Prepping can be a pretty expensive venture, which is why any time you can prepare on the cheap without sacrificing quality; it’s a good thing. Best of all, most cheap preps are usually pretty small, so they fit perfectly into a bug out bag or other larger kits.
Save your money for big things like food stores or that cabin in the Rocky Mountains. Here are six preps that you can do for under $6.
DIY Fire Starter
Having a good fire starter available to you is a definite necessity. With some parts you can find lying around the house and a couple bucks you can make an entire tray of fire starter blocks that can be stored and used when needed.
For this prep you need the following:
– Dozen egg carton
– Dryer lint
– Paraffin wax (1lb)
– Sheet of aluminum foil
– Something to melt the wax
Set the open egg carton on the sheet of foil and fill each cup with the dryer lint. Melt the wax and pour it slowly over the lint until it starts to get to the bottom of the cup. Take the carton and foil and freeze them. This will give you a solid base and prevent leakage. Fill the cups half way and freeze again. Complete this process until the cups are full. At this point freeze again and when solid, remove from the carton. Bam! Instant fire starters for a few bucks and an empty egg carton.
Water is obviously one of the most important parts to a survival plan. No matter how much water you save, there might come a time that you need fresh, clean water and you’re not near your supplies.
It’s pretty easy to make a gravity filter out of two buckets for around $35, but you can make an even smaller one out of a prescription pill bottle! YouTube user IntenseAngler shows you how to make one in this video.
When the SHTF there won’t be a Wal-Mart to go buy new socks from, so knowing how to sew and having an emergency kit to sew with is more than a good idea, it’s really a necessity.
Check out the dollar store for small, cheap sewing kits. You should be able to find one for less than $2 that comes with small spools of thread, a tiny pair of scissors, and a needle or two. You can beef this up by adding a variety pack of needles and a few heavy-duty needles. On top of the sewing materials, add in a few heavy-duty self-adhesive patches and now you can protect what you’ve just sewed.
Put all of this into a used Altoids tin and now you’ve got a sewing kit that should fix just about anything.
Gun Cleaning Kit
A good gun cleaning kit is essential to survival with a weapon. You need to make sure your gun is always clean and in working order, but a full kit can be pretty bulky and expensive. For emergencies, you can build a small, cheap kit pretty easily.
Start with a bulk pack of cotton patches for around $3, then add a small bottle of gun cleaning solvent like Hoppe’s No. 9 for about $3. These together can help you perform standard maintenance on most weapons and can fit in your pocket.
The basics of a fishing kit are pretty, well, basic. Start with a spool of fishing line, 15 lb. test is great and should only cost you about $3. Next, a pack of hooks for around $3 and some sinkers if you can find them cheap and you’re all set!
Fishing is great because even though expensive rods and reels will help, you can do simple fishing with just these three tools. Put everything into another used Altoids tin and you’re one more step to a cheap bug out bag.
First Aid Kit
A good first aid kit will cost you $50 or more. These kits come with a little bit of everything in them so you’re ready for a little bit of any problem. The big problems, however, tend to use a few key items to get you up and going again.
Start with a roll of gauze and add in a self-adhesive bandage. Together these should cost less than $5. A travel pack of Band-Aids and a sample pack of aspirin will get you in at just about $6 for a basic first-aid kit.
Prepping doesn’t need to be expensive, but it shouldn’t be cheap, either. There are good places to spend your money and others where you can save a few bucks. The preps above aren’t meant to be permanent solutions, but instead are meant to be ones that you can keep in your car or bug out bag. Small, simple fixes for survival problems until you can solve them for good.