Preppers Survival Gear List: Ten MORE Things To Do Now

Preppers Survival Gear List : Ten MORE Things To Do Now

You may remember my post “10 things to do now!“, if not go read it before continuing – go on I’ll wait… Done. great. Now let’s go back to the shopping center with another survival food and gear list and ten more things to do now. Ready? Great.

1. Go to the grocery department and pick up 5 lbs of powdered milk or the equivalent of canned, now go over to the next aisles and throw in 5 lbs of rolled oats and a case of Ramen noodles. Ramen noodles aren’t the most nutritional food but they are cheap, add bulk to the diet and store well –  just don’t rely on them to provide all your nutritional needs. And don’t forget a good manual can opener.

2. While you’re in the grocery department be sure to pick up an assortment of spices to taste, such as Basil, Chili powder, Cinnamon, Garlic, Sage, Marjoram, Oregano, Rosemary, Thyme and Black Pepper. Spices can go along way toward making unfamiliar foods palatable. Also, while you’re in that area add 5 or more lbs of salt to your shopping cart, as you know salt has 101 uses.

3. Okay, counting what you bought during our first trip to the shopping center, that should do it for the grocery. Now go over to the area near the pharmacy and pick up 3 large tubes of toothpaste, 3 brushes, 100 double edge razor blades, (note: if you don’t have a razor you’ll probably have to order one from and don’t forget a brush and bowl), I’ve used this type razor for years and think it is a cheaper long-term solution than disposable.

While you’re there, add the most comprehensive first-aid kit that you can find to your cart and don’t forget over the counter pain meds (Tylenol, aspirin etc.). If you’re a woman (or have one in your life) go over a few shelves and pick up enough “feminine” supplies to last three months or longer.

4. With all that food in your pantry its only a matter of time before you have to poop. I know, it’s shocking but we all do it.  If you have a water source such as a stream or lake nearby you can still use the toilet in your bathroom, all you have to do is manually fill the tank in back and flush as usual. If this isn’t an option, you’ll need to look for other alternatives such as the Portable Toilets sold in the sporting goods department or making a  sawdust toilet from a five-gallon bucket.

5. What’s next? You guessed it toilet paper. If you poop you need to wipe, if not you probably need to start. You could use a corncob, cloth, Roman sponge on a stick or paper from discarded books or newspapers but I would wager most of you prefer the softness of Angle Soft. Get enough to last at least a month, more if possible and remember women need more than men so plan accordingly.

6. While you are in that area of the store pick up a supply of disposable plates, bowls and plastic utensils. Don’t go overboard here but having a small stockpile of these items on hand can save a lot of water that would otherwise be used to wash dishes. Also add two or more gallons of regular, unscented bleach to your cart.

7. This is a biggie and can’t be done (legally) at the department store pharmacy without the signature of a doctor – that is stocking up on prescription meds.  Getting more than a 30 day supply, at least in the U.S., can be difficult if not impossible. But there are ways to get most of what you need for long-term survival. See this post and this one and this book (note: some of the information in the book is dated but there is still good advice to be found).

8. Now push your cart (man this thing is getting heavy) over to the hardware department of the store and pick up a carpenters hammer, vice grips, adjustable wrench, screw driver set, duct tape, electrical tape, axe, pry bar, crosscut saw, hacksaw and large can of WD-40. This is your bare minimum survival tool kit.

9. After you get your tool kit, go over to sporting goods and in the camping supply aisle pick up a propane camp stove and 5 or more 1 pound propane cylinders or a bulk 20 lb tank and hose adaptor – yes the pressure in the small bottles is the same as a 20 lb cylinder or even 100 lb tank, just be sure to get the proper adapter and hose assembly. Another alternative and the one I prefer is the Volcano Stove because I can use propane, wood and charcoal.

10. Okay, we are just about done for today – only a few more steps pushing the cart and you’ll be out the door. You’ll need a way to keep in touch with your group so go to the electronics department and pick up the best two-way radios that you can afford – I have these. Don’t forget a battery-powered radio and extra batteries for both. While not necessary, I prefer a radio capable of receiving AM/FM and shortwave broadcasts – I have this one.

This shopping list will have you better prepared than probably 90% of the U.S. but it should not signify the end of your preps only a good start. There’s always something to do and learn never become complacent – remember the quote “On the plains of hesitation lie the bleached bones of those who on the very threshold of victory sat down to rest, and while resting died.”

What did I leave out? What would you add? Let us know in the comments below.

Please Spread The Word And Share This Post
About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. You’re right. Those who have these simple things on hand are in much better shape than the vast majority of people.
    I would add plenty of candles to the list.

    • Candles are real handy. You know what the cool thing about fleamarkets is? There is a used coleman lantern everywhere you turn! I have aquired three coleman / variant in the past summer at a local flea market. Cheap! while you do have to have some fule for them, you can double up with the cook stove. I have both type, the kind that take the bottle and the kind that take the liquid fuel. They are great cuz like candles, they produce light and heat. I also have a few of the cheap dietz/china type lanterns that run on kerosene or cole oil. They dont produce as much light, but they are cheap and cheap to run.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      On the candles I’d wait until the after Christmas sales. I pick up some packs of votive candles for pennies on the dollar, every year. I probably already have more than I need in storage. Actually, I’m not sure what more than I need really means :-).

      • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

        So very correct. Wait until after Christmas to buy candles. You may be limited in colors (red, green, white) and scent (pine, cinnamon, egg nog), but the prices will be much lower as stores try to unload Christmas stuff and get ready for New Year’s stuff.

        Between Christmas & New Year’s is usually a good time to buy some sparkling apple cider or sparkling cranberry juice on sale. These non-alcoholic fruit drinks are a nice treat when times are tough, and it keeps well so long as the bottle is unopened. Besides, kids can help you celebrate the New Year when they have their own bubbly drinks.

  2. BILL JOHNSON says:

    MD great list only thing i have to say.go and look at your old camping,fishing,hunting and toolbox you will be suprise what you have for got what you already. get it out clean it up and put it in survival room. if you cant find it well you are in trouble! sorry fore bad spelling and poor use of computer.

    • That is a really good idea. Don’t worry about being a novice on the computer. You are not the only one. Every time i try to make a paragraph it posts my reply or I erase it or it does it double. lol Jean already has the name Luddite or we could call ourselves that. Machines hate me.

  3. A source of fire, preferably a five-pack of disposable BIC lighters to start. They are affordable, durable, simple, reliable, safe, and small. However, they can get hot with prolonged use, won’t function when wet, and are easily “misplaced”; so be sure to have plenty of them on hand.

    • SAMs Club Sells 100 count lighter packs. I do not remember the price but as I recall it was cheap.

  4. I agree with muddome, lighting of all kinds. Candles, oil lanterns,
    all the flashlights and battery lanterns you can find. I like those 2 million and 5 million hand held spotlights.
    A good hunting knife. If any of youall want a luxury gift, try Lee Ferguson knives in Arkansas. He makes outstanding handmade knives.

  5. My wife has raised the eyebrows of more than a few women when discussing storage needs when she asks them if they have considered what they will do about birth control. Biology is more than just eating, drinking, and pooping.

    • Sheri (Indiana) says:

      STW – I was thinking about the birth control thing this morning. I was afraid to mention it since I am fairly new to the site and to prepping. I’m always fearful I am going to repeat what has already been said, so I just keep reading and soaking it all up. I don’t want to look like a boob early on 🙂

      • Sheri,
        Don’t be afraid of asking questions or repeating what has been said – that is what we are all here for to help each other. You are welcome here.

        • Sheri (Indiana) says:

          M.D. – Thank you so much for the support. I guess after dealing with society and working with self-centered people for so long, I just expect criticism. I should have known better. This site is a BLESSING! And yes, many have said it already :)….but it’s so true!

