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. MuddyFork says:

    Bam Bam
    Thanks for your list, it has helped me find a weakness or two in my plan. By the way, be prepared for those who will be telling you your list is not comprehensive. They need to remember this is YOUR comprehensive list and not theirs.

    Thanks Again!!

    • Muddy Fork,

      I am actually looking for folks to critique my list. I would rather have folks point out something I’ve left off my list than to go without it later on. But I know what you mean–I have not included an assault rifle or a fire engine.

      • I agree with you. Two sets of eyes are better than one and I would rather take criticism and be able to correct something I overlooked. Being overly critical is not necessary but being told something that could save your life is definitely worth your time.

        • Yep, there’s a difference between intelligent feedback and nitpicking. And the vast majority of what we get on this site is intelligent feedback.

      • I would include salt in your barter items category.

        • 2slim,

          Yes, salt is a classic barter item. I will definitely be adding that. Thanks.

        • SonOfSam says:

          Yes, I would also include salt, as well as some booze…. think what a premium you could get for a six of Budweiser after a year of no bottling. I’d be glad to do the same with cigs since I don’t smoke, but I’m told its damned near impossible to store them for very long. Maybe there’d be better luck with chewing tobacco, since they are in tins….anyone here have any experience with that?

          Items that should be on the list: as an avid gardener, I’d have to say Miracle Gro! Look, I’ve been composting for years, AND I harvest leaves from every tree in the neighborhood and crush ’em up and throw ’em in the garden AND I use annual rye grass and other cover crops to put nitrogen in the soil. I also make “manure tea” — big bag of burlap filled with poo in a large container of water. NOTHING works as well as the blue green wonder powder in a box, especially when you’re tryin g to get seedlings to keep growing and not freaking DIE on ya 🙂 . I have several boxes on hand, since the stuff keeps very well. I would never trade it or barter it. Yeah, for me its that important.

          Another item on my list: salt blocks. My reasoning is that rather than going hunting, I’d try to attract the animals closer to where I am. Less wear and tear on me, and less chance of being shot by some poser who thinks TEOTWAWKI is an excuse to play out some sort of Rambo fantasy. (Seriously, you should hear some of the Billy Badasses I run into… they have it all figured out!)
          I think there are some other items that I would never barter,
          ammo being at the top of the list. Not sure I’d ever want anyone knowing what kind of guns I have on hand..your ammo gives that way. Plus I’d be afraid of the ammo coming back at me faster than I gave it out…or am I just being too protective?

          • axelsteve says:

            I would only barter ammo with a trusted person.I would barter 30/30 and 357 mag .mabye some 12 gauge and of course 22 lr.

          • SonofSam,
            I don’t think the smokers will care if the cigs are stale. Not one bit. Yes, the sealed cans of tobacco will keep longer. My hubby is unfortunately a smoker. He will be a hurting unit when he runs out of nicotine.I have stored patches for him. I wish he would use them now. 🙁

            I also gather leaves in the fall! Hundreds and hundreds of bags. I spend weeks collecting. The packed full of beneficial minerals, make a beautiful amendment and rot nicely. I have a compost bin the size of a semi trailer.
            Please check your collection location to see if the city sprays for mosquitoes and or other insects. They often spray the trees and the insecticide that is oil based to stick on the leaves. I avoid those neighboorhoods!
            Leaves take nitrogen to decompose. Sooo… if you are just crushing them and putting straight into your soil, your manure tea and green manure is getting canceled out.
            You would be correct to store some fertilizers because people really WILL want them.

            They are other organic water soluable fertilizers that are not petroluem based you might like to look at. Max Sea and Foxfire are comparable in price, and work great. I just set up several large cattle water tanks with feeder hoses to inject our irrigation systems at 16/16/16 ratio per gallon. We have large gardens and a greenhouse. I was using the manure tea, but the FLYS around the tanks were horrible.

            I know what you mean about all the ya-hoo’s out there hunting. We live in big game territory and it is truly frightening the stupid people that carry high powered rifles. We all hunt archery to avoid the idiot fest.

            I think with the ammo trade situation. People are going to know what you have by what they see you carrying. People will be fine tuned to the sound of shots as they are tot eh sound of the neighbors car.
            Hopefully you won’t be trading with people you do not trust. We stock trade ammo calibers of what we think people will need in our neck of the woods. Mostly.22lr, then 12 gu, 30-06 and .270 are the popular hunting rounds.

            Almost every family here has these guns for hunting, but I can bet they only have a box or two of ammo for them.
            Everyone will be packing. We would like to help keep our good neighbors armed. The bad neighbors will be gone by then. They will have no reason to stay here.

            We also stock lots and lots of SEED for trade.

            • Bam Bam says:

              I have a question for the whole pack. Mama J. notes that .22 LR, 12 ga., and 30.06 are all popular rounds suitable for trade and I agree. How many of these rounds do you all think is enough? I am trying to figure this out myself.

            • Bambam, enough ammo is defined as still having some in your gun after the last round has been fired in the last firefight. Not much help I know but my crystal ball is having sunspot trouble. Enough for you, family, MAG or the National Guard? My interest in Black Powder is more than me being an old coot. It is the easiest to maintain under 17th century conditions.

            • Great question Bam Bam,
              I would say never enough. I have a monthly budget to buy ammo. Just like my electric bill. I buy what Walmart has in stock at the time.
              More 22LR than anything. It is cheap, readily available and will increase the most in value SHTF. Almost everyone who has firearms, has one. I would say that 10,000 rounds is a minimum. 555 rounds $22.00. I will keep buying it as long as I can.
              12 quage~ Ditto. Note Walmart has the 100 rounds boxes on sale during the Black Friday sale. I bought ALL of them. 2500 rounds to add to my stores. So that is my quota for the year.
              30–06/270~ These are getting pricy. Around $18.00 per 20 round box. I have not ever seen them on sale and they go up at least $1.00 a box every year right before hunting season. Even if you sold them to someone else later, you are still making money. I have boxes that I bought for $8.00.
              The Walmart in my small town has sold 26 Bushmaster, Colt, and Sig Sauer AR’s in the last 3 months. They sell them as soon as they get them, which means people are waiting. We do not know how many the gun shops are selling. We are stockpiling those rounds now also.
              420 rounds of 5.56 for 169.00. Minimum 5000 rounds. Never ever enough.

          • Like axelsteve, I would only trade ammo to someone I trusted, and then not from my stockpile of ammo for my choice of defensive weapons. However over the years I have accumulated an assortment of other ammo and would barter that. I agree that tobacco will be a hot item and that cigarettes don’t store well. How about the ‘fixin’s’ to roll your own? Do you think rough cut tobacco might keep if you vacuum packed it?

            As for the salt block, I don’t think I would do that unless you have a fool-proof means of keeping Bambi out of that tasty garden of yours once she got her minimum daily requirement of salt.

  2. To weaponry & hunting I would add: Air gun-quiet hunting of small game
    Plastic plates & bowls? Why plastic?

    • Maybe because she has small children, and/or is worried the fan event might be for a long time, and eventually glass items would break, and she would be without. I feel the same way. If a fan event hit, I have a bunch of grandchildren that would be living here.

