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4 Inexpensive Items for The Prepper on a Budget

Mac Slavo
June 1st, 2019
Comments (94)

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!

  1. 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.

  1. 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.)

  1. 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.

  1. 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!

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Author: Mac Slavo
Date: June 1st, 2019
Website: www.SHTFplan.com

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  1. Genius says:

    5: a decent knife. You can get a Kershaw 1970 on ebay for 16 bux. That is my daily carry knife and I use it all the time. One handed fast opening and a thick sturdy blade.

    • Menzoberranzan says:

      Yes, a good knife is a must. They talked about a can opener. Do not buy a cheap one. It’ll break and you’ll be taking a hammer to your cans, which ain’t fun.

      • tlbaby says:

        Get a few P-38 and P-51 Can Openers. Throw one in each vehicle. I’ve got one hanging on my key-ring with tape around it.

        • Menzoberranzan says:

          A well made slingshot/wrist rocket with ball bearings or just the right size rocks is a handy tool. It will kill and accuracy comes with practice like anything else.

          • Genius says:

            I bought a couple of wrist rocket slingshots and the issue with them is the bands deteriorate fairly fast. Even the spares I had in the factory packaging. I gave up on them and got a pump up pellet pistol for the quietness.

        • repr sleepr says:

          Get the P51 and don’t bother with the 38. The 51 is bigger and can be used with gloves on in cold weather. Sportsman Guide has the 38 and the 51 and they used to run around ten bucks for a bag of 100 of either. I carry the 51 on every set of key rings I have. I rap a rubber band around them to keep them from opening.

          • Panther says:

            Yep, I bought 100 of each. The 38’s are smaller but they’ll do in a pinch. I have 1 of each on my keychain

          • Karl V. says:

            If you’re paying $10 for a hundred P-51 openers, they must be the cheesiest crap that China can possibly make.

            Genuine ‘Shelby’ P-51 openers are made in the USA and in a bulk lot of 100 units they are around $1 each; the price drops to 50c each for a lot of 500.

            Opening one can with a P-51 is okay; if you’re doing several cans, you quickly notice the edges of the opener pressing uncomfortably into your fingers. I’d much rather use the can opener on my Victorinox Swiss Army knife.

            For something that you can use every day and that will be great in a long-term crisis, get the ‘Kuhn Rikon Auto Deluxe Safety Smooth Touch Can Opener’ — it’s about $20 and seems to be the most highly rated of the “no sharp edges” openers that cut through the side of the rolled rim, rather than through the top of the can.

            Also, the ‘safety opener’ will not create tiny metal slivers that fall into the opened can of food, which is often the case with an ordinary “top open” can opener (both manual and electric). I’ve noticed that neither my P-51 or my Swiss knife creates these metal shards; it seems to be specific to top-open rotary openers.

          • The p38 beats the p51 hands down. I’ve opened 10 cans in a row with a p38 no problem. P51 are bigger but not better, in fact harder to use. So you can have all my p51s. I’ll keep my p38s. Btw, I’m Still using the same p38 I got in 1979….

        • Clown World says:

          I’ve tied them to strings, and hung them *inside of my pockets, before.

          But, you’ve already committed to bulk, when carrying the cans.

    • TharSheBlows says:

      1. Sawyer Filter. Read the specs vs. Liestraw

      2. Box of 50 lighters $12

      3. Dont get hurt. Tourniquet.

      4. Military P-52 stainless its bigger than the P-38

    • Anonymous says:

      If you are looking to buy a folder Cold Steel is the best value going..
      The Cold Steel Voyager costs around $50.
      Made from Japanese Aus-10 Steel.
      Has the STRONGEST locking system available in a folding knife (Triad Lock)..
      If you want a better grade of steel you can get the Recon 1 by CS for roughly $90 and it’s made from American CPM-S35vn powdered steel. Cold Steel also has a few folders still available in XHP steel which is an AWESOME grade of steel..

      • I recently discovered Bestech Knives. Their folder blades are D2 Tool Steel, hard as all get out and sharp, right out of the box. Only brand I’ve ever purchased that didn’t require sharpening or edge re-profiling to achieve the level of sharpness I like to have in a knife.

        The Lion and Swordfish models are impeccable for EDC. Both are flippers with a ball bearing pivot for one handed opening. Around $60.00 including shipping and available from many online knife and other outlets.

        Disclosure: I am NOT affiliated with Bestech or any other knife manuf’r or sales outlet.

