Pinterest is best known as a destination where people can share affordable wedding ideas, dip recipes, and inspirational quotes pasted over photos of white sand beaches. But a small number of Pinterest users also swap how-tos on building bomb shelters, storing food, and emergency medical care—for “when there are no doctors.”
Meet the preppers of Pinterest.
These are people who anticipate financial, environmental, or biological catastrophe, and are actively preparing by stockpiling food, medicine, weapons, and other tools for survival. There are pinboards for every type of prepper.
Survival Mom blogger Lisa Bedford has dozens of pinboards and thousands of followers.
Many preppers offer information about bartering, anticipating a devaluing of currency or other economic disaster.
Campfire starters, two-way radios, and portable water filters are must-haves.
You’ll even find tips on vegan, paleo, and gluten-free prepping.
The site’s larger do-it-yourself ethos dovetails with the prepper movement’s self-sufficient values. And with the growing popularity of once-arcane skills like canning, gardening and butchery, the line begins to blur between the artisanal and the paranoid.
Of course, social media has birthed (or at least unveiled) some pretty weird subcultures. We now have seapunk and vaporwave on Tumblr, and Instagram hashtags for desk porn and stationery porn. But why would survivalists flock to Pinterest, a site that was adopted early-on by people who wanted to share design ideas for home goods? In a way, preppers are actually the ideal user for the site. After all, Pinterest co-founder Evan Sharp says it was always meant to be a utility: “It’s a tool people use to plan their futures,” he told ReadWrite earlier this year. Preppers just happen to think the future looks bleak.