    • Ugly spouse w/bad teeth, bad breath and b.o.

  6. templar knight says:

    MD, I just wish there was some way you could get this info to the masses, but they probably wouldn’t listen anyway. Dancing with the Stars and American Idol are soon to start new seasons, and we have Christmas to keep them busy in between. I guess that means I got to do more preps. Now where is that first list, MD? Oh, yeah, you posted that link at the beginning. Better get busy, and you can give Mountain House for Christmas, which is what I’m giving to some of my friends. I can’t wait to see some of their faces!

  7. 1. Slight typo, it’s “Ramen” noodles. If you look for the other you’ll spend hours in the Italian food section without luck – ha, ha.

    5. I laughed out loud – especially with those who may boycott wiping. Many years ago a friend told me when he was without while camping he used a sock because it was there, available & washable. Enough said about this crappy subject.

    MD, your last paragraph was excellent & summed it up well – keeping it simple and at least you are truly ahead of 90% of the rest.

  8. What do you think of the pre-made tool kits? They often come in “feminine” colors, have hammers, wrenches, screwdrivers, etc. I’m also seeing other varieties as gift items. Handy because they come with their own container, and the color-coded ones would help keep them organized (obvious where they belong!), but I’m wary of the quality.

    Has anyone actually tried to use such tools?

    • curious,

      I see nothing wrong with “pre-made tool kits” as long as they have what you need and are of good quality – look for tools with a good warranty such as craftsman.

    • Crazy Stev-o says:

      The quality is not there in those tool boxes. the sockets break easily and the rest of the tools don’t hold up as well. As my grandfather (born in 1929) told me, “Pay for the quality and you will get quality. Pay for something cheap and it will break on you.”

      • irishdutchuncle says:

        i’d still add a cheap socket set to the emergency tools. the adjustable wrenches aren’t called “knuckle busters”, for nothing.
        always wear safety glasses, when working with tools, and gloves, unless you’re running a lathe.
        replace the cheap socket set with a quality one as soon as your budget permits… if you’re a tool snob. i’m grateful to have any tools right now. the main thing is to think about where the wrench will go when it slips. make sure it isn’t pointed at your face, or temples. the sharp edges will find your hands somehow.

      • Tomthetinker says:

        Aaaaahmen: A cheap tool is usually the only one people have when they have gone to the trouble to save a little cash in order to streeeeetch it out. Talk with you auto Mech. about the ‘snap-on’ dealer that visits his shop or……. just go to Sears and take the dive and buy the quality up front….. the first time. Careful… sears has a budget line as well and the quality is not in that line of tools.

  9. Another option for securing presicript medicine – if you take it regularly and refill your prescription every month, just keep 2 or 3 pills from each month when you go to renew. If you hold back too many, the pharmacist wont renew because their records will show it is too early. But keeping a small amount works. Youll have a couple of months worth in no time. Then, just keep rotating your stock to always keep them fresh.

    • You have to be very careful with this method. Once pills go past their shelf life they lose potency and some become poisonous!

  10. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    From the 1st list – add a GOOD solar battery charger for those LED rechargeable batterys. Be a good idea to even have a spare or two if the primary bites the dust. This might be an occupation later on, charging others in the area for charging their batterys (ala Book of Eli movie). Not everyone will have an off grid battery charger – this could be a potential great source of barter

  11. I already have most of these things, some two or three times over. People ask me and in order to simplify and not scare people or cause too much confusion, I tell them TP, FOOD and AMMO! Evrything else is cake! This the basic list for people who are already established at some level and arnt sure what else to buy! And oh yea, unless you wana hear “big sys” in the back ground while you check out, buy it other that walmart.

  12. Luddite Jean says:

    Hair combs, brushes, grips and pony tail bands. After watching a demonstration on how to make a hair comb by hand from wood or bone and how painstaking the work is, it’s not a skill I want to have to learn straight away if the SHTF.

  13. a box or two of bulk 22LR while in the sporting goods isle

  14. Strike anywhere matches, assuming you can find them.

    • TnAndy,

      Agreed strike anywhere matches are good to have – they are included in the companion to this one “ten things to do now”. Thank you for commenting it shows you are paying attention….

      • Sorry…hadn’t read the original list.

        Now that I have, I see you said “Also grab two boxes of wooden matches”…

        To clarify for those unaware, there are two types of wooden matches…..and the boxes look ( pardon me ) “strikingly” alike.

        One are matches that have to be struck on the box side…..”Strike on Box” matches. The other is “Strike Anywhere” type.

        SOB matches ( ahahaa ) have to use the strip on the side of the box, the head on them doesn’t contain the white tip of phosphorus ( I think that’s the ingredient )…problem is, the strip wears out before the box is empty often….or if it gets damp, it’s useless. I suppose you could try a pc of 60-80 grit sandpaper, but I haven’t…because I don’t buy that kind.

        SAW matches also have the stripe on the box side, but you can also strike them on about any slightly rough, dry surface. They certainly HAVE gotten cheaper made in the last few years….the ones I find how barely have any white tip on them, and about 25% of them won’t strike ANYWHERE……QC has gone the way of the dodo bird, I guess.

        Grocery stores used to carry SAW matches, but my understanding is the tip is now an ingredient of meth making ( don’t ask me what or how ), and thus very few places seem to carry them anymore. There is one local ACE hardware store I still find them, that’s it. I stocked up a .50cal ammo can full few years back.

        If you want to water proof them, dip in melted candle wax. Use a fingernail to scrape off the wax, then strike as usual. I keep a few dozen in a sandwich baggie in my winter coat pocket… is a handy thing in a lot of situations.

        • Semtex-Jes says:

          TnAndy,not to go against your words here… I thought the wax dip was a good idea as well, but after much reseach on this exact subject,the sensus is that it take’s to much time for very little reward,Truth be told it’s just as easy to put them in a canister that is air tight,and be done with it,Seeing as you need to store them anyway,this also kills the need for Strike any where matches as you can easily store your striker with the stick’s,in your canister…

          I feel you are better off with a good flint…no wax,no can,water,rain always a spark…take mother nature out of the picture…

          • OhioPrepper says:

            I’m not sure how much time you’re talking. Melt a little paraffin and dip the heads. I can do 100 matches in 10 minutes or less. As for strike anywhere matches, at least where I live they’re available many places and are inexpensive. A pack of three 250 count boxes is $5.00 or less. I’ve started fires with everything from a hand drill to a road flare, and all have their place. When all heck is breaking loose, sometimes just having an easy sure fire way to make fire can be important. The primitive skills and tools are IMO required, but the conveniences can sometimes buy you a most important survival tool and that is time.

    • I am sure this doesn’t apply to everyone, but my local Amish General store always has alot of 250 each Strike anywhere stick matchs. They also carry canning lids in 24 gross sleeves.

      • OhioPrepper says:

        We have an Amish general store that has them, but so does the local Cardinal and IGA. I think it’s a rural thing.
        Another thing you can do along with waterproofing is to make a long burning fire starter. Wrap the stick in cotton butchers cord, from the base of the head to the bottom of the matchstick. Then dip the whole thing in paraffin. To light, you scrape the wax off the tip as above and strike. The butcher cord impregnated with wax burns a long time, like a candle. Make sure you use cotton cord, and not nylon or another plastic.

    • I buys “Strike Anywhere” matches at a local Menonite store for a little over $1 a box.

      Happened to run across them at Emergency Essentials earlier today for .25 cents a box!!!

      Must add to next order!

      • OhioPrepper says:

        Keep in mind that these $0.25 ones are the small boxes (32 count) of small matches. I keep some of these around, but the ones I generally buy are in a 3 pack of 250 count for between $4-5 for a total of 750 kitchen matches.

