Start Collecting These Items That Practical Preppers Always Keep Around the House

by | Dec 20, 2018 | Headline News | 94 comments


This article was originally published by Zoey Sky at

An experienced prepper often has a list of essential supplies, such as food, water, and survival gear, that they keep stocked at home or at their bug-out location at all times. However, even the most seasoned survivalist may need reminding, especially when it comes to unusual but useful items. (h/t to

The things below are items that you can collect, recycle, or repurpose into versatile survival tools. You can even use some of them as bargaining chips.

  • Binding – Binding includes cordage like rope, string, twine, twisty-ties, or wire. Binding can be used to build weapons, repair equipment, or secure objects.
  • Dryer lint – Dryer lint may seem like a minor inconvenience when you’re doing the laundry, but when SHTF, you can use it as tinder filler when starting a fire. Store dryer lint in a small, waterproof container. You can also sprinkle some lint in areas in your garden that need extra help to prevent weed growth and erosion. Lint from natural fibers like cotton, flax, and linen may be added directly to a compost pile. Spread the dryer lint on top of the compost pile and drop even handfuls. Moisten the lint with a sprinkler and mix it with the compost using a rake or shovel.
  • Empty lighters – Empty lighters can still emit small sparks that will light fires, especially if you have a sensitive tinder like lint. Keep some dryer lint and an empty lighter in a pill bottle to make a fire kit.
  • Glass jars – Sturdy glass jars, like Mason jars, can have many uses. You can turn Mason jars into makeshift lanterns for outdoor candles or you can fill them with knickknacks like screws or other items that won’t fit in other containers.
  • Leftover lumber – If you have extra storage for leftover lumber, you can use them for various construction projects.
  • Milk or water jugs – Wash and rinse milk or water jugs with a bit of bleach and use them for storage. Keep beans, grains, rice, or seeds in jugs, which are great for storing long-term food items and gardening resources.
  • Newspapers – Aside from using them to clean windows or start fires, you can use newspapers to weave baskets. Newspaper baskets are better for storage, compared to cardboard which can attract pests.
  • Old motors and small engines – Small motors from lawnmowers or other similar equipment can still be used after SHTF. With some tinkering, you can use an engine from an electric mower to power a generator.
  • Safety pins – Keep some safety pins in a jar so you’re ready for various survival scenarios. Safety pins can be used to repair damaged clothing or as crafting tools. Store the pins in a well-sealed container to keep them from rusting. (Related: 8 Household items you can use to treat cuts and wounds at home.)
  • Spice and pill bottles – You can use these bottles to store more spices or pills, but you can also turn them into survival mini-kits. Get a bottle and put lures, several hooks, some small weights, and a length of rope in it to make a survival fishing kit.
  • Used tires – Bury used tires or fill it with soil to make an easy, weed-free planter. You can also re-purpose old tires to make DIY outdoor seats or a swing for your children.

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Check your home for these handy items and resources. You never know when you’re going to need a mini-fish kit or dryer lint to start a fire.

For more articles about other useful items that you may need when SHTF, visit

Sources include:

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    1. Arten

      Electric motor to run a generator??????

      • John Stiner

        My fire starting secret:

        build the fire with your oak logs, then place a large candle on the top, then give it a squirt of BBQ lighter fluid. The candle wax melts and fuels the fire long enough for the oak to burn and take off. The wax burns off and there is no residue.

      • Azrael

        Are you being serious Arten? Sorry I messed the sarc if not, but this won’t work at all.

    2. Kevin2

      If you want to start a campfire a toilet paper center filled with dryer lint with a teaspoon of Vaseline (a tad less actually) at one end works great. Put it lube side up, light the bottom.

      • Genius

        Or perhaps 1 part vaseline and 9 parts potassium chlorate? 😉

        • Warchild Dammit!

          Sigh,have you looked up/read the tm31-210 yet?Stop wasting time with vasoline ect. for that desired effect,take a moment out of posting and look it up,Dammit!

          • Genius

            Found it for 8 bux, thanks lol.

            • Warchild Dammit!

              Uh,put out by govt. for free open source.

              • Genius

                I like hard copies and don’t have a printer.

                • Warchild Dammit!

                  You do have pen/paper,or,perhaps a quill/ink well and parchment?

