Building a survival stockpile is a never-ending task. No matter how much you have, it always seems there’s something more to add. Stockpile a month’s worth of food, and then you’ll want two months worth. Bring that up to a year and you start asking yourself if that’s really enough. But the biggie that we’re all afraid of, is forgetting to stockpile something that we’re going to have to have.
There are a lot of things we are going to need in the aftermath of any major crisis, which will not be readily available. Some, like a sewing kit, are things that most of us have anyway. Others are unusual enough, that we’re not likely to be using them on a day-to-day basis. Those are the ones which are likely to get us in trouble.
I’m always looking for those items, trying to make them part of my stockpile, as well as making them part of my day-to-day life. Some things need to be used regularly, just so that we can become comfortable using them. Otherwise, when the time comes to use them, we won’t be ready.
These are some of the things I’ve added to my stockpile in the last couple of years. In all of these cases, they were things that I hadn’t realized I needed. But when I did, I was surprised that I hadn’t thought of them earlier. Perhaps you’ve left them out of your stockpile as well.
Related: Food Bars, Crackers and Cakes for Preppers
Every piece of survival gear we own is subject to failure. Because of that, some parts are even made to be replaceable. Yet how many of those parts do we have on-hand? If you have Coleman lanterns, do you have pressure pump rebuild kits? How about a spare spigot for your Berkey water filtering system? What about a spare solar charge controller for your solar panels, just in case the primary goes out?
This is a difficult area to deal with, especially if you’re not accustomed to doing your own repairs. But the reality is, you probably won’t be able to find anyone who can do those repairs for you, let alone finding the parts to use.
I’ve been going through every piece of survival gear I own, looking for parts that can potentially fail. This means everything from the previously mentioned pump for my Coleman stove to springs for all of my guns. I may never use any of those parts, but when the time comes, I don’t want to be the one who loses the war for want of a horse shoe.
Tarps are incredibly useful things. Not only can they be used to make a temporary shelter, but they can also be used to make emergency repairs to your home.
Have you ever gone through a neighborhood a week after a serious hail storm and seen roofs covered with tarps? That’s because the roof was damaged enough by the hail, that they needed to do a temporary repair, until the crew could replace the roof.
Tarps can also be used to cover damaged windows or cover your woodpile, keeping the rain from soaking into it. If you have to establish an outside cooking area, a tarp makes a great roof, protecting you from the sun. It’s also easy to form a rainwater capture system with one.
Make sure you have some way of attaching the tarps to your home, without the fasteners tearing through, as well. Roofing nails, which have a large washer under the head, are good for this. So are drywall shims, giving you something to nail through, which will protect the tarp.
I mentioned a sewing kit earlier, as something you probably already have. But do you have enough safety pins?
As you lose weight and your clothing becomes looser, chances are you’re going to need a lot of safety pins to hold them in place. Besides, they’re useful for a variety of other emergency repairs as well.
Pest populations tend to climb in the wake of a disaster, especially those of ants and cockroaches. The simple reason is that there is more food available to them, as they aid in the process of decomposition. That’s fine outdoors, but you don’t want them inside your home, where they could help spread disease. Better to keep your home clean and kill any insects you see indoors.
You’ll also need insecticide for your survival garden. Those insects can’t differentiate between what’s your food supply and any other plant out there. To them, it’s all food. So they are likely to attack your garden the first time you turn your back. Natural gardening is great, but you’d better be ready to use something more.
Related: 59 Long-Term Survival Foods and Supplies from the Grocery Store
Mouse & Rat Traps
Insects aren’t the only critters whose populations increase in the wake of a disaster; mice and rats do too, especially rats. Once again, the reason is an abundance of food for them to eat. But that won’t keep them out of your food.
Unless you are planning on sharing it, make sure that it is well packaged in containers that are rodent-proof and put traps around your stockpile to catch those who come looking.
Spare Water Filter Cartridges
Many of us have bought water filters to ensure that we can produce potable water for our families to drink. The most popular of those use replacement cartridges. So, how many spare cartridges do you have for your filter?
Depending on the filter system you have, one cartridge can be good for anywhere from 300 gallons to 1,500 gallons. If we limit ourselves to using that water only for drinking and cooking, the theoretical one gallon per person per day, even the best filter is only good for about a year, for a family of four.
What happens if it takes longer than that to get the municipal water system back in place? How will you purify your water, when those filters are all clogged? Better get more.
If we assume that water is out, then sewage service will probably be out as well. This will leave most of us either using a five-gallon-bucket toilet or digging an outhouse.
Either way, you’re going to want a supply of lime to put in the hole, to help keep the smell down.
Related: Toilet Paper Pills – The Best Invention You Didn’t Know You Need
Most preppers believe that they will be forced to defend their home in the wake of a disaster. There are two basic parts of that: stopping the attackers with aimed firepower and keeping the attackers from shooting you. Both are necessary in order to gain the victory.
You have some advantage in being the defender. But your home isn’t going to stop any bullets they might fire at you. Even a brick wall isn’t strong enough to stop bullets. You’ll need something more, something like a sandbag wall. A foot of packed sand will stop pretty much any bullet; except for some extremely high powered rifle bullets.
The military solved this problem years ago, with the common sandbag. A one foot thick sandbag wall will stop pretty much any rifle or pistol round. About the only thing that it won’t stop is a .50 cal.
If you’re going to use that sand to protect yourself, as you protect your home, you’d better make sure you buy some sandbags to put it in. Those will also be useful if you have flooding and need to keep the water out of your home.
A Way to Cut & Haul Firewood
Most of us are planning on using firewood as a means of heating our homes. That’s great, but what are you going to use for firewood, once you’ve burned all you have?
The trees in your neighborhood will probably all get cut down the first winter, as people try to heat their homes. For the next winter, you’re going to have to range farther afield. But will you be able to? Will you have some way of cutting that wood, if your chainsaw isn’t working? How about hauling it? Do you have some sort of cart, which can be used to haul that wood back to your home?
Related: How to Become Energy Efficient
Speaking of a means of cutting that wood and hauling it, how is your supply of manual tools? You know, those things that people used before power tools came along?
In the case of any grid-down event, those power tools you have won’t be usable at all. The only tools that will work, will be the old-fashioned ones that work off of muscle power.
Survival gardening is a big thing within the prepping community. Yet it is extremely rare to see anyone who is truly ready to do it. Most people seem to think that they can survive off of their 10 foot square conventional or 4 foot vertical garden, when in reality, you’re going to need to convert your entire backyard into a garden, in order to grow enough food to feed yourself and your family.
This means having seed, fertilizer and other critical gardening supplies in abundance. You’ll need to dig up the grass, fortify the soil and then plant your seed. If you don’t have the means of fortifying the soil with necessary nutrients, it will adversely affect your harvest. So it’s best to make sure that you have enough.
What unusual items do you have in your stockpile, which I’ve missed here? Do others need those as well? Share your best and let us see.