A Comprehensive Supply List for Economic Collapse

by Bam Bam

Preppers supply list

Image courtesy stock.xchng user

The article M.D. posted in last week’s Friday Miscellany on living conditions in Greece really hit home with me. I did a bit more research. There are food shortages. There are shortages of life-saving medications. There are concerns about the power grid. And if the electric grid goes down, clean water may not flow from the tap. In an economic collapse, debit cards may not work; cash will be king. Once awareness of the situation sets in, rioting, looting and violent crime will be the new norm.

If Europe collapses, the United States is sure to follow. This makes me nervous. And when I get nervous, I make lists. This is my best shot at formulating a comprehensive supply list for prepping. Sure, there are other lists on the Internet that claim to be comprehensive. And I have learned much from the lists that I have read. But I wanted to come up with my own list and present it to the Pack. And now for the 50 million dollar question: what have I missed?

If your debit card stopped working tomorrow, would you be ready? Let’s put our minds together and see if we can come up with a comprehensive list of items needed for survival. (I am assuming in what follows that I will not be bugging out. Hence, I have omitted discussion of my BOB.) Assuming you are staying put, what items would you definitely want on hand? Remember the motto: plan today because tomorrow your debit card may not work.

Please note that the order in which the following items are listed is not indicative of their perceived importance—i.e., I did not place cleaning supplies ahead of weaponry and hunting because I felt the former was more important than the latter. Each category is important, hence its inclusion on this list.

Comprehensive Supply List

1. Water Purification

  • Bottled Water
  • Canteen/Camelback
  • Rain Barrel
  • Water Bottle with Filter
  • Water Purification Tablets
  • Pool Shock/Bleach
  • Kettle w/ Lid for Boiling Water
  • Propane Stove
  • Matches/Fire Starter
  • Charcoal and Sand
  • Mosquito Netting
  • Coffee Filters

2. Shelf Stable Foods

  • Wheat
  • Rice
  • Pasta
  • Beans
  • Dry Milk
  • Honey
  • Sugar
  • Vinegar
  • Lemon Juice
  • Cooking Oil
  • Coffee/Tea
  • Canned Goods
  • Spices
  • Condiments
  • Water Enhancers
  • Baking Essentials (Yeast, Salt, etc.)
  • Sprouting Seeds
  • Non-hybrid Garden Seeds

3. Hygiene Supplies

  • Soap
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrushes
  • Dental Floss
  • Feminine Hygiene Products
  • Shaving Supplies
  • Baby Wipes
  • Toilet paper
  • Insect Spray
  • Sunblock
  • Lotion/Lip Balm
  • Manicure Set (Nail Clippers, Nail Brush, File)

4. First-Aid

  • First-Aid Kit
  • Extra Band-Aids
  • Dental Kit
  • Wound Care
  • Rubbing Alcohol
  • Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Listerine Mouth Rinse
  • Antibiotic Ointment
  • Snake Bite Kit
  • Respirator Masks
  • Latex Gloves
  • Scissors

5. Medications

  • Prescription Medication
  • Birth Control
  • Foot Care Products
  • Pain Reliever (Tylenol, Aleve, Aspirin, etc.)
  • Cold Medicine
  • Diarrhea/Constipation Medications
  • Antacid
  • Antibiotics
  • Allergy Medication
  • Vitamins/Supplements
  • EmergenC

6. Cleaning Supplies

  • Bleach/Pool Shock
  • Comet
  • Baking Soda
  • Washing Soda
  • Borax
  • Bar Soap (Fels Naptha)
  • Vinegar
  • Mop and Bucket
  • Broom and Dust Pan
  • Scrub Brushes
  • Dish Pan
  • Trash Bags
  • Trash Cans
  • Burn Barrel

7. Cooking and Food Preservation

  • Solar Oven
  • Camping Stove
  • Barbeque Grill
  • Grain Grinder
  • Meat Grinder
  • Solar Dehydrator
  • Cast Iron Cookware
  • Cooking Utensils
  • Non Electric Can Opener
  • Non Electric Coffee Maker
  • Water Bath Canner
  • Pressure Canner
  • Jars and Lids
  • Extra 5 Gallon Buckets
  • Plastic Plates & Bowls

