12 Comments on "Why is there such a stigma associated with survivalism/survivalists?"

  1. because liberals control the media………. and liberals don’t want ppl to b able to fend for themselves …it goes against there socialistic beliefs…….so they have created stigmas against ppl that can survive and call them extremist and radicals…..

  2. stormgale89 | April 13, 2010 at 5:06 pm |

    because many people see outdoorsman, hunters and fishermen who practise survivalism as crazy people, since they think that we wait every single moment to see if the government, etc, will collapse and we will need to fend for ourselves, eating grubs and other gross stuff.
    which is not the case, we’re just prepared, and who more then most get lost in the woods and need to rely on these skills? the people who do activities in the woods(hunters, fishermen, campers, etc).
    survivalism can also be very rewarding, understanding nature and respecting it more, only taking what we need, since in a survival situation, you usually don’t have any way to stop large amounts of food from spoiling, so you leave the animal to live and hunt it another day instead of killing it and letting it rot and wasting that resource, not cutting all the trees down so you can use them as a resource later, these are fundamental rules in bushcraft and survivalism, the two often cross paths.
    also, most survivalists believe in the 2nd amendment as it stands, there should be no restriction on firearms at all, all laws restricting the use, carry or possession of firearms are completely infringing the 2nd amendment right to keep and bear arms.
    so most liberals try to push on the notion that survivalists are communist/socialist dogs ready to pounce on the opportunity to raise arms and overthrow the government, sure…………..

  3. musicimprovedme | April 13, 2010 at 5:41 pm |

    The stigma is that you are stuck in your ways, paranoid of the government and other scares such as Y2K, and overly macho, doing things the hard way when it isn’t necessary anymore…and braggy about it using your skill as a reason to call someone else a big weenie.

    I’m not saying I agree…but that seems to be the stereotype. In fact, I don’t agree with most of that. I really wish people knew how to do for themselves and I agree these skills are something to be proud of. Even in my lifetime (I am 41) I have lost skills that my mother had…she knew how to garden, how to put up food, and how to sew, how to build stuff. These are things I never picked up from her. My dad also hunted, although more for sport, and worked on his own vehicles, and remodeled our whole house. We didn’t send things away to be fixed and we didn’t do without even though at times it was really hard financially. But I am pretty hopeless these days. I do try to embrace a simpler life but I also love many creature comforts.

    I think if you want to shed some of that crusty old image, it would help if you were more ambassadors of that life, and invited others into your world, rather than scoffing at people who don’t know how to do this or that, and instead of being preachy and panicky about the future. The truth is, even if our systems don’t fall apart and throw us back into a flinstone society, living off the land, off the grid, knowing how to do for yourself is just a good thing to know. It should be valued in and of itself. And as someone with those skills, seems like you would be a little more self-assured and a little less wild eyed.

  4. Mountain Man | April 13, 2010 at 6:15 pm |



  5. Mountain man. You are a waste to these forums. Just gtfo

  6. People are bothered by those of use who exhibit any sense of self-sufficency.

    They’re passing a law in New Jersey that all food chains need to post the calories in their meals. Because people are stupid to now fast food is bad for you.

    I saw a grown man sitting while a tow truck driver changed his tire.

    My fiance fought with the township about building a garden shed in our yard. Our yard, our shed, he’s done construction in the past, township had a fit.

    Someone on here actually posted this question in the hunting section “How come you have to kill animals? So you can have deer instead of steak tonight?”

    People now-a-days need mommy and daddy government watching over them, and they fear those of us who still value freedom.

  7. I think knowing how to survive in the wilderness has benefited from a popular resurgence in recent years. There are television shows, decent sized collections of books in major chain stores, numerous magazines, etc. Before this, the most “popular” survivalist were boy scouts. Through most of our history as a country, nature has always been something to conquer, but these days there is actually a growing culture of respect.

    There have always been people who respected nature, but the stigma wasn’t really against their skills in nature, but rather their lack of skills in dealing with people. The image of being a crazy kook and also know how to survive on your own go hand in hand.

    I don’t think there is a vast decline in self sufficiency skills. There’s really no proof for any type of trend, but I would expect moderate growth.

