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How Fast Can You Get Out? Quick-Escape Prep Saves Lives! Here’s What To Do:

How fast can you get out – starting RIGHT NOW? No, seriously.

It’s the middle of the night. All is quiet… and you’re off in dreamland. BAM! The front door comes flying off its hinges. It’s a home invasion. You have about 20 seconds – if that – before they figure out which room you are in and storm in, guns or machetes drawn. Bonus points if you have some additional obstacles between the front door and you.

Could you be out the back and away, before they get to you? No. You are in your underpants and you don’t even know where your wallet is, or the key to the sliding door.

Alternately; you wake up and smell HORRIBLE acrid, stinging smoke. DAMN. The house is on fire! Your car keys, phone, laptop with 10 years work on it, cash, water bottle, everything…. is uhhh…… scattered all over the house. You need to get out NOW. Going back through the toxic smoke-filled house to try to find your stuff could be the death of you. You know better than that. You quickly slip out through the back, and now you are semi-naked, coughing and shivering while all your stuff goes up in flames. You would love to get in your car and turn on the ignition to run the heater… if only you had your keys…

(Or any other scenario). What else could happen?

Introducing: The Quick-Escape Kit

As the saying goes, stay ready. What you need to be ready is this: A quick escape emergency kit!

The quick escape kit is not a heavy pack. It’s set up so that you can deploy it with literally zero seconds notice and be gone.

Yes, you might be “all bugged in” with a year’s supplies, off grid power and everything. But if your house is on fire or about to get leveled in 10 seconds, you have zero seconds to try to figure out what to take and what to leave. You don’t even have time to think about it!

The quick escape kit facilitates an instantaneous escape move. Grab. Run. That’s it. That’s literally all you have to do. No hesitation, no vacillation. You KNOW that you have what you need and it’s ready to deploy instantaneously.

You keep it by your side during the day and by the bed at night.

Now let’s think about what this kit might contain. Tailor of course to your personal requirements. Screenshot or print this list?

First, your grab-and-go clothes. Have them READY:

★1 Boots (ideally something that you can just slip on / zip up swiftly. Lace-up is too slow.)
★2 Trousers aka pants. The belt is already in position on the pants and they are set the right way round so you can put them on in pitch darkness without hesitation or fumbling!
★3 Jacket. Have the keys, phone and wallet already in it. You can charge your phone during the day or evening before you go to bed. Bonus points for a lined leather jacket or other jacket that is both warm and has some protective capability.

These are the clothes you need to be wearing, to be out and about. You can put underclothes on later, when you are in a safe place. That’s a few more seconds shaved off your escape time!

★4 Backpack Now, the pack: In addition to the clothes, a small to medium backpack, let’s say around 20L to 25L, depending on your requirements. This would for example contain:

★5 Water bottle.
★6 Snack bar of some kind for instant energy.
★7 Waterproof jacket, the thin fold-up lightweight kind.
★8 Spare keys.
★9 Self defense item. Your choice of whatever is legal / appropriate in your area. See tactical flashlight…
★10 Credit card / cash / ID / Passport.
★11 Phone. Containing all your emergency contact numbers on speed dial.
★12 Mini power pack / USB charger.
★13 Tactical flashlight.
★14 Tactical Gloves / Work Gloves.
★15 Glasses or lenses if required.
★16 Underclothes: Spare socks, underpants and t-shirt.
★17 Small laptop / iPad (or at the very least an external backup drive that contains a copy of your important work / documents / passwords), enabling you to get another device and suffer minimal loss. You can get 128GB USB sticks now, which can be attached to a keyring, carry all your vital data and save even more weight.
★18 Essential medications and mini-first aid kit.
★19 Small pack of toiletries. You can get mini screw top bottles and put in some conditioner, liquid soap etc – and that saves a lot of weight on taking whatever big bottle it came in. Think of this as being an “overnight bag”. All you need is some running water and you can clean up.
★20 Miniature Toolkit. Watch out for a tutorial on this coming soon!
★21 Anything else, within reason, that you absolutely cannot live without.

Don’t over-pack. This is your “I need to run” kit. Keep it minimal. It saves you from having to even think whether you can really just GTFO or not, and it doesn’t slow you down in any way. If you have any spare space in the pack? Throw in a respirator.

So you can see that this kit is pretty close to your EDC. For many it’s going to double up and be the same bag. You leave it by the bed, with the jacket, pants/trousers and boots prepped, so that you can jump out of bed, put pants and boots on, grab the bag and GO GO GO.

Escape Drill (Vital!)

The next thing: PRACTICE! Set an alarm and rehearse. Get your moves down fluid and smooth out any bumps. Learn to get out in pitch darkness. You might need to do this if the power is out and the house is burning! Can you find the right key on the keychain by touch? Learn to do this! It could save your life!

Rehearse your quick-escape until you don’t have to think about it any more.

Target: Ten seconds to be out the door. See if you can do it.

While others would be thinking “huh, what the, where’s my, I can’t see, oh shit”, you are already GONE. Down the road, on the phone to your emergency contacts or sending messages to your team.

This training will also save you minutes when you slept through the alarm and are late for work / appointment / flight! Super useful!

Notes: Note that there isn’t any “bushcraft” / wilderness survival type gear in this pack. That’s intentional; it’s not really for that. This kit should contain the things you absolutely need so that you a) don’t have to linger around a location that you must leave immediately b) can get to a better location smoothly.

Family / Group Considerations

So far we’ve only considered your own personal quick-escape kit. What if you have family? You’ve guessed it – you need to have a kit that covers for them too – and you need to rehearse getting everyone to safety if something happens. Have your escape route(s) planned. The good thing about the get-out-fast kit is that the kit for 4 people will not typically be 4 times the size of the kit for one person. You only really need one emergency pack and it makes sense to have just one. It’s far quicker than trying to round up 4 kits. If the leader of the group has the pack, and the rest of the group KNOWS that the leader of the group has it, they just have to get their clothes on and help each other get out.

Another useful idea is to have an emergency meeting point, and be sure that everyone in your group knows where it is. That helps in case you get separated: You know that if you head for the meeting point, you stand the best chance of being able to find each other and to make further plans.

If you get this far you will be light years ahead of most people. Congratulations – you are officially ready for action. Adjust the pack contents according to your personal circumstances and don’t forget to REHEARSE. Rehearsal will reveal the missing items, bumps in the road and the weak spots in your escape plan.

Top 10 Most Important PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) Items For Survivalists / PPE For SHTF

The term PPE is generally used in reference to worker safety – and the use of PPE in the work environment is typically covered by workplace regulations / code requirements. That’s not the topic of this guide: If you are using or supplying PPE in the workplace, please refer to official documentation and safety codes for your intended use. Note also that using PPE in non-workplace scenarios may be disclaimed from manufacturer liability under “not used as intended” clauses.

The above notwithstanding, an alternate arena in which PPE may be of very high importance is of course SHTF / survival scenarios. Survival situations can be unpredictable, unforeseen and chaotic – meaning that it’s a good idea to have some good general purpose protective gear on hand that can help you get through “whatever is happening”. Good quality PPE can be invaluable and potentially lifesaving when things take a turn for the worse. Many of these items are also super-useful in day-to-day life, making them a valuable investment!

Let’s take a look (in no particular order) at ten of the most valuable types of PPE that may be of benefit in survival and emergency situations.

1. Boots

Army training has for many centuries included proper boot maintenance – for a good reason: Good footwear can make the difference between combat-ready and immobilized! The fact that soldiers place such a high emphasis on boots indicates that all survivalists should take note. Don’t skimp on a good pair of boots.

I can’t imagine being in a survival situation in sneakers. They are good for running, of course, but that’s about it. They offer minimal protection to the feet against injury, whether it be crush injuries from heavy / falling objects, or against sharp objects from below. They offer zero ankle protection and minimal protection against sharp, thorny undergrowth. Same goes for other everyday footwear.