8. Lighting

  • Oil Lantern
  • Extra Wicks & Mantles
  • Matches/Lighters
  • Solar Lights
  • Light Sticks
  • Candles
  • Flashlights
  • Head Lamp

9. Weaponry & Hunting

  • Knifes
  • Machete
  • Shotgun
  • Rifle
  • Handgun
  • Ammo
  • Compound Bow
  • Extra Arrows
  • Sling Shot
  • Snare Wire

10. Clothing

  • T-shirts
  • Underwear
  • Bras
  • Socks
  • Thermals
  • Jeans
  • Belt
  • Work Shirts
  • Boots
  • Extra Laces
  • Flip Flops/Crocks
  • Tennis Shoes
  • Fleece
  • Jacket
  • Raingear
  • Work Gloves
  • Bandana
  • Wide-Brimmed Hat
  • Mosquito Head Gear
  • Extra Prescription Glasses
  • Eye Glass Repair Kit
  • Sun Glasses

11. Household Items

  • Sheets/Blankets
  • Bath Towels
  • Solar Shower
  • Kitchen Towels
  • Clothesline
  • Clothespins
  • Sewing Kit
  • Washboard and Buckets
  • Aluminum Foil
  • Ziplock Bags
  • Portable Toilet
  • Lime
  • Lye
  • Pest and Insect Control (Mouse Traps, Diatomaceous Earth)
  • Extra Keys (Home, Shop and Vehicles)

12. Alternative Energy Source

  • Generator
  • Extension Cords
  • Solar Panels
  • Rechargeable Batteries
  • Solar Recharger
  • Charcoal
  • Propane
  • Gasoline
  • Fuel Stabilizer
  • Lamp Oil
  • Seasoned Fire Wood

13. Tools and Gear

  • Gardening Tools (Shovel, Axe, Rake)
  • Fishing Gear (Poles, Tackle, Nets)
  • Shut Off Wrench for Gas/Water
  • Multi-tool
  • Binoculars
  • Basic Construction Tools
  • Hardware (Nails, Screws)
  • Lumber
  • Tarps
  • Tie Down/Rope/Para-cord/Bungee Cord
  • Duct Tape
  • Siphon/Funnel
  • Extra Gas Cans
  • Sharpening Stone/Honing Oil
  • Gun Cleaning Kit & Supplies
  • Wire and Wire Cutters
  • Window Screen Repair Kit
  • Fire Extinguisher
  • Plastic Garbage Containers w/ Lid
  • Crowbar
  • Chain and Padlocks
  • Weather Instruments

14. Communications

  • Two-way Radio
  • Weather Radio
  • Ham Radio
  • Mirror
  • Whistle
  • Flares

15. Money

  • Cash
  • Gold/Silver
  • Tradable Skills

16. Barter Goods

  • Candy
  • Coffee
  • Sugar
  • Ammo
  • Batteries
  • Matches/Lighter
  • Toilet Paper
  • Soap

17. Maps and Guides

  • Detailed Map of Local Area
  • Survival Guide
  • Field Guide/Eatable Plant Guide
  • First Aid Manual

18. Identification and Documentation

  • Photo ID/Passport
  • Birth Certificate
  • Social Security Card
  • Medical Records
  • Banking Documents
  • Insurance Documents
  • Marriage License
  • Contact Information

19. Entertainment/Sanity

  • Cards
  • Games
  • Dice
  • Musical Instruments
  • Paper, Pens, Sketchbook
  • Bible
  • Books

20. Pets and Children

  • Food
  • Water
  • Proof of Vaccination
  • Medications/Ointments

Please feel free to expand on and add your list and or thoughts in the comments below… ?:-)


  1. GeorgeisLearning says:

    I would only add things like more of everything. More tools for sure, hand tools of every size and shape. power tools and a way to run them.
    Board games and cards for the kids.
    dvd’s and a way to play em.
    More more more.
    I’m grateful for your list as it shows me a few items I forgot about it. Thanks BamBam

  2. Cold Warrior says:

    Very well done Ms. Bam Bam!
    I’m not certain if you mentioned motor oil and grease. Also a good cloths line and some wooden cloths pins along with a wash board and tub might come in handy. Well points and pipe along with hand pumps too for digging shallow water wells.

