Stockpiling Ammo For SHTF – How Much is Enough? Answering the old-age question “How much ammo is enough?” is more challenging than actually gathering the ammo. There are all sorts of debates regarding this topic and each person thinks they have the right answer. In fact, the answer is never simple and it’s more than …
The Best Food to Dehydrate for Long Term Survival Storage First you back stock your pantry and keep it at a level where it could sustain you and your family for 72 hours. Then you step it up a notch, get some shelving, and store enough food for a few weeks. Before long you have …
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Stores That Hand Out 5 Gallon Buckets Free Now is the time for winning the resource game. We live in an age of excess and preppers all over should take advantage of this. I don’t know about your but I use 5 gallon buckets for tons of things. I mix fertilizer in them, bring home …
10 How-To Books Worth Owning They say knowledge is power and that you need wits to survive when the world around you crumbles. As preppers, we are used to stockpile food, water and survival gear. We gather all the things we might need during a crisis and we hope for the best. However, gathering knowledge …
Growing a Robust Pantry There is more to having a well stocked pantry than just buying a bunch of food and putting it on a shelf. A robust pantry has a healthy mix of home canned and store bought foods. A pantry is a revolving thing and though it can take a bit to start, …
Don’t Overlook These 6 Preps It can be overwhelming when you’re trying to get your preps in order. It seems there is so much to consider and plan for! There is the food, water, and first aid to consider. Every prepper worth their salt takes care of the most basic needs first before they tackle …
When stockpiling supplies in your home for survival and disaster preparedness, there are certain items that may run out quicker than you realize.
Think about it: A large-scale economic collapse is going to last for months, if not years. An EMP attack will knock the power grid down on a national scale for an equal amount of time, if not longer.
Here are six items to consider buying more of:
1. Baking soda
This is truly one of the most overlooked survival items on the planet. It is one of the best all-around cleaning and personal hygiene product that you can buy – and it’s cheap. With baking soda, you can make soap, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, dishwashing soap, and a cleaning agent for floors and furniture.
Without batteries, how are you to power your electronic items and your flashlights? The best kinds of batteries to buy in bulk are common types such as AA or AAA, but you also will want to store plenty of more unique types, for any special devices. For example, many heavy-duty flashlights will require D batteries.
Fire is imperative in any survival situation, because it can provide you with warmth, light, comfort, security and a way to cook food or boil water.
Your best move will be to focus on purchasing a variety of fire-starters — lighters, matches and magnesium flint strikers — rather than just one type, so that you can have options.
Gone are the days of bows and arrows. Sure, you can build or use those kinds of more primitive weapons if firearms are not available, but you simply cannot call yourself truly protected in this society without guns.
Most prepping experts seem to agree that a minimum of 1,000 rounds stored per caliber is a good baseline. Nonetheless, even that much ammo may not last as long as you think it will. Consider storing more.
There’s a good chance that food was the first item you thought of when you started reading this article. Of course, it’s best to be self-sufficient, but the best kinds of foods to store for survival are ones that are both nutritious and long-lasting. Examples include white rice (avoid brown rice because it spoils), beans of virtually any kind, MREs (not the most tasty, but they still last a long time), canned meats and vegetables, sugar and honey.
Even though water is all around us in various forms, having access to clean and purified water for both drinking and personal hygiene purposes is an absolute must. Additionally, have plenty of emergency water filters. Store water in clean containers of various sizes and be sure to rotate it out at least once every six months to ensure it remains in good condition.
What would you add to our list? Share your thoughts in the section below:
It’s hard to quantify, but the modern prepping movement has at least, in part, been caused by the government. I am not referencing fear in the government doing something stupid that would force us into survival mode (although that is possible), but instead in promoting the idea of disaster preparedness.
FEMA’s Ready.gov website contains a host of information on how to prepare for a pending disaster, and radio commercials promote the idea, too. While not the best information in the world, it’s a good starting point for the novice prepper.
Of course, many if not most preppers don’t pay much attention to the FEMA website. Part of that could be because few of us trust the government all that much. But a much bigger part is that the government’s idea of prepping really doesn’t go far enough.
Let’s take a look at the list of Suggested Emergency Food Supplies that FEMA has on their website:
- Ready-to-eat canned meats, fruits, vegetables and a can opener
- Protein or fruit bars
- Dry cereal or granola
- Peanut butter
- Dried fruit
- Canned juices
- Non-perishable pasteurized milk
- Food for infants
- Comfort/stress foods
That’s it — a dozen things. While all of those are good choices, there’s no way that I would consider them enough. But then, I take a much different view of survival than what FEMA is promoting.
FEMA takes the stance that you only need to be ready to take care of yourself for three days. That’s their target reaction time. At the end of the three days, FEMA supposedly will have assistance in place. There’s only one thing … FEMA has a very poor track record of meeting that goal.
So when FEMA talks about stockpiling food, they only talk about stockpiling three days of it. That’s probably where the idea of a bug-out bag only having three days of food originates. Personally, I don’t feel that three days is anywhere near enough, especially since I have no intention of ending up in a FEMA camp, waiting for the government to decide to let me go.
There were people digging in dumpsters, looking for food, six weeks after both Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy (which occurred in Republican and Democratic administrations). That doesn’t give me a whole lot of faith in FEMA’s abilities. But I’m also concerned that whatever FEMA gives out, comes with a price. The price of government meddling in our lives. That’s a much higher price than paying for my own food, to build a descent stockpile.
Let’s go back to that list for a minute. While the foods contained in it are all good choices for a survival situation, there really isn’t enough there to create actual meals, unless you stockpile canned goods that can be put together to make a meal. While that is possible, it’s not anyone’s first choice. Canned foods do provide nutrition, but they are severely lacking in flavor.
If all you’re talking about is surviving three days, that’s not really an issue. You can live on peanut butter crackers and dried fruit for three days. For that matter, you can live without it for three days, just about as well. But you can’t simply buy more of the foods mentioned on this list and expect to have a three- or six-month stockpile. You’ll have to add other foods to it. I’m not going to talk about what other foods you should stockpile, as I’ve written other articles about it. Try this article or this one for more information.
Another problem with the list is that not all of these foods will store for a prolonged period of time, without rotating your stock. While some, like canned goods will last a long time, there are other things, like breakfast cereal and crackers, which will quickly become stale and unpalatable.
FEMA also suggests that you “choose foods your family will eat.” While that may seem to make sense, most of our families aren’t going to go for a healthy diet of survival food; they’re going to want something tasty. In other words, they’re going to want the same sorts of junk food that they’re used to eating. That doesn’t work, and it’s actually totally contradictory to the list of foods they’ve put together.
I prefer to say, “Figure out how to make the foods you are going to have to stockpile for survival palatable for your family.” This requires figuring out how to take the foods that you stockpile and adapting their flavor to meet your family’s tastes. While not easy, this is actually possible. All you need is a stock of the right spices, plenty of salt and maybe a few sauces, like spaghetti sauce.
You’ll have to do some experimenting to find ways of preparing the survival foods you’re going to stockpile in ways that will be palatable to your family. Take the time to make up some recipes, and make a small batch and test it on your family. If it doesn’t work, try modifying. That usually means adding more spices to give it more flavor.
I stockpile plenty of spaghetti sauce and cream of mushroom soup, as well as the spices used in making my own spaghetti sauce, so that I can restock from tomatoes I grow in my garden.
So, yes, the FEMA list contains a few items that should be in any stockpile. Just don’t stop there.
What do you think of FEMA’s tips and list? Share your thoughts in the section below:
How To Make An Archer’s Thumb Ring From Bone, Antler Or A Spoon I am no expert what so ever on archery or hunting with bows… That being said I did a little research and learned that you can have a steadier aim and hold the bow drawn longer than most people who do not …
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There are some good guidelines and tips on stockpiling ammo that will simplify this process for you and make it easier than it sounds on some forums you may have come across.
Useful Machines Made From Bicycles That Could Be Very Handy Bicycles will be a much-needed commodity if SHTF. Fuel will have run out after a couple of days and bikes will probably be the only form of transport easily available.I Would even suggest investing in cheap older bikes just for this post! I couldn’t believe how …
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Why You Need To Stockpile Supplements For SHTF I am not a doctor or a medical professional this is for information purposes only. Please consult with a medical professional if you have any questions or you start to take any supplements. Even in healthy people, multivitamins and other supplements may help to prevent vitamin and …
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A good stockpile of food will go a long way toward helping you survive the aftermath of any disaster or life crisis, especially when grocery stores are emptied.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say that there are people who are not preppers who nevertheless instinctively know to stockpile food. This really isn’t surprising when you consider that through most of mankind’s history, stockpiling food was essential to survival — specifically surviving the winter months. During those months, wildlife is bedded down trying to stay warm and plants are dormant. If one didn’t have a good stockpile of food, their chances of survival were pretty darn slim.
But knowing to stockpile food and knowing what to stockpile are two different things. The vast majority of what the average American family eats is unsuitable for stockpiling, because it falls into one of three categories:
- Junk food – Lots of carbs, lots of sugar, lots of salt and lots of chemicals, but not much nutrition.
- Fresh food – Foods that won’t keep without refrigeration.
- Frozen food – It will begin to spoil within two days of losing electrical power.
So we need to come up with other foods — foods that will give us a lot of nutrition and also have the ability to be stored for a prolonged period of time. Here are what we consider the 15 most important ones:
- Beans – This is one of the more common survival foods. Not only are beans plentiful and cheap, but they provide a lot of protein — something that’s hard to find without meat.
- White rice – The perfect companion to beans. An excellent source of carbohydrates, and it stores well. [Note: Don’t store brown rice, which contains oils and will spoil.]
- Canned vegetables – A good way of adding micro-nutrients to your survival diet. Canned goods keep well, long past the expiration date on the label.
- Canned fruit – For something sweet, adding canned fruit allows you a nice change of diet. Being canned, they keep as well as the vegetables do.
- Canned meats – Of all the ways of preserving meat, canning is the most secure in protecting the meat from decomposition. While it doesn’t typically have as good a flavor as fresh meat, it still provides animal protein at the most reasonable price you’ll find.
- Honey – As long as you can keep the ants out of it, honey keeps forever. Plus, it is beneficial during cold season.
- Salt – Nature’s preservative. Most means of preserving foods require the use of salt. In addition, our bodies need to consume salt for survival.
- Pasta products – Pasta is a great source of carbohydrates, allowing you a lot of variety in your cooing. Besides that, it’s a great comfort food for kids. Who doesn’t like spaghetti?
- Spaghetti sauce – Obviously, you need this to go with the pasta. But it is also great for hiding the flavor of things your family doesn’t like to eat. Pretty much anything, with spaghetti sauce on it, tastes like Italian food — whether you’re talking about some sort of unusual vegetable or a raccoon that you caught pilfering from your garden.