Get some good quality, sturdy boots of the correct fit and “break them in”: Wearing brand new leather boots for the first time in a ‘situation’ is a recipe for serious blisters or worse – boots should be broken in before they can be considered ready for action. In the good old days, we used to break in new leather-upper boots by standing in water up to the ankle before wearing them for the first time. This would soften the leather and make it pliable, allowing it to adjust and conform to the shape of the foot, maintaining this shape as it dried. So you had a soggy first outing but were left with a significantly better fit for the rest of the boot’s lifetime. I don’t know if this practice is still the norm, it may well be – but note that this tactic would only apply to leather; man-made fabrics won’t have this characteristic.

Here are some top-rated boots for you to consider:

First up are the very highly regarded USA-made Danner USMC Military Boots:

Danner-USMC-RAT-MOJAVE-(15670X)-Plain-Toe

These are all-terrain, rugged boots supplied to U.S. military personnel – check the rave reviews from Marines! Interestingly, these boots appear to have major overstock at the moment; having been made in large numbers for Afghan deployments, and therefore may be obtained for much less than the full RRP. Snap them up!

The Dr. Martens 1460 is an old classic – a durable, hard wearing general purpose boot that has stood the test of time:

Dr-Martens-Boot

Here’s a Timberland steel toecap boot that would be a valuable addition to your survival gear. It is well suited to industrial and other work requiring toe protection:

Timberland-PRO-Work-Boot

A popular type of boot that has come to the fore in recent years is the so-called “tactical boot”:

FREE-SOLDIER-Men’s-Tactical-Boots

These are a sort of hybrid of a boot and a sneaker – very lightweight, comfortable and suited to fast movement. They also have a “hardened toe and heel” to give some additional protection – however this appears not to be a steel toecap – and I am not seeing any sign of an actual rating of crush protection, which proper “steelies” ought to have for worker safety. I would also be concerned about using these tactical boots as a general purpose “DIY work” boot because the soles seem thin and thus unlikely to resist a nail penetration from below. On the plus side, being light, they confer good mobility and have lower pack weight.

For a true “zombie apocalypse” boot that is somewhat a fashion item and a bit fun, but actually very rugged and well made, take a look at the Spanish-made New Rock range:

New-Rock-591-S2-Boot

These are super heavy and you can’t run very fast in them, but they look intimidating, have extremely thick soles, are made with very tough leather, have steel kick plates front and rear and offer outstanding ankle protection. If you had to kick a door or window in to save someone, I think these would be well up to the task: I once used them to kick 2ft rebar stakes out of hard desert ground without a mallet (true story!) They might save you, too: Another true story – I once stepped on this rusty and extremely sharp screw point, which was sticking up about two inches out of a plank that was buried in long grass in an overgrown garden…

rusty screw
Still gives me the shivers. I’m so glad I took this photo, I knew I would tell this story one day.

I was wearing a pair of New Rock boots. The screw sank all the way in, probably going in over 1.5 inches, and left me with a plank attached to my boot! But due to the thickness of the sole, my foot was (amazingly) completely unharmed. What a save! Preparedness rules: Had I been wearing pretty much any other kind of footwear, it would have been a hospitalization injury.

You get it now. Get some good boots. Thank me later.

Final boot type for your kit: The rubber boot aka. “Wellington Boot”:

Dunlop-8908611-DURAPRO-Boots

These are waterproof calf-length boots that will keep your feet dry in water up to about 8″ deep. Also good for walking across shallow mud, however in deep mud (over about 6″) they have the entertaining habit of being pulled off your foot by the mud and left behind!

Wellingtons are a household standard for wet weather among country folk in the UK. The “ultimate Wellingtons” are considered by many to be the Hunter brand (believe it or not these are an aristocratic fashion item in the UK!) however they are extremely expensive. These Dunlop rubber boots are much more reasonably priced and also feature a steel toecap which is a valuable addition. Anyone who’s had a horse step on their toes will nod in agreement!

Note that cheapie brands are prone to splitting and once a Wellington boot is split, it’s pretty much useless.

2. Eye Protection

A simple pair of wraparound polycarbonate safety glasses (per family member) is a valuable addition to a survival kit:

Protective-Polycarbonate-Safety-Glasses

If you were caught in a situation where there is glass shattering or other fragments may be flying through the air, safety glasses could save your eyesight and more: Eye injuries are an absolute nightmare and make everything grind to a dreadful halt.

Basic safety glasses can help – a lot – with eye protect; but bear in mind that while valuable, they are not absolutely perfect. They do have a small gap around the outside of the lens. Once, working in my home workshop, I was cutting some sheet metal with a power tool. I was wearing safety glasses – similar to the ones pictured above – but a “perfect shot” from a hot flying fragment traveling at a critical angle went through the gap around the frame – and right into my eye! Fortunately I was able to see the metal fragment in the mirror and remove it from my eye with a damp q-tip (another survival kit essential). My eye was undamaged – but it could have been a very bad day. Now I use full safety goggles that fit the face with a foam seal – and cannot admit any flying particles:

Bollé-Safety-Pilot-2-Safety-Goggles

The Bollé goggles I linked to would in my view make an excellent addition to a survival kit. Don’t risk your eyes; it only takes one fragment, one time…

3. Ear Protection

Both brief and ongoing loud sounds can cause hearing damage – both temporary and permanent – as is well known. Loud noise can also cause fatigue (“audio fatigue”) and even disorientation.

Earplugs: Everyone should hold a few packs or even a box of foam earplugs:

3M-Ear-Plugs

They are inexpensive, weigh almost nothing – and have great noise reduction (the ones I linked are rated at 33dB noise reduction rating, aka “NRR 33”). A few pairs can be popped into a small ziploc bag (if they are not already bagged in pairs) and taken with you for every day carry. In safe scenarios they can be used to drown out noises that are causing sleep disturbance or distraction: I have found, interestingly, that wearing earplugs when working, even if there are no dangerously loud sounds happening, seems to aid concentration and thought. Be advised that wearing earplugs is of course not advised in situations where you need to be able to hear what is going on: You might not for example hear someone walking up behind you, a warning shout or something falling.

Learn to fit earplugs well. Rolling them between finger and thumb to make them thin will greatly aid insertion. You have a few seconds to get the placement right before they start to expand and make movement more difficult, then the world goes quiet. Pushing them in ‘just the right amount’ is an art form too. Push them in too far and they become difficult to remove; not far enough and you won’t get a good seal / sufficient noise reduction.

Ear Defenders: The “next level up” of hearing protection is ear defenders of the standard “workshop or shooting range” type. 3M makes a well known ‘serious’ ear defender – the Peltor X5A:

3M-PELTOR-X5A

This is rated at 31dB. I have these and absolutely love the amount of sound reduction they give, as well as their comfort – however they have a downside which is that they stick out like crazy. They not only make you look like Mickey Mouse but you have to remember you are wearing them, because otherwise you will bump against all sorts of things. I’ll bet this happens to you! But protection of that precious hearing more than outweighs these considerations for general use.

Fortunately, 3M also makes a Peltor Sport which is much less physically obtrusive and is evidently targeted at shooters, though many positive reviews from DIY power tool users indicate their value for various uses:

3M-Peltor-Sport-Ultimate-Hearing-Protector

There are various other “cheapie” brands and I am skeptical of their honesty regarding the level of noise reduction.

Ear defenders can (when it’s safe to do so) be used in conjunction with earplugs for even greater noise reduction: If I am using a really loud power tool in my home workshop, for example an electric planer, I sometimes even “double up”; using both earplugs and ear defenders.

4. Respiratory Protection

I would place a good respirator right up at the top of the list of important SHTF items to own. Get a high quality one for each family member – and learn how to use them. For me there’s only one brand I would go with: 3M. They are the industry standard for a reason. I have three!

In many survival / disaster scenarios, dangerously toxic air pollution is part of the mix. Wildfire smoke, asbestos-laden dust from a building collapse, tear gas, dust storm, burning plastics, viruses and many other hazardous substances could be in the air. Some of these absolutely could kill you.

