19 Cheap Items that Will Be Valuable when SHTF

One of the biggest things that hold people back from starting with disaster preparedness is that prepping is too expensive

Yes, stockpiling an entire year’s worth of disaster supplies can take a big toll on your budget if you try to buy everything at once. However, I truly believe that creative thinking is one of the most essential prepping skills.

When you think outside the box while prepping, you realize that you don’t have to spend much money on supplies. For example, you could stockpile cheap items and use them to barter for necessities like food and water.

None of us knows what will happen when the SHTF during a disaster situation. We can only do our best to imagine possible outcomes and prepare for the worst.

The following 19 cheap items will likely be in high demand in a SHTF situation. So you should consider stockpiling them with your everyday preps, so you are prepared to barter for anything you need during a SHTF disaster.

1. Checklists To Get Organized

Getting prepared for disasters is a multi-step process. With so many different things to think about and gear to get, it’s easy to get overwhelmed.

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2. Fish Antibiotics

As I talk about in this post about emergency hygiene, disasters almost always lead to disease outbreaks due to crowded, unsanitary conditions. Antibiotics will be needed to combat diseases.

Most doctors won’t prescribe for “just in case” antibiotics. However, you can legally buy fish antibiotics and keep them as part of your disaster preps.

Read more about the safety of fish antibiotics here.


3. Lighters and Matches

With the grid down, people will need to heat their homes and cook with fire. And what do you need to start a fire? I couldn’t find any stats on how many people have matches and lighters at home, but I’m guessing that most people are severely under-prepared.

Lighters and matches are cheap and take up little space, thus making them one of the best cheap prepping items to stockpile.

Read more about the different types of lighters available.


4. Female Hygiene Items

My wife started using a menstrual cup long ago, so we don’t have to stockpile female hygiene items. Most women don’t use one of these, so they will need lots of pads and tampons—more on feminine hygiene.


5. Disinfectants

Disasters cause disgusting, unhygienic conditions. Disinfectants will be in high demand. I’d recommend stockpiling bleach because it is cheap and can be used for disinfecting water. See How to Disinfect Water with Bleach here.


6. Batteries

Batteries are a bit pricier but worth stockpiling because they will be valuable. Note that batteries will be virtually worthless if an EMP disaster strikes because all electronic devices will be fried. Consider using a Faraday cage for your essential survival electronics.

For other disasters, consider getting rechargeable batteries and adding a rugged solar charger to your preps.


7. Cooking Oil

As someone who goes backpacking frequently, I can tell you how much difference a bit of oil makes to meals. I carry a small squeeze bottle of oil to add to my meals. It makes them taste better, prevents food from sticking to the bottom of the pan, and also adds essential dietary fats.


8. Face Masks

Remember 911? People are still dying from the attack because they inhaled asbestos and other hazardous materials. A simple face mask (respirator) would have prevented many of these deaths. N95 face masks are very cheap, take up little space, and will be very valuable when SHTF. Put some in your bug out bag and keep extras stockpiled at home. Read about N95 respirators for disaster prepping here.


9. Pain Killers

Acetaminophen, Ibuprofen, and aspirin will all be necessary for reducing the pain that comes with disaster-related injuries.

Don’t forget about tooth pain! I’ve talked to many war and disaster survivors, and one thing they mention is that dental hygiene usually goes to hell in SHTF situations. Tooth pain is hellish.

I’m betting that people would trade you buckets of food for some cheap tooth pain relief! (Amazon Link)

Recommended readingPreppers Emergency Dental Kit


10. GI Medicines

All first aid items will be in high demand after a disaster. However, GI problems are the most common ailment after disasters (from unhygienic conditions and drinking untreated water). If you are going to focus on one first aid item to stockpile for bartering, make it GI meds.

Recommended reading – Homemade Diarrhea Remedies


11. Plastic Tarps

Plastic tarps are one of the most diverse and valuable survival items. There are many uses for tarps, like making shelters, boarding broken windows, and collecting rainwater.


12. Vinyl Gloves

You’ll need heavy-duty gloves for sorting through rubble and debris. But those super cheap nylon gloves will also be necessary for treating wounds, changing bucket toilets, and much more. You can buy entire boxes of gloves for just a few dollars.