    • Bam Bam says:

      Cold Warrior,

      Excellent ideas, especially the well points, pipe and hand pump. The water level where I live is 10-12 feet. Maybe a bag of quick set concrete to put around the well.

  3. Thanks so much for taking the time to post this list. I am new to prepping and your list is a huge help to me. Love this site!!!

    • Bam Bam says:

      New Sue,

      Welcome to the Wolf Pack. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. There is a lot of knowledge among the members.

  4. I just found a new best tool for my garden and I’m adding them to my list — Zip Ties! Just as good for holding things together as wire, but easier to handle.

  5. Southern Belle says:

    Bam Bam,
    Great list! Thank you so very much for sharing. I am going to print it out and put it with all my other prep info. I have been trying to create a list but seem to get so flustered when I do. My dh is extremely supportive in our prepping and that helps tremendously. However, it is always good to see what others have on their lists. I do have one thing that I keep for bartering that I did not see on your list. My mom is a flight attendant and she saves all of the little soaps and shampoos from her hotel stays for me. Hope this helps. Again, thanks for the great post!

  6. Petnumber1 says:

    Hello 🙂 I’ve been a lurker for the last several months, and am in great debt to all of you for the fabulous information you post everyday. I’m learning so much! Bam Bam, your list is truly a godsend. I have about 50 lists that I start and then lose and then start over, sigh. My next project (to solve the lists problem) is my survival binder, so I am holding my breath in anticipation of you posting your recommendations!

    I budget about $10/week to spend at the dollar store on barter items. Folks have mentioned a lot of this stuff before, but all kinds of personal hygiene items will be in high demand. I have quite a barter supply of shampoo, soap, feminine products, first aid stuff, OTC medications, eyeglass repair kits, and reading glasses (who knew you could get readers at the dollar store???). I buy them in all different strengths, and believe me, if someone loses or breaks their glasses and doesn’t have a backup pair, even cheap reading glasses will be worth their weight in pre-1965 dimes. 🙂

    Thanks again for the great list and the insightful comments. You all are just wonderful! 🙂

    • Thank you, Pet. I hope you will become a regular commenter. It’s always good to hear from new folks.

  7. Hunker-Down says:

    Bam Bam,

    There you go again, making me feel guilty for not wanting to print out your valuable list. I’m already getting tired thinking of all the effort it will take to copy and paste it, then read all the additions contributed by the pack and add their ideas to it. I’m still fumbling with the last half dozen homemade cleaning recipes you gave us. When will you allow me to put in effect the lazy sheeple couch potato life style I long for?

    • H-D,

      Get that lazy sheeple couch potato dream out of your mind. Luxuriating is not as much fun as thinking about luxuriating. In fact, after a day or so of luxuriating, we get bored. The INTJ needs a project or two to keep our minds engaged.

  8. Welcome to the Pack, Petnumber1 !!! I have only been a member a few months and it’s like having instant family whom you also like and they’re smart at the same time!

  9. DieselDog says:

    Thanks for the list Bam Bam.
    What about a tire plug kit? They’re cheap and could really come in handy.

  10. Legion7 says:

    One big item on my list is a decent group of like minded FRIENDS (pretty much brothers, some I’ve known and trained with for 17 years) who will show up at my retreat. They’ve earned it, putting labor and money into the garden, living quarters, supplies etc. We all have reciprocal weapons etc., as well. FRIENDS! You can’t guard those supplies by yourself, everybody sleeps! I’ve got enough pals that we can run 2 man shifts.

  11. Flip flops should be banned from this earth ! wear real footgear at all times or none at all .

    • T.R.,

      Flip flops should be worn in the shower to prevent athletes foot and other infections. Flip flops can also be worn around the house or camp.

    • Hey, whats wrong with flip flops? I go through at least six pair every summer!