- Jerky – While expensive to buy, jerky is pure meat, with only the addition of spices. Its high salt content allows it to store well, making it a great survival food. It can be reconstituted by adding it to soups and allowing it to cook.
- Peanut butter – Another great source of protein and another great comfort food, especially for the kiddies. It might be a good idea to stockpile some jelly to go with it.
- Wheat flour – For baking, especially baking bread. Bread is an important source of carbohydrates for most Americans. Flour also allows you to shake up the diet with the occasional batch of cookies or a cake.
- Baking powder & baking soda – Also for making the bread, cookies or cakes.
- Bouillon – Otherwise known as “soup starter,” this allows you to make the broth without having to boil bones on the stove for hours. Soups will probably be an important part of anyone’s diet in a survival situation, as they allow you to eat almost anything. Just throw it together in a pot and you’ve got soup.
- Water – We don’t want to forget to stockpile a good supply of water. You’ll go through much more than you expect. Experts recommend a minimum of one gallon per person per day, but remember: That’s just for drinking.
While this doesn’t constitute a complete list of every type of food that you should stockpile, it’s a good starting point. You’ll want more variety than this, but in reality, your family can survive for quite a while with just the 15 things on this list.
As your stockpile grows, add variety to it. One way of doing that is to create a three-week menu, with the idea of repeating that menu over and over. If you have everything you need to cook everything on that menu, you’ll have a fair assortment of food, and enough so that your family shouldn’t grow tired of it.
What would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below:
Emergency Lighting Under 9 Bucks Affordable emergency lighting is now at your fingertips! The Luna LED Light is an awesome, very cheap prepping item I would highly recommend to have not only for the home, in case of a power cut, but to keep in a bug out bag and for camping! As you can see …
The 4 Levels Of Preparedness You Should Know Back in the 90s, general preparedness was a normal activity. People were stockpiling food and water in order to be prepared for whatever reason. Nowadays, preparedness is seen as something extreme by the mainstream society. Many people have no idea what it means to be prepared and …
How To Build Your One Year Supply Of Food Everyone’s storage plan should include bulk food storage items, for example, oats, rice, salt, etc. These basics are needed in everyone’s home storage. Long-term food storage is cheap and healthy and very do-able. Having enough food for one whole year is every preppers dream. A lot …
How To Make Cheeseburger Beef Jerky You read the title right! How to make cheeseburger beef jerky. I thought I saw just about every jerky there was… that’s why I love doing this, I learn something new everyday. Jerky is tasty and comes in all variety of flavors from spicy to sweet. I was trying …
Updated Top Barter List You May Want To Consider Stockpiling Having extra supplies for bartering should be on every prepper’s plan. This enables you to barter for goods or services that you otherwise would be without! You don’t have to have a set list per-say, but think about what you would need if SHTF and …
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Best Practices For Long Term Food Storage When it comes to food preservation, this article is one of the best… It goes over some of the main ways to preserve foods and goes into detail about it. If SHTF we will need to have enough food stockpiled to survive, that’s the plan anyway. So any …
Having an ample supply of food during an emergency is essential. But what do you do if all of your “regular” storage places are fully stocked and you’re running out of room? This is where creativity comes in handy.
Here’s 10 often-forgotten areas in your home where you can store food.
1. On wall shelves. Look around your home or apartment. Often, this is the best way to store extra food, even if it is in plain sight. Build wood shelves, low and high. Or buy shelves at the big box store. Either way, you often can double the amount of food you store.
2. In cloth closets. Do you really need 30 pairs of shoes? Twenty boxes of keepsakes? Our closets have plenty of space for storing extra food – if we only toss some of our clutter.
3. Under floor cabinets. There is typically a place known as a toe-kick beneath the floor cabinets between the cabinet and floor. Remove the board to reveal the empty space. Place back in a manner that looks natural.
4. Under couches and beds. Obvious, right? But lots of people forget this one. Yes, the same areas where you hid toys as a kid can be used to store food, too.
5. Inside a lamp. Be sure to buy a lamp with a hollow base. Remove the base and place food inside. If the lamp does not have a hollow base, you can sometimes manually hollow it.
6. Behind your headboard. The area between the wall and your bed can serve as a crafty hiding spot. Place buckets or boxes of food there and cover with a decorative blanket.
7. Inside the box spring. For those who don’t know, box springs are hollowed inside. You easily can fit multiple canned goods and bags of food without being noticed.
8. Under stair steps. To make it look organized and natural, you even can use an old dresser with several drawers.
9. At the bottom of potted plants. Make sure they are airtight. You don’t want dirt or water seeping into your food.
10. In a container buried in the backyard. This is for those who truly have run out of options. It requires a weatherproof container. One idea is to place sealed bags inside large buckets before burying them. Place a marker somewhere near so you don’t forget where they are.
Do you have any unique ideas for stockpiling food? Share your tips in the section below:
How to Purify Pine Resin and Make Pine Pitch Purifying pine resin is the key to make some great wilderness glue also known as pine pitch. Make some today and get some classic wilderness skills down! Well, I have to share this topic with you as my mind has been blown. Let me first start by …
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How To Make Your Own Vanilla Extract From Scratch Making your own vanilla extract from scratch is so easy. This is Perfect to keep stockpiled for when SHTF. Yummy vanilla… It’s easy to imagine that a lot of the kitchen items we now take for granted will be scarce if SHTF and since I like …
How To Make An Awesome Shirt From A Wool Blanket Have you ever heard anyone say invest in wool? Well I would, It’s getting more and more expensive and it has so much potential when SHTF. Wool is just fantastic… There are several kinds of blends of wool you need to watch out for! There …
Growing Rice 101 – Free PDF Knowing how to grow rice could mean the difference of surviving or dying … Rice is full of carbohydrates and Rice cultivation is well-suited to countries and regions with low labor costs and high rainfall, as it is labor-intensive to cultivate and requires ample water. However, rice can be grown …
13 Survival Foods That Will Outlast You If a regional or global disaster will hit tomorrow, do you have all the basics like food and water covered? Will you be able to survive with what you stored in your pantry? Stockpiling food and water shouldn’t be seen as a controversial activity and there are a …
Six Planning Tips for Starting a Garden from Scratch Spring will be here in a couple of months and if you are new to gardening this article may give you the upper hand, you may have tried before and had failed crops or the veggies didn’t grow well enough. I scoured the internet for hours looking …
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10 Canning Tips for the Newbie Canner My wife and I can all the time and love it. It gets us together as a family unit and after a good batch of canning you can sit back and look at them and say, “well dear, that’s us good for a week or so if SHTF” …
Top 10 Stress Relieving Teas Stress can be a killer. It’s been proven over and over again. Imagine if SHTF, stress will be a big factor in our lives whether we like it or not. Even if you had all the food and ammo to protect you stockpile, you WILL be stressed about when the …
17 Great Ways to Utilize 2-Liter Soda Bottles for Survival See how using old 2-liter bottles for survival could change your way of thinking about preparedness. Save you money and make you more self-reliant than ever before! I am sure many of you know that millions on millions of these little plastic gold mines gets …
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How To Make Grandma’s Laundry Detergent Who could argue with Grandma? They have such great knowledge and this article is great! It shows you how to make an age old recipe that is great for your clothes and great for your wallet! It is important to remember that buying laundry soap from the store can …
12 Fastest Growing Vegetables I found a great website that shows us 12 vegetables that are fast growing and in a survival situation these vegetables might be a handy source of nutrients if SHTF. As a side note, remember if you can’t keep up with the fast growing vegetables you can always can them as …
Wintertime is a wonderful season — full of holidays, resolutions and relaxation. However, it is also the time of the year when our immune systems are the most vulnerable.
Of course, it is best to prevent illnesses, but it’s just as important to be ready if an illness does strike. That means you need a well-stocked medicine cabinet. Here are 17 natural treatments you should stockpile:
Vitamins and Supplements
1. Vitamin C. This should be taken daily, as vitamin C is critical for boosting the immune systems, for preventing illnesses, and for fighting infections.
2. Vitamin B. It serves as a pick-me-up and helps the body generate energy. It is good to have on hand to combat fatigue.
3. Calcium and magnesium. Many of us suffer from a lack of essential nutrients, and calcium and magnesium are two important ones the body needs. Take a daily supplement if you do not get enough in your diet. Both of these are good for relieving cramps and for relaxing.
4. Cod liver oil. Cod liver oil is considered a superfood, a crucial omega 3 fatty acid, and is extremely high in vitamins A and D. Take it daily, but especially when you feel a cold or the flu coming on. It is also a healthy fat to help lower bad cholesterol levels.
Herbs and Tea
5. Mullein. This is an herb that is useful for treating a sore or scratchy throat. It can help to ease coughs, too. One good way to use mullein is to boil it and then inhale the steam. It can contribute to clearing congestion and blocked airways.
6. Chamomile. Chamomile tea is great for soothing an upset stomach, easing anxiety and tension, and for treating insomnia.
7. Peppermint. Peppermint tea can fight fatigue, ease nausea, battle congestion, open airways, and promote overall well-being.
8. Ginger. Ginger is a natural antioxidant and has anti-inflammatory qualities. Furthermore, it is good for heart health. It can boost your immune system, aid in indigestion, fight bacterial and fungal infections, and even help with the symptoms of diabetes. Ginger root is excellent as a tea, or it can be added to your food.
9. Turmeric root. Most people use fresh turmeric root to treat aches and pains, as it is a natural pain reliever and aids in blood circulation. You can add it to your food recipes, or drink it as a tea. Be aware that turmeric can be hard to absorb, so add black pepper or coconut oil to your recipes to aid in absorption. Here is a fresh, turmeric root tea recipe.
10. Tea tree essential oil. Tea tree essential oil is a natural antiseptic and is antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal. Use it in a vaporizer to purify the air in your home and to kill germs. Furthermore, you can add it to a spray bottle with water and spray all the surfaces in your home to disinfect them.
As a first-aid treatment, swipe cuts to prevent an infection. Tea tree oil is also a good treatment for acne and fungal conditions such as athlete’s foot.
11. Lavender essential oil. Lavender essential oil is an all-around healing agent. It treats cuts and wounds, rashes, insect bites and acne.
Since lavender is anti-inflammatory and analgesic, it is perfect for treating aches and pains and even headaches. Mix it with a carrier oil such as sweet almond oil and massage it into the affected areas.
Lavender is a calming oil and can help with deep relaxation. It’s a natural anxiety and depression remedy. It can treat insomnia, too. To use lavender essential oil, vaporize it in a diffuser, add several drops to a hot bath, or use it as a massage oil to receive all of its incredible benefits.
12. Rosemary essential oil. Rosemary is a natural warming oil and is anti-inflammatory. It is great for relieving fatigued, overworked, aching muscles. Use it in a carrier oil to create a soothing massage oil.
Rosemary essential oil also has stimulant properties which, when inhaled, can help to wake up the senses and help with concentration. Furthermore, it’s a natural stress-reliever. To use rosemary essential oil, vaporize it in a diffuser, use it in a hot bath, or create a massage blend.
