All of us have ideas of what the perfect prepper stash looks like, but we still sometimes fall short. Because of that, I’ve come up with 10 items that you may have overlooked, and should at least consider adding to your gear if you don’t already have it!
You’ve got your food and water supply figured out. You’ve got a whole bunch of ammunition stored. But what bout these inexpensive items?
- Sewing Kit – if you have one of these unused and just lying around, toss it in with your bug out bag or car kit or put with your other survival gear. Stock up on some strong, all-purpose thread and a few packs of needles too. It’ll be easier to mend your clothes than buy new if you are in a survival scenario. You can also sew all kinds of things if you need to.
- Lip Balm – One of the most uncomfortable feelings is that of chapped lips. Stock up on a lip balm that you like. These take a while to go bad. You could also use Vaseline, but it won’t quite be the same and you may want to save that for firestarter.
- Cable Ties – Neater than duct tape, faster than glue; cable ties are an excellent way of quickly securing things, and good ones are incredibly strong. Get a variety of sizes, but big ones are most useful – they can be cut down if necessary.
- Percolator or French Press -There is nothing wrong with enjoying coffee, even during a SHTF situation. If you don’t already have a percolator or a French press, grab one now and keep it with your gear so you can caffeinate!
- Mylar Blankets – These are the things you find in survival kits or being handed out at the end of a marathon. They’re great for preserving body heat in an emergency – but they have lots of other uses too. They’re strong, waterproof and reflect both heat and light. You can get 50 of these for less than $30! That’s a pretty good deal!
- Aluminum Foil – This is yet another multi-purpose material and could be essential for preppers. It’s reflective, can be used to tweak antennas and has a whole load of cooking uses. Traveling light? Aluminum foil can make a pot for boiling water, and you can wrap food in it to cook in the embers of your fire.
- Survival Books – These may prove to be invaluable! There’s always helpful information in books and it’ll be nice to have a reference if you need one. These three are my suggestions to start your “prepper library” if you haven’t yet. The Prepper’s Blueprint: The Step-By-Step Guide To Help You Through Any Disaster, Get Prepared Now!: Why A Great Crisis Is Coming & How You Can Survive It, and The Survival Medicine Handbook: THE essential guide for when medical help is NOT on the way.
- Playing Cards – Having some kind of entertainment will be helpful too. If you have kids, you may also want to store a few kids’ games or Uno cards. You could be pretty bored without these!
- Fire Blanket – An extinguisher is a one-shot solution, and in an SHTF scenario you’ll struggle to replace or recharge it once it’s been used. A fire blanket will reliably smother small fires, and can also be used on stove fires. Keep the extinguisher for when it’s really needed.
- Soap – a dishwasher detergent and some bars of soap should be in your gear. You’ll want to get clean, be able to clean any dishes or pots and be able to wash your clothing. Youll need soap for this, and these two should cover most of your needs.
If you don’t need any of these items, hopefully this article, at the bare minimum, will get you brainstorming other items you may have overlooked!
Been off the Grid for nearly 5 years now. Best Prepper investment, I Bought 400 disposable lighters for about .20 cents each off Amazon. Buy them in the 50 pack bulk and get 300 to 400 minimum. Amazing, use them all the time every day, skip the crap matches. Get the lighters where you can adjust the wheel inside he metal protector cuff. You can make a torch out of the lighter good for windy camp fire lighting days. Of course have back ups, fire steal etc, but I still have hundreds of these lighters and will also make for great barter tool I gave 50 lighters to a kid who helped me move some things as a barter tool. I said to him, now go take these lighters and sell them for $1 each. You just made 500% on your investment of .20 cents each. When the grid crashed lighters will be worth gold. Best Prepper investment out there. Got to have good fire baby. Your woman will leave you in the dark as you struggle to strike a match. I will steal her from you, with the flic of my Bic and be warming her up at my camp fire.
I would add a Zippo lighter, lighter fluid and flints. Plus matches and other similar implements. A human being should NEVER be without the ability to make fire.
You might also want to include a small supply of “flex cuffs” aka ziplock handcuffs. Available at that big online mail order place.
Soap, OK but I would bring flushable wipes. You can clean yourself and then use as TP.
Long time prepper and fanatical yard sale person here…..love reading these “items” lists! This is a pretty good one, and with the exception of a fire blanket, I/we have it covered. I want to expound on some of the items, and add a few things:
Candles: Is it possible to have too many? These can be spendy to buy mew, but you can get boxes of them at yard sales for pennies. Who cares if they’re Christmas or Halloween themed in July? I have a variety of themed and regular candles, all from sales, along with candle making kits and paraffin. 250# should last awhile.
Lantern wicks and chimneys: Same deal. Available often, we’ve bought a variety of sizes of both, even a case of 12 chimneys that were all the same size. Nice addition to the kerosene lamps we have!