      • I prefer Crocks, myself. I had a pair of fuzzy Gator Crocks and wore them out.

        • Bam Bam,
          Great minds like alike. I love crocs too. I have regular and fuzzy ones for winter!

          • Mama J.,

            I have one pair by the front door and one pair by the back door. LOL I wear them when I pick veggies from the garden.

  12. shackleford says:

    Bam bam I really enjoyed your list. I am fairly new to prepping and often I find myself at a loss as to what I need to stock up on. I find myself drawing a blank, ya kno? Your list definitely gave me a really good general point of reference, I will definitely be printing this out and adding it to my binder!

    • Shackleford,

      Thanks. I have been at this for about a year and a half now. I have picked up more than a few tips from the Wolf Pack.

  13. vothjohnny says:

    As a remodeler , I am terribly aware of the disaster that WILL occur to many of us regardless of every other prep. we make ! When the sewage pumps shut down with the grid ,anywhere that is downhill will be permanantly devastated by incoming sewage. This deadly mess will spread outward from the bathrooms and sinks, drains of all types ! You get the idea. Infestation and death will move many from their otherwise ready retreats. If you have a septic system or are uphill , you may be fine. Now , in every yard on public sewer there is an access or cleanout which intersects the main sewer line to the house. A fast but permanant way to block this is a bag of fast drying cement although it would difficult to remedy. Lumber stores and small hardware outlets sell a black rubber inflatable bladder in a few sizes. With the same valve as a bycycle tube it can be inflated with a hand pump , needing no energy but yours ! Before hand , running water from the bathtub may be dyed with beet juice or food coloring to identify the main line and its depth. Measure the length and mark a stick or pvc pipe leaving enough to grasp the thing. You may shove the bladder into the junction and inflate it , blocking any incoming sewage. Those of your neighbors that leave or disregrd this problem will spew toxic waste ocross the yard untill the cities lines either clog or empty ! Bleach is great to kill this stuff before disease does it. However you address this issue , it will demand attention if you wish to remain in your home ! Vothjohnny

    • Vothjohnny,

      Someone should make a movie of this–“Attack of the Killer Turds”.

    • Kelekona says:

      I know where my cleanout is and need to buy a wrench to open it or a sewer popper. It will be running down my driveway and possibly into the crawlspace, but that should keep it out of the house proper.

      • Kelekona,

        Can you fit some sort of flexible piping onto your sewer popper that will divert it–like a gutter downspout?

        • Kelekona says:

          Bam Bam, I don’t know since I don’t have a sewer popper yet, but I’m thinking that an open concrete trench would be a better option.

  14. My opinion on barter items: use things that are “important” more than “nice”. The primal need stuff is a given (food, water, security, shelter) but I also have nicotine gum for the withdrawlers. I agree with everything on the list above, except maybe candy. My neighbors probably won’t be too concerned with peppermints if they lack other important things. My barter list includes pretty much the same as above, plus: EXTRA COPIES OF SURVIVAL MANUALS (I think these would be gold, given the unprepared masses), nicotine gum & small sized bottles of gun cleaning solvents/lubes. And when it comes to barter goods… 4 small bottles is much better than 1 big bottle. Sure, you can divide it into other containers later, but as the receiver, wouldn’t you feel better if it were unopened and properly labelled? So would the person you’re trading with. It also makes it easier to NOT reveal the true quantity of what you have stored.

    • Reyya,

      I haven’t seen you post before–welcome to the Wolf Pack. I like your idea of having extra survival manuals. Good idea.

  15. Bam Bam says:


  16. Bam Bam says:

    Another Test.

  17. Perhaps nit-picking but:

    As to the gun cleaning supplies: Dedicated greases, cleaners, and oils are nice if not necessary, but definitely stock up on brushes. Think of the brass brushes as a consumable – without degreaser after every use, the cleaning fluids eat them away.

    Spare parts: I try to keep a set of spare small parts for most of my weapons. At minimum have an extra firing pin and spring kit for each. These could end up being near priceless trade goods.

    Ammo Boxes with good rubber seals: great for storing just about everything. You can never have too many.

