Top 50 Preparedness Items (and why)

Welcome to this week’s Survive The Coming Collapse newsletter, brought to you by Free Survival Cheat Sheets.com, a set of quick, actionable, and free preparedness and survival tips and tricks from the The Fastest Way To Prepare course.

Survival Diva here.  We’ve been talking about the reasons why it’s so important to prepare for the last couple of weeks, and I’m very excited to be discussing the solutions this week! With prepping comes peace of mind, knowing we’re ready for whatever Mother Nature, the economy brings, or terrorists bring. Writing the reasons to prepare in the last two posts had me criticizing my own preparedness as I took inventory before the first snowfall. I definitely need to beef up my stash of firewood! And there’s always room for improvement in other areas.

This week, we’re going to cover a “Top 50” of preparedness items that you absolutely want to have in place when a disaster strikes (or get your hands on before the masses realize that the sky has fallen.)

These items will be the first to disappear in an emergency, and once purchased, most wouldn’t trade them for a stack of gold bullion…unless they’ve put extras aside for barter. The good news is many items on the list aren’t expensive, so setting them aside now will save you the drama of having to scramble or barter for them later.

You’ll notice this list does not include storage food, medical supplies, clothing, cleaning supplies or all but one basic hygiene product, but even so, each of these items are must-haves—but since you’re already here, you know that.  If you don’t have that under control, I want to suggest that you go through FreeSurvivalCheatSheets.com for a beginner roadmap.

Checking a few of things off the list each week, pay period, or month will go a long ways towards your being able to breathe easy, even in the face of calamity.

Top 50 Preparedness Items (or classes of items)

1. Water Purifier: As Camelback says, “Hydrate or Die!”  But, without a water purifier (or filter or water treatment system, depending on where you’re getting your water from); you can’t safely drink water from a stream, or a lake. A quality water purifier can even purify swimming pool and pond water!

2. Water Containers: You will need water containers, even if you have a well only a few feet away. During a time of unrest, or in a nuclear event, you may have to stay indoors. Store two weeks of water in sturdy containers indoors—at least fifteen gallons per person is enough for drinking and cooking, but it isn’t enough for bathing. You will need to store more if you live in a hot climate, are on medications that require you to drink more than usual, or if you’re going to be exerting yourself during the two weeks.

3. Wood Matches: Unless you plan on referring to a Boy Scout Manual on how to start a fire by rubbing two sticks together, get lots! It doesn’t hurt to purchase an additional flint-style fire starting kit for a time when matches may run out.  (David’s note:  Also, buy cheap lighters…LOTS of cheap lighters.)

4. Buckets: Buckets are good for many applications: food storage, gathering water, and buckets can be made into a water purifier in case of a nuclear event—even the best water purifier will not safely filter fallout! Keep at least 4 5-gallon plastic buckets for tasks and purifying fallout particles from water sources.

5. Bleach: Not only will bleach provide a way to safely store water, it is a must-have to sanitize surfaces. Bleach is a perfect bartering item and its inexpensive! (David’s note:  you may also want to research and buy sodium hypochlorite granules instead of large quantities of liquid bleach)

6. Flashlights: A late-night trip to the “outdoor facilities” won’t be easy without a flashlight. It doesn’t hurt to have a couple, and possibly one that runs without batteries—a shaker-style–but do your homework when buying one. Many have reported being disappointed over some models lack of reliability. LED Flashlights have the most range, from tactical use, to every-day household chores. They are more expensive than regular flashlights, but many swear by them. A headlamp is a good investment for hands-free tasks after sun-down. Whatever style of flashlight you choose, consider a solar charger and rechargeable batteries.

7. Toilet Paper: This is a must-have. The good news is it’s still affordable when purchased on sale. Last month, a local store here in North Idaho had T.P. on sale for $6.99 for a package of 24 rolls.

8. Alternative Cooking Source:  Whether your choice is a camp stove, a wood cook stove, or an outdoor BBQ (never use BBQ’s indoors), it’s a good idea to make the decision now, before trouble, so you’ll have it available in a crisis. This is important enough, I’ll be writing a separate post about alternative cooking in the near future. If your choice is a camp stove, have plenty of fuel set aside to get you through a long-term crisis, and if necessary (like in the case of limited storage for propane), have a back-up plan. If you haven’t made a decision yet and are leaning towards a camp stove, consider a model that lets you use several fuel sources.

9. Dutch Oven: In a pinch, Dutch ovens are great to cook with over an open fire, on top of a wood-burning heat stove, or in a fireplace. Besides main-course meals, breads and desserts can be made in them!

10. Solar Oven: If you live in a warm climate, a solar oven will save you a boatload of money when comparing the costs of propane or other fuel when cooking with a camp stove. For northerners, they’re a perfect cooking alternative for summers.

11. Manual Wheat Grinder: Wheat and corn have an incredible shelf-life when stored in a cool, dark, moisture-free environment. Having a manual wheat grinder with a separate corn auger will grind wheat and corn for homemade breads and cornmeal. But beware about storing just wheat for baking: studies have shown that those who suddenly switch their diets to wheat sometimes develop an allergy to it.  The high fiber content in wheat can also make it difficult for the body to process in large quantities.

12. Heavy-Duty Pull Cart: No matter if you need to haul wood, or water, or clear brush for gardening, a sturdy pull cart may become your best friend. Put aside tire patch kits and an extra tire or two.

13. Hatchet, Ax, and Maul: These are must-have tools because of their adaptability for many situations. Make sure to get a sharpening stone to keep them sharp.

14. Tree-Felling Ax: This is a must-have for those who live in a northern climate who plan to heat with available wood. Notice I have not listed a chain saw. Although a chain saw is an excellent tool, it requires 2-stroke oil, replacement chains, replacement parts, blade oil, and fuel. A tree-felling ax is a basic tool that can get you by until there are funds available for a chain saw and the extras it requires. Just make sure to get that sharpening stone.

15. Rope: Possibly one of the most versatile items you can have. It can be used to haul items, hang laundry, create make-shift outbuildings (with the help of a couple of tarps), and whatever else comes up.

16. Tarps: These are Cheap! If you want a tarp that can haul heavy items, consider purchasing canvas tarps. Tarps work well for temporary shelter and make-shift privies with the use of nails or rope.

17. Manual Can Opener(s): For something so basic, think an “heir and a spare”. Get at least two, good-quality manual can openers, so you won’t be caught with a pantry full of canned goods with no way to open them!

18. Heirloom Garden Seed: For the food insurance garden seed offers, they are not all that expensive. Few of us have the storage space to store up for a crisis that lasts more than a year. Do not freeze your seed. They will store for years in a cool, dark location. If you have limited gardening space, look to a gardening book on square foot gardening/containerized gardening.  Go >HERE< for David’s recommended source for heirloom, non-GMO seed storage.