Soap and “Other:” Again, sales. Scored on several boxes of motel sized bottles of shampoo, body wash, cream rinse and lotions, about 10#, and a hundred or so personal size bars of soap, all for $3.00. May not be our regular brand but who cares?
Estate sales are the absolute best for buying aluminum foil, plastic wrap, plastic bags, usually partially used, but often new, and they are priced to move! Who wants a partial roll of foil? ME!!!
I have well over 100 packages of lantern mantles. Fuel won’t last forever, hence the kero and candles, but I have mantles!
Several sewing kits and lots of accessories, but also I have 5, five, awls! None cost over a buck, all have a variety of thread sizes, nylon, cotton, waxed, plain, and a variety of needles, which are expensive if bought commercially.Great back ups to sewing kits.
Last, percolators are great, regular old aluminum/stainless/cast coffee pots that require nothing but heat. Seen everywhere, usually cheap. And filters, all sizes and types, always cheap.And we rarely have plans to use them for coffee making. And we NEVER, EVER pass up napkins, new or partial packs, no matter the theme. We have a huge tote filled with them. Can you say emergency TP?
Yard sales will e starting again soon, and spring is when people are cleaning their garages and shops! You might even be as lucky as me and find a Royal Berkey purifier, new with still wrapped filters, for $8.00! “You must really like coffee to want a pot that size…………………
It is a good idea to learn how to eventually make your own soap, shampoo, laundry detergent, toothpaste etc. All of these items (and virtually all other hygiene products) are actually produced from petroleum distillates. While supplies are still inexpensive and available, it’s a good idea to stock up on ingredients and to have printed-out (‘hard copy’) instructions on how to make the products. I found a website called ‘thesimpledollar’ which featured an article called “How To Make Your Own Laundry Detergent And Save Big Money”. According to the instructions, around $20 of ingredients will produce enough homemade laundry soap to wash 576 loads of laundry! This is two loads of laundry per week for over five years! For a measly twenty bucks! Just one more example of how DIY can produce products that are often just as effective as ready-made, for far less money, and frequently with fewer toxic or questionable ingredients. My one reservation with the laundry-detergent recipe mentioned here is that it still requires commercial bar soap, which is made from petrochemicals. I intend to continue researching alternative substances.
I research and practice many, third world, hippy, alternatives, while keeping one foot in consensus reality.
I felt that re-wear-ables could be turned inside-out and hung on the line, in open air and bright sunlight, which has some antiseptic properties. Mr, Hamm complains of humidity, but the rain is free (assuming there’s nothing bad in the rain.)
HaHaHa…your kids are gonna love you when it comes time to clean up and settle your estate.
(Shakes head and sighs). “Yeah, the old man was a hoarder. Boxes and boxes of junk.I sure wish he woulda got rid of this shit before he got sick. Now I have to deal with it.”
Thanks for listing SOAP. Biggest killer in prolonged catastrophe = dysentery, which can be mitigated by sanitation for which hand soap remains essential. Bars of soap prove more useful than gold in trading for food or ammo.
Our fake, govt makeword school needed some filler material to pad the courses, so Driver’s Ed became Safety / Survival class for half a quarter. The fat, incompetent, admittedly-retarded coach, now a teacher, asked what should be thrown away vs. what should carried with you, if you were to crash in a desert. I answered, depending on the situation, you are not supposed to leave the site of an accident. Further, everything is potentially useful.
Depending the shtf situation, you are typically expected to shelter-in-place. If you are not already keeping these things at your house, or can’t jerryrig any from scratch, you might squat in the illustrated thrifstore or city dump. Any bored person (especially a tweaker) can keep himself busy all day (and for week of nights) with common hand tools and assorted pieces of junk.
May I also remind you of the reason for our medium of exchange, be it ever so humble. You can’t eat the gold, or light fires with the sandwich. Our illustrious Craigslisters and People of Walmart do not support the dirty, free market. There is no such thing as your functional adulthood without a market and price fixer, because everyone will be too good for the last cow on Earth, or some needful medicine. Barter and the gift economy are so hopeless, if you have ever tried it. Behavior gets worse, when they are stressed. Civilization can be good, the rules, structure, and obligation to participate, were there shared values.
11th item overlooked by preppers is reality. Everybody is going to die at some point, regardless of how prepared they are for every event. Some preppers are just completely in denial of their own mortality, in addidtion to how much farther human nature will devolve into in a true state of emergency. How bad does it get in a true emergency? Cannibalism has occured. Even though I am from Wisconsin, I am anti-cannibalstic. I have no chance of surviving. I’ve accepted that. The cannibals have not accepted that they have no chance of surviving either.
Also get a few stainless steel cable ties for things like holding your car exhaust pipes or other heated locations, or other things plastic won’t like.