What's the difference between prepper and survivalist - how to be prepper or survivalist | The Atomic Bear
By: Jean-François Truchon 29/11/2018
A lot of us are planners. Some of us plan our lives down to the minute. We plan what time we’ll get up, exercise, eat, pick up the kids, work, feed the dogs, and do the laundry. In this same vein, we plan the little things in life, why not the big things?  Why not plan the even BIGGER things such as a natural disaster, apocalypse, or even zombies! Atomic Bear believes everyone needs to be a prepper and a survivalist. Extreme opinion? Perhaps. Keep reading and you’ll find out why.


What comes to mind when you hear the word prepper? What about survivalist? Is it a man dressed all in black with paint on his face, slinking around the forest, burying food in a hole and setting animal traps? Or do you picture a bunker stacked from ceiling to floor of supplies to last years? There are a lot of misconceptions about preppers and survivalists. We here at Atomic Bear are here to set the record straight.

What is a Prepper?

If you were one of those who pictured someone stockpiling food, guns, ammunition, and supplies, you’re not alone in this perception. This is what most people picture when the word “prepper” is mentioned. Let’s start with an analogy. Someone who carries a spare tire in their car is in essence a prepper; that person is “prepping” in case they get a flat tire (and who amongst us hasn’t had a flat?). A prepper is someone preparing--just in this instance he or she is preparing for a much bigger disaster than a flat tire. By definition, a prepper is someone who believes a disaster is forthcoming and prepares themselves for it through the stockpiling of essential items for survival such as food, water, and guns. However, a prepper is much more than a glorified stockpiler. A prepper is also someone who can survive in the woods, who knows how to make a fire, who can procure food, track and hunt game, find good sources of drinkable water, can build a shelter, and improvise tools. A prepper is someone who if all the conveniences of the 21st century were taken away would still be able to survive. Enter survivalist. If a prepper not only stockpiles but also survives, what’s a survivalist?

What’s a survivalist?

A survivalist is someone who knows how to survive, often in the woods.  However, a survivalist is not limited to a wooded territory. Any environment from the desert to the rainforest to the tundra is survivalist’s terrain.


Both are very, very similar. The main difference is total self-reliance and the length of preparation. You can also think of this in terms of specialist and generalist. A survivalist specializes in the basic needs of humans: food, water, and shelter. A prepper takes the survivalist role and expands it to include long-term survival in terms of a world-wide disaster. A prepper has additional skills beyond the basic “bush-master.” He or she may be able to fly a plane, has martial arts and weapons training, some medical training in order to be able to utilize medicines, and perhaps tactical and leadership training in order to form an ad-hoc militia of some sort. A bunker is also in a prepper’s wheelhouse of tools to employ to better prepare for a cataclysmic disaster. 


The mission of Atomic Bear is to provide the best products for these extreme and life-threatening situations in life. We focus on self-defense gear and weed out the products not up to our standards. At the core of survival is the individual. After all, if you can’t defend yourself, all of your preparations and supplies are for naught. Here at Atomic Bear, we test thousands of brands and products to bring you only the best and most reliable survival tools and equipment and self protection devices.


Heirloom Survival Vegetable Seeds. Over 20,000 seeds to grow non-GMO, nonhybrid vegetables. Packaged in and air-tight bag that’s moisture proof and resealable, these prepper seeds have an incredible germination rate.  A gardening book with hundreds of tips is included with the purchase of our seeds. An incredible variety and providing much-needed nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and proteins.

SWAT Flashlight.  A compact and powerful flashlight, the SWAT flashlight features 400 lumens LED light. Battery-operated, this flashlight will illuminate up to 500 feet in the dark. The SWAT flashlight features adjustable beam width and is made from rigid material.

SWAT Tactical Blade. The quintessential self protection device, a tactical utility knife is a must-have and Atomic Bear carries the best on the market. Compact and innovative with many ergonomic features, the SWAT Tactical blade will pierce through almost any material. This tactical utility knife is simple and easy to use. Quality tested in the field and backed by Atomic Bear’s Lifetime Warranty, the SWAT tactical blade is stainless steel, easy to grip and open, and clips easily to your belt. A must have tool in your arsenal!

The Bear Gun Magnet. Let’s face it: if you don’t have easy access to your weapon in an emergency situation, you’re dead. The Bear Gun Magnet is a magnetic gun holder that mounts to practically any surface you could desire, making your firearm accessible and within reach. Capable of holding up to 35 lbs, one Bear Gun Magnet will hold some of the largest firearms. Buy multiple magnets for every room in your home, office, vehicle, or where ever else you may hang out. An essential tool in every prepper and survivalist’s stash.

SWAT Pen. Lightweight and sturdy, Atomic Bear’s SWAT pen is the perfect hidden weapon to carry anywhere you go. Its tip is made from tungsten carbide, which is the same material armor-piercing bullets are made from, and designed to fit your hand in a reverse grip for the best possible defense grip. Pen sheath included to protect you from the sharp tip. A working pen, the SWAT pen also comes with two black cartridges. Online videos train you in the SWAT pen’s use. Another necessity for prepper and survivalist alike. 

