When Did Prepping Become A Thing? Insights Now!

Prepping is a thing, and it’s been a thing for a long time.


This dates back to the 1800s if not further. You can see prepping for disasters across huge spans of time. In the early 1900s prepping was a big thing. The worries related to a lack of food and war were on many people’s minds.


In the early 1900s, people were already preparing for the end of civilization as we know it. They were hoarding food, stockpiling ammunition and fuel, and building bunkers to protect from other threats.


But where did this all come from?


Why did people start prepping so early?


They were stockpiling food and feared a nuclear armageddon decades later. The prepping that we are accustomed to has been around for a while. It became more and more prevalent from the start of the 1900s.


How Did Prepping Start?


Well, we have to take a walk back through history at the various instances that lead to the prepper community we have today.



Plagues have been a part of human history for centuries. From the Black Death in 1346 to the Spanish Flu in 1665, we have always known how deadly viruses can be. These plagues/pandemics killed so many people that it’s hard to imagine what it must have been like.


We have come a long way since then. When it comes to hygiene and understanding how these things spread. Plus the invention of vaccines. Preppers know the importance of having supplies to protect against a virus.


We have the knowledge from history that has shown that viruses can strike at any time. The recent pandemic COVID-19 demonstrated that it can happen regardless of our technological and medical advances!


The Great Famine


The great famine was when a fungus was spreading like wildfire ruining a lot of Ireland’s potato crops. This was a major staple. So you had many immigrants that can to America with a different mentality.


One of appreciation for the food on your plate. In today’s day and age people do not realize the level of abundance that we take for granted. Then the great depression came and pushed the notion of having a well-stocked pantry.


Of being resourceful and utilizing the resources you have to the fullest. Which is a core aspect of what it means to be a prepper.


The Great Depression


The Great Depression was a disaster for millions of people. It changed their lives forever, and it still has an impact on our society today. But there’s one thing that many don’t realize about this event: it led to the rise of preppers.


When millions of Americans were left without jobs, they had to find ways to survive on their own. Some did this by stockpiling supplies, which is a practice we still see today among preppers. Or the importance of producing your own food is another.


The Cuban Missile Crisis


The Cuban missile crisis was an event that shaped prepping as we know it today. The fear of a nuclear armageddon had reached extreme levels. The reality that the world as you knew it could change forever with the push of a button. Was a new reality. 


This fear of nuclear war/apocalypse is still prevalent in preppers today. It’s one scenario that drives many preppers.


The Rise Of Bunkers


Bunkers are not a new invention by any means. These type of shelter’s be that an underground shelter or bunker, have been around for a long time and will continue to be. They strategically provide protection from many threats, especially nuclear war.


They have been used for many purposes, not just nuclear war. Such as a safe haven’t during a natural disaster, nuclear war, terrorist attacks or pandemics.


Cold War


They grew in popularity in the World War One and Two. This only grew later on when tensions between Russia and America were at an all-time high during the Cold War (1947-1991).


If you add the Cuban missile crisis (1962) into the equation during the cold war you can see how much of an impact it had. You are bound to be influenced by it, especially if you’re part of the prepping community!




The Y2K scare was a real thing. It was a time when people were worried that computer systems would fail/ be damaged from a “bug.”


The scare happened not long before a day that will be remembered in history.




It’s been many years since the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. It has left a lasting impact on the world as we know it. The reality that an attack could occur with devastating results by only a handful of people changed the world. This was another event that affect preppers to this day.


The Global Financial Crisis of 2008


There have been a few financial crashes throughout time. The most recent one was the financial crisis in 2008. It has enforced the importance of preparing for events such as these.


There are many preppers who believe that you have to be prepared for these crises or recessions.


The importance of being prepared for a financial collapse or recession plays an important role in the prepper community.

When did prepping become more accepted?


It started to become more mainstream after 2009-2010. Then it has only been growing as it’s normal to want to be prepared for the unknown. To protect your family and loved ones. 


It is my opinion that prepping will only continue to grow. The world will continue changing and as a result, the need to be prepared becomes more relevant every day.


Is Prepping Normal?


Is being a prepper or prepping a normal activity? Well, you have to have a clear definition of what normal is first of all. It is not the norm in my opinion as most people do not prepare for the future in the same ways.


They may prepare with retirement accounts and the like but neglect the most crucial elements of life. The importance of safety if things do not go to plan. There were many people who laughed at people who prepared for a pandemic.


The Pandemic That Changed Peoples’ Perceptions


Then COVID-19 came and the reality that in the 21st century, viruses can kill millions still. It could have been much worst. The chances are high that there will be far more deadly ones to come. The main thing that COVID-19 did was show that even in today’s world things like this can happen.


It is normal to want to be prepared for the unknown which is life. So always remember wanting to survive and protect yourself is normal. It’s all about having balance while doing it!


Hope that helps!

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