    • reper sleepr says:

      I happened to come upon a Schrade CHF10 at “The knife Center” in Fredricksburg VA. It is a beast of a knife and excellent for chopping (1/4 inch thick blade spine) and Micarta handles. Has good reviews and will make a good camp blade. The sheath is not the greatest [email protected] $ 29.99

      • reper sleepr says:

        The model is actually SCHF10 (sorry)

        • Cat Herder says:

          Reaper, thanks! Road trip for me as it’s local.
          One other item to consider-SUV’s usually have a rudimentary first aid kit under the rear seat/left rear side compartment…Nissan P-up’s with 4 doors have them under the right rear seat. If the SHTF, med supplies like bandages etc, might be a scrounge source…

    • Plan twice, prep once says:

      My pocket knife of choice is a Kershaw 3870. It’s blade is only 2.5 inches so it meets federal law for carrying it on military bases and most federal facilities that don’t ban all knives.

      It is the knife I reach for first. It’s always sharp and food grade clean. Some grain alcohol is a great cleaning agent.

      If I’m carrying a larger knife, this one is also on me. Should I need a knife in a public place, the little one draws no ones attention. A larger knife could freak someone out and attention is not the way of the gray man.

  2. Elkhound says:

    Smokeless Tobacco cans(not the one’s with cardboard bottom) make excellent containers for storing small items..I like to put a few hooks,sinkers and roughly 30 feet of line in one can and simply place it in my front pocket.. I also like to store some dry tinder such as sawdust,curls from feather sticks, and/or lent from the clothes dryer,along with a few wooden matches dipped in wax in another tobacco can,and place it in the other front pocket..I glue a stricker on the inside bottom of the can and I have one way of making fire..I also carry either a Ferro-Rod or Magnesium Stick as well,just in case.. A lot of items being marketed and hyped as “necessities” for surviving a SHTF scenario are grossly overpriced and are not really necessary..A little ingenuity goes a long way..Get OUTSIDE and practice..Learn the “bow drill” and “hand drill” methods of making fire.. The more you know, the less you need..

  3. rellik says:

    Do not ever buy a first aid kit.
    Make your own! I’m not a first responder,
    but my wife was a certified nurses aide, and
    we have patched up a lot of people that
    bled all over the place. How many first aid
    kits have Israeli made wound bandages?
    I still have the P38 I used to eat, for months
    after a devastating hurricane hit Guam.
    That is all we had, C rations.
    I also carry a Gerber Multi-tool, constantly.
    Fire starter is good, so are Bic Lighters.
    Because it rains so much where I live
    water filters are not a high priority
    but I do have a Katadyn.
    The one thing the author left out is
    a Mylar “sleeping bag”
    Remember the rule of Threes.
    You may die if
    you go three minutes without air
    you go three hours without shelter
    you go three days without water
    you go three weeks without food.
    Keep that in mind when you make preparations.

    • Justice says:

      rellik, I have always felt that food is MORE important than water because as long as it falls from the sky, every so often, I’m kind of set. Unless God starts raining Mana from Heaven again, food is NOT going to ‘fall from the sky”.

      I know water is really important it’s just that when I started researching economic collapses it was always starvation that killed people. Starvation was always the main threat.

      It took a while for me to take the lack of water threat seriously. I guess all prepers have their quirks, water was mine. Admittedly, people should prep according to the rule of 3s.

      • Genius says:

        relik, you are absolutely correct! Make your own first aid kit! Most kits are filled with tiny bandaids and shit you will NEVER USE. I have a few surplus surgical kits with sutures (new ones) and big gauze and tampons and burn bandages and motrin and neosporin and sugar (closes wounds fast) tweezers etc. the list is not too long but it is shit you WILL use. I am a firefighter/rescue volunteer too and most prepackaged kits are shit…

        • buttcrackofdoom says:

          hell, being a hiker/bike-rider, i been using napkins from the fast food places, and electrical tape for MY firstaid kit for many years. i have patched up a sh tload of cuts with it. it’s stretchy, so you can put it on tighter or loose, depending on how much blood is flowing, and don’t forget you can put it on upsidedown, so it doesn’t stick to something. use it for T/P too, of coarse. electrical tape has a whooooole lot of uses. i was riding once near a canal, and found a bunch of soccer, basketballs, baseballs, and such floating. i grabbed a bunch of them for my kids, and taped them in my jacket, and taped them to my pack. i probly looked like a camel, but i get ’em home for my boys. when in my truck i got all that stuff you talk about, and more, but if i/m hikin/bikin’, i need just the rudimentary stuff to stop the bleedin’…….i can also splint with it……….

