Investing in silver and prepping for an economic collapse somewhat go hand in hand.
If a doomsday scenario really does play out there is much more you can do to prepare for yourself and your family than just buying silver.
Prepping is not a 1-time event, but will be on going especially if you’re looking to acquire certain skills or training.
It’s highly recommended to have at least a 30 day supply of food/water and well as basic essentials.
This is prudent regardless of what happens in the future.
Below is a 200 point preppers checklist covering all the basics and then some for your convenience and to start you down the journey!
Here is a list of the different categories:
- Safety & Security
- Power & Heat
- Tools & Misc.
- Comfort Items
- Skills & Training
It is highly recommended to have at least a 30 day food supply to start and build from there. A lot of these staple foods you can pick up at Walmart, Costco, or if you have a Winco even better! They have direct bulk options.
1. 5 Gallon buckets – For food storage, these are a must have for your bulk, dry, & staple foods. Make sure you get the gasket lids or go for the Gamma Seal Lids.
2. Mylar Bags – Combine these with your 5-gallon buckets to store your food. Just drop a few oxygen absorbers in the bag once filled and seal them up and your good to go. Here is a quick video on using mylar bags to preserve food. Grab some 5 gallon mylar bags to combine with your buckets.
3. Sugar – You can store this indefinitely if air tight. Sugar is useful for all sorts of cooking as well as doubles as a nice comfort food. TIP: don’t include a oxygen absorber in the bag as this will harden the sugar to rock solid!
4. Salt – Another essential storage item, without salt you die! Salt, useful not only for flavoring but for preserving foods as well, and a healthy body needs the minerals & electrolytes it provides. Salt will also be a powerful barter item if the local stores are closed. Estimates are about 4-5 pounds per person for 1 year.
5. Honey – Honey can last forever and is not only a natural substitute for sugar but a powerful antibiotic for colds and sore throats, energy booster, as well as treatment for burns and wounds. Honey stored in glass jars will preserve it best so that it will not crystallize.
6. Rice – Simple and cheap to store. Buy the white rice as the brown rice has some natural oil mixed which doesnt store as well as.
7. Beans/Legumes – Beans & Rice combo makes one of the best long term food storage options for your prepping strategy. Combining rice and beans together is packed with protein and is a perfect substitute for meat. This is why some many cultures eat rice & beans at meals. Pinto, navy, black, and lima beans make good choices here.
8. Oats – Another staple, that is super cheap & easy 30 year storage option. Oats are perfect for the prepper because they only require boiled water to prepare, then just add some cinnamon or sugar and you have breakfast. It also helps to control blood sugar and cholesterol. Oats can also double as feed for most animals. Here are 10 reasons you should store oats.
9. Wheat – Another must-have in your long term food plan. Here’s some more detail on storing wheat for a doomsday scenario.
10. Flour – Flour should also be included in your long-term storage. However, if storing grains or beans you can grind that into flour using a simple grain mill.
11. Pasta – Pasta is nice, because the packaging as is, is usually good for a solid 2 years. This makes it a great short-term food option. To get longer shelf out of pasta you will need to seal it up in a mylar bag. Note, pasta has very little protein and although it fills you up. The beans & rice combo will be much more important for survival.
12. Powdered Milk – Included in FEMA’s Food & Water storage plan, powdered milk is recommended to store 16 lbs. per person per year. Make sure it is not the instant milk, but powdered dry milk.
13. Powdered Cheese – Who doesn’t like cheese? For long term storage though, it will be best if you buy the dry powdered kind. Augason Farms makes a nice cheese blend in the famous #10 cans. This has a shelf life of 10 years! Now remember to store some macaroni in your pasta bucket and you’ll be dining on mac ‘n cheese if the SHTF!
14. Canned Cheese – A little company in Australia, called Bega, makes a wonderful canned cheese that can for a LONG time! The manufacturer says that the shelf life is only 2 years, but canned goods if handled properly can last much longer than that. Here is one prepper who opened them after 13 years, and the cheese still tasted great! Grab some Bega for your next camping trip, and see how you like it, may make a nice addition to your long term food storage plan!
15. Red Feather Butter – What can be better than canned cheese than canned butter! Red Feather Butter, coming all the way from New Zealand, is another must have for your storage needs with an equally long shelf life. Not powdered or freeze dried but real creamy butter made from pasteurized cream and salt. Butter & cooking go hand-in-hand, give it a try be sure to have some stocked.
16. Peanut Butter – High in plant protein and packed with nutrients, peanut butter is a great item to stock up on. However, because of the fat/oil content it contains, it will go rancid after 10-12 months most likely. So you will need to rotate your stash if you stock up on peanut butter. Great item to include in your bug out bag,
17. Power/Energy bars – While probably not the best for long-term storage, they make great for bug-out bags and short term food plans. Clif, Power Bars, & Datrex food bars are just some of the many choices you have if you choose to go this route.
18. Freeze Dried Options – Just add water! Nothing beats freeze dried foods & having a nice selection of #10 cans in your storage plan is a wise choice. Lots can be said here, and this option will definitely give you the longest shelf life, but it is the more pricey choice. There are some great food companies that offer freeze dried storage packs. 3 reputable food storage companies are:
19. Coconut Oil – What substitutes for cooking oil, butter, & health salve? Coconut oil! Most cooking oils will go rancid in a very short time. However, extra virgin coconut oil can last 2-4 years if stored properly. It has many uses including cooking, dry skin, energy boost, reduces inflammation, and even heals diaper rash, but my favorite is to use it for popping popcorn. Gives it a nice buttery flavor.