      • Ah, good answer, Michele. I have my normal porcelain, a stock of paper plates and bowls, and metal for camping, but plastic for wee ones was overlooked.

        • "Big Jim" says:

          It’s also easier to cut up roadkill on plastic over paper or styrofoam !

        • David, paper plates/utensils will be necessary if you have someone join the group later, and may be necessary to keep them quarantined for a few weeks (max’m 40 days) – and thus allows for proper isolation until time is up.

          Or, to save water – no need to use precious resources until it is possible to again venture out and collect more.

          Or, may be a biological threat about – may need to stay in a small area for a short time – so plastic disposable spoons/plates/cups will be necessary. cheers.

        • David, paper plates/utensils will be necessary if you have someone join the group later, and may be necessary to keep them quarantined for a few weeks (max’m 40 days) – and thus allows for proper isolation until time is up.

          Or, to save water – no need to use precious resources until it is possible to again venture out and collect more.

          Or, may be a biological threat about – may need to stay in a small area for a short time – so plastic disposable spoons/plates/cups will be necessary. cheers..

    • David,

      Good idea on the air gun; I am adding that to my list for sure. I will get my dh one for Christmas.

      I am opting for plastic plates and bowls because sooner or later ceramic/glass breaks.

      • Last month I replaced my everyday dishes with Corelle. They are *almost* indestructible. I can’t believe I’ve lived so long with various chipped dishes before discovering Corelle. I have a couple of new sets but I also pick them up at thrift stores. Another advantage is they are thinner and take up less room in the cabinet.

        • Once Corelle gets 10-15 years old, we have accidently dropped them from the countertop (3 ft) and have shattered.
          If you are not prepping, you are just inepting…

        • Check out antique malls as a cheap supply of used corelle.

        • We got Corelle (Snowflake pattern) for everyday use when we got married, 35 years ago. Has been used nearly every day since and survived 3 children. Yes, they do chip sometimes. And yes, when dropped they tend to shatter but we’ve been more than satisfied.

          • axelsteve says:

            We have a ceramic tile floor in our kitchen and dining room. Any plate no long how old shatters when dropped in our house.

      • SurvivorDan says:

        I have many disposable paper and plastic plates because if my water supply is limited (in Sonoran Desert) I can dispose of dishes instead of washing them.

      • SurvivorDan says:

        Great list Bam Bam. One can’t amass everything so I believe you have chosen well. No solar powered tooth brush or blowgun and a gallon of curare? That’s OK. Great list. Well thought out.

  3. BOOZE, you forgot the booze. It can be bartered and used for medicinal purposes and just plain used for it’s intended use. I for one in a major grid down situation will miss ICE. I sure like my drinks cool and would really want to keep my refirgerator and freezzer running . I have gas gennys but need to get a solar backup, I already have the deep cycle batteries so just need the panels and controllers. Plan to check out the small sets at Harbor Freight on vac next week.

    • George,

      Backup solar power is on my wishlist. You are right about alcohol being an excellent bartering item.

      • GeorgeisLearning says:

        I thought booze before as well. I decided against it. I dont want some drunkin guy coming back drunk demanding stuff.

        • Having been in my share of fights I sure would rather have to handle a drunk guy demanding stuff than a sober one. It is a lot easier to take out a drunk than a sober guy.

  4. AZ Rookie Prepper says:

    Bam Bam, good lists. I saw a couple of items that I hadnt thought of, thanks for posting this. I also saw (I think) one item that you did not list, extra batteries and ways to recharge them. Appreciate your effort here, let me get to work now to fix the areas I feel a little short in.

    • AZ Rookie Prepper says:

      Just went back and re-looked, saw the batteries and solar recharger. Thanks for a great list !!!

  5. riverrider says:

    spices, lots. good trade item too. and i didn’t see any canned meat. can’t depend on a deer to volunteer for your table every time you need one:) nice list though. have you thought about a garden sprayer for showers? chainsaw and chainsaw oil was number one on my tools list. i’m too old to be sawing logs by hand. i picked up a couple of items from your list that i was missing, thanks! oh, hair clippers and lime too, both of which i’m short.

    • RR,

      Having lots of canned food on hand is important and the ability to can your own once the stores shut down. I didn’t put dehydrated/freeze dried foods on the list but I probably should have. And TVP.

      I have thought about a chain saw. My concern is that they make so much noise. Of course a generator makes a lot of noise too. I will see what the dh thinks about a chain saw.

      • you can look all over the net and find plans for a generator powered by a bicycle used to charge car batteries which , with modification can run anything,just keep a battery bank.keeps the kids in shape too.i also have a thought of a scooter.uses very little fuel and produces alot of power.but if you go the bike route remember the shorter the pedals the more rpms you get with less work.CAN RUN A PORTABLE ICE MAKER with aligator clips.

      • I have a smaller genny that is not too loud something like 75 dcb and I have built a box and insulated it with the styrofoam sheets and put air vents and if I have it pointed the right way you really can’t hear it. But that is with regualar background noise which would probably be gone in a grid down shtf. I do have two deep cycle batteries and a 400 watt and a 1200 watt inverter that can run tvs’, lights smaller things but would really like to be able to run the refrigerator and frezzer with them. One day if I get my homestead and have the money will get either a propane fridge and frezzer or a kerosene one and lots of fuel, both of which store for a long time.

  6. Bam Bam,

    Like MuddyFork your list help me see a couple of areas I need to work on. I too felt a bit of worry last Friday over EU/Greece. I am working toward a year of food in my home as we’re bugging in. I was happy to see canning lids in your list. I have enough for this year but have started to gather those for next year.

    Pet supplies are on my list too, I’m sure the folks at the store thought I was odd buying over 200 lbs of kitty litter!

    • Debbie, I don’t know if where you live ever has ice in winter, but some folks in my area (North Central Texas) use Kitty Litter on the ice (steps, driveway, etc) for getting a little traction as needed. So it’s good for more than just the litter box, if you ever get funny looks or questions! And there may be other uses that I don’t know about. How bout it, Wolf Pack, anybody know other uses ?

      • Lantana says:

        DJV, I’ve heard of people using kitty litter to clean up oil spills/drills in their garage, and to harden latex paint before disposal so it won’t contaminate ground water.

      • I’ve been told it’s good to soak up oil on the driveway. The elementary school I attended used it for soaking up mess from the carpets. I have used it to soak up multiple bottles of hand soap (kids are wonderful creatures <3) from my carpet. Be careful because the kitty litter I used acutally darkened my carpets and needed to use my little hand shampooer to get it all out.

      • Bam Bam says:

        My Dad always poured kitty litter on oil spills under cars. It soaked up the oil and then he just swept it up and threw it in the trash.

      • FarmerKin says:

        Kitty litter is good for spill clean up too … like oil spills.

