Prepping 101 – Preppers List of Supplies

Knowing where to start can be pretty daunting. Prepping isn’t the same for everyone but most people eventually look for a simple guideline to follow so I have pulled together this preppers list of supplies.
Are you prepared for the next event nobody is expecting?

For years you thought all those people prepping were crazy, but 2020 happened and now you aren’t so sure. To make things worse, an election is coming that could go either way – and regardless of the outcome, there could be more chaos. You may not know what events to plan for or you could have a much-defined idea of the threats you see, but regardless you recognize a need. You saw the turmoil that has been evident since about February this year and realize that your family’s health and safety are probably deserving a little more attention this time around.

There are people who come to the Prepper Journal after they read something on another prepping blog or they may have been visiting our site for a year. The newer visitors are usually just getting starting in this crazy world of Prepping and if they are anything like I was at the beginning, knowing where to start can be pretty daunting. Prepping isn’t the same for everyone but most people eventually look for a simple guideline to follow so I have pulled together this preppers list of supplies.

How is this list of supplies you need going to be different from any of the 523 million other lists out there? Maybe it won’t be, but I am going to try to go in order of importance so you can follow along at home and let me know what I missed or what should have received priority.

You should be prepping now.

Your list of prepping supplies may be completely different from mine. What your family might need is going to be different from your neighbor down the street,  but I believe the items contained in this list of supplies will be common to most people and more importantly will be required of anyone if you are going to be as prepared as possible when the manure hits the hydro-electric powered oscillating air current distribution device.  This prepping supply list is not all-encompassing either. Could there be a million other valuable items in certain situations? Yes, of course, but the average person will probably not have blacksmith supplies or leather working tools – although I can see the utility in each of those. This list is going to be for the average person to get by if we have a SHTF event. This list will keep you safer and healthier. What it will not do is give you everything you need to start a new life in the wild west. Please let me know what additional items you would recommend and I’ll keep this list updated so you can print it out whenever you need to purchase items or want to build your supplies out.

Lastly, this list is primarily for Sheltering in Place and the requirements/resources are items that the average person would be able to lay their hands on at stores you probably already visit each week. This doesn’t take more extreme climates into consideration but should still provide a base regardless of where you live. For other lists, you can check out our Resources page. For something more specific to the Bug Out Bag checklist, click here. Also, this list is going to be missing the specifics of the amounts because each family or individual is different. So without further ado, here we go.

Getting started with your Prepper List of Supplies


Royal Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter
Water purification has rarely been easier.

Method of Disinfecting or Filtering Water

Why should you worry about drinking water? Simple. Water is something you absolutely can’t do without and supplies can become contaminated or diseased in the worst conditions. How likely is this? It really depends on the disaster, but most of these options are reasonably priced and will give you an extra advantage should the worst happen.

    • Big Berkey or similar gravity-fed water filter (capacity 3.25 gallons). It doesn’t get much easier than this. The capacity in only one of these units might not be enough for a family of 4 in the summer though so plan accordingly. You can also buy the filters and make your own water filter much cheaper.
    • Paint or coffee filters – to remove sediment prior to filtering. This will keep your filters working much longer if your source is murky. Bandannas or old t-shirts can be used too.
    • Backpacking/ Camping Water FiltersMSR Miniworks, Sawyer for individual use, or travel. Gravity filters like the Platypus are fastest and have less moving parts to break.
    • Bleach – Non-scented or Calcium Hypochlorite is a better long-term option that won’t go bad. For additional instructions on treating water, you can read this article.
    • Boiling water over a fire will kill organisms, but will not remove chemicals.
    • SODIS Method which you can read about online.
    • Water purification tabs – These are last on my list because they do not last long.
    • Polar Pure is an iodine-based disinfection method that will last far longer than any water tablets.
Vacuum Storage preserves foods much longer.


