5 Overlooked Prepping Items

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Back in September I wrote i post on 10 important Barter Items that people may not have thought of, I wanted to keep doing this every so often to bring attention to items we often dont think about when we are focusing on the 3 Big B’s, that is Beans, Bullets and Band-aids.


1) Note Pads and Pencils

215_1_b890 notepad

I for one jot down a lot of notes on all different things, from ideas on posts for the site to shopping lists to keeping track of our expenses.  This of course is more in line with ‘normal’ living, however even in the worst SHTF scenario you will want to be able to keep track of many many different things.  Think right now, how many pads of paper do you have right now? Perhaps you have a ream of paper for your print and maybe a few little pads in the junk drawer, is that enough?

Think of uses for writing in a SHTF scenario one can come up with many uses.

  1. Keeping track of your gardens: I keep track of all my garden beds and plants in the house, i write down what their status is, how they are looking, the temps that day, how much water i gave them, how well they are producing and growing, what compost if any i added to them etc.  In reality you should be doing this now so that in a SHTF scenario you arent starting from scratch (no pun intended)
  2. Shift Rotations for guard duty and a log book would be useful, have those coming on duty sign in and write hourly statements on what is going on; most likely nothing is going on but it reminds them to keep on the look out and gives them something to do.
  3. Keeping a log of food input and output.  More likely it will be 90% input until you can get those gardens going if you havent already, but this way you can see how much of everything you are using daily, weekly, monthly and know how long you have left before you are going to need to cut rations or go out and find more food or barter.
  4. If you have kids, they are a great thing to have for them to play with, sketch and take their mind of of the situation.

These are just a few ideas, but having a good supply of notepads and pencils will help in this.  Pens are useful but pencils work until they are nubs and never have issues like ink drying up etc.  Have a good measure of each.  Looking on Amazon you can buy small 4×6 notepads in 100 page-120 pad bundles for $69 or 6 dozen small notepads for around $8 or if you prefer legal pads you can pick up 12 50 page legal pads for around $25.  Pencils you can pick up 144 regular #2 for $14.60 or 144 small golf pencils for $8.


2) Percolator

coleman coffee percolator


Granted you will need to have stored some Green Roasting Beans and have the necessary info on how to roast your own beans etc which i explained in a post awhile back. But once you have that coffee you will want to be able to brew that delicious nectar of the Gods.  If you have never used a camp percolator you are missing out, there is just something about brewing coffee over the fire that really makes it delicious.  The picture shows the Coleman Coffee Perculator which is coming in at around $32, however a less expensive option is the Wenzel at $18.  If you can find an older WWII GI one that would be better.  Camp Percolators are good because they require no coffee filters and you can use this over a campfire, rocket stove or propane/camp fuel stove.




Need I say anything?  For storing anything smaller than  tote size Zip Loc bags are excellent for organizing or keeping food fresh in your fridge or freezer.  They are also worth their weight in gold when you are needing to keep smaller items or packs of socks and underwear dry in your pack.  I keep all my clothing items in Zip Loc bags in my Bug out Bag, Having a dry pair of socks, underwear and shirt can be very nice or necessary to your survival depending on the situation if you are actually doing bug out on foot.

In the picture above you can see the XL Big Bag that they offer than can pack away larger items of clothing or a whole ‘outfit’, while Freezer bags will work for anything else and are more desireable and hardy than the smaller sandwich bags.


4) Vermin Reduction


Now this is a multiple of items under the same header so I am cheating a bit!

However most of us, especially those not in the country don’t realize how prevalent vermin populations can grow once they get a foothold, sure in the city you may see a rat in the alley way garbage or a cockroach in your kitchen but most of those are kept at bay with a lot of spraying and city pest control.  Once systems start breaking down do you think the government will concentrate on control and feeding the population to keep them docile or hunting rats and spraying for roaches?  The fact that you wont be able to just call Orkin when roaches start moving in is also something to consider…become your own exterminator.


In the 4 corners area of the southwest and areas around it HANTAVIRUS is a major concern this can kill you in days, so if you are in an area where hantavirus is possible you will want to keep your mouse population as close to zero as possible, any droppings you find spray with a 10% bleach solution, let it sit for a minute or two and then dispose of it.  Hantavirus is spread by disturbing the droppings and the dust particles that fly up are what carries it.

Now I don’t like Pesticides and I don’t use poisons for mice mostly because I dont want them storing it where my child or dog could get at them, but this a decision that you will have to make.

Consider stocking up on these items.



Mouse/Rat Traps: I love the plain old Victor Moustrap, you can pick up a pack of 72 for just under $40, however i have begun to like the ones with the fake cheese as the trigger, if you slather a peanut butter/molasses mix on to the fake cheese the mice really have to dig in to get it and easily sets off the pedestal snapping them up.


D-con style poisoning:  If i didn’t have children or pets around i would consider this, the mice eat it and die later, an issue can arise if they die within your walls, which is another reason i don’t like poisons.  for anyone who has never enjoyed the smell of a rate decomposing where you cant get at it…not a good week or so!


Live traps: I don’t like live traps, mostly because i don’t want to “free” them, they will be back within the hour! However if you really want to they are an option.


Bug Control

Sprays: I spray certain areas of the house where my kids and dog cant get into them as well as they wont leach into any areas where i grow food, so I spray under the house, garages, up in bedroom lofts, etc.  I like the Scotts Home Defense max a jug with a batteyr operated spray wand for around $15.


Foggers: Foggers are great to gut out a house, just set one in each room (make sure all windows are shut), pop them and leave for a few hours.  After you return open up all the windows and doors and run the HVAC for an hour or so.  they say to cover all your areas where you prepare food, personally I did this but i scrubbed every carpet, floor and area where it may have settled i didn’t want my daughter exposed to anything so it was an all day affair.  You can pick up 3 cans that cover 2000 square feet each for under $10. Make sure that if you don’t have cans specifically made to NOT set off if the pilot light in your stove is left on that you unplug your stove. personally i shut off the main breaker.


Bug Spray: Now in a SHTF scenario if you live in mosquito country and have to hunt for food, etc. if you are not used to bugs you will be wishing that you had some good bug repellant.  Personally I cover any entrance areas such as sleeves and bottoms of jeans with 100% deet sprays as well as my hat, etc.  For on skin i stick to the 25% stuff.  I recently bought a mess of bug spray that was discounted for under a $1 a bottle once winter was setting in and they needed to get them off their shelves.

Glue Traps:  Glue traps i have found dont work well for mice, sometimes they stay stuck, sometimes they end up crapping everywhere as they drag themselves around teh garage and eventually get out, however they work great for trapping HOBO spiders and other insects that can be deadly.  Areas where snakes or other reptiles can be a problem they make heavier duty versions.


5) OIL

No I’m not talking about cooking oils, I’m talking about the lifeblood of engines.  Now if you have some plans for backup power using a generator or are planning on using your vehicle post SHTF you have started stockpiling gas/diesel and use some fuel stabilizers such as PRI (which i did a post on if you don’t know what it is).  You might even have hundreds of gallons of fuel for these engines, however do you have the other important part…Oil?

From your car to your Generator to your chainsaw and other engine powered items you will need oil for it to stay running.  Now make sure that you have the correct oils for all the different items you are planning to use, but especially the car and the generator.  For your chainsaw and other 2 cycle engines you will need oil to mix as well as bar chain oil to keep it running smooth.  Do not forget this, or you may only get a few days/weeks out of these engines before they are bone dry and you are trading some hard stored food supplies or something else that you could have spent $50 on now to not be in that position.





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