        • We don’t get that much of an ice problem here. (Pacific northwest area.) But I’ve heard you can use litter for oil clean up too. Don’t really care what the folks at the store think. 😛

    • Debbie,

      Have you ever thought about using reusable canning lids by Tattler? Here is the link, I just bought some this year and have not tried them yet so can’t give a “thumbs up”. But they sure sound like they are a good investment. http://www.reusablecanninglids.com/
      Hope this helps some of you out there 🙂

  7. Bam Bam, great list! On the first aid I would add soft splints. On the meds, I would add antibiotics (fish AB’s work in a pinch). Also under Meds Benadryl is a miracle drug for allergic reactions. 10 W 30 oil for generator to keep on hand as well.

    • D2,

      Excellent ideas. Not only do I need to add oil for the generator, I need to add spare parts–spark plugs and so forth.

  8. This is a fabulous list Bam Bam. I have printed it out to put in my notebook. I am a great list maker also! It feels so good to cross items off lists.
    I feel fuzzy and warm all over because I have everything on the list with the exception of the Ham Radio. We have good comms with the neighbors 2 miles out, but only a CB past that.
    Some items we have an abundance, others just the minimum. Now I am inspired to work on those, I have made sub catagories on my list.

    I had a great giggle at #20. Pets and Children were put in the same catagory. Just a note: Purchase boosters shots for the pets.

    I would like to suggest a catagory. It is as or more important than the supplies needed. If you are not well, the supplies are worthless. Too lengthy for your awesome list, but I thought explanations were needed.

    21. Self
    ALL vaccinations current.
    (Including Hep A, B. Tell your health dept nurse you are traveling to Africa or Haiti. Get the vaccinations for those countries. If you are not immunized due to personal/religious beliefs you are only being protected by the herd immunity. That immunity will be gone SHTF. Anti vaxer’s, get over it. Your are immunized and nothing happened to you. Protect your kids now while you can. Wakefield and McCarthy are wrong. The FDA won’t be around to hate. Get seasonal shots as soon as they come available late summer. Don’t wait. You may not have the chance later.)

    Get your dental care completely caught up.
    (Down to the cleanings.)

    Dont put off those surgeries or procedures.
    (Better to owe the Dr. at SHTF than still having a minor problem turn potentially dangerous situtation SHTF. Exp: A chronic infected ingrown toenail turned septic later. Get that sucker removed NOW!) Ye gads..can you imagine that procedure done in your bathroom?

    Once again. Great article. I enjoyed it very much.

    • Mama J.,

      These are great ideas. Maybe Self should be number 0. The first thing on the list, the presupposition of prepping. If you are not healthy now, you will be in trouble when SHTF.

      I don’t have a ham radio. But it would be good to find someone who does.

      • Bam Bam,
        Or get your license. There is a standard question pool for each of the three license classes available for download and since there is no longer a morse code requirement, getting the license is the easiest it has ever been.

        • axelsteve says:

          Kinda sucks Pluto is not a planet and morse code was retired. And people are still driving on the wrong side of the rode.

          • axelsteve,
            I’ve been a ham for more than 30 years and also think the code is something we should still be using. There are in fact still a lot of folks using it, but the reality is that phone patches from your car to a local repeater were replaced en mass by cell phones, and computers and the internet have given people communications options that directly compete with amateur radio. Removing some of the barriers and incorporating digital modes and VoIP and radio control over the internet has helped breathe new life into the hobby, which in an emergency is often the only communications available in some areas.

  9. JP in MT says:

    Thanks for the lists!

    I love lists.

    I just need to print your a=out and compare to mine.


  10. JP in MT says:

    I just need to print your a=out and compare to mine.

    Let’s try this: “I just need to print your’s our and compare to mine.”

    I love magic fingers.

    • JP,

      Please let me know if I’ve left anything off. I am concerned that we don’t have that much time left to prep cheaply. There are rumors about the Federal Reserve guaranteeing liquidity to the European Central Bank.

      • recoveringidiot says:

        Bam Bam ,
        I believe the fed has been buying euro’s for some time now.
        Maybe I can find some reference when I get home.

        • Recovering Idiot,

          I don’t think we’ll find out how deep the Fed or U.S. banks are invested in Europe until Monday. My feel on the matter is that the Greek election will not yield a decisive winner, so whoever wins will need to form a coalition government. And the political disunity in Greece is worse than in the U.S. With no government in place, Europe is unlikely to continue bankrolling its bailout.

          On Monday we will find out how much the ECB and the Fed are willing to do to bolster the firewall between Greece and surrounding countries like Spain. My suspicion is that once the Spanish people see the raw hardships of the Greek people, there will be a massive run on banks–and if that spreads to Italy, there’s not enough money in the world pot for anyone to come to the rescue without firing up the printing press.

        • GeorgeisLearning says:

          We bailed them out in 2008 -09 to the tune of 630 billion given to the ecb.


          No way we can not throw good money after bad, its what they do.

  11. farmmomwannabe says:

    Thank you for a great list! I’ve been meaning to do this, but get sidetracked. It’s so helpful to be able to look down the list and see what we need to add–like, we don’t have enough lighters or seasoned wood for a lengthy situation. For my list, I need to add fabric, thread, patterns. Joanns has patterns on sale occasionally for 99 cents, which is a great time to add patterns for basic clothing needs. Also, I need to learn to sew on my treadle machine–when sewing along I can suddenly make it sew backwards! Operator error! A very basic sewing machine is quite useful, even in grid down situations, as you can still sew (by turning the flywheel) faster than by hand. It’s tedious, but it works.

    • farmmomwannabe says:

      I forgot to mention, we have found sewing machines selling for $5 + at garage sales. It’s better to have one and not need it!
      Also, buy plenty of sewing needles in universal, leather & jeans thickness.

      • jenzyjordan says:

        I would definitely add a bunch of thread to the “sewing kit”. A general sewing kit will do well for a minor repair but if we need to make things by hand… we will need lots of basic sewing thread spools. They are cheap and there’s no reason not to have several spools of the basic colors.

        I like the idea of having a sewing machine but I have been prepping towards no electricity, so it is hand sewing for me- unfortunately.

        • Kelekona says:

          If you have a sewing machine and use it to start sewing your own clothes, add a couple of packs of needles and many of the supplies for machine sewing can become hand-sewing supplies once electricity goes away.

          I have a mechanical sewing machine, and I’m thinking that perhaps I could kludge a treadle replacement for the motor assuming that I last long enough to need it.

    • Bam Bam says:

      Thanks FarmMom. I know absolutely nothing about sewing. I can sew a button on but that’s about it. This is probably a skill I should consider acquiring. I wonder how many people out there can take animal hair or cotton, and turn it into usable fabric.

      • Bam Bam…great list…re the sewing..what I have been doing – and I can sew, is to instead buy lots of quality clothes – summer and winter wear…and also swede and leather jackets – both men and women’s – assorted sizes from medium to large…have managed to buy great bargains on the $1 racks and also on the 50% off days…

        and today bought 14 more pairs of socks – 50 cents a pair – wool and wool blend – these are going to be washed as usual in disinfectant/detergent – then softener…and dried in sun – and then vac sealed and put away for when SHTF.

        There is no way I could sew or darn or knit these items for the prices to be had – however, I do have sewing notions and cloth put away in bulk – just in case.

