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50 Survival Items You Forgot To Buy

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If you’re reading this, you probably already know the basics: water, food storage, first aid, etc. But even hardcore survivalists can overlook things. In this post I want to mention 50 survival items you might have forgotten to buy.

I already mentioned several of these in the post, Unusual Survival Gear, but this is a much longer list. It’s not comprehensive, but hopefully it’ll remind you of a few things you still need to get. For everything on this list that you already have, give yourself a pat on the back.

1. Acoustic Instruments – For entertainment and morale.

2. Aluminum Foil – Great for all sorts of things like cooking food, boiling water, enhancing antennas, keeping sunlight out, etc.

3. Axes – How else will you chop firewood?

4. Baby Wipes – Really easy way to keep clean.

5. Baseballs, basketballs, footballs, etc. – Playing ball is a great way to stave off boredom and keep morale up during hard times.

Solar air Lantern

6. Bicycle Gear – If gasoline is in short supply, you might need your bike to get around. That means you’ll need a bike pump, extra tubes, etc.

7. Book lights – It’s difficult to read by candlelight and you don’t want to waste your flashlight’s batteries. Book lights are cheap and last a long time.

8. Books – You might be surprised how much free time you have after the SHTF. Now’s your chance to read those books you always meant to read (like Atlas Shrugged).

9. Bug Spray – There is usually a major lack of proper sanitation after a disaster, especially if there isn’t running water. That means there will be more roaches and other critters. There might also be a lot more mosquitoes.

10. Bullion Cubes – These make boring meals much more delicious.

11. Calendars – You’ll need a way to track the day and date if the power is out for a long time.

12. Candy – Huge morale booster during difficult times. Just don’t overdo it.

13. Cast Iron Cookware – If you’re cooking over a fire, your regular pots and skillets won’t cut it.

14. Cloth Diapers – Other than the obvious usage, these are also great for cleanups because they’re so absorbent.

15. Clothes Lines and Pins – Because your dryer will be a waste of space.

16. Condiments – Imagine eating a typical meal without mustard, ketchup, soy sauce, hot sauce, etc. You’ll get bored fast.

17. Condoms – TEOTWAWKI is not a great time to get pregnant, but people still have needs. Use protection.

18. Cotton Balls – Great for first aid, cleaning, kindling, and many other things.

19. Duct Tape – A must have for any prepper.

20. Ear Plugs – It’s important to use these when hunting with firearms, but they’ll also help you sleep at night. Why? Because after the SHTF every little bump will wake you up. Just make sure someone is standing guard while you sleep.

21. Floss – It’s even more important than your tooth brush. If you’re not flossing now, get started.

22. Games – Board games, cards, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, and any other type of game that doesn’t require power. This is especially important if you have children.

23. Glasses and Repair Kits – If you wear glasses, make sure you have a backup pair and a way to fix them.

24. Glow Sticks – A great way to find your way around in a dark house.

25. Goggles – This includes safety goggles and swim goggles. You never know.

26. Hand Sanitizer – As I mentioned above, there might be a lack of proper sanitation after a major disaster. Stay germ-free.

27. Instant Coffee – If you’re hooked on coffee (like I am), then you’re liable to go crazy when your coffee pot won’t turn on.

28. Map of Your Town – Most of us have gotten used to relying on Google Maps and GPS, but those could become things of the past. Paper maps never stop working.

29. Paper Plates – So you won’t have to waste water cleaning dishes.

30. Pencil and Paper – These are historic times so keep a journal. Also important for games and making lists.

31. Pet Supplies. Don’t forget about your pets! There’s a detailed list of pet supplies in this post.

32. Plant pots – Plants are often easier to grow in pots than in the ground.

33. Plastic Sheeting – For repairing leaks, collecting water, keeping out contaminants, and much more.

34. Powdered Butter and Eggs – It’s amazing how many recipes require butter and/or eggs. These are hard to store long-term, so try some of the powdered variety.