    Lastly, true self-sufficiency is very difficult. There is a reason that humans are social creatures, we work well together and combining efforts increases how much we can accomplish. There are people who can accomplish it, but it’s a monumental task and socially isolating yourself can cause emotional/mental problems (though the chances and severity of such things are highly dependent on the individual).

    America has always had a deep love of nature. “Into the Wild” is a great book that talks about the topic and how it draws certain people into the wild spaces of this country.

  8. everybody thinks, well why should i be prepared! I have a cell phone and can always just call a helicopter. And then when you try to call rescue people ” O shoot I can’t get a signal and I’m soooooooo cold.”

  9. …because survivalists are typically VIEWED as a bunch of shell-shocked Vietnam vets that don’t want to adjust to normal civilian society….whether that’s actually the case or not. It’s one thing to be prepared for a particular situation, it’s another to think that situation is just around the corner and could happen any minute, i.e. global warfare, nuclear attack, hostile takeover, etc. Being prepared is OK. Being over-prepared can sometimes look like paranoia.

  10. I’m pushing 60 and this is my 2 cents.

    When I was a boy people really feared a nuclear war. I remember the drills at school, the ones they make fun of now “duck and cover” and people we investing in bomb shelters with stocked food and emergency gear including Geiger counters and guns. Back then it was common for people to have; guns, gardens, canning supplies, small livestock, fuel storage, shortwave radios, stocked medicine cabinets, camping gear and other things to be more independent. America then had more family farms, more rural areas, less urban development, less population and far less government control of what you cold do. The mind set was different. People took for granted being self sufficient.

    As America grew and the cities encroached on the little country communities things began to change. Mom and grandma didn’t spend as much time canning up their garden produce in mason jars. More and more people got accustomed that what the need is at the store. People became dependant on stores to provide what they needed. This came from the big city mentality and it spread like fire.

    One only has to look at recent natural disasters like hurricane Katrina to see how people are no longer prepared for disasters. They panic when the stores are closed or empty because of the disaster. So they shiver in the cold, hungry, scared and desperately waiting for Uncle Sam to come to the rescue. Well except those who WERE prepared.

    So over the last decade or so the media made fun of those who were self sufficient, they were labeled “survivalists”. They were put in the same category as the militia minded “survivalists”. Many came to associate anyone who was prepared for a disaster, as some nut job sitting in a basement full of weapons. But you cant compare a family prepared for a disaster with the underground militias that had standoffs with the law. Nevertheless the media when covering the Waco Texas cult and the Montana Freeman standoff with the Government made it look like anyone who claimed to be a survivalist were crazy.

    There are different kinds of survivalists. There is the person who learns to survive the wilderness using primitive technology, the person who’s prepared for natural disasters, the person who’s prepared for civil collapse and so forth.
    How can you compare a family being prepared for a hurricane with someone who can go into a vast wilderness with nothing and can survive making all they need from what nature provides?

    I am a wilderness survivalist. I have spent decades learning the skills that primitive man used to survive. I also learned the modern skills and means to do the same thing. My wife and I live in Alaska. We have small livestock, can our garden produce, hunt, fish, trap, collect wild plants, smoke meat and fish, make our own crab pots and shrimp pots, extract oils from herbs, make our own candles, render animal fat, tan hides, make leather crafts and wood crafts, reload our own ammo, use modern and black powder guns and have even made our boats and canoes. Too many things to list really. But we don’t own any tactical weapons, don’t need them don’t want them. We aren’t doomsdayer nuts. We just like cutting costs of living by being more self sufficient.

    What I see now is a resurgence of being self sufficient. And I am glad it wont die with my generation. But I am afraid the vast majority will be totally dependant on the modern world. And that may well spell doom for some of them one day.

  11. InTheShadows | April 13, 2010 at 10:11 pm |

    Because it’s exciting and gives city-types who don’t get into the outdoors the chance to think they do.

  12. I have seen preparedness and self sufficiency greatly increase over the last several years.

    We Are Survivalists

    I am a survivalist and by nature a survivalist is an OPTIMIST. I do not have one pessimistic bone in my body. If what I just said sounds odd to you then you are not yet a survivalist and you do not understand the modern survivalist at all. It has been very difficult to communicate to the public and the mass communications media, the concept of an optimistic, hopeful survivalist.