20. Baking Powder/Soda – Must have for your long term storage as there are many uses for this: cooking agent, doubles as a toothpaste, household cleaner, and also great for heartburn mixed with a little water! Here are 31 uses of baking soda.
21. Coffee – This bean is a great all-around thing to have in a doomsday scenario. It gives water a nice taste, increases energy and alertness, and will always be a great bartering item due to many who need their morning fix. Buying the whole green beans is the best option for long term storage. San Marco coffee offers a 25lb. pail with a 10 year shelf life!
22. Tea – Tea bags as long as they are vacuum sealed away from moisture should keep awhile. You can also already buy loose cut leaves vacuum sealed.
23. Corn Starch – Will last forever if stored in a cool dry place. Apart from a sauce thickener, good for heat rash, sunburn, underarm deodorant, and works as a shampoo for pets.
24. Spices – Left in the original jars, most spices will last for 1-2 years before they go bad. Here’s a great post on Storing Herbs & Spices.
25. Soy Sauce – Loaded with sodium this will last almost forever and is a great flavoring agent, especially to bland rice. However, with the high salt content, you better make sure you have your water storage filled to the top!
26. Vinegar/Apple Cider Vinegar – Great for both cleaning and cooking, several bottles of vinegar should be in every preppers pantry. Drinking apple cider vinegar mixed with water also makes a great energy tonic and uses a multitude of uses!
26. Canned Tuna/Veggies– This is one of the easiest ways to start prepping for food. Next time you go to your grocery store pick up a few extra canned veggies to jump start your food prep. Canned tuna, corn, beans, green beans, etc… all make great starters.
27. Canned Yoders – For you meat lovers out there you need to check out Yoders! This is a canned meat producer with a shelf life of 10+ years! They carry ground beef, turkey, chicken as well as probably their most famous item canned bacon!
28. Can Opener – If you’re going to store canned goods, you will definitely need a nice can opener. Be sure to buy 1-2 extra, you will want a backup of this item!
29. Unbreakable Dishes – If an economic collapse really does happen and chaos ensues, fine china won’t last long. Having some unbreakable dishware around especially if you have children will be prudent. Plastic or enamelware camping tableware will work well in this scenario.
30. Paper goods, plates, cups, utensils – In addition to the above, having a nice stock of paper plates, cups, and utensils will be extra convenient. Next time you see a super sale on these items at Costco’s or Sam’s try to shoot for a 1 month supply. These can always be used in a short-term crisis, as well as for the first month in a long term to eliminate washing while other critical things needs to be done.
31. Cast Iron – Good cast iron can last a lifetime if properly cared for. Cooking at home or over an open fire makes this versatile cookware essential. Here’s a great guide on cast iron. Just make sure you have properly seasoned it. Here’s a video on how to do that:
32. Wood Burning Stove – These are great for not only cooking but if you love anywhere where there is snow on the ground 6 months out of the year can make great heaters if the power goes out. The price range can vary substantially depending on the size and quality of the stove. For just outdoor simple cooking checkout the wood burning rocket stove or the dead wood stove. For larger stoves check your grandparents old home 🙂
33. Grain Mill – These can be useful if you ever intend to grind/mill flour for breads. Since wheat berries store much better than flour, these can really come in handy. Unfortunately you ‘get what you pay for’ when you start researching around. This can also double as a coffee grinder & nut butter maker. 3 top mills are the following:
34. Hand Processor – If you use an electric food processor or blender often, consider grabbing a hand or manual food processor as backup. Makes cutting and chopping much faster if only knives are available.
35. Solar Oven – Yes you can use the sun to cook without anything else. Although you’re not going to reach temps of 400F for all-around baking, 200 – 250F is enough to slow cook most food. You can check out this complete post that covers solar cooking.
36. Heirloom Seeds – Storing some heirloom seeds could be a smart choice. Apart from growing fresh vegetables from the ground, seeds will be a hot commodity which will always have value & be useful for bartering. Victory Gardens makes a seed bank with over 125 varieties of seeds for all hardiness zones.
37. Pet Food – Last but not least in the food department don’t forget to stock up on dog food, cat food, chicken feed, etc … for any and all animals or pets that you have. Don’t forget about Snoopy!
Probably the most important item when considering prepping is your water storage. You can go several weeks without food, but water just for a few days. And given its bulk and weight storing water takes a little planning and prepping.
It is recommended to store 1 gallon of water per person per day. So for a family of 4, you will need ~120 gallons of stored water for a 1 month supply.
38. Food Grade Plastics – Many people will just buy gallon water jugs and store them in the garage. Do not do this. Many of these plastics will leach dangerous chemicals into your water supply. For long-term storage be sure to get food-grade plastics.
39. WaterBob – The Waterbob, is a nifty way to fill up 100 gallons of water in an emergency situation. It is a plastic bladder that fits in your bathtub for quick fill up.
40. Rain Harvesting – Harvesting rainwater is an simple and easy way to collect water for storage. If you have a roof, gutters, and spout system you can start immediately. The main concern is keeping the water bacteria/chemical free, especially if you are harvesting it off your roof or gutters. Here is a nice post on rainwater storage.
41. Storage Tanks – Water storage tanks are important and can be anything from 1 gallon jugs to 50 gallon barrels or 2000+ gallon water tanks. An important concept is to have a ‘dirty’ water tank and a ‘clean’ water tank. So if you need to collect water from a nearby pond or river, you can store it first in the dirty tank and then filter it to the clean tank.
42. Water Bricks – Patented design for a water and food container, Waterbrick is a stackable and portable water container for easy water storage and great for preppers.
43. Water Filters (Big Berkey) – Water filters come in all shapes and sizes. One of the most popular filters for preppers is the Big Berkey. This little compact filter can cleanse over 6,000 gallons of water with 2 black filters. For a family of 4, that is over 4 years of water filtration if you assume 1 gallon per person per day!
44. Bug Out Hand Carry Filters – There is no shortage of ‘pocket’ filters. The following 3 all caught our eyes:
- Lifestraw – Great for the single person in mind, hiker, backpacker, and for general emergency preparedness. 1 ‘straw’ can filter and purify 1000 liters of water. Simple, compact and convenient. Throw one of these in your bug out bag.
- Steripen – is an ingenious handheld ultraviolet water purification system. Just dip the wand in the water that needs to be treated and it kills 99.9% of bacteria, viruses and protozoa, including cryptosporidium and giardia. They even have a military grade version.
- Katadyn– The Rolls Royce of water purifiers. The Swiss made Katadyn, besides your standard hand held water filter, they also carry tablets, as well as desalinators for boats. This little handheld filter is good for 13,000 gallons!
45. Chlorine Tablets – While not a long term solution, these can treat immediate water needs for about 5-10 gallons.
Medical is another critical group of items that should be well-stocked for the average and serious prepper alike. The most important thing about this is the individual needs of yourself and your family. Special antibiotics, diabetic medicine, hearts meds etc.. will vary from family to family. Aside from the basics be sure to understand your family’s special needs as well.
If for some reason we are left to defend ourselves, you wouldn’t want a simple cut or scrape to get infectious & nasty.
46. Hydrogen Peroxide – this can be a go-to natural first-aid cleaner & topical antiseptic to prevent infection from minor cuts, scrapes, and burns. The best part about hydrogen peroxide is that it is dirt cheap! Grab some next time your at the grocery store. Her is a video of some unusual uses of hydrogen peroxide.
47. Band Aids – Always need to have a stocked supply both large and small for unwanted cuts. Esepcially if you have kids, keep these handy.
48. Neosporin – Great antibiotic & antiseptic ointment. This could be your backup to hydrogen perioxide, yet somewhat more pricy. YOu can buy the store brand for the same effectivness at a cheaper price.
49. ACE bandages – For general injuries, recovery, and compression, have several bandages in different sizes
50. Rolled gauze – Clean & sterlie gauze are a must for dressing woods and stopping bleeding to keep infection at bay. Keep in mind, variety is key when it comes to medical supplies like this.
51. Butterfly bandages / sterisrtips – If suturing is not your thing, steristrips and buttefly bandages are a must. Steristrips are even used in ERs for closing wounds! Have some stored away …
52. Burn Jel – for fast and minor relief of burns, burn jel should be included in every burn kit.
53. Duoderm – this stuff is absolute gold! It is a sticky covering for external wounds that give optimal healing and prevent infection. We have used duoderm over and over in our family!
54. Tape – first aid tape should also be kept in your medical supplies. 3M makes all sorts of medical tape.
55. Scissors/shears – trauma shears should be handy if needed to cut through tough material.
56. Splinting material – portable splint devices used in the field and for medical emergency teams can be very useful. We suggest the SAM splint, which is the gold standard in splints, made in the USA!
57. Blister/moleskin – if you’re doing lots of walking or hiking nothing can stop you quicker than bright red blisters. Have some moleskin in your kit for those unwanted blisters.
58. N95 masks – if there is ever a pandemic, having a mask can be invaluable. Flu, sars, ebola, etc… when the crises hits these be will go fast, so stock up on some before they are needed. It is suggested to get the N95 quality valved respirators, although there is some debate on their effectiveness. A full face respirator will settle the question!
59. Nitrile gloves – when dealing with blood, infections, etc… high quality disposable exam gloves can be very useful.
60. Quick alcohol pads – another first-aid antiseptic. Clean minor cuts, disinfect medical gear, or prep sin prior to injections. Although stingy, these are very compact and useful when cleansing wounds.
61. Tylenol/aspirin – always need to have a quality pain reliever or fever reducer in your medical kit. Here’s a quick guide on the difference of Tylenol vs. Advil vs. aspirin …
62. Thermometer (mercury free) – measuring your temperature should always be available. Make sure to get a mercury-free thermometer and an accurate one at that!
63. Snake bit kit – depending on where you live, not a necessity. But if your out about in the country especially in the southern half of the US, having a snake bit kit is wise. Here is a list of venomous snakes by state. These kits usually ome with a powerful suction extractor that can double for any poisonous bite or sting. Here is a decent snake kit.
64. Benadryl – very useful for allergies or allergic reactions as well as a general anti-histamine.
65. Vaseline – this topical ointment is primarily used for skin protection, windburn, rashes, etc … There are also lots more uses of vaseline.
66. Pedialyte – not just for kids! Pedialyte can be very useful for dehydration or diarrhea issues. Forget gatorade use pedialyte.
67. Aloe-vera – this little plant is also useful for sun protection, rashes, and burns. Apparently is easy to grow as well!
68. Sutures/needles – while this is more of a skill, sterile sutures could be a handy item to have in store. Steristrips are the recommeded substitute.
69. Tweezers – don’t want to get a splinter without having these handy.
70. Hand-sanitizer – when you’re on the go, having a portable sanitizer and disinfectant is extremely important in prevention of disease and infections.
71. Syringes – disposable syringes are recommended if there is ever a need for a quick injection. Especially if there are special needs
72. Quik Clot blood stop – very handy and used by the military to stop bleeding fast! Have 1 or 2 of these quik clots handy …
73. Qtips/cotton balls – Always need some cotton balls and qtips handy for cleaning wounds and scrapes. They can also double for gun cleaners, tinder, and preventing blisters.
74. Essential oils – Having a good stock of essential oils will be very useful if the system goes down and its hard to find quality medicine. Essential oils are inexpensive and needs no prescription to buy them and can be used for antiseptics, relieve headaches, promote sleep, reduce anxiety, treat wounds, etc … Here is an article on the 25 uses of lavender which is considered the jack of all oils! You will want to have in stock a starter kit of essential oils!
75. Vitamins / prescription meds – Find a good multi-vitamin for you and your family. Specific supplements that you may need based on your health and current needs should also be well stocked. If your on any prescription meds, research how you can store up a several month supply if possible or alternatives that maybe sufficient.
76. Insect repellent – A strong repellent for insects and bugs, especially if you work & live outdoors. If the grid goes down, everyone will be ‘working’ outdoors …
77. Chapstick – as you spend more time outside, chapstick will be equally important. It’s also very versatile check out this writeup, with over 20 uses of chapstick!
78. Smelling salts – inhalants that are used when light-headed or just dizzy. If you need a jolt to wake up, use smelling salts!
79. Charcoal tablets – charcoal tablets are used for many types of digestive and stomach issues. They contain lots of small cavities able to absorb unwanted materials and gases sitting in the gut causing bloating, pain or gas.
80. Antibiotics – the scary thing about an economic collapse will be the scarcity of antibiotics and prescription medicine. IF you’re not a doctor/nurse and dont have access to such medicine, there are some alternatives. I’ve heard through the grapevine, some animal antibiotics use the same ingredients as the one for humans. One such product is Amoxfin fish antibiotic. An antibiotic for fish, just read some of the descriptions, they are quite hilarious! You could also go herbal using well known Dr. Christopher’s infection product. I’ve used many of Dr. Christopher’s herbal products for other issues and have been quite pleased!
81. Potassium/iodide tablets – it’s wise to store Potassium iodide or KI in your medical emergency kit. This is a type of salt that cab be used to combat radiation poisoning. Potassium Iodide will block radioactive iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid gland. KI (potassium iodide) is a salt of stable (not radioactive) iodine that can help block radioactive iodine from being absorbed by the thyroid gland, thus protecting this gland from radiation injury. The thyroid gland is the part of the body that is most sensitive to radioactive iodine.
82. Isopropyl alcohol – this is another useful topical agent for disinfecting items, cleansing wounds, and general antimicrobial liquid. You can find these in your local walmart or grocery store.
83. Sun Block – More time outside, more sun on the skin, get some sun block.
84. 6 mil plastic – this can be useful in case of a biohazard. Creating a saferoom requires 6 mil plastic, some duct tape and proper ventilation. This type of plastic sheeting has lts of other uses as well such as rain collection, or for sheltering or a tarp.
85. First Aid Manuals – a solid first aid book that covers the basic should be on your shelf. We rely so much on the internet, that if the grid went down, the only information you would have are the books on your shelf. Three recommended books are:
Safety & Security
Next on the list comes safety and security measures. You want to be able to protect your home and your family in case anarchy ensues and there is no law & order. Think weapons and ammo and a home fortress. The first thing we will look at on the list are guns.
86. Handgun – While there is some argument on the perfect caliber, 9mm, .40. or .45, owning a pistol is essential for defense. This can be your go-to gun by your bedside to things that go bump in the night. If you want a simple point-shoot go for the revolver.
87. Shotgun – Many will argue if you could only have 1 weapon for home defense, the shotgun would it. The ammunition is inexpensive, is a long gun so there are less background checks when purchasing one, and can always double as a hunting gun. Also, if someone is in your home, and they hear the pump of a shotgun, it will scary any would-be intruder and for close range encounters.
88. Long rifle – For hunting and long range needs you will need to have a long range rifle for 400+ yards out. Suggested calibers are the .30-.06, .308, or the .223.
89. Knife – You should always have a knife in your bug-out bag or as an everyday carry. The uses of a knife are limitless. Whether you want a fixed vs. folding knife is up to you!
90. Short range rifle – The .22 LR rifle is regarded as the prepper’s best friend. The ammo is plentiful and extremely cheap and could always double as a barter item, so stock up! The Ruger 10/22 series is a make & model you can’t go wrong with. This rifle can be used for small game and can quite possibly be used for large game if no other rifle is available.
91. Ammo – whatever your choice of weapons are both handguns and rifles, be sure to stock up on as much ammo as possible. Prices will skyrocket and ammo will be non-existent if there ever is a collapse scenario that unfolds. Guns and ammo will always hold their value as well & make a great investment!
92. Neighborhood defense – Get to know your neighbors now! If law & order ceases your neighbors will be your closest allies or enemies. The more neighbors who are prepared the better. If you can develop a plan even better. Here is a video to secure your neighborhood in a SHTF scenario.
93. Guard dog – Man’s best friend can prove indispensable in an end-time collapse. But what breeds are the best to own? German shepherds or Rottweilers are standard guard dogs you cant go wrong with. Also consider hunting dog breeds if you live off the land and hunt often. Remember to stock food/water/medicine for your canine friend.
94. Tasers/ pepper spray – If guns for some reason are not an option, at the very least own some tasers or pepper spray for home defense.
95. Pre-cut plywood – This can be a wise strategy if you leave in a high risk area. You can use pre-cut plywood to board up your windows to harden your home and make it more difficult to enter.
96. Security cams/alarms – Strategically placing security cams or alarms around your home can notify you of danger in advance. Some will say this can make your home more of a target because the average home doesn’t have cameras. There’s also the option fake cameras to deter would be thieves. Actually fairly cheap for $6.
97. $500 cash – While this would fall more under financial security having extra cash in your home could prove wise in a financial collapse scenario. Credit cards may stop working and having a decent supply of 20’s, 10’s 5’s and 1’s for buying essentials for at least 1 month is a prudent strategy. Read this on the importance of cash.
98. Precious metals – you could write a whole article on preparing yourself financially for an economic doomsday scenario. Investing in precious metals is one of them. Obviously we recommend both gold and silver coins, and if you’ve never purchased silver before. Be sure to read our guide on How to Buy Silver.
99. Lighting for home – A well lit home is less likely to be targeted at night. Security lighting around the perimeter of your house my encourage the riffraff to look elsewhere. Go for the solar-powered option here. Here’s how to get a bulletproof home.
Power & Heat
When the grid goes down or power from the state is no longer reliable how will you power your home or keep warm during the winter. What alternatives from electric power do you have? The following is a short list of options
100. Blankets – Somewhat of a no brainer especially in the northern parts of the US. Thick and heavy blankets, enough for several unwanted guests that may pop in as well.
101. Sleeping bags – Along with blankets, having a solid sleeping bag for each member in your family is also recommended. Be sure to check for temperature rating and type of insulation.
102. Batteries – An ample supply of batteries should always be in your prepping supplies. One tip is to use battery operated devices that use the same type of battery preferably AA, which is the most popular out there. Then you only have to stock up on 1-2 kinds of batteries as opposed to every size of battery.
103. Rechargeable batteries – Some tools eat batteries like candy! You will want some rechargeables to go the extra mile. The best AA battery on the market are the Energizer Recharge according to Wirecutter.com
104. Spare fuel – Whatever fuel you have to power your car/generator/stove etc… you will want to have store some spare fuel. Here is a great post on how to store fuel long-term.
105. Gas cans – Gas cans are needed to store spare fuel. Jerry cans seem to be the go-to gas can that preppers choose. You will want to buy some gas stabilizers additives for storing gas extended periods of time.
106. Power inverter – A power inverter enables a 12 volt DC to be converted to a 120 AC. Here is a detailed article on discussing the importance of power inverters to the prepper.
107. Solar power watt kitt – A solar power watt kitt allows you to power your RV, home, cabin, boat, etc… all from the power of the sun. Solar power especially in the south can be very attractive as an alternative power source. To piece together a solar power kitt you will need, solar panels, charge controller, batteries, connections & wiring, as well as a power inverter. Windynation has ‘complete kits’ available if you want it in 1 package.
108. Flashlights – Remember to try and stick with the AA flashlights to standardize your battery selection. Read this guide on how to pick the best flashlight for survival.
109. Candles – Emergency lighting at its best! Candles are great for short-term light needs around the home, which also provide a small source of heat as well. Here’s a great post on how to make 50 hour candles from scratch!
110. Oil lamps – Another short-term light source that are somewhat better than candles and can be used in power outages, outdoors, or just for camping fun. IT is stated 1 gallon of oil lamp can last about 250 hours!
Which is roughly 50 days if you burn it 5 hours a day. Not bad.
111. Head lamps – Head lamps are extremely useful when working, exploring, camping or whatever and you need your hands free with a bright light. Kids love these as well! My brand of choice of Petzl.
112. Propane – Heat for cooking will always be a priority, and nothing works as good as old-fashioned propane. Although not super cheap instant fire for cooking and heating is a worthy trade-off if there is no power or gas coming in. Here is an excellent primer on propane for preppers.
113. Solar cooker/oven – Solar cooking has been around for hundreds of years. They are amazing and you really can cook with the sun, though it does take some patience, think of them as a slow cooker. A proper solar cooker can easily reach degrees of 300F so cooking should be no problem! And what more abundant energy source do you need as the sun. All that is needed is the sun & optimum weather. Here is a solar cooker ready to go. Or you can build your own. Here is a DIY solar cooker from an old satellite dish:
114. Fire extinguisher – Prepping is about preparing for the unknown. If the Fire Department no longer exists, catching a small flame before it gets out of hand could potentially save you your home! Be prepared and get a small extinguisher.
115. Generator – Generators are great in emergency situations, especially if power is crucial for medical reasons. Long-term however there is debate at how viable generators can benefit as you will need a constant supply of fuel as well as fuel storage. Not to mention if the power has been down for months and would-be scavengers are rummaging the neighborhood when they hear the sound of a generator running?? If you do plan on getting one, look for tri-fuel generators.
116. Biodiesel fuel – while not a particular item to stock, the skills and know-how to make biodiesel could be a life-saver if fuel is critically needed. Biodiesel is just a renewable fuel to replace diesel fuel, and can be homemade with the proper equipment. Check this out for more info on biodiesel.
117. Iron stove – A wood burning iron stove maybe a smart choice for a solid heat source as well as double as cooking outlet. Northern winters are brutal, and a wood burning stove will do wonders to heat your house and offer a place for cooking. Some popular brands are Ashley, Heartland, and Franklin.
118. Firewood & matches – For those that live in colder climates, preparing and storing firewood should be an ongoing prep. Wood is free and abundant if you live off the grid and with a little labor can be used to heat any home with no power. Also never hurts to stock up on strike-anywhere matches.
Tools & Miscellaneous
Adequate tools and equipment will be crucial for survival in a complete shutdown of the system and economy. Begin to stock up on useful tools, equipment, and items now before they are needed.
119. Axe – A solid axe will be useful mainly for cutting wood. Now that you have your wood-burning iron stove, you will need to procure firewood to heat your home. Here’s a review of quality axes for preppers.
120. Buckets – Buckets are very versatile and can have tremendous use for lifehacking and different situations. Grab some 5 gallon buckets , not just useful for long-term food storage, but here is a list of 101 uses of buckets!
121. Wire – Wire or bailing wire can be a life saver for makeshift repairs. Use it to fix chicken coops, machinery, fences, etc… very useful when things breakdown and you can’t go to the store and buy a new one.
122. Shovels – Practical, shovels are useful for camping, hunters, hikers, preppers, etc… outdoor use is endless. Have 1-2 quality shovels in your garage or shed.
123. Wheelbarrow – Like a shovel, a sturdy and durable wheelbarrow will be highly useful as we move more to a agrarian society again.
124. Hammer & Screwdrivers Standard tools again, make sure you have one. No need to discuss the uses of a hammer or screwdriver 🙂
125. Nails/screws – Building up a nice supply of mixed nails and screws will be a smart choice when you can no longer buy them. Home and fence repairs almost always include a hammer, screwdriver & some screws.
126. Jumper cables – This would fall into your car emergency kit, but always have a pair of jumper cables.
127. Bleach – Good ole fashioned bleach has many uses in a survival situation. Bleach can be used for purifying water, disinfect supplies & tools, as well as general purpose cleaning. Here are 9 uses of bleach. Be sure to rotate your bleach supplies as they have a 6 month shelf-life.
129. Epsom salt – Epsom salt is a cheap medical alternative to treat sprains, soak in, cramping, athlete’s foot, general laxative, and to relax and destress. You can pick up some epsom salt at your local grocery store of pharmacy.
130. Siphon tubes – Moving fluids from buckets and gas is easy with a proper siphon tube. These are handy to have around the home. Current designs allow siphoning with just a few shakes!
131. Zip ties – Zip ties are another universal item for makeshift repairs and keeping things locked together. Somewhat like duct tape, their uses of infinite. Just be sure to grab a variety of sizes.
132. Gadsden Flag – Made popular by patriots, the yellow flag with a coiled rattlesnake and the words Don’t Tread on Me has become more and more famous. Flying this flag sends a message to like-minded patriots and other preppers to let them know where you stand.
133. Dishwashing liquid / Gloves – Never hurts to have an ample supply of dishwashing liquid/soap and proper gloves for cleaning your dishes and utensils. Several extra scrubber pads and steel pot scrubbers can help ease the pain of doing the dishes.
134. Garbage/Trash bags – Another item with endless uses. Here are 37 in fact! Gathering trash or other items, trash bags cannot be beat. Make sure you get the heavy duty kind!
135. PVC Piping – Extra PVC pipe can be useful for DIY plumbing, most likely there won’t be a plumber to call if chaos ensues. Apart from plumbing, check out the video below for over 17 uses!
136. Glass Jars – Very useful to store foods and liquids. Here are 11 uses of glass jars.
137. Toothbrush/paste – Extra toothbrushes will be very useful. Here are some recipes for homemade toothpaste.
138. Writing pencil & paper – If the grid goes down, and there is no electricity, paper & pencil will again come to the forefront.
139. Diapers & baby stuff – If you have little ones, or are planning to have a baby anytime soon. Store up on diapers and other essential baby products.
140. Ziploc bags – Ziploc bags are versatile and useful for storing small loose items and keeping them dry.
141. RAD detector – With the recent disaster at @!$#@$@!@ and leaked radiation, having a radiation detector could serve as an early warning for possible leaks. The US has approximately 100 nuclear reactors across the country. Here is a map of the nuclear power plants in the US. One nifty little RAD detector is the NUKalert.
142. Backpack (bug-out bag) – It is very useful to have a bug-out bag packed with essentials for about 3-5 days. If something threatens your neighborhood or home and you have to leave, a bug-out bag could sustain you the first 36-72 hours of the emergency.
143. Land maps – We rely on the internet and free digital access for everything! What if the net goes down? Land maps of your surrounding area could be very valuable especially if you’re new to the area or are out in the back country. Make sure these are water and tear proof.
144. Tent – Another useful item to have along with sleeping bags. Gives you mobility and shelter out in the land.
145. Bicycle – Bicycles could become very popular again if gas prices skyrocket or energy shortages appear. Have a good quality mountain bike with spare tires and tools to make repairs to keep it running.
146. Tarps – Tarps can collect rain water, provide cover from the elements as emergency shelter, hide tools and equipment, and the list goes on!
147. Bungee Cords – Another all-around multi-purpose tool. Very strong in securing and tying down items. You usually don’t hear about bungee cords in prepping,
148. Welding Kit – Welding will be a useful skill down the road, and having the tools before they are needed is prudent. Here is a great article on how to get started in welding.
149. Sewing Kit – Fixing ripped clothes, tents, tarps, sleeping bags, etc … you will need a proper sewing kit and gear.
150. Screwdriver/wrench set – It’s best to stock up on everyday tools now, especially if you don’t have any. DIY, makeshift equipment, and machinery will be more and more common and having the proper tools will go a long way in keeping things running.
151. Multitool – Carrying a good multitool is essential for the outdoorsman or the prepper. A multitool is about efficiency and usability in a small compact tool. Leatherman is my tool of choice and they come in a variety of sizes and features. Here is a good entry level one.
153. Compass – A sighting compass is a smart and useful tool out and about. Again think of no electricity or if the power goes down, this can be convenient for navigation.
154. Hand saw – Handy for most woodwork, tools dealing with wood will become very valuable if a collapse occurs.
155. Flint starter – A fire starter if your matches ever run out. For heat, warmth, and cooking, fire will always be important. One favorite brand of fire starters is Swiss made Firesteel.
156. Hatchet – A solid hatchet is ideal for chopping kindling and small firewood. Not as long as a full length chopping axe, very effective tool to have in the bush. Fiskars has always had high marks!
If there ever is a major catastrophe, EMP attack, or the grid goes down, the ability to obtain information as well as communicate with others will be a critical resource. Below are several items to help you in getting started in communications prepping.
157. HAM radio – The gold standard in communications, HAM radio or amateur radio, has always stood the test of time when all other communication fails. Here’s a quick article on getting started in HAM radio
158. Baofeng handheld – If you’re looking for a handheld HAM radio, Baofeng delivers. FCC certified if you want to go HAM without a huge setup this 2 pack handheld is the right way to start. Before you buy a radio and start broadcasting you need to get familiar with the laws and the FCC and consider getting a Technicians license to be able to broadcast legally. You can ‘receive’ with no license, but to broadcast you need to be certified.
159. Hand crank radio – An emergency radio for disaster situations to keep you up to date on weather and basic FM/AM radio stations. Most of these handcranks such as the Esky Solar Powered Hand Crank, comes with a built in flashlight and solar cells to charge the radio.
160. Pocket list of contact numbers/frequencies/channels – Important numbers and all relevant contact numbers should be written down somewhere for quick access. Here is a list of radio frequencies for preppers and survivalists.
161. Faraday cage – A faraday cage will protect your electronics in the event of an EMP, which disables any object with a circuit. Below is a video in how to make your very own faraday cage to protect your electronics and communication equipment.
162. Homemade antenna making – For HAM radio your antenna system is a vital piece of equipment. Get the facts on antenna setup.
After the initial few weeks in a disaster, reality sets in, and even if you’re stocked and well-prepped you will need some comfort items to hunker down and get through day by day to keep your sanity. Modify these to suit your taste. Also, many of these items can will be very useful in bartering and high demand.
163. Chocolate – Everyone loves chocolate. Chocolate has a shelf-life of 1-2 years. Stash these away and bring it out when to lift your spirits!
164. Hard Candy – Along with chocolate, hard candy or other sweet items maybe in short supply after the grocery stores are bare. They say hard candy stores the longest, this will be great for any kids in your group.
165. Toilet Paper – If stores close down, toliet paper will skyrocket in demand, store up on some now. Get those commercial rolls, with 1000 sheets. A simple way to gauge your needs for 1 year, is to mark how many rolls do you go through in a week. Then multiply this number by 52. If you use 2 rolls per week in your household, then you will need 104 rolls. Remember this will always be a great bartering item.
166. Board games – Board games are a great way to get your mind off the world and have some old-fashioned fun. You can even start now have game night once a week with your family. Much better than the TV and many games can teach simple skills for young children. If you need a suggestion, one of my favorites is Settlers of Catan!
167. Books & The Bible – Be sure to have a well-stocked library of books by fiction and non-fiction. This internet thing may not always be around! And I personally suggest having and reading a Bible. If there is one verse I would share with you it is Romans 6:23. Secure peace with God in this world before you meet Him in the next.
168. Soap / hygiene – Soap bars & deodorant are not useful in just cleaning things but also the body as well. Stock up on your favorite soap, you’re eventually going to use them anyway 🙂
169. Alcohol – Whether you like an occasional drink or not, alcohol will always be in demand. Just don’t have any addictions before an end-time scenario. This will be a great item to use in bartering if you have small bottles.
170. Cigarettes – Another item where demand will stay constant regardless of supply. My suggestion is dont be a chain smoker for many reasons, but maybe having some cartons for bartering may not be a bad idea.
171. Chewing gum – Another comfort item which is also a great stress reliever especially for kids. Gum is also great for mental alertness and to improve morale. If you need a quick pick me up and instant energy jolt try military gum which carries 100mg of caffeine in every stick!
Skills & Training
Part of prepping is not just stocking up on items, but also acquiring certain skills and training that will prove useful. Below is a list of many different skills you can learn. While you can’t be a master of all trades, it may be beneficial to focus on 2-3 skills you can become an expertise at. Then you will become the go to guy time and time again 🙂
172. Basic firearms – Comfortable with firearms of all kinds and knowing how to operate, clean, and safety if the gun is essential. You can sign-up for a number of courses through the NRA.
173. Gunsmithing – Along with basic training, gunsmithing will be high in demand in a collapse scenario especially if rule of law does not exist and every man is for himself. Gunsmiths make, sell, repair, modify, and build small firearms. There are courses you can take as well as institutes to become a gunsmith. Check out the video below:
174. Food preservation and canning – Canning is an excellent & economical way to preserve quality foods at home. There is some skill to this especially since you are dealing with food and want to be safe. The University of Georgia has a great Guide to Canning.
175. Finding water/purification – The skill of sourcing water and purification of water can be a life-saver if the supplies get cut or distribution stops.
176. Electrician – I believe any type of handy work and expertise will prove useful in a post-collapse era. If the economy comes to a halt, using your skills as a job as well as the know-how to fix your home and surroundings. Switches, outlets, cables, cords, and electrical systems all fall under this. Here is a primer on electrical systems.
177. Cooking skills – Cooking is an art form. Learning how to cook with just a handful of herbs and spices, cooking over an open fire, as well as knowing a variety of dishes with just staple foods, could make your life much more easy.
178 Morse Code – In a survival scenario morse code could prove useful in dire or emergency situations particularly when hostiles are around. Morse code gives you the ability to communicate with others using dot/dashes written or sound. Not that difficult to learn, check out the image below. You can just follow the diagram to identify each letter.
179. Martial arts – Self defense apart from weapons should also include some sort of physical training and marital arts. Whether it is jiu jitsu, muay thai, tae kwon do, or krav maga, getting trained in a martial art brings confidence, discipline, and improved self defense.
180. Medical Training – One skill that will always have high demand is getting certified as an Emergency Medical Technician. Useful in any and every situation, medical training can give you the skills to save lives and not be dependent on a doctor as well as basic skills such as suturing or starting an IV.
181. Animal husbandry – Caring for animals, how to raise them and breed them is animal husbandry. Chickens, goats, cattle, horses, for whatever reason can provide milk, eggs, transportation, carry loads, etc … and proper care is something that must be learned. Chickens are a great place to start. Get 3-5 chickens, a proper chicken coop, then some feed and you are good to go. Craigslist is a quick place to find baby chicks for sale. Did I mention your reward is delicious eggs everyday! Hint: The Leghorn breed lay the most eggs …
182. Beekeeping – Honey has an infinite shelf life with many medicinal properties. Raw honey besides it sweet taste is like liquid gold! Backyard beekeeping is on the rise and may be a great skill & hobby to learn. Let these little worker bees be your employees and produce honey for you. Here is a great prime on Beekeeping 101.
183. Blacksmithing – Making metal tools in a collapse scenario will be a critical skill to master. You will be the go to guy for taking iron or steel and forging metal tools and equipment from it. The Artist-Blacksmith’s Association of North America is a great place to start down that road to becoming a blacksmith.
184. Woodworking – Like blacksmithing, woodworking is another trade that is a lost skill amongst the general population. Even basic woodworking like creating a chair, table, bed, or chicken coop, is something that all preppers should have the know how. Here is a great resource of 16,000 woodworking plans!
185. HAM license – To operate a HAM radio you need to be certified. The first level license is the Technician. Communications and survival go hand in hand. Here is the info to get a HAM license.
186. Gardening – Most people have a backyard and you can start a garden today. Gardening is done by experience, buy some quality heirloom seeds and start growing some food. There is nothing more satisfying than growing your own food!
187. Aquaponics – Aquaponics is an amazing eco-system where fish water and fish farming supply the nutrients for plants, and the plants purify the water returning back to the fish. Inform yourself on aquaponics in the video below:
188. Mechanic, vehicle repair – Keeping your car going with simple tune-ups and basic auto work will be a handy skill. Take some basic courses in auto repair will ensure your car lasts longer.
189. Hunting – What good is a long rifle for hunting if you don’t know how to hunt? My suggestion is to tag along with your hunting friends and learn the ropes. The following is a basic guide on getting started in deer hunting. A mature buck can yield close to ~70 lbs. of meat, which could feed a whole family of 4 for almost a month!
190. Fishing – If hunting is not your thing, fishing is another excellent way to put food on the table that is available for all, a rod and some bait and your good to go. Bes ure for both hunting and fishing that you comply with your state’s license laws.
191. Trapping – Catching animals and critters in the wild is trapping. Somewhat of a lost art, this skill could put food/fur on the table in a dire situation. Best info on this will most likely be found in books, if you have an interest, you can check out Guide to Trapping.
192. Tracking – A cousin to trapping, tracking is observing animals and how to track them in the current landscape using signs, tracks, and the local environment.
193. Preparing game – Field dressing, butchering, and preparing your game after a hunt is another skill that few people have under their belt. While there are people and places to do this for you, complete your hunting skills by learning how to prepare game.
194. Land navigation – Walking through unknown land by foot or vehicle to get from point A to B is land navigation or also known as orienteering in the military. Learn to read contour lines, terrain types, etc… Read up on land navigation.
195. Foraging, herbs, plants – Know where you live and the types of edible plants & herbs that will be useful for food and medicine through foraging and gathering. Here is a simple guide to foragers.
This last section is devoted to taking care of your personal items and securing your data, legal, and sentimental items.
196. Copies of Personal Data – Think about having copies of your driver’s license, passport, birth certificate, & marriage license or other personal ID’s.
197. Financial – Secure all your papers for bank accounts, passwords, and be sure to be diligent and backup all your financial data, accounts, and passwords on USB drives, as well as 3 years of previous tax returns.
198. Records – Any car titles, land deeds, house deeds, medical records etc…, secure copies with the originals.
199. Legal – Documents that could fall under here are will and trusts or any corporate & business documents.
200. Family – Last but not least, family artifacts, heirlooms, and of course pictures will provide emotional support and encouragement during any rough times ahead!
Whew! That’s a whopper of a list, if you have essentials in mind that I’m sure I left out, please leave it in the comments below. Also, remember don’t be overwhelmed with prepping for your future, but start slow and take it a day at a time!