19. Garden Tools: There are only a few must-have tools for gardening: a few pair of sturdy gardening gloves, shovel, spade, hoe, rake, spading fork, hand fork, pruners and a pick axe for those who plan to clear land for gardening later. If you will be doing containerized gardening, your tool needs will be fewer, but be sure to plan ahead for the containers. It doesn’t hurt to get a $10 soil-testing kit to see what you may need to add to the soil for the best gardening results. Even though growing season is nearly over for most of us, I will be combining a compilation of gardening how-to’s, including how to make a worm farm—they’re great for aerating soil and for the nutrients their waste provides to a  garden.

20. Wheelbarrow: A wheelbarrow can be used for more than just gardening and certain home repairs. They are relatively inexpensive and will help carry the load of most chores you find yourself having to do.  (David’s note:  An easy-to-implement solution that we have tried, tested, and found to be worthwhile is the big Rubbermaid wheelbarrows from Home Depot.  They have 2 wheels, instead of 1, and they’re mounted in the middle, rather than the front, so you can lift a bigger load and be more stable.  Fill the tubes with green slime, consider Kevlar liners, and buy spare tubes.)

21. Canning Supplies: Home canning goes hand in hand with gardening and is an excellent way to safely store the overflow from the garden. You will need a pressure cooker, canning jars, a good supply of lids (jars without chips are reusable forever—but not lids unless you invest in Tattler re-usable lids), a large pan for Boiling-Method canning and a canning book for safe canning.

22. Wash Tub, Clothes Pens, Hand Agitator & Wringer Mop Bucket: Unless you have a septic system for dependable drainage, you will need a washtub large enough for bathing and hand-washing laundry. A hand agitator will make laundry day much easier, as will a wringer mop bucket to remove excess water before hanging clothes on the line.  Hand agitators can be purchased online at Lehman’s or other suppliers for around $16.00.

23. Emergency Candles: They’re inexpensive and good to have in an emergency. Just remember the FYI in an earlier post I made about keeping black-out curtains at your windows when burning either candles or oil lamps. Advertising your preparedness to strangers may invite looting. It’s a good idea to get hurricane-style candle holders to avoid fire, especially with children in the house.

24. Oil Lamps: These are affordable if you don’t insist on the all-brass models. Right now, you can still purchase 64 fluid ounces of lamp oil for around $6.00, so stock up while it’s still affordable! Lately, I’ve had trouble finding quantities of lamp oil. One solution is placing an order for several containers of lamp oil at a big-box store like Wall-Mart. Don’t forget to pick up replacement wicks and a couple of replacement chimneys.

25. ABC Fire Extinguisher, Battery-Run CO Detector & Battery-Run Fire Alarm: Get several fire extinguishers if possible. In a full-blown emergency, fire departments may not be able to respond. When using camp stoves, candles and lamps, fire hazards increase. Always be prepared with either a fire extinguisher or keep baking soda within easy reach. It’s also important to have a battery-run CO Detector and a fire alarm that will alert you to danger.

26. Board Games & Cards: At first glance, these items may seem silly to plan for in an emergency. But survival should also cover physiological wellness. Sitting down together to play a board game or a game of cards every once in a while will bring a feeling of normalcy during an unsettling time.  (David’s note:  A GREAT set of cards to get are my Urban Survival Playing Cards which, in addition to being playing cards, have 52 survival tips, tricks, and tactics that you’re likely to forget under stress.  To learn more, go to UrbanSurvivalPlayingCards.com)

27. Children’s Crafts & Activities: Children can have a difficult time processing abrupt changes in their every-day lives. It may be difficult to keep small children entertained when there is no TV, or a computer, or when they can no longer run down the street to play with their friends. Having a few simple activities and craft items will keep them occupied and happy. A box of printer paper costs around $20. The dollar Stores have crayons, colored pencils, pens, pencils and color books. You can find used Children’s book for nearly nothing at Libraries, garage and moving sales, and thrift stores. If you don’t have children, will you have people in your group who do? If the answer is yes, better get creative! I’ll be writing an article about children’s needs soon.

28. Camp Toilet: Even if you have the Rolls Royce of outhouses, a camp toilet will be a necessary convenience for times when going outdoors is not safe, or for unexpected middle-of-the-night nature calls. You can find them at sporting goods stores for around $15.00.

29. Alternative Heat Source:  Not everyone will need an alternative heat source, but for Northerners, it’s a no-brainer! There are many approaches you can take, but if your budget is tight, why not consider a two-in-one approach? A wood cook stove will provide alternative cooking AND will heat at least a portion of your home. If you have an existing fireplace, consider adding a wood-burning insert that will generate efficient heat. A wood heat stove is another approach. If your budget is tight, consider purchasing a used one. Make sure to follow building codes when installing any of these devises. If your heat source is not sufficient to heat your entire home, you can cordon off a living/sleeping area with heavy blankets from floor to ceiling.

30. Fuel: For this example, fuel may be wood, propane, gasoline, propane or diesel. The hardest part of putting aside fuel is safe storage space. Never store volatile fuels near anything with a pilot light like a hot water heater or a furnace! Going back to a camp stove, having a good amount of fuel is important, because your alternative cooking method is good only as long as your fuel supply lasts. If necessary, digging a hole on your property to safely store fuel is a possibility. Make sure to cover the hole with a protective board and camouflage the area with the soil or vegetation that surrounds it. If you will be using 55-gallon drums, get a syphon. Fuel extenders will extend the life of gasoline, but diesel stores much longer than gasoline. If you’re storing wood, try to store it away from the sight of passersby’s to avoid looting.

31. Heavy-Mil Plastic Sheeting:  There are MANY uses for a roll of heavy-mil plastic sheeting, from covering a broken window to making a make-shift greenhouse. A large roll, last time I checked, was around $40.

32. Basic Tools & Misc.: I haven’t forgotten about my promise to post a list of tools, but for this list, only the basics will be mentioned. So, here goes: work gloves, hammer, screw drivers (assorted sizes), Philips screwdrivers (assorted sizes), allen wrench set (both American and metric), pliers (assorted sizes), plumbers wrench, crow bar, key-hole saw (to cut holes when there is no power), tape measurer, T-square, wood miter box (to cut angles), wire, bungee cords (assorted), hand saw, a selection of nuts, washers, nails and screws, and Duct Tape.

33. Basic Auto-Repair Tools: Set aside basic tools and parts for unforeseen repairs. Things like Fix-a-Flat, a jack, spare tire, oil and gasoline are the obvious items you’ll need. From there, it’s time to do your homework. If you aren’t familiar with auto repair, try to locate someone nearby who can give you guidance about what you may want to have on hand. (David’s note:  I’m a BIG fan of Ed Archuleto’s “Screw a Flat-Easy” system for fixing ATV and passenger vehicle flats.)

34. Wood sheeting & 2 X 4’s: It can’t hurt to have a few 4 X 8 sheets of plywood and 2 X 4’s put aside for unexpected repairs. I already mentioned heavy-mill plastic sheeting for window repairs, but in a piece of plywood to cover a broken window will go a long ways towards safety! There are many DYI sites that give instructions on how to build a make-shift greenhouse with nothing but 2 X 4’s and clear plastic sheeting.

