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Rural vs Urban Prepping: Which is Best?

rural vs urban prepping


In this episode, we are going to stir the pot.  Rural vs Urban prepping has always been a contentious topic in the preparedness community. There have been healthy debates on which type of prepper has the greatest chance of survival in a collapse scenario.

In this episode, I will be sharing some of the advantages and disadvantages that I see for each type of prepper.  Then I will share my recommendations.

Show Notes

Advantages and Disadvantages

Crime Rate

  • There is lower crime rate for rural preppers compared to urban
  • many claim that when the golden horde comes they will invade the rural area
  • this may be true, but the likelihood of such an event is small
  • regardless, if they were to invade the rural area it would be after the urban area
  • by the time they get to rural, they are going to be exhausted and depleted for the most part
  • of course, there may be sophisticated groups that may have many resources
  • by the time they get to the rural area you should be ready for them
  • now when everything is running fine it will be safer to live in a rural environment
  • however, in a SHTF or collapse scenario lawlessness will probably take place in rural environments before rural environments
  • the main reason that I would propose would be manpower
  • in the city the government would most likely lockdown with curfews or even martial law
  • For example, when Katrina hit New Orleans we saw the government impose martial law and deploy military into the city to restore the rule of law
  • they didn’t do this in rural areas
  • however, even in a collapse or SHTF scenario I still believe there will be more crime in urban environments than rural
  • in rural environments I believe the community will come together and look out for their own


  • living in an urban environment does give you access to store-bought resources
  • however, in an SHTF scenario, those resources will be depleted
  • living in an urban environment will not afford many the ability to begin growing or hunting their own resources
  • with a higher population comes a higher rate of consuming those resources


  • being close to city typically provides a better job pool
  • compared to living in the country or rural parts you are limited to particular jobs
  • there are typically more stores that give you better access to certain items
  • rural living typically takes more time and money to access the infrastructure
  • in a SHTF or collapse scenario urban environments are most likely to have the infrastructure restored as compared to rural environments
  • this is because essential government offices are there


  • living in urban environments typically give you access to a bigger network of friends and others that could provide a benefit
  • for example, you may be able to find more people who are preparedness or survival minded
  • however, social circles in urban environments tend to be more loose
  • in rural environments, social circles are more close-knit
  • there is more of a community and family feel
  • growing up in an rural environment the community was more likely to look out for the well being of the community
  • however, when I moved to the city when I got older I realized how people there don’t value relationships or community as much
  • with higher populations you tend to encounter more problems especially when it comes to crime rate
  • even though for the most part, rural environments provide close-knit ties there is going to be less of them
  • so there is probability that you would be on your own in a SHTF scenario
  • with higher populations comes higher consumption of resources


  • in a collapse or SHTF scenario news is going to travel faster in urban environments because there are more people
  • however, again with more people come more problems
  • so there is a higher likelihood that news will be distorted
  • the more that messages are passed around the higher the probability for error
  • rural areas are more likely to receive the news last as it will take longer to get there
  • by the time it does the message has been changed so many times due to distortion

Medical Care

  • in a collapse or SHTF scenario there is going to be more access to medical assistance in urban environments then there would be in rural environments
  • however, at the same time, with more people it is easier to spread diseases
  • most people in urban environments are more reliant on the grid and infrastructure to provide proper hygiene care
  • in a rural setting you are most likely to have access to more resources so that you can better take care of yourself
  • however, there isn’t as much access to medical care as there would be in urban environments
  • furthermore, in a SHTF scenario recovery relief efforts are going to focus on the cities first
  • so rural preppers will not have quick access to those relief efforts including medical care


  • in urban environments, especially apartment prepping, you are very limited on how much you can stockpile
  • yes, you can find creative ways to fit more
  • however, the truth is that you have more space to stockpile in rural environments than you do in urban environments
  • not only that but you have the ability to grow, hunt and raise your own food
  • the downside to that is that you have more space to protect
  • if you have a few acres of land how much of that are you going to be able to protect with a family of 3 or 4?
  • you could bring in a survival group but they are going to expect resources in return


  • so altogether these would be some of advantages and disadvantages that see when considering rural vs urban prepping
  • ultimately my goal is to become a rural prepper
  • however, I’m not saying that is what everyone should do
  • every prepper should have their own strategic preparedness plan put together
  • everyone has their own specific threats that they are preparing for
  • but that is it for this episode
  • thank you again for listening today
  • i also want to thank our sponsor again, We The People Holsters
  • If you are looking for a new holster be sure to check them out at www.wethepeopleholsters.com
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About Aaron

Aaron is the founder of Smart Prepper Gear which is a blog dedicated to helping people prepare the smart way now so that they can thrive later. He has been involved with preparedness since 2009 after feeling the effects of the financial crisis that affected most of the country. Aaron also volunteers with CERT (community emergency response team), ARC (Amateur Radio Club), Red Cross and currently studying to be a certified NRA instructor.