    A fireman is a fireman, not because he believes everything will burn, but because he believes much can be saved. Doctors don’t believe in death, they believe in life, and a survivalist is not a survivalist because he believes everything must be destroyed and everyone must die, he believes that life and freedom can be saved, if people of good will are prepared. A fireman does not start fires, a doctor does not make disease and a survivalist does not make disaster.

    Crime, disease, war, revolution, fire, flood, periodic financial collapse and famine are the results of nature and the nature of man and unfortunately are not within the power of anyone on this earth to prevent.

    We all know that the sun will set each day, leaving us in darkness and we all know that warm summers give way to cold winters and that we can do nothing to keep the sun from setting or the cold winds from coming, does this make us pessimistic? I think not! So then why is the survivalist called a pessimist when he makes ready to face events that are just as much part of history and nature as the sunset and changing of the seasons.

    Another misconception is that survivalists are predicting world disaster. On the contrary, we seem to be the OPTIMISTIC MINORITY that is predicting world survival. We are hard pressed to find any well recommended historians, economists, political scientists, sociologists or military strategists that can come up with a scenario that gives even a fifty-fifty chance of avoiding a large scale catastrophe, yet we survivalist dare to be OPTIMISTIC about the future. We survivalists do not need to predict the probability of disaster anymore than we need to predict the sun setting.

    Those who criticize survivalists, are like men who refuse to look at a calendar, in the hope that through self-imposed ignorance they can keep from aging another year.

    “You survivalists will be disappointed if we don’t have a world cataclysm”, here is another accusation that is pure B.S. and I could not think of a milder phrase to describe it. We survivalists have loved ones we don’t want to see hurt or killed, we have homes we don’t want to see destroyed, we are not fools to think that just because we are survivalists a world cataclysm would be fun for us or the we would not experience danger, loss, hunger, injury, cold or even despair and death.

    We have spent time and money to improve our chances for survival and recovery from disaster, but we would have a great celebration if some day we could be assured that we had wasted our time. No, we will not be disappointed if there is no disaster to survive, anymore than the Red Cross is disappointed when there are no floods and storms or the man who buys an insurance policy is disappointed when his house fails to burn down.

    It may be said that the survivalist would much prefer the pleasant (but unlikely) surprise of being wrong to the (probable) deadly rude awakening that the non-survivalist will face if he is wrong.

    So, you see the survivalist cannot lose because his survival preparations will be of value regardless of what the future has in store. In time of crisis, those who have not prepared to turn to each other, will turn on each other.

    It is most regrettable indeed, that many people consider survivalists as a threat and regard them with suspicion and even hostility. This attitude is logically indefensible and is rooted in the non-survivalists own sense of fear and guilt. Subconsciously, the non-survivalist may hate the survivalist for reminding him of how fragile his lifestyle is. Now, let’s get the facts turned around right. THE MOST DANGEROUS PEOPLE IN AMERICA TODAY ARE THE NON-SURVIVALists. Every person who has not made provisions for surviving without food, water, fuel and other essential needs from the outside, is a mortal danger to his neighbors.

    What will a man do when he and his family are freezing, hungry, thirsty, sick and starving? He may ask or beg his neighbors for help, but when they have no extra fuel, food, water or medicine to give, will he just go back home to die with his wife and kids? What do you think? We survivalists who stock up on food and other supplies, now do a favor to society because what we now buy is replaced on the shelves so there will be that much more available in an emergency. We survivalists won’t be looting and killing for food. We won’t be a burden on the medical facilities or a danger to the police. Since we will be able to turn to each other, we will not need to turn on anyone and we may be able to help at least some.

    Survival preparation should be regarded as a social obligation, one that every individual owes to his family and community and his nation. The non-survivalist is simply a poor and irresponsible citizen. So the reality is, that survivalists are optimistic, self-reliant individuals, who cannot help but see the imperative of preparing for the worst possible events, while hoping sincerely, that they won’t happen. Today’s survivalist is an asset to his community and to the world and should be proud to be called SURVIVALIST.

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