A person that believes in self reliance. A "survivalist" does not wish to depend on other people, or the government to take care of them or their family. Many survivalist have gardens so they depend less on grocery stores. In times of civil unrest, such as riots, must survivalist are prepared to defend their homes and families instead of depending on the police. A survivalist is someone who will take care of theirselves and their families instead of asking for help. Survivalist are often associated with the "whacko" types and usually thought to be a little "off" in the head - this is far from the truth. Anyone who prepares for hard times, natural disasters, or periods of civil unrest is a "survivalist."
John is true survivalist, he lost his job last week and already found another one.
Jim was lost in the woods for three days and found his own way out - he is a real survivalist.
usually a fairly crazy person, who thinks that eventually the world be a big free-for-all, traits of one may include, paranoia about politics and war, large stash of weapons and ammo and food, medical supplies, and sometimes even a bomb-shelter on their property. very militaristic person
i just bought a rifle off this crazy survivalist, he showed me his weapons stash 20 feet below ground dug from his basement, i was in the military, and even i had never seen some of the things that man had, guns and ammo of every type!