If you begin prepping for TEOTWAWKI, and a good stockpile is on your list of preps, it will quickly become evident just how many different items are useful to stockpile for a SHTF situation. Your list can be short and sweet at first, but once you really get into things, you’ll see just how enormous a list of gear to stockpile can really get.
Every once in a while, it’s good to go back to the basics: to make sure that out of all those things you’ve already stockpiled, you’ve got enough of the stuff that you’ll really miss the most. Here’s 16 items that instantly make the cut.
16 Things You’ll Regret Not Having Stockpiled Enough When SHTF
Need a quick way to disinfect water so you can safely drink?What happens if your septic tank overflows and you’re left with contaminated waste everywhere? One simple and effective way to fix both these problems is by using bleach. It’s as cheap and easy as a cleaning agent gets. Once you’re out of bleach, you’ll definitely notice. Get your hands on as much as possible while you still can. One caveat to the Bleach: store bought liquid bleach (Clorox or Purex) begins to degrade the moment it is manufactured. I’ve seen lots of different expiration dates, but they all run from 6 months to 2 years. I have stocked up on Calcium Hypochlorite. You can either find it on the net or buy CH at the pool store. Just make sure it does not have algaecides or clarifiers in it which are said to make you sick. It comes in a powdered form which you mix as needed (1 tsp to 2 gallons of water to make the solution). This solution will then degrade just like bleach, but if you have the powder, you can keep making it for years. There is a learning curve, so do your research on the net first. The ratio is 1:100 (such as 16 oz of solution to 12.5 gallons of water to be disinfected) which is slightly different than the household bleach numbers. One bag will purify 10,000 gallons so the directions are important –a little goes a long way. Keep the bag cool and dry and it has a forever shelf life, not like commercial bleach.
Lighters and Matches
Really and truly, you cannot have enough of these lying around. Sure you can make fire without them, but it’s hard: really hard. Unless you have apt practice in the fire-making field, stock up on these as much as possible. They’re so inexpensive you might as well. Spare wicks and flints for your gas-fueled lighters wouldn’t be a bad idea either.
Now, I know what you’re thinking. A bit of pain here and there is the last thing you’ll worry about when the SHTF. Maybe when it comes to a little pain, yes, that’s true, but what happens when you get a cavity and that tooth absolutely has to come out?
Get some reasonably strong over-the-counter pain meds, and make sure you have enough to last you if the SHTF. Though painkillers have expiration dates, they don’t really expire. They get weaker instead, so don’t be afraid to stockpile pain meds just because of the expiration date. Try to mix and match since many painkillers like Ibuprofen (Advil) and Acetominophen (Tylenol) have different uses, and can even be take simultaneously. Stronger pain killers like Codeine will become useful too, as medicine will run out pronto, and there’s no real SHTF substitute for the strong painkillers without going for more risky natural opiates. It’s also beneficial to keep quite a few of these in a bug out bag if you happen to have one.
There are many reasons why alcohol is an excellent resource. The top two are obvious: its physical impact on us when we consume it, and its ability to disinfect wounds. Whether you’re personally into drinking alcohol or not, you’re going to regret not having enough alcohol when the SHTF. After all, think of all the people who would be willing to trade almost anything for a bottle of their favorite whisky. Or you can stockpile a simple still (or the components to assemble one), as this will make your alcohol for drinking, cleaning, medical use, etc. (don’t forget to learn how to make the corn mash itself, or to have extra parts put back)
Screws, Nails and Building Materials
You’re definitely not going to regret having stocked up on hardware materials post-collapse. In fact, you’ll probably wish you’d stocked up on more. Nails and screws are essential hardware materials. They go fast and are a giant pain to make from scratch. Make sure you have enough lying around while you still can.
Saw blades, hatchets, axe heads, hammer heads, hand drills – many of this tools being available from auctions, garage sales, etc. Without tools you won’t be able to build or fix anything or you’ll have to improvise. Having more than one of this tools will be a big advantage as they make great barter items.
Antibiotics are hard to stock up on unless you have a very understanding doctor. Fortunately, there are sources for antibiotics you can take advantage of now and stock up before the hospitals are overflowing with people.