13. Eucalyptus essential oil. Eucalyptus essential oil is a natural decongestant, so it’s perfect for treating colds and the flu. It also has anti-inflammatory properties, so it can ease aches and pains. Use it in a diffuser or steam inhalation to help clear the senses. Alternatively, use eucalyptus oil with a carrier oil as a chest or muscle rub.
14. Peppermint essential oil. Peppermint essential oil is good for treating nausea, for fighting fatigue, for relieving congestion, and as a warming oil. To acquire the benefits of peppermint oil directly, drop several drops on a tissue and deeply inhale. This oil is also good when used in steam inhalation, a bath, as a warming, massage rub, and in a room diffuser.
First-Aid Natural Treatments
15. Honey. It is a natural healer and an antioxidant. In first-aid, honey can act as a band-aid. It will protect the wound, prevent infection and begin the healing process.
Honey is also good for preventing and treating colds, relieving coughs and sore throats, and for easing nausea. You can add honey to your tea to help lower your cholesterol.
16. Activated charcoal. This is a good remedy for treating gas and upset stomachs. It is also great for fighting food poisoning.
17. Epsom salts. Epsom salts are good in baths when you are sick. They can help to lower a fever and reduce bodily aches and pains. They also can help to reduce tension and anxiety. If you have a headache, try to lightly inhale Epsom salts to help relieve it.
What would you add to our list? Share your stockpiling tips in the section below:
How To Build And Why You Need A Ladybug Garden I am glad I am sharing this with you today, I plan on starting my survival garden this spring and the one thing I have read about gardening is if you are not careful and do not use pesticides you can get a case of …
DIY Self-Pressurizing, Chimney-Type Alcohol Stove If you want one of the most efficient survival cooking stoves known to man, you are at the right place… Don’t spend a fortune on the big heavy propane stoves when you can make a self-pressurizing, chimney stove for cheap. This is a great project for anyone to try out. …
Cash? Gold? Silver? Bitcoins? Everything we do in life involves money, being in the preparedness community, the question now is what kind of money. That probably makes no sense but im sorry to say my friends… the world is changing whether we like it or not. You have to adapt in order to survive and …
For the dedicated homesteader or prepper, stockpiling isn’t something with a beginning or an end, it just is. You start your adventure by building a stockpile of food and you never really end it. While the heavy push for stockpiling might come to an end, the reality of stockpiling never does. You just find more and more things that you should add to your stockpile, wondering why you hadn’t thought of them before.
The thing is, without knowing beforehand what sorts of emergencies we might be faced with, there’s really no way of knowing everything we are going to need. So, we have to make some assumptions and build our stockpile based on them. But those assumptions can change with time, which means that our need for certain supplies might change, as well. So, we just keep adding and adding, making sure we have what we’ll need, when the time comes.
There are countless lists out there of things you should stockpile. Most have more or less the same things on them — perhaps because we tend to learn from each other. That’s good on one hand, but it means that everyone is likely to be forgetting the same things.
That’s where this list comes in. I’ve been at this for a while, and I’ve collected some things in my stockpile which I’ve discovered others tend to forget. So, I’m going to try and plug those holes. Hopefully, you’ll find a few things on this list which you hadn’t thought of before. Even better would be to find that you’ve thought of the same things that I have, and you don’t have any holes in your stockpile. Either way, I expect this to be useful for you to check yourself against.
Food is where we all start, but have you thought of these?
1. Spices. Your meals are going to get awfully bland if you don’t have spices to flavor them. What you have in your kitchen might last a few months, but that’s about it.
2. Salt. Everyone has salt in their stockpile, but do you have enough? Salt isn’t just necessary for flavoring our food; it’s also for preserving meat. If you’re going to hunt at all, you need a couple hundred pounds of salt on hand for meat preservation.
3. Bouillon. Otherwise known as soup starter, mixed with water, this provides you with the stock. Somehow, I think soups are going to be a big deal in any post-disaster menu.
Most of us are planning on producing at least some of our own food, if not all of it, in the wake of a disaster. But do you have everything you need to expand your garden to that size? A 20-foot garden plot isn’t going to be enough; you’re going to need to turn your entire backyard into a garden.
4. Fertilizer. Few people bother stockpiling fertilizer, but if you’re going to have to expand your garden rapidly, you’re going to need a mountain of it. The best, of course, is a mountain of compost.
5. Animal feed. Those chickens, rabbits or goats you have are going to need to eat — or you won’t be able to eat them. Few people bother growing feed for their animals. So you’d better have something on hand.
6. Insecticides. The wrong bugs could cause you to lose your entire garden. I don’t want to think of how much I’ve lost to grub worms, let alone other types of pests. You probably won’t be able to find the insecticides – organic or otherwise — you need after a disaster.
We all know we need a first-aid kit, although most don’t go far enough in stockpiling replacement supplies for theirs. But there are a few other key items you might want to consider.
7. Vitamins. If your diet isn’t going to be as well-balanced as it should be, a good quality multivitamin might go a long way towards keeping your health up.
8. Spare glasses. For those who wear prescription glasses, this will be a necessity if they are going to do anything to help keep their families alive.
9. Reading glasses. Even if you don’t need them now, don’t assume you never will. Reading glasses are great for any close-up work or working with small things.
10. Activated carbon (sometimes called activated charcoal). This is useful for a variety of things, such as making your own gas masks and purifying water. It also can be taken for stomach problems.
11. Spares for your first-aid kit. I know I just said this, but it can’t be overstated.
We all have pieces of equipment that we’re planning on using to help us stay alive after a disaster. But what if something happens to that equipment? Are you prepared to make even simple repairs? If not, that wonderful tool or other gadget might just turn into a paperweight.
12. Coleman lantern pump rebuild kit. If you have the old style Coleman lanterns or their dual-fuel stove, you know about the pump in the fuel tank. These last well, but eventually need new seals. A rebuild kit doesn’t cost much and can keep that equipment working.
13. Small engine parts. If you’re planning on using any gas-powered tools, such as a chainsaw or a roto-tiller, you’d better have at least the basic parts, such as spark plugs, air filters and priming bulbs. That way, you can keep them running.
14. Specific parts for critical equipment. Everything has critical parts and short-life parts in it. The manufacturers should be able to tell you what those are and be selling spares. Make sure you put in a good supply.
15. Water filters. If you’re using any sort of water filtration system which has filter cartridges, figure out how many filters you need to have and then multiply it by about 10. You can’t have enough.
Few people think about stockpiling clothing — which means that there will be a lot of people wondering what to do when the time comes. A few specific things you need to think of are:
16. Kids’ clothing. Kids grow a lot, and you need to have larger sizes on hand than what they are using now.
17. Work gloves. I guarantee you, you’ll need them. But they tend to wear out, so have some spares.
18. Rough clothing. Most of us don’t wear very rugged clothing. If you don’t, stock up.
19. Work or hiking boots. Especially important if you have to bug out.
That’s our list – what would you add to it? Share your tips in the section below:
Specific Seed Saving Instructions for Common Vegetables If you grow your own garden every year and always wondered how to save the seeds, this is your article. If you are a prepper, this article will show you how to collect and store the seeds from common vegetables. It is vital that we save the seeds …
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Quick & Cheap DIY Mead Brewing For The Colder Months This is a really cool project. A few months ago I posted How To Make Mead (Honey Wine) and that went down really well, a lot of you commented how yummy and easy it is to make. Well over at prepperlink.com they have an even easier and cheaper …
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Drugs and TEOTWAWKI = Crazy People? I found a detailed article on drugs post SHTF, I had not thought about this much as myself and family members are not on anything that would be detrimental to our health, mentally and physically if SHTF. After reading this article it has made me think more about maybe …
Not long ago in America, the conventional wisdom was that fresh drinking water always would be available. But with recent water crises in West Virginia and then Flint, Mich. – as well as droughts throughout the country – that no longer is the case.
And what if there is a long-term blackout or a terrorist attack that impacts the water supply?
Now, more than ever, it’s essential to stockpile water for your survival. That’s the topic of this week’s edition of Off The Grid Radio, as we talk to Daisy Luther, a survival expert and the author of The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide: Harvest, Treat, and Store Your Most Vital Resource.
She tells us everything we need to know about storing water long-term, including:
- How much water the average person should store.
- What she considers the best way to store water.
- Which type of plastic she recommends to stockpile water.
- How long water will last in storage and remain potable.
Finally, Daisy tells us the cheapest ways to store water. We also discuss water filters.
This week’s show could change the way you stockpile – for the better. Don’t miss it!
I stay prepped pretty much all year long, but I like to turn things up a notch during winter. Where I live, the nearest major store is an hour and a half round trip. The distance to town is merely an inconvenience in summer, but winter weather can turn the commute into something stressful and even potentially dangerous.
As with many situations in life, it is the little things that can make or break the success of stockpiling for winter. Sure, whole-house generators are a nice perk—and are understandably crucial in some circumstances—but it works for me to concern myself first with the small items. The problem is that small everyday needs can be all too easily overlooked. Here is a short list of must-haves to help you start your own winter stockpile, and a few hints about fine-tuning the list for the needs of your own household.
First, remember that it is about the basics: water, food, shelter, heat, safety, hygiene and comfort for the entire household. Humans, pets and livestock will need to eat, drink and be safe and healthy. Additionally, your location or relationships might mean that neighbors and relatives will be looking to you in the event of a winter emergency, and you will want to be prepared for whatever level of sharing you are willing and able to accept.
For me, winter stockpiles are at least as much about not having to go out when the roads are slippery as it is being ready for a catastrophic event. I focus most of my preparedness efforts on the occurrences that are likely to happen. My winter supplies are usually planned around the likelihood of inclement weather or finding stores sold out of what I need, or even run-of-the-mill unrelated emergencies such as a last-minute work deadline or having a sick animal.
1. Water. You will need some for drinking, some for cooking, and some for your animals. Additionally, you will need water for sanitation and hygiene—brushing teeth, washing, and flushing the toilet. People often do not realize how much water they go through in a day. When considering how much water to stockpile, spend a few days being aware of every drop of water you use. Every time you turn on a faucet, imagine instead having to get that water from a jar or bucket in an emergency.
I keep between six and eight half-gallon mason jars of drinking water tucked away in my cellar pantry at all times. As winter approaches I increase my stores of drinking water, and add at least 15 gallons in lidded buckets for flushing. During winters when I am keeping large livestock, my water stockpile multiplies exponentially. Cows drink a lot.
Your water use may be more or less than mine. If you are unsure, it is better to overestimate your water needs than to underestimate them. If you end up not using the stored winter water, no harm done. Just pour it out onto the garden in spring and start over next season.
