Once you understand the possibility of another pandemic, an EMP, an earthquake, or other disasters, you’ll know how helpful it would be to start stockpiling food and other supplies by now.
But before hurrying to the grocery store to buy in bulk, make sure you know how to responsibly stockpile first so you don’t get mistaken for a hoarder. What’s the difference between a prepper and a hoarder? What is the right way to stockpile? Continue reading to find out.
Are Preppers Hoarders?
Are preppers really hoarders? The truth is, there is a difference between the two. Stockpile refers to “a large accumulated stock of goods or materials, especially one held in reserve for use at a time of shortage or other emergencies.” Meanwhile to hoard means to “store money or valued objects, typically one that is secret or carefully guarded.”
The difference between the two does not lie in the items themselves or the quantity, but in the value that is attributed to the items. So stockpiling, in a prepper’s case is collecting goods useful for emergencies, while hoarding doesn’t have a specific purpose. When it comes to stockpiling, the items you would keep are not close to being valuable. You also won’t profit off them.
Another difference lies in the person’s responsibility. Imagine having a neighbor who always stores food and is paranoid that someone will take them away. This is hoarding. But a neighbor who stocks food but doesn’t empty the grocery supply and does it incrementally and not at once is stockpiling.
In short, stockpiling is a rational activity done in advance and not all at once when supplies are plentiful. Meanwhile, hoarding is buying excessive items that may have no practical purpose, and it is selfishly done without thinking about proper distribution.
The Problem for Preppers
Hoarding is not illegal, but the government may confiscate them in certain events. You might think this is alright since you are not a hoarder, but a prepper stockpiling. Unfortunately, the law does not provide a distinction between the two.
According to the executive order number 10998 in a declaration of martial law, the federal government is allowed to seize hoarded food supplies from both public and private sources. If this happens, the government will be allowed to take away your stockpiled food.
Just because the government is only allowed to take your stockpiled food in case of an emergency doesn’t mean you can tell everyone about your SHTF strategy. It even seems contradictory since they are also the same institution that encourages us to stockpile food for at least two weeks of supply.
The best thing to do? Be quiet about your stockpile. Even if it isn’t completely against the law, you still have to make sure the government doesn’t take away your hard-earned resources. If you tell people, the government may not be the one taking away your food.
Grow Your Own
We recommend joining a warehouse membership club so you can save money when buying non-perishable food and other supplies in bulk. Places like BJs, Costco, and Sam’s Club are a prepper’s dream, with aisle after aisle of huge cases of everything from canned goods to cereal to toothpaste. However, we also recommend growing your own!
If you’re a homesteader, you know how much money you can save when you grow and preserve your own. Learn the classic ways of being self-sufficient and practice skills you need to live with little or no modern technology.
Many experts also agree that growing your own food, raising your own chickens, learning how to dehydrate food, and other homesteading activities are the most cost-effective way to stockpile a supply of food. Even a small plot of land can produce great amounts of food that can last long!
The only thing you’ll have to worry about here is the amount of sweat you’ll pour. Learning the skills won’t be easy and your first harvest may not be successful at all. Try devoting an hour or two a day to learning basic skills until you know how to maintain that project of yours.