Prepping 101 – Preppers List of Supplies

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Last Updated on June 8, 2021

Remember March 2020 when everything got surreal and you realized that your preppers list of supplies had been ignored? There were many who weren’t prepared at all and got caught off guard. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you next time. We have compiled the best preppers list of supplies for you.

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. But, prepping isn’t the same for everyone. Most people eventually look for a simple guideline to follow so I have pulled together this preppers list of supplies.

So you may be asking 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 prepper 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 preppers list of supplies 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 preppers 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

For the water component of the preppers list of supplies, we are talking about gear and tools to filter and collect 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 preppers list of supplies below are short-term use for fewer individuals and others can support an entire extended family for years.

Go back to your prepping 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® Gravity-Fed Water Filter with 2 Black Berkey® Purification Elements
  • 2.25 GALLON CAPACITY- The portable Big Berkey Purification System effortlessly purifies water for about 1-4 people each day. Add additional Black Berkey Purification Elements (the Big Berkey System can hold a maximum of four) to increase the flow rate. The system is just 19.25” tall and 8.5” in diameter.
  • POWERFUL PURIFICATION- Berkey systems equipped with Black Berkey Purification Elements purify water—not just filter it—by addressing over 200+ contaminants in tap water or raw, untreated freshwater sources like ponds, rivers and streams.
  • ECONOMICAL, LONG-LASTING- A pair of Black Berkey Purification Elements lasts for up to 6,000 gallons before needing replacement. Each additional pair of elements (sold separately) adds an additional 6,000 gallons of purification power to your system. Black Berkey Purification Elements average just 2 cents per gallon of purified water.
  • INDEPENDENT TESTING- Berkey by NMCL uses several independent third-party labs to test a broad range of potential contaminants and conducts Extreme Testing for lead and PFCs in order to show the effectiveness of our Black Berkey Purification Elements.
  • DRINK CONFIDENTLY VIRTUALLY ANYWHERE- No electricity, tools or plumbing required. Travel the world, prepare for emergencies, and take control of your family’s everyday drinking water with your Berkey gravity-fed water filtration system with Black Berkey purification elements. Enjoy delicious, nourishing water from the leader in gravity-fed water solutions.
  • 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.

Method of carrying water

Methods of obtaining/Storing additional 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.

GERYON Vacuum Sealer
Food vacuum sealer removes air from specially designed bags. Multi-layer material heat seals to keep air out and prevent freezer burn, reduces spoilage and food waste. And cooking and meal preparation will become easier, more economical and faster
Food Storage should be one of the first items on your prepping checklist to take care of.
Food Storage should be one of the first items on your prepping checklist to take care of.
  • 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)
    • 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


Firearms are an important consideration for your preppers list of supplies
If you are prepping for doomsday and don’t have a firearm for self-defense, you need to reevaluate your plans.
Prepping 101 - Preppers List of Supplies - The Prepper Journal
Survival Guns by Mel Tappan – A timeless resource.


  • Clothing
  • Repair Materials if needed
  • Temporary Shelter
    • Camping tents and tarps can be used to effectively keep the elements off you if needed.
    • Bivvy Bags are great emergency shelters, but not meant for extended use.

Heat Source

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)


Lodge Pre-Seasoned Cast Iron Combo Cooker
Cast iron has been around for centuries and it is a great option that allows you to cook on the range, in the oven or over a fire.

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



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.



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.

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Freedom-loving American doing what I can to help prepare and inform others. Editor and creator of The Prepper Journal 2013-2017, 2020 -

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I would definitely add honey, vinegar, heavy socks,and a butane stove ( plus fuel canisters) to the above lists.


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?

Pat Henry

That is a common feeling to have when you start out. I had the same thoughts myself but things do not seem to happen as quickly as you think they will. Or at least they haven’t yet. I do still see a steady progression though and am glad I started prepping when I did.

I recently wrote a post that might give you some ideas:


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… Read more »


Thank you for the comments Lynda,

There are a lot of ways to meet other people. We cover some of them in our articles and and

Of course the comments section in here is always another great resource of information.



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 😉

Chuck whallon

Ya a good Sherman pellet rifle and 80lb. Bow with fishing attachment would work well. And all types of traps


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… Read more »


you can’t eat guns..and what happens when you run out of ammo? not wisdom!


Make friends with a farmer, that’s all just make friends with a farmer.


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?

Pat Henry

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… Read more »

Health Maven

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.

Pat Henry

It’s still a good point! Thanks for the comments Health Maven.


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..


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

Ricardo Mountabong

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.

Pat Henry

That’s why I have a Big Berky myself. I would rather not leave that type of thing up to chance.

Health Maven

Great information here. I would add some type of vitamin supplements to your list too since nutrition is going to be a big issue too. I found a great whole food vegetable concentrate made from freeze-dried veggies that has a long shelf life at

Pat Hamer

I found a good way to acquire gold in 1 gram increments, for those on a budget. just register as customer or affiliate. Good commissions too.


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… Read more »

Joshua D Bird

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… Read more »


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”.



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

Dearl Hardy

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… Read more »


Amen! Thats at the top of my list. God bless you and yours!

Joshua D Bird

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… Read more »


Great informative stuff @ this website.
I’m just getting started and just have a hunch time is getting short…

Johanna Thomas

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


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.… Read more »

Pat Henry

Great thoughts, thanks Neville!



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!


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!

Pat Henry

Thank you Issac. Excellent point about the oils for seasoning your cast iron!

Joshua D Bird

Peroxide expires pretty fast.


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

I'm Right

Liquor for trade.


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

Pat Henry

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…


Alcohol! Can be used for trading, to make suspensions of medicinal plants, and disinfect wounds in a pinch.


I don’t know if I saw drinking alcohol (many uses) or coffee (helpful when you need energy to keep going) on the list.

Pat Henry

Good additions Kathy. I know I have both stocked up.



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.


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.

Joshua D Bird

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… Read more »


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… Read more »


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… Read more »


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… Read more »

R. Ann

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

Pat Henry

Good ones! I’ll add those to the list.


Unfortunately water and food isn’t gonna save us alone

Ruth Anitha

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.


This is a superb collection of gear! I particularly like the water filtration products.

Have you come across the Life Straw it is my favourite item to pack in my bug out bag. I wrote an article about bug out bags a few weeks ago.

Check it out –


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?

Bilbo Baggins

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


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?

T. T.

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.

Travis Walker

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.

Darlene Anastas

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.


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.


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.

Electric Razor

Wow, what a great article it is! Your posts are so interesting and providing me great information.This is really effective for us. Thanks for the shearing…


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.

Andy B

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.

Apk Download

Thank you for sharing, Your posts are always amazing… Great information source.

hotel tour packages

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?


Gotta say, even though this post is almost 7 years old by now, it is still the most comprehensive resource. Outstanding job, Pat!


We are Seniors with medical problems needing meds. So we would never bug out. We are going to bug in. If we can’t get meds in 8 or 12 months, we probably won’t make it. But to protect yourself and loved ones, if you bug in, “fortify” your home. Even on a budget, you can do things to make looters and criminals, go somewhere else. Put safety film on your windows. Build a bullet proof area (we put a four foot high and four foot wide brick plant holder. The thing is, it will stop bullets from riddling your home.… Read more »

Khyati Shah

A great article and bookmarked for future use

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