35. Snake Bite Kit: Even if you plan to survive in place, you will likely be gardening, patrolling your property and doing outdoor chores. If you live in an area with poisonous snakes, this is a must-have.

36. Wind-Up or Solar Powered Radio: I can’t imagine sitting out a disaster without the means to get updated information. How else will you know if there’s an alert to boil water for safe drinking and cooking, or what the impact an emergency has had on your vicinity? But a word of warning: “Quality” is key here. I tried to go the cheap route, and so did many others I know. We all ended up investing in a better model for reliable radio transmission!

37. Two-Way Radios:  Two-way radios are an important means of communications during grid-down for group communications within a two mile radius, and sometimes greater.

38. Batteries: Batteries are another essential. Battery life is fairly short, so consider rechargeable batteries and a solar battery charger to your preparedness goods if possible. Storing Batteries in a separate zip-lock bag will help avoid battery acid seepage from a faulty battery ruining others next to it. Their life will be prolonged when storing them in a cool, dry location.

39. Swiss Army Knife: These all-purpose knives can be life-savers! You should have one for each member of your group if possible.

40. Hunting Knife: Even if you will only be hunting small game, a good-quality hunting knife is imperative.

41. Binoculars: Will increase your situational awareness over distances far greater than the human eye can see.

42. Weapons: This one is a point of contention for some, but if you ever find yourself having to defend yourself, you’ll wish you had added weapons to your preparedness list!

43. Ammo: Will be one of the most in-demand bartering items! In my opinion, it will be worth more than gold. But first, you will need ammo for your own needs.

44. Fishing Gear: As long as you live near a river, a lake or the ocean, fishing offers protein and a change from every-day mealtimes. You will want fishing gear, bait, and hooks appropriate for the waterway you’ll be fishing.

45. Topographical Maps: These should be kept in emergency backpacks. If ever you find yourself in the midst of an emergency, a topographical map will help guide you to safety if you must hike unfamiliar territory. If you have a get-away cabin you’ll be re-locating to, it doesn’t hurt to have topographical maps from your current location to your get-away.

46. Compass: FORGET GPS during grid-down! They may or may not work, depending on the nature of the disaster. A compass can be relied upon for traveling or when hiking unfamiliar territory.

47. Backpack: Hopefully, each group member’s backpack will include the basics you need for emergencies. For excellent advice on what those items should be, please refer to David’s detailed post; Survival kits, 72 hour kits, GOOD Bags. A Layered Approach

48. Camp Gear: If you plan to get out of dodge if your area becomes too dangerous, camp gear is a must. The basics include: Tent, sleeping bag, flint-style fire starter, folding shovel, tarp, camp cookware and dishes, food, water purifier, water bottle or canteen, and your back-pack that includes survival essentials.

49. Reference Books:  Are something few of us could do without. The most popular prepper reference book topics tend to be about gardening, seed-saving, first aid, self-defense, wilderness survival, food dehydration, food storage-related cookbooks, Dutch oven cookbooks, and meat curing. Most reference books can be purchased gently used. Some information can be download for free, but be sure to print it. In a grid-down, it may not be possible to get to the information when you need it the most!

50. Alternative Transportation: There are many possibilities with regards to alternative transportation. A bicycle is one of the most affordable and most proven throughout the world and throughout history.

That wraps up the Top 50 Preparedness Items You Should Have and Why. For those of you scratching your heads…wondering why I didn’t mention things like a generator or solar panels, there’s a reason. These items would be great to have in a crisis of any length, but for anyone struggling to afford setting up for self-sufficiency, it’s a good idea to start with the basics and get the more expensive things later, when cash flow is available. That way, should an emergency happen before you are totally finished checking everything off on your preparedness list, you’re more likely to have the basics set aside that will get you through.

(David’s Note:  Keep in mind that, once you go beyond the basic 4 of survival–Shelter, Fire, Water, Food–or Dave Canterbury’s 5 C’s (cutting tool, container, combustion, cover, cordage), the rest is up to personal preference.  I’d venture to say that almost every single person who’s reading this list will have a slightly different “Top 50.”)

For more detailed information on surviving and preparing for a crisis, visit David’s sites at www.SurviveInPlace.com and www.FastestWayToPrepare.com . You’ll be glad you did!

I’m sure I missed something that you’d include in your top 50. Each one of us has unique needs, depending upon location and lifestyle. Please share your advice in the comments section below!

God bless and stay safe,

David Morris and Survival Diva

P.S.  I’ve had several people ask me over the last 24 hours whether or not this list is the same as the 37 items covered in “Sold Out After Crisis.”  Although there is a significant amount of overlap, they are still quite different.  To learn more, you can go >HERE<  As a note, if you’ve been prepping for years, this may or may not be a good fit for you–it was not for me.  That being said, I have heard back from enough people who said that it is what got them to “kick it into gear” that I am linking to it today.

 

Comments

  1. Spot on with this write-up, I actually believe that this site needs much
    more attention. I’ll probably be returning to read through more, thanks for the
    info!

  2. Jake Hunter says:

    Hello and thank you for this invaluable information to help us get through just about any crisis or bad situation. I believe the most important bartering item in a world without cash is ammo. Since there are more rifles chambered for .22 long rifle ammo than any other this will be the #1 barter item followed by 9mm pistol ammo, 12 gauge shotgun shells ( in 2 3/4 inch length, and lastly the .223 Remington rifle cartridge which is the most popular rifle cartridge for the 100 million+ assault rifles out there. There are also other popular rifles such as the Ruger Mini-14 among others which are also chambered in the .223 Remington round.
    Next in line for barter will be water and food. I believe that bartering these items will be foolhardy as you would be setting yourself up for robbery or worse.
    The last things I believe will will be hot commodities for barter will be alcohol and silver and gold in smaller denominations which will make them easily traded. Silver should be horded in the form of 1964 and earlier 90% silver dollars, half dollars, quarters, and dimes in lieu of the US Dollar which will collapse if there is a protracted situation which erodes confidence in America.
    Sincerely,
    Joseph (Jake Hunter)

  3. As a professional truck driver I offer the following regarding the earlier comment that diesel stores easier than gas: not completely accurate,
    The vast majority of diesel available today has anywhere from 5 – 20 % biomass diesel incorporated.
    This has caused us massive problems (especially in northern climates) as it jells much quicker and also induces corrosion problems (similar to the ethanol problems in gas engines) and clogs filters much quicker. In addition, diesel fuel grows algea fairly quickly. The biomass addition speeds this process up. It is imperative that if you store diesel for any length of time that it be treated. Two options: Parts stores or Wakmart usually stock Powersource treatment or equivalent or, if there is a truck stop in your area (the larger ones are better) there are a couple of brands available. Personnaly I prefer the Howes brand. Kerosene pretty much requires the same precautions.
    For gas, Stabil works well. For either, don’t be afraid to double dose as it won’t hurt.
    As for medical supplies, I strongly suggest the .Isreali Battle Dressing. You can get them on Amazon (about $5.25). Quantity depends on you expected environment… would suggest a minimum of 10. Excellent for larger traumatic injuries. Vacuuum sealed w/ instructions printed on package. Get 1 extra to open and practice with.