  15. #2 I’d add Curry but thats cause I have lots of rice
    #3 razor blades ? ?? ??? a beard makes much more sense. Luxury item that not only takes away from other preps but is then a constant drain on water, time, and deprives of an insulated face. IMHO YMMV
    #7 Oh Doctor I MIGHT have an opurtunity to travel to Farfarawayprimitiveplace for 6 Months to save the Dinosaurs/kids/desertdroughtforest and need my Rx for that time. And do you think my tetnus shot is up to date, what other vaccines do you reccomend.

    • irishdutchuncle says:

      az, the reason we shave is so our gas masks make a good seal.

    • The Romans had their Centurions shave their beards for tactical reasons. Traditional military haircuts are short for the same tactical reasons: Long hair is easily grabbed in a fight and can hide vermin like lice.

      Echo irishdutchuncle on the gas mask seal. You won’t even get a sat fit with a N95 filter if you’re sporting whiskers.

      When sanitation is compromised, an ingrown hair could be the start of a painful ordeal. Sanitation on a submarine is dodgy at best, and from experience it’s better to shave then dig out a rotten hair.

      If you’re good with the beard, go for it. I’ll pass.

  16. Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

    4’x8′ – 3/4″ sheets of exterior grade plywood. Get enough to cover your windows and your sliding exterior doors. Expensive, yes, but cheaper than having your windows broken by thugs or windswept debris. I don’t live in hurricane country, but I do live in Pacific storm country and some of those can be as bad as a Class 1 hurricane. So a run-through to see where they fit and cut ahead of time. Then number them so you know which ones go where. Then pre-drill some holes so they can be installed as quickly as possible. Do the work now, so you are ready when the time comes. Don’t forget to get plenty of screws and have several screwdrivers handy.

    • If one is going the route of getting this plywood, get one of two things to secure it to your house – either Hurriquake nails or big-ass lag bolts. You don’t want the plywood flying off your house, or being taken off too quickly by roving zombies. These things will at least give you time to fix the problem.

      FYI, other items that will come in handy are nails, screws, nuts & bolts and tarps – the latter to cover up holes in your house or windows for long enough for you to make repairs.

    • Lake Lili says:

      You may also want to tuck some insulation between your plywood and the window, especially in northern climates where large windows are such an excellent place to loose all your heat…

    • Now THAT’s a good idea. Never thought of that one. Plus your house will look abandoned.

    • Plus nobody will have to look at your spouse (see previous comment regarding birth control).

  17. Regarding the Roman Ramen noodles, you’re correct that they don’t provide a lot of nutrition, but they are a long-life source of calories. I would suggest that everyone should also have at least a year’s supply of 1-a-day multi-vitamins. Nutrition even with food available cheap and everywhere is hardly ideal, but when TSHTF it will be horrendous and without it you (and your family) will be opened up to all kinds of diseases that we don’t see now, owing to a compromised immune system. A year’s worth of vitamins is maybe $12-$15 at a big box store. Get the chewables for the kids, and maybe stock a big bottle of Vitamin C in addition. Needless to say, rotate these.

    On the manual can opener front, get several. One is none, two is one, three is two. Whatcha gonna do if you’ve got 1,000 cans of various foods and no way to easily (or safely) open them up? That’d be like the old Twilight Zone episode where Burgess Meredith finally gets the time to read all of the books in a library (after a nuke strike), and then trips and breaks his only pair of glasses.

    Speaking of glasses – keep your old ones and maybe even order a few extra cheapo pair at Zenni Optical or at Sears (who cares how the frames look when TSHTF?). It would surely suck to not be able to see well, especially since sight is so critical to early warning and to accurate shooting (should that be necessary).

    The list of what to do and get is endless, but the post and the comments will give anyone a good start.

    • Oops, my bad – the first article mentions vitamins. Anyway – GET THEM!

    • Great thought on the glasses. I was just getting ready to get a new pair and donate my old ones, but now I will keep them!

      • “Whatcha gonna do if you’ve got 1,000 cans of various foods and no way to easily (or safely) open them up? ”

        Speaking from experience I have opened plenty of cans without openers it is pretty much a non-issue. If you’re the type of person to let a stockpile of food sit because you don’t have an opener… well… don’t they have something they call the Darwin award.

        I know, knives dull, cuts can get infected, tetanus, gangrene… the world will suffer the second great plague due to scrapes, nicks, and lack of openers.

    • Zenni, and also Speert have very reasonably priced glasses. I have had great success with them.

      Ramen noodles and oatmeal are not acceptable for anyone with gluten problems. In fact, anyone gluten-sensitive, might also look into whether or not they are also carb sensitive. That’s what happened to me. It makes prepping a lot more challenging, but it is possible. You sure don’t want your food making you sick.

  18. Mountain lady says:

    Regarding #5: I have about 8 cases of TP, but now I am buying large packages of baby wipes at the $ store. Nice to have, just in case, and if they dry out, add a little water and they will be wet again. I also have a very large supply of all kinds of matches, but I add a few more every time I go to the store. Will add more bleach to my list. I am working on my third “last list”. Thanks MD, because of you and this blog, I have most everything you have on your list.

  19. Iowa Oscar says:

    Does anybody else see the need for writing supplies. I found some great mechanical pencils with .9mm lead. .9 lead doesn’t break when writing (unless you press really hard). I’ve been putting aside a supply of these pencils and the lead to go with them. Might come in handy for documenting events after TSHTF.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Oh yeah, I have been gathering together a bunch of notepads and pocket-size notebooks and lined binder paper plus permanent marker pens in fine to bold tips. Also, buying up lots of Uniball pens when they are on sale. I prefer real pencils, so purchased about 3 dozen when they went on sale in August as back-to-school bargains. And finally, I have about 3 journal books that I’m already using – noting what’s happening in the country and the world. Making lists of stuff to have on hand. Writing my observations about human nature, etc. These I intend to give to my siblings’ kids when I get too old to write in them anynore. These I hope will be useful for them so they will know what to look for and how to prepare for when craziness strikes them in their older age as it has mine. I thought the 1960’s were crazy, I think those years will pale in comparison to what is impending. Prep, friends, prep. We can do this.

      • OhioPrepper says:

        small pieces break off when sharpening and they don’t last as long. Also a few good manual sharpeners are good to have on hand, although a sharp knife works as well. I like mechanical pencils, but if they break, you can have a pile of leads that have no way to be used.

        • OhioPrepper says:

          Don’t know what happened there.
          I absolutely agree. We always keep some notebook paper and both Pilot Precise and Uni-ball on hand. Also a good stock of lined paper that is generally cheap during the back to school sales. I also keep several cases of printer/copier 20# bond paper around. If I can no longer use the printers, I can three whole punch the paper and have a lot of notebook space available. We generally keep a good supply of #2 pencils on hand also, but a word of caution here. Some of the really cheap pencils being sold during the back to school sales are really cheap, so check out a package for quality before you stock up. Also, be sure to keep the pencils tucked away someplace safe, because if they get banged around too much, the lead (graphite) can fracture inside the wood, which makes them harder to sharpen. That Is to say, small pieces break off when sharpening and they don’t last as long. Also a few good manual sharpeners are good to have on hand, although a sharp knife works as well. I like mechanical pencils, but if they break, you can have a pile of leads that have no way to be used.

    • Mommy Morlock says:

      Anybody with children will want LOTs of paper, pencils, small art items. Just because school is out is no reason not to educate the little darlings. Lets not go back to the days when those who could read and write were rare.
      And without Email, we will go back to the snail mail days. Writing letters to family and friends a hundred miles away makes more sense than traveling for 3 days to visit. I imagine some sort of postal service would be back up early.