      • Clown World says:

        A legit Pentecostal would be cool.

  4. 6.,7.,8., sewing kit

    A sewing kit need not be expensive. Start with needles and thread.

    The needles are small and fit in a bug out bag. Needles come in various sizes and different qualities from crap on up. I like German needles. I have needles designed to sew leather. The smallest one can be used as a regular sewing needle. And it is strong. You could repair a tent with it. But I would go with one of the larger leather needles for repairing canvas tents.

    Thread takes up space. One spool of polyester thread can go into a bug out bag. But many things can double for thread if you have needles.
    Long human hair is very fine but has incredibly strong tensile strength.
    Parachord, dental floss, plants and vines, string, thread repurposed from cloth or clothing.

    Everyone should learn the six basic stitches used in sewing by hand.

    Scissors or shears are also a good investment. Tiny scissors can be used to trim a beard, cut nose and ear hairs, clean up eyebrows (note to Donald). They can be used to cut gauze bandages. And they can be used to cut thread.

    Again quality is important. German, Japanese, and made in the USA.

    Sterilized for medical purposes.



    • repr sleepr says:

      Get a #14 nickel plated sail needle. It will do just about anything you need to sew including tent repairs and cuts don’t forget titanium sporks. Dental floss can be used for sewing up a bad cut as long as it does not have peppermint on any other coating on it.

  5. Suggestion

    If you are downsizing, cleaning out your closet, consider this.

    Your good clothes can be sold or donated.

    But old worn out clothes may have more value to you when taken apart.

    Remove zippers and buttons. And save them to be used at another time.

    Pull or cut the remaining clothing at the seams.

    Wash, fold, and place in a muslin bag (or what have you) to be used as rags for cleaning, etc.


    • Stuart says:

      “Remove zippers and buttons. And save them to be used at another time. ”
      I never thought of that (zippers I mean) – and I thought I thought of everything.

      • Genius says:

        YARD SALES! Today I scored a 1911 holster a Beretta 96 holster a padded camo rifle sling, A medium size semi pistol holster with mag pouch, an ak reciever cover with hammer, and some other stuff (too lazy to go look) for 20 bucks! This guy had reloading stuff, boolits, belts etc. cheap. Yard sales are great for high quality cheap.

        • Mountain Trekker says:

          On the subject of holsters, I have a Beretta 92A1 which has the rail and I have a crimson trace laser sight on it, does anyone know what brand and model of holster will fit this rig. Trekker Out

  6. SemperFido says:

    Another fire source is a propane torch lighter. Found in any big box hardware store. They have a cup which directs all of the sparks down in to your tinder. They are light and waterproof and best of all, really cheap. For around five bucks you can have a lighter and a five pack of spare flints that will provide fire for you, your kids and your grandkids.

  7. Justice says:

    Can opener and canned goods: About 6 months ago I started picking up as many cases of canned potatoes and soups as I could get each trip to Walmart. Each trip I would get 3 or 4 cases of 12 of generic diced potatoes at .50 each; and 3 or 4 cases of various types of generic soups at .50 each.

    NOW I have 104 cases of 12 total. Plus I just special ordered 10 cases of Walmart brand bean and bacon soup! It’s hard to stock up on that type of soup just visiting the store. I can’t wait for it to come in Mon. or Tuesday.

    My point is that anyone with 50.00 or so extra dollars per month can really stock up on canned food. Before you know it, you will be sitting on a large stack of decent food. But no matter what, do WHAT YOU CAN NOW!

    • Justice says:

      Luv me some fried potatoes and Spam! That’s good eats!

      • Genius says:

        With that large a stash of canned goods it’s time to start rotating.

        • Justice says:

          Genius, you got that right. I have pretty much hit my short/mid-term food storage quota. Which is why I have started getting empty 5 gal. Food Grade Buckets, Mylar Bags and Oxygen Absorbers. I want to make sure that I’m prepared for that last min. run to Costco!

