Preparedness Goods Suddenly Very Popular; Get Those Gifts Purchased Early!

Lately I’ve noticed that preparedness items have become hot ticket items!  When I went to Berkey to order yet more replacement filters for my water purifier, I noticed that their Big Berkey and Royal Berkey (their two largest model water purifiers) were on back order.  That’s a first!  I decided to check EcoZoom, a popular maker of rocket stoves, and their stoves are on back order.  It appears that the recent political unrest and Ebola scare may have kicked procrastinators into high gear, which is a good thing.  But if you plan to buy preparedness-related goods for Christmas, now may be a good time to get your order in.

Most of us have close friends and family who may never get prepared, but that doesn’t mean we can’t tie a bow around something that will be useful in an emergency.  The following are preparedness items I have personal experience with and would highly recommend; one that lists items under $150.00 and another list of higher-ticket items over $150, but they all have on thing in common: they are sought-after preparedness items that we wouldn’t want ourselves or our loved ones to be without.

Prep Items Under $150   

Emergency Radio:  Emergency radios are available at many price-points, but my particular favorite is the C Crane Radio.  It offers great quality at an affordable cost.

C Crane CC Solar Observer Wind-Up or 3 AA battery run Radio w/ AM FM Weather and built-in LED Flashlight COBS  $54.95

Cast Iron Dutch Oven & Pans:  A Dutch Oven can cook or bake just about anything anywhere, and I should know.  I’ve been using mine over an open fire pit for years whenever there’s a family get-together.  It makes cooking an outdoor event and its much more entertaining than standing over a stove.  Before buying, consider what size will best fit your family.

Right now has a 5-qt Logic Double Dutch Oven (the top converts to a 10.25 inch skillet) by Lodge on sale for $45.95

LED Flashlight: I own both of these flashlights recommended below.  Here where power outages are frequent, and always land at the worst time, I stocked up.  For quality and price point, I believe you’d be happy with either of these flashlights.

One of the most popular tactical LED flashlights on the market is the Fenix TK11 R5 285-Lumen Cree XP-G R5.  They sell on Amazon for $70.

A good general household flashlight that has received great reviews is the Streamlight Pro-Polymer LED flashlight (requires 4 AA batteries). They sell for $27.51 on Amazon.

(Ox’s note:  I’ve tested and own several brands and kinds and am preferential to Surefire…specifically their 500 lumen P2x Fury and 1000 lumen P3x Fury.  The P2x has a somewhat annoying feature of having a click-cap that activates the 15 lumen setting first, so you have to engage, disengage, and re-engage to get to the 500 lumen setting.)

Oil Lamp & Lamp Oil:  Walmart sells basic glass oil lamps with glass chimneys for $6.97 each (in-store purchase only), and 64 ounce lamp oil for $6.00.  I purchased over a dozen of these when I first moved to my cabin after I was warned about frequent power outages.  Each winter, I’ve needed them for a few hours, and on more than one occasion, several days.  They work perfectly, but should be placed on a safe surface before being lit because they aren’t safe to move from surface to surface without snuffing the flame first.

Don’t forget to grab replacement wicks and replacement chimneys!

Emergency Candles:  It’s always good idea to have plenty of back-up for alternative lighting.  I’ve been happy with the 10-hour votive candle that’s linked below, and the price can’t be beat.

Amazon 10 hour white votive candles for $56.99.  (Ox’s note:  We’ve been using these “candles” from Costco for 1-4 years, depending on the size.)

Fire-Starting Flint Set:  Even though we should be stocking plenty of matches and lighters, a good backup to have on hand is a Flint and Steel Firestarter.  I purchased one from Cabela’s for $19.99 and it gives me peace of mind that if I go through the bushel basket of lighters and matches I’ve put aside, it’ll help keep the wood stove and wood cook stove fired up!

(David’s note:  I have been recommending “Light My Fire” or “Blastmatch” for years.  Light My Fire is light, effective, and easy and Blastmatch is incredibly hot and allows for EASY 1 handed operation.)

Reference Books:  Personally, I don’t think it’s possible to own too many preparedness books.  David offers a great series: Urban Survival Guide that walks people through how to survive disasters, pandemics, economic collapse and more in or outside an urban setting.