        Have read that some Greeks are only now stocking up on canned goods and pasta – prior to their upcoming election.

        As time appears to be of the essence – thrift shop stores have lots of quality items for small change…and can use all valuable time to learn new skills. cheers.

        • Chloe,

          I have been stocking up on clothing. I have made a point of planning for weight loss. So we have clothing in the next few sizes down.

      • Bam Bam-
        There aren’t many today with the know-how to make fabric. A cottage industry exists in the historical re-enactor community, but though I’ve been active in both Rev War and Medeival re-enactor communities for over 20 years, I’ve only seen something other than wool processed into either thread / yarn or woven once. That’s a real shortfall in our current common knowledge set. I’m not opposed to wool when it’s cold, but not a fan for the rest of the year.
        Think for a while, at least the majority of clothing will either be altered from larger, otherwise unwearable stuff or cobbed together from household items. Scarlet O’Hara ring any bells? It’s not that difficult to imagine.
        When I was a very young child, my grandmother started teaching me how to make clothes by taking old favorite items that I’d outgrown apart at the seams and laying them out on newspaper and trace around them. Then, knowing how much I’d grown and which parts of the old item I would most likely grow out of first, we traced an additional line around the first tracing. Then, take account of any additional allowance that would need to be given for waistbands, hems , or drawstrings, and add the extra inch or three (depending on the style of these finishing touches) and assume all of your seams will require an additional 5/8 inch or so.. and then cut out your newspaper pattern. Place your pattern on new material and cut your pieces. Sometimes, before this step, we’d use masking tape strips and piece together the pattern to make sure it all makes sense. It will appear ridicously large at this point, if it doesn’t, the final product won’t fit!
        There are alot of guides and rules that come with the putting together of your piece of clothing, and I probably shouldn’t go into them here… This is long enough already. If you try to make your own clothes, it can be very rewarding, but expect alot of frustration before you get there! I do make alot of my own wardrobe, though I still have dreadful failures from time to time. Still, there’s nothing like wearing exactly what you like, in the style and material you’ve chosen yourself, and knowing it looks good! It’s a fun hobby and skill to have.

        • Cat,

          This is a great skill. You must have a lot of patience. That is one category where I am utterly lacking. LOL

          • alikaat says:

            Bam Bam-
            The number and quality of new skills you have learned here over the past year or so is astonishing. Learning a new skill takes patience and perseverence in the face of failures that are inevitable when just starting out. Sewing is no different!

            • Cat,

              No, sewing is different–sewing requires that one sit still. LOL That’s the problem. I can’t sit still. My dh is constantly saying, “Slow down there little buddy.”

            • Bam Bam,
              When I sew I am not sitting still. You are moving constantly. You must get up constantly to press seams, and if you get a treadle machine you will be moving those legs!
              I learned to sew from my mother and an awesome home ec teacher. I have made hundreds of garments and would highly recommend folks take class to learn how to sew correctly, so you are not so frustrated. Then it is a peice of cake! And fun.

  12. Paper towels spring to mind.

    Broken down cardboard boxes are handy. You can use them as boxes, or mulch, or to protect the floor, to black out windows, as air flow blocks, insulation, kindling, you name it.

    You can heat just your bed area in the winter, if you make a frame around it like a 4-poster, and wall it in. This could be a real 4-poster, or as simple as a few 2×4’s or even just some saplings you chop down, tied to your bed legs, and some cardboard fastened on. It might look ugly but you could be more comfortable. It’s always good to have a couple spare 2×4’s around for things like this.

    You could heat rocks in a fire like they do for a sauna or sweat lodge, then put them under the bed in a pan. That way, you’re not having an improvised heating fire indoors where you could get carbon monoxide, but you can still stay warm with the above-mentioned bed enclosure. So I would collect rocks for that and just keep them in a box or something. No river rocks, they can explode in a fire.

    Finally, you can make sets of bars on wood frames for your windows. Sort of like plywood that’s pre-cut for your windows. Then you would mount it when it was needed. Until then, you could use them as pot racks, indoor trellises, or laundry racks, or just hide them behind the couch or something.

    • Bam Bam says:

      Paper products–that should be on my list for sure. Paper towels, paper plates, napkins, ect. This is exactly the kind of feedback I was hoping to get.

  13. Plastic plates and bowls are lighter and more impact resistant, I however stock paper plates and bowls. Cuts down on wash water.

  14. Mother Earth says:

    Bam Bam, great list! I’m going to print it off and check stuff off I have and maybe add to it after I study it for awhile. The only thing I have not on the list is my binder of “recipes” for making my own cleaning products, soap, toothpaste and such. Having the recipe for say…lip balm may come in handy if I run out, especially not knowing when/if things will ever return normal. Since I’m not good at making lists, I appreciate it when others make them, so thanks.

    • Bam Bam says:

      Mother Earth,

      I keep a notebook of all my soap recipes. We may not have access to a lye calculator so keeping records is important. I don’t know much about making lip balm. Any chance you would share your recipe? I have made lotion from bees wax pellets and olive oil/sweet almond oil and essential oils.

      • MotherEarth says:

        Hi Bam Bam, the lip balm is pretty much the same ingredients you use for lotion. Here is the recipe I used:
        Homemade Lip Balm Recipe
        -7 teaspoons grated beeswax
        -6 teaspoons coconut oil
        -6 teaspoons jojoba oil
        -1 ½ teaspoons vitamin E (vitamin E oil)
        -1 teaspoon essential oil
        1)Melt beeswax, coconut oil, jojoba oil, and vitamin E in a small pot over low heat. Stir with a stirring wood or plastic spoon.
        2)Remove from heat to add essential oil. Stir well to combine.
        3)Pour into tins and let cool on the counter until solid.
        This recipe will yield four 1 ounce tins or I actually bought
        some tubes I reuse. Hope this helps.

        • Mother Earth,

          Okay, your lip balm recipe is very close to the recipe I have been using for lotion. I just put the wax and the oils in a jar and microwave it until the wax melts. Then I add the essential oils.

  15. village idiot says:

    That’s a pretty all-inclusive list, Bam Bam, and it’s pointless to nitpick. I wouldn’t have any heartburn at all if I had everything on your list. I would feel well prepared. Although I would never trade ammo as a barter good, as it very well might be used against me or an ally.

    • Bam Bam says:


      I will only trade ammo with folks that I know. I agree that it is pointless to nitpick. But there is always room for improvement.

    • FarmerKin says:

      Bam Bam, very nice list. I started a list too, also prompted by the article that M.D. posted about Greece. I didn’t get as far with mine as you did though, too many competing priorities. Thanks for sharing your list, I always like to see what others are doing and thinking. I have a couple ideas to share.

      I agree with village, I would not trade ammo as a barter item for the same reason. If someone needs ammo, they may also need the other things that I have. Not sure I would trade liquor as some suggest either … instant idiot, just add alcohol. I know not everyone turns into an idiot, but why chance it? For barter, I think regular isopropyl alcohol and hydrogen peroxide would be good, also cheaper than liquor. You already have these on your list, just a couple extra to trade if need be. Another item I have decided on for barter is calcium hypochlorite (pool shock). Everyone will need safe water, and it takes up such little storage space. I’m going to have a few extra packs around that I can divvy up for trade, complete with pre-printed instructions for how to use as a water purifier.