          • Genius says:

            A good thing to have that works great too is the gallon size mylar bags and a heat sealer. I have a stash of heavy duty bags with the ziplock and plenty of room above that for heat sealing. They are inexpensive and reusable and seal extremely well. I had an issue a few years ago with storing my bugout pistol in my truck. After about 4 years it started rusting pretty bad (was in a baggie). Now I have it in a mylar bag with 3 mags and holster and box of ammo and have no issues at all! Just tear the top off and away you go. You can put leftover food etc. or anything that fits in them and heat seal them and it will last for years. The sealer is cheap and very handy for sealing any kind of plastic/mylar bags. Here’s what I have….

            ht tps://www.ebay.com/itm/50-1-Gallon-Genuine-Mylar-Bags-50-300cc-Oxygen-Absorbers-Food-Storage/220707609445?epid=1411419725&hash=item336332db65:g:IvUAAOSwsS1Zi3Fo

            ht tps://www.ebay.com/itm/8-12-16-Hand-Impulse-Heat-Sealing-Sealer-Machine-Poly-Element-Plastic-Sealer/332898439422? hash=item4d824b10fe:m:myPJHd9WJ0kbd8g8XSZLSxQ

            • Genius says:

              Ooops those were the wrong bags. Here are the right ones…

              ht tps://www.ebay.com/itm/20-1-Gallon-Mylar-Pro-Bags-10×16-300cc-Oxygen-Absorbers-Long-Term-Food-Storage/170856117125?hash=item27c7d17385:g:C2EAAOxysE5SbNRp:sc:USPSPriorityFlatRateEnvelope!84721!US!-1

            • Justice says:

              Just ordered some. Thanks! I use a Flat Iron to seal. I used to have a heavy duty sealer but it has disappeared over at my Bothers house!

              • Genius says:

                Cool, you will love them! To get the most uses out of them just seal the very end of the bag. Work your way down with every use. There is a slit on the side above the ziplock for easy opening but if you cut it instead right below the heatseal you will get the most from them. Those bags are tough! Great for long term firearms storage (and food). There is no end to what you can use them for, ammo, medical supplies, optics, anything that needs to be perfectly dry, you could tie a rock to them and sink them to the bottom of a lake for 10 years and whatever you put in it would be fine! Much much tougher than vac pack bags and about the same price! 😀 You sir are a GREAT prepper!

                • Genius says:

                  Ha this discussion has given me another idea! Hide some pistols with ammo etc. mainstay bars and whatever you might want in a small cache in well sealed mylar bags and bury them just off the bank of a lake or stream/ river (under the water) and NO ONE would EVER find it! What a perfect hiding spot! Ever seen the PO PO metal detecting or searching underwater? Tie a rock to it or whatever to make sure it stays there and your set!

                • Genius says:

                  Hell, cast in in concrete, and bury it and put river rocks etc. over it. Imma liking this idea!

    • Arby5 says:

      Check out ALDI for great prices on canned goods if you are near one. We love our ALDI and think the quality is great too. They have a baking mix which is awesome for making Pancakes, Waffles, Biscuits, Muffins and MORE !

      • Panther says:

        Aldi canned fruit and vegetables taste really good and they’re quite inexpensive.

      • Mountain Trekker says:

        Believe it or not, last fall I headed over the Divide for some late season deer hunting and I threw several cans of out dated canned goods in my redneck camper and headed out, that night I got read to cook up a bite to eat and of all things, my cans of whole potatoes had gone bad, I’ve used all kinds of out dated canned goods and never had any that went bad. The first can was bulged on the end and the second can spewed like old faithful when I opened it, needless to say I trashed all of my canned potatoes. I’ve always heard that acidic food was the first to go bad, but would never figure potatoes would go bad. Trekker Out

      • Justice says:

        Arby5, I JUST discovered an Aldi’s in my area. Apparently it has been there for a year. It will be a great resource for this prepper. It’s to bad that “Pop Tarts” (Generic Brand) don’t last forever like Twinkies do because they had a great deal on those. I still got six boxes, There goes my diet!

    • Montana Guy says:

      Justice, Amen! to that. Most folks will NOT be bugging out, nor should they. Food is priority #1. Many think that they can’t afford prepping (or use $ as an excuse). Your suggestion will work. It requires a little money and much discipline.

    • Karl V. says:

      I would never buy any quantity of regular commercial tinned food, due to the presence of herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, etc. Sure, I have some regular cans of food in the pantry; but I regard this as a stop-gap measure while I slowly work to phase out these items and replace them with better-quality food.

