When it comes to stockpiling food and survival supplies, there can be too much of a good thing. For example, you could buy so much perishable food that you won’t be able to eat it all before it expires, even if you try. Or you could stockpile enough guns and ammo for a small army, but if it’s just you and your family, what’s the point?
However, there are certain survival supplies that you really can’t overdo. No matter how many of them you buy, you could probably stand to get a few more (unless you literally run out of space). These are things that have either an endless shelf life, a multitude of uses, or strong barter value. Some of them, like duct tape or garbage bags, have all three of those traits.
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Here is our list of survival items you can never have enough of (in alphabetical order):
1. Aluminum Foil – You can use this inexpensive kitchen staple for cooking food, starting a fire, protecting supplies, collecting rainwater, and many other things.
2. Ammunition, Air Rifles, and a Large Supply of BBs and Pellets – These weapons are good for hunting and self-defense. Also, consider other smaller weapons such as slingshots.
3. Baking Soda – This stuff isn’t just useful when cooking from scratch. It’s great for cleaning your house, cleaning yourself, deodorizing the carpet, brushing your teeth, and all sorts of other things.
4. Baseball Hats, Cotton handkerchiefs, and Bandanas – These items will be much in demand, especially in hot weather. Also, bandanas are useful for shielding the mouth from smoke and particles in the air, among other things.
6. Bottled Water – Water is an absolute essential, and you can never really have enough. Store as much as you can.
7. Buckets and Lids – Five-gallon buckets can stack for easy storage. You can use them in an emergency for transporting water, storing food, gardening, holding gear and many other purposes. Funnels are useful too.
8. Camp Stove Fuel – This supply is another important item that will be in short supply and high demand in an emergency. Get it while you can.
9. Cans of Non-Perishable Food – There are many foods that last for decades if you store them properly. Even if you don’t use it all, you could trade some of it for other things.
10. Cash or Precious Metals – In a big enough disaster, your debit and credit cards could become useless. Be sure you have some cash, and if possible, some gold or silver to make purchases.
11. Clocks and Watches – If the internet and cellular services are down, we’ll need to rely on old-fashioned clocks and watches again.
12. Clothespins and Clothesline – These dollar store items can be a lifesaver in an emergency – both for their intended purpose and for other survival needs.
13. Coffee and Tea – Not as essential to survival as food items but highly desirable for a sense of comfort during an emergency. Stock up for barter if nothing else. (Hot cocoa mix is another good choice – especially for the kids.)
14. Cotton Socks, T-Shirts, Underwear, Hooded Jackets – When you see these on sale, stock up. They are easy to fold and carry, and they will come in handy, especially shirts. Thermal underwear is also a good idea.
15. Duct Tape – This one item could very well be the most valuable thing you have to swap during a crisis. It can be used for so many purposes. Stock up.
16. Entertainment – Books, playing cards, coloring books, board games, crayons, crossword puzzles. These small and inexpensive times will help stave off boredom and give a sense of normalcy during a difficult time.
17. Feminine Hygiene Supplies – Stock up on these easy-to-store essential items.
18. Firewood – This is especially important if you live in a cold climate. Be sure to store it properly so it will burn well when you need it.
19. First Aid Supplies – Bandages, pads, wound cleaners and antibiotic ointment are easy to store in bulk and may be very much needed in a crisis. Here are some first aid supplies you can’t have too much of.
20. Fishing Poles and Fishing Line – These simple items can mean the difference between having food and not having food in a survival situation. Here’s how to make a survival fishing kit.
21. Garbage Bags – Boxes of large trash bags will come in handy for all sorts of reasons. A few of them are as rain protection for yourself and for your supplies, as a layer between the ground and your sleeping bags, and for storing large items.
22. Garden Tools and Supplies – Simple hand tools for gardening and seeds are a good choice for bartering during an emergency scenario.
23. Gasoline and Gasoline Cans – Keep a few full cans in your rotation, but have other empties for gathering more gas and for bartering. Be sure to store it properly.
24. Generators – With the power out, hand-cranked generators will be worth their weight in gold. If they have an AC/DC conversion, that’s even better.