    • Survival Diva says:

      Howard,

      Isreali Battle Dressings were surprisingly affordable on Amazon and it’s an item everyone should have on hand. Thank you for the feedback on diesel vs. gasoline.

  4. Great Grey says:

    The watch need to be set to local solar noon not time zone noon for the most accurate directions. Where I live should be in the mountain time zone not central time zone. and solar noon can be more that 40 minutes different from time zone noon not to mention anything about daylight time that can even more time to the error. But, if it is the only time piece you have I would not reset it. as all you need to do is use the point on the dial is where the hour hand is pointing at solar noon.

  5. I know this is a bit late since the next newsletter is due out in a few days but People that wear glasses might want to add a back up pair to thier list.

  6. Hand crank radios – Most of the ones out in the market are junk. Poor crank to run time ratios, weak crank handles that break off. Any recomdation for a good one?

    instead how about rechargable AA batts & solar charger and a small shortwave radio like Sonys. If local stations are down you may get info from international stations.

  7. rabenfels says:

    I read that Push-to-Talk cell phones would be superior to walkie-talkies. But: Do they not have to have a plan with Nextel (monthly cost) in order to work and that may just defeat their “superiority” as far as distances is concerned. Then, if the service goes down or towers don’t work these phones don’t work either, correct? Used phones (Motorola / Nextel) are rather cheap – less than walkie-talkies. Thanks for a clarification from anyone out there.

    • Survival Diva says:

      rabenfels,

      I was once a GM of a cellular company and was involved with an emergency planning drill, along with other utilities and emergency services. The short-hand version of my report shared with all involved in emergency planning basically was…it depends. All cell phone companies rely on electricity. There are A-Side and B-Side cellular companies. The A side are many times owned by phone companies and piggy-back off their technology. The B side either own and maintain their own technology, or may be re-sellers and use the technology of another cellular company. Here’s what can go wrong that would take out cellular services for either A or B cellular companies:

      1. All cellular depends upon electricity. Their back-up varies between 2 weeks to possibly months and are usually a combination of battery back-up and generators. A reseller is totally dependent upon the system of the cellular company whose technology they piggy-back from. Once back-up fuel/batteries run out, so will cellular coverage.
      2. All cellular transmittion depend upon repeater sites, where phone calls to and from a cellular user is handed off. If a tower (repeater) goes down, so does the ability to hand-off calls in the affected area.
      3. Most cell phone companies rely upon microwave. In an Electromagnetic Pulse or Coronel Mass Ejection that is a direct hit, microwave may be affected, and coverage will cease at least in the area, and possibly wider-spread.
      4. Cellular sometimes relies upon satellite. There again, EMP or CME can take down transmition.
      5. Cellular also relies upon fiber optics, which of itself can be compromised either with earthquake, or someone cutting fiber optic lines either by accident or not.

      Earthquakes, Tornados, Hurricanes, CME’s, and EMP’s all pose a potential threat to cellular and, in the case of EMP or CME also can impact GPS. WE have grown dependent upon technologies, which usually can be depended upon. But with an emergency comes a lot of “maybes”.
      Personally, I’d go with two-way radios ( :

  8. For storing gas or diesel, use metal. Plastic is porous and will release fumes/ordors, whereas metal cans will not. (from what I’ve read elsewhere)

  9. I bought several, maybe 75, boxes of wooden strike anywhere matches for Y2K. I have them in a 20mm ammo can that is airtight and in a cool dry place. Are they still good?

    I thought they would make a pretty good barter item.

    I was also told ‘ ” Never use ammo for bartering.”

    • In a prolonged crisis, ammo will be the #1 barter item(specifically .22 LR ammo). You should only barter with it if you have an excess. I order it in bulk and save some of it as currency.
      I have been told never to barter with food or water as you can never have too much and you are advertising where to go to get it. This will keep the beggars and looters away.

    • Great Grey says:

      As long as they haven’t gotten wet they should be fine. I some matches that are more then 40 years old that still work.

  10. Old Jim Brown says:

    If in poison ivy/poison oak country use Fels Napha or other strong laundry soap frequently to reduce the prospect of the itchy rash. Immediately after exposure is best.

  11. I read your tips every week. My husband and I will have to stay put. He cannot walk very far, so I have a lot of hand tools that do not require electricity. I have been stocking up on food and water and such for a while, but my husband thinks having money on hand means more than food. I do not agree, because if the bottom drops out , money will not be worth a penny. I try to get him to let me purchase more , because the statement above is comming true . I shop sometimes a Wal-Mart and I wanted 2 cases of a certain vegie and they did not have them. So it is comming and sooner than we realize. We live about 70 miles north of Dallas in a small community. I worry about people coming from the metro-plex and invading our community. We all need to pray and ask GOD to help us . We are is our middle 60′s. I have a garden and a few chickens, I would like to have a milk goat. Sorry for writing so much. Thank you

    • Survival Diva says:

      Linda,

      First food and preparedness goods, then silver or gold. You’re right. The dollar will likely lose value in the near future. Silver is easier to barter with, in my opinion. It’s good you’re getting ready and very good to hear you’re thinking manually. Even if the grid stays intact, if the economy gets bad, it is possible some will need to put money towards food, rather than the electric bill. I know this is the worst-case scenario, and with God’s grace, we may not have to face a worst-case, but when we’re ready for it, it makes getting by much easier.

  12. Interesting Dr. Mercola article. Extract: ” first documented during the great flu outbreak of 1918-1920. During that time a British physician in India was able to cut the death rate of influenza and pneumonia by 50 percent using intravenous hydrogen peroxide therapy” articles.mercola. com/sites/articles/archive/2012/10/14/dr-rowen-oxidative-medicine.aspx?e_cid=20121014_SNL_Art_1

  13. for years i have used a sportsmans pal instead of a hatchet. it is more versatile and there is no head to come loose. my dad put the first one in my hands when i was a about 8 years old and it has a natural balance. for sleeping on the run i use a clark jungle hammock. it weighs 4 lbs and sets up in 5 minutes. complete with tarp,misquito net and windcover it has provided me with many a painfree rest. long term you will need a rigid shelter at your retreat.

