Preppers Emergency Stockpile List – Non-Food Survival Items

With the surge of disasters that have hit the country in the past few years, Americans are finally waking up to the need to stockpile emergency supplies.

Even if you can make it to a supermarket during a disaster, items are going to disappear off the shelves quickly – and you might even have to fight your way to get products.

So, you MUST have non-perishable foods, like canned goods and a lot of water stockpiled to help you get through a disaster (get a list of foods to stockpile here).

But, sorry to break it to you: stockpiling food isn’t going to be enough to get you through a long-term disaster.

Here is a list of non-food items you will also need to stockpile.

Hygiene Items

Hygiene isn’t just a matter of smelling nice while you wait out a disaster. If you get dirty, then it can become a serious health risk.

Of these items, the most important will be buckets and trash bags to serve as a toilet. You can read more about survival hygiene and how to make an emergency toilet system here.

First Aid Items

Please make sure you read our post about first aid items and have a first aid kit packed at home and a lightweight first aid kit for your Bug Out Bag too!

If you haven’t already, I highly recommend taking a course in first aid. Otherwise, all of these supplies will be pretty much useless in a true emergency situation. Learn skills like how to dress a wound, CPR, set a splint, and which medications to give.

Other Supplies

  • Duct tape and WD-40: Seriously, is there nothing that these two tools can’t fix? (Also see WD40 alternatives)
  • Rope and cord: Have a variety of types of rope, including paracord, in your stockpile
  • Tools: A box cutter, hammer, screwdriver, wrench, and other tools will come in handy if you need to make last-minute repairs or improvise a solution
  • Nails and Screws: You’ll want these for making furniture or shelters or doing repairs
  • Candles, flashlights
  • Heater: Check out these emergency heater options.
  • Stove: How will you cook without power? Here are some stove options.
  • Batteries
  • Plastic sheeting: Great for things like repairing a broken window or collecting water. 
  • Pens, pencils and paper
  • Entertainment: A deck of cards is small and can provide lots of entertainment. I’ve also included some How-To books and manuals in my emergency supplies stockpile
  • Socks and underwear: You can get by wearing the same clothes for a few days, but you definitely don’t want to wear dirty socks and underwear. That will cause some nasty chaffing and infections.
  • Water filters: Recommended reading – How To Choose The Best Survival Water Filter
  • Bleach: This is useful for hygiene reasons and also for purifying water if you don’t have any filters left
  • Lighters, matches, and fire starters
  • Fuel: Read this article about off-grid cooking methods
  • Ammo, weapons and self-defense items: You might also want to stock up on supplies like barbed wire if you need to set up a defense around your home. Pepper spray is a great non-lethal self-defense item.
  • Face mask: An N95 face mask will protect your airways from contaminants in the air.

Barter Items

For a true SHTF situation, you will want to have some items to barter with. Ideally, a barter item should be in demand, but you know how to make yourself, such as soap or candles.

Even if you have an excess of something now, you might end up needing it later – so try not to barter away items that you can’t replace.

Read our post about the top barter items.

Getting Started with Stockpiling for Survival

As you can see, this list is pretty long – and this is only the non-food items you should be stockpiling!

Depending on your personal needs, you will probably want to add many items to the list.

So how are you supposed to get started with stockpiling?

I understand that most people have budget and space constraints with stockpiling, but that shouldn’t prevent you from getting started.

Start slowly. When you go shopping and notice one of these items on sale, buy a few extra. Over time, your prepper stockpile will add up. You can also make a list of items by priority.

In terms of priority, you will want to focus on these items:

  • Water
  • Food
  • Toilet paper + buckets for toilet
  • Lighting
  • Heating/Warmth
  • First Aid
  • Hygiene items

As far as space goes, I’m lucky enough to live in a fairly large home with a basement. But I used to live in a small apartment, so I know what it means to be restricted in terms of space.

Consider getting rid of all that clutter you have in your home and use the space for the survival items you really need.

What items did I miss? Let me know in the comments below.

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  1. Empty containers, like buckets. I use them for everything and it is nice to have extras for picking or storing things. I also use them for storing different items needed for different scenarios. Like fall out, I have a container with plastic, duct tape, chemical suits, iodine, masks and you get it. It is labeled and I know all I have to do is grab it and I am ready.

  2. Looked at the selection of e-books, what about real books printed. Not that the electricity will ever go out or an EMP (man-made), or sun will ever happen.
    Will you always have access to a computer. Guess I am old and not in with the tech crowd. I do have some e-products but prefer to have hard copy.
    Like having a GPS but I want a compass too.