    How-to books: Farming, beer/wine/spirits making, collect them on just about anything. Dirt cheap at yard sales. Anything you don’t know how to do, you can learn passably in a few days reading if the need arises.

    Cheese cloth, lots of it. It’s indispensable for many food making/ processing/ canning chores. My grandmother bought and used the stuff by the roll.

    • Bam Bam says:


      Excellent suggestions. I have added every one of your suggestions to my list. Thank you.

  18. Ben Franklin says:

    Very surprised you didn’t include cigarettes in the Money or Barter Goods sections. Smokers will do ANYTHING for a cig when having a nic fit. And cigarettes are lightweight, compact, and can be kept for a good while before going bad. After all, they’re the #1 currency used among inmates in prison. What could be better when the monetary system breaks down?

    • Bam Bam says:


      Good idea. I didn’t think about storing cigarettes because I am a former smoker–I would be afraid I would start smoking again. I wonder what form of nicotine has the longest shelf life–perhaps nicotine patches would be the best.

  19. RealityCheck says:

    Mosquito nets? Really?

    In anything short of full-scale, Mad Max-style breakdown, military and police throughout the developed nations will coordinate very rapidly to maintain a kind of order. Dams, reservoirs and electrical stations will be quickly and completely secured. Crime will rise, of course, and people will hunker down or try to keep ahead of it. Neighbors will trade with neighbors for luxuries and a few necessities, and gardens will pop up in backyards. But life will go on. You will not be foraging for food in the national parks.

    In the event of a full-scale, Mad Max-style breakdown (think asteroid), your mosquito nets and personal firearms will be of no use against large, roving bands of ex-military and police with heavy caliber weaponry and effective communications. You may be foraging for food in national parks, and you will be shot. Game over.

    Rationally, the best thing to do is to prepare for a short-term, natural disaster (canned beans and flashlights) or a long-term economic recession (er, gold). But also to prepare according to the likelihood of each. As in… possible, but not probable.

    • Bam Bam says:

      Reality Check,

      I live in Florida and our most likely fan event is a hurricane. We got brushed by Debby and the mosquitoes are terrible. In a more serious event, the county would not be able to spray for mosquitoes. With all the standing water, mosquitoes would be a major problem. Heck, they are a problem right now. Without repellant, you cant’ go outside at dusk.

  20. Pete Strasser says:

    Oral thermometer
    CDX plywood for broken windows, doors
    Local herbal medicinal plant book
    Culinary poppy seeds are Papaver somniferum, opium poppy. You may need them.
    Aspirin analogs are in willow and Spirea sp.
    A limited stash of decoy prep goods in case of theft
    Grandpa’s tools and time to learn how ti use them
    Learn to be a cobbler; you’ll be the most popular person around
    Bulk urea fertilizer, for plant food and making emergency cold packs.

  21. Grant Michael McKenna says:

    Drawing on family experiences in Zimbabwe, may I suggest that home-brew kits are also useful?
    Also, consider a vehicle that looks badly maintained. Unwashed exterior, no political slogans on the bumper- less of a target when people are looking for someone to blame.
    And I’d affirm the comment by “alikaat” above- a slow break-down is better, because we adapt, until one day we realise that annual inflation of 7% has become a daily rate of about 95%.

    • Bam Bam says:


      I would love to hear about your family experience in Zimbabwe–perhaps you would consider writing up a guest post. Good idea on the “badly maintained vehicle”. My truck is so old I don’t think anyone would pay much attention to me. LOL

  22. Murgatroyd says:

    Blank paper, both lined and unlined. Lots of it. Pens and pencils, too.
    You can’t count on having an Internet connection. There’s no guarantee the landline phone system will work, and your fancy iPhone or Android phone probably will be out of commission, too. So if you want to send messages, or to keep any kind of records at all, you’re gonna need paper.

    A whole bunch of US Geological Survey maps and AAA road maps would be a good investment, too.

  23. Chuck Pelto says:

    TO: Bam Bam
    RE: Critique

    I could go on and on, but I’ll just point out a lack of equipment to ‘bug-out’ with.