                  • Genius

                    Ha ha ya. But for 8 bux it’s worth it. Also have AN cookbook, Poor mans James bond, etc. on a drive. Gotta love that stuff!

                • NEC_Wrangler

                  ht (space) tp://

                  • John Stiner

                    Good resource, thanks.

              • grandee

                ht tp://,%20Improvised%20Munitions%20Handbook.pdf

          • Heartless

            ht tp://,%20Improvised%20Munitions%20Handbook.pdf

            just download. Save your money. Merry Christmas

            • grandee

              oooops–good job Heartless

              didn’t see it before I posted

      • ANGRY FROG


      • Eisenkreutz

        Is it ok for a white man to have sex with mud women?


        • John Stiner

          Where do you think President Obama came from.

          • Genius

            He was a test tube baby because he wasn’t worth a fook! 😛

      • Beaumont

        A cattail can be put under a pinecone — preferably, no more than a year old and still sticky. It is helpful to wrap the cattail or place it in a tube or some other container, to keep it fromm blowing away like a million dandelion seeds. The oily seeds seem to be the flammable part — not the fiber, imo.

        A craftsman was being furtive, about what is a ferrite (ferrous, iron) rod, and how is a small, square peg made to fit a small, square hole.

        Grinding wheel.

        Pilot hole.

        Get it red hot.

        • dc


        • Genius


          • Genius

            Yer a sick, sick man beaumont! (sarc off).

            • Beaumont

              It’s not Venezuela, yet.

              Does it seem weird, to anyone else, the concept of raising or hunting one animal for meat, and feeding it to a housepet?

      • Gwen

        When I burn candles I pour the hot wax on the lint in the tp roll. When I need to use it, it lights up very quickly.

    3. Warchild Dammit!

      While a very small list a nice start.Dryer lint rubbed with a little petroleum jelly makes a even better fire starter,especially in damp/rainy conditions,have tested in rain and got going with a ferrous rod.The flints in dead disposable lighters work just fine in me zippos,and,remember,zippo fluid is just naptha,can be bought very cheap at home depot ect. in paint dept.

      • Genius

        Yes WCD, Jack Daniels errrr I mean naptha is good too lol. I always have me flask of high proof wheesky that doubles as firestarter too! Cotton balls with vaseline can be stored in a ziplock bag. When are you gonna pay a visit?

        • Warchild Dammit!

          Dude,4 years gone,have a shot of the Jack in me coffee as I type,future comments will show how many cups I have.

          Any road trip to hell(and back) would be late spring,head to CO./Cali. ect. in search of that early 70’s/late 60’s rust free truck,get it back to Hampster and the project from hell begins!

          • Genius

            If yer lookin for rust free you need to look at NV or AZ. But beware, they can be pricey. What are you looking for? Maybe I can get a deal for you.

            • Warchild Dammit!

              4×4,preferably Chevy but consider all,time for another project as I have the monies,great body necc. though faded original paint absolutely perfect!Drive train can be awesome or nothing,that part I can do,start by ordering a crate 383 and work from there!I have seen great examples in both Co & Cali. but seem rarer every visit.

              • Genius

                Damn I had a 72 chevy 4×4 longbed you would have loved but alas, I sold it back when. I do see them from time to time they seem to be in the 4K range for a good truck.

              • buttcrackofdoom

                i will take a look around here in so cal for a 68 to 72 chevy pickup. i had one 15 years ago for a short time… power steering and no A/C made my decision to sell easy. if you need an eyes-on look at something NEAR hi-desert/victor valley, let me know. i just saw an orange one in the last month or so sittin’ in a yard… idea WHERE i saw it, but i will look around.

                • Anon

                  As long as you folks are talking trucks—–Anyone got a 63-66 short bed chevy c10 with minimal rust? I don’t care much about drive train. I think this web site could be used to buy and sell some stuff since people are situated all over the country. Mr. Mac. How about a for sale section on you site? Could be a winner.

                  • Genius

                    With a coupon for free chicken dinner!

        • The Deplorable Renegade

          Genius, uh, did you mean The Anarchist’s Cookbook? I’ve also got a copy of that. One of the cousins tried out some of the things in that book some years back. I’ll only say that the results were the exact opposite of what was advertised so it’s a wonder he’s still alive. So I would forget anything in that book. The Poor Man’s James Bond MIGHT be a different story but I can’t say for sure.

