• Sweden's news in English

'My dream is to open a post-apocalyptic store'

Sanna Håkansson · 15 Jul 2014, 15:43

Published: 15 Jul 2014 15:43 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit
Although the term prepping is fairly new, the concept has always been around. The modern version of the phenomenon prepping originated in the 1970's America and is an offshoot of the survivalist movement. In short, it is about making sure you have everything you need in case disaster hits, whether it be minor power cuts or a zombie invasion. 
Fredrik Qvarnström is the owner of Överlevnadsbutiken, an online store dedicated to providing survival equipment to Swedes wanting to prepare for any type of disaster that may occur.
"I got the idea after a couple of friends told me a bit about the phenomenon of prepping and realized a specific store for it didn't exist in Sweden," Qvarnström tells The Local.
"I noticed you could actually make a living from it."
Qvarnström does not personally consider himself a prepper, more someone who is prepared for situations where you may not be able to leave your house for a longer period of time or are unable to get hold of supplies.
"Swedes are so used to being able to just drive down to the local shop whenever the fridge is empty, but what happens when there's a blizzard or there's a power cut?" Qvarnström says.
One of the differences between prepping in the US and prepping in Sweden is the stocks and provisions that people choose to hoard. Swedes focus more on making sure their food supplies are sufficient while Americans stockpile ammunition.
"Americans are more open about having supplies and being able to defend them while Swedes tend to try to keep their prepping a secret so they don't have to defend anything at all," Qvarnström says.
"Swedes also seem more likely to be on friendly terms with their neighbours and helping one another in case of a disaster."
Another big difference that he has noticed is the Swedish tendency to trust in the state far more than Americans do.
Though some people go crazy and plan for every scenario possible, a lot of the Swedish customers order simpler things such as food powder, blankets and backpacks.
Qvarnström initially thought the demand would be greater in the rural areas, where people are more prone to thinking about facing various challenges caused by for example the weather, but location does not seem to play that big a part in terms of what the customers buy to prepare.
Story continues below…
"I have a very wide range of clients, both from the cities and the rural area, and about 75% of them are male," Qvarnström tells The Local.
Qvarnström remains upbeat, or perhaps rather downbeat, with regards to the prospects for his business model, believing that there will come a time when prepping will pay off, whether it be due to high oil or food prices or a pandemic. He also has a fascination with post-apocalyptic scenarios.
"My dream is to open a post-apocalyptic fashion store," he says, adding that his friends however advised him against stocking shoulder pads and Mad Max-style hairspray.
"There is something about the feeling of being entirely alone in a city, just like in movies or video games." 

For more news from Sweden, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Sanna Håkansson (sanna.hakansson@gmail.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Sweden can extend border controls, EU says
A police officer carrying out a check at Sweden's border with Denmark. Photo: Emil Langvad/TT

EU countries including Sweden should be granted permission to extend temporary border controls by a period of a further three months, the European Commission has decided.

Nobel Prizes
'I'd say he's arrogant but I'd be lying': Swedes on Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan performing in France. Photo: David Vincent/AP

Almost two weeks have passed since Bob Dylan was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and he has yet to acknowledge the win. The Local asked Swedes what they think of the singer's silence.

Sweden cuts 2016 refugee forecast by thousands
A Swedish migration authority office in Stockholm. Photo: Maja Suslin/TT

The country has also slashed its prediction for 2017.

Swedish researchers plan new trucks for women drivers
File photo of trucks in Sweden. Photo: Thomas Johansson/TT

Could vehicles adapted for women attract more female truckers to the profession?

These stats show Swedish driving isn't so gender equal
File photo of a Swedish woman driving a car. Photo: Pontus Lundahl/TT

A new survey shows that few Swedish women get behind the wheel when driving with their male partner.

Revealed: Game of Thrones could be coming to Sweden
Game of Thrones cast members at the Emmy Awards in September. Photo: Jordan Strauss/AP

The producers of the hit show have asked for three rounds of location pictures of Swedish island Gotland.

Prime Minister to meet Swedish troops in Iraq
Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven and his Kurdish counterpart Nechervan Barzani. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Sweden's Prime Minister Löfven is set to meet Swedish troops in Iraq on Tuesday.

Swedish politicians wage war on winter time
Soon it will look like this on your way home from work in Sweden. Photo: Anders Wiklund/TT

Should Sweden stick with summer time all year round?

'Don't turn the Pope into a global teddy bear'
Sweden's Queen Silvia and Princess Leonore visiting Pope Francis in the Vatican last year. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

It's time to hold the Pope to account and make sure he turns his words about reform into action, argues a minister of the Swedish Church ahead of Pope Francis' visit to Sweden.

Löfven: 'Sweden will double its number of troops in Iraq'
Stefan Löfven and Haider al-Abadi during the visit on Monday. Photo: Henrik Montgomery/TT

Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Löfven has promised to double his country's number of troops in Iraq following a meeting with Iraqi counterpart Haider al-Abadi on Monday.

Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Property of the week: Kungsholmen, Stockholm
Sponsored Article
This is Malmö: Football capital of Sweden
The Local Voices
'I simply don’t believe in nationality'
Why we're convinced Game of Thrones is based on Sweden
Blog updates

6 October

10 useful hjälpverb (The Swedish Teacher) »

"Hej! I think the so-called “hjalpverb” (auxiliary verbs in English) are a good way to get…" READ »


8 July

Editor’s blog, July 8th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hej readers, It has, as always, been a bizarre, serious and hilarious week in Sweden. You…" READ »

Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 21st-23rd
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Fury at plans that 'threaten the IB's survival' in Sweden
Analysis & Opinion
Are we just going to let half the country die?
Angry elk chases Swede up a lamp post
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
The Local Voices
'Alienation in Sweden feels better: I find myself a stranger among scores of aliens'
Sponsored Article
Swedish for programmers: 'It changed my life'
People-watching: October 20th
The Local Voices
A layover at Qatar airport brought this Swedish-Kenyan couple together - now they're heading for marriage
Sponsored Article
Top 7 tips to help you learn Swedish
Swede punches clown that scared his grandmother
Sponsored Article
‘Extremism can't be defeated on the battlefield alone’
Fans throw flares and enter pitch in Swedish football riot
Could Swedish blood test solve 'Making a Murderer'?
Sponsored Article
Stockholm: creating solutions to global challenges
Property of the week: Linnéstaden, Gothenburg
Sponsored Article
Why you should 'grab a chair' on Stockholm's tech scene
Swedish school to build gender neutral changing room
Sponsored Article
Where is the Swedish music industry heading?
People-watching: October 14th-16th
Sponsored Article
One expat's strategy for making friends in Stockholm
Man in Sweden assaulted by clowns with broken bottle
Sponsored Article
Nordic fashion in focus at Stockholm University
Nobel Prize 2016: Literature
Watch the man who discovered Bob Dylan react to his Nobel Prize win
Record numbers emigrating from Sweden
People-watching: October 12th
The Local Voices
'Swedish startups should embrace newcomers' talents - there's nothing to fear'
How far right are the Sweden Democrats?
Property of the week: Triangeln, Malmö
Sweden unveils Europe's first elk hut
People-watching: October 7th-9th
The Local Voices
Syria's White Helmets: The Nobel Peace Prize would have meant a lot, but pulling a child from rubble is the greatest reward
jobs available