  20. Rhonda Sue says:

    What a great post,this blog just gets better and better.And all the comments are very informative also.I was thinking about meds the other night.We had a kitten that had ringworm.So I think it would be a very good idea to stock some ringworm treatment of some kind.You never know what you are gonna come across after shtf.Its hard to think of everything,but we have to try.Drives me nuts !!Have a nice day everyone…

    • Tomthetinker says:

      Mayhaps some of you…. us.. have heard of ole Ragnar Benson. Find your on the fringe of town tractor supply or farm and Fleet supply store and take a look at the Vet grade ‘first aid’ possibilities, 50lb salt blocks, food grade selection of containers, barn grade tools and equipment, fuel storage….. Ok so who am I to think most of us have already…….. the rest of us.. should take a look.

  21. Pick up a couple 5 gallon gas cans, 5 gallons of kerosene, a bottle of Stabil and 2 or 3 6 gallon water jugs. Fuel and water can take you a long ways!

  22. Thanks for the tips. I just ordered those two-ways. Nice!

  23. shotzeedog says:

    WHAT? no dog food??? Get some dog vitamins and make your own.

  24. Has anyone tried the Datrex bars offered by Emergency Essentials.? I thought I would get some to keep in my vehicle. I have NOT made my BOB’s yet. Bad, I know. Just limited on time and funds.

    • yes

      the datrex are kinda like a slightly dry oatmeal cookie

      the mainstays are a lemony flavor – consistency like a fudge

      i like both ok, both are a bit annoying to open – a knife or scissors helps – the datrex are wrapped again after the outer foil in a tight thin plastic wrap – i always end up nearly crumbling the darn thing to open it…

      these are both long lasting and non-thrist provoking and easy to carry in cars, BOB etc… also i keep extras on hand as they would make an easy trade or giveaway item in a SHTF situation.

      • OhioPrepper says:

        This is why I love this group. An introduction to a new (to me) product, and a frank review all in one place. Sounds like something else I need a few of to try.

      • I’ve heard the ERBars are good, but haven’t tried them first hand. I’ll order some soon and let you all know how they are.

  25. Brad in South FL says:

    Just to suggest something else, take care of your feet, Get foot powder, I prefer Bonds. Also if possible get some anti-fungal cream/spray for feet and other regions. There may be times when washing may be difficult and fungus loves warm wet places. Zinc oxide is also great stuff. If anyone is interested I bought rite in the rain products, love the water proof paper.

    Stay safe!

    • Re: feet, get moleskin for blisters and avoid them by wearing (get this) nylon footies under your socks. It sounds silly, but it works by reducing friction.

  26. I just went to Wallyworld/Chinamart and got the following:

    12 rolls of TP – $1.94
    10-pack of 32 SOB matches – $0.97
    1 can-opener – $1.97 and
    1 pair of leather-palm gloves – $1.96 (go try doing a lot of manual labor without these). I plan to get a lot more over time.

    Not bad for about $7. Couldn’t find any calcium hypochlorite, but I’ll get some later.

    • Luddite Jean says:

      Wow, your TP is cheap, I just paid £5 (about $7.90) for 12 rolls on special offer at Asda.

      I can beat you on the can-opener, though. Mine cost 32p.

      • I would bet that TP isn’t charmin!!

        • Luddite Jean says:

          I wouldn’t use Charmin (now called Cushelle over here) if you paid me. The whole family agrees it has the same effect as #1 glasspaper on our behinds.

          I hope your stuff is different.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      Good price on the TP.
      I hadn’t thought about gloves, because we always have a dozen or more pairs around the farm, so I didn’t think of them as preps. You can buy decent leather work gloves at Harbor Freight for something like $6-8 for 5 pair. If you watch the sale ads you can sometimes get them for something like $10-15 per dozen. Big Lots sometimes has a good deal on them also.

    • Went to the local grocery store and found SAW matches right alongside the SOBs. They’re the same price, so from now on its the SAWs only.

  27. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    Lint Picker – good thought on the extra Plywood sheets. If possible some plylock for those would also be good – very quick to secure those panels rather than having to be exposed to fasten them.

  28. MamaBear in the Mitten says:

    I’d recommend quinoa and adzuki beans. Both are VERY high in protein and quinoa couldn’t be easier to cook!

    Absolutely recommend spices, seasonings and herbs…..don’t forget the seeds for your garden and/or herb garden. NOW is the time some sellers are selling this past summers seeds at a BIG discount – the seeds will still be good for the next year or two, provided you keep them in a cool, dry, dark place. I’d recommend keeping them in something air-tight too!

    MaMaBear in the Mitten

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Herb garden – very good idea!

      I have a very hard time growing stuff, especially since I will not water my outdoor plants (to save money and to fight city hall), but I can grow Rosemary. So, I have that in my herb garden. It requires full sun and doesn’t need water once it’s established. Trim it to get some sprigs for drying. Prune it once a year to keep it manageable. The leaves can be dried and saved for cooking. I like some in my spaghetti sauce and stews and marinades – but I do pull the sprigs/leaves before eating.

      Also, in coastal California, growing your own Bay (Laurel) tree is very easy. I have one in a 5-gallon nursery can (black plastic) that has provided bay leaves for my cooking for about 15 years now. I just pick a few of the leaves, rinse them off, rumple them to get the oil flowing, and throw a few in stews, spaghetti sauce, and barbeque marinades. Like Rosemary, you don’t want to eat the leaves so remove before eating. If you can’t find a Bay Laurel tree at your nursery, try going to a coastal stream and digging one up – with property owner’s permision, of course. 😉

      Parsley is easy, needs water, dies off every couple of years.
      Mint is also easy, needs water, can be a pest if not grown in a pot to subdue its spread. Tastes good in lemonade, tea (and bloody marys)
      Sage can be grown indoors or out, with enough sunshine.
      Never grew thyme or basil, but might give them a try soon.

      • My urban Garden has been one fail after another. I have intense direct sunlight for only 2 hours due to the tall buildings surrounding my lot. I need to find something that does not require too much light and can grow in a tropical climate.

      • Lint Picker you could redirect your gray water and use that.
        From the dishwasher, washer, shower etc. Or try a rain catchment system like they use in Australia. Either one avoids the water Nazis.

        • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

          I live in Califonria, it’s againt the law to do anything sensible, including the redirection of gray water. Don’t ask me, I didn’t vote for any of the idiots in our state government. But I thank you for the suggestion.

          • Sheri (Indiana) says:

            LP- put a few buckets in the shower with you (won’t work if your a bath guy) and you’d maybe get enough water to use outside on a small garden. The water’s on anyway and instead of going down the drain, you could catch part of it. That would really piss off the H20 Nazis! I have relatives in CA so I’m familiar with some of the crap you deal with.

      • Mommy Morlock says:

        Thyme and basil are easy grows. They both do well indoors in window pots. I grow a Piccolo Basil. Much smaller plant, tiny leaves, but lighter sweeter flavor. Wonderful in scrambled eggs. Cilantro is a good ground cover for bare ground places, as it grows like a weed unattended. Like mint, it will take over a garden. Grow both in places you don’t need to tend a lot, like along the alley fence, or even seed it in wild spots.

        • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

          Good info. Thank you so much. I have a good location now for indoor herbs, will definitely give the basil and thyme a try. 🙂

    • I also highly recommend storing quinoa in addition to rice. It’s a complete source of protein and amino acids ( and cooks exactly like rice. You can buy it in bulk too. I have no idea how long it stores, but I’m sure it’s comparable to rice.

      As a vegan, I have this high up on my list of protein sources, in addition to beans and peanut-butter.

