For years you thought all those people prepping for doomsday 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 preppers 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 Preppers List of Supplies
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.
Method of Disinfecting or Filtering Water
Each of the items below can work together or separately to give you methods of ensuring the water you give your family is clean and safe. Some of the items in the prepping list below are short-term use for fewer individuals and others can support an entire extended family for years. Go back to your plan and start with short-term disaster scenarios that are more likely and gradually work your prepping checklist out so you are protected for longer and more protracted scenarios.
- 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 Filters – MSR 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.
- Method of carrying water
- Plastic Nalgene Bottles or Stainless Steel water bottle for each individual if you plan on needing to boil water for individual use.
- 5 Gallon water jugs – These are pretty heavy when full. Get the heavy plastic ones, not the collapsible bladder type. These will need to hold up to a lot of abuse.
- Yard wagon or wheelbarrow to haul the water jugs and reduce trips to your water source if it is remote.
- Methods of obtaining/Storing additional water
- Assuming you don’t have running/well water on your property…. Rain Barrels are best in most climates if you plan ahead.
- Find additional water sources by exploring your neighborhood
- 55 Gallon Storage barrels are easy to set up and forget.
- WaterBOB is great for emergencies with a warning you are about to lose water.
No matter what event you are preparing for, doomsday or a weekend power outage, food must be on your checklist. A great advantage of this element of your plan is that you are already doing this every day so there should be little to no adjustment here.
- 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. If you are faced with a doomsday scenario, unless your food is contaminated, shelf-stable food will be fine for 30 days and that is one less thing to worry about as you prepare for other items that will need your attention. We have a whole section on the Prepper Journal devoted to Food Storage that is worth a read.
- Long Term Food
- Canned vegetables, fruits, and meat (chicken/Tuna/Spam if you can stand it)
- Staples (Food to make food taste better)
- Salt – Will last forever if kept dry
- Honey – Will last forever…
- Baking Soda
- Baking Powder
- Powdered Milk
- 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.
- Personal/Home Defense
- Identify what you will use to protect your family if a bad guy is beating down the door. For me, I have chosen several firearms and you can read what I consider are the top 5 firearms you need here, the best gun for home defense if you can only afford one and how to find the best handgun for self-defense in other articles on the Prepper Journal.
- Door Security – EZ Armor Door Security Kit
- Sandbags – great for protection from water and bullets.
- Camouflage clothing – This can have multiple advantages
- Body Armor in either Soft or Hard panels
- Heavy Duty Knife
- Holster for Pistol
- Ultra-bright flashlight
- For firearms purchase additional ammo and use our Ammo inventory spreadsheet to help keep track of what you have
- Firearm Safe bolted to the floor
- Extra weapon cleaning supplies
- 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.
- Make sure you have appropriate clothing to be outdoors. Trendy stops when you have to live outside in the elements. This goes for children too.
- Layers are key in winter, wicking garments in the summer. If you have plenty of camping gear you should be set.
- Sturdy Work Boots
- Heavy Duty Socks – Wool Blends like Merino are my favorite for winter.
- Heavy Duty Gloves
- Repair Materials if needed
- Temporary Shelter
- Kerosene Heater
- Wood Burning Stove
- Propane Heater
- Fuel for either in abundance. For Kerosene, you can treat it so that it will store it for much longer.
- Fire Extinguishers
- Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Alarm – make sure your heat doesn’t kill you.
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.
- Razors (Read the review of razors)
- 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
- 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.
- Gas Grill
- Camp Stove
- Rocket Stove like the EcoZoom
- Fire pit
- Solar Oven
- Spare Propane Cylinders
- Disposable lighters/ Matches
- Manual Can Opener – or you can use this method.
- Butane Stove – Spare fuel Canisters
- Cast Iron Cookware – The best option for cooking when the grid goes down.
- Fishing equipment – A small telescopic rod (guide here) will go a long way in helping you get the food you need for surviving.
- Rechargeable Batteries X 2 for the important items (radio, lights)
- Battery Charger w/ solar or vehicle adapter for batteries and cell phones
- 1000 Watt Inverter connected to car battery for charging devices/running small appliances
- Spare fuel to run vehicle (min 25 gallons)
- 5 – 5 Gallon gas cans
- PRI – G gas treatment for long-term fuel storage.
- 3000 W Generator
- Tri-fuel generator (gas, propane, natural gas)
- Spare fuel for generator (min 90 gallons)
- 7 – 14 gallon gas cans
- 100 Watt Solar Panel kit
- Deep cycle Batteries
- Siphon pump to acquire additional fuel
- LED Flashlight with spare batteries – 1 per person
- Candles – 15 Hour Emergency candles
- Battery powered lantern for common areas
- Headlamps for each individual – infinitely easier and more practical than flashlights. Allows for hands free tasks.
- Propane lanterns – great outdoor lighting option or use within well-ventilated area.
- Oil lamps – the right kind can provided plenty of light and last longer than batteries, or should according to use.
- Lamp Oil
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.
- High quality non-GMO seeds.
- Large Pry Bar
- Med-Large Bolt Cutters
- Plastic Zip Ties – Various sizes
- Plastic Bins – 5 Gallon buckets
- Chain Saw – Good for clearing roads or closing roads.
- Heavy Work Gloves – Several Pairs
- Oils and lubricants – Chain oil, motor oil, two-cycle oil, WD40
- Wheel Barrow or Yard Wagon
- Full set of wrenches (metric and standard)
- Good Hammer
- Ratchet Straps
- Bungee cords
- Pruning shears
- Limb Saw
- Hand Saw
- Pick Axe or Mattock
- Post Hole Digger
- Metal Tubs
- Full set of Screwdrivers
- Allen wrenches
- Pipe Wrench
- Spare PVC and PVC cement
- Garden Hose
- Spare Lumber
- Quick Lime
- Spare 5 Gallon Bucket with Toilet Lid
- Trash bags
- Hand Sanitizer
- Bleach – Non-scented or Calcium Hypochlorite is a better long-term option that won’t go bad.
- Latex or Nitrile Gloves
- Camping Shower
- World Band Radio
- Ham Radio – HT (BaoFeng BF-F8HP 8W High Power)
- Base Station Short Wave Radio
- Spare Batteries for HT and Radio
- Solar Charger
- DVD on battery operated player
- 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.