The two types of preppers and what each one can teach you about survival

survival homesteading

To an outsider, the prepping lifestyle may seem paranoid and unnecessary. But if you’re curious about the world of preppers, keep an open mind so you can learn crucial skills from two common types: the homesteaders and the survivalists. (h/t to

Common homesteader skills and traits

Homesteaders value self-sufficiency and this lifestyle is characterized by familiarity with agriculture, animal husbandry, or food preservation. Homesteading is a lifestyle suited for independent individuals who also want to be more eco-friendly.

Focus on skills and self-sufficiency

Homesteaders are self-sufficient and they hone various skills that will be useful when SHTF. While survivalists rely on their gear, homesteaders survive using their many skills even if they have limited access to the necessary tools. (Related: What are the absolute must-learn skills every prepper should know?)

Some homesteaders live off-grid, and they will survive when civilization collapses because they can grow their own food and they have backup energy. Others will practice self-sufficiency even if they live in urban areas.

Animal husbandry

Homesteaders may keep livestock like cattle, chickens, or pigs. They know how to care for these animals so they have access to commodities like dairy, eggs, meat, or milk.


Something as simple as compost is crucial when SHTF. Homesteaders often know how to make their own compost because it is a free source of nutrients for their garden, which produces fruits and vegetables that feeds their loved ones.

Aside from making garden soil nutrient-rich, homesteaders practice composting because it minimizes food waste. Compost is also a natural alternative to store-bought fertilizers with harmful chemicals.

Gardening and food preservation

Homesteaders know how to tend their own survival gardens. They often complement their gardening skills with their knowledge of food preservation methods like canning or pickling.

By keeping a garden and preserving their own food, homesteaders have access to produce even when it’s out of season.

Common survivalist skills and traits

In a post-SHTF world, a survivalist can help you stay alive. The skills and traits included in the list below won’t apply to all survivalists, but they should give you an idea of what most of them are like.

Focus on adaptability

Adaptability is crucial for survivalists. Before SHTF, they’ll plan ahead for different disaster scenarios. Survivalists are also good at thinking on their feet so they can accomplish their goals.

Blending in

Survivalists prioritize self-defense, and one way to do this is by blending in. You can tell someone isn’t really a survivalist if they make no effort to hide their survival gear or if they keep talking about how much extra food they have stored in their shed.

A good sense of direction

Survivalists make an effort to familiarize themselves with their surroundings. They also know how to enter and exit an area stealthily.

Hunting and fishing

Survivalists who own firearms usually know how to hunt and field dress an animal. They will also know how to hunt and minimize damage to the meat of an animal.

Survivalists also know how to fish, clean, and cook their catch.

Marksmanship and gun safety

Survivalists are usually knowledgeable when it comes to guns. You may own a gun, but a survivalist will probably know how to clean guns and do routine maintenance on their firearm.

Most survivalists are also very good at using their weapon of choice.


Survivalists do their research on animal habits around certain types of water and vegetation so they can have an easier time when tracking prey or even other humans.

These two seemingly different lifestyles complement each other. Sometimes, they may even overlap.

Learn and practice skills and traits from both homesteaders and survivalists so you can survive if and when SHTF.

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