People Who Grew Up With 'Doomsday Preppers' Explain What Their Childhood Was Like

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Always be prepared. But for what exactly?

The end is near! End of Days are upon us! Prepare for Armageddon! How many times have we heard all those over the years? Prediction after prediction foretold us that doom is within reach. So many gullible people have sadly given into the rhetoric. Many children had to grow up preparing for the end of humanity. Now preparation and survival skills are important but one can also go a smidge overboard. For instance....

Redditor u/taxidermied_unicorn wanted to hear how some childhoods went when the plan was always about plotting for the end of times by asking.... People who grew up with "Doomsday Prepper" parents, what was it like?


"coming wars and end times" 

My mom hoards a ton of canned food everywhere in the house, along with random tools she's been told will be helpful and so many paper towels and rolls of toilet paper. The guns are another thing. Everyone in my family is content to let her do her thing and spend thousands of dollars prepping. There are so many useless things that take up a ridiculous amount of space there, all while she complained that we had too much stuff and needed to get rid of our actual belongings to make more room.

Everyone she knows gets printouts of the newsletters she's signed up for with prophecies about the end times. When I was still living at home, she'd walk into the room at random times to give me hour-long lectures about the "coming wars and end times" and how sinners are responsible for it. It was really stressful, especially because I have anxiety (which I'm sure isn't because of growing up in a paranoid atmosphere at all /s), and I still have nightmares about apocalyptic scenarios.

I've forced myself to develop a more accepting view for my own sanity, which is essentially, "There are too many options to prepare for all of them, and I don't know how much I want to survive in a post-apocalyptic world anyway, so I'm going to enjoy the time I have without stressing too much about what-ifs." Cognitive Behavioral Therapy has been really helpful for dealing with the paranoia that still pops up sometimes, and I really recommend it for anybody who grew up in that atmosphere and has anxiety stemming from it. starlet25

Regular Days....

it was pretty much the same as any other normal family I assume, we just went bulk shopping every few months, the only strange-ish thing is that we'd have a week out of every month that we'd have to kind of fast, we could have a pack of raisins and a bottle of water every day and that's all. Beaudet90

The JW's....

Not quite that extreme, but I was raised JW (Jehovahs witness) they didn't have a specific date but it was always 'within the next decade, for sure', so I grew up thinking that all my non-JW friends would be dead within 10 years, which was not a pleasant thought for a 6 year old. In class I used to worry that armageddon would strike and I'd be stuck in a classroom of dead people till my parents found me. Religion. Smh. yehlas

Self-Sufficient.

I was raised Mormon. So I personally have learned how to take care of myself and trust neighbors I'd crap hits the fan. I have some food saved but the best system is to set up farms and try to have things like chickens to make more food. If the world goes under, your neighbors are very important. But I grew up with a stash of seeds in our food storage if help didn't come within the time it was out. ShadowOfEnder-YT

"Watchmen of America" 

My parents didn't get into it until later in my life but in three years they have

-Built a Farm. Chickens, Turkeys, Rabbits, a goat at one point, a pig.

-stocked up on ammo, like thousands upon thousands of bullets.

-subscribed to all right wing groups possible, whether it be facebook, or the "Watchmen of America" which regularly do doomsday drills.

-tried to get me in on everything.

-are convinced Obama is the antichrist.

-listen to Glenn Beck everyday

I try to avoid all conversations about anything like that with them. It usually ends in a fight, and I do not want to hate my parents. alwert

Mostly normal.

Mostly normal. My dad just showed me what to do just in case doomsday ever came. Taught me how to camp/survive, use camo, ration food, shoot guns, and other basic survival skills. He taught me it's always better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. sevven07

Use the Bushcraft! 

My uncle was a prepper. He taught me bushcraft as a fun hobby. Never really imprinting the idea of prepping. My parents were fine with that. Now, almost 12 years later, I rediscovered that hobby. He taught me a lot about navigation, improvised first aid, the ethics of survival and firelighting.

I'm not a prepper in anyway whatsoever. I don't believe it is a sustainable way of emergency survival on the scale of populations. However, if I ever find myself without a working vehicle in the middle of nowhere, I have no reason to panic, with my skillset. whatsamawhatsit

Taking Cyprus....

My folks have enough food for 3 months.

Their motivation is not to prepare for a doomsday, but for a financial collapse.

They took Cyprus as an example. There was money, but people couldn't withdrawal and buy food.

I'm planning to stock food for like 2 weeks. Who knows what can happen. I think we sometimes forget we're screwed if the supermarket doesn't have any stock.

Or a more realistic situation: when I make stupid financial decisions. Rockima

it seems so crazy to me....

My mom was/is convinced that in the apocalypse toilet paper would be as good as currency... she has an entire room in her house that is filled from wall to wall, floor to ceiling with toilet paper.... it's like a damn Costco isle.... we were/are forbidden to talk about it (because she doesn't want to be killed over it... keeps it in the down low) growing up it didn't seem weird because it was "normal" but now that I'm an adult and a mother myself.... it seems so crazy to me. txjr5

Hey Jesus... 

Mormon parents. We're instructed to have seven years worth of food for when Jesus comes. The entire basement of our house was just food and water supplies. Literally stacks and piles of food and water bottles. All kinds of non-perishable goods, like freeze dried foods. My dad also always used to say "our neighbors have received the same warnings we have. If they come here looking for handouts, we're going to tell them to look elsewhere."

Edit: I'm no longer Mormon. pterodactylbros

Quakes. 

