Prepper Glossary

As preppers, we want to keep ourselves and our loved ones safe and protected when SHTF. Lots of people not familiar with the prepper movement will read this and agree that they want the same kind of insurance for their own loved ones.

For this reason, we’ve included a glossary here to help those new to the prepper community with some commonly used terms and expressions.

  • Alpha strategy: The practice of storing extra consumable items, as a hedge against inflation, and for use in barter and charity. Coined by John Pugsley.
  • Ballistic wampum: Ammunition stored for barter purposes. Coined by Jeff Cooper.
  • BOB: Bug-out bag.
  • BOL: Bug-out location.
  • BOV: Bug-out vehicle.
  • Contrapreneur: Someone who foolishly invests in a declining market. Coined by James Wesley Rawles.
  • Crunch: A general term for a major, long-term disaster.
  • Doomer: A peak oil adherent who believes in a Malthusian-scale social collapse.
  • EDC: Everyday carry. What one carries at all times in case disaster strikes while one is out and about. Also refers to the normal carrying of a pistol for self-defense, or (as a noun) the pistol which is carried.
  • EOTW: End of the world.
  • Electromagnetic pulse (EMP): an extreme level of electromagnetic energy sufficient to burn out computer chips that may be caused by solar flares or by atmospheric nuclear explosions. Such an event would disable the Internet, telephones, computers, and devices that rely on computer controls, including automobiles, the electrical grid, and household appliances.
  • Goblin: A criminal miscreant, coined (in the survivalist context) by Jeff Cooper.
  • Golden horde: The anticipated large mixed horde of refugees and looters that will pour out of the metropolitan regions WTSHTF. Coined (in the survivalist context) by James Wesley Rawles.
  • G.O.O.D.: Get out of Dodge (city). Fleeing urban areas in the event of a disaster. Coined by James Wesley Rawles.
  • G.O.O.D. kit: Get out of Dodge kit. Synonymous with bug-out bag (BOB).
  • I.N.C.H. Bag: I’m Not Coming Home Bag. Similar to bug-out bag but usually kept to with the individual so as not to have to return to one’s residence to get a bug-out bag.
  • Pollyanna or Polly: Someone who is in denial about the disruption that might be caused by the advent of a large scale disaster.
  • Prepper: A synonym for survivalist that came into common usage during the late 1990s. Used interchangeably with survivalist much as retreater was in the 1970s. Refers to one who is prepared or making preparations.
  • SHTF: Shit hits the fan. A term used generically by survivalists to describe disaster situations.
  • TEOTWAWKI: The end of the world as we know it. In use since the early 1980s.
  • WTSHTF: When the shit hits the fan. A term used generically by survivalists to describe disaster situations.
  • WROL: Without rule of law. Describes a potential lawless state of society.
  • YOYO: You’re on your own. Coined (in the survivalist context) by David Weed.
  • Zombie: Unprepared, incidental survivors of a prepped-for disaster, “who feed on… the preparations of others.
  • Zombie apocalypse: Used by some preppers as a tongue-in-cheek metaphor for any natural or man-made disaster and “a clever way of drawing people’s attention to disaster preparedness”. The premise of the Zombie Squad is that “if you are prepared for a scenario where the walking corpses of your family and neighbors are trying to eat you alive, you will be prepared for almost anything.” Though “there are some… who are seriously preparing for a zombie attack”.
  • Glossary from Wikipedia

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