I think the word "prepper" has negative connotations if brought up in conversation with "normal" people. Saying you're trying to be self sufficient doesn't raise eyebrows in the same way (people still think you're nuts) but are they so different?
It always make smile, and it's normally taken out of all context. If they think you're a prepper they expect you to wear a tin foil hat and have a lead lined bunker in the garden and if you're trying to be self sufficient many just can't see the point of the effort for what you gain at the end.
But you can prepare for anything really and be more self sufficient/reliant- when do you start being called a prepper?
At its simplest I was talking to someone at a BBQ last week and they were asking how far away our nearest shop was and if we had to stock up as we couldn't just pop to the shops. We do our shopping weekly so we know how much of everything to buy to last us a week or more, we freeze milk and I bake bread most days from a store of flour I keep, fresh produce is growing normally and I keep a good stock of tinned goods as well.
Going up a stage you have to think about something fairly common but unforeseen in the short term. Here we have to be prepared to survive a few days without power and being cut off by snow in the winter for up to a week. We live in the valley of a big hill and it can get quite cold. So I know we can heat our house through the use of wood (which I have a good supply of stored ready) and we have candles ready to use for light. I also know that this winter my wife is possibly going to have to give birth at home so I'l be preparing for that as well, researching what I'll need to keep close encase we're snowed in when it happens (unlikely but you never know). I've lambed lots of ewes so we should be alright on that one...
The next stage is preparing for the longer term but this is where you enter tricky territory and people begin to think you're slowly going mad.
My plan here is to slowly increase what I grow, store & preserve so that we only have to shop when we really need to or for cleaning and luxury items and things out of season. Not because I think the worlds going to end or the sky is going to fall on my head, but more because I don't want the responsibility of feeding my family to lie with someone else and be part of that system of control. If the media said to stock up for what ever reason, shelves would be empty in days (or hours even) and people are happy to look to the government to feed them but I doubt it would happen very smoothly. You only need to look at Greece at the moment to see how well that works out.
The other is trust in what I buy, I want to know what we're eating & cook from scratch. It also save money which certainly helps with our finances. That doesn't mean I'm growing all I eat, we're no where near ready for that, but it does mean I can keep a large range of stuff stored so I know we can eat.
So do you prepare?
What do you prepare for?
Where do you draw the line?
And what do others think of what you do?