      Regular (non-organic) potatoes are treated with chlorpropham (“sprout-nip®”) to prevent “unsightly” sprouting. Supposedly the stuff is “low toxicity” but that’s the same thing they said about Round-up and a thousand other chemicals as well. I don’t trust Monsanto or any other chemical company.

      Yes, organic food is more expensive; but what is more important than your health? The same people who act all shocked at spending an extra 50 cents or dollar per can of food, are often the same people who never hesitate to spend $20 a week on lottery tickets ($1,000+ per year) or $250 a year to grab a cup of $1 take-out coffee on the way to work (instead of making a cup of coffee at home for 15c per cup… $38 per year).

      My goal is to ultimately source all of my survival food locally and to can it myself in glass Mason jars using a pressure-canner.

      For those who haven’t yet heard: even though the tariff situation will impact trade with China, there will still be tons of stuff coming from there…. and one of the more sinister items is poultry. Our “public servants” have agreed to let China flood the USA with both raw poultry and processed poultry products (like chicken nuggets and breaded chicken strips) WITHOUT ANY LABELING to indicate origin. (The trade-off is that China will allow us to export beef to them.) An awful lot of this stuff is being served to the American public in restaurants, include the fancy white-tablecloth places. The restaurant biz is cut-throat and all of these places will do anything they can to cuts costs.

      I am now only buying organic chicken in stores (really expensive) and am looking for a local place that raises poultry and can supply me with food that I know is decent quality.

  8. Kevin2 says:

    I have had a P38 on my key chain for the last 30 years.

    • Genius says:

      Most of my canned goods are at the BOL. I have several high quality can openers there and at home too. If I am away and need to open a can I use my knife and a rock,

      • buttcrackofdoom says:

        there’s a video out there where you set a can on concrete, and start rotating it back and forth, and soon you’ll be able to just pull off the top(bottom). googleit. and don’t forget, there’s a lot of WATER in those cans……great sterilized drinking water…..don’t just dump it out.

    • rellik says:

      nearly 45 years on my keychain.

  9. Now after waiting 24 hours to see what the shooter in VA looked like,I understand. If it were of a different hue,I wouldn’t have had to wait. Just sayin’.

  10. Justice says:

    Fire Starter: I still don’t have a “traditional Ferro rod” and $16.00 can buy a lot of BIC Lighters. Lighters are as “primitive” as I want to get?!?!

    • reper sleepr says:

      Justice, you can check the level of your lighter fluid just by using a flashlight. Place the lens up to the bottom and turn it on. You should see the level of fluid you have left in most of the lighters. (except the black ones).

      • Justice says:

        That reminds me of a Joke. You can tell a persons “drug of choice” at an NA meeting, because certain former drug users could light their cigarettes in the middle of a Hurricane.

        Us Alcoholics were always struggling to light our cigarettes, by the time we got them lit “certain people” were done, heading back to the meeting. It was an amazing thing to behold.

        • Anonymous says:

          The one thing I always found interesting with NA meetings were the number of people that would readily admit to being an Alcoholic,and didn’t mind sharing in their battle with Alcoholism..
          As soon as the topic switched to prescription drug abuse the same people would go quite even though at least 90% of them were also addicted to prescription meds..

        • Genius says:

          50 BIC lighters (full size) on ebay are 50 bux. That will last you YEARS!

          • Montana Guy says:

            Genius, you got it! I purchased a box of BIC lighers 10 years ago along with a few ‘grill size’ lighters. Every couple years I test a random sample of each. The BIC lighters function flawlessly. However half of the ‘grill size’ lighters have failed to date. I’d put zero faith in them. They are bulky and have a high unit cost.

    • Stuart says:

      Whatever is being used as “flint” on modern BIC lighters (and the sort) is not real flint. It is some sort of composition material that WILL degrade over time. It gets chalky and WILL NOT function, rendering the lighter useless. I had a dozen stored for six or seven years in their original packaging and every one went bad when I needed them for hurricane Harvey. Valuable lesson.
      Word to the wise – GET A FIRESTICK.

      • Justice says:

        Thanks for the heads up. I will test them out and then vacuum seal them. That should help them last!?!?

        • Genius says:

          I have found lost bic lighters in my truck that had to be 8 years old or more and they work fine! Maybe it is an environmental issue? I store a case of them in my conex container open air and they are perfect. You sure you have real bic? Could be a chinese knockoff called DIC lol.