    If the economy—and consequently social order—collapse, there is a strong likelihood that living in certain areas, may become untenable. Therefore, the ability to move to another, safer, area may be necessary.

    Whether you can drive there or you have to hoof-it, you’ll need to have a plan and the equipment necessary.

    Besides, planning to ‘bug-out’ is useful for other less long-term contingencies.


    [Chance favors the prepared mind. — Louis Pasteur, Father of Modern Microbiology]

    • That’s exactly right. A list like this makes you immobile and a target. Unless your community is working together on this, the best bet is probably staying far away from starving, panicky people.

    • Bam Bam says:


      I agree that having a bug out plan is important. My goal in this post was to develop a master list for bugging in. That is a lot easier than coming up with a bug out list–such a list would need to be tailored to circumstances, e.g., how much time you have to pack, how far you are going, how long you plan on being gone, climate, terrain, etc.

  24. forgot the ultimate tradeable good: cigarettes – marlboro reds, a few cartons

  25. Great list and terrific additions. I would add a garden cart, or a collapsible hand cart. If there’s no gas for your car you can still walk to resources and move them home with a cart.

    • Bam Bam says:

      Rob B.,

      Good call. I am thinking about submitting a revised version list so I can include all the excellent suggestions people have made. I have already added an entire category–Transportation. It will be important to have the ability to transport water and other things.

  26. Anonymous says:

    Don’t forget one or more of the following: Cow, goat, hen

  27. Tim McDonald says:

    If you have children, I would add:
    McGuffy 5th grade reader, Nortons Anthology of English literature, Half a dozen other novels from 6th to 12th level, a basic algebra book, a book of The Calculus, a set of encyclopedias, an atlas, and a couple o history books. A chemistry, biology, and physics textbook. Engineering textbooks.
    Grey’s Anatomy and Henley’s formulas weather you have kids or not. How things work. All this is assuming you want to ever rise above subsistence farming levels, or your children to aspire to more then subsistence farming and 40 years of backbreaking labor and then dying.

    • Bam Bam says:


      I think your ideas here would make for a great guest post. There are lots of folks here who do home schooling and even more who have children. A comprehensive list of educational materials for children–that would be a great post.

  28. I’d put a micro-lathe on there.

    1) A lathe can make -any- pre-1950 hand tool, hand power tool, garage workshop tool, or machine shop tool – or, at least, the tools to -make- that tool.

    2) A lathe can even make a -larger- lathe.

    Taig makes a tiny lathe for $800 or so.

  29. Well, thanks to Instapundit, I have come here, I have read, and I am overwhelmed!! Where are you folks storing all these items you have collectied/are collecting??? I have stored important items when on Hurricane or Snow notice…(live in Piedmont area of NC) but have not gone without electricity for more than 4 days. I am going to be a “goner” if the worst hits us…….I am glad there are folks like you who ARE prepared….No need to respond, I just wanted to say I am glad there will be survivors!!

    • Bam Bam says:


      You don’t have to be one of the “goners”. You can stick around and learn about prepping.

  30. I live in an earthquake prone area so it is prudent to be prepared for a fairly long term period without electricity, regardless of economic collapse. We have a propane furnace, but it won’t run without electricity. Our generator is great, but only for a few days. I hate being cold, so some hot water bottles are one of my FAVORITE and important items for survival that I haven’t seen anyone mention yet. (Perhaps because it’s summer, and lots of you have been sweltering in 100 degree weather, so it’s far from your minds?) Anyway, winter can suck, and it will come. It’s easy to keep reheating the same, precious water with a small stove, and a hot water bottle against your chest is so comforting when your house is super cold. You need at least one hot water bottle per person. It’s great to preheat your bed, too.

    • Bam Bam says:


      Good idea for folks living in areas where it gets cold. I had to Google “hot water bottle” to see what you were talking about. (I live in Florida.)

  31. boqueronman says:

    BTW Thanks for setting up the print function so that the list comes out to be 63 PAGES LONG! Luckily I was able to stop the print order so as not to use up a sizable portion of a pack of paper. Customer suggestion: You need to make some adjustments if you’re going to offer a print option.

  32. danceswithgoats says:

    I didn’t read all the comments but I think a great barter item would be the ability to take a shower. At least for the first three months of grid down. People could show up and barter what they have for five gallons of warm water and some shampoo. Shampoo is very cheap (VO5 = $1) so show up, get a big squirt and then shower with five gallons.

    • Bam Bam says:


      I think you might just have an idea there. It has to be possible to make a shower from a 5 gallon bucket and a handheld watering can. If you could make these from free buckets and a coffee can with drilled holes, you could have a good trade item–along with the olive oil lamp made from a canning jar and some wire.

  33. Some other items to consider, at least if you are staying put, a ladder to reach roof tops and windows to repair with plastic sheeting, also stapler, staples. These also useful for building a greenhouse if you find you need to grow food. For firewood harvesting, pruning saw, lopper, chainsaw,axe and or splitting maul.
    Basic mechanical tools, wrenches, screwdrivers, pliers, hacksaw, soldering iron, solder for metal repair, two part epoxy for repairs to plastic items. Also some sort of multimeter, battery tester.
    Some simple food preservation aids, nitrite salt cure for meats preservation, vinegar, salt and sugar. Also altimeter/ barometer is useful for weather prediction. And a compass will be useful if you have a map and need to navigate.

  34. You have provided a very detailed list with multiple methods under each category. Also a lot of good added mentions down the line.

    I would add a hand pump water filter, even though boiling is the best method, and a fire is not always going to be available especially in a stealth mode.

    For shaving supplies, a straight razor, leather strop and coticle stone, you will never have to buy another razor (I use one every day), but then again… is it necessary to shave!

    I believe Antibiotics are going to be a very hard item to come by if there is a total shutdown of the system… a number of discussions already around that subject. I would also look at iodine and tea tree oil.

    Prescription meds are going to be a showstopper for many of those that rely on medication to sustain life. In a true shutdown, your days may be numbered; stock up as much as you can while you can, but try to get off the meds ASAP if at all possible.

    Clothing can be a regional and seasonal requirement. If you experience four-seasons including freezing snow and blizzards, cotton can be deadly if you cannot change out of them. I like merino wool and poly/nylon mixed clothes, where the wool will keep you warm even if wet and they all dry faster.

    I would rotate stored gas regularly in 5-10 gallon increments monthly, even with fuel stabilizers; I would only add a stabilizer after a shutdown occurs.

    Cash will be good during the initial onset, but over time Gold and Silver will rule AND can get heavy. You would need more silver to ‘make change’ for gold… I believe it is close to 58 ounces of silver to 1 ounce of gold now. I would rather pay an ounce of silver for some wheat, or eggs, etc than a 5-gram ingot of gold.

    As for bartering ammo, I agree with others, and I would suggest only barter those items with someone you really trust… sure you would be carrying something on you like a sidearm, but why expose your hand as to what you have so to speak. I think items you would find in the General Store and Mercantile of days gone by would be better for bartering… clothing, backpacks, food & canning staples, dry goods… Vodka and Bourbon a pint at a time is easier to purchase on a budget.

    I see maps, but no compass (sorry, I teach orienteering and have many different kinds)?

    In regards to electronics… any thoughts to a Faraday cage to protect against an EMP or solar flare? A scanner would be great, that way you can scan frequencies listening to what is being used and save the HAM for when you really need to transmit and expose your location.

    • Bam Bam says:


      Excellent feedback. Thank you. Please stick around. We welcome intelligent feedback.

  35. Gerry N. says:

    Rope. Get half a dozen or more coils of cheap sisal 1/4″ rope. Better yet if you’re near a coast, call around to purveyors of commercial fishing gear and ask if they have 1/4″ manila in bulk. It is quite cheap so buy as much as you can afford. Aside from being useful, it will be a wonderful barter commodity cut into 25′ or 50′ lengths. It is much easier on the hands whien pulling or tieing knots than paracord or braided nylon twine.

    At least one good bow saw with some spare blades. Chain saws require fuel, oil and chains, muscle powered saws don’t. If it’s a real SHTF, motor fuels may or may not be available. Have a portable wood burning stove as well. It can be jury rigged with the smoke pipe through a metal thimble in a plywood panel stuck in a window. Don’t be dependant on petro fuels. Wood is everywhere.

    • Bam Bam says:


      Ditto. Thank you for the intelligent feedback. With all the great suggestions, I am adding to my list and will resubmit the revised post.

  36. I’ve captured your list to add to my own – One thing I see you DON”T have but will want is a cleaning kit for your weapons, especially if you ‘re using any of the M-16/M-4/AR-15 family of weapons, but needed for any firearm.

    A dirty weapon will NOT be your friend.

    You will also want a knife-sharpening whetstone.

    WHOOPS! I see I had the ‘Match Case’ option clicked – you have those. LOL Ignore the above. I’ll leave it for those who may have missed it. 😛

    For your survival guides, may I recommend US Army FM 21-76 and the Ranger Handbook? I’ve added in a copy of The Anarchist’s Cookbook as well.

    A specific med to add would be Immodium-AD and Enfamil or similar – Diarrhea is a very common side-effect of changes in diet and water and a historical killer due to dehydration and loss of electrolytes.

    • Bam Bam says:


      The best thing I have found for hydration is EmergenC.

      • I live by Emergen-C with a daily dose whenever I am traveling. For hydration, the old standard Gatorade and now I like the Nuun tablets; two tablets for a liter of water also helps with the taste if that is an issue.

  37. Jay Casey (screen name) says:

    If you are wanting to prepare for a nuclear event, you will want to have plastic sheeting and tape on hand so you can seal up openings and try to minimize air infiltration from the outside. A big old roll of duct tape can be used for so many other things as well, so I would buy several rolls of that, too. Iodine pills might also be a useful addition to your list if nuclear fallout is a concern that you want to prepare for.

  38. SurvivorDan says:

    Very comprehensive and in fact superior list. Shows your extensive knowledge base regarding prepping.

  39. SurvivorDan says:

    Naturally I would also have soy sauce and spam. 😉

  40. bernie in texas says:

    i learned a lot today thank you

  41. Worried Mom says:

    Ciprofloxacin is the antibiotic that I have stock piled. It is sold as “fish flox” at any pet supply store. It is used to treat bacterial infections such as skin, lungs, airways, bones, UTI’s, staph infections and ANTHRAX!! I have prined out the dosing information for all the meds we have stocked and keep them laminated with the meds.

  42. Very new to prepping, so new that this list will be my starting point. Thanks for the list (it’s what I’ve been looking for) and for the comments.

    • Vicki,

      Welcome to the Pack. Glad you found the article helpful. If you have any questions, ask away. Someone here will have an answer based on experience.

  43. bernie in texas says:

    hello every one i have een reading and lesioning to people saying bug out we are going to the country that is nice so is every one elce the creazys the hungers the people that think it is safer the highways will be a parken lot does any one rember kertrina wellthat was a 100 mile parken lot and then houston east was a parken lot i would radder shot some trying to come in my house then 1000 people trying to steel the stoff out of my car and then you get to the country your freinds cabin is on fire he is gone now what your wife and kids are tired hunger no gas to go any where bend over and kiss your ass goodby i would rather die at home at lease i can take some with me and i will thank you for reading myrant

  44. bernie in texas says:

    hereis some thing you will need veterinariar equivalent penicillin = 250mg fish pen 500mg fish pen forte amoxicillin= 250mg fishmax for children 500mg fishmox forte for adalts ciprofloxacin or cipro =500mg fish flox forte cephalexin or keflex= 250mgflex 500mg fish flex forte doxycyline=100 mg bird biolic here you go get them while you can

  45. Thanks you for. Putting together this list I tryed several times but my nerves started going off so I could not finish ,but there’s one thing I would like to add when people run out of some of the medications they will go through withdral so I just want to add that gabamenton for seceures and nerve damage can help get you through it, I am not a doc I just know it works. And having alcohol for trade and pain relief is a good idea too.