      For your “identification and documents” section, maybe add vehicle titles and land deeds.

      On the list that I had started, I had a category for transportation. We don’t know what our future will look like, but I think our transportation options may be impacted greatly. Bicycles would be great, but I also thought of scooters … like the Razor type scooters that were so popular with the kids a few years back. These generally fold up and could be put in your trunk in case you get stuck away from home. Also a wagon or wheelbarrow, for moving or hauling things. I have a water source not too far from my home, but carrying it would be very back breaking, a wagon would make hauling it home much easier.

      Hope these ideas help someone. Thanks again for sharing.

      • FarmerKin says:

        Ah, just started reading Howitzers article on the humble get home vehicle. He’s got the scooter covered there.

      • Farmer Kin,

        Excellent ideas! I didn’t even think about transportation as a category. My dh and I have bicycles. They make trailers for bicycles. That would be an idea.

        I have been looking into getting some pool shock. One website I read said to get 100 percent calcium hypoclorite. But the pool shock at Walmart contains only 68 percent calcium hypoclorite. Is this okay to use for water purification purposes?

        • i stocked up on pool shock at walmart over a year ago.as strong as it is 100% would scare me.a couple of bags at 68% is just fine and will last forever,but please do research into the correct mixture to use in drinking water.

        • FarmerKin says:

          Bam Bam, I’m still trying to figure out what strength is needed too. I bought mine from Leslie’s Pool and it is 73%. Even the article on the EPA website doesn’t specify exactly, it just refers to “high-test” (link below).


          Do you remember what website you read recommending 100%?

          • Bam Bam says:


            I would have to go back and search for it. The context of 100 percent calcium hypoclorite was to make sure it didn’t have any additives like anti-algae chemicals. I am entirely confused about this. If the package of pool shock says 68 percent does that mean the remaining 32 percent is other stuff? Or does the 68 refer to the strength of the chemical?

          • jenzyjordan says:

            The site mentioned above also noted that regular iodine can be used….
            “You can use tincture of iodine to disinfect filtered and settled water. Common household iodine from the medicine chest or first aid kit may be used to disinfect water. Add five drops of 2 percent U.S. or your country’s approved Pharmacopeia tincture of iodine to each quart or liter of clear water. For cloudy water add ten drops and let the solution stand for at least 30 minutes.”

        • bernie in texas says:

          hello Bam Bamgreat list here is some thing make your own solloidal silver coleman fuel pepper spray bats get as much honey as you can it will last for ever charcoal lighter fluid water containters any size propane cylinders they will be gone vitamins all kinds aluminum foil the heavy duty gasoline containers plastic or metal the older ones the new ones are junk garbage bags you cant have to many toilet paper 500 rolls coleman pump repair kittuna fish in oil baking soda lots of it saw dust 10 bags of it for out side shit house batteries all sizes garlic yeast matches strike any whereduck tape mesquite coils repellent sprays and creams candles lots of them tarps stakes twine nails rope and spikes d-con rat poison roach killer baby wipes hand pump siphons for water and fuels boy scout hand book pop corn peanut butter you cant have enouf lumber all types gloves screen patches glue paraffin wax bernie from texas

  16. How about cigarettes? Good barter item, especially if you don’t smoke, you won’t smoke your profits up.

    If you do smoke, try growing your own tobacco, and perhaps cut it with sunflower leaves or sage. Tobacco is finicky to grow, I’ve never been able to get it to work, but maybe your mileage will be different.

  17. Excellent as usual Bam Bam. Well thought out ane tailorable for each individuals needs, for example, artificial sweeteners until stevia can be greenhouse grown for we diabetics. Still keep the honey and sugar on the list for others of which you no doubt will end up having, (why would things change in a SHTF situation, parasites will always be with us)/

    • For sweeteners you can raise bees, grow sugar beets, and tap maple trees in the spring. A bit of work here, but you can generally have more than you need with some left to barter.
      Growing grains like wheat and corn are relatively easy (if you have the acreage). The hardest thing I’ve run into so far is storing or having plans to create enough fats and oils, unless we’re looking at things like rendered fat from beef and hogs. 100 years ago our ancestors lived reasonably well while doing nearly all of their own production.

      • Bam Bam says:

        “100 years ago our ancestors lived reasonably well while doing nearly all of their own production.” I have thought about this quite a bit. 100 years ago, there were more resources (animals to hunt, fish to cut, timber to harvest) and few people competing for these resources.

        I watched a special on Mt. St. Helen’s. 25 years later, the devastated landscape has recovered. Lakes that were mud pools have returned–full of trout. Animal life has returned. I wonder if we have a massive world-wide economic collapse, if there will be a corresponding decrease in the human population. If so, how many years will it take for nature to reset itself so we can live like folks lived 100 years ago?

        • Suspect that interval may be shorter than you think. With all the accompanying mortalities and dangers..in spades, because will all be newbies.
          A couple of years… Maybe even 4 or 5, in the event of a complete collapse, more if collapse is more gradual, with perhaps les dramatic loss of life.

          • I’m not even sure it’s the newbie part as much as reliance on society and technology. Right off the top some folks will be gone due to lack of support infrastructure from O2 concentrators to insulin. Add to that the little infections that used to kill us and may start doing so again. We have a lot more knowledge than we had as far as food preparation, sanitation, water treatment, etc; however, most of the population relies on someone else to do those things for them. Depending on the event, what form it takes, and when it happens (winter without power would be worse than summer in the northern latitudes) there could be a pretty quick initial die off, and what happens after that would depend a lot more on what the rest of society did and how it interacted and cooperated. A change of priorities could help with simple things like converting the 1.2-2.2 million acres of golf course into gardens, and that could feed a lot of people.

            • alikaat says:

              I think our best chance to weather a collapse is to hope it occurs as gradually as possible. Like the frog in the frying pan… gradual decay will give people a chance to learn the skills necessary to survive as each system breaks down, one at a time. Like I said above – the slower, the lower the casualty count. There may be enough of us with the kind of know-how to do for ourselves scattered throughout the general population that though we will not be able to provide material goods without endangering our own families, we will be able to teach people the skills they will need to provide for their own families. Gardening, water treatment, small-animal husbandry, cooking from staples, storing for scarcity, hunting, and all of the other critical skills we are busy learning from each other will be what may enable people to survive if things begin to break down.
              If things happen in a blink of the eye… say less than a year, far more will not make it. Hoping if it does come, we have at least few years, if not a decade or more.

            • O.P.,

              That makes sense. There were food shortages in England during WWII and folks cultivated every plot of land they could. I just don’t know if Americans are willing to cooperate or if Americans are willing to work.

            • Alicat, such was the novel Overshoot by Mona Clee. Not with a bang but a whimper, good read. Terrace gardens, barter economy, lack of advanced medical care.