13. Candles

For bonus points, stockpile string for candle wicks and make your own candles out of used wax.


14. Sewing Kits

You can get mini sewing kits at the Dollar Store. These will be important for fixing clothes, backpacks, tarps, and sleeping bags. The needles in the kits can be used for all sorts of things, from removing splinters to sewing up a wound (in extreme cases). I use dental floss instead of thread for sewing because it is waterproof and stronger. But those cheap sewing kits are still great for bartering.


15. Toilet paper

This one should be obvious. Oh, but in case you run out, here are some toilet paper alternatives you can use.


16. Water Purification Tablets

Water Purification Tablets are great SHTF barter items because they are so small. You can carry them in your Bug Out Bag and use them as currency.


17. Bullets

In addition to stockpiling bullets, you might want to learn to make your own ammo. For more on that, read How to Find Ammo when SHTF.


18. Sterile Bandages

You can make your own bandages. But most people won’t think to do that. So stockpile lots of sizes and types of sterile bandages.


19. Socks

This is a commonly overlooked survival item. I’ve talked to some people working with refugees, and they say that everyone is in desperate need of socks and shoes from walking so much. Stockpiling shoes is a bit more complicated, but you can buy cheap socks and barter them when SHTF.


20. Knowledge

This isn’t exactly an “item,” but don’t underestimate how valuable knowledge is!

When you know how to make your own bandages or candles, brew your own alcohol, grow your own food, or fix a generator, you can barter your skills for whatever you need.

More importantly, survival knowledge allows you to become a valued, indispensable community member. Learning survival skills costs nothing, and your skills go with you everywhere.

So start now before it is too late!

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Leave a comment

  1. I buy 3 net washing bags in dollar store and make soap hanging bags to dry soap a long time. The longer the better. Then the bag makes a good wash cloth and you hang the hole thing up to redry the soap in it to last longer.

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  2. Just a thought: Might be more practical for city folk or apartment dwellers, who have no outdoors to harvest, to stock two 25-pound bags of charcoal briquettes, lighter fluid and spark lighters. A rocket or tin can stove need not be solely stick fired. Following a super-typhoon and being totally unprepared, because we had just arrived, I did the cooking for four using a coat hanger, a #10 coffee can with some church key slots punched in it and four charcoal briquettes per meal.

    This was long before the internet. Ham radio was all we had, and it works. In a major event, it will still be the only thing working. Get your license, buy a used or inexpensive rig, learn Morse code (the original digital comms) and really be prepped.

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  3. Coffee…it may not be essential for survival but I bet some people out there will be craving a cuppa pretty soon when the beans run out! 😉

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  4. Nice to see a like minded person who also loves lists. It helps with organizing your.mind and your area. I’m a basic pack rat , as I tell my friends, when the shtf I’ll be seeing you I know. Love is also a tough wall.

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  5. Lighters and matches: small problem; I have no wood stove or fireplace and most people living in apartments don’t, either. I can’t heat my house with wood. I do know how to create a warm room, however, which I’d only need during cold weather. As for cooking with fire, make yourself a rocket stove out of cinder block and practice boiling water. That will make you look at the pots and pans you have; do you have a big pot for making soup? Can you use your existing pots and pans or do you need to hit the thrift store to buy some? Do you have the space to store the half dozen or so cinder blocks for a rocket stove? Are there other rocket stoves that you can make or acquire that fold up or are more feasible for your situation? I have a big stack of cinder blocks, so it’s just a matter of getting out my cold chisel and a small sledge to rough out a stove.

    When it comes to cooking over a rocket or similar stove, do you have one pan recipes that you can use? How’s your stock of seasonings? Got pasta? Soap and scrubber to wash the pan, dish pan to do it in, towel to dry it?

    Can you make bread? I have a bunch of recipes for bread that can be cooked over a stove, like pancakes and tortillas and fry bread because I know my oven won’t be working.

    A stove’s for more than boiling water. Do you have something to wash clothes, etc., in? A wringer? A clothes line to dry clothes? Laundry powder? An agitator?