Everyone needs a warm place to sleep. A good blanket is like a good coat. We’ve all planned for clothes (I hope), but when’s the last time you heard someone brag about having a couple of good wool blankets put back? I’ve got two good wool blankets. I paid $40 each for them. Let the power go out, in November, and you not have one. I don’t know how much you’re willing to pay for them, but I know what you’re going to trade me for them, if you don’t want to freeze at night. I won’t trade both at all, but I’ll be looking for what would be several thousand dollars worth of trade for the one I can ‘spare’.
Seems simple now, but if things go wrong, one of the hardest things to usually find is a good canteen or water jug. Put enough back for yourself, but put more back for trade. The harder to break, the better. I’ve got a dozen military 1-qt canteens laying around here than there, in a pinch, I have 2-3 I’ll use, but the rest can be had – for a price.
Survival information is valuable, and in a time when it is desperately needed, being able to have a few copies of condensed information on-hand and barter-ready will be very valuable, indeed. Type up and print a dozen copies of general information that others may not readily have. It may help you too. When fear and panic takes over all the info you learned will vanish from your head. Having the info printed will be helpful.
This one’s obvious. Even if you’ve got the guns to hunt or protect yourself and your family with, you can’t without ammo. You’ll probably need more than you expect, so really, you can never have too much ammunition. It would be best to have the means to make your ammo so stockpiling on everything you need to make ammo would be your best choice.
Along the same lines, it’s also beneficial to stockpile arrowheads and bow strings. Just remember that in a SHTF situation, you probably don’t want to advertise your position and the fact you have guns.
In the coming winter months, if you get hit by a major ice storm and the light go out, candles will make the difference between having to spend the night in the dark or not. Light gives us a comfort feeling. In case you run out of candles here’s a great alternative. Boiling soup bones to get the fat out of the marrow, then rendering it will make a decent lamp fuel. Keep the wick trimmed low enough to keep it from getting smoky. Make sure that, if the lamp spills, the spill is confined and maintain the ability to smother the whole thing with something that isn’t going to catch fire.
Even more useful than the candles are the flashlights. So, having a good stock of batteries will be of great help. An excellent prep would be to have some extra rechargeable batteries with a solar charger for when the light stay out for a long period of time.
Along the lines of disinfecting, you’re going to really regret not having enough soap post-crisis. Without basic sanitation, you’re going to get sick fast, and ill is something you definitely don’t want to be when medicine is in short supply and you need as much energy and strength as you can possibly have. The best tip you could possibly have in terms of soap shopping for post-crisis scenarios: try to stock up on soap that’s anti-bacterial.
Alternatives for soap
Again, you’ll be using that fat from the soup bones. Learn to do this as a skill. Even if you don’t apply this for a number of years, you’ll still know how to do it. The lye that is used in the process can be obtained from ash or you can buy THAT by the pound at the hardware store in the plumbing aisle.
Even if somebody doesn’t drink, they might want to be clean once in a while. Make more soap than you’re ever going to need so you can trade it. Even if some dude would trade his left hand for a bottle of his favorite hooch, his wife would probably trade both of her husband’s hands for him to take a bath once in a while.
Don’t get Crystal Drano. It contains other ingredients that are not good in soap. You want 100% potassium hydroxide (otherwise known as lye). There are many good how-to books on soap making and general day-to-day life, but doing it all yourself. I like the one that was written by Carla Emery (ISBN 0-912365-95-1). It primarily addresses modern day homesteading, but what’s going to happen when the SHTF? Modern day homesteading.
Tampons & pads
They’re essential to a good survival pack, and not just for the obvious reason! They indispensable for bandages, good for emergency water filtering, and can be used as tinder to start a good fire. They’re also better than a lot of other methods for stopping a nosebleed that won’t quit.
One thing that stood out to me is multivitamins. Regardless of what happens, you can’t always ensure you are getting what you need, and if living off the land is your last recourse or you are surviving off whatever you could salt or smoke in fall for winter you will run short of your bodies need.
What items do you think you’ll miss the most when the SHTF? Leave your suggestions in the comments below!
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