          • Warchild Dammit!

            Renegade,just go with the tm31-210,put out by the feds public ally(why?).

        • jackdaniels

          Careful with the An Cookbook. Many of those recipes will get you killed.

          • The Deplorable Renegade

            Jack, that’s exactly my point to Genius earlier. I don’t trust anything in that book.

            • Genius

              I haven’t tried anything from there but did try some shit from ragnar bensons book and it was a fail (chemistry shit).

      • rellik

        You guys are weak!
        I bought a 2004 B4000 4wd 5 speed stick
        for $3500 and I’m in Hawaii.
        Body and interior are as about as clean as can be.
        Buy a laptop and the software, and
        go for it.
        You don’t even have half the shipping hassles I have.
        I can replace the engine, and Tranny for less than $8000.
        So I have a basically new truck, 4WD, full tow package
        ladder rack, manual trans, for under 15K.
        Prepping is having tools, skills, a shop, and
        an internet connection.

        • Genius

          relik, put down the wine bottle! We are talking about 60’s 70’s trucks with points ignition (I know you remember that). The thing is to get away from newer shit. Software? WTH is that? I can replace the engine/tranny in an old chevy for 3K! I love ya man but DAMN….

          • Warchild Dammit!

            Genius,he bought a Ford Ranger with a Mazda badge and spent too much rebuilding it!

            • durangokidd

              Exactly. 🙁

              • dc


            • Genius

              relik, I bought a ford f-150 4×4 with EVERY option the factory had for 4K in 2007. 140K miles, dual gas tanks, skid plates, auto hubs, 5.o engine, EVERYTHING! I just changed the usual shit right after I got it, starter, alt, belts, water pump, hoses, battery. None of it was bad but I always replace things that I know are soon to go out. I still have it and it runs like a champ! 230K on it now with a lot more to go. Has factory posi rear end too. Tow package all of it! I even have the factory window sticker listing it all. The best truck I have owned.

              • Genius

                Oh ya, it’s a 93…

          • Genius

            If I could have back any vehicle I ever owned it would be my old 72 Toyota landcruiser FJ-45! Had the straight 6 with rochester carb and GM centrifugal advance distributor. That thing was a TANK! Had a 1 foot extended bumper with warn winch too. I got to explore shit others only dreamed of! The doors and top came off and had a roll bar (thank god) and I could fix anything on it! One time I was being stupid and doing jumps with it and shorted out the wiring harness. I just wired the ignition coil up and jumped the starter (after unplugging the harness) and drove my ass home. That thing was sooo tough and fun… god how I loved it!

            • Warchild Dammit!

              Have owned(and sold,stupid!)FJ40/the 4 wheel van/71 Vette drop top/1971 442-W30-455/68 Firebird/built 1/2 ton Chevy 4 wheel/69 GTO/Matchless 750/2 different Harleys/along with a slew of cars and motorcycles of more average make but solid runners,don’t get me going on the dirt bikes,best was a Hercules with a Sachs 250 engine and a 7 speed gearbox!

              I have decided short of wrecking em ect. any new toys(certainly won’t put tools/lumber ect. in em going to the final end with me!

              Oh,had a 6 cyclinder ford ranger with 5 speed ect,lifted and 33’s,for our bud in Hawaii!

          • The Deplorable Renegade

            I’m looking for an old Chevy or GMC 4WD from the 90s. Plenty of those still on the road and parts are still easily available for them. Don’t have enough money to mess around with anything from 60s-70s. I got 2 mechanics in the family so they can keep it running for me.

            • Warchild Dammit!

              Why 90’s,a lot of computer/other electronic issues,upside is F.I. if you like that,personally do not,rather carb and mechanical fuel pump personally,replace pints ect, with electronic but keep original distributor in truck(you never know!).

              • Genius

                And parts are cheap and carry a wide variety of years. Old chevies are the bomm! Even a semi newer small block can use a points distributor and coil. I have a set just in case…

                • Warchild Dammit!

                  Stop wasting time and get a 383 stroker engine!The insanity of build from there is just beginning!Sure,by time done have 20 into truck but less then half the price of new one with a 60/70’s body and high performance!

                  • buttcrackofdoom

                    if i can’t git-r-dun with my 2012 tundra 4×4, i can get there with my 04 rubicon…… if THAT won’t get there, there’s my 84 toyota rock-crawler with v/6 from astovan on 35’s…..