2. Food. The important thing about food is to stick with what you will eat. Sure, there might be a sale on cans of anchovies at the liquidation center. But if your family would not eat anchovies unless you were literally starving, pass them by and spend a little more to stock up on what you will eat. Tailor your food supplies to that which can be cooked on whatever equipment you will have available to you if the power goes out, or food that can be eaten cold.
“Oooooh,” my brother messaged me one day last winter, “I have a quarter inch of snow! I better run to the store to buy bread and milk and eggs!”
The joke among those of us who stay prepared all the time is that everyone seems to be in desperate need of milk, bread and eggs whenever a storm is predicted. We watch the TV news and see shelves and milk coolers stripped bare, and long lines at the registers. Don’t get caught being one of those people. Buy a loaf of bread, a package of frozen egg products, and a box of shelf-stable milk the next time you shop for food, and make room for the bread and eggs in your freezer. But plan on never using them—instead, commit right now to staying ahead on all of your grocery necessities. Pick up a gallon of fresh milk a couple of days before the current one is gone. Don’t get down to the last crust before shopping for bread. Put pasta on your shopping list ahead of time.
Do not forget food for animals. Keep pet food, grain and hay stockpiled as much as you can for the winter. If your goats go through 200 pounds of grain or 20 bales of hay a month, keep that amount as a baseline, always buying new as soon as you dip below a month’s worth.
3. Medication. Winter is not the time to run out of over-the-counter remedies for colds, headaches and minor injuries. Whatever your go-to is, from multi-symptom nighttime cold syrup to St. John’s wort tincture, stock up now.
Prescription medications can be a little more challenging to stay ahead of. There is a specific window of time during which pharmacies can legally refill medications—in other words, they cannot refill your 90-day prescription just a month after filling it the last time—but there is often a week or so of leeway. Be diligent, and do not wait until you are down to your last day to go for a refill.
4. Equipment and supplies for handling ice and snow. Depending upon your geography and needs, this might be shovels, snow scoops, roof rakes, chemical ice melt, ice creepers, car windshield scrapers, and more. Buy it now, while it is available, instead of rushing out right before a big storm only to discover that the best quality and least expensive options are sold out, leaving you only the ones nobody else wants.
5. Alternative heating. This looks different in every home. If it is not very cold outside and your house was warm before you lost power, you might be able to get by overnight and even for a few days with only heavy clothing and blankets. Other contingency plans include a wood-burning appliance or another choice of heater run by natural gas or a generator and the fuel it needs to run. Remember that equipment which is designed to run outdoors can cause carbon monoxide poisoning indoors, so whatever you use, make sure it is safe and that you know how to operate it properly. But if you are going to burn wood or propane, or rely on down-filled sleeping bags to keep you warm, stockpile what you need now.
6. Flashlights, lanterns and the batteries to run them. Have an absolute minimum of one lighting appliance per household member, and keep at least two full sets of batteries for each appliance. Always. I keep a flashlight, a small battery-operated lantern, or both, in almost every room in my house.
If the wind is howling and I think power might be interrupted, I keep a flashlight on my person so that I can use it to access other lights and necessities. I do not rely on gas lanterns or candles for power outage lighting, but I do keep a few around for absolute emergencies.
7. Basic household supplies. This varies greatly from one household to the next, but almost always includes batteries, toilet paper, tissues, diapers, and women’s hygiene products. These are the other items that are almost always sold out quickly when a storm is predicted. The way to avoid this is easy—stockpile! Keep an absolute minimum of a month’s worth on hand at all times, and you will be glad you did.
Just like you did with water, assess your needs ahead of time as you go about your daily routines. If you need kitty litter, paper towels, cigarettes or coffee, stock up now.
A lot of winter stockpiling is more about peace of mind than actual needs. Having enough of everything on hand reduces anxiety. Whether the weather forecast is calling for a blizzard of epic proportions or a few inches of slush, you will rest easy knowing you have done all you can to keep yourself and your family from falling in between a rock and a hard place.
What would you add to this list? Share your tips in the section below:
How To Make Almond Milk Powder I learn something new everyday. I never in a million years even thought that you could make almond milk powder. This is fabulous news because you do not have to rely on cows milk if it hits the fan. Almond milk is one of the most nutritious drinks for …
37 Creative Storage Solutions to Organize All Your Food & Supplies (FB image uploaded, but not pin) One challenge we all seem to face is how best to store our stuff. Being prepared means having a large stock of necessities (and some luxuries) on hand. It also means you need to figure out how to …
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10 Things You’ll Regret Not Having Enough of When the SHTF When it really hits the fan the world as we know it will be one hostile and different place. Gone are the times you can just go to a grocery store and hand over a few bucks for a loaf of bread. Instead, you …
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6 Ways to Stack Your Firewood Having wood stockpiled is a must. It will heat your house if the power goes out. Cook your food, and bring you some relief if SHTF. Now, stacking the wood…. That’s a whole different kettle of fish! I have a wood pile in my back yard and I will be …
Hits And Misses After 6 Years Prepping Prepping, like anything else, changes over time. What you thought of, stocked, and learned at the beginning can be drastically different after a short amount of time. The beginning years prepping are usually gung ho about getting huge stocks of food, water, and gear. They tend to buy a …
How to Stockpile Food and Other Goods Cheaply Stockpiling can be an enormously expensive task if you go about it in the wrong way. Even if you’re doing all that you can to keep costs down, if you’re stockpiling for a big family, it can still be exceptionally pricey to get your stockpiles to where …
1 Year Emergency Food Storage For Less Than $300 I think I speak for us all when I say we all lack a decent emergency food supply. Some of us have some but nothing that could warrant us going off grid and surviving on our stockpiled food. Over at the seasonedcitizenprepper.com they have an article that …
How To Store Gas And Diesel For The Long-Term Everyone knows that having food and water storage is crucial for your SHTF plan, but gas storage is of almost equal importance. Until SHTF happens we will have no idea how much we rely on gas. Seriously, you may say to your self now, nah, I’ll …
An Essential Prep: Fish Antibiotics There’s a lot of information out there about storing fish antibiotics for survival stockpiles but how much of it is really true? Can you really get the same antibiotics that are prescribed without getting an actual prescription? The answer is a resounding YES! Fish antibiotics are an essential prep to …
Indoor Winter Gardening Tips and Tricks A Must Have In Case The SHTF I love gardening indoors, I love the smell and the ease of just walking into a room and getting a few tomatoes or a fresh crop of basil or mint. If SHTF or we have adverse weather knowing the tips and tricks …
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There are certain mistakes I see made over and over again among those in the preparedness community. Most of them are understandable. We live in a society where we have a plethora of resources and support available to us, and breaking out of that mindset and thinking of how to be truly self-sufficient is hard, even for those of us who are trying.
But if we are going to survive a major natural or man-made disaster, we’ve got to be ready to make it on our own. That means having both the knowledge and the supplies to do everything we need, for ourselves.
One area that is commonly overlooked is the area of medicine. Oh, we all have first-aid kits, and I’ve even seen some pretty good ones around. But that’s not the same as medical preparedness.
Let me enumerate some of the problems:
- Medical facilities and personnel becoming overwhelmed with the large number of people who get injured in the crisis and its aftermath.
- Lack of transportation making it difficult to get injured or sick personnel to medical facilities.
- Modern medical doctors and facilities not having electricity. Many hospitals only have about 48 hours of fuel for their generators.
- Breakdown of the supply chain, making resupply of even the most basic medical supplies iffy at best.
With all of this in mind, it’s clear that we need to be ready to take care of our own medical needs. That means much more than just having a little first-aid kit on hand. First of all, most first-aid kits can’t take care of a serious injury. And even those that can will quickly get depleted.
Here are a few of the top items you’ll need to stockpile, and stockpile well.
1. Bandages of all kinds (in bulk)
Injuries are common and will be even more common in a survival situation. When medical care is difficult to come by, any injury is serious. Injuries create openings in the skin by which bacteria and other pathogens can enter.
So, it’s important to clean, disinfect and protect even the smallest of injuries.
- For smaller injuries, cloth adhesive bandages are great. They stick better than the plastic kind, so they protect you better. That makes them worth the extra money they cost.
- For large injuries, one of the best bandages you can have is a sanitary napkin. They are sterile, and designed to absorb a large quantity of blood. They are also much cheaper than other sterile bandages.
- The new “cohesive” medical tape is much better than other types, in that it sticks to itself, rather than the patient. So, when you take it off, you won’t be pulling any hair out and causing the patient any extra pain.
Bandages really should be changed every 24 hours, or faster if they become blood soaked. So it’s easy to see how you could go through a lot of bandages quickly. It’s not unreasonable to think in terms of a few hundred of each size.
2. Gauze (in bulk)
Gauze is great for larger injuries, for times when you have to soak up blood or for cleaning off a wound. You can buy it in several forms, but probably the most common and most universally useful is in four-inch squares. These come in both sterile and non-sterile varieties.
When bandaging a wound, you need to use sterile dressings directly on the wound. But the second layer doesn’t have to be sterile. So, if you have a bleeding wound, you can use those four-inch non-sterile gauze pads on top of a sterile one, and save a lot of money.
Stretchable gauze is also useful, especially in cases where you need to protect the skin, but not necessarily soak up a lot of blood. Skin rashes are such a case. Once you medicate the rash, you should cover it for protection. Stretchable gauze is an easy way to do this. It can also be used in place of medical tape, although it doesn’t work quite as well.
3. Antiseptic cream, alcohol and hydrogen peroxide (lots of it)
Any wound needs to be cleaned and disinfected. The first step is to flush it with a sterile solution to remove debris. This could be clean drinking water. If it’s safe enough to drink, it’s safe enough for cleaning out a wound, too. But after that, something that will kill bacteria and other germs must be used.
Many people clean the wound with alcohol or hydrogen peroxide and then apply an antiseptic cream. This is ideal, as it provides the maximum protection. You really can’t be too careful where the possibility of infection exists.
4. Clotting agent
Clotting agents, like Quikclot or Celox, help to get wounds to stop bleeding and scab over quicker. This can be very useful in a situation where a wound is bleeding quickly. The more blood a person loses, the longer it takes them to heal. So, using a clotting agent helps to reduce their recovery time. It also can prevent them from bleeding out and dying.
These clotting agents are available either in a granulated powder that is sprinkled on the wound or embedded in bandages of various types (including a sponge). Either will work. The powder is useful for smaller wounds, but larger wounds require the bandages with the clotting agent included.
5. Personal protection equipment
It is important to do everything possible to prevent the spreading of infection and disease. For this reason, medical staff wear masks, gloves and eye protection. Well, if you’re going to be treating patients, you’ll need the same. Non-sterile gloves, which are sufficient for everything short of surgery, come in boxes of 100, in a variety of sizes. Buying them like that helps ensure that you’ll have them when you need them.
The most common place for pathogens to enter the body is the face. You have more naturally occurring openings in your skin, there in your face, than anywhere else in your body. That makes it necessary to protect your face from splashing blood and the droplets of sneezes. A medical face mask and simple plastic goggles is sufficient for this.