  14. I work for a retail store and can tell you the 3-4 days of stuff in the backroom warehouse is about to become a thing of the past. Mid and Upper management are being trained for NO extra supply hanging around waiting to go on the shelves. It’s already being done in a Springfield, MO store. ‘Just in time’ resupply is becoming a fine art with my company. I haven’t been able to “chat up” the few managers I’m personal friends with to see if it includes the meat, produce, bakery or frozen departments, but one let slip it may include canned/bottled goods, as they are being briefed in stages. The videos are showing completely BARE backroom storage in the trial store on at least one side, I’m assuming the side they showed is general merchandise, it has a lower turnover than grocery.
    I’m adding chia seeds to my personal supplies. They are high in good fat and Omegas, provide better energy boosts than the caffeine drinks and can be added to any meal which is lacking in nutrients. Some people use a teaspoon as a daily vitamin supplement. The only place I can find them in town is at Hy-Vee in the natural section, running about $8-10 an 8 oz bag. Dole brand is cheaper but I don’t trust if it is all seed, Uncle (Someone) is a bit more expensive but has mostly darker seeds, which are the real ones. I can’t afford Solutionsfromscience. com yet, they sell it by the pound but are supposed to have growers contracted directly in the Mexican highlands where the seed is native. Ever wonder why the Aztec were so feared? This seed was restricted to the warrior class only, it is credited with enabling them to force march miles to reach their targets. It prefers containers as my area of the country doesn’t have the tropical climate it favors, the Solutions site offers seed for growing as well as meal-ready. PatriotSeeds. com is a very good survival seed site, their container the supply comes in can be buried for 20 years if unopened and I tested everything. The drought didn’t kill the plants until it was almost over, the watermelon was the only failure although the drought got the pumpkin, it was going crazy. I had a tub I used as a rainwater collector and I would dump the water on the garden by the pan full. The squashes will die first, the corn second. Peas and beans will struggle but still produce with watering.
    Sorry about the long post.

    • Survival Diva says:

      Ann,
      Thank you for the heads-up on retailers/grocers. If you ever hear the reason for this change, it would be great to know why they’re going this way. After the bank bail-out(s), the banks have not held up to their bargain of continued business loans. If grocers and retailers are no longer given the loans they depended upon, something like no longer having back stock may be the result.

  15. Salt for food preservation. Non-iodized is best for canning and pickling, etc. as you may have slightly higher spoilage if you use iodized. Iodized is best for the table.

    Soap of many kinds.
    For laundry, simmer until melted: 1/4 bar shaved Fels Naptha in 2 gallons water. Watch carefully so it does not boil over. When dissolved, turn off heat, stir in 1/2 c. 20-mule team borax and 1/2 c. baking soda or washing soda. Cool and bottle in heavy duty platic bottles, but only fill 3/4 full so you can shake it to dissolve before use. 1 c. per “load”. One bar of Fels Naptha makes 8 gallons of liquid laundry detergent–enough to do 128 loads.
    The old way of soap-making is to repeatedly pour the same water over hardwood ash and cook it with rendered fat or tallow, etc. Pour into porcelain pans and score as it cools, so you can cut it easily later. This kind of soap will improve with age.
    MOSQUITO MAGIC bar soap. Works better than any mosquito spray and is safe. An excellent all-purpose soap. You can rub the bar thru your hair dry, too or use it as shampoo. Unfortunately, you have to buy a case of 12, but it is awesome for hunting season and does not scare game away. Gardeners, people who work outdoors–makes a nice stoscking stuffer, too. I lived in the Alaskan bush for a week hunting caribou and did not have mosquito problems–it really works!

    If you have no coat, use 2 shirts and place a layer of dry natural materials (fir needles, leaves, moss, etc. between them. Keep warm at night in a haystack of grasses or fir “hands” piled high. Higher shelter ceilings mean more heat loss.

    For an outdoor shower (no electricity), heat water to body temp and pour into a garden sprinkling can hung on a rope, by the handle from above. Attach another rope to the spout and pull down when you want water. No reason to destroy a perfectly good bucket pounding nail holes in the base and needing 2 people to manage a shower. Before you shower, find a large flat rock to stand on so your feet will not be muddy.

    Do not pitch camp on a ridge top. You want to be below the wind and maybe protected from wind and view in brush or trees.

    Essential oils are an excellent idea. They are compact, light-weight and often more effective than antibiotics. Also, learn to use Bach Flower Essences–and to make more of those that grow in your area if you run out. Homemade may not be as potent, but they will still be helpful. At least carry a bottle of Rescue Remedy (alcohol formula will keep better than glycerite).

    Did anyone mention female sanitary supplies such as (reusable) menstrual cups? Once again, soap! Soap is good for prevention of many problems.

    Good boots and heavy socks. If you are on the move, pay attention to the condition of your feet. Also, cleanliness of private area if you are without toilet paper. This means washing even in freezing cold water when you get to a stream. A rash from dampness and infection can get nasty. Baby lotion?

    Maybe a cross-cut saw if you cannot run a chain saw (no gas, no parts, avoid noise)… if you are staying put.

    • Does anyone know how to sharpen a hand saw to saw lumber, such as 2×4′s, plywood, you know the saws that were used befor skill saws. Also bow saws. All the old saws. Where do you find a sharpening stone? I was raised on a farm but do not remember a sharpening stone , only thing I remember is my Dad sittin on Sunday morn sharpenin his knife with a honeing stone about 1″ w x3″ lx 1/2 “depth. Is that the same thing?

      • Linda Green, You use a triangular file to sharpen a hand saw. You need a vice to hold the saw. 1/2 the teeth are sharpened on one side , then reverse the saw and sharpen the other half. Try to keep the same angle on the filed side. After the teeth are sharp you need a saw set to give the teeth the correct amount of angle off center. You may have to find a set at antique shops. I have not tried to buy one in 60 years.

    • Sally Pesta says:

      I have made this homemade laundry soap for over 20 yrs with two of us having allergies to the regular detergents. This soap doesn’t clog your washing machine and if you need to soak really soiled clothes for an hour or so, drain, and then wash as usual, it works tremendously well. It can also be used for cleaning just about any/everything including abrasions, cuts, poison oaks/ivy etc. Super Cheap too. I keep a 5 gallon bucket of fels naptha soap in my storage.

  16. I have enjoyed a target grade 22 rifle. Used 22 shorts up close for squirrel without making much more noise than an air rifle. Long rifle for most situations. I could consistently hit a paper plate target at almost 300 yards if you hold high enough or take a head shot on a squirrel using a 12 power scope. The head looks to be the size of a lion at 25 feet.The extra money for the better rifle will pay off tremendously in what you can do along with a good scope.

    • There are more opinions than people concerning firearms. That said while 22s are really, really important to have, keep in mind two things: 1) you can’t reload them, resupply may be difficult so spend those rounds wisely (scope a great idea!); and 2) it doesn’t have reliable stopping power for medium/large animals and humans. Three examples: 1) largest bear in NA killed by single 22 shot; 2) two friends hired a guide to hunt in Labrador. Guide carried a combo 12 gage w rifle as top barrel. When asked said it was a 22. Friends wondered why and he (surprised) said for Caribou. Shoot in stomach then trail them as they gently, peacefully bled out.; and 3) man goes berserk at camp and murders two women and a man w/ an ax. They shot him 18x w/ 22LR in the chest during the event. Afterwards he walks several miles to a hospital where he dies a couple days LATER – which really didn’t matter to his victims.