            • Kat,
              I think you’re partially correct, but it would depend on the actual event type and the length of time. To soft of an event or too long of a timeline and too many people would continue their normalcy bias and not change their habits. As long as things are not too hard or they think there’s still a lot of time left, then the less effort they are willing to do outside of their comfort zone to make the chage to the new reality.

        • axelsteve says:

          Japan was nuked twice in ww2 and they are doing ok.

        • Bam Bam,
          I don’t know that per capita we have fewer resources now than we had back then. It’s just that we now choose to utilize those resources differently and perhaps in a more wasteful manner. 50 years ago I grew up on the edge of a city of about 50,000 but nearly everyone I know had different priorities. We all had yards with grass, but I don’t know of anyone who had a lawn service come in to weed and feed. In the summer when it was hot and dry, the grass turned brown, and any watering that we did was directed at the garden, which you could find in nearly every backyard, often taking up more space than the lawn. People living on the real edge of the city (including the area where I grew up) often kept chickens and rabbits, as well as bees. We had several large cherrie trees and the neighbors had a huge grape arbor. Rhubarb and other perennials grew everywhere. I think that except for the deepest inner city, as long as water can be made available people will convert useless ornamental land into green space for growing food. Chickens, rabbits, and even goats or an occasional cow will also be seen, because there will be no HOA busybodies to tell you what you cannot do. We have the resources and I think many people can learn the skills, once it becomes obvious that the paradigm has shifted, and there’s a new sheriff in town, one who in this case will not be telling you to mow, but instead to sow

      • tommy2rs says:

        You can tap any member of the maple family to make syrup, pecan, walnut, hickory, red maple, etc.. They won’t be as sweet therefore yielding less volume but if you don’t have sugar maples these will work.

        Another source of fats is nuts and seeds. Amazon has the Piteba Oil Expeller for just this purpose.


  18. Excellent as usual Bam Bam. Well thought out and tailorable for each individuals needs, for example, artificial sweeteners until stevia can be greenhouse grown for we diabetics. Still keep the honey and sugar on the list for others of which you no doubt will end up having, (why would things change in a SHTF situation, parasites will always be with us)/

  19. Sorry for the double posting, editing did not take for some reason on first post and it just went ahead and posted. Sometimes I think this computer has a mind of it’s own and I definitely need a new keyboard. I long for the days of the manual typewriter and my 96 cwpm speed and a space bar that actually worked each and every time. Did not need to edit back then as there were no crossovers with a manual. Frustrating to press a “d” key and get an “e” and then to have that stubborn “k” keep appearing because that finger is longer than the rest.

    • mountain lady says:

      Harold, I have been going through the same keyboard issues for the past couple months. That is the real reason that I stopped posting. Last week, I found this keyboard at the Goodwill store in town for $5.00, and it is perfect. Just the right size and all the keys work.

      • i have problems with cell phones,keyboard,cable,internet,and all of my neighbors and freinds complain with the same issues.makes me wonder if its the begining of the solar flares.

      • Good for you for your find. I haven’t been able to be that lucky since I am particular on what I use and the enhanced keyboards don’t show up there very often. Found one on EBay and just waiting for it to get here and then maybe I won’t have to backspace anymore and hit the space bar several times to work. Also should solve the intermittent crossover problem between d and e. No hope for the k though as that finger is longer and sensitivity can’t be individually set for the keys. No problem with a manual Royal on the highest setting which was necessary for more rapid key return to enable me to type that fast.

  20. Nets n Screens has come up with Mosquito Net For Windows which makes your home 100% mosquito proof and at the same time enhances the look of your windows.

    • Bam Bam says:

      For folks living in the South, mosquito netting will be so important. If the electric fails, there will be no AC. And that means we will have the windows open–screen repair kits and mosquito netting for screens will be key to reducing disease.

  21. Bam Bam, thanks for the article, the list and all your time compiling it. I love lists too! Now, me and DH won’t have to wonder what we are going to do tonight. We are going to sit down and go over the list and see what we are lacking!

  22. Bam Bam…great job. Lista are ALWAYS helpful, and I’m with you: when I get concerned, I too make lists! 🙂

    Like someone else said, I’d add liquor…and tobacco products. I don’t drink or smoke, but so many people do, even “good” people :), that it would be good to have those on hand. The liquor is good for sterilizing or at least minimizing germs on things too. And tobacco helps keep bugs away.

    I’ll have to further compare your list to mine, and see if I have anything else to add, but I wanted to post this for now.

    You always have good basic info to share. Thanks.

  23. I like a scanner for the communications category. Gives you real-time info on what the local police and emergency services are doing. Most pick up the 2M and 70cm bands too, for listening to local ham repeaters if they activate ARES/RACES during an emergency. radioreference.com will have all the freqs for your area if anyone’s interested.

    • Hunker-Down says:


      Thanks for the reference. All we have at the moment is a hand crank and a weather radio. A scanner is on the short list.

  24. Extra ammo like boxes of .22 LR for barter…

  25. I’d suggest you also have a small bolt cutter on the list. You never know but you might have to cut a lock.

    • JP in MT says:

      The small ones sound good, but from experience using them… get the biggest ones you can carry.

  26. my must have add ons are multi purpose miracle grow(food gardens get hungry too).mira cool cooling bandanas,and lots of them(can be wrapped around head,neck,wrists or used to help relieve suffering of pets and you)the more you have the better you will be.they look like a rip off but when soaked they get fat.if you have a faraday cage for electronics remember an emp will erase dvds and cds.cold sore and tooth ache meds,chap stick.lip balm,christmas tree lights put out good light and use very litte power(remember they do have fuses)lots of tang, 1 serving gives 100 % vitimine c,commercial mop bucket with wringer,they are normaly yellow,canned chicken and beef broth saves precious drinking water(i even can my own after i boil chicken,bake beef in water,and i do pork too)just double strain it,it can be frozen in zip lock bags untill you have a huge batch to can,reel mower will keep fleas and ticks down and take away hiding places.battery powered hair clipers(for peson and pets)can save alot of misery.this is just some of my ideas i have and/ or working on.also, dont forget aligator clips to connect extension cords,power bars with power surge protector,multi purpose electric skillet and wok with lids,drop lights and other electrical items to 12 volt car batteries.i have other things i do so if you have any questions feel free to ask

  27. Powerbars or other “nutrition” bars. Cheap at costco and sams club and there are a lot of calories, protein, etc. Easy to carry and store. A meal in a bar (albeit a small one).

  28. That’s a great list Bam Bam. Looking over it, there’s a few small items I need, there’s some I don’t need. But there’s one major one I want but don’t have yet—a generator. I’m looking, but it’s a big buy and an important one. I want to make sure I get a good one but also one that fits in my budget.

    • Bam Bam says:


      I bought a generator in 2005 after we had several tropical storms in a row–Charlie, Fran and I can’t remember the others. We haven’t lost electricity since. But I am glad I have it. Having a generator allows me to have a second freezer without worry.

  29. tommy2rs says:

    Might add in a sling blade (aka yoyo, bowknife) or a scythe for keeping grass and weeds down. Cheaper than a reel mower. Lots quieter than a standard mower and would attract less attention.

