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Sunday, April 12, 2009


I’m the type of person that doesn’t like to run out of anything. What is survival, but being prepared for the unexpected. The feeling of being able to get a new razor, soap or bottle of hydrogen peroxide out of storage in priceless. I love being able to go into the pantry or closet and grabbing what I need.

I’ve always been a bit of a squirrel storing nuts for the winter, but over the past 18 months or so as I’ve seen what the future is that is facing us, I’ve geared it up a bit.

You will be amazed at what you can gather by dedicating $5 or $10 a week towards preps. You’ll really start paying attention to prices and if you buy things on sale you can have six months of toilet paper and a years worth of razors in no time.

A week or so ago I did an entry on food to store. So I figured that I’d put together a list of some non-perishable items that you may want to have stored up.

As you start making purchases I’d start with things that are most important then move to the less important and finally when you have a good amount of stuff stored start to think about buying things to barter. I consider anything that is imported as being good to barter with. I fear the day may come when it may become near impossible to get imported goods. That’s one thing that I try to prepare for.

I think a good way to figure out what you need is to look around each of the rooms in your house and figure out what you go through in six months or a year. Make lists. Everything I list below is non-perishable so you really can’t have too much of the stuff. With the way paper assets have been performing over the past ten years and the rate of price inflation I think you’d get a better return on your money buying non-perishables than putting it into the stock market. Besides I know a roll of TP bought today will still be a whole roll one year from now.

So without further aye-dee-eye-eee-you (adieu)-

  • Toilet paper - TP gets its own bullet point. You do not ever want to run out of this stuff. You know how much it sucks using leaves or a newspaper when you’re in the brush. Imagine if hot water ever becomes a luxury.
  • Plastic bags - you cannot have too many of these. I’d get heavy contractor grade bags and food storage bags, ziploc bags, sandwich, quart and gallon size and kitchen trash barrel size.
  • Paper towels and napkins
  • Paper plates, plastic cutlery, plastic cups - if your water is limited then using disposable stuff to eat with can save you gallons of water.
  • Food wraps like foil and plastic wrap. When you buy foil get the biggest roll you can because you pay less per square foot that way. If you want to get the smaller 75 sq. foot rolls in case of barter than once you’re all set in other areas go right ahead so you can give a few of the smaller rolls to friends and neighbors.
  • Wine and booze. The big 5 liter boxes of wine are good to store. Because they’re boxes they stack n’ store easily. Store both red and white. Great to cook with too. I also have stored some Jamesons, rum, tequila and of course vodka. Booze doesn’t go bad so I also have some 1/2 pints of various booze to trade with.
  • Batteries - lots and lots of batteries. Don’t forget to store the 9 volt batteries too. The 9 volts go into smoke and CO detectors and if the lights ever go out we’ll all be using candles, lanterns, wood stoves and fireplaces. You definitely want to be able to keep your smoke and CO detectors going. The lithium batteries store a long time, up to ten year I think. Other than that you need to be careful not to buy so many that they’ll go bad before you get the chance to use them. I really like the new rechargeable batteries. Get lots of these. Also a good idea to get some solar powered battery chargers.
  • extra bulbs
  • canning jars, rings and lids

Then you got stuff in the bathroom -

  • I store lots of disposable razors. You know I’ve tried the generic brands, but they don’t seem to work as well as the Gillette brand. I’m not big on brand names either. The generics seem to stick to my face and the Gillettes slide smoothly.
  • shaving cream
  • toothbrushes, toothpaste, dental floss and mouthwash - if dental care becomes hard to find or you lose you dental insurance oral hygiene will be key. Hell, seeing dentist sucks so take good care of your mouth.
  • First aid supplies - peroxide, alcohol, qtips, band aids, ointments and salves, chapstick, lots of gauze pads, tape, hot and cold packs
  • feminine hygiene products listen guys your ladies may not be on board with you prepping so you may have to man up and buy extra stuff for them. Just look what is under the bathroom sink and go buy a pack of 72 or 100 and store them somewhere.
  • Nail clippers - a nail clipped now can save a ton of agony and infection later. Store a few extras.
  • baby oil, baby powder and epsom salts
  • petroleum jelly


  • sponges
  • steel wool & sos pads
  • dish soap
  • window cleaner
  • simple green, pine sol or whatever you use

Clothing -get extras for everyone in your household

  • Get a few extra pairs of jeans, get the wearguard or carhatts and store them somewhere.
  • Ditto for an extra pair of sneakers and boots.
  • I like big rubber boots that come up to my knees. They’re great for walking right across shallow rivers or through mud and crap.
  • can’t forget socks, underwear and tshirts

Miscellaneous stuff to store, trade or barter

  • shoelaces
  • sewing needles, thread, buttons, velcro, snaps
  • safety pins

Fire starter stuff -

  • strike anywhere matches, lighters, butane fuel, zippo fuel, extra flints
  • fire starters
  • fire steels


  • lanterns and mantles
  • oil lamps, wicks & oil
  • candles, candles, candles


  • have a toilet repair kit and an extra wax ring or two - this just makes sense for the everyday living too
  • motor oil, brake fluid, tranny fluid, coolant
  • extra bulbs for the car too
  • duct tape, electric tape, teflon tape
  • nails and drywall screws
  • epoxies and glues
  • wire, ropes and strings

Some people like to store tobacco. I don’t smoke any longer and the leaf goes bad over time so I don’t store it. Might be worth storing rolling papers though.

This is a cattail that is dried out and exploded. You can see what fine fire starter it is. You can also make a pillow out of it or use ir for insulation. p1010003All parts of the cattail are edible so it is one of our best wild edibles. The young roots, the young stalks, the young flowers (before they mature like the one pictured above) and even the pollen are all edible. Because cattails are so widespread, easy to identify and a great source of food even in the winter you should familiarize youself with them.


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