I also have several reference books on seed saving, gardening, wild edible plants and herbs (region specific),  preserving wild game, home canning and food dehydration.  My favorite medical emergency books are Where There Is No Doctor & Where There Is No Dentist.   They are written for third world medical emergencies, where drugs and sophisticated equipment isn’t always available. . . exactly where we’ll find ourselves in a long-term crisis.

Reflector Oven:  If you haven’t heard of a reflector oven, they work from the heat of a fireplace, a wood-burning stove, or beside an open fire pit for baking and cooking and they are collapsible.  The stainless steel model has been at the very top of my wish list after I borrowed one from a friend for a camping trip.  And if my family doesn’t take the hint this Christmas, I’ll be purchasing one soon after.  Check out Weismen Trading and Supply.  They sell an aluminum model for $54.95 and a stainless model for $64.95.  While you’re there, have a peek at the double ovens used for baking over a camp stove or wood stove.

Campfire Tripod:  A tripod allows a cast iron Dutch oven to be raised and lowered by a chain over an open fire to better control cooking temperatures.  My favorites is Lodge Tall Boy Camp Dutch Oven Tripod that’s made to go with their handled Dutch ovens.  I use mine in the summertime for family gatherings to make stews or a pot of chili.  The best price I found is at Bass Pro Shops for $39.99, plus $8.00 shipping.

Swiss Army Knife:  Swiss Army Knives are a classic that most of us grew up with.  In fact growing up in Alaska, I don’t recall anyone who didn’t own one! Over the years they have added to their line with a Campers Knife and a Hunstman Knife, along with other styles.  They range in price from $20.00 to $31.50.

Firewood-Gathering Manual Tools: I breathed a sigh of relief after moving to the edge of the wilderness years ago and finally had a dependable wood stove.  But with a wood stove comes the need for a splitting maul, wedges, and a sledgehammer to gather and split firewood.  If you don’t already have these items, consider adding them to your Christmas wish list.

Protective Gear: Safety was number one on my mind when I thought about family members chopping down trees or splitting wood for the stove.  What if there comes a time when medical help isn’t available?  I purchased heavy work gloves,  helmet/face shields, and Kevlar chaps “just in case”.   Prices for Kevlar chaps start at $50.99, and go up from there.  The cost of a chainsaw helmet/face shield starts at $36.99 on Amazon.

Manual Tools are a must-have for a grid-down scenario, and besides, I don’t know a handyman who wouldn’t welcome more tools.  The basics that I have put aside and would recommend are: chisels (assorted), clamps, hand drill, file & rasp, hammer,  plane, pliers (assorted sizes), saw, sharpening tools, screwdrivers (assorted),  staple gun, tape measure, vise,  and both adjustable (Crescent) and fixed size wrenches.

Camp Gear:  Camp gear is an insurance policy that if you’re ever forced to bug out, you are more likely to survive.  When I started filling in items that I needed in duplicate and triplicate, I purchased one item at a time as they went on sale.  Check places like Cabela’s, REI, The Clymb, Backcountry Gear and plan to save from 30% to 50% on many items.

(David’s note:  As I discuss in the Survive In Place Urban Survival Course, there are several situations where you might very well want camp gear in your home as well.  Having a quality tent, ground pad, sleeping bag, and/or bag liner means that you can keep the temperature of your house MUCH closer to freezing and still get high quality sleep.  It’s probably obvious, but the cooler you’re able to keep your house and still be comfortable, the longer your fuel will last in a power outage…regardless of the reason for the power outage.  Another obvious observation, but I’ve found that anything that works good in the backcountry without utilities has been helpful in our house during power outages.)

Board Games/Playing Cards and Activity/Project Material offer entertainment when the plug gets pulled from TV and Internet in grid-down.  Things like notepads, printer paper, balls, and board games are cheap already and they go on sale during the holidays. David’s Urban Survival Playing Cards  are another way to spend downtime and learn critical survival tips.  Because there are children in our group, I purchased grosses of pens and pencils (they make great stocking stuffers), tempura paint by the gallon from Walmart, color crayons, colored pencils, markers and coloring books.

Heavy-Duty Steel Utility Cart or Wheelbarrow: A wheelbarrow is a must at the cabin, but I finally purchased the heavy duty cart linked here.  It makes gardening and moving firewood worlds easier!  Walmart has the Sandusky 48″ X 24″ heavy-duty jumbo crate with a 1,000 pound capacity for $129.00 with free shipping.

