Estimated reading time: 11 minutes
If you’re reading this, you probably already know the basics: water, food storage, first aid, etc. But even hardcore survivalists can overlook items that could be important. In this post, I’m going to list 100 survival items you might have forgotten to buy.
Originally, this was a list of 50 survival items, but since then, I’ve gotten all sorts of comments and messages from people telling me about other things preppers often forget. Once I had 50 more, I added them to the list. Now there’s a total of 100.
To be clear, this isn’t meant to be a comprehensive list of every survival item you’ll need. It’s just a list of the ones that are often overlooked. Hopefully, it will help you fill in any gaps in your survival plan. For everything on this list that you already have, give yourself a pat on the back.
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1. Acoustic Instruments
For entertainment and morale.
2. Activated Charcoal
This has many uses, the most important of which is the treatment of poisoning.
It’s not the Altoids themselves that are useful, but the tins. There are lots of cool ways to reuse them.
4. Aluminum Foil
Great for all sorts of things like cooking food, boiling water, enhancing antennas, keeping sunlight out, etc.
5. Animal Repellent
This stuff will keep rodents away from your home and small herbivores away from your garden.
How else will you chop firewood?
7. Baby Wipes
Really easy way to keep clean.
8. Baking Soda
A very useful item that cleans and deodorizes.
Not just a headband. They can be used as tourniquets, cords, slings, and more.
10. Baseballs, basketballs, footballs, etc.
Playing ball is a great way to stave off boredom and keep morale up during hard times.
11. 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.
12. Binder Clips
Hang clothes to dry, hook tarps together, keep bags clipped down, and more.
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.
You might be surprised how much free time you have after the SHTF. Now’s your chance to read those novels you always meant to read (like Atlas Shrugged).
15. 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.
16. Bungee Cords
You may need these to tie valuables to your bug out vehicle, or you could use them instead of rope for other projects.
You’ll need a way to track the day and date if the power is out for a long time.
You wouldn’t think so, but there are at least 20 things you can do with chapstick.
Huge morale booster during difficult times. Just don’t overdo it.
20. Car Charger
Don’t get stranded somewhere with a dead phone. This one has a battery backup in case your car won’t start.
21. Cast Iron Cookware
If you’re cooking over a fire, your regular pots and skillets won’t cut it.
22. Cloth Diapers
Other than the obvious usage, these are also great for cleanups because they’re so absorbent.
23. Clothes Lines and Pins
Because your dryer will be a waste of space. Here’s how to wash clothes without a washing machine.
Imagine eating a typical meal without mustard, ketchup, soy sauce, hot sauce, etc. You’ll get bored fast.
TEOTWAWKI is not a great time to get pregnant, but people still have needs. Use protection.
Especially ones that explain how to make things from scratch, like this one. You could also look for some good from-scratch recipes online and print them.
27. Crank Lantern
No need to waste batteries or wait for the sun to charge it up. This one also has a port for charging electronics.
28. Crayons and Coloring Books
A good way to keep small children entertained while the power is out. Also, crayons can be used as fire starters or emergency candles.
You may need this if you have to scavenge for supplies. It can also be used for self-defense.
30. Dental Kit
A first aid kit is obvious, but many preppers forget that dental emergencies are also very common.
I mentioned cloth diapers in the other post, but regular diapers are also important. Plus, they have several other uses.
32. Door Stop Alarm
Make sure looters and burglars taking advantage of the chaos can’t get into your house without you being alerted.
33. Duct Tape
A must-have for any prepper.
34. 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.
35. Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants
If you get desperate for food, you might need this.
36. Fire Blanket
A quick and easy way to extinguish a small fire.
37. Fire Extinguisher
For larger fires, you’ll need one of these. We’re supposed to be preparing for emergencies and fires are a very common emergency. Don’t forget this one.
It’s even more important than your toothbrush. If you’re not flossing now, get started.
39. French Press
No need for a coffee maker. Just add boiling water and enjoy fresh coffee.
I know this sounds silly, but there are actually several things you can do with one.
Playing cards, board games, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, and any other type of game that doesn’t require power. This is especially important if you have children.
42. Glasses and Repair Kits
If you wear glasses, make sure you have a backup pair and a way to fix them.
43. Glow Sticks
A great way to find your way around in a dark house.
This includes safety goggles and swim goggles. You never know.
45. Hand Sanitizer
As I mentioned above, there might be a lack of proper sanitation after a major disaster. Stay germ-free.
46. Inflatable Mattresses
If you and your prepper friends and/or family members all stay in one home, you may need more places for people to sleep.
47. 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.
48. Kiddie Pools
You’re better off getting these at a flea market or yard sale. Believe it or not, there are all sorts of things you can do with them.
49. Landline Phone
If the power goes out, a simple landline phone will continue to work. But that’s just one type of SHTF communication.