35. Powdered Juice Mix – Because you’re going to get sick of drinking room-temperature water.

36. Saw – Axes are good for chopping firewood, but you’ll need a saw for everything else.

37. Sewing Kit – If your clothes tear, you might not be able to afford or even get access to new ones. Learn how to sew.

38. Shoe Laces – Again, you might not be able to get new ones. Plus, shoe laces have several uses.

39. Shut-off Wrench – Very important if you have gas power. A broken gas line is extremely dangerous.

40. Slingshots – Another way to kill small animals for food.

41. Snow Shoes – You’ll be trapped in a snowstorm without them.

42. Song Books – As with acoustic instruments (mentioned above), these are good for entertainment and morale boosting.

43. Survival Books – You’ll need this as a reference. Check out my post, The 10 Best Books On Survival.

44. Tampons – You really don’t want to be without these.

45. Tarps – Use them to keep stuff dry, provide shade, carry things, and so forth.

46. Umbrellas – Do you have one? If so, does it work well? And do you have extras for your family members?

47. Whistles – These can be a lifesaver if someone is under attack or lost.

48. Wind-up Clocks – So you don’t have to waste batteries.

49. Yard Bags – Heavy duty bags will be useful for all the trash and debris that accumulates.

50. Ziploc Bags – Great for keeping things dry and organized.

Like this post?

Then be sure to read these other lists:

50 MORE Survival Items You Forgot to Buy
100 Items to Disappear First in a Panic
200 Items You Can Barter After The Collapse

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  • Melissa Benko

    I thought this list was quite useless. Real things to add: first aid kit, sterno cans, medications including benadryl, aspirin, cold/flu medicine, dry shampoo (so you dont waste water washing hair),

  • Matthew

    I think you missed the point. These are things you might have forgotten to buy after already getting all the important stuff first.

  • Maria G. Cope

    A lot of these things really aren’t necessities, but would be nice to have ICE. And not to go all feminist and whatnot, but “Tampons – You really don’t want to be without these. Ask your wife what type she prefers and order them in bulk” why assume men are the only ones prepping? And as far as the dry shampoo comment: Toss some baking soda on those roots and keep it moving. Or not. Because if the SHTF, the last thing I’m thinking of is how fresh my hair is.

  • jamielynn

    Shoes, blankets, mouthwash, Food?!, rope, toilet paper!, vinegar for preserving, salt for dehydrating, jars, solar chargers. – hate to say it, but the family pet would probably be eaten so stocking up on pet supplies is a waste

  • Sheri

    I’m going 100% vegetarian. No dead puppies for me. I couldn’t even kill and BBQ a chicken or a rabbit.

  • Sheri

    Think “Rain barrel” and wash your pits, privates and your hair. You still want a sex life don’t ya?

  • Sancheen Hudson

    The writer is assuming you already have those things and this is stuff people don’t think about having to prevent boredom.

  • Sancheen Hudson

    The writer assumes you already have those things.

  • alanz11

    Thanks! I thought I made it clear that these are the types of things that may have slipped people’s minds but I guess not.

  • John

    The wife is perfectly capable to get things she KNOWS she will need. Why assume women are helpless?

  • alanz11

    You know, I thought about it and that was kinda sexist of me. In our family I’m the one who orders bulk supplies online so I was just generalizing. My wife is perfectly capable of doing it herself if she wants. Anyway, I removed that part of the post.

  • Camille Sylvester

    im vegan and have no problems staying that way and yes I would eat grass and what ever else before I would eat any animal product
    beans rice and grass rofl

  • jonathan

    condoms lmao cant help to laugh at that one great article though!! http://survivalism-life.com/

  • John

    If you have a family, and you are the only one prepping, you have to look out for their needs also. A lot of my friends tell me that their relatives will be some of the first to die, because they won’t prep. Well a true protector will protect even those who are idiots. So, if you are putting the stuff together for your family, just get the dang tampons and move on.

  • Janine G

    Unless you changed the title before I saw it…”50 Items You FORGOT to Buy” seems pretty clear that this post is about things you FORGOT to buy, lol…not about the obvious first aide, meds, and items to keep you clean. This was not useless at all. Good Post.