                  • Genius

                    If I can’t git er done with the f-150 or the four runner I will use the polaris atv! And if that fails I will use the dog with a sled!

        • Warchild Dammit!

          Weak?OK,me best 4 wheel build was getting a mint frame F-250 and dropping a E-100 van body on it(I did the work),got a rebuilt Cleaveland and had built a C-6,installed both,took springs off/had em rearched and added a 2″ body lif(hockey pucks),was a divorced transmission/transfer and transfer case and pumpkins and related gear mint except front hubs so added Warn manual hubs along with wagon wheels and 33″ tall tires.

          I have built a few muscle cars and a Toyota FJ-40 with Chevy 350 4 bolt and Doug Nash 5 speed(not a easy install).So,tell me about your builds and what YOU did besides spending money!

          My only weak link is body work which hope to resolve with new 3 bay garage(which as a carpenter I will beyond foundation build) and then try me hand at body work and perhaps even paint,weak,I KNOW not!

          I can go on about other vehicles and rebuilding a Matchless 750 among other scoots,so,lets hear about your builds.

          • Genius

            WCD, THAT IS COOL! FJ-40 is a rare vehicle. YOU ARE THE MAN! My other choice is my old 68 el camino with a 327. I beat my buddies trans am with a 400 from 1 light to the next by 1/2 car length lol.

            • Warchild Dammit!

              Would love another but sheet,20-30 for a nice one,can’t find mint frame body for reasonable or would do another build,mine was rust free and had ambulance doors ect.

              • Genius

                I’m having a cargasm thinking about it! God how I love those old cruisers!

                • Warchild Dammit!

                  Oh,van was all 70’s by the way,rolled 75 truck but mint frame/70’s(75?) E-100 body,seems our buddy from the island missing on his builds!Only kidding(I think!).

                  • Genius

                    WCD, you never answered my ? Do you play musical instrument? I would love a 4×4 van!

                  • buttcrackofdoom

                    you want a 4×4 van for crissmuss? you’ll tip it over, kid!

                  • Genius

                    Ha ha ha, hey now! I have only rolled 2 vehicles in my life! I have never owned a van but I’m sure if I try I can roll one too! Can I borrow your car?

        • durangokidd

          I bought a 2010 F 150 XLT 4×4 three years ago in immaculate condition with 100,000 miles for $16,000 (at least $5k under market at the time) and added an ARE custom camper shell for $3,000. It has a 500 mile range.

          A similar truck in Kansas was priced at $26k (without the camper shell). They must be real proud of their 4×4’s in Kansas.

          A like new, rebuilt 6 cyl 4.0 ford engine with a three year warranty for the Mazda costs $2200. Did you pay 12k for the tranny ???

          Just asking. 🙂

          • durangokidd

            BTW, I “collect” rechargeable batteries and chargers, flashlights, work lights, and lanterns. Let there be light !!! Let there be energy !!! 🙂

        • Yahooie

          I so enjoyed reading all you guys car and ruck talk. I love cars and trucks as does son. My first husband was a mechanic and taught me quite a bit; shoot, I even went to a few seminars with him (have a certificate or two in my files). I miss doing stuff like that since my house has no garage. So, yeah, I’m not always Suzy Homemaker. LOL

          • Plan twice, prep once

            My nephew is a master mechanic for Toyota. He spoke of how any car ever struck by lightning was totaled. It just cost too much to repair. Every sensor destroyed.

            I’ve always said here that anything designed to take a lightning hit could likely also survive an EMP. Oops.

          • Warchild Dammit!

            Yahoo,on decent days can at least do basic maintenance with some tools and a floor jack.You also at least understand how cars work and thus not get ripped off by a bad mechanic/technician.

            • Genius


    4. Genius

      Ok, first of all, why store an empty lighter? Store a full one (I know when it is empty save it).
      Dryer lint is ok but I like cedar bark better, it burns longer.
      Empty jugs are good for filling with gas and putting on top of a load of tannerite.
      Newspaper is crap compared to cedar bark or other plant cordage.
      Other than that it’s an ok list.
      Keep a small bottle of kerosene to aid in fire starting. Also have some tie wire handy. Fishing line is handy too.

      • Warchild Dammit!