    Same thing for a chainsaw replacement, kind of like this:

    A good eye hoe (aka grub hoe) is handy for gardening and trenching. This year I also added a push plow (aka wheel hoe) with all the attachments including a seeder. It’s reduced my garden labor considerably. And once again it’s quiet. Got all that from EasyDigging.com

    For the kids one could go stock up on print and play games. Cheaper than buying board games.


  30. Kelekona says:

    I barely skimmed your list, going to study it later.

    Instructional books and printouts. Do you have instructions on how to make vinegar?

    Iodine, seems to me that it can do something that peroxide and rubbing alcohol can’t. Also muscle liniment, blister treatment, stuff for sprains. Stuff for splinters. Superglue though it’s shelf-life isn’t good, acetone for superglue accidents.

    Medicinal vodka is good, especially when you run out of listerine and other disinfectants. Build a still and store it unassembled. You will have someone in your business if you buy a still. At least learn how to make distilled water, where making wood alcohol is one thing where you might want to wait until after the apocalypse to try.

    • Bam Bam says:


      I need to learn to make vinegar or at least have the instructions and ingredients on hand so I can make it. Without vinegar, one would be limited in terms of what they are able to can.

      • Making vinegar is soooo easy. However, if you want to can with it, be sure to have something to test the acidity – most canning recipes are set for 5%. Less acidity might make your canned food unsafe.

        Make Apple Cider Vinegar From Scraps

        This method uses scraps, like the peels and cores (minus the seeds). I like this method because I get to eat my apples and make vinegar too. It takes around two months to complete the process.

        You’ll need:
        -a large bowl or wide-mouth jar (I use an old sun tea jar)
        -apple scraps from 12 or more apples or 10 apples cut into thin slices (and a little sugar to make it ferment faster)
        -a piece of cheesecloth for covering the jar to keep out flies and debris
        -optional – I added about 1/2 c of Bragg Apple Cider Vinegar with the Mother (this really is optional – it will work just fine without)

        Leave the scraps to air. They’ll turn brown, which is exactly what you want. Add the apple scraps to the jar and top it up with water.

        You can continue to add scraps for a few more days if you want. If you’re going to do this though, be sure don’t top the jar right up, leave some room for the new scraps and a little bit of room (not much 1/2 inch is more than enough) for the fermenting process.

        Cover with the cheesecloth and put it in a warm, dark place. On top of the refrigerator toward the back is fine. Bring it down and stir occasionally.

        You’ll notice the contents of the jar starts to thicken after a few days and a grayish scum forms on top (this is the mother).

        When this happens, stop adding scraps and leave the jar for a month to 6 months to ferment.

        After about a month you can start taste-testing it. When it’s just strong enough for you, strain out the apple scraps and bottle the vinegar.

        It’s OK if your vinegar is cloudy, there will be some sediment from the apples and what’s known as “the mother”. If you don’t like the cloudiness though, straining it through a paper coffee filter will remove most of the sediment.

        That’s it – super easy.

        • Thank you! We probably eat that many apples in a couple of days around my house. This would be easy to do.
          Now…to find a good container…

  31. Schatzie Ohio says:

    I would add rubber bands in different sizes and the hairband type too. Coffee filters in the larger size like used for party coffee makers in addition to the smaller personal size coffee makers. Charcoal chimney starter and a supply of newspapers so that you don’t have to use charcoal lighter fluid.

    • Bam Bam says:


      I just bought one of the charcoal chimney starters for my dh. He kept saying, “This is not going to work.” He was shocked when it worked just as advertised. Charcoal lighter fluid is a thing of the past.

      • I have a couple extra heavy duty ones and they work pretty well as a rocket stove. Can boil a qt of water in a few minutes with a handfull of sticks.

  32. Q : What does Globalism and Communism have in common ?
    A : They dont work

  33. Texanadian says:

    I found out the other day that a set of jewel’s screwdrivers are handy. I wear cheaters for reading and close work and the little screws keep coming loose. A minor item but without my cheaters any close work is darn near impossible.

    • Bam Bam says:


      You can put a bit of clear nail polish on the little screws and they won’t come loose.

    • JP in MT says:

      A couple of my trade items are:

      Eye glasses repair kit,
      small sewing kit,
      lens clothes,
      cheap ponchos,
      shoe/boot laces.

      These are available at most dollar stores, most people will need them at one time or another, and unlike alcohol and ammo they won’t “bite” you later.

  34. trapper from manitoba says:

    The one thing that jumped out at me is fishing gear and traps. I rely on fish just as much if not more than meat and at the very least a fishing kit with appropriate gear to fish in your area. I have gill nets and a few canoes at my camp and they are some of the most important items there in terms of food procurement. The ability to set a net, under ice also, should be a priority for people and it seems as though few people realize the bounty to be had.

    Both nets and traps are food procurement items that free you up to do other things while actively working to gather food while you are not around.

    Most trappers struggle to make ends meet, learn some skills from a trapper. If you can’t locate one, place an ad with what you want to learn and offer to pay something to be shown and learn the skill.

    Win-win for you and someone.

  35. hi. how about flea mrdicine and ear mite meds and other meds for animals. expensive but necessary. our cat has asthma so needs meds.

    • Diatomaceous Earth mixed 3/1 with Borax kills fleas and ticks not only on dogs but also in their bedding. For cats just DE of the edible grade can be used as a dusting powder.

    • And ear mites can be handled with regular vegetable or mineral oil.

  36. Thats a great list.

  37. mountain lady says:

    Bam Bam, I found your lists to be excellent. I feel even better today, having read them and realizing that I am even better prepared than I thought. I know I have more of some things than I will ever need, but I am sure someone will need them. Thanks again.

  38. Sister Judi says:

    Best list I have read.Thank you.I see some areas I need to work on.
    I would add tea tree oil,apple cider vinegar,and Bay leaves.The first 2 are amazing on skin problems,infections etc. and the Bay leaves keep all sorts of bugs, roaches , ants ,spiders, away.Since I started using these items I have a bug free home and never a sore throat thanks to gargling with the apple cider and tea tree and skin infections are miraculous.GOOD LUCK EVERYBODY

    • Bam Bam says:

      Sister Judi,

      I make a lotion from beeswax and olive oil/sweet almond oil and I add tea tree oil and peppermint. I used to have very dry skin. Since I have started using this, I have had no problem with dryness.

      Cider vinegar is an essential for caning. Good call on that one. I will try the bay leaves. Thanks for the feedback.

  39. Also another Barter-able item are small bottles of liquor like you get on airlines. a very handy item I think.

  40. Cosmolined says:

    Bam Bam:
    I’d add tinfoil and freezer grade ZipLock bags, baby powder in addition to the wipes, an extra string for the compound bow and cleaning stuff for the weps. I have 2 fireplaces so I have an electric chainsaw, one gasoline that I use and one backup with extra chains. (Get two cycle oil if you decide to have one.) Great Lists!, Blessings, Cos

  41. Cosmolined says:

    Oops, you listed tinfoil and bags under household items. My mistake.