Wheelbarrows at big-box hardware stores like Lowes and Home Depot typically sell for around $35.00.

Alternative Cooking Device:  Years ago, I bought a Camp Chef and I truly love it.  It has a small oven and two burners and by purchasing an adapter, I’m able to hook it up to a large propane tank, rather than having to use small bottles.  The funny thing is, it’s this very camp stove that woke me up.  After buying the $28 adapter, and larger propane tanks, it finally dawned on me, this was only a temporary fix.  In a long-term crisis, something like a Camp Chef will be awesome to have. . . until the propane runs out!  I now have a wood cook stove for back-up.

Camp Chef that sells on Amazon for $219.99.

2-Way Radios:  Having a form of communication is critical for safety and peace of mind during a societal breakdown.  The two-way radio I use is the  Motorola MT352R FRS.  It’s weatherproof and has a 36 mile range.  That’s the claim, but here in the mountains, trees and valleys interrupt the line of sight, and I don’t get anywhere close to that range.  They are on sale at Amazon for $69.98 for the pair.  (David’s note:  ALL of the FRS/GMRS radios that claim ranges in realistic conditions of more than 2 miles are being extremely deceptive.)

Heirloom Seed represents a lifeline against hunger during a protracted crisis, and in my opinion, you cant have too many seeds.  Purchase individual heirloom seed that does best in your growing region, rather than invest in a cookie-cutter tube of heirloom seed that may or may not do well in your garden. And when you store them, keep them in a cool, dark, low-moisture location.  Freezing temperatures can damage them, or preserve them, depending on the seed and how the freezing is done!

Cold Weather Gear like hats, mittens, gloves, and long johns are always must-haves for anyone living in a cold climate zone.  Here at the cabin, I have bins of cold weather gear and I’m always adding to them.  The good news is that these items go on sale during the holidays.

(David’s note:  Cotton may kill, but I still refuse to sleep in anything but natural fibers.  When exercising or working outdoors, I either wear wool or synthetics close to my body to maintain body temperature more effectively.

If you want the best cold weather gear in existence, you want King of the Mountain.  It performs across a wider temperature range than any other clothing I’ve tried and surpasses more well known brands, like Carhart, North Face, Mountain Hardware, Royal Robins, etc. with a patented combination of wool, carbon, and kevlar that performs like something out of a science fiction novel set in 2200AD.)

First Aid Kit Living in the wilderness automatically means you must be prepared for a medical emergency!  Here where there are no ambulances,  it could take volunteer first responders hours before they made it to the cabin during a heavy snowfall, and possibly not at all if the hill is glaciered, which happens all too often.  For that reason, medical equipment is covered, but if you have loved one who may never prepare for themselves, a first aid kit is a thoughtful gift that could help them in an emergency.  The Complete First Aid kit sells on Amazon for $38.20.  It’s not extensive enough for long-term preparedness, but it’s an affordable start! If you’re curious what else might be needed, go to an earlier post, Get Started With Life-Saving Medical Supplies For $50.

Prep Items $150 and Up

Solar Charger & NiMH Batteries:   Two way radios and flashlights take batteries!  It’s a sticking point here in North Idaho, because sunlight and winter don’t always get along.  Even so, I researched the best way to charge NiMH batteries and found the PowerFilm 20W F15-1200 Foldable Solar Panel Charger, which can trickle-charge batteries and run small devices. It sells for $225.12 on Amazon. PowerFilm also makes higher wattage models.  Now on sunny days at least there’s a way to recharge batteries.

Pressure Cooker/Canner:  Game is plentiful where I live, but that doesn’t do much good if there isn’t a way to preserve the meat.  Because of that, a wood-burning cook stove now sits in my kitchen, and then I went in search of the best pressure cooker/canner, which in my opinion is the All American Cooker/Canner.  I highly recommend them.   Amazon sells the 21.5 quart size All American for $223.69.  All American also makes 21 quart size cooker/canners for 223.69 and a 15.5 quart for 199.99.