      • Laura,

        Yes, go Vegan! I’m a very strict Vegan for health reasons & appreciate your blog site. A couple of books you may be interested in – The China Study & Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.

        Both are very well researched and documented. Both authors came to their findings in unusual ways. The China Study author:

        I had the opportunity to speak to the author of the the Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease book for several hours and his findings were incredible – he is a well respected cardiac surgeon who finally got tired of fixing the symptom and worked upon the cure.

        • PS Laura,

          It’s is a slightly different approach & angle to becoming a Vegan. Highly logical & less emotionally charged.

  29. Lake Lili says:

    If you are going to be using a fire place or wood stove to heat your house, don’t forget the means of cleaning your flue/stove pipe… and those fancy logs don’t work, you need a good brush with a handle long enough to do the chimney.

    A good supply of laundry detergent – you need to be able to clean your clothes. While you might get settled enough to make soap, it is nice to be able to start off having something on hand to clean those undies.

    Diapers – good quality cloth diapers for long term use – because if you forget to deal with the contraceptive issue, this one will become inevitable.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Along with a chimney sweep’s brush, a length of chain is good to have. The creosote build-up is sometimes hard to dislodge with just a brush, so the chain can be banged around in the chimney to loosen the stuff, then the brush can be used to finish the job. Get enough 1/2″ link chain to run the full length of the chimney or stovepipe, plus add 8-10 feet.

      • OhioPrepper says:

        One caution on using a chain. If you have a masonry chimney with a tile liner, be careful not to crack the liner. Also, a good heavy sandbag on a rope can be used to knock things loose.

  30. Always have a few large boxes of dry-wall screws at home, of varying sizes. What’s better fine or coarse thread ? I just came across ‘SPAX construction screws” at Home Depot. if I can remember correctly–600 lbs of pulling straight out & 700 lbs of pressure pulling down.
    Loiter down the hardware alises , lots of good stuff to see

    • Harry – if you view Home Deport as the very best sort of toy store, you should get a catalogue from Lee Valley Tools. Its like the Christmas Wish Book for adults…

    • OhioPrepper says:

      Along with your Drywall Screws or a similar screw called a Tek screw you should have a supply of large washers. This can enlarge the head of the screw and give them even more holding power in some situations. They’re probably sold in the same aisle as the screws.

    • One precaution about utilizing screws for construction purposes: Realize that screws are not for structural use, i.e. such as framing or for stress/load bearing applications. In such instances, use nails. Screws do not have the shear strength necessary for loads that may move- such as walls, stair stringers and roofing. And don’t rely on a screw to hold your weight in any app.
      However, screws are invaluable in so many areas and having a large supply- thousands- is smart. Preference in this area is the torx head galvanized or stainless- don’t use any other kind in treated materials or they’ll rot- variety in all lengths to ten inches.
      While shopping for bonding materials, don’t neglect the larger ‘barn nails’, AKA ‘ringshank’, for work with logs, poles, gable ends- any place where a large piece of wood is to be fastened.
      Shy III
      Shy III

  31. AZ rookie prepper says:

    Kind of off topic, but for those that live where there is poison ivy, a simple home remedy is to pickle jalapeno peppers in vinegar. That pickling vinegar will remove poison ivy very quickly. Soak a cloth in the pickling vinegar and place it on the area affected by the poison ivy for as long as you can stand it. However, be advised in advance, it’ll burn/hurt like the dickens for maybe an hour or so. I do not know if it will work for poison oak. Lots of good advice once again M.D., thank you for caring.

    • CrazyFarmGirl says:

      Good to know! In the past couple of years poison ivy and poison oak have appeared everywhere. We used to have barbado sheep and now only have cattle – possibly a mistake on our part. I think the sheep ate the poison oak/ivy, so we may have to vary our livestock some. I’ll keep this remedy in mind.

  32. axelsteve says:

    I was thinking about the plywood.I think using a battery powered screwdriver with xtra batteries. use 2 or 3 inch deckscrews to instal
    it with. Alot quicker then using screwdrivers manualy. Steve

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Yes, faster to use power screwdriver. However, manual screwdrivers are much easier to grab and go – no batteries to charge, no powerpak or batteries to install. Hand a screwdriver to the wife, kids, neighbor and they will know how to use it. Just saying, I would rather trust a manual driver to work over a powered one. But, as I always say, to each his own. Whatever works for you and whatever works for me is what we should be doing.

    • Battery powered screwgun or 3/8″ impact with a bit socket.

      From 15 years of putting up plywood against hurricanes before I left South Florida I can vouch for the speed.

      Get spare bits because they break and are easily lost.

  33. SrvivlSally says:

    Sham Wow’s. They are highly absorbent and if a woman is on her monthly they may just work very well for that. If I were in need I would try them out. They can always be lined with a little something that will absorb and possibly make them go farther before having to change them and a plastic shopping bag taped or glued to the side which faces the floor should help to keep things contained. A piece of duct tape folded so it makes double-sided tape may help to keep the thing in place. Extra underpants need to be had for this because the tape will ruin them, might make them a little uncomfortable against the skin and the sticky stuff will be left behind which will make a person say “ouch”. I would pick up a good soap with tea tree oil in it because it will kill any germs that might form if times are tight and stretching everything is absolutely necessary. A drop of straight tea tree oil mixed in with a little soap is another option for killing bacteria anywhere on the skin but the eyes. It is great for foot fungus, warm and moist areas which are in need of an anti-fungal anti-bacterial agent. Instead of spending hundreds of dollars, why not purchase or make reusable kotex. A few hundred $1 store panty liners can be used to line the cloth kotex if need be. I really like those super absorbent military towels that the survival outlets sell. They would definitely work in a pinch. As far as your lists, I think they are very good and I cannot say that there is much else that you need to add to them. Good basics=good start=good expansion=good mentality=good health=good times.

    • SrvivlSally,

      Great point about Tea Tree oil – it is an excellent antibacterial product with various other uses.

      First heard of it in Australia 20 years ago where they use it quite often and found the Aussies I knew there are ahead of things when it comes to holistic healing & preventative measures.

    • Crazy Stev-o says:

      Tea tree oil – add to soap for your dog keeps the pests away.

      • Does that work for fleas & tics??

        • Crazy Stev-o says:

          yep and we use johnson and johnson baby wash on our dog because she young. the stuff stinks but works. We are about to upgrade to a flea wash when we run out of the baby wash which will be forever from now.

  34. BILL JOHNSON says:

    white vinger many uses salt farm store t/s 95% pure it up to you buy i use it 6.50 50 lbs not bad hu

  35. MOPrepper says:

    Good stuff MD, except my reality is a bit different I suppose.

    I used to subscribe to the way of thinking that I had better stock up on everything that I might not be able to get my hands on in the future.

    I’ve since changed my way of thinking to one that I think is more realistic. I simply get used to not having something right now, so that when I don’t have it again, I won’t miss it. I also don’t expect do be able to radically change my lifestyle in a stressful economic collapse.

    For example, I don’t take multivitamins now, so if I stock up on them they will only go to waste. I don’t realistically think that I will all of a sudden develop a daily habit of remembering to take my vitamins.

    I guess what I’m trying to say is that I don’t let fear dictate what I need to be doing. I’ve focused on water and shelter. I know how to hunt and forage for food. I can make fire at all times of the year. If things go bad, like a global-shtf event, I have prepped my mind that they will never return to normal. By doing this, I feel that I don’t have any unrealistic time frame set in my mind, as in I don’t need “x” years of preparations because “x” years will come and go, so what would I do after that?

    Hope it makes sense, and thanks for the blog.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      The only potential problem with this plan is that you are currently competing with masses of desperate people hunting, foraging, and possibly stealing what they need. Ultimately, the preps that will do any of us the most good will be our skills and our relationships with others. In the short term however, stores of supplies will buy you time to observe the situation without having to deal with the mobs, while they are dealing with each other.