    Candles are mentioned later in this article, and so are batteries. You can use solar path lights for enough light to navigate in the dark, if you need it, but a lot of house fires start with candles. You don’t need to light up your house during summer hours when it’s light out until 9 pm – and you won’t be spending a lot of time lounging around by candlelight. Batteries aren’t affected by EMPs according to most of the articles I can find; I go with rechargeables and have a hand crank charger with a USB gizmo so I can charge my phone.

    What people will run out of and want to barter is a good guess. Me, I’m going with screws; sheetrock screws are self driving and if someone has to put up a board to cover a busted window, there you go.

    Sewing kits? Nah…dental floss instead, because I can see that being necessary for dental care. Also, baking soda can be used for brushing teeth, although I see it recommended once a day only (so toothpaste would be valuable).

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  6. Lots of good ideas. One thing I didn’t see was table salt to gargle or swish for gum, tooth and mouth problems. 1/4 teaspoon in a quarter cup of (warm) water repeated as necessary–can prevent a lot of misery.

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  7. It’s all good to inform people that they would need in times of disasters or SHTF situations, but not one post on any of these boards tell you where to store all these emergency supplies when you don’t have any room to keep it.

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  8. Also, for those storing soap of any kind –but especially commercial soaps– you should expose the bars of soap to AIR. The soap will lose a small amount of its size and a lot of weight as the water in the soap evaporates. What you’re left with is a harder soap that will last *MUCH* longer, likes weeks longer. The exposure time I’m used to is 3-4 months before the soap is ready to use.

    And don’t forget, if you’re planning on bartering with soap, plan on cutting it into thirds or quarters. Why barter a whole bar of soap when a smaller piece will fill the void of “no soap.”

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    • I love vinegar for many things but wouldn’t consider it an alternative for bleach in disaster situations. Vinegar won’t purify water. Nor will vinegar kill dangerous pathogens (it might naturally kill some pathogens but definitely not in a reliable way!). That said, it’s still good to have vinegar stored and also know how to make your own.

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  9. I used to stock pile bleach…. until I found out what a short shelf life it has before it starts breaking down. 6 mo after manufacturing date, it loses potency at about 20%, even quicker if not stored in at proper temperature. Before long, you just have a gallon of water that smells like chlorine.

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    • Yes, stockpiling bleach (as well as things like hand sanitizer) is really tricky. It’s a hard decision to decide how much you want to invest in products which you will ultimately throw away (at least, hopefully you will throw them away because that means a disaster didn’t happen!).

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  10. Seeds. Flax used for linen has shorter fibers left over good for making (toilet) paper. I quit smoking but have 3 varieties of tobacco seeds (never know when someone might trade their firstborn for a cigarette lol). 3 varieties of peanuts. Grow plants for oils for homemade soap. Seeds may be hard to find if transporting goods gets compromised. If it already is, save seeds from stinging nettles (also good for how strings, cloth etc.) good to have sprouts during winter, also why I save dandelion seeds. You can fit a huge number of seeds in 1/2 a shoebox worth of space. I have close to 1000 varieties in one small fireproof briefcase. Including chocolate, coffee and green tea. The more people prep for an emergency, the less it is one.

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  11. Toilet paper usage isn’t just to wipe your butt with. What about us ladies who use tp EVERYTIME we use the toilet? Don’t forget about us! I don’t think I’m about to wipe my lady parts with a rock or a stick. Just sayin’.

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    • When backpacking, I actually started using a “pee rag.” It’s a rag which is tied to the outside of my backpack and used for wiping (just pee!). That way I don’t have to dig a hole each time I pee, which is pretty frequently! It may sound gross, but it’s actually hygienic as urine is very clean. A lot of women have adapted this method for at-home use; you can put a stack of small towels/fabric scraps next to the toilet and use these for wiping just pee. When done, they go into a special bucket for washing later. This drastically reduces the amount of TP you need. *I’m still stockpiling TP though because it is NOT something I want to be without! On the topic of TP, you might find this post useful: https://www.primalsurvivor.net/toilet-paper-alternatives/

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    • Lots of female backpackers use what is called a “dab rag” for urination. you “dab” off and then rinse it with a little water and hang it from your pack to dry. If you are well hydrated it isn’t an odor issue at all. Could be laundered and re-used easily.