I'm a bit of a prepper myself, but just to the extent of having a 2-month food and a 1-month water supply. I live in Manila, and the idea of an 8+ earthquake that wrecks the infrastructure of a metropolitan area with 13 million people is the stuff of nightmares. Advo96

Soothing Trauma....

This makes me think of the mother of a friend of mine. She had a small room off the side of the kitchen, shelves filled floor to ceiling with tins. it wasn't about 'doomsday'. She had starved as a child in Holland during WWII, aged around 5. She didn't do any other prepping, I don't believe she thought it would happen again. She was a smart, capable woman living a continent away from Holland by the time I met her. I suspect the tins were a psychological safety net, a way of soothing childhood trauma. blackcloudcat

"just in case"

Dad wasn't a full on doomsday prepper, but he was a paranoid schizophrenic. He had a stock of MREs that I had now and then. They weren't bad. Also canned ensure back when it came in cans. Also learned a lot about stuff like maintaining salt after sweating, dad used to have me lick a teaspoon of salt after our walks.

Tons of flashlights and batteries in the house. I remember him teaching me how to use a gas mask "just in case." We live in upstate NY, so yeah not exactly a war zone. He had a generator just in case the power went out (honestly not a bad idea because he lived in a place where winter could get pretty hairy). I will say Y2K had him totally spooked.

We used to joke that he was Burt from Tremors minus the guns. Chazkuangshi

For its milk.....

Bottles and bottles and bottles of water in the garage. My mom bought the bulk packages from Costco and stuffed them there; I wouldn't be surprised if there were over a hundred plastic containers in there.

The "the world's gonna end" panic-mentality mostly comes from my mom's side, and it usually happens in waves. Things will be chill for a while, and the all of the sudden packages with no-electricity hand-crank radios and portable generators will show up at our door.

She claims that she makes "ambient purchases" while half-asleep, but I think she really just that paranoid.

A few times, she's mentioned buying a cow. For its milk. Incase we're forced to live off the land or whatever, so we can still have milk. And after explaining to her that no, we absolutely do not have the room or faculties to take care of a whole-ass cow, she starts up with the same line of questioning, but asking if we can get a goat instead. We don't even have a front or backyard. InvisibleMurderChild

Find the Surplus.

My dad stocked textiles, toiletries, non-perishables, and water to an extreme amount. Our entire basement was basically a bunker. It could be locked from the inside at both the top and the bottom of the stairs, and we had huge drums of potable water that probably stood to about stomach-high on me now as an adult. We also kept old 2-litr bottles (old pepsi bottles) for non-potable that we stacked like wine on heavy shelves, as well as rice and dried beans in vacuumed sealed containers. He was constantly buying things at old surplus outlets.

Gas masks, iodide tablets, rucksacks, etc, and taught us how to make bullets using a shell-cleaner and powder packer. Like that one poster above mentioned, we also typically had about every few weeks a few days where we ate next to nothing, and were taught a lot of both local and non-local plants that could be edible (clover, acorns, dandelion, etc) and how to prepare them, as well as things that could be health-beneficial (clover, cherry bark, mullein, etc) and how to prepare them.

We rarely got to go hunting, because of where we lived at the time, but he did teach us how to set various snares and traps, like figure fours and pitfalls, and any time one of our traps succeeded, he would use it as an opportunity to teach us how to clean and prepare meat not just for that day, but how to cut and dry it for future use. I have to say, knowing how to brain-tan a rabbit skin is not something I ever expected to come up in conversation as an adult as much as it actually does! nxtstagee

To the Bones....

I learned how to hunt when I was six. For my eleventh birthday, I learned how to make a bow and arrow with the contents of my hiking kit and caught a rabbit for lunch. I was then shown how to use said rabbit's bones and internal organs to fish, and we had trout and perch for dinner.

My dad is of the mind that doomsday preppers who just stockpile food are idiots, because even if they survive the apocalypse all they're doing is turning themselves into particular fat swines for the inevitable bandits to look for. Better to be able to hunt and gather food.

My doomsday "kit" is just a bugout bag in my walk-in pantry. TemptCiderFan

7 Years. 

We were always too poor to fully prepare for the end times although my mom still believes they are coming. Fun fact, if you don't have food storage of your own create a map of all the mormons in your town so when crap goes down you can take theirs! This was actual advise from my mother.

She grew up in Utah and it's a well known fact that mormons are supposed to hold onto 7 years of food storage at all times in case of jesus. It was also a plot point in an S.M. Stirling post apocalyptic novel that a group of people stumbled across an abandoned mormon house which set them up nicely for food for a bit. So yeah, make a mormon friend for the end times. coffeetish

No Christmas. 

I grew up southern Baptist. We were taught that the rapture was going to happen any day. Every night I was afraid to go to sleep because I might be raptured before I woke up. I wasn't going to get to grow up, get married or have children. As I went through my teenage years, I didn't plan for my future as I should have because we weren't going to be here next year. My mother never bought Christmas wrapping paper on sale because next Christmas wasn't going to come.

If I knew then what I know now, I would have done many things differently. notableea

Canned Plans. 

My parents aren't doomsday preppers by any stretch of the imagination, but we did live in an area where getting to the grocery store would be difficult if it snowed in. As such, we always had a pantry full of home-canned stuff that we made together, and a huge vat of sauerkraut we make once a year when I go home for Christmas. notadoctor123

Bunker Down. 

My father had crates full of non perishable food, camping gear, gas cookers. you name it, he had it.

he stored that in a "bunker" he built, which was really just a big anderson shelter. TheSoviet-Union

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