  42. It might have been mentioned above, but as to flashlights and radios, the hand-cranked ones might prove a good backup, or invaluable if you have none.

    On a lesser note, those solar-powered garden lights would come in handy at night in perhaps saving a candle or two, or just as night lights.

    • Oatka,

      Good ideas. I haven’t seen you post before. Welcome to the Wolf Pack.

    • conmaze says:

      oatka and Bam Bam,

      If you get the outdoor solar lights, check to make sure the use AA batteries rather than a disk or button. This way they serve double duty…lights if you need them and solar battery charger – remove the battery and use it in something else. I purchased 18 of these on clearance last fall, box of 6 lights for $4 at Tractor Supply. I use one set outside now and they are nice and bright and stay lit all night.

  43. I earned that nic name warning all around me to get ready. i forsaw this some 20 years ago and got started geting ready. my mistak was trying too get all around me to get ready. now they know that i am prepaired. be carefull. but by all means get ready. food medical supplys guns and rifles and at least 500 rounds per weapon also think of reloading knifes water supplys. you van download for free the book where there is no doctor and where there is no denist. god bless and thik locategorelocatuck rocat

  44. Lantana says:

    Love the list, Bam Bam–thanks for putting it together.

    The things I didn’t see (or maybe missed) were salt, shampoo, conditioner (vinegar could cover that), headbands or ponytail holders for those with long hair, sweat bands, deodorant, witch hazel, cotton swabs, an eye wash cup, thermometer and, for us Southern gals, a handheld fan or two.

    • Lantana says:

      Oh, and water moc chow. . . .

    • Bam Bam says:


      I have been experimenting with washing my hair with homemade soap. OMG, my homemade soap works better than shampoo and conditioner. Now I am planning on making a special soap with pine cone lily juice. I plan on mixing the pine cone lily juice with the lye.

  45. Tricia in NC says:

    Fire extinguishers & tea tree oil

  46. Thank you Bam Bam! This is a great article and has also generated some additional helpful hints I’ll be taking onboard.

  47. 1982MSgt says:

    4 – Add Suture Kit w/nylon thread/fishing line, hook needles, forceps
    7 – Hibachi, white gas for the Coleman Stove
    8 – Two round Magnifying glasses (start fires/see ticks, splinters)
    9 – Tomahawk, hatchet, spare clips, more ammo get lots of .22 cal
    10 – Navy wool watch cap, wool socks, wool shirts
    16 – Booze, cigarettes, chewing tobacco
    18 – Mortgage paperwork, Property tax paperwork/Receipts

    Hope this helps.

    • Bam Bam says:

      I do have a question for the Pack. We received our ammo from Lucky Gunner. I compared the .22 LR to the 30.06. Now in my mind I am thinking, “What good could .22 do?” Will it put down anything other than a small rodent? Why do folks stock so much .22 ammo? I have a little .22 pistol and an over-under. But now I am questioning their value.

      • 1982MSgt says:

        The .22 cal rifle or pistol is good for putting meat on the table. Like rabbits, squirrels and if you are a very good shot turkeys, ducks pheasants. It is normally the gun of choice to put beef or milk cattle and hogs, sheep and goats down for butchering.

        It can be used as a defense weapon – but I advise against that. You could put five rounds into a person and they will still get to you – and now you just made them very very angry.

        Close in defense I suggest a 12 gauge shotgun with “OO Buck” or
        “BB” loads. A shot gun is a very good defense weapon plus when the opportunity comes it can be good for hunting Geese, Duck, pheasants, or grouse.

        • Bam Bam says:


          Thank you for the reply. I have so much to learn! When we received the order my dh put in for Lucky Gunner, I compared the .22 and the 30.06 and I thought, “Good night. This little bullet won’t do anything.” But the folks on Swamp People hunt alligator with .22. That just strikes me as nuts. But I guess they don’t want to take a chance of ruining the skin.

      • axelsteve says:

        A 22 will easily kill a wild turkey that we have in our area. A turkey will feed a family for a while.You can use it to put down unwanted pests.22 is cheap ,well not really anymore but it is economical.Cheap target practice is also good. You can learn to shoot a 22 and a 30/06 is the same except for noise reciol and cost.

  48. 1982MSgt says:


    In 1998 a coworker (ex-Navy Pilot) and I would discuss America’s weaknesses over lunch. It went on over months.

    1. America’s military might and willingness to fight an enemy would preclude anything but a sneak attack. (the 9-11).
    2. The economy is our weakest point because of American corporate/company/banking greed. . . . . (2008).
    3. Another thing we decided was detrimental to our nation was it’s moral compass. . . . (abortions, suicides, teen pregnancies, Gay/Lesbian coming out . . . . . . . (same sex marriage/equal rights for same sex spouses).
    4. Parents not teaching children right from wrong. . .(leaving it to the liberal school teachers)
    5. Not holding people personally responsible for their actions. . . . . . .
    (DOJ Holter/Fast Track Guns Case/Picking Legal Prosecutors who owe their jobs to Obama/that same guy gave $$$$ to the Obama campaign.)

    Geez, we were not off very much were we?

  49. God I just love this site. Bam Bam I love your list. Too many times we forget to look outside the box, plus sometimes we get set in our ways and forget how much we can learn from others. I’ll be printing this out and add it to the others I’ve already got (got to add printer paper to the shopping list). Great ideas from the wolfpack also.
    Keep the Faith

    • Bam Bam says:


      I have added several things to my list that I hadn’t thought about–air rifle, corn starch, suture kit, tea tree oil, oil for generator. It is great to get intelligent feedback. We are all stronger in our preps now.

  50. Love the list!! Thanks so much! Love the other suggestions ! I would add a book on basic gardening. Thanks again!!!

    • Bam Bam says:


      Good idea. I realize that there are things folks will need that I didn’t really consider prepping items. I have dozens of books on gardening. If the Fan Event occurs (I love this term, BTW), and we loose internet our primary source of information will be our books and our survival binders. I think my next article is going to be formulating a comprehensive list of skills (with corresponding links) for survival binders. I will call it: “What’s in Your Binder?”

  51. 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

  52. 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.

  53. 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.

  54. 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.

  55. 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!

  56. 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.

  57. 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.

  58. 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!

  59. DieselDog says:

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

  60. 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.

  61. 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.

  62. 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.

  63. 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.

  64. 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.

  65. Bam Bam says:


  66. Bam Bam says:

    Another Test.

  67. 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.

  68. 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.

  69. 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.

  70. 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.

  71. 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

  72. 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.

  73. 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.

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

  75. 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.

  76. Anonymous says:

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

  77. 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.

  78. 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.

  79. 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.

  80. 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.)

  81. 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.

  82. 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.

  83. 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.

  84. 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.

  85. 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.

  86. 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.

  87. 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.

  88. SurvivorDan says:

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

  89. SurvivorDan says:

    Naturally I would also have soy sauce and spam. 😉

  90. bernie in texas says:

    i learned a lot today thank you

  91. 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.

  92. 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.

  93. 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

  94. 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

  95. 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.

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