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      • Oooh! Thanks for mentioning that. I use a pee rag while backpacking. I don’t even rinse it off — just tie it to my pack and have never had issues with odors. I also recently stopped using TP for pee at home; I’ve got a pile of clean rags next to the toilet and a small trash can for putting the rags into before laundering. I figure my TP stockpile will last at least 3x longer this way. 😀

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  12. I also have those garden solar lights that can be brought in at night for light. You can get cheap ones at that one blue bargin store in the spring /summer months.

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  13. I actually found a deck of survival playing cards for my fiance. I think I found them at Walmart. They have survival tips on them but are also playing cards. He absolutely loves them and keeps them in his BOB. Something like this to boost morale I feel would be a good barter item. So would candy, tools, seeds, furs, homemade items like jellies or any other canned goods, homemade soaps, etc.

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  14. My wife calls me a hoarder but, if the shtf, we are in good shape. I can fix nearly everything, I grew up in a farming atmosphere. I can grow just about everything, hunt, fish and so on. I have cold weather gear and rain gear that is mostly milsurp, tents and sleeping bags and most camping equipment and a wide range of protection for my family and me. Find a military suplus store for the weather gear or gun and knife shows. It’s not only weapons that they sell there. If the shtf, you had better have your mind right and know what you have to do. What you have to do will not be favored some, especially if they didn’t have to forethought to prepare for what might be coming. Get off the computer and start walking or working out or just plain getting in shape. For those who chose not to prepare, they WILL be coming for what you have and they will take it no matter what they have to do to aquire what you have. That is when you need to know what you NEED to do. Prep more than you need and God bless us all!

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  15. Very good article Jacob. Seemingly little things can have a value 10 times its price now,or more. Keep it coming man. I certainly appreciate your efforts.

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  16. Dollar Tree has multi-packs of toothbrushes in a case for $1. Also, another good bartering item from Dollar Tree are the “Plaques” brand mouth guard pieces. The are lightweight, work well and cost $1 versus the $19 and up drugstore versions that don’t last as long. For anyone who grinds their teeth or has TMJ problems, they work great and would be a VERY SCARCE item to find in a long term emergency situation. They also have a good selection of first aid supplies, storage containers of all sizes, candles, and cheap shampoos and lotions, disinfectants, etc. Dollar Tree is a great place to start for a beginning prepper on a tight budget.

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  17. Toothbrushes: Keep eyes open for multi-packs of these on Brads deals, Amazon, Daily Deal etc. I just got 24 for $7 with free shipping. Same with small bars of soap & motel sized shampoos and lotions. Good bartering items.

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  18. It never fails when reading these articles that someone always throws out H2O2, or more commonly known as Hydrogen Peroxide and its continued use in wound care. For nearly 40 years now, Hydrogen Peroxide has been shown to actually damage the tissues it’s used upon and is no longer recommended as a treatment agent for wound cleaning. Warm water and mild soap (castille soap) do a better job. Peroxide actually inhibits the healing of a wound. The AMA, ANA, and associated Trauma, ER, EMS organizations have all signed onto the ban of peroxide in wound care.

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        • There is debate as to whether you should use hydrogen peroxide for treating wounds (in very large wounds the oxygen created by hydrogen peroxide can get into the blood stream). I personally do use it when my children get certain types of wounds, like large scrapes that are full of gravel after they wipe out on their bikes or whatever. The bubbling helps get all those little bits of debris out of a wound — certainly easier than picking them out with tweezers or flushing the wound when your little kid is screaming her head off.

          Hydrogen peroxide is also good for ear infections and some throat infections. I mostly use it for whitening animal bones though 🙂 My daughter and I collect them.

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          • Hydrogen peroxide 1 teaspoon +baking soda 1 teaspoon + pinch of salt = natural toothpaste , rinse with water.

  19. Very 6 months each member of our family goes to the dentists to have our teeth cleaned. They always give us a packet of free toothbrushes, travel size tooth paste, and sample floss. They are not the products we like to use in our day to day normal lives, but I save them because they would work just fine in a disaster.

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    • Hi Charles – we don’t have a subscription model, all the info is free. We do sell Ebooks and courses if you are looking for a more structured approach and want to keep everything in one place. See here.

