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When gathering emergency supplies, you’ll notice that most of them are things that will last for years. That’s the whole point. But even though batteries and canned goods will still be useful in a few years, they probably won’t be in a few decades.
So which items will be useful in a few decades? Determining this can be tricky. Many of us may have stored water in empty milk jugs only to find out that the biodegradable jugs break down over time.
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Think about what your grandchildren or great-grandchildren may need to survive. What emergency items could you leave them that would still be valuable decades from now? Here are 10 suggestions.
Knives are one of the most popular items that are passed down from generation to generation, and for good reason. You may have a knife that belonged to a family member or even a sword from a past war long ago.
Knives are incredibly important in a survival situation as they serve many purposes. Storing a high-quality knife will increase the chance that it is still usable many years down the road. Choose simple knife mechanisms that don’t include a bunch of fancy springs that could bind up over time.
2. Hatchet, Axe, and Saw
Larger cutting tools are also important to include in an emergency kit. Hatchets, axes, and saws are always useful to have around to cut firewood, clear roads, and build structures.
While the handle of these tools may not be in the best shape after 100 years, the head of the hatchet or tool is still quite essential and can be fitted to a new handle if needed.
3. Sharpening Tools
With any kind of cutting tool, you will need something to help sharpen the blade. Files, steel, whetstone, and other knife sharpening items are smart to add to your emergency supply kit. Many preppers forget this tool, but it will become quite important if you’re ever in a long term emergency situation.
Another vital tool to have in your emergency kit is a quality multi-tool. There are so many options to choose from, and you’ll find that it is worth its weight in gold (if gold is still valuable) in 100 years.
Pliers, files, small blades, and can openers can all find a use for a family in an emergency. Make sure to keep the tool dry so that it can’t rust or bind up in storage.
While the longevity of rope seems to diminish over time, paracord is a good substitute when planning an emergency survival kit. The nylon fiber of paracord allows it to stand up to decades of use.
Paracord has multiple applications in a survival situation, from hunting to first aid to pulling someone to safety. Beware of imitation paracord, however. Make sure that your stored paracord is military grade with a standard of 550-pound safety rating. Cut open the paracord to ensure that you see 7-9 nylon cords within made up of precisely 3 fibers.
6. Cast Iron Cookware
Cast iron cookware is a favorite item for survival kits. Not only does it stand up well to time, but it also is easy to clean and conducts heat well. Pack a variety of sizes and styles of cast iron cookware that could be useful for cooking, cleaning, and washing.
Many homesteaders may not understand the power of honey. There is nothing else on the planet quite like it. Honey is often called the “perfect food” because it never spoils. Ever. It may crystalize and harden up, but simply warm it up to bring it back to its slow-moving goodness.
Honey has been found in multiple archaeological sites dating back well over 100 or even 1,000 years old! It is shelf-stable (even when opened) and isn’t only for eating. Honey is fantastic at healing skin cuts and bruises and is a natural sugar substitute.
Another item to have in your emergency survival kit is liquor. Even if you don’t drink alcohol, liquor can help in an emergency when someone needs to be stitched up.
The alcohol involved also acts as a natural disinfectant that is vital to have on hand. Liquor also warms up the body when enjoyed and can help fight off cold temperatures. Here are some other uses for liquor.
9. Aluminum Foil
A few boxes of aluminum foil to your survival kit can easily last a century when properly stored. Foil has so many uses: from cooking food to keeping the body warm to refracting light and energy.
A box of aluminum foil can take up to 400 years to break down, making it a great addition to your emergency supply kit. Choose heavy-duty options for thicker foil that won’t break as easily.
10. Oil Lamps
Kerosene and paraffin lamp oil have an indefinite lifespan when stored properly. Adding a few well-packaged oil lamps in an emergency kit can still be viable decades down the road.
Both kinds of lamp oil can last a long time as long as they aren’t exposed to extreme cold or warm temperatures. Lamp oil also has a slow burn time, making it a great addition to an emergency survival kit. The flame is also less apt to burn out when compared to a candle, and it provides a steady amount of light.
Preparing for emergencies can be the difference between life and death in a dire situation. Fill your survival kit with these longstanding tools that will stand up to the passing of time.
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