      • Tomthetinker says:

        last deer season in Mich. 724.000 people hit the woods… armed. the avg. netted under 6lbs of meat… you do the math.. if a deer tag nets a fella +/- 110lbs of dressed out meat. What are your odds here. lots of folks seem to feel there will be fur and feathered game for the taking. I wouldn’t count on finding anything but ‘gut piles’ in the woods and far far to many unskilled.. armed hungry members of thee ole golden hoard wondering what you may have that they may want to fight over.

        • OhioPrepper says:

          Here in Ohio there were a little over 500,000 hunters who took less than 200,000 dear. That means a lot of folks went home empty handed, while quite a few bagged more than one. Under ideal conditions you can take up to 7.

          Also, too many people forget that it’s called hunting and NOT shopping for a good reason.

    • MoPrepper,

      Makes total sense to adjust your lifestyle & reduce it to the true essentials otherwise it gets burdensome to try to log, catagorize & remember where an item is you rarely use.

      It’s like my garage, I have loads of tools – many duplicates or ones I used 10 years ago for a specialized project. I keep telling myself “what if I need …. ?” only to find it takes up physical & mental space.

      What you are doing is the most valuable thing – the mental preparation, the #1 ingredient to survivalism.

      BTW, my wife bought loads of vitamins & supplements on sale 5 years ago and they still remain on our shelf waiting to be tossed in the can because they long expired. Some savings on that sale, eh?

  36. When burning all of those candles, lamps, lanterns, FIREPLACES, etc. be sure you have some fire extingushers. Burn cream/ aloe is also going to be your friend. Be sure to include some kind of quiet entertainment such as cards or board games. It’s going to get boreing at times especially if you have kids.

    • Amen! Every bubble-head and idiot out there will be burning things and cutting things, and chopping things! Be prepared for your chicken-brained neighbors to do the stupidest thing you can imagine. (My neighbor once tried to rototill a side yard filled with golf ball sized decorative stone. Sent rocks flying everywhere at the speed of sound.) Be prepared with fire extinguishers, pressure bandages, splints, etc.

      • Easy on the bubble-heads, please.

        Bubble-head is one of the many ways to refer to a submariner.

        I personally prefer “steely-eyed killer from the deep,” but I’ll take what I can get.

        • LOL, elt2jv. Most sorry to put you in the same category as my neighbors. Here it is used to refer to young ladies who’s main topic of concern is fashion, facebook, fashion, boys, fashion and celebs.

          • Funny how the same term is used differently in different circles.

            With three daughters, I’m sure I’ll learn all sorts of new terms once they’re school age. I hope they’re not “bubbleheads” in either sense of the word since they just announced they’ll be putting women on subs soon.

            I was hoping for homeschool, but the darling wife isn’t onboard with it. Maybe once she sees first hand the sheer rampant idiocy of public schools she’ll change her mind. Yes, I offered to help.

            • elt2jv – as a homeschooling parent, I can tell you that it is a huge time commitment and worth every moment. But it can be really scary getting started and if you don’t have the support of family/friends/church etc it can be an uphill battle in dealing with the wider world. However it is really worth doing. I have gone with a formalize curriculum as it has kept the school board off my back and ensured that I haven’t missed any of the basics and we have supplemented from there. If you want to talk about it or want your wife to talk to me about it, MD Creekmore can give you my e-mail.

  37. templar knight says:

    Wow, a slew of great ideas and out-of-the-box thinking! Thanks, everyone. Maybe I missed it, but one of the things I have stockpiled is aluminum foil. I’ve bought several thousand feet over the years, and consider it to be a great SHTF investment as it has numerous uses, and it will be a great item for barter.

    • Lake Lili says:

      When I lived in the Yukon, we used foil on our windows to block out light in the summer – nothing like 22-hrs of sunlight a day to mess with your system. Anyways makes a cheap blackout curtain.

    • Templar,

      Maybe send a few rolls to congress so they can make hats during decision times or least they’ll have a personal Faraday cage in case of an EMP attack.

  38. I have limited storage space (small pantry is full of canned goods) and was wondering if purchasing a food dehydrator and dehydrating some food would be a good alternative to storing so many canned goods.

    • Dehydrated foods don’t last as long and can’t be easily stacked like cans. I’d start putting them in less traditional areas, like the wasted space under drawers in dressers, under beds, in closets, etc.

      If you wanted to go for crawlspace or attic storage, you might lose some storage life, but you could protect the cans with wax.

      IIRC, there was a good article on just this subject during the contest…

      • OhioPrepper says:

        Jack Spirko from the survival podcast has a series of videos on YouTube call “The 5 gallon Bucket Project”, starting with frozen vegetables. He shows how much will fit into a properly packed 5 gallon bucket. He goes into nutritional values and nutritional density and claims that vacuum packed freeze dried foods stored properly will last 5 years or more.

    • Personally, I don’t prefer to eat most dehydrated vegetables, though fruit is good. It’s an excellent way of storing foods, though, as the weight and space is decreased considerably. An entire head of celery dehydrates down to fill a pint jar.
      Properly stored, they can last as long as canned. Vegetables are normally dried until crisp dry, but fruit is commonly only dried until leathery, so doesn’t keep as long. Many things, like tomato sauce, can be made into powder and kept in jars or zip locks. A lot of zip lock bags of veggies can be stored in a bucket.
      Look for and learn all about it to see if it’s right for you.

      • Mountain lady says:

        Thanks for that link. I will be checking it out. I have 2 dehydraters and had them going in tandem this summer. I want to make sure I am doing everything properly. Right now I have the veggies in zip lock bags and a tin. I will be using them this winter for soups. Would like to know more about storage life.

      • Thanks for the great website!

  39. Sallie Brown says:

    What about lime? If you can’t flush you’re gonna need it!

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Yes, lime is great for the outhouse. An alternative is ash from the fireplace, woodstove or barbeque. Even a layer of dirt will help keep down the odor and deter flies. Sanitation will be important – look what lack of sanitation has done recently to the people of Haiti. They are a living example of what happens in a major SHTF scenario.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      Growing up, we had a “cottage” (actually a trailer with an attached stick vuilt room) where we would spend summers. The “facility” there was an outhouse, and now that you mention it, we limed the hole every week or two. I had totally forgotten about that aspect of real rural living. Great catch!!!

  40. Upstate New York says:

    A source for sockets at a low cost and you don’t want to rely on cheaply made sockets is pawn shops. If you spend a few minutes looking, you may come across Craftsman, Snap-On and other high quality brands.

    • I have found many quality snap on and proto and mac tools at yardsales and junkshops.I once paid 15 dollars for a 1/2 inch drive rachett that was a snap on. i had it rebuilt at my snapon man at work. I once found a snapon 3/8 stubby rachet on the side of the road.craftsman are good sockets but there impacts tend to be way to bulky. Steve

    • Is Black & Decker a good brand to get? I barely know which end of the screwdriver to hold, much less, if this is a quality brand. Thanks, guys.

      • Upstate New York says:

        Black and Decker will work for home use in my opinion. I have several of their tools and am quite satisfied with their performance. For heavy duty power tools, I’d look at Milwaukee and Porter Cable.

        Stanley makes good quality hand tools. Other names include Snap-On, Craftsman, and Mac tools. These all have lifetime guarantees. I don’t know if the Sears brand tools have this but their Craftsman line does.

  41. Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

    Well, friends, I just watched Glenn Beck. I am a big fan of his, I think he is the only person with a backbone still standing in the media.