There’s also the possibility, thankfully uncommon at the present time, of poison gas attacks; and of course the “biologicals” that we have all had to deal with in the last couple of years.

Here’s a run-down of the different types of respirator, from cheap through to expensive:

Basic N95 Paper Face Masks: NIOSH approved, cheap; and I might get into trouble if I say too many bad things about them – but tbh I don’t rate these very highly at all. I have no agenda here. They offer some protection against particulates and of course the dreaded viruses – but they have some drawbacks: 1) They don’t offer any “gas phase” protection i.e. against solvents or other gaseous pollutants. 2) Disposable masks, especially those with a single, non-adjustable elastic strap, often don’t seal very well against the face, meaning that some of the air you are sucking in may go right around the edges of the mask. 3) There is also no good way to test the seal; unlike the 3M half face and full face respirators, which can easily be checked for a seal. A paper mask will get you into the grocery store and you might as well pack a few in your survival kit – but real survivalists know their limited value.

“Half Face” Respirator: Now we are into the realms of more serious respirators. A good industry standard half-face respirator that will provide excellent general purpose use is the 3M 6502QL:

3M-Half-Facepiece-Reusable-Respirator-6502QL

Half face respirators are designed to cover the mouth and nose but not the eyes.

Learn about the various cartridges available, how to use them correctly, which substances they will remove from the air and for how long. For example the 3M 6003 cartridges protect against organic vapours (i.e. solvents) and acid gases such as sulphur dioxide:

3M-Respirator-Cartridge-6003

So much for “gas phase purification”. The good news is that you can easily combine your choice of gas-phase cartridges with the particulate filters – using the simple clip-on filter retainers – for good all-round general protection:

3M Respirator Filter Replacement 5P71

Respirator cartridges have a limited life; you may see both a best before date and a total number of hours of use they are intended for. Make a note of the date they were put into service and “if in doubt, switch it out”.

Full Face Respirator: Now a “full face” respirator such as the 3M 6800 (or the updated 3M 6900) is a fantastic piece of survival gear:

3M Respirator Full Face 6800

It gives robust eye protection – the 6900’s face shield meets requirements of ANSI Z87.1-2010 for high impact (Z87+) – as well as high quality air filtration. This respirator can give very real and potentially livesaving protection in brutal circumstances.

One of the great benefits of a full face respirator is that it does the job of two items: Safety glasses and respirator. If you need to wear both a respirator and eye protection at the same time (quite common!) it gets a bit difficult: The safety goggles will not sit correctly over the top of the mask and end up perched ridiculously in the wrong position, prone to falling off and leaving a big gap under the eyes. They may also disturb the seal of the respirator. Because of the nuisance, people tend to skimp on one or the other, and this type of risk-taking can cause bad things to happen. The full face respirator solves this problem beautifully. (A face shield can also work as it doesn’t interfere with a mask.)

A further and highly significant benefit of a full face respirator is that it offers a more complete protection against biological contamination – because it completely protects the eyes, a very common route for infection into the body – either via micro-droplets or from manually rubbing the eyes.

Full Face With PAPR:For an “even more serious” full face respirator, check out the 3M 6900PF system:

3M Powerflow 6900PF

This, according to the Amazon page, gives protection against lead, asbestos, radionucleides and radon daughters (when fitted with the 450-01-01 cartridge as illustrated). Despite their high cost these are flying off the shelves right now as you can imagine, with WW3 fears looming! I want one of these so badly.

This is the same 6900 face mask but with an added Powered Air Purifying Respirator (PAPR) active airflow system – the “PF” in the model number is short for “power flow”. It has a fan and a battery pack, pulling filtered air into the mask continuously and therefore not only making breathing more effortless but also reducing the risk of unfiltered air being pulled in through a breach of the face seal. I really like this unit a lot and survivalists will of course be highly motivated by the protection against radioactive particles, particles and biologicals.

The 3M 450-01-01 filter, designed to be used in conjunction with the 6900PF, is not only used in scenarios such as asbestos and mold remediation, but is evidently an equipment of choice for emergency use: One reviewer wrote “1 year in… kept me alive through C0V1D working in an ICU with the Powerflow PAPR”. This respirator is a serious item of real survival gear.

Pro Tip: Take a look at the user instructions for the 3M Powerflow system. You can learn much from such documents, not only about this respirator but about general correct use of respirators and strategies for dealing with contaminated areas in general. Learning how to use your equipment is a vital part of prepping! Good gear is very valuable, but you can’t just shop your way to survival. If you “just buy stuff”, pack it in a crate and wait for the worst to happen, you are not going to be truly ready when it does. Make sure also that you have printed copy of all relevant instructions with your survival kit.

Important Note: A respirator may be very helpful to help you endure or get out of a smoky / dusty / fumey situation; but will not give protection against carbon monoxide / carbon dioxide or other scenarios of oxygen shortage / extreme levels of fumes. This is why you see fire crews entering smoke filled buildings with full breathing apparatus that includes air / oxygen cylinders! It’s a sad truth that many people die going back into burning buildings to rescue their laptop / pet / whatever. Do not attempt to enter a burning building with a standard “cartridge respirator”, thinking that it will “stop everything”! It won’t! “Get out and stay out” is still the rule of thumb.

5. Protective Gloves

There are many different types of glove for different purposes. Let’s cover some of the ones that are going to be of use to the survivalist.

General work gloves: Pack at least one robust pair of gloves in your survival kit. They protect the hands while doing various kinds of rough work and also enable you to work faster / harder. Imagine a scenario where you have to move a pile of rubble and random debris – fast. Working with bare hands is going to be a nightmare. Work gloves of the modern type have a good balance of dexterity and protection – but bear in mind also that they are not invincible; sharp metal, large thorns and some other hazards may be too much for them.

Choose something which has added knuckle protection and palm padding; I’ve tried a mountain of different brands and really like the Mechanix M-Pact:

Mechanix Wear M-Pact Tactical Work Gloves

Leather Gauntlets: I’ve found that welding gloves made from thick leather are very useful for metalwork, as well as dealing with sharp thorns in the garden:

Revco GM1611 Leather Cowhide MIG Welding Gloves

These would make a fine addition to a survival kit. They also have sleeving to protect the wrists and forearms, but note that these gloves are also very cumbersome and hinder dexterity, making fine work / detail tasks difficult.

Hardknuckle / Tactical / “Bouncer Gloves”: Tactical gloves such as these are often used by security guards, bikers and Law Enforcement:

WTACTFUL Tactical Gloves for Men

They feature a very tough protective area over the knuckles that gives both impact / scrape protection and a +1 on strike force. Very handy in a scenario where the need for self-defense is a possibility, but I found these gloves less than ideal for ordinary “rough work use”: The velcro fastening secures them onto the hand extremely well, meaning they won’t get pulled off in a tussle, however for the kind of work that requires taking them off and putting them on frequently, the fastening system is laborious.
Some types of “bouncer gloves” have a kind of “sandbag” layer over the knuckles that adds weight and force to a punch as well as protection to the hand.

Disposable nitrile / latex / vinyl gloves are of course useful for food hygiene and for first aid kits. Here’s an inexpensive box of vinyl gloves that got good reviews:

Clear Powder Free Vinyl Disposable Plastic Gloves

Liquid / Chemical Gloves:A further super-useful protective glove for your kit is the long-sleeved waterproof glove:

Extra Long Rubber Gloves

This gives general ‘up to the shoulder’ protection against various liquids including chemicals and oils. This is a really handy item for general purpose use, for example faciliating manual clearing of a blocked drain without getting the nasty gunk all over you – or for any use where you don’t want to get splashed with whatever you are dealing with. I’m not sure if it is rated for concentrated acids so check accordingly.

