There are all sorts of preppers. Some are rank beginners and others have been practicing family preparedness for twenty years or more. Some live in urban areas and some live in the country. And most assuredly, some are young adults in their twenties and other are in their sixties, seventies and eighties.
Given this widely variable demographic, it stands to reason that some preparedness topics will be more interesting and more useful to one group than to another. On the other hand, the basic tenets of emergency food, emergency communications, first aid, self-defense and self-sufficiency are universal. Furthermore, there are no boundaries and no set requirement that a person be interested in each topic equally.
We are talking about family preparedness here, not rocket science. And while we are each unique, we are each the same as well.
Which gets me to the topic of today’s article: The Plight of the Aging Prepper. I have a bit or a rant so please bear with me while I explain.
Senior Preppers Do It All
Being a baby boomer myself (born between 1946 and 1964), I find it a bit offensive to find that many websites refer to “senior” preppers as doddering old people with limited vision to what is happening in this world and limited ability to fend for themselves.
This stereotype is simply is not true. Many in the over-60 crowd walk 2 to 5 miles daily, work at full-time job, and actively pursue hobbies that require strength and endurance. Others farm their land and while living on or off grid, chop wood, feed the chickens and milk the goats or cows, day in and day out, rain or shine. Not only that, most men of that age have served in the military and thus understand and embrace the need for teamwork, discipline and perseverance to get a job done.
References to being an older prepper who may be slow on the draw is just, well, not right and darn disrespectful.
Survival Concerns – Regardless of Age
Regardless of one’s age, the pursuit of survival does come with some concerns. Some of the major ones are listed below:
Nutrition and diet with limited food sources
Healthcare – both treatment and prevention – when conventional medicine and medical facilities are not available
Money for supplies, services, items for barter and the basics of life
Self-defense using lethal, or non-lethal weapons (or both)
Mobility for the physically disabled and those with hearing and vision challenges
Community and companionship when if it all goes to heck
Learning from Our Parents and Grandparents
The current trend within the survival and prepping community is to look back to the experience of those that lived through the Great Depression. Well guess what? Many a senior prepper lived through it, if only as a child. Now might be a good time to ask these senior preppers how they dealt with these survival concerns. It is a forest through the trees thing: if you lived through it, you may not recognize the value of that experience to others.
I don’t want to belabor the point so let me just say this: being old of age does not mean you are weak of mind, weak of body and weak of spirit. Quite the contrary. The older prepper has a lot to offer and is stronger than you might think in at least one of these areas if not all three.
The Final Word
It has been a long time since I have written one of my passionate little essays. Clearly, something set me off and yes, it was another prepper-oriented website.
If I do nothing else today. I want to reinforce that the senior prepper has indeed woken up to what is going on in our country and our world. They are quite capable of taking care of themselves.
On the other hand look around: there are certain able-bodied twenty and thirty something’s who, at the mention of an election, at the mention of self-reliance and at the mention of making a difference in this world look up from their texting and say “huh?”.
So you see, there are all types of people at all different ages. We are a community of preppers and we are strong. Let us drop the stereotype and get on with the business of preparedness. We will remain strong as long as we stand up tall, young and old together.
Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!
Gaye Levy, also known as the Survival Woman, grew up and attended school in the Greater Seattle area. After spending many years as an executive in the software industry, she started a specialized accounting practice offering contract CFO work to emerging high tech and service industries. She has now abandoned city life and has moved to a serenely beautiful rural area on an island in NW Washington State. She lives and teaches the principles of a sustainable and self-reliant lifestyle through her website at BackdoorSurvival.com. At Backdoor Survival, Gaye speaks her mind and delivers her message of prepping with optimism and grace, regardless of the uncertain times and mayhem swirling around us.