On the surface, these two categories of preparedness seem very different from one another, but in reality, you could be surprised at how similar they truly are.
Prepping is adapted and personalized by the individual, family, or group, based on their needs, skills, and anticipations. You will see people labelled as ‘preppers’ stockpile food, water, and other supplies, to outlast whatever scenario(s) they have anticipated.
I’ve observed over the years that preppers are often limited on space for these stockpiles. That will play a major factor in what, and how, they prep. We will go more in-depth on space, as it is the primary contributing factor between these two categories of people.
Homesteaders are typically viewed as farmers who focus on living simply, and as self-sufficiently as possible. While this may be mostly true, that only scratches the surface.
Homesteaders are also Preppers.
Not only are they preppers -they are the quintessential preppers. Why would I say this? Homesteaders practice a working lifestyle that incorporates preparedness as part of everyday life, while those of us with less space, or live in the city, can only do a portion of this through food stockpiles, learning, and training.
No, Homesteaders may not stockpile years’ worth of food at a time, but they typically do store some back for when there are bad crop years, or their livestock performs poorly. They typically have enough supplies on-hand because they could be an hour or more away from the nearest store. They prepare themselves for events that are typical, while living away from more densely populated areas. Roads can get icy or washed out, making travel to a supply source nearly impossible for days or weeks at a time.
The biggest difference between preppers and homesteaders? - Space.
Space allows Homesteaders work to grow and raise their own food, while Preppers have to store shelf-stable foods that are already grown. Homesteaders work crops that, in turn, produce their own seed, where Preppers have to buy seed, and set it back for a day they can grow their own.
As far as defense, Preppers and Homesteaders may take vastly different approaches, but the same is true between different Prepper groups as well. Some stockpile ammo to defend their preps from an encroaching swarm of unprepared, starving masses. Others keep just enough ammo to help protect their families. Most Homesteaders tend to lean towards the latter example, though that may not always be the case.
The point is, Outside of having land, and working it, Homesteaders and Preppers are more similar than we give credit. They also have the same goals – to be able to survive what comes, with relative comfort.