  • Short Term Food Items – This should be the food you eat every day. Just ensure you have 30 days’ worth of food storage at all times at the minimum. Build out to one year as your resources allow.
  • Long Term Food
    • Canned vegetables, fruits, and meat (chicken/Tuna/Spam if you can stand it)
  • Staples (Food to make food taste better)
    • Flour
    • Salt – Will last forever if kept dry
    • Sugar
    • Honey – Will last forever…
    • Spices
    • Yeast
    • Baking Soda
    • Baking Powder
    • Powdered Milk
    • Vinegar
  • Ultra-Long Term Food
    • Freeze-Dried foods would be the last item to stock up on unless you have an abundance of money and zero time. The benefit with these are super long shelf life and virtually zero work so even with the added cost, they are a really smart choice if you have the other bases covered first.
  • Misc


Survival Guns by Mel Tappan – A timeless resource.
  • Financial Security
    • Personally, I would store most of my extra cash outside of the bank. Your mileage may vary and this is not without risks. This doesn’t prevent a currency devaluation but it does circumvent bank holidays or power outages.
    • Precious Metals – Investigate this for yourself, but I find the arguments and historical track records against fiat currency and the current rumblings of Government wanting to take care of your investments for you very compelling. Gold is easier to transport with the high cost to weight, but you might have problems cashing a gold coin for a tank of gas. Silver is where I have chosen to invest in precious metals.
    • Pay off bills – move now to ensure you won’t be in debt if the economy collapses.


Hygiene /First Aid

I have plenty of hygiene items but it is not my major focus/worry. If you can shower every couple of days and wash your hands before eating and after touching anything nasty you should be fine.

  • Shampoo
  • Soap
  • Toothpaste
  • Comb/Brush
  • Clippers
  • Floss
  • Razors (Read the review of razors)
  • Vitamins
  • Fish Antibiotics – In a grid down situation a healthy supply of these could save a life. Also get the Survival Medicine Handbook to know how to use them.
  • Hand Sanitizer – Also good for lighting fires
  • Sunscreen
  • Chap-stick
  • Feminine Products
  • Alcohol and Hydrogen Peroxide
  • Calamine Lotion – Benadryl
  • Children’s Fever Reducer
  • Neosporin or Fish Antibiotics
  • Plenty of bandages
  • Latex or Nitrile Gloves (these are cheap so buy two boxes)
  • Face-masks (regular and N95)


You can read more about cooking when the grid goes down in this article.

Lodge LCC3 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Combo Cooker, 3.2-Quart
Lodge LCC3 Pre-Seasoned Cast-Iron Combo Cooker, 3.2-Quart



For tools, these will be basic and not specialized. There are a lot of people who don’t live where there are any trees for example and most will not be building their own log cabin even if they do. Buy the best quality you can afford. You will feel the pain in your wallet one time, but the tool should last long enough to offset that.



Baofeng – Excellent and affordable Ham radio option for emergencies.

You can read more about Ham Radio in this article.


  • Games
  • Books
  • DVD on battery operated player
  • Cards
  • Frisbee
  • ball and bat

So there is the list. I know that I missed a million things that people will think is important. Please let me know and we’ll grow this list so it covers everything.

  1. I am just starting out and feel doomsday will happen before I am prepared? What is the first things I should purchase. I have made 2 purchases and those were 2 guns. It seems protection is the most important I am taking lessons on the gun’s I have purchased on shooting and care of guns. What next?

      1. Pat I felt the same way you did about becoming a prepper. One day something inside of me said ok look, it’s time to start making a list and to get going on this endeavor. I started with the basics. I have been prepping for about a year + and have collected quite a lot of supplies. I educated myself in ways to store food. I am a You Tube watching fool, always looking at videos on how to do this or that. I’d like to know how to meet others who are prepping as well. I don’t really know where to go? There are tons of blog sites. Maybe somebody could steer me in the right direction. That would be cool. Any ways, I was happy to come across this channel/site. I have found lots of good info on this site. Thanks for the information. I hope that everyone has a very Merry Christmas.

    1. Air guns (5000 pellets in a tin) for small game, rabbits – arrows and bows not ‘toy bows,’ reuseable and silent. Learn archery, good for upper body fitness as drawing much pulling weight in lbs over a few hours practice – and it’s fun 😉

    2. Don’t let prepping overwhelm you because there are many companies wanting you to buy their product. And I agree with pat Henry, things are not as bad as what many think. I have been listening to doomsday talkers since 2011 about the imminent collapse around the corner and there will always be people saying this. So don’t rush to spend thousands of dollars. Do a little at a time and stay within your means. This is a good article because it gives you general categories such as a means to purify water, then food, then medicine, then security and also gives lists of items to fill those categories. Look around your house and see what you have already that meets some of those categories and then go from there. A little at a time and prepping becomes a hobby and down right fun.

  2. i also am sort of new to prepping only have been doing so for a year. The problem I am having is that I live in a mobile home so if something happens I am out of here, I just want to know how much water can I store in my car and how long would it last?

