The emphasis is on self-reliance, stockpiling supplies, and gaining survival knowledge and skills. Survivalists often acquire emergency medical and self-defense training, stockpile food and water, prepare to become self-sufficient , and build structures such as survival retreats or underground shelters that may help them survive a catastrophe. Use of the term survivalist dates from The origins of the modern survivalist movement in the United Kingdom and the United States include government policies, threats of nuclear warfare , religious beliefs, and writers who warned of social or economic collapse in both non-fiction and apocalyptic and post-apocalyptic fiction.
The Cold War era civil defense programs promoted public atomic bomb shelters, personal fallout shelters , and training for children, such as the Duck and Cover films. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints LDS Church long directed its members to store a year's worth of food for themselves and their families in preparation for such possibilities;  but the current teaching advises only a three-month supply.
The Great Depression that followed the Wall Street Crash of is cited by survivalists as an example of the need to be prepared.
The increased inflation rate in the s, the US monetary devaluation , the continued concern over a possible nuclear exchange between the US and the Soviet Union, and perceived increasing vulnerability of urban centers to supply shortages and other systems failures caused a number of primarily conservative and libertarian thinkers to promote individual preparations. Harry Browne began offering seminars on how to survive a monetary collapse in , with Don Stephens an architect providing input on how to build and equip a remote survival retreat.
He gave a copy of his original Retreater's Bibliography to each seminar participant. Articles on the subject appeared in small-distribution libertarian publications such as The Innovator and Atlantis Quarterly. It was during this period that Robert D. For several years the newsletter included a continuing section on personal preparedness written by Stephens.
It promoted expensive seminars around the US on similar cautionary topics. Stephens participated, along with James McKeever and other defensive investing, " hard money " advocates. In the next decade Howard Ruff warned about socio-economic collapse in his book Famine and Survival in America. Ruff's book was published during a period of rampant inflation in the wake of the oil crisis.
Most of the elements of survivalism can be found there, including advice on food storage. The book championed the claim that precious metals, such as gold and silver , have an intrinsic worth that makes them more usable in the event of a socioeconomic collapse than fiat currency. Ruff later published milder variations of the same themes, such as How to Prosper During the Coming Bad Years , a best-seller in Firearms instructor and survivalist Colonel Jeff Cooper wrote on hardening retreats against small arms fire.
Letter April , Cooper suggested using the " Vauban Principle", whereby projecting bastion corners would prevent miscreants from being able to approach a retreat's exterior walls in any blind spots. Rawles is a proponent of including a mantrap foyer at survival retreats, an architectural element that he calls a "crushroom". Bruce D.
Clayton and Joel Skousen have both written extensively on integrating fallout shelters into retreat homes, but they put less emphasis on ballistic protection and exterior perimeter security than Cooper and Rawles. Other newsletters and books followed in the wake of Ruff's first publication. In , Kurt Saxon began publishing a monthly tabloid-size newsletter called The Survivor , which combined Saxon's editorials with reprints of 19th century and early 20th century writings on various pioneer skills and old technologies.
Kurt Saxon used the term survivalist to describe the movement, and he claims to have coined the term. In the previous decade, preparedness consultant, survival bookseller, and California-based author Don Stephens popularized the term retreater to describe those in the movement, referring to preparations to leave cities for remote havens or survival retreats should society break down. For a time in the s, the terms survivalist and retreater were used interchangeably. While the term retreater eventually fell into disuse, many who subscribed to it saw retreating as the more rational approach to conflict-avoidance and remote "invisibility".
Survivalism , on the other hand, tended to take on a more media-sensationalized, combative, "shoot-it-out-with-the-looters" image. One newsletter deemed by some to be one of the most important on survivalism and survivalist retreats in the s was the Personal Survival "P. Clayton , Nancy Mack Tappan , J. Cobb author of Bad Times Primer. The majority of the newsletter revolved around selecting, constructing, and logistically equipping survival retreats. In addition to hardcopy newsletters, in the s survivalists established their first online presence with BBS   and Usenet forums dedicated to survivalism and survival retreats.
Clayton's book, coinciding with a renewed arms race between the United States and Soviet Union , marked a shift in emphasis in preparations made by survivalists away from economic collapse, famine, and energy shortages—which were concerns in the s—to nuclear war. In the early s, science fiction writer Jerry Pournelle was an editor and columnist for Survive , a survivalist magazine, and was influential in the survivalist movement.
Interest in the movement picked up during the Clinton administration due in part to the debate surrounding the Federal Assault Weapons Ban and the ban's subsequent passage in The interest peaked again in triggered by fears of the Y2K computer bug.
Before extensive efforts were made to rewrite computer programming code to mitigate the effects, some writers such as Gary North , Ed Yourdon , James Howard Kunstler ,  and investments' advisor Ed Yardeni anticipated widespread power outages, food and gasoline shortages, and other emergencies. North and others raised the alarm because they thought Y2K code fixes were not being made quickly enough. While a range of authors responded to this wave of concern, two of the most survival-focused texts to emerge were Boston on Y2K by Kenneth W.