        Skippy,milk jugs will melt from gasoline storage,trust me,I know!

        Why waste gas with the tannerite,use said tannerite to make garden gnomes ect.,put in places attackers might use as concealment,by by attackers!

        • Genius

          Well sir it is to be used quickly. It doubles if not more the power of tannerite alone. Think fuel/air bomm! But ya why waste gas if you have some JD? 😛

          • Warchild Dammit!

            You know Genius,that over stuffed stocking is just full of coal for ya’s,right?

            • Genius

              I like coal too! It burns a long time. Thanks Santa!

              • Warchild Dammit!

                You and I both know you do not have a stove that eats coal,be honest.

                • Genius

                  Ah but I can weld a grate out of rebar and make it work! Thank you for reminding me of coal! What is the diff between a woodstove and a coal stove? The grate right?

                  • Warchild Dammit!

                    Yes ,that and(more important) coal stove is cast iron,can heat it up a lot higher then a wood stove that is sheet steel,you can burn wood in a coal stove,just obviously doesn’t burn as long,trust me on this like th e milk jugs,have found out the hard way though was able to save wood stove lost most of the fire brick!

                  • Genius

                    WCD, thanks for that info! I was thinking of getting a different stove in the future I will look into a cast iron unit. Coal would be great if they still sell it here. Firebrick is easy enough to replace but if it warps the steel that is an issue.

        • durangokidd

          Milk jugs are NOT good containers over time, even for water. They Will crack and leak. Better to buy 24 pack individual plastic water bottles AND 5 gallon bottles AND water drums. 🙂

      • reper sleepr

        It’s easy to check the fuel level in the bic lighter. Just shine a flashlight onto the bottom and it’ll show you the level of fluid left. P.S.- it don’t work for the black ones.

    5. Doc Owen

      Doomsday Hoarders

    6. Maranatha

      If you have an old tire and a sheet of glass (either a glass that sits on top of a desk to protect the finish or a storm window) then you have a solar oven you can bake in.

      Ever since they switched to more environmentally safe ink, old newspaper that is wet…works quite well as mulch. Then it disintergrates and can be tilled under.

      One of the easiest skills is making cordage. You should already have learned that. Make it a priority by making a fishing line including making the spool, the hook, and a lure.

      TM31-210 was made for Special Forces and is one of the most practical improvised weapons books that exists. It should be on every prepper bookshelf. The pdf can be freely downloaded and printed out.

    7. Anonymous

      Whats the difference between a pack rat and a prepper?
      Not much.

    8. Anonymous


    9. B from CA

      When I was in school there was a class for wood work.

      A good thief/burglar is in and out of the house in 6 minutes. He takes everything that isn’t tied down starting with rings and gems, gold, silver, cash, weapons, computers, even a smaller safe. But most don’t have the time to figure out every conceivable hidden storage space you can build into just about anything.


      • Genius

        Hide yer shit in the dishwasher… no one looks there. They are worthless other than that. Makes a good safe lol.

    10. Gestor

      JJ rumblestrippin ?

      ht tps://

    11. Someguy

      “With some tinkering, you can use an engine from an electric mower to power a generator.”

      Yeah. Right.

      free energy?

    12. boyo

      Used tires for a planter? Only if you like poisoning yourself.

      • Genius

        Maybe they are talking about a mobile planter? Like a radio flyer pull wagon. In which case the tires would still work if they were used a little. 😛

    13. reper sleepr

      I use my wife’s large prescription bottles (she has lymes) to put Vaseline soaked cotton balls in for fire starting. I then wrap them outside with several layers of “Gorilla tape” for repairs and it also makes a good fire starter if torn in thin strips and made into a loose ball.

      • reper sleepr

        BTW, the gorilla tape will only light by a bic lighter. Ferro rod, magnifying glass or nothing other than a flame won’t do it.

        • Genius

          I love gorilla tape! FYI, that shit they sell on TV uhhh flex tape or super shit tape that supposedly works underwater…. well that shit is CRAP! I taped some pond liner with it and it held about 1 day. That shit came off 90% in a week! Ace brand duct tape worked the whole time underwater and never came off LOL! More $ doesn’t mean more work 😉

    14. Anonymous

      Article says : “you can use an engine from an electric lawnmower to power a generator.” Negative! an electric mower has no engine. There will be a power deficit with an electric driven generator.

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