    1. Water should be able to be stored indefinitely provided it is not contaminated in any way. The problem with storing water in a car is the heat or cold. In the summer time, your water could bake. In really hot environments, if your water is stored in plastic, chemicals in the plastic can leech into your water. There could be some debate about what is the greater harm, chemicals or death by dehydration, but it is something to consider.

      In the same way, water in the winter can freeze, but as long as it isn’t getting contaminated from any other substance it should be good forever.

      Now, even though that is true, I usually swap out my water every year max so that I can ensure it is fresh.

      1. I realize this isn’t totally on point with the question, but a great source of water if you lose access to clean water from your water utility is your home water heater (assuming you don’t have a tankless heater). Those suckers can store as much of 60 gallons.

      2. A hot water heater (or multiples thereof) can be plumbed in series with your regular hot water heater to keep stored water continually fresh. — They don’t need to hooked up for heating.
        If the grid is going down, a plastic pool can be set up and filled before the water tower is depleted..

    2. Get some lifestraws. No weight to worry about or spoiling due to temperatures. They filter the water as you drink.

  3. I don’t know if most people know this but if you use the SODIS method to purify water, Cryptosporidium won’t be killed until after 10 hours in sunlight (as apposed to the specified 6 hours), and Amoeba aren’t killed unless the temperature of the water is above 122° F (50° C). Both can be pretty bad.

  4. first find a spot were you will go when the end comes. next recruit a few buddies that share the same end of the world views. fill them in on the spot you will go to when disaster happens.
    now the fun begins, every recruit has a job to do when its time to run for the hills. steal and pillage all supplies and food from anywhere you can in a 4 hour period, than take it back to camp and live your life to the fullest. that simple. any walmart or small store will have everything you need to grab.
    but the plan will only work if you got at least 10 buddies willing to fallow the plan and there list of stuff to grab.

    1. This isn’t the end of the world prepping. If the end of the world is happening there is no need to prepared. What you just described is a good way to die really fast. You think you’re going to wait until something happens and hold down a store for supplies? Last place you want to be is in the middle of a situation happening. Looting and stealing supplies while a disaster or incident is happening good way to die. Why? Because there’s going to be thousands of other people doing the exact same thing.

      Anything happens, i’m going to sit at home and hopefully wait it out. I have no need to leave. I don’t have to get involved with the crazy shit that will happen shall shtf occur.

      1. Everyone thinks they will “walk toward the light”, until they realize how precious life is. Then they fight for every second of breath.
        The best “survival” is having enough where-with-all to keep your head down and get through the cataclysm. Nuclear war can be survived either being given or having made the right circumstances. I estimate we have until the fall of 2018 to make those “right circumstances”.

  5. Seeds!

    Also, I don’t think it’s a bad idea to put together an encyclopedia of information (how-to reference, maps, etc.) on a thumb drive/Kindle/tablet

  6. I just read your article, its great your helping folks out like this sharing your knowledge and experience. Ive been prepping now for about 5 years slowly growing our preps for our family but I noticed a couple of items I really think you should add to your list if you dont mind my suggestions. Not that I know anything you dont but if we all share ideas we can help each other. which is my first point. If you have a couple of friends you can trust, work with them and each work on specific lists to grow your preps together, but other than those trusted partners keep your preps secret so you don’t have unwanted guests as soon as SHTF.

    Second order and store as many fish antibiotics as you possibly can of different kinds as well as needed medications and store them in the Mylar bags with O2 absorbents as well.

    Another item that I believe is very important is get some non-GMO vegetable seeds enough for about three years worth of gardens in case you have some go bad from one year to the next and then learn how to save them from the garden for planting next year.
    You will have to replenish your food supply eventually or die so plan ahead. have enough food to eat until your harvest comes in. also store some pint and quart canning jars and lids to be able to store food from the garden or that you kill through the winter.
    Get a pressure canner. you can can all meats and all foods to preserve for years and not lose it to spoilage.
    I would much rather have a canner and jars than some of the other items on this list.
    And if you live in the country get you a couple of rabbits a doe and buck or two and have them as pets for now until you need to bread them. Two rabbits can produce about 800 lbs of meat per year which is more than a cow and they take up very little room and food. Just remember rabbit is so healthy you can actually starve to death eating only rabbit because it has no fats at all in it so when cooking it always add some fats from another source to get the nutrition from it you need. Anyway that was a few things that came to mind after reading the article.
    Great job keep up the good work leading others to self sufficiency. Oh and most importantly make sure you are right with God before the time comes. He will never leave you nor forsake you.