Another wave of survivalism began after the September 11, , attacks and subsequent bombings in Bali , Madrid , and London. This resurgence of interest in survivalism appears to be as strong as the s era focus on the topic. The fear of war, avian influenza , energy shortages, environmental disasters , and global climate change , coupled with economic uncertainty and the apparent vulnerability of humanity after the Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami and Hurricane Katrina , have increased interest in survivalism topics.
Preppers are those who actively prepare for all types of emergencies from natural Doomsday Preppers - Food Preservation · Canning Tips for Preppers. Doomsday Preppers Complete Survival Manual: Expert Tips for Surviving Its more of a comprehensive book on surviving all different types of weather.
Many books were published in the wake of the Great Recession from and later offering survival advice for various potential disasters, ranging from an energy shortage and crash to nuclear or biological terrorism. In addition to the s-era books, blogs and Internet forums are popular ways of disseminating survivalism information. Online survival websites and blogs discuss survival vehicles, survival retreats, emerging threats, and list survivalist groups.
Economic troubles emerging from the credit collapse triggered by the US subprime mortgage lending crisis and global grain shortages     have prompted a wider cross-section of the populace to prepare. The advent of H1N1 Swine Flu in piqued interest in survivalism, significantly boosting sales of preparedness books and making survivalism more mainstream. These developments led Gerald Celente , founder of the Trends Research Institute, to identify a trend that he calls "neo-survivalism".
He explained this phenomenon in a radio interview with Jim Puplava on December 18, . When you go back to the last depressing days when we were in a survival mode, the last one the Y2K of course, before the s, what had happened was you only saw this one element of survivalist, you know, the caricature, the guy with the AK heading to the hills with enough ammunition and pork and beans to ride out the storm.
This is a very different one from that: you're seeing average people taking smart moves and moving in intelligent directions to prepare for the worst. So survivalism in every way possible. Growing your own, self-sustaining, doing as much as you can to make it as best as you can on your own and it can happen in urban area, sub-urban area or the ex-urbans.
And it also means becoming more and more tightly committed to your neighbors, your neighborhood, working together and understanding that we're all in this together and that when we help each other out that's going to be the best way forward.
This last aspect is highlighted in The Trends Research Journal : "Communal spirit intelligently deployed is the core value of Neo-Survivalism". A number of popular movies and television shows, [ definition needed ] such as the National Geographic Channel 's Doomsday Preppers , have also emerged recently [ when?
Following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting , the "prepper" community worried they would face public scrutiny after it was revealed the mass murderer's mother was a survivalist. Survivalism is approached by its adherents in different ways, depending on their circumstances, mindsets, and particular concerns for the future.
But the first half is about the social dynamics that lead to violence, identifying predators, recognizing situations that can lead to violence, and having strategies to avoid these situations or get out of them without fighting. Buy on Amazon Parable of the Sower Follows a black teenage girl after losing her family during total collapse. Top Pick When there's no help coming: The Ultimate Survival Medicine Guide: Emergency Preparedness for ANY Disaster Written by a retired medical doctor and nurse practitioner, this great beginners guide is better than most because it doesn't assume help is on the way. Organized better than most foraging books, in a way that's meant for "I need to eat now" rather than a hobby. Even modern science fiction has entertained us with thousands of stories of alien landings, zombie invasions, and city-sized Stay-Puff marshmallow men, all ready to turn the Earth into a barren wasteland. If catastrophe were to strike, the thinking goes, a preparatory head-start might well be life-saving.
While survivalists accept the long-term viability of Western civilization, they learn principles and techniques needed for surviving life-threatening situations that can occur at any time and place. They prepare for such calamities that could result in physical harm or requiring immediate attention or defense from threats. These disasters could be biotic or abiotic.
Survivalists combat disasters by attempting to prevent and mitigate damage caused by these factors.
This group stresses being able to stay alive for indefinite periods in life-threatening wilderness scenarios, including plane crashes, shipwrecks, and being lost in the woods. Concerns are: thirst, hunger, climate, terrain, health, stress, and fear. The rule states that a human can survive: 3 minutes without air, 3 hours without shelter, 3 days without water, 3 weeks without food.
This group focuses on surviving brief encounters of violent activity, including personal protection and its legal ramifications, danger awareness, John Boyd 's cycle also known as the OODA loop —observe, orient, decide and act , martial arts, self-defense tactics and tools both lethal and non-lethal. These survivalist tactics are often firearm-oriented, in order to ensure a method of defense against attackers or home invasion.
This group consists of people who live in tornado, hurricane, flood, wildfire, earthquake or heavy snowfall-prone areas and want to be prepared for possible emergencies. While assuming the long-term continuity of society, some may have invested in a custom-built shelter, food, water, medicine, and enough supplies to get by until contact with the rest of the world resumes following a natural emergency.
This group is concerned with weather cycles of 2—10 years, which have happened historically and can cause crop failures. This group considers an end to society as it exists today under possible scenarios including global warming , global cooling , environmental degradation ,  warming or cooling of gulf stream waters, or a period of severely cold winters caused by a supervolcano , an asteroid strike , or large-scale nuclear proliferation.