Treadle Sewing Machine:  I wish I could get back all the hours I spent looking for a working antique treadle machine.  I’m sure they’re out there. . . somewhere, but after years of searching all I could find was  a “needs repairs or needs parts” antique.  It wasn’t until recently that I discovered that Jerome treadle (as in foot pedal, non-electric) sewing machine.  They’re made for the Amish and for those who live off-grid. I’ve seen nothing but good reviews on this machine, but you have to either buy a new treadle base or find an antique that comes with a food pedal.  Amazon sells the Jerome treadle sewing machine for $249.00.

Water Purifier:  A quality water purifier is so basic to the principles of preparedness, I can’t imaging why anyone would put off buying one.  My personal favorite is Berkey, possibly because it’s the one I purchased when I moved to the middle of nowhere and it preforms better than I had hoped, but Katadyn makes an excellent water purifier as well. Prices vary, depending upon the size and how many replacement filters you purchase (it’s best to bite the bullet and get what you feel you need right away, so you don’t get caught short-handed!).  The Travel Berkey, which holds 1.5 gallons, costs $228.00 with 2 water filters.  They are currently back-ordered on the larger 2 1/2 gallon Big Berkey and the 3 gallon Royal Berkey.

The Katadyn Gravidyn Drip Water Filter holds 2.5 gallons and comes with three water filters and sells at REI for $294.95. The Sawyer Complete Water Treatment System will process up to 1 million (no, this wasn’t a typo) gallons of water and is on sale at REI for $159.00, marked down from $199.99.

Sawyer makes a popular SP184 complete water treatment system that will process up to 1 million gallons (no, it’s wasn’t an error) that’s on sale at for $159.99.

Cold Weather Gear: If you live in a cold weather zone, you don’t need to be told about the importance of cold weather gear.  A warm coat and boots are a must-have in Idaho where typically people have a “dress” winter jacket (one without duct tape covering the holes) and a not-so-dressy jacket, which will likely have several patches of duct tape.  Prices vary greatly, depending upon the brand and what level of performance you need.  Go here for an earlier post that was devoted to keeping you warm and dry: How You Can Survive a Deep-Freeze On Any Budget. During the holidays, screaming deals can be found on what you’ll need.   

Manual Grain Mill: You could get a couple $40, bare-bones manual grain mills  but if your food storage includes a good store of wheat and whole corn like mine does, then you need a grinder you can depend on. Years ago, I purchased a Country Living Grain Mill and I have nothing but praise for the quality.  They cost around $429.00, and rarely go on sale, but Homestead Products is offering a 5% discount, or keep your eye on craigslist.. It’s a good idea to purchase replacement parts when buying a grain mill.

Tree-Felling Ax: Years ago before I purchased a tree-felling ax, I spent days researching what people were recommending on related blogs.  I kept hearing about the  Gransfors Bruks, so I saved up and purchased one and it hasn’t let me down.  WesSpur sells them for $190.00, and if you decide on this Swedish-made brand, don’t forget to get a replacement handle and a sharpening stone.

Firearms: You may already have firearms covered, but if you don’t, you’ll need to do your homework.  Are you needing a gun for protection, or hunting, or will you need both?  Making a choice between a high-caliber rifle, a tactical rifle, a low-caliber rifle, a tactical shotgun or a hunting shotgun takes research and prices vary greatly.

Because my brother is an avid hunter and knows guns, I asked him for a recommendation and he suggested a the Marlin model 795 due to its accuracy and affordable price.  Impact Guns sell the Marlin 70680 795 Rimefire Semi-Auto for $149.99.  I like the fact that it’s a .22, therefore bullets are “usually” easier to come by.

Generator: When I finally had all the basics in place and was ready to purchase a generator, I went with a propane model because I liked the idea of being able to store propane without having to bury it or worry about its shelf life.  That may not be everyone’s ideal, however.  Whether your choice is gasoline, diesel, or solar, a generator will make life easier while the fuel lasts.  You will need to figure out what size generator is required for the appliances you plan to run and if you’re in the fact-finding stages, check out an earlier post, Which Is The Best Generator For You? which discusses the pros and cons of various generators and fuel.

And, on the topic of “Tested and Recommended”, in July, the National Tactical Officers’ Association gave Dry Fire Training Cards one of the highest ratings they’ve given for 2014 (4.6/5) and recommended them to their 35,000+ SWAT, SRU, and other tactical officers.  Get yours now, for less than the price of a box of practice ammo, by going >HERE<

Do you have any favorite preparedness items that you’ve tested and want to share?  Please sound off by commenting below!

