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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.
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.
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…
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.
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.
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)
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. The only problem is that you will almost certainly raid your supply and mow through it! 😉
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 300+ 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!)
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.
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.
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 – but be sure to keep it out of sight.
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)
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.
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 and oregano (everyone should have these 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.
Read my in-depth tutorial on 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!)
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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More Off-Grid And Survival Resources:
What REALLY Happens When You Bury a Shipping Container? (Hint: It's A Bit Crazy...)
Shipping containers are all the rage - but if you are thinking about buying one, you MUST watch this video first:
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