Stockpiling supplies for an emergency can be an exhausting and never-ending task. It seems that no matter how much we try to make sure that our stockpile is complete, there’s always something else that we need. Part of this is that new products keep popping up all the time, but the root problem is that none of us know exactly what disaster we’re preparing for. So as our awareness of possible disasters broadens, so does our stockpile.
Yet there are some items that just seem to be forgotten. In some cases, this is because they are so common that we don’t think of them as survival supplies. In others, it’s because they aren’t things that we ever use. Either way, adding these things to our stockpiles could make a huge difference, once the lights go out.
People regularly talk about stockpiling candles for use in providing lighting in the event of a grid down situation. That’s a good idea. But what are they going to do when they’ve used up all their candles? For those who have a beehive, there’s always the possibility of using beeswax to make candles. That is if you’ve got wicking to use. If not, strips of fabric really don’t work all that good.
Make sure that any candle wick you buy is thick, as that will provide a bigger flame and more light. Forget about the pre-cut wicks as well, as they severely limit your ability to make the candles how you want to.
Coleman Lamp Rebuild Kit
The Coleman company has created some incredible products for the family that wants to go camping. Many of those products, especially the older ones, are also great for survival. I count on my Coleman dual-fuel stove and lanterns for cooking and lighting whenever the lights go out. But the little pump for pressurizing the fuel tank is not infallible. You need to be ready to rebuild it, or your stove and lanterns are going to become useless.
In olden times, people made their own cheese, as well as a vast array of other foodstuffs. Should a major disaster strike, leaving us in a grid-down situation, we’re going to find ourselves in that place again. But we’re only going to be able to make cheese, and a host of other things, if we have cheesecloth. This simple product is not only used for making cheese but as a general-purpose filter cloth in the kitchen.
Okay, maybe you can get by without this one, but I’d rather not. Yes, there are natural alternatives you can use, but only if you know what they are. While I have some of those recipes printed out and stored in my prepping binder, I’m not sure that I’ll be able to come up with all the ingredients. So, I always make sure to have a good stock of high-quality insect repellant around.
If there’s anything you can count on in the wake of a disaster, it’s an increase in pests. I’m not talking about telephone solicitors or people knocking on your door; I’m talking about little pests. Specifically, I’m talking about rodents and cockroaches. I live in the deep south, where cockroaches are a real problem. So that’s not something I take lightly. Boric acid cockroach powder not only kills those pests, but it can also be used as a barrier, to keep them out of your home.
Of all the forms of food preservation, canning is probably the most common. For this reason, every prepper has a stock of canning jars somewhere in their home. After all, if we’re going to raise our own food, we’ve got to be able to store it too.
But here’s the rub; canning jars are reusable, but the lids… not so much. Oh, there are times when they can be reused, even reused a couple of times, if you’re careful with them. But that’s an iffy thing. If the lid gets bent at all or the rubber seal gets damaged, you can forget about even trying to reuse them. So you’d better have a huge supply if you’re planning on being able to can more than your first year’s harvest.
In case you haven’t noticed, kids grow; often much faster than we want. That means that the clothes that they are wearing today, probably won’t serve them for long. We’re going to have to buy them clothes for next year and the year after that.
But with the stores closed, we can’t just go and buy more clothes. We need to have them on hand; at least a couple of years’ worth. How? By changing out shopping habits and buying the clothes they’ll need in a year, two years and three years now and packing them away. Then, when they outgrow what they’re wearing, we just open up the box with the next larger size and give them a new wardrobe, adjusting our buying up by one size to start the next year.
My wife did this extremely well throughout our kids growing years. While they may not have always had the “in” thing to wear, they were some of the best-dressed kids around. I still remember my girls each having roughly 30 party dresses in their closets, all of which were their size. Aren’t garage sales great?
Most preppers already have salt in their stockpile, but I’d be willing to bet that they don’t have enough. While they may have enough for cooking, they probably don’t have enough for preserving food. Yet most many types of food preservation require the use of salt. It just so happens that salt is a natural preservative, as well as being something tasty that our bodies need.
While there are many kinds of salt on the market, what you really want is Canning and Pickling Salt. This is a larger grain salt, which works well for preserving food.
While few people do it today, making your own clothing isn’t really all that hard. That’s a good thing from a long-term survival point of view, as we might find ourselves in the place of having to do so. Larger clothing can be cut down to make clothing for the kids. But we’re going to have a hard time doing that if we’re not prepared for it.
Ideally, a treadle-operated sewing machine will make it much easier for you to make clothes. But you don’t have to have that. People made their own clothes by hand, long before sewing machines existed. It’s labor-intensive and tedious, but it can still be done, as long as you have needle and thread.
One clothing item that is hard to make on your own is footwear. Making your own shoes and boots require having special knowledge and tools, not something we all have. On top of that, you can figure pretty much any survival situation is going to put you in a place that’s going to be much harder on your footwear, then the life you’re living today.
In such a time, work boots will be much more practical than even tennis shoes. But few people have those anymore. So it might be a good idea to pick up a pair or two to add to your stockpile. Take the time to break them in as well, so you don’t have to do so when you really need them.
Biological and Chemical Protective Outerwear
The Ebola crisis in West Africa a few year ago brought a real scare to the United States. While an outbreak here at home never happened, the risk was widely recognized. If such a thing had happened, protecting ourselves from it would be a challenge.
Both chemical and biological warfare are still very real things in the world today. Probably the only reason that ISIS hasn’t use them, is that they don’t have any to use. But that could change any day. If they did commit such an attack against us, we would have to be ready to protect ourselves. That means having the right sort of protective outerwear to make sure that it never touched our skin.
Fishhooks & Line
Fishing is both the easiest and most reliable means of harvesting animal protein from nature. For this reason, most survival kits include a couple of fish hooks, a bobber, and some weights. But that’s really not enough. It’s especially not enough if you’re planning on augmenting your food supply with fish on a regular basis. A good supply of fish hooks and the line will help to keep you in food.