The Cobra Survival Bracelet. As every survivalist knows, a good compass is essential in the advent you become lost in the wilderness. As well as a compact compass, the Cobra Survival Bracelet features a firestarter, treated to withstand the natural elements such as water and wind, a whistle, which is useful if you need to signal to others, and a super strong paracord, invaluable for fishing, as a tourniquet, for sewing, for pulling and hauling, and capable of holding up to 550 lbs!  Atomic Bear’s Cobra Survival Bracelet is comes in black or orange and is super cute! Buy yours today and enjoy the compliments!

Atomic Bear’s mission is to help you survive whatever life may throw your way. Thus, we will be constantly adding new survival tools and equipment and self protection devices to aid in your prepping and survival stockpiles. Check our website often for updates or join our mailing list to be notified immediately of when new products are available.


Prepping and learning survival strategies are not easy tasks. Don’t expect this to take a few weeks. Some suggestions for beginning:

Make a list and add to it. Food, clothing, water, medicine, and shelter are the basic human needs, which will make up the majority of your survival tools and equipment. You’ll want to focus on the non-perishables for food, bottled and canned goods, and materials to build a shelter. Don’t forget cooking supplies. Pots, pans, kettles, and eating utensils are just the start of things you’ll need to prepare your food. Start small. No need to begin your bunker just yet. Get your feet wet first before taking on the bigger item purchases.

Decide what life skills you want to build. Learning to survive in the wild is not something you learn overnight. Expect for these skills to take months, years, even a lifetime depending on what you choose. Possible areas to focus on would be building a fire, making a shelter, water ecology and education, self-defense, tactical skills, firearm training, leadership skills, and martial arts.  And practice! You can’t get better at anything without practicing. Stay fresh on your skills by building a fire a couple of times a year, visiting the shooting range, and practicing karate. For all your self protection devices and needs, shop Atomic Bear today!

Clean up your diet. Get physically fit. This does not mean “be thin.” If you’re out in the woods, surviving, you’re gonna need to be able to perform physical tasks like chopping wood, walking long distances, and moving heavy objects. Keep your body fat percentage down and choose an activity to keep you moving: hiking, biking, walking, lifting weights, running, swimming, or yoga.

Clean up your financial health. Take a hard look at your finances and start getting rid of debt. If a catastrophe happens, the last thing you want is to be beholden to anyone. Make a plan now to eliminate debt and start putting away savings. Budget. Similar to financial health, you need to budget prepper expenses every month. Set aside some money to be used exclusively on meeting your stockpiling and life skills goals discussed above.

Gold, silver, gems, and hard metals are king. In the event of a breakdown in our society, currency will be worthless. However, hard metals retain their value. You’ll want to invest in buying up gold, silver, gemstones, steel, tin, and other precious metals such as iron to not only barter in such an economy but to have the raw materials on hand to build tools and equipment.

Build your knowledge. Buy books on brushcraft, first aid, gardening, cooking, shooting, navigating, and any other life skill you want to develop. In conjunction, you’ll want to develop an evacuation plan. Know what you’re going to do when a sudden disaster strikes and where you’ll go. Study topographical maps and learn the terrain that surrounds you.

Consider investing in livestock. Food will be the number one concern in the event of a major world disaster and those who have it will be the ones who survive. Hence, we need to go back to the source: livestock. Cows will provide milk and all the products made from milk and meat. So too will goats. Chickens will give eggs and meat. Horses will be needed for transportation. Again, start small. Chickens are easy to care for and maintain.

Plan for modern conveniences to disappear. Electricity, power, sanitation, and gas service will most likely cease. Taylor your learning to take this into account. Consider the purchase of a solar generator, candles, flashlights, and batteries. Once you get a feel for the basic needs you’ll need, you can begin to consider the bigger assets such as land purchase or bunker building. Remember prepping and survivalist training is a marathon, not a sprint. Leave nothing to chance. Try to envision most scenarios and be as prepared as possible for them. Human fickleness will dominate as survival instinct replaces morals. Know who you can trust. However, nothing will replace self-reliance and preparedness.


There’s power in numbers. Seek out other preppers and survivalists for support and ideas. In the event of a disaster, you are more likely to survive in a community rather than alone. You’ll have to rely on others. Start developing these relationships now. Jump online and see if there’s a local group near you. Ask around when you’re stocking up on your supplies. Outdoor stores, gun stores, and sporting venues are ripe with those who are either preppers and survivalists or who will know some. You won’t learn unless you ask. Preparing for doomsday or just the next hurricane or earthquake will be a lifelong affair. Natural disasters are a part of life. By connecting to community, your journey can be fun and exciting. You may meet preppers and survivalists who will become good friends and colleagues. 


Final piece of advice: live a simple life. Don’t get too attached to life’s amenities. House, cars, furniture, washer, dryer, refrigerator, washing machine, and toilets. All material items you can’t take with you when you die and items you can live without. Enjoy them, but be prepared mentally to walk away from it all if need be. Life excels at throwing us curveballs. Atomic Bear believes in helping you be prepared to survive in any situation. Our products are some of the most essential tools you’ll need in order to survive. From our Cobra Survival Bracelet to our training videos Atomic Bear aims to be your source for tactical, prepper, and survivalist gear. At the end of the day, all you have is your family. Ensure they are safe and protected. Follow our tips above to begin your life’s journey of preparation and visit our website often to keep abreast of what’s new and improved. Become a prepper and a survivalist. Atomic Bear is here for you on your journey.Shop today
By Jean-François Truchon 0 comment


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