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What Is a Suburban Prepper?

Traditionally, preppers would pick up their things and move out into a less crowded part of town. Somewhere where they could own land, farm, and hunt. More recently, preppers have changed, and more people are accepting the idea that they need to prep for the future. These people don’t always have the desire or resources to move out to the sticks, which then created suburban preppers. Often prepping right where they already have a home is much more ideal than moving everything and starting over, especially with the prices of land and fuel.

Within the category of suburban prepper, there are four subcategories; stockpiling, homesteading, survivalist, and a combination of all three. Often people’s prepping style ends up being a combination of the three, but it’s important to assess what you and your family’s needs are before deciding on a specific style of prepping.


Most likely when hearing about prepping, you hear about this style of prepping. It is the most common with suburban preppers. It involves collecting food and supplies which one might need in a time of crisis or drought. This can often be confused with hoarding, but it is not the same. Stockpiling involves collecting items with a purpose in an organized fashion, rather than collecting items because of a compulsion. A prepper who stockpiles will be very organized with their collection. Everything will be labeled and organized according to their expiration date and measured. Everything will be accounted for, to the very last detail. According to the Prepper Hitching Post, a prepper who stockpiles will account for “potential emergencies and disasters, quantity, shelf life and proper rotation, re-supply, and logistics”.



While not as popular as stockpiling quite yet, it has started taking off with some suburban preppers. Homesteading used to be much more common among the average American. Most Americans had a little bit of land which they grew produce on or had a couple of cows or chickens which they would get milk and eggs from.

Homesteading popularity dropped when mass production took over these areas of production, but preppers are bringing it back. More and more people are taking the little land they have and putting it to great use. Many suburban communities are taking advantage of the land they own and using it for prepping means. This can be a great way to prep as it helps build the homesteaders stockpile as well as bringing in a little extra income. Many communities have even started Farmer’s Markets where they can trade and sell their bounty from any homesteading they do.



Survivalists aren’t very common within the suburban community of preppers. They are more common with preppers who move out to the backcountry or even militia formats. This style of prepping started back in the Cold War. They became very common at this time because many people were afraid that a war would be started in their own home. Survivalists came together and built their own militias, some extremely small and some with hundreds of thousands of members. They came together to protect their land, country, and families, creating a great civilian resistance.

In this day and age though, survivalists more take the form of people learning self-reliance, first aid, hunting, trapping, scavenging, backwoods survival, and in some cases, guerilla warfare. While the threat is different than it was in the Cold War, the results are still the same. Survivalists still see problems with the government, economy, and international relations. Many have moved their fight from the backwoods to suburban living. And while many do still prep for different emergencies and disasters, they more closely prepare for the collapse of the government.


Pros and Cons

Now that we know what a suburban prepper is, let’s get into the nitty and gritty of the pros and cons. There’s a large group of preppers who wrongly think that in order to be a prepper they have to go rural. You have to get out of the suburb, which is not only untrue but quite unrealistic for many preppers. According to Backdoor Survival, the following are just a couple of the reasons not every prepper can abandon the city.

  • Elderly family members they care for won’t relocate.
  • They have kids in school.
  • Family members have health concerns that need medical care.
  • It’s hard to get up and leave a steady job for an income not so certain.
  • Owing more on a mortgage than you can sell your house for.
  • Custody concerns or minor children.
  • The pure expense of a major relocation.

Again, these are just some of the many expenses that come with abandoning the city. While some families may be able to get up and go rural, it isn’t easy for most. That’s why we’ll discuss the pros and cons of prepping from your suburban location.



Access to Supplies.

When living in an urban or suburban location there are many options for places to collect supplies. There are stores and shops all around where you can slowly start stockpiling supplies at your convenience. When prepping out in the middle of nowhere, trips back to the city to stock up can take an entire day in some situations.

Neighbors Can Be a Blessing.

When living with a higher population you are less likely to have to try to survive on your own. Neighbors can band together in times of stress to combine their skills and have a higher chance of surviving. If an emergency happens you have friends close around to look after pets or children. When out in the woods alone, if there is an emergency it will take a lot longer to get help, and you’ll have to fight it out alone. One person who survived the Argentinian economic collapse claimed that living out in rural areas made your home a bigger target for home invasions, which is another benefit of living around neighbors.

Scavenging Resources.

Like in the beloved movie, A Quiet Place, the family rummages around the abandoned stores for food and medicine. While they had to make a bit of a trek from their home to the stores, if you lived closer to the stores in the suburb, there are many resources to be scavenged.

Easier to Protect Your Home.

