A lot of preparedness articles can be a little tough to write, this one was exceptionally difficult to wrap my head around! The subject is things you will regret not having in a SHTF situation, which is by definition things you have forgotten to stock. So, it’s not a standard issue things you should have list. I had to rack the old brain for the critical things that I have often forgotten or postponed in my preparations. So, it may seem a bit of an odd list, but it is a list of essential things that are not “Head Liners” for most preppers.
Believe it or not, the no. 1 killer in a crisis is almost always a disease. This includes even WWII. So, no matter how many guns or canes you have stockpiled so far… they won’t stop this disease.
And instead of buying 10 types of antibiotics (many having similar substances) you should consider these 4 antibiotics with totally different actions, so if the bacteria is resistant to one of them, you have 4 totally different “solutions” to try.
#2 Knowledge and skills
This is always the most important thing to stock up on. You can have all the goods and goodies in the world, but if you can’t use them they are worthless. You should gather a wide range of knowledge on subjects such as gardening, food preservation, foraging for local edibles and medicinal, home repair, DIY projects, sewing, leather work, first aid, and the list goes on. In times past, everyone had a smattering of this type of knowledge as a matter of course, but our modern lives have become very compartmentalized and most of the compartments are of little use in a world turned upside down. Learn all you can, practice all you can, and gather as many knowledge resources as you can.
#3 Toilet Paper! – Critical supply
There are alternatives to this modern staple, but most of them are varying degrees of uncomfortable! The trouble with toilet paper though is that it is bulky to store, the bonus is that as long as you keep it dry it stays good for a very long time. Put up as much as you can find room for, buy in bulk when you find it on sale. Chafing and rashes are never fun, but you really don’t want to deal with them in the apocalypse!
It seems silly, but salt has a multitude of uses. You can use it in standard fashion to season your food, you can use it in pickling vegetables and drying meat, you can use it as an attractant for wild game, as a supplement for live stock, to make a mouth rinse. It is cheap, compact, and it lasts a lot longer than you will! The shelf life of salt has yet to be determined since none of it has ever gone bad!
#5 White Vinegar
Yet another highly versatile product with a long shelf life. Also relatively inexpensive to buy in quantity. Vinegar too is useful in pickling and food preservation, is a great cleaning product, and has a multitude of other food preparation uses. Here are other 20 foods that will outlast you.
#6 Fire Extinguishers
At the end of the world, fire stations will probably not be operating as they are now. This is compounded by the fact that we will be using fire for a lot more things. Candles, oil lamps, cooking fires, wood heat, all in play a lot more than they are these days. No matter how safe you are, it is an imperfect world and things happen. Be ready to deal with fire quickly and decisively. Get a bunch of extinguishers in a variety of sizes, and when you are using fire for heat, light and cooking keep a few in every room of the house and include large industrial sized ones in addition to the more compact models.
#7 Strike Anywhere Kitchen Matches
In keeping with our fire is important theme, you will need a way to start fires. Lots and lots of fires. Ferro rods, blast matches and all that are fine, but for convenience around the house nothing beats good old fashioned wooden kitchen matches. As a bonus they are cheap, compact to store, and will last as long as you can keep them dry. They would be great for barter someday too.
Candles could well be a primary source of lighting some day. You can’t stock too many. They have a near infinite storage life, and can be had very cheaply, watch the sales and clearances and put up as many as you can manage. They, too, could have a great deal of barter value one day.
#9 Sponges and Steel Wool
Odds are fairly good that you won’t have as much water to devote to the purpose and there will be a lot more scrubbing as a result. Sponges, steel wool, Brillo pads and the like will wear out a lot faster in these conditions, but a dirty dish related case of food poisoning will be a very bad deal in the absence of modern medical facilities. These things are cheap, compact, and readily available these days, so put up as much as you can.
#10 Fertilizer and Pest Control
Gardening will become a crucial activity. Right now, a garden that fails because of a pest infestation is only a bummer, when the SHTF it could mean a lot of serious hunger. Make sure that you have the ability to deal with any threats to your garden, and the ability to feed your plants for optimum production. How you feel about Natural and Organic can inform your choices in these areas, but I would rather eat fresh veggies that were not strictly speaking “organic” than have nothing to eat. Some of these dietary preferences may become luxuries you can no longer afford, but the good news is there are a lot of great natural products available so you don’t have to turn yourself over to chemicals.
#11 Cleaning Products
I can’t stress enough the importance of keeping your surroundings as sanitary as possible! Illnesses that are common annoyances today could be life threatening events at some point. Lots of Clorox, ammonia, Pine Sol, Lysol, and the like are a critical supply, but not exciting enough to jump to the front of the mind. Don’t ignore them in your preps.
#12 Heavy Blankets
Lots of heavy blankets! You will probably not be able to keep your home as warm in the winter as you do now, and you may end up with more guests than you are counting on. Piling on the blankets can be a life saver in a pinch, or just a cozy indulgence, but comfort is always a valid consideration.
#13 Cook Ware
Cooking habits will most likely change in a long term crisis situation. You may find yourself cooking fewer dishes but in larger quantities, feeding passersby and friends that wander in, or who knows what. Large stock pots that are heavy enough to use on a fire, lots of cast iron including Dutch ovens, a big Cowboy coffee percolator for the fire, and so on. Don’t forget to learn how to use this gear before you need it!
#14 Pet Meds
At my farmstead, the dogs are more than just pets, they serve a purpose as well. My dogs serve to protect the chickens and their eggs, as well as the gardens, from marauding critters. They also are a big part of the alarm and security system. Just like human doctors, veterinarians will not be available when things get bad. You are going to want to keep your furry partners in good health too. With that in mind, store as much Advantage or other flea and tick preventative as you can, Also lay in a store of heart worm preventative, and make sure they are up on their shots. For horses keep wormers on hand, as well as first aid supplies for all critters. If you keep horses, learn as much as you can about hoof care and keep the needed supplies in stock.
#15 Pet food
Your critters need to eat too, so don’t neglect their needs when stock piling food. If you don’t, your pets will prove to be a drain on your other food stocks.
Well, there it is! Not as interesting as many survival lists, I know! Not a cool or glamorous item in the bunch! But, survival is just life under extreme circumstances. All the needs you have today will still be there. Guess the point is to not lose focus by concentrating on the fun stuff because the mundane will have even greater significance should things go south.
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