6. Hard Hat / Safety Helmet

Depending on the circumstances you anticipate, a safety helmet can be an extremely valuable protective item:

PYRAMEX Ridgeline Full Brim Hard Hat

Some worker-type hard hats also come with ear defenders or face shields “built in”. Tons of choices – take your pick, I’ve linked to one that is ANSI certified.

I’ve also found numerous “tactical helmets”, such as this one:

Jadedragon MICH 2000 Style ACH Tactical Helmet

– although I would advise caution here: I searched Amazon but did not spot anything actually rated for ballistic protection in the search results.

UPDATE: Found lots of up to date info on ballistic helmets! Watching these 3 videos will catch you up to speed on the tech.

(TL/DR: Gentex latest IHPS military helmets as used by Special Forces are lightweight and confer significant protection, even against rifle rounds. Around $1200 a pop, not sure if these are available to the public – but they exist!)

7. Face Shield

A simple face shield is very valuable in numerous circumstances. I keep one in the workshop for situations where I need face protection. Here’s a highly rated but inexpensive face shield that is rated ANSI Z87 for protection against “work injuries from impact, non-ionizing radiation, and chemical exposure from machinery, welding, cutting, grinding, and other types of work that present potential hazards to the face”:

Sellstrom Advantage Series Face Shield

8. Full Body Protection / Ballistic / Body Armor

Military, Law Enforcement and Security personnel will pack a plate carrier:

WarTechGears Discreet Vest

This is a (typically sleeveless) vest that permits the insertion of ballistic plates – both front and rear:

HYGJ Insert Plates Chest Protectors 10'x12'

Ballistic plates are kevlar plates that give the vital organs valuable protection against bullets, sharp objects, flying fragments and other projectiles. Understand the different ratings for ballistic plates and the kind of rounds they give protection against: The ballistic plate I linked to is NIJ Standard-0101.06: NIJ IIIA, which is reported to give protection against standard AK-47, type 56 rifles and 54 pistols. This plate is very well reviewed, with positive comments evidently written by personnel who have used them in the line of duty.

For those wanting the very best – here’s a report on the “best body armor on the planet” from Tactical Rifleman:

Some “tactical backpacks” also have a pocket that is sized for a ballistic plate, which adds an interesting protective dimension to a bug-out bag or EDC pack!

Beyond this, there are various kinds of body armour available and you could even improvise your own if you are of the creative or low-tech persuasion: Exploring on Amazon, you can even buy a Complete Chainmail Kit! This sounds like a fun project for getting in touch with your ‘inner Viking’; but unless you are in a medival warband, a more useful item for a survivalist might be a motocross protective body armour jacket such as this one, which looks suitably post-apocalyptic as well as giving protection against falls and other impacts:

Motorbike Protective Armour Chest Back

Very useful when you are going at full tilt to outrun zombies on your dirt bike 🙂 – as well as for various other circumstances.

Simple low-tech solution: Leather Jacket. Bikers of course know a thing or two about bodily protection – and we can learn from this; a strong leather jacket is another valuable item in rough times, or at any time really; the classic black leather jacket is one of the few garments that looks cool in any decade – as well as not sticking out as being too far “out of the ordinary”.

Let’s not forget waterproofs. A simple set of breathable waterproof pants and hooded waterproof jacket will keep you dry when everything is soaked.

Finally on full-body protection – some coveralls for dirty work. Here’s a highly rated simple coverall aka. “boiler suit”. A simple, inexpensive disposable coverall is a further useful item to give general protection against various kinds of filth.

9. Hi-Vis Clothing

High visibility clothing is another survival essential. A simple, very inexpensive luminous yellow sleeveless vest is a useful item that weighs almost nothing and can be worn over the top of either warm or cold weather clothing:

PeerBasics Safety Vest

Pack one or more in your car – because if you break down in darkness and have to walk along a road in low visibility conditions, it could save your life!

Stepping it up a notch, there is the hi-vis waterproof coat of the type worn by emergency services, road construction crews and other outdoor workers:

Carhartt Men's High Visibility Waterproof

Carhartt is a well known high quality brand and this one got rave reviews. These high quality jackets typically have reflective strips in addition to luminescent yellow fabric, providing optimal visibility in scenarios where being seen by operators of large machinery or fast moving vehicles is mission critical.

A further benefit of hi-vis clothing in a survival kit is that if you were in a situation where a search and rescue team was looking for you, they would more easily be able to spot you.

On the flipside, there are also scenarios of course that call for low visibility. I’m still waiting for Vantablack clothing to hit the market… in the meantime, camo up.

10. Safety Harness

If you are climbing, then a proper safety harness is an essential:

Black Diamond Momentum Harness

Please note that a climbing harness is a specialized item of equipment that requires training to use correctly. I’ll leave those instructions to professional climbers who have far greater expertise than me, but I will say one thing: Don’t be tempted to buy cheapie brands on Amazon when it comes to climbing equipment. Get a well known and respected brand such as Black Diamond or Petzl and be sure that the equipment is certified / rated for your intended use.

Maintenance Of PPE:

PPE should be kept clean, dry and in good condition. A crate with a well-fitting lid, dedicated to the purpose (and clearly marked PPE) is a good idea. Make sure that everyone in your group knows where the PPE is and has some basic training. Check over your protective gear regularly, learn everything you can about its correct use and its use limitations, practice using it and be sure to replace worn or heavily used items. Carry some spare parts; for example respirator cartridges, and be sure to order the correct, matching components. 3M for example offer spare parts for all their gear and these have a code number, which should be listed in the equipment instructions.

Final Note: Get into the habit of using your safety gear every time – even for brief circumstances that require it. It’s the same mentality as wearing a seatbelt even when you are only driving a few miles: Don’t get lazy – and “train yourself” to always don your protective equipment when needed. It’s worth the effort!

ps. As mentioned, “survivalist use” of PPE is likely to be considered “off-label use” and may not be covered by equipment warranties etc.

Top 10 PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) For Survivalists
Top 10 Most Important PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) Items For Survivalists. Graphic © off-grid.info. Background photo – Pixabay (PD)

Ultimate Survival / Prepper Supply List – 175 Items That Will Disappear First In A Disaster – Stock Up On These Now!

Ultimate Survival / Prepper Supply List
Ultimate Survival Supply List. Graphic © off-grid.info.

UPDATED! Here’s my Ultimate Survival / Prepper Supply List, one of the biggest and most complete on the web.

Have a scroll through – it’s bound to remind you of something you forgot! It’s packed with useful tips & ideas too.

It’s time to get your survival supplies in: Don’t leave it until there is a panic situation – where shelves are emptying fast and people are fighting over the remaining items.

Pro tip: Focus first on a) the things that you already use a lot of b) things that are non-perishable and c) items that can save lives.

Bookmark this list, link to it, print it out, share on social media. Links are to Amazon (affiliate) products and I chose items that got very high 5-star reviews. Ok, let’s get right to it:

FUEL, HEATING, FIRE AND FLAME

1. Generators. In a significant power outage or disaster situation, generators will fly off the shelves – despite being noisy and difficult to transport; they are undeniably an excellent backup for short term power loss. Good generators are expensive, plus you have the need for gasoline storage, maintenance. Lots of options these days but the small portable Honda generator/inverters are a classic – check out the reviews; among the quietest and a great investment overall.

2. Lighters. Bic Disposable Lighters are a great emergency item. Even better in some ways are the refillable BBQ lighters (these can be held on-flame for longer and have further reach – an awesome fire starting essential). Disposable lighters do have fantastic long term viability if stored well: I found a Bic lighter from the 1990’s in a box of old stuff recently and it fired up first time! Be sure to keep lighters dry (another use for those silica gel packs!) and especially keep them away from salt water conditions, which can degrade the flints. I really like these refillable “rocket lighters” – which are much more windproof than basic lighters, have a very accurate, hot flame and your fingers are further away from the flame than with Bic lighters – so less risk of burning your fingers while trying to light something!

3. Propane / Butane Cylinders – v useful for cooking and heating in a blackout, with the correct regulator and appliances of course.