50. Maps of Local Areas
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.
51. Meat Thermometer
Very helpful item if you want meat that is safe to eat but still nice and juicy. Here is a guide to recommended temperatures.
52. Mesh Strainer
Strain oil, rendered fat, herbs, etc.
53. Mylar Blankets
These aren’t just blankets. Here’s a list of 22 things you can do with them.
54. N95 Masks
These provide protection from dust, toxic fumes, and airborne viruses.
These can be used to hold bait, make cordage, strain water, go fishing, dehydrate food, and many other things.
56. Paper Plates
So you won’t have to waste water cleaning dishes.
It has dozens of applications. Here’s a list of 44 fantastic uses.
58. Pencil and Paper
These are historic times so keep a journal. Also important for games and making lists.
59. Pet Supplies
Don’t forget about your pets! There’s a detailed list of pet supplies in this post.
60. Plant Pots
Plants are often easier to grow in pots than in the ground.
61. Plastic Sheeting
For repairing leaks, collecting water, keeping out contaminants, and much more.
It can protect your windows during a hurricane, but it’s also great for many other unanticipated construction projects.
63. 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.
64. Powdered Juice Mix
Because you’re going to get sick of drinking room-temperature water.
65. PVC Pipe
As with plywood, this is great to have around just in case.
66. Rem Oil Wipes
This stuff is awesome. It’s not just for firearms. You can also use it to keep anything metal clean and protected from rust.
67. Rubber Bands
I use these to keep small items together and organized, and sometimes string just isn’t enough.
68. Safety Pins
Use as a fish hook, hang stuff to dry, fix shoelaces, attach gear to your bug out bag, connect blankets or tarps to build a shelter, etc. Your imagination is the limit.
Use to protect your home from flood waters. They can also be used to gather water, carry supplies, trap animals, patch tents, and much more.
Axes are good for chopping firewood, but you’ll need a saw for everything else.
71. Seed Sprouter
Sprouts are tasty and healthy, making them a great addition to your survival food.
72. Sewing Kit
If your clothes tear, you might not be able to afford or even get access to new ones. Learn how to sew.
73. Shoe Laces
Again, you might not be able to get new ones. Plus, shoelaces have several uses.
74. Shut-off Wrench
Very important if you have gas power. A broken gas line is extremely dangerous.
Another way to kill small animals for food.
In the words of Lieutenant Dan, “Take good care of your feet!” They can also be used as gloves, pouches, bandages, masks, and tinder.
77. Solar Air Lantern
Set these in the sun for a few hours and they will light up your home or camp all night.
78. Song Books
As with acoustic instruments (mentioned above), these are good for entertainment and morale-boosting.
79. Stainless Steel Pot
Great for boiling water, heating soup, cooking Ramen noodles, making instant rice, etc.
80. Steel Wool
In addition to scrubbing pots, it can be used to start fires, peel carrots and potatoes, and plug mouse holes.
81. Super Glue
Seal small cuts, repair water bottles, fix equipment, etc.
82. Survival Books
You’ll need this as a reference. Check out my post on the 100 Best Survival Books of All Time.
Use them to keep stuff dry, provide shade, carry things, and so forth.
Another good way to keep kids entertained. Find some good toys that don’t require batteries.
85. Treadle Sewing Machine
With this, you can fix clothes or sew new ones without power.
Do you have one? If so, does it work well? And do you have extras for your family members?
87. Vacuum Sealer
In addition to sealing food, you can also seal things that could corrode, things that could dry out, and you can reseal mylar bags.
It’s a firestarter, it prevents rust, and it’s even useful for first aid. Here are 4 reasons to buy it.
89. Vehicle Escape Tool
If you ever get into a major car accident and can’t get out of your car, this tool will help you cut through the seat belt and break the glass.
90. Vet Wrap
Self-adherent tape that holds bandages in place.
91. Waterproof Wristwatch
Nowadays most people check the time on their phones or computers. In a SHTF scenario you might want to have a good watch.
Good for much more than lubricating hinges.
These can be a lifesaver if someone is under attack or lost.
94. Whiteboard and Markers
My wife uses one as a calendar, to jot down notes, grocery lists, etc. Could be useful.
95. Wind-Up Clocks
So you don’t have to waste batteries.
96. Window Insulator Kit
These are essential during the winter, especially if the power is out and you want to keep the heat inside.
A non-electric portable slow cooker. All you have to do is bring your food to a boil, then put it in the bag. It retains the heat and slow cooks your food for hours. This thing is awesome!
98. Yard Bags
Heavy duty bags will be useful for all the trash and debris that accumulates.
99. Zip Ties
These can be used for building shelter, repairing clothes, building snares, and more.
100. Ziploc Bags
Great for keeping things dry and organized.
So there you have it, my ultimate list of survival items people often forget about. If you’re a homesteader, be sure to check out these 25 Homestead Items You Forgot To Buy.