    1. I made the mistake of trying to wake people up to my concept of what the country was coming to. My view of shtf and how i thought it was going to happen. I also told people about my prepping and how i believed it would help. Now i’m pretty sure if anything did occur i would have a few or more uninvited guests. The one guy literally said “Im coming to your house if shit goes down” No the hell you aren’t. I tell people these things so they will prepare themselves. Or help them awaken to the things happening around them. I guess my idea kind of backfired with me not even realizing it until now. Uninvited guests are surely going to show up.

  7. Pat you should go to Chinese grocery store and buy one pot wood cooking stove.very small and cost only $20.00

  8. 1. Something else to consider is a smart phone. My phone has a 32gig memory chip. It can holds LOTS of info. Some paperback books will be good to have. But even off the grid a phone can still access certain apps that have been downloade. I have about 50 books on my phone. A compass. Maps. I can draw a quick map or list with my stylis too. I can easily share documents and file by just tapping my phone on another smart phone.

    Take pictures and zoom in on them. Great to check progress walking and general references. Certain apps you can use them to point at the sky it will check the stars, input the date and time it will tell you where you are almost.

    Kids can play games to enterain themselves. This you will need at some point.

    They make solar chargers for phones and while it isn’t super great the amount of info that can be held on a smart phone as well as the possiblities that they have definately make this pound for pound something to bring alone.

    2. a zip lock back in it with cotton balls that have been rubbed with vasiline. Great fire starter.

    3. Fishing line. Fishing and you can use it to set up trip wire type alarms around your camp and traps for small animals.

    4. Knife sharper.

  9. I would also add-1. A bible (in times of distress it’s good to have hope!) 2. Grapefruit seed extract (we used it in Africa to clean water and ward off parasites) 3. Essential oils (most of anti-vital, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and last a long time!)

    Thanks for all the great info!

  10. Being from the south, we eat a lot of cornbread, so I would have to add cornmeal to this list. I think that cornbread would be an excellent option for a grid down situation. It’s very simple to make, cornmeal, and water, plus salt or any extra veggies you may have. I would also add dry pasta, and oil, for cooking and seasoning your cast iron. I may have missed this, but what about peroxide and alcohol? But you thought of a lot of things I never would have. Great list!

        1. It’s not recommended that you wash wounds with peroxide anymore–it kills infection-fighting cells and bacteria. Copious amounts of clean water, under pressure if the wound is dirty (squirt from a big syringe through a small opening) suffices. –An ER doc

  11. not sure if anyone mentioned, but a bicycle. i know i keep mine tuned up – quicker than walking, dont need any fuel but yourself.

    1. I don’t know if that made this list Leah, but we have mentioned them before. I agree that they are good items to have but sadly I don’t even have one. I do have plans to get bikes for the family, maybe Christmas this year…

  12. Maps? I just started collecting them for my area, the places around me and the state. I get lost all the time 🙂 oh and a good compass.

  13. Might want to add a sewing kit to your list. You never know when you are going to have to fix your clothes or yourself! Not sure if I missed fishing supplies as well.

  14. Glad i started prepping. I’ve slacked off for awhile, but i’m back. Last year my cities water was considered undrinkable for about 3 days. Couldnt drink it, use it in anyway, not even a shower. Was said to cause vomiting, rashes, etc. You couldn’t go to a store in this city and find water any where. It was crazy. I had about 6 10 gallon jugs of water, stored away. Another thing was the whole gun ban hype after sandy hook. For a long long time you literally couldn’t find ammo. Or if you did you were paying a few bucks a round for it. I of course had enough ammo stored away.

    It’s a good idea to keep storing extra items. You never know when you may need it. Things can happen instantly with no warning. That comfort of knowing you have what you need to survive in any case is the best feeling.

  15. The flashlight is bright using LED technology to power 1000 lumens. You are positive to get both qualities and even more, with the Vizeri flashlight. You can utilize it to visually communicate your location, with the brightness you have in your flashlight.

