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15 Items You Need to Stop Buying

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15 Items You Need to Stop BuyingSource:

We all want to be prepared for any situation.

Unfortunately, this can become costly in the long run, especially when you factor in the initial purchase costs, the storage, and the expiry of the products you want on hand.

Thankfully, there are options, and many of the items you need or want in your preparedness kit can be created through DIY.

Below are a few examples of items you can stop buying and start creating yourself.

Waterproof Containers

Keeping your essential items dry is crucial for their preservation and functionality in survival situations. Instead of purchasing expensive waterproof containers, repurpose everyday items like plastic bottles, jars, or zip-lock bags.

Ensure that these containers are tightly sealed to prevent water from seeping in. Use them to store important documents, electronics, clothing, and food.

Additionally, consider lining your backpack or bag with a waterproof liner or cover to provide an extra layer of protection against moisture.

Fire Starters

Fire is essential for warmth, cooking, and signaling for help in emergencies. While store-bought fire starters are convenient, making your own is both cost-effective and practical.

Cotton balls soaked in petroleum jelly are highly flammable and burn for several minutes, making them excellent fire starters. Another DIY option is to collect dryer lint and pack it into cardboard tubes, for compact and lightweight fire starters.

Another way to create a fire starter is by mixing sawdust with melted wax and pouring the mixture into molds, producing durable, lightweight, compact fire starters that ignite easily and burn for a long time.

Bottled Water

Bottled water is often the go-to option for many in emergency situations, but it can be expensive, expires, and may not be readily available during crises.

Instead, I built this DIY rainwater purification system, which is a much better solution, particularly in times of crisis. With this system in place, I’m reassured that I’ll always have access to clean water for drinking and cooking, regardless of the circumstances.


A reliable lighting source is crucial for safety and comfort in an emergency where a power outage has occurred.

Rather than relying solely on candles, creating your own emergency lighting sources ensures you’re prepared not only for immediate needs but also for extended periods without electricity.

Repurposing household items like tin cans or glass jars to make oil lamps is simple and cost-effective. Fill these containers with vegetable oil or melted wax, add a wick made from cotton cloth or string, and light for a steady and long-lasting light source.

First Aid Kits

Pre-packaged first aid kits are a good starting point, but they often lack specific items tailored to individual needs or more advanced items that you may require. Creating a customized first aid kit allows you to include essential items based on your activities and medical history.

One of the most important medical items you should have in your survival kit is antibiotics. Without antibiotics, your chances of survival during a crisis go way down. Since antibiotics are typically not available over the counter, here is the only way to stockpile antibiotics without a prescription, before it’s too late.

Energy Bars

15 Items You Need to Stop BuyingStore-bought energy bars are convenient but costly.

Furthermore, these products may contain additives or allergens.

Alternatively, making your own energy bars allows you to control the ingredients and tailor them to your taste and dietary preferences.

Oats, nuts, dried fruits, seeds, and sweeteners like honey or maple syrup are nutritious and readily available ingredients for homemade energy bars.

Experiment with different recipes and variations to create bars that provide sustained energy and satisfy hunger during emergencies.

Hand Warmers

Maintaining body warmth is crucial for preventing hypothermia and ensuring comfort in cold environments.

Related: Best Backup Heaters You Can Buy for Winter

Instead of relying on disposable hand warmers, create your own reusable hand warmers using simple materials like rice, socks, and fabric scraps. Fill a sock with uncooked rice, tie off the end securely, and heat it in a microwave or oven for a few minutes before placing it in your pockets or gloves.

Reheating these hand warmers as needed provides ongoing warmth without generating additional waste.

Fishing Kit

15 Items You Need to Stop BuyingIn survival situations near water sources, fishing can provide a reliable food source. Instead of relying on pre-packaged fishing kits, assemble a DIY fishing kit using essential fishing gear.

Include fishing lines, hooks, sinkers, and artificial bait in a compact container like an Altoids tin for easy transport.

Additionally, add small accessories like a multi-tool or line cutter for convenience. A compact and portable fishing kit ensures that you’re prepared to catch fish for sustenance in emergencies, increasing your chances of survival.

Mosquito Repellent

In areas where mosquitoes are prevalent, protecting yourself from bites is essential for preventing diseases like malaria and dengue fever. Rather than relying on commercial insect repellents, consider adding mosquito-repellent herbs into your garden.

Lavender, renowned for its effectiveness in deterring mosquitoes, is an excellent choice. I recently acquired non-GMO heirloom lavender seeds from this trusted source and intend to plant them next week. As spring begins, it’s a great time to plant lavender for optimal growth and mosquito protection.

Emergency Toilet

15 Items You Need to Stop BuyingProper waste disposal is essential for maintaining hygiene and preventing environmental contamination in survival situations. Instead of improvising makeshift toilets, consider creating a DIY emergency toilet using basic materials.

A simple yet effective option is to use a bucket lined with a sturdy garbage bag.

After each use, sprinkle sawdust or another absorbent material to control odor and absorb moisture. Once the bag is full, securely seal and dispose of it properly. A designated emergency toilet ensures proper waste management and sanitation, improving overall health and well-being during emergencies.

Solar Chargers

Keeping your electronic devices powered in off-grid situations can be challenging but crucial for communication and navigation.

Consider building your own solar charger instead of relying solely on traditional power sources. Solar chargers harness the power of the sun to generate electricity, providing a sustainable and renewable energy solution.

You can construct a solar charger using solar panels, rechargeable batteries, and a voltage regulator. DIY solar chargers are relatively easy to build and can be customized to suit specific devices and power requirements.

Cooking Tools and Fuel

15 Items You Need to Stop BuyingReliable cooking tools are essential for preparing meals and purifying water.

While store-bought stoves, such as propane canisters, are convenient, they may not always be available or practical. Learning to build a fire for cooking with wood, charcoal, or alcohol ensures you can cook food and boil water.

⇒ How to Build the Oven That Cooks Without Fire, Fuel, Smell, or Smoke (Video)

Creating your own DIY camp stove using materials like aluminum or tin cans provides a lightweight and portable cooking solution for outdoor adventures. It also saves you energy if you are forced to be on the move.

Paracord Accessories

Paracord is a versatile and robust material that can be incredibly useful in survival situations.

Instead of purchasing pre-made paracord accessories like bracelets or keychains, learning how to weave your own allows you to customize items to suit your specific needs.

Paracord can be used for various purposes, including building shelters, securing gear, creating makeshift repairs, and crafting valuable tools.

By mastering different weaving techniques and knots, you can create personalized accessories that may include integrated features like whistles, compasses, or fire starters.

Electronic Navigation Tools

15 Items You Need to Stop BuyingKnowing your location and how to navigate are vital skills in survival scenarios. Rather than relying on GPS devices, learn to use a compass, or natural navigation methods such as observing the sun, stars, and landmarks. Practice these skills in various environments to increase your confidence and effectiveness in finding your way.

Emergency Shelters

Shelter is crucial for protection from the elements and maintaining body temperature in survival situations. However, although commercial emergency shelters are available, they can be costly and may not always be accessible.

Learning how to construct temporary shelters using natural materials like branches, leaves, and tarpaulins is a valuable skill.

Practice building different types of shelters, such as lean-tos, debris huts, or A-frame shelters, to ensure you can quickly create one when needed.

Additionally, carrying lightweight emergency blankets or tarps in your survival kit provides added protection from wind and rain.

Overall, by opting for do-it-yourself alternatives to commonly purchased survival items, you save money and gain valuable skills and resources for emergencies. From purifying water to building shelters, creating your own solutions empowers you to adapt to challenging situations effectively.

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