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  20. I ‘ve read everyone of these comments and am surprised no one mentioned a few items.
    Like cash. Maps, bags of shredded paper bags for fire starter… Not everyone can handle hard ground with cement or out of doors. A yoga mat. Then sleeping bag. Hand warmer packs. And those metallic liners for protection from fire. Umbrela’s..and sport size folding shovels …everyone knows about survival food packs. “Patriot” does a few free packs……thankyou everybody for chipping in..

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  21. Good ideas. You can also get very inexpensive reading glasses at the dollars stores. Excellent bartering items. Buy a few different strengths. No expiry date. 🙂

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  22. Consider updating the Potable Aqua product to the Potable Aqua with Potable PA product… the Potable Aqua Plus tablets are neutralizing tablets for use after water has been treated with Potable Aqua; they neutralize the iodine after-taste and color in the water.

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  23. I have had my car converted to run on WATER, you can get a kit to do this. HHO kit for cars internet, made in Portugal, they ship world wide, do it yourself, I got my garage to do mine. now I can use the
    car to make electricity, use an inverta, amazon to change 12 v to 230. and its free electricity, I now have a good stock of beans and rice with stock cubes, they keep for ever, this is just a start.

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  24. If you want REALLY strong thread, use something like Spiderwire fishing line! Any of the braided “super lines” are 10 times the strength of floss. I use it to re-attach buttons and make heavy duty repairs. Many times you can find discarded braid around areas where people fish(shame on them for not disposing of properly!).

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  25. Stockpiling pool shock is so much better than stockpiling bleach. Bleach will lose 20% of it’s strength at around the year mark and then 20% each year after that Chlorine based pool shock (Calcium Hypochlorite) can be used to make many gallons of bleach and takes up much less space. Mix 2 level Tablespoons of Calcium Hypochlorite (pool shock) to 3 cups of water to make bleach. Use 8 drops of bleach to disinfect a gallon of water.

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    • Pool chlorine is horribly corrosive. It causes things to rust just stored near the area, yes even if stored in sealed containers. Easiest and cheapest option, chlorine generator. Turns table salt ( salt can store forever in dry conditions ) and battery power into chlorine bleach. Kits can run $99-$500 but they all do the same thing. Or build a kit for less.

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  26. Love your post. Added some things i need to work on. But one thing i have started stock piling is alcohol, the drinking kind. Im not a drinker but everyone i know is pretty much a drinker. It has multiple use. Such as sterlizing wounds, pain relief. I have a tote full of the tiny bottles.

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    • Lmao! That’s me too!
      But seriously, I’m concerned about our future!!
      The hate, and total lack of empathy and compassion!!

      What should I do first as a newbie to this belief? I’m getting prepared as I can for anything!

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      • I hear you Brandy! I’ve got two small daughters and the lack of compassion often makes me worry for their future. How I remedy this is by making a point to extend compassion. I’ll offer directions to a lost tourist. Buy a homeless person some food. Give random people compliments… The effect is amazing. When I start doing these things, I suddenly see a lot more kindness and compassion out of people; I make connections with people who *seem* so different in views than me. I know that this is difficult to do now while maintaining social distance. And it goes against the common prepper mentality of “each person for him/herself” but what’s the point of survival if there’s no empathy in the world.

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      • Brandy, There are things that we all need for everyday living. The most important is water. Water is life even more than food. Protection, cold weather and rain gear are a must. The best place I have found these things is Army surplus stores, yard sales and estate sales. I’m a farm boy so I can survive most “events” but we have only ideas what might be coming our way. There is a book that can teach you some ways of survival. The Lost Ways. I have several of these books and they are quite informative on how out grandparents survived the depression. When you go to the store, buy some extra cans of meat like Spam, beef, chicken, pork, etc. Cans of soup at Sav-A-Lot or Aldi’s. Build a surplus but don’t tell others about what you are stockpiling. We all have an idea what is coming. If we do not fend for ourselves, will will be left in the cold and hungry. Look at the expiration dates on the cans you stockpile. If they have a 3 to 5 year expiration date, that is what you want to buy. There are foods the you can make that will last for 50 to 75 years without refrigeration. There are ways to keep things cold enough to last a few weeks longer. There are weeds growing in our yards that have medicinal properties. Wild lettuce has the properties of opium that can be used for pain. Plantain can be used for bug bites, stings, poison ivy, poison oak and such. dandelions can be eaten as a salad and the roots can be dried out, cut up, and ground up to be used for making coffee. Pemmican is the food that has an awesome shelf life AND nutritional value. Check out The Lost Ways and get ideas from others, too. Military gear is by far better than our store bought gear. If we lose power and you don’t have an alternative power supply, buy a small tent that can be set up inside your house. Body heat can be trapped inside the tent and you can get some warmth contained inside. You can, also, go to gun and knife shows. They not only sell guns and knives there, they also sell survival gear and you have like-minded people there, too. Best of luck to you, friend.