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Reading through this post a few years after it was initially posted!! Always a good reminder.
Interesting note – I was given an antique full cabinet Singer treadle sewing machine. It is beautiful, hardly looks used. I took it to a repair shop and they went over it to make sure it was in tiptop shape All I needed to do was get machine oil and a new belt. The repairman’s remarks were: if I ever want to get rid of the machine, he would buy it in an instant. Good to know!
So, keeping that in mind – yes, I can repair things with the machine but making new clothing, household items, etc., will be difficult if one doesn’t have fabric to make those things with. So what I have done is create a tub for scrap fabric (quilts, small projects), larger cuts of natural fiber fabrics (cotton, linen, wool) in sizes appropriate for shirts, skirts, undies, etc. I have also included in the tote: needles for the machine as well as for hand sewing – many different needles for just about any application; thread for sewing as well as leather work, heavy canvas, etc. I have several sets of good quality scissors for various types of fabrics/leather, and such. I have a book in the tote with patterns for different items as well. Because I do sew a lot, I know that I will have everything I need if SHTF and have to stay in place but if I have to leave, I might not be able to take my treadle machine but I might be able to take the sewing tote.
John Klem says
Nice list. Some of it is not for me. I wonder how many survivors commenting here own weapons for the purpose of protecting yourself and your family from human predators. More importantly do you know how and when to use? Good Luck folks.
I was substitute teaching a high school civics/history class one day and the subject got onto survival and what it would mean. One student said he/she/it would not want to live in a world like that. I told her/him/it not to worry. with that attitude and mindset, it wouldn’t survive.
Meu Artigo Militar says
Thanks for sharing the article and tips
the superglue is toxic and is not a good idea to use it to repair the water bottles
Jeni R Smolka says
Super glue is used in the hospitals, to close up smaller cuts in the skin. I would say then, that it is not toxic to humans.
I like the one about the condoms and why it’s NOT a good time to get pregnant when SHTF !
Bemused Berseker says
The “Idea” behind most lists, is to get someone thinking outside the box. Many of the items on these lists are redundant, as there may be a tool or product that can serve multiple roles. An alcohol stove? Really? How about an Esbit Stove and its trioxane tablets, that take up much less room, weigh less, and isn’t a potential bomb on your back. If you want to try Vegan survival, by all means knock yourself out. Remember though, civilization has collapsed or is collapsing, and Uncle Moon Beam’s Vegan Grocery Store and Cannabis Dispensery/Bong Shoppe is going to be out of a lot of the supplements a Vegan Diet requires or closed altogether.
Where you are and/or where you’re going, is going to dictate the items you’ll need to survive in that area. What I might carry in to the Rockies, will be different than what you’d need in the Appalachians. This holds true for every region in the USA. What might grow great in your backyard garden, might not even germinate at 10,000 feet above sea level.
Whatever crisis we face, it will be something most of us have never faced before. It will be tough, brutal and dangerous for many reasons. In tough times, the milk of human kindness becomes very skim. Your old neighbor you’ve been friends with for years, can become your worst enemy, depending on the circumstances you both are facing.
Keep Calm, Keep Your Powder Dry and Keep Prepping!
Learned alot thanks
A truly great 100. If you get a chance read the new Macgyver book out on Amazon regarding all the methods and techniques that can be used. Also you don’t have to wait regarding applying all these methods. They can be put into effect today. Also read Joey Green’s and Graham Haley’s book again available on Amazon. You will have thousands of idea’s.
Mr. Derace D. Owens says
Should North Korea bring Seoul, South Korea under artillery attack, Or Communist China Attack Taiwan, My relatives have instructions To Evacuate All U.S. Metro Areas Immediately. Mr. Derace D. Owens.
marian cronin says
wonder bags are great but expensive. try making a hay box. same idea but cheap.
I think this list is good to at least getting people thinking about their own situations.
I just have a few things to make comments on.
Axes – they are great. However to cut kindling you really want a hatchet. An axe head is too heavy and awkward to cut kindling, you are as likely to miss the wood and hit your hand.
Books – a great idea! I recommend reading aloud so all can share in the story and the supply of books will last longer.
While I agree with using hand sanitizer, soap and water are still needed. C. Difficile is not killed by hand sanitizer. What is worse, it is also antibiotic resistant..
Journaling is a great idea. I suggest getting a bound acid-free paper journal. Try to get archive quality ink as well. Let everyone in your group write in one or get extras.
Powdered butter and eggs are a good idea. I have been housebound for almost a week due to extreme wind chills and lack of snow removal. The amount of eggs I buy for a month ran out. Having your own chickens is great, but they will stop laying when they have too few hours of daylight. Powdered eggs help you get through the down time.
