What Do You Call Yourself?

Ok gang, I have a question for you.

What do you call yourself?  Prepper?? Seems to have been co-opted by the National Geographic style tv shows about the isolated compound, gun-collecting types.

Survivalist? This one always brings to mind Bear Grylls. Mmmm drinking pee….

Homesteader? I like this one, but I feel like I don’t own the land I’m growing food on so I can’t really call myself that. That could be a modern and American way of looking at things though.  How many people throughout history haven’t owned the land they work? Did that make them less self sufficient? I’ve heard the modifier of Suburban Homesteader and that feels a little closer to what I think I am.  Although my hubby argues that small town Iowa isn’t a proper suburban environment.

Apocaloptimist? I happen to like this one, and I may steal it, but I had never heard it before last week when it came up on a forum board. An optimistic apacolyptic, or something like that. I like how it sounds, just saying it is fun.

Pragmatist? Worrier? Sometimes I think I’m just prepared for events so that I won’t worry so much.

Do you have a term you prefer? Have I forgotten one? Shout out in the comments.

-Calamity Jane


72 comments… add one
  • Ray January 29, 2013, 8:45 am


  • Templar January 29, 2013, 9:31 am

    Here in our Blue Ridge hideaway we call ourselves Aware Opportunists. We try to be ready for whatever comes down the pike, and take advantage of whatever situation presents itself. Here’s hopin’…..

    • riverrider January 29, 2013, 10:36 am

      hmmm, i’m within sight of the blue ridge right now. send up a flare and we’ll link up;) and we’re hoping too.

      • Margie April 18, 2016, 12:57 am

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  • Anonymous January 29, 2013, 9:36 am

    How about producer. At one time Americans were all producers, we grew our own food, raised chickens, cows, and pigs. What we didn’t produce we traded for or went to the general store. We moved to the cities and became consumers. I’ll never not be a consumer, but I’m trying to get back to producing something. It may not be much, vegetable garden, a few chickens, herbs….

    • Calamity Jane January 29, 2013, 9:42 am

      Producer! Simple, meaningful, not antagonistic…
      I like it.

      • Yikes! January 30, 2013, 12:17 am

        You say that like antagonism is a bad thing.

    • Yikes! January 30, 2013, 12:24 am

      That is awesome. Producing food is awesome.

      I have no backyard, but I have like 6 windows and I want to get as many tomatoes out of them as possible.

      Anyone who has a backyard without any chickens or vegetable gardens is berzerk. Producing is where it’s at.

  • Pineslayer January 29, 2013, 9:51 am

    Survivalist. I have considered myself this for decades, just seems to fit. I have no problem with prepper either. To me they mean being prepared for all future scenarios. Any new term that we come up with will be distorted by all those that think we are paranoid. Whatever others wish to label me as, it doesn’t matter, because my life rocks, my family is happy and healthy. Wish we had more land to be considered a farmer, then life would be near perfect.

  • smokechecktim January 29, 2013, 10:10 am

    Not fair!! I’ve been using apocaloptomist for quite a while….ok you can use it too. The word prepper has slowly evolved and to those who dont agree with preparing for an uncertain future, it has become a negative, almost joke material. I feel we have hard times ahead. I’m not sure what it will be, electric grid issues, financial meltdown. internal revolution, major earthquake, whatever. But I feel that whatever man or nature throws at us we will survive. There may be fewer of us then started and it may take time, but americans and people in general are very resilient. You dont need tank traps and 50 cal sniper rifles to be prepared. A decent shotgun and a big box of instant ramen would be a good start and pretty useful in many situations.

  • Joe Dirt January 29, 2013, 10:20 am


  • momengineer January 29, 2013, 10:25 am

    I call myself a Realist, or Risk adverse. Reality happens. For my area, tornados are a normal occurance. Thats reality. I don’t like risk, so I wear my seatbelt, eat my veggies and get my cholesteral checked. Same thing applies to “prepping”, “gardening” or keeping my gas tank full…

  • Montana Merlin January 29, 2013, 10:27 am

    “Old Fashion American”, I’m just doing what my Grandparents did and my other relatives did. I have camped out in Los Angeles after earthquakes, survived unemployment, helped others when times have been tough. Getting the most bang for the buck is more being frugal than anything else.