God bless and stay safe,

David Morris and Survival Diva


















































  1. John Thomas says:

    Regarding winter sleeping bags and gear: have you checked out Wiggy’s products? I’ve used their items here in Alaska for years and find them hard to beat. They are not cheap, but the quality and performance, ounce for ounce and dollar for dollar, are still worth it in my experience.. Just Google Wiggy’s and learn about a great American product.

  2. Jonas Mansen says:

    The term water purifier does NOT apply to the Berkey water filters.

    The definition of a water filter is a unit which screens out bacteria, cysts and certain chemicals (dependent on the type of filtration system used) whereas a water purifier screens out bacteria, cysts and viruses. Note water filters do not Kill off bacteria, cysts or viruses as their purpose is to screen out the contaminants.

    The parent company of the Berkey line of water filters New Millennium Concepts does NOT have NSF certification on their water filters. An action which I consider suspect as I believe many of the marketing claims made by NMC and their distributors would most likely be proven to be in accurate and/or even false.

    For those who care to read more about NMC and Berkey filters see the link below


  3. A lot of the cold weather clothing and camp gear I’ve bought at Garage sales and
    thrift stores’ Lots of the other items on the list can also be found,but rarely. Saves
    a ton of money’

  4. While I agree with most of everything I’ve read, one thing I had to point out was the reference to the Marlin .22 rifle. While I would agree that the Marlin rifles (I like the Model 60, simple and cheap and usually available used for less than $100), I would have to disagree on the availabilty of .22 ammo, at least where I’m at. At best we’re able to find the small 40 and 50 rd boxes at reasonable prices but of course theres the matter of the limit. Either way, when .223/5.56 ammo, 7.62×39 and most every other common ammo out there are readily available, especially the common NATO military calibers where you can get boxes of 100 rds for normal prices versus usually finding no .22 ammo, and you can typically reload all that stuff unless its the Russian Berdan primed stuff, then .22 arms have been looking less and less inviting. Even for pest control and small game hunting, high power air rifles can be had for about the same prices as the decent .22’s and the ammo is a thousand times cheaper and just as capable of dropping most small animals.

    • Survival Diva says:

      I found out you’re right. I replied to Don about what I was told by the sporting goods store I buy from. They’ve been out since August and just got in a shipment, of which they are limiting purchase to 4 boxes per customer.

  5. Don Richey says:

    I don’t know about where you are, but in Arizona, .22 LR ammo is at a premium. It’s hard to find and when you do, most places are charging extremely high prices for it.

    • Don;

      Same here in Ohio. I’m being a bit stingy with my use of that ammo and hoping that the price will come down and the availability will go up in the near future. From all I’ve read, the manufacturers are churning out the .22LRs nearly 24/7, but too many folks (including preppers) are either buying them up in bulk and hoarding, or reselling them “on the street” at an exorbitant mark-up. Hopefully the supply will catch up with the demand before SHTF.

    • Survival Diva says:


      I’d purchased .22LR in August and should have realized I was lucky to get them here in North Idaho. . . just called the sporting goods store I buy from and he told me the last time he had .22LR ammo was in August. He just got some in yesterday and is holding 4 boxes for me. He told me they are having to limit them to 4 box max, or their first customer would wipe them out. I thank you for the heads-up!

  6. Regarding a flashlight this Cree 300 lumen flashlight is super bright and LED. I have only ever used one triple A battery. Delivery is super slow, but you can get 4 for the price of one of any of the flashlights listed above.
    With regards to firearms the Ruger 10/22 is more reliable, there are more of them which means more parts. Just my 2 cents.