  • satcadir

    Wife says 12/70 shotgun size for cleaning the more important bore:).

  • satcadir

    Cats and dogs are more value alive for pest control.

  • Rachel Ramey

    Maybe he just assumed most of his READERS are male. Honestly, I thought the comment was helpful, because if a woman is buying them for herself, she knows what to get. I mean, duh. So you don’t need to ask your wife. Obviously. I consider myself intelligent enough to figure out that sentence is not for me. 😉 But if you ARE the guy reading this then yes, please ask. Some guys might not think to.

  • sabelmouse

    what’s with the assumption that women all use tampons. pads in different sizes. of course a mooncup/diaphragm might be in use.

  • sabelmouse

    and not everybody uses tampons, fyi.

  • sabelmouse

    the family pet might get eaten eventually but hopefully not right away, so petfood is a must.

  • sabelmouse

    i’d like to see that once you get really hungry.

  • sabelmouse

    you can’t digest grass. it would give you terrible tummy troubles. you wouldn’t stay that way if you were starving. you only think so because you don’t know what hunger is.

  • Esther Hunter

    I agree with the other comment not everyone uses tampons. I thought it was a helpful suggestion. However, tampons are a disposable option that will run out. Diva cups that are reusable for years and home made pads are probably something women should look into.

  • William Snapp

    Thank you for a great article.

  • alanz11

    Glad you enjoyed it!

  • Rene

    THE NUMBER ONE thing you can and must do to be ready to face SHTF times is = GET OUT OF THE CITY and major URBAN AREAS! Living and working within cities and large metropolitan urban area’s will only become a noose around the neck of you and everyone you care about. If you have fallen for the bullshit idea that you must live and compete within the daily rat race – you have prioritized your lifestyle in the worse possible ways. It is going to be only those who live far from the slums and rubble where ZOMBIES will kill each other for a rotten can of food, who’ll live to see another day! To live safely, fairly comfortably, and mostly anonymously in the security of some back water hamlet, one tank of gasoline from everywhere, is the only way you’re going to “Out Play – Out Last – Out Live” them all. And to all of them who’ll say you’re crazy to give up the “good life” of city dwelling, and live some paranoid Hick in the woods – just smile, give them the middle finger and say; “See-ya, wouldn’t want to be ya!” And get on with making you homestead preparations.

  • Rene

    One other thing to consider- It is my belief than when the days of terror and death sweep across the nation and the daily scenario is much like those during the days of the Black Plague – the government will not care one damn bit about anyone or helping them. Those that matter to the government will have long been securely and safely housed in the underground super bunkers across the country where they will want for nothing – except maybe the light of day…. Those left above on the surface can just die for all that they will care. To help speed up the die off, the federal forces will use combined chemical and biological weapons to wipe out the dying, disease ridden remnants of society because facing them later will be too much to deal with and too costly as well – so eliminating them en-mass will be the more “Humane thing do” or “Just put them all out of their miserable existence!” because they were never meant to survive it in the first place…. This I truly believe will be the mindsets of the Elitist’s who possess those Golden Willy Wonka Tickets!

  • Sedition

    Walkie-talkie type radios for family communication when cell service fails (usually a mile or 2 range unless you live in ultra-flat areas), yo-yo style automatic fishing reels, personal or family size Lifestraw, sling-bow for hunting small game and fishing silently, heirloom seeds for fruits and veggies.

  • Fate

    As for storage bags, I really like these. A friend of mine gave me some of them and I really like them. They are kinda small but seal well and are really thick. Just random but I thought you might like to know.

  • Fate

    I thought the picture was smaller than that. lol. Sorry to make it look like an advertisement.

  • 97E

    Tampons are also useful to seal a sucking chest wound.

    Don’t just assume that tampons are only for the womenfolk.