      • Justice says:

        I just tested a few lighters out of each 50 pack and they work fine. But I put them in freezer bags to keep them from moisture and humidity. I have to fish out all my cheapo lighters and do the same.

        I also tracked down my 5 Zippos with replacement wicks and flints. Plus lots of lighter fluid!

        • Genius says:

          Justice, good on that! I wish every prepper was like you! Smart, inquisitive, inventive, improvational, etc. One thing I absolutely have in every bugout kit and vehicle and BOL is mainstay bars. 3 days of food and calories for under 8 bucks with 5 year shelf life regardless of temperature. A 30 day supply is the size of a shoebox. Perfect for apt. living. So compact you could live for a month out of a backpack (including everything else). Shit like MRE’s are bulky, heavy, short shelf life (especially in any heat), a week of food is nearly 10 times the size of mainstay bars and full of chemicals from hell.

      • Clown World says:

        Quits working in steam and humidity.

        • Genius says:

          Then perhaps a piezo ignition lighter would work in those conditions? Or the old standby “waterproof matches”.

          • Genius says:

            Or this handy item I posted about the other day, a solar lighter. I bought 200 of them on alibaba for a buck a piece and sell them at work for 5 bucks. They work well in good sun…

            ht tps://www.ebay.com/itm/Camping-Survival-Solar-Lighter-Waterproof-Windproof-Fire-Starter-EDC-Emergency/283480020697?hash=item4200b9d6d9:g:sKUAAOSwVHFc1VD5

            • rellik says:

              The bastard won’t ship to Hawaii.
              I really get tired of idiots that don’t know
              the USPS mails things to Hawaii and Alaska.

              • Genius says:

                relik, don;t stop at that one seller. There are at least 100 of them and odds are they WILL ship to you. I just put that link in to show people. If you scroll down in shows the same thing from different sellers. They are really cool!

            • reper sleepr says:

              I use flint(chert) and charred cloth to start my camp fire. I would however use the Bic first if I was cold, tired and wet to get the fire going. I’m a big fan of soup. I like to cook my soup over a nice bed of coals in my pot. Walmart & BJ’s does carry the dried lipton chicken soup that can be eaten whole or used to enhance homecooked chicken noodle soup. This is a dried package with two pouches of soup that I have eaten many times, because I like the flavors. This is something that does has a good shelf life and to me gives a comfort when you might need it most.

          • Clown World says:

            The Medieval version of flint and steel will work, reliably, under Medieval conditions.

            Nothing has ever been more expedient, in my big and clunky world, than heft and substance.

          • Clown World says:

            The Medieval version of flint and steel will work, reliably, under Medieval conditions.

            Nothing has ever been more expedient, in my big and clunky world, than heft and substance.

    • Panther says:

      There’s a grocery store that I pass by in my travels. I stop there for lunch sometimes cause they got the best damn fried chicken that you’d buy in a place like that. They also sell a 5 pack of full size bic lighters for 5 bucks. I know you can get them on amazon cheaper but I pay cash for most stuff. I don’t like the paper trail, cause believe it or not, purchases are tracked and data bases are populated with that sort of info

      • hillbillySC says:


        Amen brother. 😉

        Also, any store loyalty card gets the ol’ John Smith treatment.
        It’s just another database for them to build on.

        Cash is king. 🙂

        Y’all play nice now.

        • Karl V. says:

          “John Smith” and similar aliases are fine, but I sometimes use one that I swiped from Larry Flynt (the porn king)….. I read long ago in a magazine article that his favorite alias was “Jack N. Miehoff” ~ LOL

  11. Richard Steven Hack says:

    Most can openers are a disaster. They frequently break. Just look at the reviews for every can opener on Amazon.

    I bought one that can’t break and never fails. It’s this one:

    Japanese Can Opener (Ganji Kankiri)

    It’s seven bucks, is essentially a giant P-38 can opener of solid steel which is quite hefty, and rips through cans like you wouldn’t believe. Might be a little heavy for the bugout bag (substitute a P-51), but for home use it’s perfect. Trust me on this.

  12. Asshat says:

    Got a truck load of free red oak off craigslist. Take seedlings that grow from the last years crop re plant them costs nothing. Free scrap metal off craigslist make some $. Buy supplies.

  13. Traitor Hator says:

    You gotta se Eric Butterbean, Don’t underestimate fat boys?

  14. Traitor Hator says:

    Flash match has the biggest flint?