    There is only one way to stave off the impending demise of western civilization as we’ve know it. We must change ourselves before we can change our country (countries, for those non-American readers). And that would mean we need to be honest, reverent, kind, and pray for God’s guidance. I think the regular posters on this blog are much further along on that trail than most. I’ve seen cooperation, assistance, honest comments, dare I say a sense of love has been shown here by many. As we face uncertain times and a new world order, I pray that I and all of you whether this new chapter in world history bravely and with dignity. God bless.

    • Mountain lady says:

      I watched Glenn Beck everyday when I still had my Dish. Can no longer watch but do get the transcripts now and again and read them. I heard he was trying to get everyone to prepare, as we are all doing. I am not so sure the NWO will take us over, but I would prepare for a total worldwide collapse and depression. I read two financial blogs every day and most of the posters are buying gold and silver physical metals and the food, water, guns and ammo. Very seldon see any financial posts from the bloggers.

    • You can catch many of Glenn Becks previous programs a day after they air on

      • I listen to glenn on the radio at work. I can`t watch him on tv beaus we are not hooked up for tv service. We have netflix and a few other things for the tv though. Steve

  42. I put my matches in a baggie and then in a plastic jar. You can strike a match on a rough rock. I bought some fish hooks and some fishing line, some sinkers. a bobber. I keep some dryer lint to start my fire.

    • I am a highly unsuccessful fisher with the best of equipment. I’m sure I would do even more poorly with a line and hook on a stick! LOL If you catch em, I can cook em, though. Skewered on a stick or ‘fried’ on a oiled hot rock with corn cakes and jam, fish always tastes best eaten at riverside.

      • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

        Ladies, do you think the Native Americans wasted their time with a fishing rod and a hook? They didn’t! When they were hungry, they set a net across the creek or river and caught fish in a net. That’s what you’d want to do, too. You don’t want to waste time and energy fishing with a pole when you can ignore the fishing regulations in a TEOTWAWKI scenario. I’m not advocating poaching, I’m saying that all the rules change when the SHTF.

        You can go to the library and read about the natives of your area, read a few books about how they lived. You will learn a lot.

        We need to think outside the box, and that takes practice.

        • Mountain lady says:

          The native Americans that lived in this area, the Sierra Nevada Foothills, mostly ate acorns. From what I have read, it was rather labor intensive.

          • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

            The native Americans in your area ate acorn mush, it’s true. That was their starch, a basic component of every society’s food provisions – except the Inuits & Eskimos. Think of it as bread in the Western world and as rice in the Eastern world. Starch is one food group that is worth the effort to make because it will provide a basis for other foods, it creates quick energy, and it will also provide a sense of being full. In other words, the amount of time and effort spent making a starch foodstuff is worthwhile. Protein is also worthwhile, when it can be procured using less energy to get it than it provides upon eating it. The Indians knew this. They would not spend all day sitting on the bank of a river with a fishing pole to catch a few fish when they could feed their family or the entire village using a net or a crushed soaproot (to temporarily stun the fish). Using a fishing pole to catch fish in a dire situation is tantamount to using a spear to kill a deer. Would you do that ? Probably not.

        • OhioPrepper says:

          Outside the box – OK then.
          Carefully using an ungrounded generator, you place a piece of chicken wire fencing in the water on each side of the creek or pond. Wire one leg of the outlet to each piece of fence. Carefully apply 110 or 220 VAC across the fence (and the creek). Shut it down and then wade out & pick up the fish you’ve stunned.
          Did I say CAREFULLY?

          • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

            Well, yes that would work. But why bother? A gill net or a dip net or a bunch of mashed soap root will do the same thing – provide a lot of fish quickly. Save the generator for the blender – Margaritas and a fish fry! {If you don’t drink alcohol, then Virgin Margaritas and a fish fry! ;-)]

        • Actually, the Native Americans did use fishing rods with hooks made of materials such as bone, wood, and copper. However, they were also pretty clever about harvesting large quantities of fish with less effort. For example, after building a dam of sorts on a river they would channel fish through a single point of water flow and catch them in nets. Trot lines were common too. Suspending baited hooks from several water-tight plastic jugs can be effective too.

          Another trick is to use a wooden crate (like those used to ship oranges) or even a vented plastic laundry basket. With a large hold cut in the top, stake it in the middle of white water rapids in a river or under a small water fall to trap fish. Small fish will exit the bottom through the open vents while the force of the strong flow of water will keep larger fish from swimming back out. This won’t work with still bodies of water, but it can do the fishing by itself while you gather firewood, build a shelter, etc.

          Speaking of stunning fish, a 12-volt automotive battery and come copper wire can come in handy here. I won’t explain it here, but this is the same method conservation officers use to count, measure, and manage fish populations. Stunning fish for a few seconds will cause them to float to the top where you can retrieve them easily.

          Personally, I am a good enough fisherman that I could feed my family daily using only a fishing rod and lures. However, I do not have an infinite supply of fishing line or lures while rods and reels break too. If reduced to using a stick with twine, rock weights, and make-shift hooks; then I’d be better off catching fish using another method.

          • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

            You and about 30 million other people will be fishing for the same fish. But, hey, whatever works for you. As for the Native Americans using fish hooks, not where I live. I guess each tribe was different.

    • OhioPrepper says:

      I teach a short personal safety survival coerce as part of a larger Hunter Education class. The key is to get everyone to carry a survival kit every time they hunt, so over the years I’ve found inexpensive and lightweight gadgets for things like matches. My two favorites are a combination waterproof match container, whistle, compass, and signal mirror, that can be purchased for about $3-4 in most sporting goods stores and many Wal-Mart’s. The other, is the plastic case, usually with a lanyard, that they sell in the summer along with all of the swimming pool gadgets. Its a little waterproof tube meant for the kids to carry keys, money, etc. It’s waterproof and holds a ton of SAW matches.
      For tinder I also carry dryer lint, and also some shredded, kiln dried poplar. You can get it from your local sewing store, such as JoAnn Fabrics, and although it’s meant for stuffing pillows and little animals because it’s hypoallergenic, it burns quickly and hot. A little nest of it with some dryer lint plus a little spark and you always have flame.

    • I get book matches and I put them in baggies. I have baggies of matches in a 50 cal ammo box. I also have some stashed in a bag locked a drawer in my toolbox. That keeps the kids out of them. Steve

  43. Prepper Friends, #7 causes me some consternation. We are so healthy we don’t even have a PCP and even if we had one, we wouldn’t now because we are officially “unemployed”. My question/suggestion is colloidial silver. I’ve read that it is anti-bacterial, anit-viral, and anti-fungal. Wouldn’t that reduce the need for dr.s and prescription drugs? We’ve never tried it because we don’t get sick; has anyone out there tried it or have stories about it to share? And if that is a main suggestion of the book that you recommended, MDC, I apologize, I haven’t read it yet.
    Yet another great list. I love lists!

    • Before you take colloidal silver, do some research online about potential serious side effects. The most reliable information comes from sites that do not sell anything. The most distressing side effect is called argyria. It is a condition in which the person’s skin turns blue, and is permanent. There are other potentially serious side effects as well. Although topical medications containing silver are used for some patients (especially for burns, and in some medical devices), the safety and effectiveness of colloidal silver has not been proven.

      This is my first post since recently joining this site, I sincerely hope that I have not invited a storm of replies from people who are promoting the use of colloidal silver! And in case anyone is wondering, I am a registered nurse, and I use herbal and alternative medications when ever their safety and effectiveness claims can be proven to my satisfaction. Tea tree oil is a miracle drug!

      I have been enjoying all of the comments and helpful suggestions on this site. Even though I have had a prepper attitude/plan for many years, life’s trials have gotten in the way. But now I am back on track and looking forward to being ready for SHTF.

      Thank you all for what you are doing!