  • some thoughts

    tampons are used for stab and bullet wounds……..plug a hole and “rub some dirt in it” to temp close a gaping wound

  • Michael Mixon

    For those of us who get our water from a well, if the power goes out we have no water. With the Emergency Well Tube you can draw water from your well without electricity and without having to pull the pump to use it. This is an essential backup tool for anyone with a well, but also has barter value in a crisis. Check it out at http://www.emergencywelltube.com.

  • Sijur

    It pains me to see people create blanket lists such as this. In general an individual, or family should evaluate what their situation is going to be when SHTF. If you’re going to stay put, then by all means gather everything that you need in order to keep going, however if you’re going to have to bug out, then you’ll want to pack things into a vehicle… This being said, if you have to bug out, then chances are others are going to have to do the same, and the roads may end up clogged with vehicles because everyone is thinking the same thing. Look at Hurricane Katrina if you need an example of what I’m talking about.

    Also situations may cause you to need certain things, but may mean that you need to be more mobile. In that case if you had all of this, you may also need a cart. Or maybe a mobile home… possibly a portable bed and dresser. Like Maria says, most of these things aren’t necessities, and while they’re nice to have may potentially slow you down, and provide extra weight that you don’t need to be carrying around. Without writing a whole new article, I would recommend narrowing the list down to the essentials, then try to figure out what you can make due without, see if you can accomplish the same tasks with another object. Can you make the item at a later time if you do need it eventually, or is it something that you’ll never be able to replicate?

    In the end, it all comes down to planning. Evaluate everything, if I can’t accomplish three things with it, chances are I’m going to remove it from my bug out gear. If I can use something else to accomplish the same task, it’s probably not something that I need.

    Just my thoughts.

  • survivalkit

    Yeah, nice list. I agree with the baking soda. It’s a must in your survival kit. It has so many uses and health benefits too. Great site by the way!

  • Dawn in Eastern Washington

    During the Potato Famine in Ireland, men, women, & children died with green mouths from trying to eat grass for survival. Grass is NOT a comestible for humans, unless it is second-hand, i.e., lamb, steak, etc. Do some research.

  • Dawn in Eastern Washington

    Condoms have multiple uses, besides sexual. Waterproofing various items, etc.

  • Peachy Prepper

    Toothpaste powder is missing from the list- NO water required. Just a thought,
    No bugout bag is complete without it.. it also can work as an antacid in a pinch.

    Keep on Keeping on~

  • Camille Sylvester

    You can juiuce grass and other roots to survive they are not ideal but i will not eat an animal product.

  • Camille Sylvester

    actually i do know what hunger is i went many a night with nothing to hardly anything for a couple yrs my life was not easy you have not a freaking clue what someone else has or has not gone through

  • sabelmouse

    good luck with that.

  • ImafanNotaCritic

    I have been thinking and planning for this for a long time. I am pleased to say that I already have virtually everything on this list except the stuff I don’t need, like the bicycle stuff and pet stuff. I will have to check out the next list. I am always trying to perfect my bag!

  • itsonlywords

    Mechanical wristwatches to go with the wind-up clocks.

  • Jonathan Dingman

    We buy the cheaper bulk meats when shopping; the stuff that tends to be fattier. We trim the fat off with a small bit of meat and freeze it, then separate the family-size packs of meat into portion size meals.
    I buy rice and veggies in bulk and extra to mix with the fat/meat for our 2 dogs.doing this, we only used 50 lbs of dry food, 1 case (12 cans) wet food, and the meat/veggie combo for the entire winter for our 55lb boxer-mix.

  • sabelmouse

    i wish i had a bigger freezer.

  • dreamweaverdory

    depends on what is falling in the rain


    If I may interject on music instruments if you google both (build wood flutes ) and build Pan flutes plans will come up that are easy and inexpensive.

  • Gary Affleck

    Jamielynn doesn’t sound like she has any training in survival.

  • Gary Affleck

    Kinda like, I can explain it to you, but I can’t learn it for you. :) You can’t fix stupid.

  • BlackJackShellac

    In time of emergency, I hope folks will be less ‘easily offended ‘.