Condoms (preferably unlubricated) make a great water holder as well. They can expand to about pillow sized, just be sure to have the condom inside something to support and protect the condom.
cotton ball as kindling ? mhmm something new !
Cotton balls coated in Petroleum jelly has been a mainstay in most kits for years great fire starters take a spark easy and burn for a good bit of time to get the fire going.
You can also save the dryer lint & toilet paper tubes for kindling. I think the cotton balls & petroleum jelly is probably best, but since we tend to have the other stuff anyway it’s a good addition.
Jan Giezentanner says
After you stuff the Toilet paper tube full of dryer lint melt an old candle or wax (used to seal jars of jelly) in each end of the tp tube. Leave a small wick of dryer lint sticking out of one end of the tube. Soak it with wax as well (it makes a great wick to light the tube!) If you want to be really serious put a couple of strips of Magnesium foil (found on line and at gun shows) in the tube. Magnesium burns very hot and will ignite even very wet wood.
P.S. I use enough melted wax to completely soak the dryer lint! Works Great!
I have most of this list and others and things that fit me as an individual.
Comments are always helpful too.
Planning doesn’t hurt. Preparing will realty help if you face hard times. We live year to year on home raised foods and some purchases. I try to always have extras, gallons of vinegars, sugar, alcohols, baking soda et that store almost forever.
Few surprise needs. Thing unhurt by temps are stored in bulk in a storeroom. Things to protect from high or low temps go in an insulated root cellar. It also contains an unused mobile freezer that can be run on 110/ 12volt power supplies. Much of my canned goods get stored in that environment. Cans and glass jars last best there.
My garden has permenant and seasonal plantings. My rabbits, chickens and ducks provide eggs, fur pelts, meat for the table and replace them selves. We have two hens right now with 5 and 7 chicks. A duck is setting a nest. Rabbits gladly reproduce when we give them the chance.
Do you have seeds to continue planting gardens,oats,barley,herbs.
Thanks for all the info!
If it’s a real SHTF (mass casualty, etc) I’m gonna use any plastic item I have and not give a crap about pollution.
If you mean now, we should always watch the chem additives and junk we give kids and what we drain that runs out to our waterways.
My skillet bread still needs a little work but it is edible. I want to make up a large batch of hardtack but my oven doesn’t work at 175°.
After reading the list, I’m usure if you’re advising this stuff for people bugging in or bugging out. You also seem to be unsure whether you’re listing stuff for a minor disaster that won’t last long or for a serious issue where the grid is down and not coming back.
A lot of the stuff you listed is in the category of “this sounds like a good idea” but some of them are completely impractical and much too heavy in large enough quantities to be useful, unless you’re bugging in. They’ll also run out fast. They may contain chemicals you need to get over the need to use. And there are cheaper or healther alternatives. Plus they may contribute to pollution:
Baby Wipes – full of chemicals/expensive in quantities large enough for a serious disaster/not biodegradable (and neither is their packaging). use soap and water instead. And learn how to make your own soap.
Book lights – Only if bugging in. If bugging out, how many books do you want to lug around. Get a solar battery pack for recharging, and download Ebooks to your phone. Even after the grid goes down, and there isn’t any phone service, you can still read books you downloaded to your device – provided you downloaded them, not left them on the cloud somewhere.
Bug Spray – How much bug spray are you planning to pack around? If you’re planning to bug in, get citronella candels and plant plants around your entrances that mosquitos don’t like. Bug spray is toxic, stay away from it both before, and after, a disaster.
Calendars – Paper and pencils instead. Make your own calendar as the need arises.
Cloth Diapers – They’re bulky, and heavy. Just a few of them weighs quite a bit. And they’re a lot more expensive than going to the dollar store and buying some handi-wipe knock off paper towels. The reusable kind. You can also find compresses paper towels online, which are not only useful for washing, but also as toilet paper.
Clothes Lines and Pins – Because your dryer will be a waste of space.
Ear Plugs – They aren’t going to make you feel safe, and if things are bad enough where you need to post guards, you better NOT have ear plugs in. You’ll need to wake up fast if your guard is shouting for assistance or a warning. BAD idea, this.
Glow Sticks – Toxic, die quickly once activated, and impractial to store in large enough quantities for anything other than a small power outtage. They also don’t light up an area. Get a solar flashlight, or three, and keep them charged.
Hand Sanitizer – this is one of those things that never should have been invented. The kind without antibacterial additives has to be applied in large amounts, and then allowed to dry. It only kills the virus or bacteria as it dries and pulls them apart. The other kind kills both the good and bad bacteria. And you NEED the good bacteria to keep from betting sick. Use soad and water instead. Store a couple of bottle of bleach for bad situations. Toss the sanitizer in the trash.
Instant Coffee – Get real coffee and invest in a small rocket stove (or make one out of a couple of cans). Boil water, pour in a pot, steep coffee. Campers make coffee over a campfire all the time.