      • Norman Hatfield says:

        My brother is a retired police officer. Once a long time ago, we were looking at a book he had that showed a felon who had been shot 39 times in the chest and face before he succumbed. There wasn’t a picture but there was an incident where a policeman shot a criminal point blank in the chest with a 12 ga. shotgun. The criminal advanced on the astonished cop, wrestled his handgun from him and shot him to death with it. The killer then turned and walked down a flight of stairs before he finally keeled over. So, it is my and many others opinion that there is NO such thing as sure one shot one kill caliber. Unless maybe you measure it in inches instead of fractions.

  17. Great blog–I look forward to seeing it in my inbox every Friday.

    Regarding storing ammunition for barter, one thing I personally had not considered was possible governmental controls on the sale/trade of ammo in a crisis situation. Ferfal reported in his description of what transpired during the collapse of Argentina’s economy (“The Modern Survival Manual: Surviving Economic Collapse”) that almost as soon as people started using ammo in lieu of currency for transactions the government slapped controls (and I believe taxes) on the sale/transfer of ammunition even between private parties except possibly for .22 rounds. I believe you had to transfer specific papers or a tax stamp or something showing the ammo had been bought from a legal vender. People who had stored up ammo for barter pre-collapse found they could not legally sell/trade it after the crash. If they did and sold it to the wrong person they risked jail and/or heavy fines.

    I mention this only as a “Head’s Up” because I had not considered it. My husband thinks no-one here would be that “Draconian” but I don’t know about that.

    I also, want to put in a good word for pellet guns (the kind that does not require CO2 cartridges). I find them reasonably quiet and efficient for squirrel and rabbit though nothing beats my slingshot for cheap, portable shooting at closer distances. Dave Canterbury ( of the 5C’s fame mentioned by Dave above) even has a YouTube video showing how to shoot an arrow with a slightly modified slingshot.

    Trapping/snaring is a huge force multiplier if you need to catch game–search your state fish and wildlife internet sites for trapper education materials. I have found that asking hunters is not the way to develop trapping skills. There are many public domain books (trapping has not changed over many years) and YouTube vids that really help. Live trapping really is the way to go in populated areas and box trap plans are easy enough to come by on the web.

    As for fishing, just put a couple of eye screws in your fish kit and turn a suitable, available branch into a pole. Also, for your emergency back pack, yo-yo automatic fishers are the way to go. These and a small gill net are definitely in my top 50 list.

    Finally, also in my top 50 list is permethrin solution to treat clothing to keep ticks, fleas, lice, bed bugs, chiggers, mosquitoes, gnats, flies, etc. from spreading disease to you or at least making life miserable. This chemical requires careful handling while wet but dries to an odorless, long lasting insect barrier–a real necessity where I am from. Buy the 10% or 34% and dilute to .05% to soak clothing (or ready prepared 0.05% from Sawyer). Stands up to the clothes washer for several washes but line dry. This is not to be applied to skin but as far as toxicology goes this is safer than DEET as humans and dogs have no trouble metabolizing permethrin to an inactive form–it’s routinely used in kennels and in pharma treatments for human scabes. Don’t let cats around any liquid solutions though.

    Thanks for all the good ideas. Sorry for the long post.

    • Survival Diva says:

      Julia & Ann,

      As far as I’m concerned, there is NO such thing as a long post ( : The more knowledge and information we share, the better off we all are! Over and over, forum comments mention being thankful for the information shared here by members. I agree!

      • I a agree that there is no such thing as to long of a post.. If it is long and full of info. I just save it for later, after everyone has gone to bed. or down time at work. I value the insight from others.

  18. DESERT DWELLING KEVIN says:

    It amazes me how many DECADES have gone by since the USELESSNESS of snake bite kits became common knowledge. All that you accomplish by cutting & sucking, some kits even have a pump!, is exacerbating the injury. Venom is absorbed into tissue as fast as the snake pumps it in. It DOES NOT sit there in a little pocket waiting for you to dig out your “snake-bite-kit”, cut yourself, or someone else, open (greatly increasing the risk of infection, remember no antibiotics?) to be sucked out by ANY method. In a survival situation all you can do is try to stay calm, hydrated and wait it out, hoping and praying that you & your immune system are tough enough. In a non-survival situation, follow the above advise and get yourself to medical care.

    • David Morris says:

      Hi Kevin,

      You might want to check out the Sawyer Extractor. It’s completely different than the “razor” kits that you’re (correctly) slamming.

      • DESERT DWELLING KEVIN says:

        David,
        Yup, that’s the VERY pump I was refering to. For your safety please note the following:

        Wilderness Medicine Educators no longer recommend this type of product. Below is a summary-from Wall Street Journal Medical Department-May 13, 2009:

        “The suction devices are still under debate. One of the most popular devices, the Sawyer Extractor, sold by Sawyer Products Inc. of Safety Harbor, Fla., consists of a syringe-shaped chamber with a plunger that creates a vacuum. The company suggests leaving it on 10 to 15 minutes to extract the venom.

        However, a study in pigs and one using radioactively labeled simulated venom injected into the thighs of eight human volunteers found the Sawyer Extractor ineffective. “It removes just a minute quantity of venom,” says pig-study author Sean P. Bush, a professor of emergency medicine at California’s Loma Linda University School of Medicine. Some doctors fear the deep suction could even worsen outcomes by killing skin at the wound site. The human study, published in 2004 by researchers at the University of California in Fresno, found that the device removed no more than 1% to 2% of mock venom from the leg.

        The end result being that ALL snake bite “kits” are in fact….. Snake oil.
        (Wow, did I just say that?) Everyone in medicine says don’t cut, suck or pump. I confirmed this with a pair of ER docs that I know personally.

  19. Two shot gun shells make a great fishing tackle box. Put weights and hook into one shell invert 2nd shell and slide them together then wrap fishing line around the shells from brass to brass. All you would need is bait and a stick. The inverted shells can hold up to 20 hooks and 5-7 weights.

  20. Hi,
    Great list, but I’d like to comment on #46, having a compass. I totally agree that having a compass and a paper map is essential, however the comment that GPS may not work is incorrect. GPS satellites are solar powered and have 12-15 year lifespans as they orbit in medium earth orbits. They are unaffected by power grid outages. They can be affected by solar flare activity just like the power grid but that’s another subject. My main reason for having a compass and map is that GPS batteries only last so long, and battery powered gadgets have a annoying tendency to stop working at exactly the worst possible time. I recommend having both, and carry rechargeable batteries and a solar powered battery charger.

