live without useless junk but when it comes to my preps…..well, I’m glad to have the BOL now. I’ve already got 95% of my preps in a 5000 sq. ft. storage building, LOL. The cabin itself is 3000 sq. ft. No way I could settle for that little joke of a house in the picture at the top. FYI, that type of housing is being promoted by UN Agenda 21. In fact, there’s some buildings full of those micro apartments already been built in my city in the last few years and more under construction as I type this. No way I’ll ever settle for something like that. That little house could be another storage space for preps but that’s all it would be good for.

    • tip of the day: If you are mobile, you need a safe place to cache supplies of all kinds. Consider graveyards, particularly old, disused, historical or unmaintained sites. NO ONE noses around these places, metal detectors avoid them, social mores forbid digging in them so typical people don’t.
      Small cache? stash it in/near an existing resting place. Need a BIG cache for serious gear? buy a plot of your own on the edge, bury your own.

    • rellik says:

      I’m jealous. My shop is only 2400 sf and my two houses only add up to 2300 sf. I agree with you, a person needs area for interests, hobbies, and storage for “stuff”, if are doing something other than just surviving.
      Personally, my idea of minimalist living is to live on a sailboat. If big enough, you can have all the appliances of a modern home, other than the need for food and occasional fuel. It is independent, can be easily moved, and you generally don’t have to deal with ” riff raff”. Down side to a boat is, it costs a fortune to buy and maintain, you live to serve it, as opposed to it serving you, which is why I sold mine.

      • The Deplorable Renegade says:

        Rellik, I’ve only had the arrangement with the cousin since 2013, actually for six years next month. When I first started moving stuff in there, only a fraction of anything she had was in there. Her husband, who died in 2010, had the building put up in 2008. Even with what I have in there only one-third of the space inside is in use. My next trip will be in 2 weeks and taking another load there, LOL. With preps I’m not going to be minimalist. The more I have the longer I can stay alive.

  2. Genius says:

    I could live in a cave if I had to. Wouldn’t a trailer be a lot cheaper than that tiny house POS?

    • The Deplorable Renegade says:

      Genius, like I said earlier, that thing will do for prep storage and that’s it. The cabin is ten times the size of that little thing. Like Jim said, people need space for survival and that little thing just won’t cut it.

      • living in a trailer/RV/truck=HOMELESS

        property will always be the number one prep and method of weath investment, period.

        other than that, I’m with the content %100.
        Nice to see a good solid article, thank you Mac.

      • Warchild Dammit! says:

        For straight out survival that little home would be fine assuming you have others to help protect your AO,you don’t,no matter what your home size you are fucked unless whatever sized home is way off any track much less the beaten one.I would depending on location have a baby wood burning stove(heat and cooking) and solar panel or two for comms/info on your memory sticks(you have that,right?!)battery tools ect.That little home would be fine for a single person/couple and even more in a bad situation short term.Tis the location of said home no matter what the size that is what is important,along with your skills.

        • buttcrackofdoom says:

          that tinyhome will be picked clean within nano-seconds once the shtf……flappin’ in the wind. it takes PEOPLE/community to survive once the bell rings…..or did it ALREADY ring…..all one need do is read the headlines on revolution radio to see we in a HEAP o’ trouble……and it literally gets worse every day now…..better KEEP stackin’……and expanding.

  3. Jim in Va. says:

    Only if I chose to do so would I move into that tiny house. I think the population is being set up to be warehoused in those. People need space to survive and that ain’t it. Housing is getting expensive and that is where people will end up. Check out Hong Kong….

    • That little house is ideal for the chickens.

      Jim, I agree. The bums want to live like kings while everyone else is reduced to the bare minimum in a condition of abject subjugation and bitter servitude aka slavery.

      These psychopaths think they are smarter than the rest of us. Some of them are pretty darn smart. But the rest of us aren’t quite as stupid as they think we are. Minimalism is a fancy word for poverty. The poor already know how to live with next to nothing.


  4. President Trump is requesting that everyone get their measles shots amid a growing crisis.

    Hey, Trump….’f’ you!!!!

  5. aljamo says:

    I could live in that little crackerbox. Quality peanut butter every day. So I must be a minimalist. If you don’t have much you don’t have much to lose.

  6. Asshat says:

    It’s funny how they try to make living in a closet and taking public transit great. It sux and always will. You need your own house with a yard fenced in. Some fruit trees a shed for storage a garage to work on your car. A garden so you can grow some food. This is minimum. Can’t do that on the 3rd floor balcony.

  7. Stan says:

    Not sure how you could prep and live in a tiny house. Unless you had an underground bunker underneath. Minimalism and prepping… yes.

  8. Montana Guy says:

    Mercy, listen to the ‘Mine is bigger than yours’ banter.
    Mac hit a home run here. ‘Yes!’ a minimalist can be a prepper.
    Tiny homes, trailers, RVs etc. can be cozy homes. Just put them on your BOL property. Build storage for preps. Eventually build garage/shop is awesome.
    Some of our best memories are of living in the front half of a 20 ft. Conex shipping container, affectionately called ‘The Cabin’.
    Most important to us was building our BOL with out own hands, on our own private property on a private road amongst our awesome tribe, all of our stuff on the same, and living debt-free. Liberty trumps size.

    • buttcrackofdoom says:

      but you dint do that during shtf situation….so it aint the same……see that light at the end of the tunnel? it aint no opening, it’s the 3:15 to yuma….

  9. Anonymous says:

    As long as that little cabin has a solid foundation,leak proof roof,is insulated, and a stove to warm the place,there’s nothing wrong with it.. The “bigger means better” mentality is everywhere here but that is a complete 180 from what REAL MINIMALIST think and live..Cubicle workers playing Rambo in the woods on weekends is not the same as living a minimalist lifestyle 24/7-365..

  10. southside says:

    I don’t have a lot,cause I don’t need a lot. But damn,my 6 cats alone wouldn’t fit there. I would die off claustrophobia. Give me a nice spread out home with plenty of elbow room and a large kitchen

  11. Spud says:

    You wanna learn how to prep and live in small spaces ?
    Go over to bisonprepper.com
    He has been doing it for a long time in a very small space.