Gaping wounds need more than a bandage; they need the skin brought back together and held there for healing. In a hospital, they accomplish this with stitches. You can do the same, although it’s recommended to practice beforehand, as sewing up someone’s body is different than sewing on a button.
But there’s an easier way — adhesive sutures. 3M’s Steri-Strips and butterfly bandages both work well for this. While both are good, the Steri-Strips come in a package of five, which makes them much easier to work with.
7. Elastic bandages
Elastic bandages are useful for a host of things, especially dealing with broken or sprained limbs. Keep an assortment of sizes on hand, so that you have the right size for every need.
In order to be able to splint broken limbs, you’ll need something to use with the elastic bandages. In a pinch, sticks will work. But a Sam Splint is even better. This is a sheet of foam rubber-coated soft aluminum sheet, four inches wide. You can form it to fit the limb, and then attach it in place with the elastic bandages. Properly done, this will work almost as good as a cast.
8. Pain relievers
There are several different over-the-counter pain relievers available; if you consume mainstream medicine, stock them all. Different ones work differently with different people. That’s why ibuprofen might work well for one person, but not for another. You should have as a minimum:
- Ibuprofen (Advil)
- Acetaminophen (Tylenol)
- Naproxen (Aleve)
While it would be nice to have some stronger pain relievers on hand, those all require a prescription. If you have a good enough relationship with your doctor, you might be able to get some; but if not, you can’t even buy it in Mexico.
Antibiotics are another thing you usually need a prescription to buy. That’s mostly to protect people from misusing them. So if you do stock any, make sure you have written information on how to use them properly, specifically information on dosage and which one to use for which ailments.
Many homesteaders buy veterinary grades of antibiotics, for which you don’t need a prescription. They usually come out of the exact same factories from which human antibiotics come. Another way is to buy them in Mexico, if you happen to be traveling that way. In Mexico, you can buy them in any pharmacy.
10. Over-the-counter medicines
Finally, stock up on all of the common over-the-counter medicines you use. Remember, you won’t be able to get them during a disaster, and even though they don’t actually cure most things, they do alleviate the symptoms, making it much easier to carry on and do the things you need to be doing. Specifically, you should have:
- Antihistamine (Benadryl) — for runny nose.
- Decongestant — for stuffed up nose or sinus headache.
- Loperamide (Imodium) — anti-diarrheal.
- Meclizine (Dramamine) — helps prevent nausea and vomiting.
- Hydrocortisone cream — to help alleviate itching, such as from poison ivy.
- Omeprazole (Zantac) — for heartburn
- Clotrimazole (Lotrimin cream) — for fungal infections on the skin
When the next crisis hits — or the next snowstorm or flood – don’t be left wishing you had the right medical supplies on hand. Stock up now.
What would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below:
MOSCOW — Experts says the Russian government is preparing its citizens for nuclear war with the United States following a series of curious events, including 40 million of its citizens participating in four days of civil defense drills held Oct. 4-8.
The drills referenced a nuclear war.
“If that should one day happen, each of you must know where the nearest bomb shelter is,” state-controlled television network NTV reminded viewers.
That statement was followed by a video describing the country’s options should a nuclear strike occur. The video even showed schoolchildren putting on gas masks.
Around 200,000 emergency services personnel and 50,000 vehicles took part in the drill, RT news reported. State and local governments also participated in what was designed to coordinate Russia’s response to a nuclear attack.
Russia will use nuclear weapons if the United States interferes in its military operations in Syria, warned Evgeny Kiselyov, a TV host sometimes described as Russia’s propagandist in chief. Kiselyov said American impudence would take “on nuclear dimensions,” ABC News reported.
“Russian is tired of arrogant American abuse,” he said.
Some Russians Think Nuclear War Is Imminent
“These are the most serious tensions between Moscow and Washington in decades,” Sergei Markov, a member of the Moscow-based Civic Chamber, told The Daily Beast. “The war might begin even before the November elections in the U.S.”
Markov added, “I personally plan to stock 200 cans of pork to be ready for a potential war crisis, and I advise everybody to do the same.”
Russian authorities are also ordering local governments to build bomb fallout shelters. That was the case in St. Petersburg, where managers of the Zenit Arena – a soccer stadium not yet completed – were told to start constructing such shelters, The Daily Beast reported.
At least one Russian legislator had a chilling warning for the United States.
“I cannot understand why the West cannot just leave us in peace, let us be,” State Duma Deputy Vadim Dengin told The Beast. “Americans should realize that it will be their children looking for shelters, too, if they are serious about attacking Russia.”
As Off The Grid News reported, Russia’s elderly are stockpiling food, believing that a war with the United States is imminent.
What is your reaction? Share your thoughts in the section below:
7 Different Ways To Naturally Preserve Foods Knowing how to preserve food can make all the difference in the world to your long term survival plan. When you think of preserving foods I bet you think of dehydrating, or freezing the food. Did you know that there are at least 7 different “natural” ways of preserving …
You probably have seen at least a dozen lists pertaining to what you should be stockpiling just in case disaster strikes.
It is a little hard to fathom that reality, but imagine going to Walmart or a similar store and finding aisles and aisles of empty shelves. You won’t be able to shop at Home Depot or Lowe’s either, and all of those Internet stores will be out of stock, too.
This means you need a stockpile of food, water and other essentials in your home. But there are a few more things you will want to add to the shelves.
The list below may seem a little weird — like, “Why would I need to stockpile that?” kind of strange. Well, you don’t know what you need until it’s gone, and these are some of those things you just really don’t want to have to try and do without. They are so cheap, they may even appear inconsequential. They’re not.
Here’s seven things you should be stockpiling:
1. Shoestrings are probably not on your radar, but you need them. Survival is going to be a lot of walking and outdoor work. Tying and retying your shoes weakens the strings. A broken shoestring is actually a big deal when you are trying to get around and your shoe is falling off. They are cheap, so load up on them in varying sizes.
2. Duct tape is something that appears on most survival/prepper lists, but a single roll is just not going to do it. You will discover you will need duct tape for just about everything. You could easily go through a roll in the first week if you are using plastic to cover the windows, fix broken glass and so on. Duct tape to waterproof shoes is a common trend in, but what they don’t tell you is you can burn through almost an entire roll on one pair of shoes.
3. Nails and screws. These are not always cheap, but if you visit some yard sales or thrift stores, you can get them for fairly cheap. Big buckets and cans of screws and nails, even if they are used and a little rusty, will prove invaluable when you are starting over from scratch. They can be used to build new shelters, repair existing structures or fix fences.
4. Reading glasses. You can pick them up for a buck at the dollar store. Buy a lot. If you have a slight vision impairment, you will want to be able to see to read, do any kind of detailed work or to see in general. When there are no more eye doctors or the like, you will want to have the extra glasses on hand.
5. Ziploc sandwich bags. Generic ones are fine. These bags will make life a little easier and cleaner. Packing food for a scouting trip, keeping medical supplies dry, storing dried herbs and so on is easier when you have sandwich bags. If first-aid supplies are in short supply, wrapping a sandwich bag around a bandage will help keep the injury and bandage dry if you are going to be in the rain or snow.
6. Paper plates and plastic utensils. They are a bit of a luxury, but imagine when you have no water. You won’t be able to wash dishes very often. You don’t want to eat off dirty dishes (it could make you sick) and you don’t want to leave a sink full of dirty dishes that will invite unwanted guests. Paper plates can be used and then burned for fuel.
7. Safety pins. They also are so versatile! Using them to hold up your pants, replace a broken zipper or as a makeshift hem are just some of the uses. You also can use them as a fishing hook or to hold a tent door closed. In a worst-case scenario, they can even be used as a self-defense weapon.
8. Gloves of all kinds. Exam, rubber and work gloves are going to be a huge help. Putting on a pair of exam gloves when you are butchering an animal is a nice luxury, especially if water is in short supply. Rubber gloves can be worn when you are cleaning up nasty business, including the bucket toilet. Work gloves will protect your hands from blisters when you are taking care of outside chores.
These are just a few things we tend to forget we have until we need them. Each of these items is fairly inexpensive and worth putting on the shelf. Do a little home inventory, like checking the junk drawer or that one shelf in the hall closet. You will likely discover more items that should be added to your stockpile list.
What would you add to our list? Share your tips in the section below:
11 Secrets To Properly Freezing Produce Are you sick of freezer burned food? Check out these amazing 11 secrets to properly freezing produce and have fantastic frozen food. Never throw away another frozen item again! How many times have you gone to the freezer and discovered that your food was freezer burned? I know I …
How To Build A Cold Room In Your Home Basement A cold room is a new term for a root cellar. Cold rooms / root cellars are for keeping food supplies at a low temperature and steady humidity. They keep food from freezing during the winter and keep food cool during the summer months to …
How to Can, Freeze, Dry and Preserve Any Fruit or Vegetable at Home Knowing How to Can, Freeze, Dry and Preserve Any Fruit or Vegetable at Home is a not only for homesteaders, survivalist and people on a budget should be doing this too. I have been canning for years, I love doing it. It’s never …
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Homesteading Leads to Preparedness Homesteading and preparedness are actually two peas in the same pod. Some would argue that survivalism is another pea in the pod of Self Sufficiency. They all basically seek the same end goal – self reliance and the ability to take care of themselves. It’s no real surprise then, when homesteaders …
15 Weird and Awesome Uses for Honey Ah, Honey… food for kings. I love honey and so have every nation, every era and every man and woman on earth since time began! Honey is mostly used to put on things like toast or cereal but did you know that Honey goes much deeper than a …
There was not a fully-stocked food store on every corner when our great-grandparents were alive, and most of them did not have access to anything resembling modern supermarkets.
Selection and availability were limited during days of old, and much of their food was either homegrown or locally sourced. Our ancestors probably had a few tricks up their sleeves when it came to keeping food at home, and might be able to offer some guidance to those of us who manage food today.
Here is some of the advice our great-grandparents might share with us today:
1. Storage does not improve food. If the quality is marginal when it goes into the freezer, the Mason jar, or the bulk storage container, then it will still be marginal—at best—when it comes out. It is a good idea to select the finest products for storing and preserving, and eat the blemished foods fresh.
2. The above tip notwithstanding, do not waste food. If it’s the best you have, or all you have, and you need or want some for later—then by all means store it! Food storage, like most things to do with homesteading, is all about doing the very best you can with what you have.
3. Store only what you will eat. It sounds simple, but it is all too easy to get lulled into preserving food just because you can, and without questioning whether or not you should. I got so carried away with canning one season that I put up foods my husband and I don’t even like. I gave a little away to friends and relatives, but it didn’t appeal to them, either. The steers got most of it and were appreciative, but it was an expensive and labor-intensive livestock feed that I will make sure never to repeat.