  3. I love this thread, thank you for all the suggestions. I would add an Essential oils kit – very good for various medicinal and other uses such as disinfection, cleaning and calming. It is not expensive and easy to carry if you had to. I have two ready to go and one we use daily.

  4. Please consider the following things :Eye wear ,binoculars, map ,
    yoga math , raincoat, rubber boots ,backpack,so far I not see them listed .
    I been born 1941in Germany middle of the war and I know what mean if you don’t have this things.

  5. If you have animals it would be helpful to stockpile canned food. Bagged food also but you would need to keep it in an airtight container. We have started this ourselves.

    • A lot of people make their own hand lotions out of a carrier oil (like coconut or olive oil) plus DIY essential oils. Though, after using copious amounts of hand sanitizer during the start of the COVID pandemic, I’ve got to agree with you that hand lotion is important. My poor hands were cracked and almost bleeding.

  6. I’ve made tea from Oregano for antibiotics. You might be surprised what you can do with the spices you already have.

  7. As for trash bags, having hundreds, even a thousand or more stockpiled will make life a LOT easier post-SHTF.

    A stock of antibacterial body wash comes, IMO, way before any shaving accessories… I think it’s the preferred way to bathe… keeping infection at bay, even a simple yeast infection, will be paramount to overall health.

    A cell phone, appropriate charging cable & a solar charger (or several!) means you can keep a mess of info in the palm of your hand… info on tasks that may be critical to your survival but you had no time (or ability) to train for… like how many folks can “practice” field dressing large game, or delivering a baby or pulling a bullet out of someone’s shoulder? And don’t forget to include a bible (your choice which one), some basic construction & engineering reference books, and some children’s books along with your adult fiction… it’ll make a huge difference in calming children and that’ll make their parents MUCH more effective as Community of Choice members.

    During the Back-To-School sales, stock up on 100 or more pens, pencils, small spiral notebooks, rulers, manual pencil sharpeners (which are also very handy to make tinder with just by sharpening small sticks and collecting the shavings), crayons and permanent markers.

    Lastly, stocking several LARGE bottles of alcohol (think vodka & whiskey as first choices) and many little bottles to decant into will be invaluable as a barter item. Never display your primary alcohol (or actually, any of your inventory) stock… only the little bottles.

  8. Flip flops, If you have small children, consider washable diapers. If able, install a hand pump for water on your property, even if just a shallow well. Keep rain barrels, a kiddie pool is great catching rain and condensation. Baking soda, borax, vinegar, lard or other vegetable shortening (for candles and soap not cooking). Solar powered anything. Bullet resistant back packs or inserts, vests, helmets, knee and elbow pads. Lots of heavy plastic sheeting for covering windows, doors etc.(duct tape and staplers apply).

  9. Ham Radio- there are free study guides online – It took me 3 days studying to get my license . You will need a way of communicating. The hand helds you can get for about $45. I would suggest finding someone in your area that has a station and is very skilled to help teach you. Most towns have a Ham radio club. I live on a farm so we also have walkie talkies. Also the old CB’s are a good thing to have. We have a group of us that don’t live that far away from each other and we all use CB’s in the vehicles.

  10. A map and a compass. And know how to read a compass. Signaling mirror. Flares, a rescue whistle. 4 days worth of high calorie protein food. A knife. Metal container for boiling water or cooking. Your cell phone, yes it can be useful. I also carry a charging brick for it. These are some of the items I have in my bug out BAG. Not if I had to move everything.

  11. All these lists are very helpful. Would love to see you set these pages up so that we can just click on the list and print it off, rather than having to print off all the pages in the article where the Ads and such cover up half the list so it is unreadable and many, many pages long. I type out the lists myself, but it is tiring. Thank you for all the info.

  12. Another great item to think about packing are menstrual pads (kotex etc). They can be used as a bandage to stop a wound has has excessive bleeding. Tampons are also a good item to have on hand for deep puncture wounds.

    • Good idea for everyone, condoms are also very versatile. For menstrual cycles you might want to consider making a few non-disposable pads that are washable. Depending on the situation, you could easily run out of single use items. There are many patterns on the internet and just a few could serve as a peace of mind back up.

  13. Not a necessity but might be nice to have a wind up click tucked away for grid down situation. There’s also many uses for coffee filters.

    • Yes both would be useful. As I always try to stress – we need to think about our unique needs when deciding which items to stockpile.


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