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    40 Uncommon Items Every Prepper Should Have

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    40 Uncommon Items Every Prepper Should Have

    Stockpiling everything you need to survive an apocalypse on any level can be a little overwhelming. It’s easy to think of the most obvious things like food, water, and some of the basic first aid items.

    While those items will help you in the first days and weeks following a disaster, it’s better to plan for the kind of event that could disrupt the world for months or even years. When you look around your house today, it’s easy to overlook the little things you have because they seem insignificant.

    But when even the little things are no longer readily available, they quickly become big things. You need to plan for a life that is anything but normal, and to do that, you’re going to need to think outside the box to handle tasks without the benefit of professionals a phone call away.

    There are some uncommon things that a savvy prepper is going to want to add to their stockpile to make their lives just a little easier after a major event. Here are some uncommon items every prepper should have.

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    Activated Charcoal

    Activated charcoal is good for a number of things including purifying water. It can also be taken internally to combat poison. If you have pets, you will want to keep this just in case they get into something they shouldn’t. There are many medicinal qualities as well. 

    Altoid Tins

    Altoid tins or any tin in general can be used to carry medical supplies, fire-starting tools, or even money. Here's how to make an altoids tin survival kit.

    Aluminum Foil

    Aluminum foil is probably already in your stash, but considering the many, many ways you could use it for survival, you can never have too much. 

    Battery Adapters

    Battery adapters are cool inventions that mean you don’t have to worry if you have AAA batteries but need AA. 

    Bolt Cutters

    Bolt cutters are going to be useful for cutting locks, pipes and just about anything else that is in your way. 


    LED booklights will last a long while without needing new batteries. The bright, focused light could be used to make repairs in tight spots. The lights clip on and could prove invaluable when you need to make dinner or sew a button without the benefit of electricity. 

    Boric Acid

    Boric acid is another one of those things that can be used many different ways. It is an effective pest repellant and roach killer. Imagine no sanitation and lots of trash. You’re going to have bugs and roaches. Keep them out of your living space with boric acid. 

    Bungee Cords

    Bungee cords are extremely useful for countless reasons. Truly, you can use them from anything to dragging things to holding a door closed.

    Canning Lids

    You probably already have a lot of jars, but you'll also need canning lids to store foods you harvest after a downfall. You can store water, meds, and anything else you want to keep dry and bug free. 

    Carbon Monoxide Detector

    A carbon monoxide detector is going to be crucial. You don’t need to have twenty but having a couple with fresh batteries could save your life when you’re relying on fire or generators to survive.

    Cat Litter

    Cat litter is an option for an indoor toilet when you don’t have running water. Just dump some in a bucket and have enough to sprinkle on top when necessary. It can also be a good way to make an icy walkway safer. 


    Cheesecloth is a versatile tool that can be used to strain water or used as a face mask. It can be used to create a fish net or used in place of gauze in a pinch. 


    If you eat Chinese food on a regular basis, keep the chopsticks. Use can use them for kindling when building a fire.


    Clothespins are another common item that you might forget you’re going to need when you have to do laundry the old-fashioned way. 


    Probably enough said, but along with the obvious, they have many survival uses as well. If you have an expired box laying around, don’t throw it out. Use it as a water holder or to protect the muzzle of your firearm. 

    Crank Radios

    Crank radios and flashlights don’t require batteries or solar to work. Need I say more?


    Imagine needing to lift a heavy rock out of the way to place a shelter. Or maybe you need to pry open a door or window. Not to mention, a crowbar is a pretty handy weapon should the need arise.

    Deck of Cards

    Decks of cards are going to be an invaluable tool to keep your mind busy. Without TV, a day job or other past times, cards will keep you sane. 

    Diatomaceous Earth

    Diatomaceous earth can keep your livestock from being eaten up by bugs and keep fleas out of your house by sprinkling on your pet’s bedding and your carpet. There are many medicinal uses as well.

    Ear Plugs

    Ear plugs are cheap and easy to stock. These are useful if you’re going to be doing any hunting with a gun and don’t want ringing ears. If you’re sleeping on the ground, putting in earplugs can keep the bugs out.

    Electrolyte Powder

    Electrolyte powder isn’t just for athletes. Storing some of this good stuff can keep you going on those long days that don’t leave a lot of time to sit down and eat a healthy meal. 

    Feed Bags

    If you have animals and you buy feed, you know those bags are practically indestructible. Use them to make sandbags or fill them with dirt and rocks to create a barrier. Use them to haul the produce you’re growing in your garden or fashion them into shoes.


    Fix-a-flat is something you’ll want to have on hand, just in case. If you’re relying on a bike or maybe you’re lucky and can still use your car, you’ll need your tires functioning. 

    Flagging Tape

    Flagging tape could be used to signal for help or make trails to prevent you from getting lost. It can be used in a pinch to keep a bandage in place or as a belt. 

    Gas Shutoff Wrench

    A gas shutoff wrench is a necessity if you have natural gas in your house or think you might be going somewhere that uses gas. The tool is not the typical wrench. You’ll need it for your safety. 

    Gas Siphon

    A gas siphon will keep you from sucking on a hose and getting that blast of gasoline in your mouth. With no gas stations, you’re going to need to do some scavenging. 


    Yep, dryer lint is a free fire tool. It weighs nothing. It can be stored in a can, jar or Ziploc bag. Use it to get a fire going when it’s wet outside. 

    Lockpicking Set

    A lockpicking set is another unconventional item you’ll want to have and know how to use should you find yourself in a desperate spot that requires you to gain access through a locked door. 

    Moleskin Patches

    Moleskin will save your feet. Imagine walking ten miles in boots. You’re going to have blisters. The moleskin can save your toes and heels from ever getting blisters. 

    Old Cookbooks

    Cookbooks from a long time ago often have simple recipes on how to bake bread and other comfort foods with just a few ingredients.

    Old T-shirts

    Holey, stained t-shirts should be cut and stashed in a bin. They can be used as toilet paper in a pinch, feminine hygiene or to clean up messes. T-shirts can also be fashioned into slings


    Used is just fine, or you can buy new pantyhose at the dollar store. They can be worn as intended to provide a layer of warmth or used for fishing. They have many other surprising uses as well.

    Plastic Grocery Bags

    Plastic grocery bags are free for most people. These can be used to protect a wound from getting wet, to cover shoes to keep dry. Wrap the bags around your ankles and shins if you’re going to be walking through tall, wet grass or even snow. 

    Rubber Bands

    Rubber bands might seem unnecessary today, but they can be used in a number of ways. A bag of a hundred is cheap. Rubber bands can be used in place of a missing button, be wrapped around a tool to save your hands, and so on. 

    Safety Pins

    Safety pins are versatile, cheap tools. Use them to hold pants together or a ripped tent door. Use them to dig out slivers or to hang food off the ground—assuming its not too heavy. 


    Your shoes are going to be important tools. You don’t want them falling off if your laces break. The laces also act as cordage

    Sillcock Keys

    Sillcock keys are the tools you need to open water spigots that are locked. You might find these spigots on the side of a building or even some restaurants. 

    Steel Wool

    Steel wool is cheap and plentiful. The uses are endless including starting a fire and filling little gaps in your shelter to keep rodents out. 


    Tampons, whether you need them for their intended purpose or not, are versatile tools. Use them for as tinder for starting a fire or to stop a bleeding nose. 


    Vaseline or petroleum jelly is one of those things that can be used in first aid, sealing a leaky gasket or as a fire starter. 

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