Powdered Juice Mix – Full of chemicals and shouldn’t be ingested before the SHTF or after. stock up on lemon and line juice (squeeze it and freeze it), sugar (vacuum pack), and learn to make lemonade
Slingshots – If you’re going to try to hunt with these, get real ones, not toys, and learn NOW. Or discover they’re pointless.
Snow Shoes – Only if you live where it snows a lot. In which case, you probably already have these.
Survival Books – Boy scout hand books are better. Most of the survival books out there are written by people that haven’t had to actually LIVE in conditions they’re writing about.
Yard Bags – These are plastic, not biodegradeable, and will add to pollution. There are better alternatives such as gunny sacks. Figure out what you’d use these for, and find a biodegradable alternative.
Ziploc Bags – Plastic and will add to pollution. Find other alternatives.
Get your own website and post your own list if you’re just going to be negative about someone else’s. Be appreciative for the “ideas” and adjust them to your own needs.
Hey Kelly, When SHTF I hope your no where around me!
Kelly could easily become an early casualty…too damn picky to get along.
Annette Zarsky says
If we are to get thru a casualty, we need to help each.. If u don’t like his/her suggestions, u don’t have to use it, someone else might benefit from it. We all want to survive, & showing some love to your bro./sis will help us to stay alive much longer than negativity. I think different ideas are great. What will work for me might not work for someone else. In a crisis we need to be positive to survive.
Whilst the points you have made with regards to the weight of some items in the original list and the biodegradeability/recyclability of others is correct. I do have to say that, given that the name of the website is urbansurvival it seems obvious to me that the original list is aimed at those who will be looking to remain in their own home during any kind of major incident. As such, the original list is a very relevant reminder of some of the “extras” that people might want to consider in advance of some incident which might render the “normal” functions of an urban society for an unspecified time, say a massive failure of the electrical grid. Or, some temporary break down of public services next time congress cant agree on budgetary concerns etc!
The exact circumstances aside, it is clearly stated that this is a list of things that the average prepper may not have considered! IE: a few little luxuries on top of what should be their already extensive “major” incident kit.
You lost me at “whilst”….
John Jacob Jingleheimerschmidt says
Because you have a limited vocabulary. Its okay, we still love ya.
There is a lack of understanding in the Urban prepping and other prepping mentality.
1) Once the National grid goes down for over a month, it will NEVER, EVER come back.
The Social and Economic conditions that would be required to rebuild, it will no longer be functional.
2) Whether you are ” Bugging In or Bugging Out”, the chances of remaining in a fixed location are limited. There are to many reasons to list here, most have been covered, except for fire.
Wild fires or other fire storms will ravage both options, forcing those unlucky enough to be in their path to flee.
Cities will be more vulnerable than the countryside. City buildings are built close together based upon the idea that the Fire Dept and fire suppression equipment( fire trucks, hydrants, water pressure, etc), will stop a fire before it reaches a critical stage, becomes uncontrollable and burns down most of a city.
Read up on the Great fires in the cities and towns of the past. It is all to common of an occurrence, with much damage and lost of life.
So regardless of which bugging you plan to do: plan to be and stay Mobile, because you might just have to flee from one of these types of fires.
You will be more than extremely lucky if you do not ever have to face one, so plan for it.
As far as “Free Time” to play; read up on Frontier life, they had a few community days, picnics, etc, but mostly you worked from dawn to past dark every day, just to survive.
So get over the idea that you will have free time to relax, read or play sports. Even if you have the time to do it, you will be so tired out from your daily struggle to survive, you won’t want to.
Some might say this is being “negative”, but if it saves someone’s life by telling them the truth, rather than a bunch of poorly researched stuff. I will stick to the Truth.
Thanks for the great list of items. I started some kits a few years ago and I’m always looking to improve. I had some of the things you mentioned but the others are very good.
I’ve found that I’m now adding an item that can do more than 1 thing, a double-duty if you will.
I like the idea of the hand sanitizer. It can be used to get a fire going since it’s flammable.
Lights: I have the larger lights and now I’m buying the LED Nite Ize. I also add an extra set of batteries for each one. One battery will work in a pinch. There are small LED’s lites that use only 1 AA or 1 AAA.
Dutch Oven cookware, instant coffee, wind-up clocks. Wow, great ones!
Duct tape burns; kindling in a pinch.
Mechanical pencil. Lots of lead in a small space. The graphite is conductive; can short it out with a battery to start a fire.
Add a small fishing kit; line, hooks, sinkers, spinners, etc.
Add some 550 cord or the new 750 cord that I just found. I bought some 300lb test Kevlar cord. Got about 100 ft of it on a very small roll. Kevlar cuts plastic & PVC.