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  27. We have purchased 3,55 gallon drums blue, They have been cleaned in sterilized and filled with water and some bleach and dated, so have Most of everything ready to go including a fishing hook with nylon line in case needed 4 stitches We have a medical bag with iodine alcohol, puroxide , Almost everything you mentioned above Even hand sanitizer it contains alcohol you can use it to start a fire with if need be also generator, fuel,tents Also wool blankets socks and hat Remember will will keep you warm, Thanks for all the information you’ve given us.

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      • There are hand sanitizers that are non-alcohol. Careful if you want it to burn and not just smell like a bus toilet. Also, a loud coaches whistle is a good thing to have in case of being covered.

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  28. Did not see toilet paper on list ? I have 10,000 jumbo rolls charmin ultra! Is in your opinion is this enough?
    They are dry packed in barrells (mouse proof) I hope!
    No experation date on Tp . So good there. Snould be able to trade by sheet after shtf !
    Lots of red ass by week four! Quite a bit already!
    Please don’t squeeze the charmin!

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  29. Great list to start… just a couple of comments.
    Bleach degrades over a few months, pool shock is a dry powder that you add water to make bleach and make LOTS!
    Batteries are based on a chemical reaction and should be fine after an EMP.

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  30. Learn skills like hand spinning yarn, knitting, crochet, hand weaving, cooking w cast iron cookware, making an outdoor oven, & speaking of the turnshoe variety. Add a protective brush on some or buy what ballerinas use on their dance shoes.
    There’s also a way (I haven’t tried it) to add a rubber type protector.

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  31. I have a tiny brilliant flashlight that needs only about 1 squeeze per week or so. Likewise a survival small windup SW/FM radio + flashlight. Small multi tool is vital. Cant do without my micro geared folding Brompton UK bike that has been round the world with me; & I can strap on a suitcase where it sits on a piece of angle iron + elastic hooks. Micro folding electric + seat is even more useful as it has 50km per charge & 20km/h speed, providing you meet powerpoints every so often.

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  32. Chlorine loses strength very quickly. Be sure to watch expiry dates and contact the manufacturer if in doubt. No point in having useless stuff in your trade goods or even worse, in the things that you are counting on to survive. Javex/Clorox recently changed the strength of the solution and weakened it so look for current advice on how much to use. I couldn’t get that info from the manufacturer and they suggested your local health department. I haven’t called them yet so I don’t know if they know anything yet. Good luck.

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  33. Duckt tape, zip ties, ziplocks, heavy duty foil, sponges, 5 gallon buckets, medium duty chain, rope, peanuts, bleach for drinking water (4 drops per gallon)

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    • The inexpensive scissors available at back-to-school sales are good for this; they are frequently 2 for $1. Get the pointy tip vs. the rounded tip if you can for poking holes in plastic.

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  34. I have been saving used bleach bottles for years, one rinse and you have a free one gallon sterile water container , used pill bottles are great for holding kitchen matches

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      • Pencils are great for less permanent work. Ink has greater contrast (thus readability). I stock both. If you don’t use it you can barter for what you need.

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    • Teresa, what I found works dandy, years ago the stores sold printer cartridge refills ( bottles of ink), the tiny metal nozzle works great to refill calligraphy ink cartridges through the tiny hole on top. Also dollar tree sells little pencil tip erasers, they work very well for erasing.

