Being someone of a preparedness mindset in today's day and age is to walk a careful balance of societal norms. On one extreme we have the individual was essentially turned their house to a private survival bunker. Upon entering friends and loved ones become concerned with how they have changed their livable space into storage and preparedness functionality. You also have a particular type of individual who in true American fashion buys all the latest and greatest gear but has no practical skill or has even used the products to see if they perform as they should.
To me, the true nature of being prepared is self-sufficiency the only difference between individuals is the timeline.
It's always interesting to me the people who take on the castle defense. Anyone who's studied military history knows that point system defense is tough to maintain. Defenses that were thought to be impregnable of been defeated over and over again. From Moats to ten-foot-thick walls, boiling oil, mountainsides, all other defense strategies they mastered over the years. It amazes me that people still think they can defend their plywood house. In this ignorance, they decide not to have contingency plans or alternative locations in case the fort is compromised.
There are animals that can live almost anywhere due to two qualities: resilience and adaptability. Resilience essentially is the ability to withstand environmental hazards for prolonged periods of time. Adaptability is being able to change to meet the requirements of your environment.
What we think about the tools, the strategy, and the skills we acquire with those two things in mind. As the saying goes “tough times don't last, but tough men do.”
Is it because Americans to accumulate stuff, consumerism is in our blood because the free market is also in our veins. There is a razor's thin edge between prepping and hoarding. Do not confuse having a house full of food and ammo as being prepared. The actual test of preparedness is how you would handle a situation without those things.
Seek out the skills and put yourself in uncomfortable circumstances to build resilience and grit. As Musashi said in The Book of the Five Rings, “Do not sleep under a roof. Carry no money or food. Go alone to places frightening to the common brand of men. Become a criminal of purpose. Be put in jail, and extricate yourself by your own wisdom.” In this way, by you being the instrument to your situation you have developed both resilience and adaptation, but most of all you are cultivating your confidence in your abilities to survive.
Go out, train, and select your tools as if they are the last thing you can carry. As you eliminate the unnecessary, all that is left is the necessary.