To Kelly; Did you lose sight of the emergency concepts and ideas being discussed? Seems so since you are bent on saving the environment instead of taking care of your survival. No one is going to care about pollution if they are trying to stay alive when the SHTF. We are sharing ideas here. Don’t be so negative. Com’ On Man!
Michael Fransisco says
All of you guys have good ideas. I’ve read through many comments. Supplies? We would all need an entire warehouse of stock piled toilet paper for example Depending on the group size and duration of time spent in your shelter, you will need other warehouses of stock piled supplies. Remember this, most everyone in here talks about when SHTF, you load up your car or truck full of supplies and your now on the road to your back up shelter or place of safety. There’s an EMP wave. Now you have your entire family and supplies in your vehicle but now you are stuck in your dead can’t drive anywhere vehicle. Grandma is shouting she needs more air. The kids are acting up and the baby’s need their diapers changed. You then notice the violent shaking of the ground all around you. You watch as you start to see city blocks disappearing and falling into the earth. Now the sky’s on fire and you watch as you can see many points of extremely bright lights going off then you see giant mushroom clouds rise up into the atmosphere. I could go on and on. If your not in a safe zone, your already dead no matter how many supplies you have stockpiled. If your not inside your underground fortified shelter like our politicians will be when those mushroom clouds go up, your already dead. The Bible says the earth will lose it’s gravity for a period of time. Don’t forget the 200 million foreign enemy troops walking through our neighborhood streets and they will all have the same goal. To end you and your families. Bugging out? Are you serious? Many people plan on having a tent and planting a garden. Are you kidding me? Many people plan on being in a shipping container a few feet in the ground. How long before your shipping container rises up from the ground by the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean meeting together in the US? I just thought I would interject a few facts in here to think about.
If all that you say happens, I don’t WANT to survive!!! I hope me, my family and my pets go quickly in that first wave. Guess I won’t need much! (Why am I on this site, you ask? Just curious.)
I have about 17 rolls of 2-ply 1000 sheet TP in a standard size ammo box. Each roll is in a separate 1 quart freezer bag for extra waterproofing. I don’t need a warehouse just plenty of experience. If my car dies from an EMP I will transfer my INCH supplies to my hunters game cart and keep going. It is able to carry about 500 lbs. and is designed to travel over rough terrain. I also have a marsh sled to go places where wheels won’t work.
I really don’t care what “many people” plan on doing in a TEOTWAWKI situation. Many people don’t have 50 years of survival training and experience. Many people aren’t building a concrete lead-lined fallout shelter in their basements. I’m not many people.
Do you have enough room for us? 🙂 j.k.!
550 braided fishing line is only about as thick as a single inner strand of paracord. I have a 100m roll of it in my GHB. It takes up less than 1/2 the space of 100′ paracord. I also carry 100′ of ultra-poly cord. It’s about as thick as paracord but it’s rated at 5500 lbs.
For Kelly, NEVER use cans to cook in or boil in. The lining of cans contains a cancer causing agent BPA. As well, never buy cans that are dented, because, the crack on the inside can leach BPA into the contents inside the can. Just stick with a small pot.
And never boil or cook inside plastic bags. Although convenient, chemicals in plastic can leach into the food when heated or frozen. For the same reason never freeze water bottles, leach, leach, leach..EEK! Stay safe out there.
I totally agree. I would add: Don’t use anything with artificial fragrance, especially in enclosed spaces. Chemical fragrances have been found to be carcinogens. Make your own stuff and use pure essential oils.
Dallas D says
Makes you wonder how we ever survived childhood in the 50s and 60s?! People are in fear of everything! I wonder how many overly-cautious people like Kelly, were ever in the military!? Those who had the guts to serve, protet and defend learned how to be self-sufficient, independent, and grow a pair! We have a nation of cowards now who wannabe a Rambo!
When water is in short supply, the preferred soap and water method does not work. We die within days without drinking water. We do not die because we used sanitizer instead of soap and water.
signed one who can’t use sanitizer, but would if she could in SHTF
Kelly, I think your leftist “you can do this but don’t do that” Nazi like mandates to anyone who doesn’t do it YOUR WAY is tiresome. If the SHTF it won’t matter one whit if “plastic causes pollution” as the world will be polluted beyond belief anyway. YOU throw your instant coffee out but as for me, I will use my ground coffee until it runs out and THEN turn to my long lasting Instant Folgers while you sit in your bathtub crying that you don’t have any coffee anymore. It is obvious that this is an URBAN SURVIVAL SITE. Urban means bugging IN in your current dwelling. Your ideas closely resemble the leftist facist control freaks that disrupt social media, people in restaurants trying to eat dinner, rioting in streets because a cop shoots a murderer, or any number of leftist crap happening lately more and more. I suggest you go to leftist sites and spew your wanna be dictator bull. As for us conservatives, we will read, listen and try to learn from others ideas and not be ruled by the snowflake crybabies that try to tell us what has worked for centuries is “not good for the environment”. In times of crisis, we will do what we have to for our own survival and do not need advice from a “greenie weenie libtard”.
momma bear says
Baby Bottles good for baby animals too. Eye rinse kit, liquid holder, measuring cup and they are durable.