4. Go for the easiest way first. Choose the food storage method which requires the least effort, the least cost, the least equipment, and the least supplies. If storing dry beans in a glass jar works for you, do that instead of going to the trouble of using long-term storage buckets with the air removed. If root-cellaring works in your situation, do that instead of canning.
If freezing is easier for you than canning and you have what you need to do it, freeze on! You can always upgrade later—for example, if your root-cellared carrots or jars of homemade fruit leather start to look iffy, freeze them before you lose them.
5. Store enough to tide you over a shortage. Unexpected events happen, from tomato blight to drought to livestock loss. Commercial foods are sometimes suddenly and inexplicably unavailable, as well. For example, it was hard to find bottled lemon juice in any of the stores one summer season, leaving home food preservers scrambling to find it wherever they could. Since then, I have always made sure I tuck away a little extra of all my essentials in addition to what I need for the current season.
6. Do not get too hung up on fancy items. Sure, maple sweetened carrots and complicated chutneys are great for special occasions, but make sure you remember the basics. Most people won’t find a place on their table for fancy foods every day, but will need plenty of plain pumpkins and dry beans and their favorite varieties of rice. Balance the everyday foods with the special ones and you will hit it just about right.
7. Keep an eye on the environment around your food. Is it hot, cold, dry or humid? The conditions may have been right for your food when you placed it into storage, but can change with the seasons. Avoid frozen Mason jars and hard-caked sugar and moldy squash by regularly monitoring your food storage environment.
8. Guard against pests. Make no mistake—everything out there is looking for a free lunch! Mice, rats, chipmunks, squirrels, voles, rabbits, birds and foxes, along with all manner of beetles and bugs, will gladly avail themselves of your hard-won foodstores if given the opportunity. Do your best not to give them the chance. Use a combination of hardware cloth, plastic and metal containers with well-fitted lids, deterrent and diligence to keep them out of your food.
9. Rotate your stock. Be sure to use up the oldest first. This practice, along with buying and preserving only those foods which will get eaten in your home, will prevent foods from getting too old to be safe or palatable.
10. Keep organized. Loss and frustration can occur from being unable to locate or access items. A scattered messy pantry might look unappealing, too, resulting in less efficient use of stored food.
Follow this time-tested food storage advice, and enjoy the successful bounty of growing and preserving your own food, stocking up at the store, and managing it all at home.
What food storage advice would you add? Share it in the section below:
1000+ FREE Canning Recipes Are you just starting to can? Are you a seasoned canner? We all could do with more canning recipes, the site I came across has over 1000 recipes for you to browse and download for free. There are recipes for sauces, jellies, healthy food and even puddings. Canning food is not …
Preserving Food with Mylar Bags and Buckets Many people have heard about using mylar bags to store food in, as well as using buckets for the same thing. Combining these two practices makes for some solid, long term food storage! The thing is, learning about them can lead to some confusion for newbies just getting …
52 Week Food Storage Plan This is the mother load of food storage articles, I spend a few days looking for a great article on food stockpiling plans and I think I have found the best there is. Food will be in short supply if an emergency hits. People often think they will be OK …
Long Term Protein: Do You Have Enough? Protein is one of those things that everyone needs. No matter what you believe, where you live, or what culture you grew up in, you need it. When it comes to survival situations, you need even more than you do right now. Protein is what makes up muscle …
The rich and famous are investing millions of dollars to build elaborate underground bunkers and safe houses in what has become a booming industry for the contractors that specialize in luxury survival accommodations, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Bill Gates has huge shelters under every one of his homes, in Rancho Santa Fe and Washington,” Robert Vicino, the founder of bunker company Vivos, revealed. The Microsoft founder and philanthropist is considered the world’s richest man.
“His head of security visited with us a couple years ago, and for these multibillionaires, a few million is nothing,” Vicino said. “It’s really just the newest form of insurance.”
Gates is not alone, as movie stars, financiers, athletes and other wealthy celebrities are all so worried about the future that they’re investing millions in bunkers and safe houses, The Reporter discovered. The wealthy’s worries include terrorist attacks, riots, World War III, class warfare, economic collapse and political chaos stemming from the election.
“People are going for luxury [to] live underground because they see the future is going to be rough,” Mike Peters of Ultimate Bunker told The Reporter. “Everyone I’ve talked to thinks we are doomed, no matter who is elected.”
Sales at one upscale bunker maker, Rising S Bunkers, have increased by 150 percent in 2016, according to a Reporter article, and sales to upscale clients by 700 percent.
Story continues below video
Survival is the latest fad in Hollywood, with wealthy celebrities going to incredible lengths to preserve their lavish lifestyles. The bunkers that companies like Rising S build construct are a far cry from the air raid shelters of the 1940s and 50s.
Bunkers of the Rich and Famous
Some of the lavish survival precautions the wealthy are taking include:
- A 37-room, 9,000-square-foot bunker in California’s Napa Valley wine country that cost an “unidentified Academy Award winner” $10.28 million. The bunker’s amenities include a bowling alley, sauna, home theater, Jacuzzi and shooting range.
- A $9 million, 7,600-square-foot compound in Napa Valley that features hidden safe rooms, four escape tunnels and a safe house disguised as a horse barn.
- A $3 million bunker for a “major sports figure” who lives in Southern California.
- A 10-by-50-foot bunker that costs $112,000 and features its own power and water sources and air filtration systems. Rising S Bunkers reported those bunkers are being installed in homes throughout Los Angeles.
- A $10 million complex, located a few hours north of Minneapolis, that contains two 1,000-square-foot bunkers and 300 feet of tunnels. The same property has three guesthouses — each of which has its own $200,000 bunker.
- A $100 million subterranean residence for a venture capitalist that features a pizzeria and a day spa. That bunker’s builder, Al Corbi of Strategically Armored & Fortified Environments (SAFE), claims it can withstand a nuclear holocaust, electromagnetic pulse, solar flare and pandemic, among other threats.
Another company, Creative Home Engineering, specializes in building secret doors and panels. When company president Steve Humble started, most of his installations were novelties created for entertainment.
“Nowadays, 80 percent are used for security,” Humble revealed. “In the past year, I have performed installations inside two nuclear-protected complexes with more than 10 secret doors each, one in the L.A. area owned by a plastic surgeon.”
Humble added, “I can tell you that we’ve built secret doors for many of the most recognizable and highly awarded directors and celebrities in Hollywood. There are a lot of Oscars and Emmys tucked away safely behind my secret doors.”
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How And Why To Make Ghee Butter Ghee butter is essentially clarified butter that is cooked a bit longer until the clarified butter is golden and the milk solids at the bottom are toasted (but not burnt!) This is yummy stuff, my wife and I did the whole30 diet and this was paleo accepted. Ghee …
Homesteaders and others in the preparedness community often dream about huge bunkers deep underground filled with a healthy stockpile of food, water and other essentials. It is all really nice in theory, but for many, living in an apartment or a small house eliminates the dream for that giant storage space.
But that doesn’t mean stockpiling food and water is completely out of the question. Even the folks who are not fortunate enough to have a lot of extra space or room in their humble abodes can still build up a nice stockpile. It may not look the same and it may not be quite as elaborate, but you can still build up at least 30 days’ worth of food and other necessities. The key is to get rid of clutter that is taking up valuable space you could be using for your stockpile. Have a yard sale and get ready to fill the space with valuable food and water.
Here are 10 ways to do it:
1. Look up. Every home has lots of space around the ceiling area that is empty space you could be using. Install shelving around the upper wall, 1 to 2 feet below ceiling height, depending on how high your ceilings are. These shelves can be filled with lots of food and essentials. It may not be wise to put heavy cans or bottles of water on the shelves above your head. You will want to store those items lower to the ground.
2. Get low. Hiding water and canned food under the couch and your other furniture is an option. Furniture that is hollow in the center, like end tables or coffee tables, can be filled with supplies.
3. Use over-the-door hangers that are meant for shoes to stash first-aid supplies and dry goods. The hangers can be used in closets and on the back of bedroom doors.
4. Pull the couch out about 4 to 5 inches from the wall. Stack canned food in that area. There is actually a rack you can purchase specifically for this reason or you can make your own. Place a piece of wood over the top to hide the rack. Add a couple of candlesticks or pictures to disguise your stockpile. You can easily fit 50 or more cans of food back there.
5. Stash items in the back of the linen closet. This tends to be a space that is either left empty or the linens are pushed back, leaving the front of the shelf empty. You can use a thin sheet of wood to create a false back to hide your stash.
6. Use totes designed to store clothes under the bed to hold food and water. You can also buy can holders that would normally go in a pantry, and slide those under the bed. You put in new cans on one side and pull out cans from the other to keep up with rotation.
7. Explore the crawl space. Houses that have crawl spaces above the ceiling provide you with a nice place to stash first-aid supplies and things like toilet paper. It is not an ideal place for water or food, because it is likely to get very hot up there.
8. Create a false floor in your closets. Putting one to two layers of cans across the bottom of the closet floor and then covering with a blanket or a sheet of wood and dropping your shoes on top is one way to take advantage of the space. You could also use boxes or buckets filled with food to create the false floor.
9. Fill 5-gallon buckets with food and create makeshift furniture. You could make a couple of nice end tables in the living room or a nightstand in the bedroom. Place a round or square piece of wood on top of the bucket lid, drape with a nice cloth and treat it as you would a normal table.
10. Try a false floorboard. These are one of the oldest tricks in the book, but they work. Hardwood floors are great for using the space underneath to hide food. You will want to make sure anything you put under the floor is sealed up tight to prevent it from being infested with pests and chewed on by mice.
Easy DIY Pallet Shelving One thing that people never seem to have enough of is shelf space. While store-bought units are generally flimsy or expensive, inexpensive strong high-capacity shelving can be built quite easily from common, cheap (often free) wood pallets. One can often obtain many pallets of the same dimensions just by offering to …
How To Build An Earthbag Root Cellar For Cheap Root cellars are just fantastic. They were essentially the first refrigerators built. They can keep your fruit and vegetables good all year round by keeping your food 40 degrees lower than the summer temperature outside and in winter the root cellar will keep the food just …
How To Store Fresh Eggs Without Refrigeration For Up To 9 Months Store eggs without refrigeration like we did back in the day! Some say the eggs taste better when kept this way. Want to give it a try? I already do this and will never go back to refrigerating my eggs again! We have been …
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14 Off-Grid Ways To Use (And Reuse) Aluminum Foil If you find yourself in an emergency situation chances are what you have stockpiled and around the house is all you will have for a while until the situation sorts itself out. This article is why I always say it is important to have aluminum foil …
2 Great Liqueurs to Make Now for Fall Making your own beer and alcoholic beverages is soooo rewarding. You get to know exactly what is put in and you can have the best flavors imaginable. I found 2 great recipes to make your own “Cherry Liqueur” and “Plum Brandy” I really like the feel of …
Warning About MRE’s Being prepared is all about having things in place and being reliant on them if SHTF. MRE’s (or Meals Ready to Eat) are an excellent source of calories and nutrients and millions of us have stockpiled lots of these. MRE’s are obviously a trusted food source because the military use them and …
200+ Canning and Preserving Recipes These 200+ Canning and Preserving Recipes will rock your socks off and will keep you busy for a long time. If you are anything like my wife, you will be constantly looking for new canning recipes, she loves to can, if she could can my socks I think she would. Canning is …
Whole Foods For Longer Shelf Life Preppers tend to want things that will last decades in their stock pile. They look for whatever has the longer shelf life. They buy freeze dried food by the bucket loads and tend to overlook storing whole foods! There are numerous reasons why storing whole foods is a very …
You have probably read quite a few lists of what you should be adding to your stockpile of emergency supplies and food for an end-of-the-world-as-we-know-it situation.