  • crazyfarmer January 29, 2013, 10:34 am

    -I’m not a prepper, just a bussiness man! Developing the farm to be as self sufficient as possible with the hopes of becoming a Bed & Breakfast, (old solid masonry farmhouse).
    -Farm supplies restaurant.(the more succesfull it becomes the bigger supply of constantly rotating food supply @ wholesale cost)
    fry oil is fuel!
    – Renovating old firehouse to move restaurant into (also solid masonry) Like having a fort downtown!
    – Everything I do is business cost, and eventually I can showcase all the energy efficient things I am doing!
    – teaching my kids skills that are applicable to all aspects of life and that as they move forward to have skills that are needed not just wanted and they will always have a way to make a living.
    – I’m just a business man “taken care of business” (yes I’m singing it)
    crazy farmer

    • irishdutchuncle January 29, 2013, 12:23 pm

      yeh, crazy like a fox.

      “bed and breakfast” is an excellent business for a “prepper” to be in. the more off the grid you are, the better the customer experience you can create. (otherwise, why go away anywhere…) people will always need a safe place to spend the night. they will always need to eat. (the only other things I’d add would maybe be a fishing pond, and a car repair shop)

    • Jason January 29, 2013, 3:16 pm

      Checked your Black Creek Bistro site – very, very cool, love the featured artists. Teaching your kids creativity is a lost art but the rewards they’ll get from it will be huge. Congrats on that great move!

  • riverrider January 29, 2013, 10:38 am

    i’m a prepper-aspiring-to-be-a-homesteader. homesteads produce food, while i just store it, for now.

  • Charles,,,, January 29, 2013, 11:02 am

    I call myself an American, with the abilities to be anything I set my mind to, want and desire. If a label is to be put upon me, then others can have that leisure… we have enough nomers, southern boy, yankee, country folk, mom, dad, wife, husband, uncle, aunt, the labels are endless…. I heard a funny this week by a politician who said a hoader is anyone with more then 7 days worth of food in their pantry, OMGosh, how stupidly ignorant, so FEMA’s a hoader, military mess hall’s, schools’ and on and on. What if the day came that you could eliminate a word from the english vocab? Like racist, I like who I like and dislike who I dislike should be a choice not a government mandate, but that can of worms can wait, yall know how “they” are trying to control what we can or cannot say, cheesey ehhhhh, Just another mans opinion. !!! So I’ll opt for the “SURPRISE” catorgory of names……

  • Spook45 January 29, 2013, 11:09 am


  • irishdutchuncle January 29, 2013, 11:26 am

    armchair survivalist.

    (this reflects my actual level of readiness)

    • Jason January 29, 2013, 12:06 pm

      As usual – you are funny Irish!

      • irishdutchuncle January 29, 2013, 12:29 pm

        yeh, but truthful.

        years of stress have made my memory un-reliable. it’s much easier to speak the truth than to remember which lies i’ve told, and to whom.

        • Jason January 29, 2013, 1:25 pm

          Yes Irish, there is a lot of wisdom in keeping it simple. Wish I’d finally come to the realization …. !

  • Jason January 29, 2013, 12:04 pm

    What is Jason ….

    * Nearly never worries.
    * Can deal with what is, when it comes. (Operative word – when)
    * Highly social, highly analytical, energetic, creative.
    * Says hello & greets everybody with a smile – from the person standing on the corner holding the cardboard sign to the greeter at Walmart to president of one of America’s largest banks. Everybody is the same in his eyes.
    * Thinks the fiscal cliff, runaway inflation, zombies, EMP, solar flares, midwest dust bowl, China foreclosing on America, Mexicans taking over America, Muslim madness, Christian hypocrites, the uncensored Internet & the multitudes of other distractions & individual focuses are way beyond personal control so why give it energy?

    Jason is an entity of reason & realism who refuses to cave into the brave new America.

  • Eleanor January 29, 2013, 12:40 pm

    I call myself “Cheap”. It’s funny, but “cheap” is considered normal while “prepared” is considered whack-a-doodle. I complain about how expensive stuff is, tell everybody at work about the sales that are on, and people save coupons for me. Which is really funny, because I know that they don’t make any more money than I do. Why aren’t they using those coupons themselves? ‘Cause they don’t want to look poor? It’s like my grandparents had an orchard on their farm but bought apples to eat because only poor people eat fruit from their own trees.

  • caoimhin January 29, 2013, 1:00 pm

    I call myself an AMERICAN. Ready, willing and able.

  • Mechanic43 January 29, 2013, 1:32 pm

    I’ve never called myself, I wouldn’t know who to ask for. :-)

    • Jason January 29, 2013, 3:04 pm

      Then if you answered yourself …… time for the SHTF rubber room.

      • Mechanic43 January 29, 2013, 5:00 pm

        LOL…you may be right.

    • MtnPrepper January 30, 2013, 5:06 pm

      When ever i call my self I get a busy signal ;D

  • Waterboy January 29, 2013, 1:33 pm

    Realist, because situation opportunist is too long. Realist since I am convinced that very bad news, whether man-made or natural makes no difference, is coming our way soon.

  • Yikes! January 29, 2013, 2:01 pm


    I’m taking it back from The Man.

    • Jason January 29, 2013, 3:05 pm

      I’m in full agreement with line one.


      • Yikes! January 29, 2013, 4:12 pm

        Give it a rest, brother. It was a minor disagreement.

        resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.

        Matthew 5:39

        • smokechecktim January 29, 2013, 4:16 pm

          but I only have four cheeks and I’m running out

          • Yikes! January 29, 2013, 4:35 pm

            Maybe he’s out of cheeks as well.

            I hadn’t considered that, brother, when I slapped him.

        • Jason January 29, 2013, 5:16 pm

          At least you’re looking in the right place for a come back. :-)

          Have a sense of humor Mr. Sensitive – it was a little joke.

          • Yikes! January 29, 2013, 5:21 pm


            Welcome back.

  • Badger359 January 29, 2013, 2:55 pm

    Self Reliant

    • wolfe January 30, 2013, 1:42 am

      HEAR HEAR!

  • T.R. January 29, 2013, 3:12 pm

    A Confederate .

    • Jason January 29, 2013, 3:17 pm

      Stars & Bars my friend!

  • Elaine January 29, 2013, 3:43 pm

    Mom. Single, divorced, working hard to make sure my son and elderly mother are taken care of to the best of my ability no matter what happens.

    • Yikes! January 29, 2013, 4:40 pm

      Give a mom enough money and she’ll be prepared for retirement, Harvard tuition, major surgery, power outages, earthquakes, WW III, and alien invasions.

  • John January 29, 2013, 5:10 pm

    I tend to introduce myself to folks as a prepper, just comes naturally. NatGeo gives me something to talk with them about as most people have watched it or heard of it.

  • Traffix January 29, 2013, 6:27 pm

    I am the Walrus, KU KU Kachoo

    • Anonymous January 29, 2013, 7:31 pm

      No you’re not, said Little Nicola.

  • TJ Jackson January 29, 2013, 6:35 pm

    I just tell them that I was a survivalist long before being a survivalist was cool…

    • MtnPrepper January 30, 2013, 5:10 pm

      Arrgh a Hipster survivalist… Man I was into wacking hipsters before wacking hipsters was cool (said at a Festival where toyota was using hipsters to pitch their new bigger priusV witha game called wack a hipster).

      • TJ Jackson February 1, 2013, 5:49 pm

        A Hipster….What is that? I would not know because I was a Police Officer in the sixties and seventies. I had a lot of interaction with the hippie crowd but it was not a very positive experience for them.
        Maybe I am “hip” because I have been preparing for the past thirty years. I figured out that hard times were coming when most of the “preppers” were in grade school. I usually avoid responding to these blogs because I have been contacted by federal agents (make that one) and I took the hint and quit voicing my opinion.
        We are in one hell of a mess and it is going to get a lot worse. Remember, the future belongs to the prepared.

