I am wondering if there is a germain equivalent for a prepper. dict.leo.org didn't "know" this word. Would the average ordinary german person understand the word prepper?
There is a german website about preppers: http://prepper.de/prepper
They do not translate the word. "Prepper" is used as a foreign word in german, but most people will not know what is meant with it.
I don't know if I'm an average ordinary German person, but
prepper was unknown to me.
I found this definition:
Prepper (noun): An individual or group that prepares or makes preparations in advance of, or prior to, any change in normal circumstances or lifestyle without significant reliance on other persons (i.e., being self-reliant), or without substantial assistance from outside resources (govt., etc.) in order to minimize the effects of that change on their current lifestyle.
In German it could be
Selbstversorger, but I think that's more general (a self-supporter).
http://prepper.de/prepper contains also no translation, only explanation of the word. They introduce
prepper as a new word. So I think there is no translation, German needs a new (foreign) word for it. Prepper seems to become a loanword.
I had another idea:
Autarkist. This word doesn't exist in German - but I think it can be understood by native speakers (at least I would). It is a derivasion of
Autarkie (autarky) or
Prepper is a relatively new word in English as well. Therefore it is of little suprise that there is no German equivalent. Given recent language history I bet this will not come up but instead Prepper will stay an English loanword until it has become out of fashion again.
Closest to the main characterisics of a Prepper, and in case we desperately need to translate this word to a German-only expression we may take