4. Indoor-Safe Portable RV Propane Heater.

5. Split and seasoned Firewood. (About $100-$200+ per cord, variable by region)

6. Oil lanterns, Lamp Oil, Wicks. (First choice: Buy CLEAR oil. If scarce, stockpile ANY!) Note, olive oil is not really suited for oil lamps but you can make your own olive oil jar candles easily, and they are considered safer than regular candles because if knocked over, the oil will flood and (generally) not set light to things nearby.

7. Gasoline containers. (Plastic or Metal)

8. Fatwood. (absolutely fantastic fire starting material; natural, storable, portable, long lasting – one stick will often do the job and you can split it to make it go even further!) Yes, you can get fatwood in bulk from Amazon.

9. Survival firestarting tools of all kinds. Good examples include the Ferrocerium rod / metal striker fire starters.

10. “Strike anywhere” matches (+ damp-proof container!!). These will go fast in a disaster, and make great barter items. Keep a big supply and store them well in a damp-proof container. Here’s a 900-pack on Amazon, lots of 5 star reviews.

11. Propane Stoves. (single burner or double burner).

12. Coleman Propane Fuel. Very valuable post-SHTF item!

13. Coleman Propane Lantern. These burn propane to generate light and so also kick out heat. Thus best for use on cold nights – but should be used with care; keep away from flammable material as it will get extremely hot, don’t use it in a tightly enclosed space, and allow it to cool before putting in a tent for overnight storage. You will also need spare Lamp Mantles: Without these, lamps that require them will end up useless.

14. Lighter fuel. (Will become scarce suddenly). This Colibri butane lighter fuel refill got top reviews on Amazon

15. Denatured Alcohol. (buy locally) Don’t buy rubbing alcohol or vodka just for burning in alcohol stoves! You can get a gallon of Denatured Alcohol at the hardware store for a much cheaper price for the same volume. People use alcohol stoves for backpacking, and they have tried isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and left very negative reviews of rubbing alcohol for burning.

16. Gasoline. Even though a small percentage of people now have electric cars and off-grid (i.e. non-grid-tied) solar power, the infrastructure of our current civilization is still absolutely dependent on gasoline. If TSHTF in a big way, supplies will run short within a week (causing TOTAL chaos and panic as everything grinds to a halt). Think about it.. the emergency services need it, so there goes that. People need it to get to work, to deliver parcels, to get food and supplies… Countries already go to war over gasoline; and we have all seen the Mad Max movies. But what can you do? Gasoline is difficult, dangerous and troublesome to store and transport; by all means keep a couple of spare gallons but be realistic. It’s a hassle. Maintain the Off Grid mindset: It may be altogether better to work towards total independence from it – although bear in mind that if the gasoline stops flowing, we are truly hosed. In the meantime, note the simple rule of thumb – never let the gas tank go below half full…

KITCHEN SUPPLIES

17. Food-grade BPA-free 5 gallon buckets with lids. Can be used for food, water, general storage and transportation. Far less breakable than glass (earthquake / storm damage less likely).

18. Mylar Bags. A prepper essential. Put these inside your food containers and seal shut. They will extend the shelf life of your staples, dried foods etc significantly.

19. Cast iron cookware. (Sturdy, efficient, versatile – can be used over a fire in addition to gas or electric stoves). Here’s a good set we found on Amazon.

20. Thermos cup/flasks. These are superb for keeping hot drinks hot, keeping cold drinks cold, are unbreakable and with the closable lids, protect your drink from flying insects and save your beverage (and your carpets!) in the case of an accidental knock-over. An essential.

21. Canteen cups / cook set. The canteen cup can be used for eating, drinking, heating food and even for things like brushing teeth. These are non-breakable, a survival and outdoor essential. Good examples Stanley 24oz Camp Cook Set and Rothco Stainless Steel Canteen.

22. Camping cutlery set. One for each person – either stainless steel or, if you want something lightweight, titanium.

23. Paper plates/cups/utensils. (Will always have value). Here are Paper plates on Amazon

24. Grain Mill (Non-electric). As soon as the supermarkets run out of pre-ground foods, these will become a kitchen essential once again.

25. Hand Can Opener. You don’t need a fancy one, but you do need one in your survival kit. This one got a ton of 5-star reviews: Kebley Stainless Opener.

26. Solar Ovens. You will be amazed that you can cook at 350-400ºF with one of these. No fuel required.

FOOD

27. Bread (don’t!) Yes, whenever there is fear of a shortage or even a snow forecast, bread is the first thing to disappear from shelves. Real survivalists know better though. Forget bread. It is a “weekend survival” item only. It does not have a very long shelf life – a few days at best without a working freezer. You would survive MUCH longer with a 5gal bucket of rice and a good stash of canned / preserved and dried foods. Dried rice and beans do not go bad (if they stay dry and pest-free), are cheap, are portable and (with a supply of good water) will keep you alive a long time. Canned foods are awesome survival foods with a fairly good shelf life (a few years in many cases) and many can be eaten without needing to be cooked, like for example baked beans and tuna, which is handy if cooking becomes difficult.

28. Dried Staples: Rice, beans, wheat, oats, barley, quinoa, dried fruit, flours, yeast, powdered dried foods. These are all excellent survival foods if properly stored – nutritious, long lasting and low “cost per calorie” if bought in bulk. Powdered and freeze dried foods in many cases have a much longer shelf life than their fresh counterparts.

29. Fats and oils. Butters, lard, vegetable oils (for cooking) – olive oil, sunflower oil, etc. Note that many oils will not keep for several years. Check the best before dates before you buy a huge amount! Coconut oil is desirable and has a ton of survival uses in addition to food – but does not have as long a shelf life as some other oils.

30. Long life milks. Powdered, UHT and Condensed, also rice milk, almond milk, hazelnut milk etc. Learn the expiry dates of these items and rotate your stock.

31. Vitamins and supplements. Especially the essential vitamins and minerals – A,B, C, D, E, Magnesium, Potassium, multivitamins etc.

32. Teas.

33. Coffee. Will always be a popular morale boosting and energizing drink, plus a fantastic barter item. Instant coffees may have a shelf life of 3 years; fresh roast, not as long – depending on storage of course. It gradually loses its quality of aroma and flavor over time.

34. Garlic, spices, baking supplies.

35. Garden seeds (Non-hybrid / Heirloom). (A true long-term survival essential)

36. Sugar.

37. Chocolate. (Another superb barter item; an energy-giving, morale boosting survival food as well as being one of the world’s most popular consumer products! ) and cocoa powder.

38. Salt.

39. Honey. Important. Real, raw, unfiltered, local honey is considered one of the most durable food items in existence, potentially being good – if well stored – for decades or even centuries. Real raw honey (not the fake, ultrafiltered major brand stuff allegedly made with HFCS) is also highly nutritious. Here’s my giant list of raw honey suppliers.

40. Cigarettes / Tobacco / rolling papers. – Even if you don’t smoke, tobacco has always had value as an “alternative currency” and these items will be highly tradable if the supply chain breaks down.

41. Wine/Liquors (for trading, medicinal, etc.). I almost didn’t add this one because I don’t want to encourage alcohol abuse. But vodka has a surprising number of survival uses including antiseptic and water sterilization. Will always be a great barter item, but don’t waste your money “stocking up” if you are just going to drink your way through it.

42. Other dried, jarred and canned foods with good shelf life. Graham crackers, saltines, pretzels, trail mix/Jerky, Peanut Butter, Nuts, Canned Fruits and Veggies, Soy sauce, bouillons/gravy/soup base, remade Soups, stews, etc.

43. Vinegar. Tons of survival uses; it can be used for food preservation, flavoring, tenderizing, antibacterial, cleaning and probably about 100 other things!  Here are 10 Awesome Vinegar Life Hacks You Should Know

44. Baking soda. Another survival item with tons of uses.

45. MREs and special Dried Survival Foods. There are many of these on the market now and some cater specifically to preppers, giving you the ability to buy several months worth of freeze-dried food “off the shelf”.