25. Grain and Hand-Cranked Grain Grinder – When you want basic nourishment, these items will fill the bill for your use or for barter.
26. Hand-Crank Can Openers – Some food cans have pull tabs these days, but not all of them. Have a few hand-operated can openers to use or trade.
27. Hand Sanitizer – There are many reasons hand sanitizer will be important. A pandemic, some kind of biological warfare, and the lack of sanitation due to a lack of public services like garbage pickup and running water.
28. Hardware Supplies – Stock up on nails, screws, nuts and bolts and screen patches. Don’t forget small hand tools such as screwdrivers, pliers, and hammers. Glue is another good choice.
29. Infant Supplies – Diapers, formula, baby over-the-counter medications all will be valuable commodities during a crisis situation. Here are some other emergency preps for people with infants.
30. Insect Repellent – Coils, sprays, creams, wipes, you name it, you may need them to fight off annoying bugs. Consider traps or poisons for rodents as well.
31. Lamp Oil, Wicks, Lamps, Lanterns, and Candles – Plan ahead for lack of electricity by having plenty of lighting options stored. Candles are inexpensive, easy to store, and great for bartering.
32. Lighters, Matches, and Firestarters – In an emergency, having commercial fire starters for cooking and keeping warm will be key to your comfort and survival. Also, consider a good supply of charcoal and lighter fluid. And don’t forget a large supply of matches.
33. Lip Balm – Small to store, yet so important to comfort in stressful and inclement situations. It has many uses and it’s great for bartering.
34. Over-The-Counter Medications – Pain relievers, antibiotic ointment, Band-Aids, antacids, and other medications are all things we take for granted – until it is not possible to get them. Stock up for your own family and for trading with others.
35. Paper, Pens, and Pencils – If the internet is down and our phones are dead, we will need paper and pencil more than ever. Besides, a cataclysmic disaster is a great time to start a journal. Historic times!
36. Pet Food – Don’t forget the family pets in your emergency preparations. Stockpile cans of pet food for use during an emergency or to trade with other pet owners who weren’t as prepared as you. Also, consider making a bug out bag for your pets.
37. Pocket Knives – These small but portable and powerful tools will be in high demand.
38. Reading Glasses – Most people over 40 need them, but will they have them on hand during a crisis? Stock up on inexpensive readers in a variety of magnification powers from the thrift store or dollar store.
39. Ropes and Cords – Stock up on various lengths of paracord, twine, and thick nylon rope.
40. Salt and Spices – You can use inexpensive table salt for seasoning, cooking and preserving food. Select other spices according to your tastes.
41. Shaving Supplies – Beards may have come back into fashion, but those of you who appreciate being clean-shaven will be glad you stored shaving supplies. So will people you barter with.
42. Soap – Bars of soap are inexpensive, easy to store, and have several uses. They are great for personal use and trading. Other personal hygiene items we take for granted include shampoo, toothbrushes and toothpaste, mouthwash and dental floss.
43. Sugar and Other Sweeteners – White and brown sugar, as well as honey and syrups, will add taste to food preparation during an emergency. Other people definitely will want some.
44. Tarps – After a disaster that damages homes, broken windows and leaky roofs will be a problem. And if you’re outside, you can use a tarp to build a shelter. They have many other uses as well. An alternative to tarps is plastic sheeting.
45. Toilet Paper – An important yet often overlooked hygiene item whether you are in your own home or traveling when a crisis hits. TP is handy for bartering.
46. Treats – Things are stressful for everyone during a crisis. Packs of gum or packages of hard candy will be a little way to offer comfort to your family, and they are perfect for bartering with others.
47. Vitamins – Unless you have a large garden, it’s hard to get proper nutrition when living off of emergency food. Multivitamins will help you stay healthy and strong.
48. Water Filters and Purifiers – If you have enough of these stored, you may be able to name your price during an emergency that affects the water system. Here are a few options.
49. White Vinegar – Here’s another item that isn’t just great for cooking. It’s also great for cleaning the house, soothing sore throats, keeping pests away, and lots of other things.
50. Zip Ties – There are so many things you can do with these. I would even put a few in your bug out bag.
So there you have it! Survival supplies that you can never really have too much of. What did I forget?
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