There are literally hundreds of items you could be putting on your shelves, but there are some things you shouldn’t bother stockpiling, too. These are things that either will spoil beyond edibility or will lose potency. Spending a lot of money on things you can’t use five or 10 years down the road is wasteful. Instead, save your money and put it toward things that will provide for you for the long haul.
Here are five things that are not worth stockpiling:
1. Crackers may seem like a good idea at the time, but open up a box of crackers after it has been on the shelf for six months and you will see why you shouldn’t bother. It doesn’t even matter if you seal them up nice and tight in bags; they will go stale. There are special crackers that are meant for long-term storage, but your standard Saltine and Ritz crackers are not going to measure up.
2. Vegetable oil will go rancid within a year or less of sitting on the shelf. You would be better off storing something like coconut oil or olive oil that will last much longer.
You need some kind of cooking oil, but vegetable oil isn’t the answer. On a side note, if you already stored vegetable oil, then save it and use it to make candles in an emergency.
3. Breakfast cereals may seem like a good, cheap idea today, but they are right up there with crackers. In fact, the shelf life is going to be much shorter than the crackers. Much of the cereal out there isn’t exactly nutritional, either. Go with something like oatmeal that will store for 20 to 30 years without any issues — and is much healthier for you. Oatmeal is also very versatile and can be used in a whole host of recipes. It is also far less expensive than those sugary cereals.
4. Household bleach is a great idea in theory, but it isn’t going to last long. You have about six months at the most before it starts to lose potency. If you buy 10 gallons of bleach one week, then you will need to use it all within six months — or you just wasted your money. A gallon or two on the shelf that is regularly rotated is a good plan.
5. Brown rice is trendy and healthy and is better for you than white rice, but it isn’t going to sit on the shelf as long as the bleached variety. White rice isn’t terrible for you and in a survival situation, it will be perfect for filling your belly and giving you a nice burst of energy via burning carbs. Brown rice isn’t processed as much as white rice, which is good for healthy eating but bad for long-term storage due to the oils in the rice that will go rancid.
Check your existing stockpile and think about investing in items that will last you far longer than the immediate future.
What would you add to this list? Share your ideas in the section below:
DIY Liquid Castile Soap “Awesome” Castile soap is wonderful stuff. It is made from 100% plant oils – typically olive oil or coconut oil – and it includes no animal fat and no mysterious chemicals. It’s a true soap, not a chemical detergent, making Castile soap completely biodegradable and very earth-friendly. This means it is also …
4 Preps You Can Do Right Now for an Economic Collapse Many experts agree that an economic collapse for the U.S. is not a question of “if” but a question of “when” with perhaps some disagreement over exactly “how” it will happen. Some believe it will involve a stock market crash. Regardless of when or … Continue reading 4 Preps You Can Do Right Now for an Economic Collapse!
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How to Build a Root Cellar and Storm Shelter Having a root cellar is just awesome… Easy and cheap to make with an added bonus, a storm shelter! The warmer weather brings extra baggage, namely storms! This awesome root cellar is also a great storm shelter anyone can build for a very LOW price! This …
100+ Ways for Preppers to Spend a Buck at the Dollar Store Dollar stores. OR should we say, $1.07 stores with sales tax. They have for the longest time been a haven for people on a tight budget, low income or party goers. They offer cheap products for a low price. Obviously, they are dollar …
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DIY Shelf Stable Energy Bars I saw this over at instructables and thought I would try them out. They are actually really tasty. These are easy to make and shelf stable for at the very minimum 6 months. That’s way longer than most energy bars. These are great to pop in your day kit or …
32 Brilliant Homemade Cleaning Recipes for a Frugal Household This truly is a fantastic find, I love being as green as I can, and I love to be very frugal… The more you save on everyday things the more money you can save for a rainy day, or my favorite, more preps. Homemade or “Green” cleaners …
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Stockpiling is the life of the homesteader and survivalist, and it seems like there’s always something new that we find we need to add to it. For many, this means mostly food, but you shouldn’t stop there.
It’s easy to get so wrapped up in stockpiling food that we forget other important things. So, I’m going to share with you some of the top needs I’ve seen — many of which are way too easy to overlook in our stockpiling process.
We all get sick from time to time. Fortunately, our bodies are pretty good at healing themselves from a lot of that, but sometimes they need help. A few common medicines in your supplies could help ensure your long-term survival, as well as helping you deal with more common problems.
Start with over-the-counter medicines. There are a number of things you can buy which will help you deal effectively with day-to-day colds, the flu and those aches and pains we all face. For those, you’ll want to be sure you have:
- Cough suppressants
- Hydrocortisone cream
- Pain relievers
- Loperamide or Imodium for diarrhea
In addition, you want to make sure to stock up on antibiotics, if you can. Although you usually need to have a prescription to buy antibiotics, you can buy veterinary versions without a prescription — or if you go to Mexico on vacation, you can buy them over-the-counter in any pharmacy.
Don’t forget any prescription medications that family members need. Those are even harder to stock than antibiotics, and will probably require the cooperation of your family doctor. But many will cooperate, if you explain why you want them. They understand the need and are likely to support your efforts to protect your family.
2. First-aid supplies
Medical help is typically overwhelmed in any crisis. Not only that, but it’s often much more difficult to get to where the medical personnel are. With the chances of injury increased, you’d better be ready to take care of them yourself.
The good thing is, learning first-aid isn’t really all that hard. A few lessons from your local Red Cross or in online tutorials will go a long way toward helping take care of any injuries your family might experience. Supplies, without knowledge, are all but useless.
Most people think about batteries, but they don’t think about them enough. Consider how many things you have that use those batteries.
You also need to think about the odd-sized batteries that you use. More and more, we find compact electronics using lithium-ion button batteries — what we once called hearing-aid batteries. If you don’t have a stock of those batteries, as well, then the devices that use them will eventually become useless. Take an inventory of all the different types of batteries you use and make sure you have a stock.
Another thing to look at is rechargeable batteries. Most of us have at least some solar power. If you do, then make sure that you can recharge batteries off of it, especially for your most-used electronics, such as radios and flashlights.
Regardless of what light sources you might have, you will probably end up resorting to using candles at some point in time. Candles have the distinct advantage of simplicity, meaning that we can make them ourselves, if needed. All we need is a source of wax, such as a beehive.
The problem with candles is that they only burn so long. You actually need quite a few candles to make it through even a short blackout. So, this is one of those items that you might want to just keep on collecting.
I buy candles at garage sales, where they go for a dime on the dollar, or less. I then melt them down and pour them into spaghetti sauce jars, making my own “survival candles.” Most of these are made with multiple wicks, allowing the candle to put off more light.
5. Candle wick
Speaking of candles, stockpile a spool of candle wick, as well. A couple hundred feet of candle wick will allow you to keep making candles. Regular cordage doesn’t work so good, so for the minimal investment this takes, it’s worth it.
Most homesteaders and survivalists are planning on heating and cooking with wood in the event of any disaster that takes out the grid. Wood is a renewable resource and one that we can harvest ourselves. But it takes a lot of wood to make it through a winter. You really need to have about six cords of firewood in order to have enough. Of course, if you’re going to be cooking on wood all-year long, then you’ll need more.
Firewood isn’t the only kind of fuel you’re going to need. While that might be your main heating and cooking fuel, what about everything else? Not only will your car be parked without gasoline, but your chainsaw, your lawn mower and your roto-tiller, as well.
While we may have to get used to living without cars and trucks, those other tools will be even more critical in a survival situation. Having fuel to roto-till your backyard and turn it into a garden will be a critical survival need. So will being able to cut down trees and convert them into firewood.
But gasoline isn’t the only fuel you may need. If you have kerosene heaters or oil lamps, you’ll need fuel for them, as well. How about propane? Do you have a propane barbecue grille? Are you planning on using a propane camp stove? Granted, there are other options for any of these things, but they aren’t easy ones.
8. Butane lighters and fuel
It has taken years, but I’ve finally moved away from matches as my standard fire-starting tool. I’ve come to realize that a butane lighter is much more efficient, allowing me to light about 1,000 fires and being more compact than a waterproof match container that holds less than 20 matches.
But while many people have opted for disposable butane lighters, I’ve chosen to go with quality. There are a number of reasons for this, most especially because I like having a lighter that the wind can’t blow out. I don’t know about you, but I’ve had more frustration from wind blowing out a lighter that I was trying to use to start a fire, than I care to remember.
A quality, windproof lighter is about the best option around. Most of these are piezo-electric, striking constantly while the gas supply is on. That’s how they make them windproof. Even if the wind tries to blow them out, they relight immediately. They are also refillable. So, a couple of cans of butane lighter fluid will keep you striking a light for years.
I have to confess, I’m a bit of a flashlight collector. I don’t know why, but I’ve got flashlights everywhere. I’ve even gone though my house, putting holders in closets and cabinets, so that there is always a flashlight in every room. That way, if the lights go out, nobody has to go stumbling around to find a flashlight.
But no flashlight lasts forever, not even the modern tactical lights. While I haven’t had any problems with high-grade tactical flashlights, I have had a number of med-grade and el-cheapo tactical lights go dead. And by dead, I mean really dead.
So don’t think that having a flashlight is enough. Have several. Have several spares. That stockpile of batteries isn’t going to take care of you if you don’t have the lights with which to use them.
10. Building materials
This one may sound like an oddball to some, but I’m a firm believer in including at least some building supplies in my stockpile. That’s because the most likely disaster that any of us will face is a natural disaster. Those tend to damage homes, meaning that you need to be ready to make emergency repairs.
Now, when I’m saying emergency repairs, I’m not talking about fixing the trim. I’m talking about drying-in your home in the case that a tree branch comes through the roof. You can do that with a minimal of materials. It may not be pretty, but it will keep you dry.
This one goes hand-in-hand with the building materials. If you’re going to fix things, you’re going to need hardware – screws, nails and such — to do it. There are also a lot of other things you can fix, even without the building materials, if you have the hardware. Put in a goodly stock, making sure you have lots of variety.
12. Hand tools
In today’s society we’ve become dependent on power tools. Like everyone else, I’ve got a good collection of them in my workshop. But I also have hand tools for just about everything, so that even if I don’t have electrical power, I can keep on working.