Pro Tips: Remember the mantra “Cool, dry, dark” for food storage. Make sure it’s 100% pest-proof too! Get your long term food supply before you need to, because everyone else will be loading up with as much as they can when a “situation” strikes, leading to rapidly emptying shelves. Rotate your stock, and wherever possible focus on “the long life items you eat anyway” (avoid buying a ton of stuff you will never eat!)

WATER

46. Bottled water. Will run out fast. How long would you survive if the water was cut off? Water storage and purification is one of the most important of all survival topics. It could be life or death!

47. Water containers. (Urgent Item to obtain). A recommended type is the Water Brick – which can be stackable and is portable and, being plastic, won’t smash (unlike glass) during an earthquake. These can also be used to dry-store food.

Note – not just any plastic container will do for water. Products should comply with regulations for storage of potable water (such as U.S. Food and Drug Administration regulation 21CFR 177.1520 (1) 3.1 and 3.2) and should not have been used previously for other substances, even for foods; you will never get it clean enough, so don’t even think about it. Plastics also come in varying qualities and for different purposes, and some leach chemicals i.e. bisphenols, phthalates. Water containers should be airtight and kept out of the sun; otherwise the water will not be drinkable for long.

48. Camp Shower. If there is a power outage, electric showers won’t be working. It’s amazing to be able to take a hot shower and you can either put warm water in one of these or you can leave it in the sun to heat the water. You can also rig one up to make a hand washing station. Maintaining sanitary conditions after a disaster is mission critical to preserving health and preventing disease – which is often the #1 cause of death after major disasters.

49. Water purification and filtering Equipment. An awesome water filter is the Big Berkey – this is a high quality unit. Consider also the inexpensive Lifestraw (rave reviews) which is ultra portable and “removes 99.999999% of waterborne bacteria (including E. coli and salmonella), and 99.999% of waterborne parasites (including giardia and cryptosporidium)”. Water purification tablets will also be a valuable commodity in a disaster scenario.

Water can be purified with sodium hypochlorite (bleach) and this is what is used for municipal water – however it is not exactly fantastic tasting. It will help preserve stored water, and then you can run it through a chlorine filter such as the Big Berkey before drinking.

SELF DEFENSE AND HUNTING (know the laws / have the correct permits etc. where appropriate)

50. Guns – handguns, rifles, Air rifles etc.

51. Ammunition. If TSHTF then the most common calibers will be better than cash. The .22 Rimfire is found wherever one can legally own weapons. 

You cannot have too much .22, .303, .38, 9mm, .223 .762 and 12ga ammo. Also consider other popular calibers: The .357 Magnum is perhaps the most versatile handgun cartridge. For big game hunting the .375 Holland and Holland is the most versatile round.

52. Standard issue self-defence tools. – Pepper Spray, Clubs etc.

53. Slingshot. Aka catapult. Not a toy. You can always collect small stones, whereas a rifle becomes useless as soon as you are out of ammo….

54. Archery gear. Bow and arrows, extra bowstrings, broadheads, fletching. You can still make arrows even when the last bullet has gone…

55. Knives and Knife Sharpening tools.

56. Fishing supplies. Fishing line has a ton of survival uses in addition to fishing.

TOOLS

57. Basic set of hand tools is a must. Hammer, screwdrivers, pliers with wire cutter, vice grips, hack saw etc.

57. Tomahawk – a classic ‘mountain man’ survival tool, primarily a woodsman’s tool but with innumerable other uses. Get one and learn how to use it. The type with the hammer head on the reverse side gives some options for further uses. Here’s a well-reviewed one we found on Amazon.

58. Woodcutting / tree work / firewood tools. Bow saws, pruning saws, axes, hatchets and Wedges (also, honing oil). Chainsaw (only if you have the correct training / certification).

60. Crowbar / Wrecking bar. This one is amazing and gets rave reviews: Stanley FatMax Xtreme 55-120 FuBar III. A demolition and zombie apocalypse survival essential. 😉

61. Multi tool. There’s the classic Leatherman which is of course fantastic, but a bit expensive. If you want something cheaper, this one got loads of great reviews and is low cost.

62. All purpose survival tools such as the Trucker’s Friend All-Purpose Survival Tool (a serious piece of kit which has tons of uses!)

63. Portable power tools. You can’t go wrong with the DeWalt range of 20V portables. Great tools. With these, a small solar panel and an all-in-one power pack such as this one from Allpowers (I have one of these and love it), your power tool use is secured in a grid-down / remote scenario. Survivalist tip: Top of my list would be a reciprocating saw. When you need to cut your way out of a problem, it’s no problem. I have this DeWalt saw and it’s a beast! Get a pack of 9″ pruning blades and you can cut an 8″ diameter branch into logs with ease. Super useful tool to keep on the truck.

64. Survival Shovel. There is the basic folding “military style” shovel that most survivalists are aware of – but you might also wish to consider the more modern type of survival shovel which comes with multiple attachments to give numerous uses.

65. Submersible Utility Pump. A pump is a marine essential and can save the day in any emergency that involves water / flooding. These pumps are also fantastic for garden watering from a rain water barrel – connect a hose, drop the pump in, power it up and you are in business. Pro Tip: tie a fine-mesh nylon hair net around the pump to help keep it free from getting clogged – as submersible pumps have a tendency to pull in whatever muck is at the bottom of the water they are drawing from.

66. Tools that can be used to make tools; in particular, bladesmithing / sharpening and wood crafting tools – for example you can make a machete from a flat bar.

67. WD-40. Horrible stuff but everyone loves it and it has a ton of uses, so it will fly off the shelves.

68. Super glue. (loads of survival uses including wound suturing)

MEDICAL SUPPLIES

These are also fantastic trade and barter items – and like ammunition, will be better than currency if TSHTF. Life-or-death items will have the most value.

69. Essential prescriptions. Get these before you need them – and build a stock.

70. First aid kits. This is a great starter survival / first aid kit – 268pcs – rave reviews. Also have a supply of isopropyl alcohol (91%), alcohol prep pads, band-aids, antiseptic ointment, bandage, suture tape, silver gel antiseptic ointment.

71. Latex and latex-free gloves.

72. Hydrogen peroxide. A survival essential – though difficult to store and has a relatively short shelf life.

73. Antibiotics, antihistamine, antacid, hydrocortisone cream.

74. Hypodermic needles.

75. Dental kits. Dental emergencies are extremely common and not fun.

76. Pain meds. – Tylenol, ibuprofen, aspirin.

77. Contraceptives.

78. Combat Application Tourniquet.  Could be a lifesaver in case of bullet wound, animal attack or other serious wound. Learn how to use.

79. Foot care supplies. As any solider will tell you, foot care is mission critical.

80. Herbal Remedies. Learn the survival uses of echinacea, garlic, golden seal, aloe, cayenne, etc. 

81. Essential oils. For example, tea tree (everyone should have this in their survival kit!)

82. IV (intravenous) supplies (needles, fluids). Get printed instructions on how to use, and keep them in the kit in case the person who knows how to use it is unconscious!

83. Activated charcoal powder. An inexpensive yet potentially life-saving item that most people forget. Countless survival uses including front line use against several types of poisoning.

84. Iodine. An old standard for cleaning cuts, scrapes and small wounds. Hospitals use to disinfect the skin before cutting into it in surgery or C-sections. Cheap, a little goes a long way and it has a long shelf life.

HOME DEFENSE

Remember that the first things to disappear if TSHTF will not be things: Common sense, goodwill and sanity will in many people be replaced by insanity, desperation, greed and stupidity. If things get really serious and people are starving, they will start doing extreme things and will stop being ‘nice’. Many survivalists are “isolationists” by nature but community may turn out to be your best friend in the end! Home defense is a detailed topic (will be the subject of a full guide shortly) but here are some tips.

85. Perimeter Defense. Security cameras, motion detectors, security lights, signage (“beware of dog”, “smile you’re on camera” etc), security fencing and gates.

86. Door Security. Home invasion is becoming more prevalent and I can’t overstate this. They work in teams – targeting visible wealth. BAM! The door comes off and a whole crew of them piles in, holds up the homeowners and ransack the place. They are fast, armed and dangerous. The best defense is to make sure they can’t get in.
Your exterior doors are the #1 point of entry and most people’s doors would simply come flying open with one sledgehammer strike. Beef up exterior doors to the max with a combination of steps to protect their weak points. First of all, exterior doors should be solid, not flimsy and not with those small glass panels that can easily be popped in order to unlock the latch. The OnGard Door Brace is an effective measure that makes a door much, much harder to kick in. Drop-in security bars are very useful too but should have some kind of system to make sure they can’t just be popped out of their hook from the outside via Halligan bar etc. Longer screws / security screws make the hinges harder to force. These door jamb reinforcement kits are a worthwhile investment and make doors much harder to kick in. Fit higher security locks and deadbolts that are resistant to bump / pick attacks. Also have a door latch of the type that cannot be “hooked” via wire: Years ago I locked myself out of a house I was living in, that had “high security locks”. I was able to put a thick piece of wire through the letterbox and pull the latch from the outside! If you can break into your own house, it’s not secure enough…

87. Window security. First step is good window locks and actually keep the windows locked! Second step is installing window film that makes breaking extremely difficult. I’m not even going to link to a product on Amazon for these because cheap window film, amateurishly installed can actually make popping a window panel easier rather than more difficult! Get professional advice on this one. The best window film systems are incredibly robust, even being blast, bullet and axe-proof – and are secured into the frame rather than just “stuck to the pane”. Keep some sheet plywood / OSB on hand to board up windows fast in case of a real emergency – especially in urban environments.

Pro Tip: Keep your valuables hidden – it’s best if people don’t even know they exist. Don’t make yourself appear to be a “loaded galleon” – a visible target for the greedy and the desperate. People “flexing” – showing off their wealth on Instagram etc – is now a known way to become a target for organized crime, so think twice before displaying visible wealth; and take steps to ensure that you can’t be “doxxed” (doxxed means your identity and location revealed / displayed publicly online for all to see).

SANITARY AND CLEANING SUPPLIES

88. Portable Toilets. Probably the best for survival purposes is the “Luggable Loo”. It’s a toilet seat that sits on a 5 gallon bucket. Typically purchased for camping, but invaluable in an emergency as water is not needed. A trash bag is placed in the bucket, do your business then cover with wood ash (best) but you can use leaves, dirt, sawdust or kitty litter. No muss, no fuss and no odor. Every house should have one.

89. TOILET PAPER. One of the simple everyday items that you will most regret being without. Get the large rolls of toilet paper (1000-foot rolls). Toilet paper does not go off. You might as well stock up and get a big supply. Paper towels are also valuable.

90. Bar soap. Do not underestimate the survival value of frequent hand-washing!

91. Baby Wipes. Very useful survival item.

92. Hand sanitizer. (saves a lot of water, but note that hand soap is generally better)

93. Dental floss. (has many survival uses including fishing line!)

94. Shaving supplies. (razors, razor blades and creams)

95. Washboards, Mop & Bucket w/wringer. (for Laundry)

96. Shampoo, Toothbrush/paste, Mouthwash, nail clippers, etc. You might as well stock up on toothbrushes as they keep indefinitely and you sure won’t want to be without one after TSHTF.

97. Feminine Hygiene/Haircare/Skin products. – tampons, pads, yeast infection supplies

98. Baby Supplies. Diapers / formula / ointments etc

99. Laundry detergent (Liquid) and dish soap.

100. Bleach. (plain, NOT scented: 4 to 6% sodium hypochlorite)

101. Chap stick. – has loads of survival uses also

CLOTHING AND BEDDING

NOTE: PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) now has its own dedicated post / tutorial. Check it out here: Top 10 Most Important PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) Items For Survivalists / PPE For SHTF.

102. Boots. – especially work / hiking boots + boot care supplies. The Dr. Martens 1490 is a classic for good reason but the lighter and more versatile military tactical type boot has come to the fore in recent years.

103. Gloves (Work/warming/gardening, etc). Good leather gloves are a godsend and will be used daily in a survival scenario. These Mechanic Work Gloves got a high number of 5-star reviews.

104. Thermal underwear. (Tops and bottoms)

105. Sleeping bags and blankets/pillows/mats.

106. Bandanas (pack of 12) / and or Tactical Desert Shemagh. The shemagh, also known as the Keffiyeh, Ghutra, Tactical Scarf or Arab Scarf is a 100% cotton scarf with an absolutely enormous number of survival uses – it should always be part of your kit. They give protection from the sun, Sand, and harsh winds when Hunting, Hiking, Climbing and Fishing. Not only are they for protection, they can be used as a blanket, Arm Sling, Sweat rag, camouflage and much more! Learn 10 simple ways to use a Shemagh here.

107. Wet weather clothing. Waterproof clothes, rain ponchos, rubberized boots, etc. Essential. Getting soaked to the skin can do more than dampen your enthusiasm, it can be a hypothermia risk in cold conditions (especially when windy due to wind chill factor). If you stay dry, you are a good part of the way towards staying warm.

108. Cold weather clothes. Woolen clothing, ski gloves, balaclavas, gore-tex jackets, polartek fleece tops, winter hunter’s hat.

109. Hats. (check out this Indiana-Jones style outback Hat, belts Underwear, T-shirts, etc. (extras)

110. Socks. (pack them in ziplock bags and you will be really happy with your clean, dry socks!)

GENERAL HARDWARE

111. Off-the-shelf “survival kits” of all kinds, such as this one that got great reviews.

112. Ammo Cans – these are extremely durable and water resistant – making brilliant protection for what is inside them. Always popular with survivalists!

113. Respirators such as the classic 3M Half Face and dust masks. A survival essential.

114. Aluminum foil . Tons of uses.

115. Garbage bags. Will become valuable if SHTF. Note – many brands are chemically perfumed to mask odors – and these should never be used for food or water storage.

116. Writing paper/pads/pencils.

117. Ziploc Bags – numerous survival uses including keeping clean socks dry!

118. Plastic storage crates. Heavy duty, stackable, nestable crates are the way to go. I like these sturdy crates which have hinged lids.

119. Zip ties

120. Repair strap and wire: Steel “Hanger Strap” (amazing item!), cut-your-own-length hose/duct jubilee clip (another amazing item!) and a roll of 14 or 16 gauge rebar wire / tie wire will give you a means of repairing a wide array of items.

121. Mylar space blankets. Tons of survival uses in addition to retaining body heat!

122. Ratchet Straps such as these popular and highly rated cargo straps. If you want something more serious, check out these super-heavy-duty 10,000lb breaking strength 2″ straps. A trucker / road warrior essential with tons of additional uses!

123. Lumber (all types). Real firewood will go fast, but if it is a real disaster there will likely be a lot of scrap wood laying around. But never burn painted, pressure-treated or creosote-treated wood – you won’t want to breathe the highly toxic fumes.

124. Plywood. Can board up broken windows but has tons of other survival uses. Good quality plywood is a desirable survival item and will go fast in an emergency.

125. PVC pipe. Owing to its number of uses, this will be in demand in a disaster.

126. Glow sticks. I hate these stupid toxic things but they can provide light, signaling and visibility when all else has failed.

127. Sandbags. Always useful and have numerous survival uses other than flood protection and dirt wall building. There are two general types; the “old school” hessian (natural fiber) bags and the modern nylon weave bags.

128. Camping supplies. – tents, sleeping bags, camping pads, air mattresses

129. Insulated ice chests . (Also good for keeping items from freezing in Wintertime)

130. Tarpaulins. – especially durable, heavy duty, waterproofed

131. Backpacks and Duffel bags.

132. 550 paracord. A super valuable and versatile item. Tons of uses. Light, easy to transport.