  16. Great list 🙂
    The only thing I would suggest to add would be applied knowledge- for example there is no point in having seeds if you don’t know how to grow what you’ve got. Even if you don’t have access to land or a garden atm try growing crops in pots. Learn about the different soil and nutrient requirements for your selected plants, how to make fertlisers etc. If you are collecting tools know what to do with them, if you have info on foraging apply it now or go on foraging walks with local groups. Whatever skills you think you may need for whatever you are prepping for try to apply them now.
    As for hardware I would always suggest having a home composter.

  17. I would add seeds .Vegetables seeds plus edible and medical herbal seeds for instance wild oregano oil or thyme can be used orally for infection. I use wild oregano instead of antibiotics all the time. Good idea to learn how to grow edibles as well storing. Also if done right seeds can be stored for years. Buy in bulk alot of garden sites sell heirloom seeds in large quantities. This is what I have been working on and plan to expand on. It’s also a really good idea to have a detailed map of your immediate area with it you can locate streams and creeks nearby that are a water source. Dowsing rod (water) and a compass, sundial are also useful. If possible dig out a root cellar underneath a shed or other area on your property. This can be used for root veggie storage or a hiding spot. Learn how to preserve meats (smoking etc) fish can be preserved the old Norwegian way lukefich it’s gross but has protein. Other stuff bleach (little chlorine goes a long way) apple cider vinegar (organic ) has more uses then the White vinegar. Iodine great for wounds and cuts .Lye which you can preserve stuff with it ,plus make soap. Lots of solar lamps or even solar grids .

  18. Didn’t see this on the list and it could be an entire new thread. But first have a olan of what you will do. Think of all scenarios. What to do if you are not at home with the family. Where do you meet? Do you have a bug out site that everyone who needs to know has a map to it and knows when to bug out. Make sure you have what you need from this llist at the bug out site already. Do not try to haul what you need once you get there. You wil never make it. A seperate reminder. Decide on one or two calibers of weapons. You don’t want to have to have many types of ammo to support various guns. Also think of bows, crossbows and handheld crossbows. The small onesare great for hunting and take up little space.

  19. Hey, boss man,
    Sorry if I read over it – smoke/CO2 detector(s)?
    I saw the fire extinguishers, but the alarms can buy time.
    We lose lives, property and buildings – and unfortunately, livestock and barns – every year for lack of that pair.

    Soooooo happy to see those extinguishers already on your list.

    Rebecca Ann

  20. ok, please don’t laugh, a lot of the ‘prepping’ lists for food contain pasta…should you cook it then vacuum seal it so you don’t have to waste water later on? or leave it dry and waste your water using it?

    1. You want the pasta dry because it will last for years. If it is cooked and moist then it will spoil quickly.

  21. I am a new prepper about to take my first trip to Sam’s Club. I want to start buying things over the next 6 months. I know water comes first. Should I start storing bottled water, or is there a better way?

  22. Switch out portable DVD player on batteries (which usually only can play 1 movie before dying) and add cassette player and books on tape or audio cassette.

  23. Great list for those people who want to start prepping but don’t know how. It would be really great to add survival seeds on that list. Learning how to homestead or growing food will save you a lot of money for survival food. Also, it would be great to consider the place where you’re residing and stock the necessary items you will definitely need in case of SHTF.

  24. May I suggest a biolite stove. They can charge small devices, burn small amount of fuel for a meal, and provide LED lighting. Great little stoves. The base camp stove is larger and can do all of the above plus more heat. check them out.

  25. Nice list, I know you have rope on there but I think 550 or paracord would be better. You could use it off the roll or pull the smaller cords out of the center for smaller work. That stuff has so many uses and is cheap.

  26. With the availability of Kindles, I Pads, and other such battery operated data storage devices you might want to store your reference, survival and medical reference books on those devices for future use if needed
    Additionally add some tampons and Sanitary Napkins to your first aid kits they are cheaper and better than Battle dressings for large wounds.

  27. Well, seems a lot of effort when all you need to do is to make some friends in rural areas and go there. I live rural and everything mentioned on prepper sites I have lying around the place plus more. I pray for end times to hurry up so I can watch all those stupid city slickers run around like chooks with their heads cut off.

  28. Fantastic list, thanks for putting this together and linking gear. In the midst of a possible corona virus pandemic, I’m glad I’ve been prepping for years and at this point I’m re-arranging bug out bags and home/car prep.

  29. ok, please don’t laugh, a lot of the ‘prepping’ lists for food contain pasta…should you cook it then vacuum seal it so you don’t have to waste water later on? or leave it dry and waste your water using it?

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