It’s not unusual in a survival situation to find yourself having to build things to help you survive. Having the right tools, to go along with the building materials I just mentioned, makes it possible for you to make shelter, furniture and a host of other things.
There are few places in the country which are immune to flooding. Even areas which are extremely arid flood at times. Whether due to hurricanes, or flash floods upstream, we are all at risk of the possibility of flooding.
Of course, there are a lot of different ways of dealing with flooding, but the most basic is with sandbags. Stacked sandbags have stood the test of time, both for their convenience and their effectiveness.
In a time where flooding is expected, many municipalities have centralized sand piles that are usable for filling your sandbags. But you can stock your own sand, too, simply by building the kids a nice big sandbox. Make sure it’s big, so you’ll have plenty of sand; that way you’ll be able to fill all your bags.
14. Repair tarts
Speaking of repairing, you need to look at all of your survival equipment from the viewpoint of making repairs on it. It’s great to have a pump for water; but if the pump breaks down, it’s no more valuable than a paperweight. You’ve got to be able to repair that pump, as well as your chainsaw, your roto-tiller and your solar power system.
In most cases, the parts that can go bad in these devices are usually fairly simple things, like seals. Such things are referred to as “maintenance parts,” simply because replacing them from time to time is considered part of normal maintenance. Manufacturers will often sell kits of these common parts, which is an ideal way to make sure you have what you need.
Of course, having the parts is only part of the battle. You’ll need the tools and knowledge, as well, in order to make those repairs. So, make sure you have the necessary information on how to work on the device, as well as any specialty tools necessary.
Few people think of stockpiling clothing, mostly because we all have closets full of them. But the clothes we wear every day may not be appropriate for a survival situation. If you wear jeans and work shirts all the time, then you’re set, but if you work in an office, you aren’t going to have clothes that are rugged enough for the work you’ll need to be doing.
So you’ll want to make sure you have plenty of:
- Work shirts
- Work jackets (for winter)
- Work gloves
- Wool socks
The other big issue here is children. They have this bad habit of outgrowing their clothes, at times just about as fast as you can buy them. You need to have at least a couple of sizes of clothing larger than what they are wearing now in order to be sure that you have enough to keep them going until a good barter system can be put in place.
My wife used to buy our children’s clothes a couple of years ahead-of-time when they were small. Part of this was that she was a consummate garage-saler. So she’d buy what she could, knowing that the kids would need it later. We had boxes of clothes in the attic, all broken down into sizes by child.
A similar system would be ideal for your needs, if you have children. Instead of buying them the clothes they need now, work your way up to buying them the clothes they’ll need in two years. When you take the next size out of the attic, start filling a box with one size bigger than what you have. That way, you’ve always got clothing for them, for at least a couple of years.
16. Sewing supplies
Speaking of clothing; that stuff has a bad habit of tearing, especially when you’re doing hard physical work. So you’ll want to make sure you have a good stock of needles and thread on hand for making repairs. You’ll also want buttons, zippers and other such goodies, to keep your clothing in repair.
If the lady of the house is one who sews, make sure that you get a treadle sewing machine sometime. You can still find them at antique shops and (every now and then) even Goodwill stores. Between that and a stock of fabric, you’ll be in good shape for clothing.
17. Sturdy boots
Few people wear hiking boots on a daily basis. If we wear boots, they’re more the decorative kind. About the sturdiest shoe we ever wear is a pair of tennis shoes … not really all that sturdy. But in the case of survival, good sturdy boots are essential, especially ones that will offer you good ankle support. The last thing you will need is a broken ankle from twisting it on rough ground.
Don’t just depend on one pair of boots, though; they can wear out. Have a couple of pair, and alternate using them, so they will both break in well.
18. Water filter systems
Many of us have some sort of water filtering unit as our primary means of water purification. But once the cartridge or filter has purified the number of gallons of water it is intended for, it’s dead.
There really isn’t an “ideal” number of filters to have. Just make sure that whatever you have, it’s plenty for your needs. Then add a couple more, just for good measure.
19. Personal hygiene supplies
Someone once said, “Cleanliness is next to godliness.” I’m not so sure about that, but I am sure it is next to good health. While it is both possible and fairly easy to make soap, that requires a source of lye. If you don’t have that source, then you can’t make it. So, even something that simple needs to be considered in your supplies. But soap isn’t the only personal hygiene supply you can make. Take a look around the Internet and you’ll find a plethora of recipes for anything from deodorants to cosmetics.
20. Cleaning supplies
One of the best ways to keep bugs and rodents out of your home is to keep it clean. Both are attracted to food residue, especially sugar. This is a common means for the spread of disease, so you’ll need to watch out for it.
You’re best off buying commercial concentrates and stockpiling those. Not only do they take less space, but you’ll find that by buying them by the gallon, you’ll save money. Just make sure to have a good stock of spray bottles (which are cheap) to go with them.
There are many recipes on the Internet for making your own cleaning supplies, too — some from natural ingredients. Once again, you’ll need to make sure that you have access to those supplies, but some may actually be growing in your garden already.
21. Heirloom seeds
Most homesteaders and survivalists are already gardening. In a situation where you have to be able to depend on the produce you are growing, heirloom seeds are the only way to go.
As part of your gardening efforts, you should be trying to harvest the seeds from your garden. Those seeds will be the beginning of next year’s garden. In olden times, farmers commonly saved seeds from their harvest so that they would have it for next year. When you can’t run to the local store and buy seeds, that’s the only way you’ll get them.
But I want to mention one other thing here. That is, if a major disaster strikes, where you’ll have to live off of what you grow for the foreseeable future, then one of the first things you’re going to need to do is to expand your garden. That means you’ll need enough seeds on hand to do that. It will already be too late to buy more. So, how many seeds will you need to turn your entire backyard into a garden?
This one is kind of obvious, but I thought I’d mention it anyway. Many people out there talk about having 10,000 rounds of ammo. That’s great — if you’re planning on fighting a small war; but if your focus is hunting, then you may be stocking the wrong thing.
Think this one through. Yes, you need ammo for home defense. You also need ammo for hunting. You may even need ammo for training your children and other members of your family. So take the time to figure out how much ammo you’ll actually use for each of these needs — and then double it. That should see you through.
In addition to teaching your kids, think in terms of skills that you’ll need to learn. You’re probably working on those right now, and that’s great. But if you’re anything like me, there’s never enough time for all you want to learn. So, stock up on some good books to teach you those skills when the time comes. That way, you won’t be without them.
What would you add to this list? Share your tips in the section below:
When it comes to stockpiling hygiene products, toilet paper is often near the top of the list.
While there are simpler and cheaper alternatives we could all learn to use in the event of an emergency, many people would probably have a hard time doing without this creature comfort. Toilet paper would quickly disappear from the shelves in the event of an economic crisis or other type of disaster, so securing several months’ or even a year’s supply is not a bad idea.
How to Get Started
Toilet paper is prone to moisture and all kinds of critters: vermin, silverfish, termites, ants (if you live in the humid tropics like I do), and of course, rodents. Mice, squirrel and chipmunks love to gnaw at all kinds of paper, shredding them to bits to use for nesting.
Large bundles of TP can be a fire hazard. And, like most things, toilet paper breaks down faster when exposed to the sun’s ultraviolet rays. So, how and where do you stash them so they last a good number of months or years?
Here’s a few tips:
1. Store in airtight, waterproof containers. There’s a variety of receptacles you can use, depending on the quantity of your supply and the environment in which you place them. If you live in an area where rodents aren’t a problem, then you can use regular plastic bins and buckets. Keep the TP in the packaging you bought them in, and line your storage bin with a heavy-duty garbage bag to protect from humidity and dampness. Throw in a packet or two of dessicant (such as silica gel), cover, and then seal the lid with duct tape. There are large pails or barrels with rubber O-ring lids that would work wonderfully for this purpose.
If you prefer larger, heftier containers, go for 55-gallon steel drums with lever-lock lids. There are cheap recycled ones that you can likely find on eBay. Most of them are food-grade, having been used to ship large quantities of fruit juice concentrate, cooking oil and other food products. Large PVC pipes, the kind used for sewage purposes, also can be used. Just make sure you secure the ends with screw caps.
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If space is a priority, vacuum-seal storage bags (also called Space Bags by Ziploc or Magic Bag by Dollar General) would work great. They usually come in large sizes big enough in which to store bed spreads. To further cut down on space, you can compress the rolls by taking the cardboard core out of them, then squish and smash until they’re all flat.
2. Stack your containers in a place that’s dry but not hot, while also being safe from flooding and roof or plumbing leaks. This could be your garage, basement, attic or crawl space. You also could bury them in the ground. The cold earth will act as a refrigerator, with a low oxygen level that would also help in preservation.
3. To ward off bugs, place insect repellents in and around your storage containers. This could be moth balls or fabric softener sheets — critters hate the smell. Just make sure to pack and seal the TP in freezer bags first to avoid contamination. Better yet, use natural deterrents like food-grade diatomaceous earth. Or, try dried herbs and spices (bay leaves, cinnamon), wood chips (pine or cedar), flowers (lavender) or cotton balls dipped in peppermint oil. Put a teaspoonful or two in mesh sachets (the toe end of an old pantyhose would do) and place them in the corners of your bins; scatter some more outside and around them.
Check periodically and rotate your supply.
Alternatives to Toilet Paper
What should you do if your stock eventually is depleted? You’ve got several alternatives. Be like the ancient Romans, who used a stick and a sponge at the end, dipped in vinegar for disinfection. Or the French, who go “no hands” and use a bidet, bum gun or toilet spray. (You may improvise just by using a regular spray bottle.) In Asia and many parts of the world, old-fashioned folk still wash with soap and water – and yes, using just their bare hands!
Not for you? You could tear pages off an old phonebook, Sears-type catalog, or use any kind of paper — rubbed together for softness and texture.
But the simplest, cheapest and most sustainable option would be just an old washcloth. Actually, any soft natural fabric would do — like cotton or flannel. Find an old T-shirt and cut in hand sized pieces; even old cotton socks should be fine. Stack them in a pile on the toilet tank, while keeping a small bucket half-filled with water and bleach or vinegar on the floor beside the potty. After doing your business, moisten a cloth with plain or soapy water to clean yourself. Then just dump the rag(s) straight into the bucket. When it’s time to wash, take a plunger and plunge a few times to rinse. (You could, of course, do this with a gloved hand, too.) Pour or wring out the excess water and dump the rags into the washing machine.
Finally, if you find yourself in a worst-case scenario with no water at all, be a survivalist and look to nature — leaves, grass and moss. After all, humans have lived for thousands of years without TP. It wasn’t until two centuries ago that commercial wipes came to be. So, there’s probably no reason why we can’t learn to do without it for another few years or so.
What advice would you add? Share your tips in the section below: