Generally speaking, there is mostly only one stereotype for a ‘survivalist’ or ‘prepper’ out there in the mainstream. Most of the general public think of a survivalist or prepper as one or some of the following…
A gun ‘nut’
Someone who hates the government and is ready to do ‘battle’
Someone who desires to be alone or to only be with their ‘own kind’
Someone who believes the end-of-the-world is eminent
A hoarder of food and supplies
A delusional crackpot
A religious extremest
A misfit of society
As in all walks of life, there are all types of folks. Sure, there are those that fit into one or some of the categorical stereotypes. I have lived long enough to learn that there are an amazing number of differing mindsets.
People are a product of many influences… their parents, their upbringing, their own life experiences of both good and bad, their jobs, their friends, their enemies, their exposure to the marketing machine of ‘the system’, their conviction to their own beliefs, on and on… The point being that someone cannot or should not be stereotyped because of one or a few traits that others may see in them. The real ‘them’ may be quite different from what you may think.
Having said that, what I’m getting at is that there is not one stereotype of a survivalist or prepper. Sure, you could say that many share similar ideals, but every survivalist or prepper is different in their own way.
For example, there are those in the survivalist / prepper community that are hard core. They arereally into firearms, ‘don’t tread on me’, vocal about their liberties, ready to survive in the woods with buried stashes of food, etc. That’s all fine and good. No quarrels here… However these are not necessarily ‘the’ qualifying traits of a survivalist, at least in my opinion.
There are those that consider themselves survivalists in the sense that they are determined to survive the uncertainties of today relative to the modern world that they live in. In other words, they may not have trained to survive in the woods foraging for edible wild plants, or they may not own a firearm, but they may be honing their own unique adaptability skills, building a base of food and supplies for emergency, and becoming more informed about the risks of the world they live in.
You may stereotype the last example to be more of a ‘prepper’ than a survivalist, but I disagree with that notion. Someone who is preparing or has prepared for risk and uncertainty is doing so to survive the things that may be thrown at them.
The media that I’ve seen in the mainstream, when portraying survivalists, or exemplifying them in TV shows, or interviewing them in real life, is nearly always tilted towards the extreme. This leads others to think that what they are seeing or hearing is ‘the’ typical survivalist. Well, either I’m a one-of-a-kind survivalist while all others are hard core, or the media has purposefully sought out the hard core while ignoring the numbers of preppers who ‘fit in’ with society and are privately building a base of self support and self sufficiency as they recognize that they are ultimately responsible for their own lives.
So, I encourage you to not stereotype the definition of ‘survivalist’ to the extreme. Instead, consider that there are many that are simply taking charge of their own lives and preparing themselves for uncertainty.