  44. I had a thought this morning on the way to work. What about fire extinguishers? When SHTF and chaos takes over, it sure would help to have some extinguishers around. Just a thought.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      I have fire extinguishers in the kitchen, garage, and SUV. When they lose pressure, I’ll resort to using baking soda, blanket, and/or dirt.

  45. Instead of buying toothpaste and deodorant, I stock up on coconut oil, corn starch, baking soda, and essential oils and make my own. It’s way cheaper and the ingredients can be used for other things.

    Also, instead of storing shampoo, body wash, dish soap, etc. I buy castile soap which can be used for a lot of things and is also cheaper than buying those products separately.

  46. Marilyn Steffen says:

    WD-40 is mostly DMSO, which you can buy at the farm store for about $12.00 a pint and it cleans stuff (like guns) and diluted with 30% water is a very good thing for stopping pain. Bumps, bruises, sprained ankles and such.

    • Careful–DMSO is a transport enhancing compound. It will transport dissolved material through the cell walls and is a primary ingredient in topical medicines. It may relieve pain, but must be used with caution. I’d avoid using WD-40 as a base stock for this purpose.

  47. TeenagePrepper says:

    I stumbled onto this website after watching that T.V. show on AMC “The Walking Dead”. Don’t get me wrong. The dead definatly won’t be walking any time soon. But one thing I did notice was that huge line of cars trying to get out of the city (Atlanta?) All I could think about was “there is no way I’m getting caught in that mess” and ever since my parents and brothers have presumed that I’ve lost my mind. I looked over a bunch of posts before I finally gathered the courage to post a couple times, and I’m glad I did. The feeling of community is great here and it’s a relief to be able to talk about this stuff with a bunch of like minded people and not get laughed at. Really I think that’s one of the preppers worst nightmares; being “discovered” by their no-preping family. Anyway thanks so much for the posts M.D. I’ve learned a ton of information on this site includeing things that I’ve never even thought about. I thought that this list was helpfull because it really “dumbed it down” so to speak, and made the whole beginning process alot less daunting

    • TeenagePrepper – a great way to introduce your non-prepping family to the idea is to pull off the 72-hour emergency preparedness info from your local government site – that way you aren’t the nut. You can even introduce it at school in that way and then get your friends involved.

      • OhioPrepper says:

        Some of those sites BTW would be the US Federal Emergency Management Agency site (Get a kit) and the Red Cross site (Preparedness)

  48. Greetings. I read here often but have never posted before.
    If there is a skill you have or a craft you know that could be used in trade for goods or services, it would be good to develop it further and perhaps set aside some of the supplies and tools you would need to perform it, in case they become scarce and expensive in the future. I believe sewing goods and notions have been mentioned as good items to stockpile, for instance. To TeenagePrepper: Be of good cheer. What you are doing in trying to improve your own preparedness is merely the common-sense approach; you want to be able to meet some of your own needs, rather than be dependent on others if something happens to disrupt the status quo. Just continue calmly working on your preparedness as time and resources permit, and learn as much as you can. As the old saying goes, knowledge replaces fear.

  49. One tip on #6, “…add two or more gallons of regular, unscented bleach…” . Bleach loses its potency after 6 or more months. Because of that, I rotate my bleach (first in, first out) while maintaining a year’s supply. I date the bottles when I buy them so they don’t get mixed up. It is important to get the REGULAR bleach without any scent and also to not get the splashless either. The chemicals in scented and splashless bleach make it worthless, in fact dangerous, as a water purifier.

    For me, slightly less than four gallons get me through a year under normal conditions. When I first started building up my bleach supply, I started with two bottles and, when I finished my first bottle, I bought two more. Once I had a year’s supply on hand, I replaced my bleach, bottle for bottle. That way I always have enough fresh bleach on hand to use in an emergency. The quantity I have on hand is based on use by one person. Large families will need more. Bleach is cheap and is one of the easiest things to keep a year’s supply of! Bleach will be like gold after TEOTWAWKI.

  50. Pick up another brick or two of 22lr ammo. Always a good idea.

  51. NW Prepper says:

    These are all good suggestions, but I’d like to add about a gallon of honey to the mix. It keeps forever and adds flavor to all sorts of dishes. And don’t forget petfood, especially if you have a dog or cat that regularly catches mie or guards your house. Also, if you can get your hands on some solar panels and a good generator it’ll be worth it in end-of-society situations.

  52. Chuck Pelto says:

    TO: All
    RE: Good Start….

    ….however, aside from the mention of vitamins and prescription drugs, I don’t seem much in the way of ‘medical’ supplies.

    Aspirin, Tylenol, Ibuprofen, isopropyl alcohol, Q-Tips, bandages, Neosporin, adhesive tape, thermometers, rubber hose, good book on first aid, good book on minor surgery, etc., etc., etc.

    Personally, I’d also add getting a good book or two on homeopathy. I’ve found it to be extremely effective for injuries as well as a good number of ailments.


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

    • Chuck Pelto says:

      P.S. Don’t forget fuels for lanterns and/or candles. Some extra clothing for putting up with cold weather without heat. Good sleeping bags. Water collection. Seed for growing your own, if you have the capacity in land or buckets. Repair parts for vital equipment. Tools to fix things with, including nails, screws, nuts and bolts.

      Pardon me, but it’s my logistics training and experience…..

  53. c nylander says:

    It is not a food item …but…I wear glasses and dentures….so I have put my old pair of glasses and dentures in my kit. Cant see without the glasses and cant eat without the dentures. Just a thought.

  54. I agree with all, but in place of the portable stove I would invest in a 7-quart cast iron camp “oven” the kind of Dutch oven with legs and the funny top that you put coals from the fire on the top to create more even cooking. This can be used directly on a fire and I think that a propane stove is great unless you need to use it a lot. I have a little butane one and it took three bottles of fuel to boil water just to make pasta while camping, not efficient.

    Also, no one has mentioned vodka!! This and a good book on making herbs into medicine. Having garden books is one thing, but you don’t know that your soil will produce when you need it. You REALLY need a working garden that you have up and going BEFORE things get bad. It isn’t enough to stock the basement, but to live the life now, realizing what you need BEFORE you can’t get it.

    Oh, and vinegar! You will want to pickle!! If you are planning on canning don’t forget jars & lids!! Lids are a one time use item!

    And finally, you need to have things stored properly. If you keep things in cardboard boxes you will soon have weevils and moths. Learn how to store, what will store for how long, and keep things rotated. You can’t just have everything put up for 10 years waiting. If you buy in bulk use the items and replace things as necessary, this way you are prepared, but everything is fresh as well.

  55. 1) baking soda
    2) distilled vinegar
    3) foot powder

  56. I am a 54 yrs old male .I am very survival oriented. I surf the web of info. Here is a cheap way to clean your guns. You can use ATF fluid ( Automatic transmission fluid . It will clean and lightly lube the gun. I tried it . I fired swagged lead 148 grain bullets. Well the ATF worked . Also use a synthetic oil 5w-20w for moving parts . Like the insides of a revolver. Best thing no harmful chemicals

  57. I don’t know if it was mentioned or not but worth repeating.
    Soap, we all have to be clean. Don’t go buying all the garbage to make your own home made laundry soap, bath soap, shampoo, this soap and that soap. Just lay in a great big supply of ivory soap bars. Its cheap, you can use it to wash your hair, your body, your clothing, you name it. if you just cant stand rubbing a bar of soap on your fruit of the looms, you can shave it into slivers and mix it with water to make liquid soap. By the way, if you don’t have deoderant, baking soda works good for that and to brush your teeth with.

  58. NoMEPreppy says:

    What about guns?

Before commenting, please read my Comments Policy - thanks!