Children and the older folks need to relax and have fun. I’m not going to work them death. Back in the day when the work was done for the day families would read or knit and make music. In their homes. They made time for work and play. Enjoying life is very important why else would we fight to survive? Love your ideas momma bearWhy would we bother?
Valerie Mummert says
I was researching “kits” for my company and came across this list- very impressed. I grew up in rural, northern Vermont and the basic survival kit was busted out at least annually due to severe weather. Got to get a Pelican(TM) case to keep all this stuff in- or find another case that is dust proof, watertight, heavy-duty protection, wheeled for transport, doubles as a seat/ raised platform.
Re-pinning your list because I think its important. Don’t want my motivation questioned but even if it is, hopefully you list will help some in my sphere of influence.
Renesme Cullen says
A hand wringer for clothes that are washed.I lived through a Cat. 5 Hurricane on a small Island.Oil lamps are also good! Store dry ice and also bread mixes because it will be hard to get used to the “other life” so King Arthur flour makes good bread and muffin mixes.Also 50 pounds of flour/hard wheat seed in food safe storage.I spent 3 months with no electricity and I got through it but I think that will seem like a vacation compared to what might happen.
Renesme Cullen says
Rx meds,( Diabetic Insulin for me) aspirin,bandages,neosporin,bloodstopper powder.I just found a an old spent double odd buck shell casing in the woods in back of my house.The next door neighbour used to hunt here before we were here.Thank God he’s no longer able to hold a shotgun because I doubt the 4 of them have a can of spam put away.We have wild turkeys and deer.Can anyone suggest a good Egg Laying Hen? I’m up for that asap as soon as the garden is finished and growing.Don’t forget bags of soil to start plants and seed.
Red star hens are some of the best layers. Also black star.
Black Australorp (sp) lsy almost every day. Read up on them!
Don’ forget that chickens only lay for just so long. You will need a rooster to fertilize eggs so that you can raise chicks for replacements.
Isa browns or Rhode Island reds are good layers of nice brown eggs. You can get them at most feed stores in the spring. My husband just built them a small coop, they free range during the day and roost in the coop at night. If you have never had chickens before checkout some books from
Your local library.
Does your insulin need to be refrigerated? If it does, you may want to get an insulin cooler with solar panels and rechargeable batteries. I use 4 deep cycle marine batteries for my CPAP. Each battery runs about 2 weeks without recharging. My folding solar panels give me about 200 watts total output. Even if you only need to recharge batteries for flashlights you should have at least one 20 watt panel on your list.
Leghorn chickens are the best egg layers but the roosters can be really mean. I prefer a dual purpose bird like Orpingtons. They are also friendlier than other breeds.
How would you replace your insulin?
Jay Wheeler says
After searching for some inspiration and ideas for survival items for a desert setting, I came across this article which is 101 items for survival in all climates. I can’t think of anything that’s not on the list, so I thought I would share it… thegentlemanhack.com/knowledge-skills/survival/101-survival-items/
Jay Ren says
I had never thought of using cotton balls as kindling…not a bad idea at all!
I keep a bag of them in my bag. I wipe them in petroleum jelly and store them in ziplocks. Excellent kindling
I have read through many of the comments and have one basic question? How and where are we to keep all of these things? I have many on the list already but they are all over my home. I do have an emergency kit and to go bag. How could we have all of these items and find them in an emergency that we don’t know what the situation would be? We can’t carry all of it with us. Maybe we won’t have access to our home? What is the basic thoughts?
Alan Urban says
You’re absolutely right, you can’t put all your eggs in one basket. Keep plenty of items in your vehicle, keep things at friends/family’s homes (if you trust them), keep things at your bug out location (if you have one) and consider placing some survival caches. See here: https://urbansurvivalsite.com/survival-caches-what-put-where-hide/
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.
Mechanical wristwatches to go with the wind-up clocks.
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!
Peachy Prepper says
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~
If you have baking soda and peroxide, no need for toothpaste.
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!
Baking Soda also absorbs radiation if the world goes nuclear. If people are already living in rural areas they will already have most everything they need and will not need to bug out per se. Go through the list in detail and figure out what is right for your situation. I see from above, some people are more assertive than others. Don’t gripe or complain, just take it as advice or consider it. Every extra item you have gives you a slight edge if you have the space or ability to take it with you. Good luck to everyone.
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.
Michael Mixon says
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.
I made mine for about $10 in pvc parts and a racquetball.
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.
I thought the picture was smaller than that. lol. Sorry to make it look like an advertisement.
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.
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!
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 BS 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.