133. Garden tools and supplies. If the supply chain truly snaps, we will be growing our own food. Invest in a good set of stainless steel garden tools that can last a lifetime.

134. Cann1ng supplies (Jars/lids/wax).

135. Sewing supplies, needle and thread. Because you will be repairing clothes rather than throwing them away and buying new.

136. Fire extinguishers .

137. Garbage cans – plastic. (great for storage, water collecting, transporting – if with wheels)

138. Duct tape and / or gaffer’s tape. This is a top brand that even works in the wet – high quality tape, look at the reviews!

139. Rope. I’ve linked to the highest-rated inexpensive climbing rope – this should be ok for general purpose but for serious climbing / “trust your life to it” uses, I would go for one of the established climbing brands with certification and strength (Newton) ratings.

140. Candles. A survival essential. Choose plain, long burning candles, without lead in the wicks. For example these Utility Candles. A most recommended item to stockpile as these don’t go off, provide warmth, flame, light and comfort. Known to be one of the most highly bartered items in a real survival scenario. Even better: Beeswax candles – because beeswax has a ton of additional survival uses.

141. Glue, nails, screws, nuts and bolts, etc.

142. Paraffin wax.

143. Chicken wire, barbed wire and other fencing materials.

PEST CONTROL

In any sort of makeshift living scenario, pests become a real problem. Whatever you are living in; if it has holes in, you’ve got rodents and whatever other type of bug decides to mosey on in, in search of something (or someone!) to nibble on…

144. Mousetraps, Rat Traps Ant traps, cockroach traps and baits.

145. Mosquito nets, window mesh screen and screen patches. A genuine life saver in many climates. You do not want dengue fever, West Nile virus or malaria even in normal times; in SHTF those things could well be the end of you. Yes, a mosquito bite has killed more humans than almost anything else since the dawn of civilization. This is a very serious item to prep for!

146. Mosquito traps, mosquito coils/repellent sprays/creams.

147. Insect repellents in general. Learn about Essential oil formulas for ticks and fleas etc.

COMMUNICATIONS, ELECTRICAL POWER AND ELECTRONICS

148. 2 Way Radio. This set of two got loads of 5 star reviews.

149. Emergency radio. This awesome one covers AM/FM/SW/NOAA and has multiple power options including built in solar panel, dynamo crank, battery and USB input.

150. Hand crank lantern with USB in and out. (can be used to charge devices!) A perfect survival gadget!

151. Solar Panels. Most fuels will disappear quite quickly, so it’s best if you can generate your own power. This 20W solar panel comes with its own charge controller and connectors. Very reasonably priced and great reviews.

152. Battery operated LED candles and lights.

153. Batteries of all kinds. Good to get at least one pack of all the types you use regularly. Many these days are good for 10 years but check the expiry date and rotate your stock. Here’s a pack of 24 Energizer-AA Max on Amazon that is rated as storable for up to 10 years or for 2 years in a device, as well as being zero mercury.

154. Rechargeable batteries with solar chargers.

155. Flashlights and torches.

156. Headlamp. A survival essential! This headlamp got rave reviews on Amazon and is under $15.

157. Emergency phone charger power packs. These mini-power packs are outdoor-ready, can charge a mobile device several times and many also include the option of a built in small solar panel, enabling them to provide true mobile power for your device during a longer outage.

158. Inverters. These convert a lower DC voltage (typically 12 volt) into AC in order to power your mains power devices. They are a vital part of an off-grid solar installation yet also provide power for boats, RVs and other vehicles, enabling tools and electronics to be run from the battery. Pure sine wave inverters produce a better quality power while “modified sine” inverters are cheaper yet may potentially harm some electronic devices over time due to the “dirty power” they produce. Good brands include Go Power, AIMS and Xantrex.

TRANSPORTATION

159. Off road “dirt bike” / “enduro” motorbike. – high MPG, can go where most things can’t, get out of Dodge fast, relatively easy to maintain. Traffic jams? No problem!

Bear in mind that as soon as the fuel tank on your car runs dry, it is just about useless (unless it’s a diesel that can run on biodiesel / veggie oil). In a real SHTF scenario, gasoline will become very valuable, very fast. But would likely make you a target – plus it is difficult and dangerous to store.

160. Horses. Used to be very highly prized for good reason. Horses were considered so valuable that they used to hang horse thieves! A mare can live on grass and make getting around & trading possible, and can produce more horses.

161. Wagons, trailers and carts. A simple, working vehicle trailer that is maintained and ready-to-roll is one of the most useful items I can think of, especially if you live out-of-town…

162. Spark plugs, tires, engine oil. – will make good currency items if TS truly HTF.

163. Boats. If you live near water of any kind a boat, canoe, raft, kayak will give you tremendous advantage over those without. 

164. Mountain bike + spare tire, basic repair kit, spare chain, chain tool and other spares. Will keep you moving when no fuel is available and can cross a wide variety of terrain – both urban and country – almost silently, faster than on foot.

165. E-bike. There are some pretty amazing mountain bike to e-bike conversion kits now. E-bikes are fast, quiet and can be charged with off-grid power!

166. Maps. If the mobile phone network goes down (this happened in Portugal in 2022!) then your smartphone GPS is useless. Pick up a good quality hiking map of your local region and keep this in your bug-out bag in a waterproof bag (ziploc or similar).

167. Compass. Very highly rated by survivalists is the Suunto MC-2 Compass.

INFORMATION PRODUCTS / SURVIVAL GUIDES

Survival books – especially those talking about medical skills and food preservation. Pack these in your kit and then you can read them on those long nights without the TV when the power has gone out… 😉

168. The Survival Medicine Handbook: The Essential Guide for When Help is NOT on the Way. By Joseph Alton MD & Amy Alton APRN. Considered by many to be the ulimtate handbook of survival medicine. Rave reviews.

169. Survival Hacks: Over 200 Ways to Use Everyday Items for Wilderness Survival.

170. SAS Survival Handbook, Third Edition: The Ultimate Guide to Surviving Anywhere.

171. The Official US Army Survival Guide – Updated Edition (FM 3-05.70 / FM 21-76): Complete & Unabridged, 600+ Pages (Carlile Military Library).

172. Physicians Desk Reference, 71st Edition.

173. The American Red Cross First Aid and Safety Handbook.

174. Boy Scout Handbook – 2016 Edition.

175. A foraging / wild food guide. Be sure to get one that is relevant for the plants of your region. Among the best – USA: Edible Wild Plants: Wild Foods From Dirt To Plate United Kingdom: “Food For Free” by Richard Mabey.

Final Notes And Survival Tips

Important prepping tip: It’s best to stock up on the things you already use a lot of, rather than buying a load of stuff that you have never once needed so far in your life. However on the flipside, be aware that some things you have never needed so far might save your life one day, so plan carefully. Just be a bit rational and bear in mind that ‘prepping’ is a glorious way to get people to spend money on things they will never actually use…

Don’t boast carelessly about your survival supplies. Keep it on the down low. If the wrong person knows you have a lot of “everything they need”, then that’s an added risk for you.

Do not acquire more than you can store properly. You should also think about what you can carry. All this stuff isn’t much use if you have to leave it all behind…… So you should consider whether you are prepping to bug in or bug out. If you are bugging out, you only want what you / your bug-out vehicle can carry. If you are bugging in, then stack ’em high.

• Remember the mottoes “UNITED WE STAND, DIVIDED WE FALL”, and “Knowledge weighs nothing”… Think about items and skills that will make you friends and allies, rather than making people envious. In a survival situation, it is better to be valuable than to have valuables. Ask yourself, would you be considered more valuable alive or dead? Because a man with gold coins and no knowledge is in much more danger than a skilled doctor with no gold….

Did I miss anything? Please share additional survival items in the comments.