    • David Morris says:

      Hey Scott, as it says, it depends on the nature of the grid outage. If the outage is due to a nuclear or solar EMP, then there’s a good chance that GPS won’t work. If the outage was caused by an entity that the US Government believes is using GPS signals to help them with subsequent attacks, then they’ll shut down civilian GPS.

    • There is a 2nd possible failure point for GPS besides the batteries, the satellites themselves. A Carrington sized CME would: 1) expand atmosphere giving most commercial sats wind drag which would slowly decay their orbit; and 2) possibly damage operating electronics, we now try to briefly turn off sats who’d be in line w/ sun when the CME reaches earth. You need 3 line-of-sight sats when taking your position so in the case of a shooting war someone may shoot some down for military advantages.

      Business “steal” the date-time stamp sent w/ those pulses for ATMs, money transfers, cell phones, etc. which presents a CURRENT Pre-Event vulnerability, jammers. China makes a $30 jammer that a number of truckers use to foil radar. A side effect is shutting down airport control towers (and other things) while a jammer goes by. For more detail and info on the Jan. 2007 San Deigo shutdown, see 4thtriage. blogspot. com/2011/03/fragile-gps_30.html

  21. Interesting list! I would add:

    Make sure you have a supply of any prescription meds you regularly take (and maybe multi-vitamins, too)

    Make sure you have adequate supplies for any pets you may need to care for

    Make sure your children know how to handle themselves, equipment and weapons properly. If this is an emergency situation, you may be incapacitated leaving the children to take care of things themselves. Give them a plan of action and the skills to implement it.

    • Essential oils is a must especially thieves by young living which is an anti-viral,fungal, and bacteria. 60 %more effective than ampicillin, amoxicillin , and penicillin.

      • David Morris says:

        Hey Robert,

        I don’t use Young Living (nothing against them at all) but I do use thieves oil…in fact, we mix a few drops of it in a 1 ounce spray bottle full of alcohol and it’s what we use for deoderant. It works great, smells great, and is dirt cheap.

  22. Hello, everyone, I’m back again with a website for making cold weather foam clothing. This type of clothing has been used in the Armed Forces in survival situations. The website is:
    motherearthnews. com/Do-It-Yourself/1985-01-01/Make-Your-Own-Cold-Weather-Clothing.aspx. This clothing has been shown to keep a person warm at temperatures below zero, and the foam drains water away within a few minutes even after being immersed in freezing water. (Very good survival gear!)

  23. Sue the Frugal Survivalist says:

    My survival book shelf includes “The American Frugal Housewife”. Written in 1833, this fascinating book gives women instruction on how to manage a home before electricity and running water. It’s a wonderfl glimpse into life before modern conveniences, when housewives made their own medicines, brined their own meat, made the family mattresses, and preserved food without canning lids. It also includes great essays on frugality and family thrift. It’s fun reading and makes me really think about what things I might have to do if we no longer had gasoline and electricity.

  24. Just curious, is the sodium hypochlorite granules the same as what you find in a pool store?

    • For water purification, I have calcium HY, not sodium HY.
      From any pool supply store. Info from the prepper sites.

      • One added benefit of calcium hypochlorite is that it can be ingested and is converted to hypochlorous acid in the body. Hypochlorous acid is produced in the body naturally and is used by the immune system puricore. com/technology_humanbody.aspx). The recommended method for taking calcium hypochlorite is to fill 00 gel caps and take one a day.

  25. Maybe I missed it in comments or list, but also might suggest a wind-up clock: alarm or watch(watch can also be used as a compass when sun shining)

    • Homestead12 says:

      I believe they still make the ‘self-winding’ watches which use your normal movement to do the job. A sturdy band for the watch is important too, preferably one with a “tactical” cover for the face. Westclox is my personal preference for a wind-up clock.

  26. One thing to keep in mind for “going on the run”. The wheel barrow sound good but one of the small utility pull wagons (at a gardening store) will make your ëscape” easier to manage.
    Weight is the issue. Think positive!

    • Stevenr.f. says:

      Selco of SHTF. com , who survived the Bosnian War, talks lots about uses of bicycles and literally anything vaguely wheel-shaped and cart-shaped to make something to carry–well, anything. In his experience bicycles were nearly never ridden because of the extreme amount of debris, but were instead used as carts and pushed while large items were strapped/balanced on them. Most typical were milk/beer crates and any wheel.

  27. My thoughts in reading this was of course that we need the basics first, which as you said, David, are probably listed in the Cheat Sheet, but in case some may not think of this, one of the things I consider most essential in our freezing cold winters would be very warm thickly padded quilts (in addition to warm sleeping bags) made out of a very good quality outing flannel or fleece and filled with dense synthetic batting or foam sheeting. And foam-lined warm clothing and boots If you are freezing cold, you will not survive long either physically or mentally. Foam clothing can be made using a basic pull-on pajama pattern, mesh tricot for the fabric, lined with 1/2″ foam sheeting. I will try to find a website for them and list it later. I know there is a man here in Utah who has pioneered this clothing for survival in the armed forces; his name is Jim Phillips, so he may have a website listing this.

  28. You mentioned maps and a compass. In addition to theses items, working knowledge of how to navigate using a compass is a must. (Maybe I’m the only person that doesn’t know how to do this, but I know I have totally forgotten what little I thought I knew about navigating with a compass.)

    Also, a good friend of mine who used to hike a lot suggested taking 2 compasses, as sometimes one become inaccurate due to magnetization from a magnet in some gear. I agree that could happen, but if you have 2 compasses with different readings, which one is correct? Would it be considered dumb to carry 3? (Best 2 out of 3 could probably be trusted?)

    Anyway, I’m a novice at all of this, but devour all info I can get my hands on . . .Thanks for the good info . . . Breck

  29. Rabenfels says:

    Great list – much apprecited. Will be most helpful for many folks. Maybe we should add Kerosene (unless I overlooked that) and Bows and Cross Bows with appropriate arrows.
    A simple sling shot will help take hares, rabbits, squirrels, birds etc. to put food over the campfire or in the stew pot. Thanks for your great articles and detailed instructions!

  30. To sharpen an axe you will need a file. Using a sharpening stone will wear you out on that big axe.

  31. Methane Creator says:

    David & Diva, Excellent article and choices. Correct, everyone will have a different 50 items list, but this covers most items that new Preppers may not have thought of. I would only add hygeine items to the toilet paper storage and necessary medications to your First Aid bag. How about a small Solar Charger for charging 12V batteries, cell phones, laptops, etc? A sharp machete is a better weapon than a knife. We feel aptly prepared for most scenarios that may happen here in Central Texas, but we continue to work on our barter boxes just in case. We really appreciate your articles!