  7. i have a few upgrades to the expensive options you recommended. Instead of the huge capital outlay for a Berkey water filter, try a $50 Point One from Sawyer. I got this and it came complete with several bags, fittings to turn a 5gal bucket into a drip filter, the filter itself which is good for a million gallons, a cleaning syringe, and all the connecting hoses.
    They also have a $20 model which is good for 200k gallons. (savings: $100-130)

    For the grain mill, I got the Wondermill Jr for $199 from Amazon. It came with both stones and stainless burrs for doing oily seeds and such. (savings: $230)

    For the solar system, I picked up the 3-panel Harbor Freight 45w kit for $136 on sale. Granted, it’s larger than the foldup model you mentioned, but it’s better for Buggin In (survive-in-place) scenarios with double the power. Alternatively, a single 15w panel is $60 and long but packable. (savings: $90-165)

    I made my own rescue/emergency flashlight with a large (3lb) 12v 5ah battery and a 9w LED in MR16 style, plus a 6-LED 5050 panel. I fit it into a Radio Shack case and fit banana plugs and a charging plug to it. The charging plug also allows me to power up from my solar system or power out to my 12v gasoline pump (to fill up the tank at a gas station after the power is down.) The 5050 is good for room lighting and the large battery will keep it going for about two weeks between charges. The 9w (3x3w spots) will light up the top of my redwood from across the street, or light up reflectors for over half a mile. Total cost: about $40.

  8. left coast chuck says:

    Very valuable list. Thanks for publishing it.

    For those of you who live near a Harbor Freight, they have coupons in almost every kind of magazine and advertising throwaways for 9 led flashlights that use 3 AAA batteries. The coupon is either free with no purchase or free with minimum purchase. You can buy a bag of zip ties and get the flashlight free. I go by a Harbor Freight 3 times a week and I always make it a point to stop and get my free flashlight. If you are not going to use the flashlight, be sure to take the el cheapo batteries out. If you are storing the flashlights for future use, leave them battery-less. The batteries the flashlights come with are super poor quality (hey, they’re free whadda ya want?) and will corrode the terminals if left inside. While they are not nearly as nifty as the ones David talks about, they are far superior price-wise. They are quite handy for navigating around. The 9 leds put out quite adequate light for close range. No, they won’t illuminate what that object is 100 yards away, but as small as they are and their local brightness makes them ideal for moving around the house. And, no, I don’t work for Harbor Freight nor own their stock. It’s just a good product that doesn’t cost very much.

    • I love Harbor Freight and have a lot of the freebies acquired via coupons, especially the flashlights, but other tools and items like tarps, are also on the list. Other stuff like the screwdrivers and tape measures can make for bartering if you already have plenty of hand tools. But yeah, stuff like wire ties and flashlights and even small stuff like paint brushes, wire brushes, or any of those small items we use every time we work on a project will all have their usefulness on a self sufficient homestead during the best of times, let alone during a SHTF scenario.

  9. Best flashlite I’ve ever owned is from LL Bean. $24.95, never need batteries, lay it on your dashboard or a sunny window and the sun recharges. Now looking for a camp lite that does same. A great inexpensive solar oven is put out by the “Solar Oven Society” from Minneapolis. As I’m in San Antonio, I’m lookin for solar items/ideas

  10. Joseph-Lee Morehouse says:

    Thank you for the list, I have found a good number of these items , most of these items I have found at yard sales, discount stores , and eBay – very reasonable prices . I have found a new way of stocking the food pantry for items that I don’t grow or don’t grow enough of, day work on near by farms I was very surprise at how many farmers were willing to let people work on there farm as day labors for food – I scored wide range of veggies for a few days worth of work.
    I scored 3 cords of oak wood free for my prepps all I had to do is pick it up , I will be processing it and stacking it for the next 8 weeks to dry I have built 2 large sheds to keep it out of sight.
    I have a tight budget , it been difficult sometimes but preppers need to be creative sometime to get what they need sometimes you need to get a little dirty but it well worth it.
    Hard work is good for the health , the soul and the wallet – finally peace of mid.
    Thank you for the leads on a few things that I’m looking for. Happy Halloween!

    • Survival Diva says:

      You’re resourceful! That’ll go a long ways when bartering. I used to be a permanent fixture on craigslist when I lived in town–it’s where I found my wood cook stove and quite a bit of camp goods. But now that I’m 90 miles away from people advertising, it’s hard to justify paying $40 in gas round trip unless it’s something at a GREAT price and worth the trip. I’ve done pick-your-own for years when canning things not grown here. Always a great savings. Now that three cords of wood was a score! Even here in the sticks, a cord of wood costs from $150 to 175!