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    • Here’s a short list of things I would add to my bug out bag and long-term survival kit. Safety pins and all sizes. A pocket-sized book on natural cures and plant identification for health and food. We all know that sooner or later there will be no more modern ammunition so in my long-term survival I make sure I have black powder weapons at my disposal and the ability to make my own black powder and balls you can get lead just about anywhere but it sure helps if you have a way to mold a 50 caliber or 45 caliber hunting rifle or pistol. Now I I have stored 2500 caps and I’m hoping to purchase more for trade. Now this item is a little bulky and a little tricky to keep but salt with iodine in it will stop you from getting goiters and you can use it in food preservation sure this is a bulk item that should be in your long-term survival plan. And last but not least I have 10 rolls of Barber dimes I have 20 rolls of quarters and I have the same amount in silver dollars. This is my easy bartering type money. I also have gold coins and multiple denominations. Now gold is expensive buy it for spot don’t buy it for being pretty or for the numerous stick value remember this is emergency. Paper money will be worthless. Now I have another hundred and fifty or two hundred things I would like to have but I consider these right up there with the 19 that was talked about. One last thing none of this stuff is rocket science you can learn this stuff from the time you’re a very young child into your very very old person. And if you have any old people in your family ask him what it was like to live through the hard times they’ll have lots of tricks you can learn.

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  35. I am surprised you left out soap. I know of a woman who used soap for barter in Germany in WWII. Small bars don’t take up much space, don’t spill and can even work if broken.

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    • Yeah its not meant to be an exhaustive list, just a starting point for people. Soap would be a great addition.

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      • Anytime I stay at a hotel I always grab the small toiletries they have for free. I use them in my travels and have a couple shoe boxes full of soaps, shampoos, lotions and even a couple small sewing kits.

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      • I love lists, every list is not right for every person, but by surfing the majority I come across, you can get new ideas, and see what most of these have in common thus maybe changing your mind on items you didn’t think you needed. Your list meets my thinking for the most part. Light, and inexpensive items make the best trade stock. Toilet paper is bulky, but if you have the space, what an in demand trade good. Anyway just wanted to say thanks for your thoughts, and enjoyed reading all the comment lists also.

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          • Just a thought, I use baking soda in my kitchen and outdoor trash cans to keep down oder. Would it be prudent to put baking soda in your 72 E Kit to use in the bottom of a make shift toilet (under the bag of course) for both pee and poop?
            Loved the article on Faraday cages. Nowdays with more crooks hacking into garage doors, phones, computers etc. I think it would be prudent to include on for your phone, tablet, kindle etc.
            Thanks for the insight.

          • I recommend using the two-bucket system as an emergency toilet (for those who can’t realistically build a latrine or don’t have the means to do a composting toilet). With this system, it might make sense to put some baking soda under the bag in the poo bucket. But I feel like you’d need a lot of baking soda to make it worthwhile. I personally would rather stockpile more sawdust and bags for the toilet rather than stockpile extra baking soda for that purpose. But that’s just my opinion 🙂 Here’s info on the toilet system – https://www.primalsurvivor.net/bucket-toilet/

          • I always research, How did they do things in the 17 and 1800s. A common mistake is to think “oh, they were just ignorant back then, they didn’t have enough knowledge of how things really work”. For example; You don’t need to put baking soda in your latrine, Old timers kept a bucket of wood ash from the fire place next to the hole of an outhouse. After you did your business, you tossed a scoop of ash on the deposit. This did not completely remove the odor but it does cut down a lot. Lye (a component of soap) can be extracted from hardwood ash.

      • You can also learn to make soap and buy the ingredients to make it. It is very moisturizing. I buy melt and pour soap and make it as gifts and use it as well. I also know how to make old fashioned lye soap. I have lye stocked up to some extent. As well as tallow, and I will use old cooking oil if needed. Bacon grease whatever I have or need.

        Fabric would be another good thing to stock up on. For sewing and bartering.

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    • In the mid 70’s, I bid on a painting job. The lady’s house had not been painted in 30 years. As I walked through her house, I noticed that there were three closets full of survival items. One closet was full of bar soap, one was full of toilet paper and the third was full of cold weather gear, rain gear and other such items. This lady lived through the Great Depression. All of these items she saved were what she ran out of, during the depression, and she vowed to never run out of this stuff again. If you want to learn about the Great depression, talk to those who have lived through the depression.

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