  32. My 2nd comment is that I feel people need to be prepared for everything. What steps must one take if they’re going to leave home- they can’t return for whatever reason- that means all food storage is out the window. But what skills should I learn to keep myself safe once I’m “on the run?” Scenarios limitless, atk on American soil, natural disasters, zombie atk… ;)- you get the point) but what would be most beneficial to know/learn? I already know multiple methods of purifying water. Oh an idea popped into my head. Also when everyone else is on the run and there is barely an food around either? So food storage is out the window too btw, but what steps could I take to be prepared for this? ( so actually 3 things I’m curious on with above comment too)

    • Survival Diva says:

      Mitchell,

      On the run, having self-defense and wilderness survival skills would be at the top of the list. Having a descriptive (with color picture) book on edible plants and previous knowledge would be a lifesaver. An emergency backpack (see David’s article), camp gear, a tarp, an ax, a camp-size water purifier, a small camp stove, medicine (including sutures), toilet paper, a fishing pole, and portable animal traps, knife(s), a weapon and ammo–these would all be at the top of the list. Personally, I would put prayer at the VERY TOP ( :

    • Hi Mitchell,
      If you are needing to be on the run, you won’t be alone. There is a possibility that you can ‘hook up’ with another person (or people) to share experiences — you probably have knowledge that other people don’t know how to do. But to just take off into the wild, have the five essential items mentioned from Dave Canterbury (his 5 ‘C’s), and know how to use them. Also look for places where animals will hang out, like lakes. Water is your essential need, period. And from lakes, rivers, etc come the possibility of getting food like fish or crustaetions, and small animals utilizing snares and traps (learn the simple and basic types, from the library if need be). Your shelter can be nothing more than literally a pile of brush you bury yourself into, for warmth and shelter from the cold and rain. And don’t worry about wildlife being a problem, you won’t encounter people-eating animals unless you are in Alaska or near those darn wild boars; bears and cougars will try and stay far away from humans. And relax; keep your head about you (pretend you are just out on a camping excursion). If you panic, you’re dead. So have fun with it and survive.
      (From a long-time outdoorsman)

  33. 2 things – first what would be the top items that I’d need if this was a type of scenario where I had to leave home – run you know? One where I can’t carry all the items on the list. I personally feel that one must be prepared for everything and that includes scenarios where one has to leave their home (crossing fingers it won’t be to a FEMA camp!).
    But what easy to carry items that are highly portable – (cheap too, only a college student!).

  34. Book matches are far less expensive than wooden matches, and they are more easily carried as well and store smaller too (take up less space).

    • Matches in your BOB store nicely in prescription bottles–probably water proof.

    • Homestead12 says:

      It is a good idea to keep a book of matches, but they have many disadvantages to wooden ones. The biggest problems would be that they burn quicker and are more susceptible getting wet. There are still folks who refer to “paper matches” as “Gofers”, since the first one doesn’t get the job done and you have to go fer another.
      The quick burning can be used to an advantage by using the book matches as a starter/tinder pile for your fire. In a barter economy, I foresee using matchbooks the same way businesses have used them – freebie goodwill bonuses to improve the trade partner’s attitude, much like offering a hard candy.

  35. Elton Yancey says:

    I would also suggest an air pump to manually inflate your tires.

  36. Chris from IN says:

    First off, as a tire repair and installation expert (I’m not going to tell you where I work, but I deal almost exclusively with tires, and have received training on tire repair from both Goodyear and Michelin directly), please remember that any of these emergency tire repair kits (even the one David recommends) are designed for ATV or golf cart tires. Do not use them in a passenger or light truck tire unless there is no other option, and replace that tire as soon as possible. Also remember that most these kits (I am not familiar enough with the one David recommends to know if it also does this also ) will make it impossible for people like me to properly repair the tire. Do not use these kits (either the plug repair or the green slime) because you are simply too lazy to put your spare on.

    Now that I have finished my rant, I have an unrelated question for anyone to answer. For fuel storage (gas or diesel), what are the pros and cons between using plastic and metal containers to store the fuel in?

    • Stevenr.f. says:

      I don’t think you’ll find much difference between plastic and steel storage, apart from perhaps weight or puncture resistance.

      • Homestead12 says:

        In addition to Stevenr.f’s observations of weight & puncture resistance (and cost), metal will rust in wet/humid conditions while plastic won’t. On the other hand, Plastic is more chemically reactive with gas, and the UV stabilizers in plastic only work for so long, so the plastic cans will break down sooner in a hot/dry and sunny area (both types would need to be vented). I think “better” depends on your locale and the storage/use conditions.

  37. An after thought buy a reasonable .22 rifle with a scope, it’s good enough to drop a deer with a head shot ( it may not be legal but we are talking survival here! )or kill a squirrel. The ammo is inexpensive bought in value packs. Practice then practice some more with your .22 rifle. I have met to many people going for the big calibers, imagine shooting a rabbit/possum with a .308/shotgun slug. You can do it but you’ll have more dinner left with a .22.

    • Stevenr.f. says:

      I think the Ruger 10/22 is a fantastic weapon. My wife doesn’t have to worry about recoil and noise when she’s rapid-firing at the BG. I’d keep my head down. . .Why would you use a shotgun slug on a rabbit or possum though? If you have a shotgun you have a very wide range of ammunition available for everything from the smallest tweety bird clear up to large game. Frankly you can’t beat a shotgun for one-weapon flexibility. IMveryHO. :) I plan to have several boxes of different kinds of shells for my shotgun, as well as a longer barrel for hunting/field work.

  38. Excellent list but I have a few additional items to follow up on your list. Over the counter pain medication because people will be doing much more physical work then their used to doing ! A first aid kit including quanities of anti-bacterial cream, at least 4″x4″ pads & med tape, multi- vitamins, hand soap. Spare axe handles & other handles with wedges & heavy work gloves, a sledge hammer with splitting wedge ( so much easier then using the axe to split wood ). Large amount of dog food to keep your dog in good health because he will be your extra set of eyes & ears. A live trap for small animials even if you live in the burbs. You’d be surprized what roams your neighborhood at night that you can eat ! Just something to think about while prepping.

    • David Morris says:

      Great additions, Jim. Everyone’s different on this, but we heat our house with wood and we don’t have a splitting wedge. The reason is because we use a maul…which is basically an 8 pound sledge that’s tapered on one end like an axe.

  39. Great list, there are a few items I would like to add: Pocket/folding knives, machetes, impact weapons (nightsticks, baseball bats), heavy-duty/bear pepper spray, bottled water, survival-type foods (beef jerky, packaged tuna, chicken, or salmon, viena sausage, crackers, peanut butter etc,) I would also suggest stock up on condiments such as salt, pepper, catsup, mustard, mayo, hot sauce, jelly to go with survival foods. Hand sanitizer, first aid kits, and OTC medicine (generic works just fine) are also needed. Flashlights was mentioned in this list; a headstrap light is needed in order to keep hands free while performing tasks, tactical lights with strobe feature and a long flashlight that can funtion as a bludgeon. Just a few extra items, keep up the good work.

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  1. [...] last list is one that we shared with you last fall:  “Top 50 Preparedness Items and Why“.  These 50 items will fly off the shelves as soon as there is a disaster and will be sorely [...]

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