  • Cory January 29, 2013, 7:18 pm

    Student, my grandfather told me to learn something every day our it was wasted.

    • irishdutchuncle January 30, 2013, 7:40 am

      that’s a good attitude to have, about life.

  • Ruggedfox January 29, 2013, 7:18 pm

    Aschwon Okwes in the language of the Lenni Lenape tribe is roughly Ruggedfox . Which is what everyone calls me in scouts I like to think of myself as a Scout or Patriot if I have to have a title. In the army I was a scout and my sons are scouts in the BSA. The motto is “Be Prepared” and everyone should be prepared in their own way and ready to help others at all times.

  • Anonymous January 29, 2013, 7:45 pm

    Physically Strong, Mentally Awake, and Morally Straight.

  • anon January 29, 2013, 7:59 pm

    Literate or informed opposite of sheeple

    • Yikes! January 29, 2013, 8:39 pm


  • kp89dc January 29, 2013, 10:04 pm

    I consider myself an American Patriot

    The 2nd Amendment – Americas original homeland security!

  • gat31 January 29, 2013, 11:13 pm

    AWAKE, Prepper. gardener, l don’t really care what you call me, they’re just words. I don’t refer to myself as anything in particular.

  • lee January 30, 2013, 2:22 am


  • Wally January 30, 2013, 5:14 am


  • No More Mr. Nice Guy January 30, 2013, 7:03 am

    Freedom Fighter

  • MtnPrepper January 30, 2013, 5:11 pm

    I’m going for Boy Scout that whole be prepared thing plus trustworthy, loyal, honest and brave.

  • Vin January 31, 2013, 1:46 am


  • Realist February 1, 2013, 1:23 am

    Yup, Realist. Works for everything. Them, “you’re paranoid.” Me, “No, I’m a Realist.” Them, “You shouldn’t resent ‘illegal immigrants’ just trying to better themselves – you’re a racist.” Me, “Nope, just a Realist.” Them, “You’re so pessimistic.” Me, “Unfortunately, straight-up Realist, is all.” See? Handy.

  • Mooselick7 February 1, 2013, 6:54 pm

    THRIVALIST: I live to thrive not just survive. If TSHTF, I will thrive. If it doesnt, I will still thrive. One CAN be prepared and live large at the same time!

  • Randy February 1, 2013, 10:18 pm

    I call myself a homesteader. My kids call me a whacko.

  • Anonymous February 4, 2013, 6:08 pm

    american. sensible… sensible american.
    Practical, too, but can’t come up with a cool title. SPA? lol

    i wear my seat belt in the event that i collide w something. I have insurance in the event that something happens with health/house/car, etc.

    I have supplies and plans in the event that any number of possible possibilities (yea, i said that) happen. I’m someone who doesn’t like to rely on others for problem situations… no handouts. I’m someone who takes care of his family and friends.

    i’m a….. SPA!!!! (no, i haven’t started drinking too early)

    • extremesgs February 4, 2013, 6:08 pm

      apparently forgot to enter my info when i wrote that..

  • Ned Ludd February 5, 2013, 8:35 pm

    Pragmatist! Proudly I must admit.

  • historian February 7, 2013, 1:45 pm

    I call myself an American.

    Americans are self-sufficient.

    Americans prepare for the worst while hoping for the best.

    Americans help themselves and pitch in to help their neighbors if they need it.

    Americans don’t look for trouble, but they know how to handle trouble if its looking for them.

    Americans don’t ask the government for permission, they make the government ask for permission.

    I am an American.

  • PrepperInfoMan February 11, 2013, 11:41 am

    These doomsday prepeprs shows have really given real preppers a bad name and has grown somewhat of a stigma over the whole idea and reality of preppers and it really is a shame. Preppers are not these extremist that are focused on to make a better show episode.


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