  15. Traitor Hator says:

    Sorry blast match.

  16. Anonymous says:

    ht tps://youtu.be/Jzly6jrepRU

  17. me102 says:

    FYI those lifestraws only go to 0.2 microns from the looks. Not sure that picks up all the virii in the water…. but better than nothing!!!

  18. Rock Roller says:

    And this is why I enjoy this site….the comments section has as good or better survival tips and advice as the articles.

  19. Anonymous says:

    I would have said seeds, a developed discipline of primitive agriculture, hunting, and gathering.

    I am built like a pro-Wrestler, mainly as a simple matter of genetics. I physically looked like the person, in the illustration, when I was about 10yrs old, and was always doing things like this.

    I have always used self sufficiency as means to make my pocketbook and pantry go further. So, I think of it as a matter of physical coordination, no different from shooting a basketball.

    But, I would die, soon, if I couldn’t do these things, during an emergency.

    Also, one interesting way to get dragged into politics, ask someone where their water comes from, on a good day.

    How does someone go to a gym or work with their hands and not come up with this.

    Hand tools in excellent repair, no matter how old, are never useless, if you are bored and physical. You could probably fill every waking moment, if you were inclined to be so constructive.

    As well as the buttons, zippers, etc — hinges, nuts, bolts. Any component, tested and in working order, also has some market value, fwiw.

  20. Clown World says:

    I would have said seeds, a developed discipline of primitive agriculture, hunting, and gathering.

    I am built like a pro-Wrestler, mainly as a simple matter of genetics. I physically looked like the person, in the illustration, when I was about 10yrs old, and was always doing things like this.

    I have always used self sufficiency as means to make my pocketbook and pantry go further. So, I think of it as a matter of physical coordination, no different from shooting a basketball.

    But, I would die, soon, if I couldn’t do these things, during an emergency.

    Also, one interesting way to get dragged into politics, ask someone where their water comes from, on a good day.

    How does someone go to a gym or work with their hands and not come up with this.

    Hand tools in excellent repair, no matter how old, are never useless, if you are bored and physical. You could probably fill every waking moment, if you were inclined to be so constructive.

    As well as the buttons, zippers, etc — hinges, nuts, bolts. Any component, tested and in working order, also has some m.arket v.alue, fwiw. Cleaned and testable, for presentation purposes. Barter can help you scrape by. Stone soup.

  21. Plan twice, prep once says:

    Each of my cars has a small 12 VDC tire inflator from Harbor Fright. It came in a canvas bag that has some spare space. I added a tire repair plug kit with an extra pack of 30 tire plugs plus two BIC lighters and for good measure one of my old retired pocket knives, a long burning candle and a couple 20 dollar bills.

    A few months ago I got a flat, used my kit, but discovered I needed a tool to remove the nail to finish the repair, so now I added a multi-tool to each kit.

    I bought a small first aid kit for my knap sack because I liked the box, I replaced most of the crap with more useful stuff. In your main first aid kit add a suture stapler and a staple removing tool. Watch the YouTube how to video for a stapler a couple times till it sinks in.

    I really like my class 3A body armor backpack. Body armor you can wear and not stand out. It’s always with me, and no one cares. There a was a story a couple years ago because a guy tried to wear body armor onto a plane. He was stopped questions by police and missed his plane. No one has ever questioned or even commented on my bag. Yes, it only protects my back, but then that’s the side a coward would attack. I can also hold it in front of me.

    • Genius says:

      PTPO, another very good thing to have in your vehicle is a spare belt/belts. All the flat tires in the world won’t matter if your belt/s break. They are cheap and take little space. Check ebay for the best deals.

      • Plan twice, prep once says:

        Tires on a car are the weak link. There was a rest area on a highway I commuted to work on. 90% of the tire changers I ever saw were in the 8 miles North of that rest area and the tow trucks that operated out of it. Yes, I always suspected the tow truck guys. Then one year it just stopped. I suspect a bad person was canned or quit.

        Anyway, if you are bugging out, plan on creepy people salting certain roads with nails or screws. The phrase “the quick and the dead” comes to mind. If you can fix and fill your tire and get out of there, you might live. People unprepared will sit there until a sniper takes them out to take their stuff.

  22. Kuhn Ricon auto safety lid lifter can opener:

    It takes the entire top off. It does not cut the aluminum leaving a sharp edge like other can openers.


  23. I’d take a good quality general purpose knife and a flash light over most other things.