When you live in a smaller place it is much easier to protect from looters or other threats. You’ll also have your good neighbors there to help you fight the threat. On the other hand, someone living rurally has much more space to protect and much fewer helping hands. The manpower needed to defend the acres of land one owns wouldn’t be available. A small suburban home only has so many entry points that can be protected by the members of the family.

Decreased Danger of Incidents.

When living in a rural area, there is an increased chance of certain dangerous events happening, such as wildfires. A wildfire most likely won’t make it the suburb, but it could engulf a rural home within seconds. Also, incidents that might happen in the suburb have an increased danger. For example, someone with a medical emergency can be treated almost immediately in the city, but it might be a long journey for those in rural areas. Living in the city increases your chances of staying safe from emergencies of those natures.



            Less Control Against Government.

One con of living in the city is that it is much easier for you to be contained or controlled by martial law. When living in the city or even the suburbs, roads can be blocked, and you could be trapped. They also would be able to more easily do door-to-door searches for supplies or weapons, which they then may confiscate. Again, this is only a con if the government turns against us.

            Population to Resources Ratio.

While there may be more resources located in the city, there are also more people needing those resources. There may be fights or rights for those resources which may still be limited. This con can be neutralized though if you are stockpiling and collecting things you’ll need before the time of crisis comes.

            Mob Mentality.

While neighbors can be a major blessing, that only applies if we hold onto our humanity. When mob mentality starts it’s important to not participate and urge others not to participate either. Even the most cautious person can get swept up in mob mentality though. It can lead us to do things we would never otherwise do. Even if not participating, mob mentality can cause others to do harm to you. It’s important to immediately put up defenses when a mob starts to form. Go to your home, lock all entrances and protect your stockpile. It’s even a good idea to keep the fact that you have a stockpile quiet and only share with those you can trust. This way you don’t become a target when a mob gathers.


City life can be more expensive than living in the country, which can be frustrating because both locations have different expenses. It’s important to do the research to find which option is best for you and your family.


That’s what it really comes down to. The way that you and your family prep is all up to you and your needs. For many families, suburban prepping is the perfect balance point between living in the city or living in the country.


Suburban Prepping Safety

Not everyone is a prepper, especially in your suburb. People tend to panic when times get hard, unlike preppers who expect times to get hard and prepare so they don’t need to panic. While this is great and comforting for preppers and their families, that doesn’t protect them for those who didn’t prepare. They can often be one of the biggest threats. Those who are in a panic and trying to survive will often target those who prepared and aren’t starving. One safety tip is to keep the fact that you prep on the down-low. This may protect you from being targeted later when people start getting desperate.

Suburban Prepping Tips

The following tips come from Urban Survival Site.

  1. Stock up on firearms. They may be one of the first things to be restricted in times of crisis, and they may be the thing that saves you or your loved ones when times get hard.
  2. Make a plan for stockpiling. When food and supplies are organized it will be much easier to use when times are hard.
  3. Start living below your means now. Stockpiling doesn’t just include food and supplies, but money as well.
  4. Portion food supplies and money so that you don’t blow through it all in the first month.
  5. Don’t forget about storing water. It’s important to stock up on plenty of water for times of crisis. Try to avoid storing water in old milk jugs. Use a more sturdy, easier to clean container such as barrels.
  6. Only buy food that you or your family will eat. Buying food simply because it won’t expire is a waste of money and storage space.
  7. Store a variety of food, not just canned food. A variety will keep meals from being boring and will keep health up.
  8. Use sturdy shelves for storage. The last thing you need is for your food storage to collapse on you. They need to be strong enough to hold all your food storage.
  9. Spread out your stockpile. Don’t keep it all in one location. For example, if you keep all your stuff in your basement, your basement could flood and then your stockpile is destroyed. Keep an emergency bag in each vehicle and on each floor of your home.
  10. Store for hygiene and sanitation as well as food and supplies. Toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, sanitary items and more will be needed. It’s important to avoid getting sick because a simple sickness could be the end of you in dire times.
  11. Be sure to prep for your pets as well if you don’t want to end up abandoning them.
  12. Make sure your entire family is focused on prepping. It’s easier to prep as a family than alone.
  13. Again, don’t tell everyone about you’re prepping. The quieter it stays the safer you’ll be.
  14. Stay in shape.


All in all, every decision concerning prepping and decisions should be based on you, your family and your needs. Assessing those needs will help you to make the best decision concerning whether you’ll be a suburban prepper and how you’ll go about prepping. Assess and start as soon as possible, because while the world most likely won’t end tomorrow, the sooner you start prepping the better off you’ll be.

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