For those of us on a budget, prepping is often relegated to the back burner. But prepping doesn’t have to be expensive and if you’re a beginner prepper, having these 4 cheap items in your gear or bug out bag will give you a leg up in a catastrophic SHTF situation.
If you’re not a beginner prepper, these items are likely already in your supply. But if you’re just getting into preparedness, this is will be a good place to start!
- Water Filter
You will want a way to filter water if you’re forced to drink from sources such as a stream or a lake. Tools such as the Life Straw work well and will be worth a lot more than the $20 they cost if things go bad in a hurry. A personal water filter like the Life Straw will provide at least 1000 gallons of water. The microfiltration membrane removes 99.999999% of waterborne bacteria (including E. coli and salmonella) and 99.999% of waterborne parasites (including giardia and cryptosporidium). It also removes the smallest microplastics found in the environment (down to 1 micron) and reduces turbidity down to 0.2 microns. Drinking clean water will be necessary for survival.
- Fire Starter
Starting a fire is a skill that can be made much easier with the use of a tool designed to get one built more efficiently. A traditional Ferro rod works well and is small enough and cheap enough that everyone should consider owning one. You can get a high-quality Ferro rod for about $16 and even find some cheaper ones out there. Another bonus option to use in conjunction with the Ferro rod is soaking cotton balls in Vaseline. These will also make fire starting easier and are incredibly inexpensive to purchase. (Put them in a sealed Ziplock bag after soaking in Vaseline to avoid a mess.)
- First Aid Kit
Unfortunately, we’ve all needed a first aid kit at some point and the S has not officially hit the fan just yet. These are readily available at most dollar stores, but for a bit more quality and about the same price with more items, you can get one for around $16 with 299 pieces. We have first aid kits of this size in all our vehicles, sports bags, and in each bathroom of our home because you never know what life has in store for you. Just remember to replenish your first aid kit as you use the items, so it’ll be ready when things go south.
- Can opener and canned goods
If a grocery store in your area offers a “case lot sale” consider stocking up on canned goods at that store. Obviously, these are heavy and not meant for a bug out bag but are still useful for situations like a major blizzard or floods where there’s no way to get to a grocery store for food. But don’t forget a manual can opener! It’s hard to imagine, but I’ve met several people who have thousands of cans of food saved but don’t know where their can opener is located. As cheap as they come, I recommend having several on hand. I also recommend stepping up in quality, because this is a tool you could realistically be using several times a day. For about $12, you can get a pretty decent can opener and it won’t break the bank.
These are the first four items I’d suggest you obtain if you have just begun your prepping journey and are on a budget. This is by no means a complete list of everything you’ll ever need, and only you can decide what’s right for you, but we all started somewhere! And this is meant to frugally help you take the first steps!