William Snapp says
Thank you for a great article.
Glad you enjoyed it!
condoms lmao cant help to laugh at that one great article though!! http://survivalism-life.com/
How long do they last? I got a whole box of them a while back. Do I need to dispose of it and buy another?
Yes, condoms have an expiration date. Maybe still usable for waterproofing things, but as far as pregnancy goes, I’d make sure to replace them after so long.
yeah probably ought to replace them after use. just kidding, good article.
cotton balls with vaseline on them is an old fire starting trick.
use them up before you buy a new box. lol
After the “big one” it will be our sacred duty to repopulate the earth. No Condoms for me. Just lots of Vitamin E.
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
I’m going 100% vegetarian. No dead puppies for me. I couldn’t even kill and BBQ a chicken or a rabbit.
i’d like to see that once you get really hungry.
Sancheen Hudson says
The writer assumes you already have those things.
Gary Affleck says
Jamielynn doesn’t sound like she has any training in survival.
Camille Sylvester says
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
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.
Camille Sylvester says
You can juiuce grass and other roots to survive they are not ideal but i will not eat an animal product.
good luck with that.
I don’t think your “juicer” is going to juice anything without power. So I guess you will be one of those skeletons with dried skin stretched over it we will find when we reach your abode to scavenge.
Camille Sylvester says
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
Dawn in Eastern Washington says
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.
l jess says
Cats and dogs are more value alive for pest control.
the family pet might get eaten eventually but hopefully not right away, so petfood is a must.
Jonathan Dingman says
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.
i wish i had a bigger freezer.
my pet is a dynamite retriever & bird dog. when you drop a bird and it falls in 20ft of water about 60yds away how are you going to get your bird to eat. besides they are great at giving a warning for intruders. last thing i would eat.
In an urban environment, Post SHTF, there will be a lot of feral animals, that you can eat. As well as wild birds and other wildlife.
Most city dwellers are surprised when they learn just how many “wild” animals have adapted to live in our cities.
Raccoons, Mt Lions, Bears, Coyotes and wild Pigs are some of the more notorious of these critters, but there are others as well.
Some of these will also pose a danger to you, your children and your pets, so beware.
Good Hunting folks.
Maria G. Cope says
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.
The wife is perfectly capable to get things she KNOWS she will need. Why assume women are helpless?
You know, I thought about it and that was kinda chauvinistic 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.
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.
Get the women in your life a menstrual cup. They may turn up their nose, but it’s reusable and probably feels better than a stick.
and not everybody uses tampons, fyi.
As someone stated in an earlier post, there is more than one use for tampons such as wounds.
yes there is. i weren’t thinking of that. just of the monthly fun times.
In time of emergency, I hope folks will be less ‘easily offended ‘.
Wife says 12/70 shotgun size for cleaning the more important bore:).
Rachel Ramey says
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.
what’s with the assumption that women all use tampons. pads in different sizes. of course a mooncup/diaphragm might be in use.
Esther Hunter says
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.
I was going to mention the menstrual cup, what ever brand you choose, as a better alternative to tampons or pads. The main reason being that they are reusable, as mentioned. They also take up a lot less space. A cup can be used for years and can fit into a small pocket, while a months supply of either pads or tampons will take up a lot of space that would be badly needed for other supplies, especially if you are bugging out rather than in. They would also make a great bartering tool! Home made pads are also a good idea, but a potential problem with them could be lack of water to properly wash them.
Tampons are also useful to seal a sucking chest wound.
Don’t just assume that tampons are only for the womenfolk.
some thoughts says
tampons are used for stab and bullet wounds……..plug a hole and “rub some dirt in it” to temp close a gaping wound
Please don’t do that. Tampons are not designed for that and can actually do more harm than good. http://privatebloggins.ca/?p=1026
Renesme Cullen says
sage,garlic and make a poultrice covered with clean cloth.You can learn a lot from the Vikings.
I wouldn’t want to use tampons if you were in a crisis situation for fear of toxic shock and no hospital to treat you. I’d go with the safer maxi pads anyway.
Renesme Cullen says
do you have a generator?
Melissa Benko says
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),
I think you missed the point. These are things you might have forgotten to buy after already getting all the important stuff first.
Sancheen Hudson says
The writer is assuming you already have those things and this is stuff people don’t think about having to prevent boredom.
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.
Janine G says
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.
Gary Affleck says
Kinda like, I can explain it to you, but I can’t learn it for you. 🙂 You can’t fix stupid.
depends on what is falling in the rain
I just bought some more sterno cans and some more Benadryl. Benadryl is good for stings and allergic reactions among other things. There are products called no rinse shampoo and no rinse bath. Just apply and towel off with something. Works well in my opinion. Cornmeal is also one thing I keep on hand. Goes good with vegetables and soups. You can fry with it and fry it up. Its easier than making bread from flour.