  11. I am a green cleaning expert and author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Green Cleaning so I’m very aware of the dangers of toxins in the home. When you purchase any kind of candle, long burn time or short, spend the extra dollars and get bees wax candles with cotton wicks. Standard candles are made from petroleum and usually have lead wicks. Both are toxic to inhale especially for long periods of time. Bees wax candles burn a long time and are quite safe.

    In addition buy concentrated cleaners. Grocery stores will quickly run out of supplies. If you have a quart of window cleaner that makes 10 or more gallons and an all-purpose cleaner that will do about the same, you have necessary cleaners for a couple of years. They will also save a bundle over buying ready to use products. Don’t forget to back stock toilet paper, laundry detergent and dish soap and bars of soap. These things go on sale off an on at the big box stores. Stock up enough for a year’s supply and rotate your stock as it’s used.

    Also I love my Volcano grill that runs on charcoal, propane or wood. This is the greatest grills ever. There are copycats out there but buy the Volcano. Not only is it a grill but also get the pot that goes with it. The lid to the grill is flat and designed to add coal to heat the pot. The pot has legs on it so the coals can be added under it. Grill your meat and cook your soup or corn bread at the same time.

    One book I would never be without is the SAS Survival Handbook by John Wiseman. I have several survival handbooks but this is the best of them all. Then pick up The Edible Wild Plants book by Outdoor Life Books. It pictures and describes wild edible plants by the season, very handy. Another bible is Edible Wild Plants by John Kallas, Phd. Outside of excellent plant identification, he tells how to prepare them. Another must have reference is Venomous Animals and Poisonous Plants. It’s a Peterson Field Guide book by Steven Foster and Roger Caras.

    Keep up the excellent work. Love your ezine.

  12. Firewood-Gathering Manual Tools – For those of us with less than perfect aim, what are the best options to minimize broken handles when you hit the wedge or branch with the handle rather than the tool head? Yes, replacement handles (or ability to fashion one) must be available.

    • Survival Diva says:

      A fiberglass handle is less likely to break. For a wood handled tree-felling ax, they make rubber slides that fit under the head to minimize an impact. Hope this helped : )

  13. I need to purchase some new replacements with on/off switch for the light and ability to change out batteries. My 20 year old sets ended up corroded and physically broken but the panels and new battery holders make good battery chargers.

  14. Great list guys and very helpful! Thanks a bunch.

  15. Hi – commenting on first aid…

    Please don’t use hydrogen peroxide! The bubbling is actually damaging your tissues. This prolongs healing and causes more scarring. It’s a bad thing and should not be used to clean a wound. Normal soap and water is best.

    Thank you!

    • Survival Diva says:


      I went online and did a search. I’ve always used hydrogen peroxide for abrasions, never deep wounds and never had any issues. BUT here’s what I found that confirms your recommendation.

      Potential Dangers
      Hydrogen peroxide first and foremost is something only to be used topically on the skin ad never to be ingested. Should you inhale or swallow it then it is highly dangerous and you should consume activated charcoal to prevent the ill effects and follow this up with a visit to a local hospital.
      At the same time hydrogen peroxide can be dangerous when absorbed through the skin and this is what’s potentially of interest here. First of all, hydrogen peroxide may contain too much oxygen for the blood leading to potential issues. Meanwhile it is also a potential carcinogen and the oxidative stress on the skin cells might (very mildly) increase the chances of developing cancer. Finally it may also result in a range of adverse reactions for sensitive skins.
      Finally, while the hydrogen peroxide might be effective for killing off germs, it can also actually slow down the healing of wounds by damaging the white blood cells which are required for skin repair. At the same time it can actually damage the skin around the wound.
      What to Use
      If you use hydrogen peroxide-based products on occasion then you should find you are at minimum risk. These products are usually only 3% hydrogen peroxide with 97% water (hair dyes are 5% meanwhile). Anything higher than that should be avoided.
      However while you can use hydrogen peroxide, why use something that is likely to cause problems when there are many other products out there? Believe it or not the best way to clean a wound is simply to use a little water and soap and this should normally be enough to prevent an infection.

    • Great Grey says:

      If hydrogen peroxide the only thing available to disinfect a wound that has the potential to develop gangrene or tetanus then I would use it but, it’s not my first choice. However using to sterilize other object it ok to use and slow healing has it own risks.

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