If you’ve been prepping for more than, say, a day, you know to stockpile things like food, water, and first aid supplies. That’s the easy to remember stuff, right? We all know we’ll need to eat and stay hydrated.
However, there are a number of things many preppers overlook in their planning. Things that will certainly come into play at some point during any sort of long-term event.
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1. Heirloom Seeds
For the uninitiated, heirloom seeds are ones that are a true strain. Meaning, if you grow a watermelon from an heirloom seed, the seeds found in the ripe melon can be planted the next season and will, theoretically at least, grow just fine.
Most of the fruits, vegetables, and even seeds you buy in the grocery store or discount big-box retailer are hybrids. Plant those seeds and you’ll be lucky if anything grows and any actual fruits or veggies that result will likely be less than pleasant.
2. Greenhouse Supplies
Even a very basic hoop house covered in plastic will greatly extend the growing season. You can find plans online for several different types of DIY greenhouses. Many consist of little more than some plastic sheeting and PVC. They are easy to assemble and work quite well.
3. Fire Extinguishers
When all fire-fighting duties fall on you and your family, you’ll certainly appreciate the addition of at least a few decent fire extinguishers. While household size extinguishers aren’t going to do much about a raging inferno, they can certainly help prevent a small fire from turning into a large one.
When you go to use one for real, remember the acronym PASS: Pull the pin, Aim at the base of the fire, Squeeze the trigger, Sweep from side to side. Here’s some more info.
Whether it is a robust model like you’d find at a garden center or just an old Radio Flyer, wagons are excellent back savers. Load them up with plants, dirt, containers of water, whatever, and wheel it all to where it needs to go. Parents certainly know the convenience of this sort of mass transit device after taking a child to the fair for the day.
5. Feminine Hygiene and Health Products
Many if not most preppers will think to stock up on things like pads and tampons, especially if there’s a female involved with the prepping. However, I have to wonder how many will think to pick up yeast infection medication and other feminine health products?
While hopefully, such issues won’t be commonplace, even one yeast infection without the proper treatment won’t make for a very pleasant experience for all involved.
6. Sewing Supplies
If traveling down to the local discount retailer to pick up new duds becomes no longer an option, having at least needles, thread, and some patches will extend the life of your clothes.
Did you know that back in the day, when a sock developed a hole, they actually repaired the sock (called darning) with a sewing kit rather than just tossing it into the dust rag bin and buying new ones? Hard to believe, I know.
7. Emergency Dental Supplies
Every prepper worth his or her salt has a nice and robust first aid kit, even if they don’t yet know how to use all those nifty gadgets and gizmos. But many overlook the things they’ll need to handle dental issues.
If you’ve ever come down with a toothache at 4:00 AM on a Saturday morning, you know just how miserable it can be to have to wait for even just a day or two before seeing a dentist. Now imagine it taking weeks before even finding a dentist!
There are several different kits available on the market that can help with temporary fillings and such issues. Clove oil works well for pain relief. You might go so far as to invest in some dental tools and a copy of Where There Is No Dentist by Murray Dickson.
A necessary ingredient of many types of bread as well as for making booze, yeast is one of those things that you just never think of until you need it. While it doesn’t last forever, it is fairly cheap so stock up before you need it.
While you’re at it, maybe practice making bread once in a while. That will help you rotate your yeast supply, plus there isn’t much better in life than fresh home-baked bread.
9. Cooking Oil
Another item that admittedly doesn’t last for years and years, cooking oil will provide fats and calories in a survivor’s diet, both of which are essential despite what you’ll hear from various fad diet experts.
Plus, a supply of cooking oil gives you additional cooking options, rather than just baking or boiling. Avoid the animal fat based products as they will go rancid quicker than the vegetable oils.
10. Portable Solar Chargers
In our modern world, even in the aftermath of a disaster, technology remains a crucial part of our lives. Portable solar chargers are a godsend when the power grid is down.
They can keep your essential devices like cell phones, radios, and flashlights operational. While these gadgets might not be at the forefront of your mind when prepping, they can be a lifeline for communication and information in times of crisis.
11. Hand Tools and Repair Kits
In a post-disaster scenario, the local hardware store might as well be on the moon. Having a set of basic hand tools (hammers, saws, screwdrivers, etc.) and repair kits for common household items is invaluable.
Imagine needing to fix a leaky roof, a broken window, or a malfunctioning door lock without the right tools. A little foresight in this area can save a lot of headaches later on.
12. Water Purification Tablets or Systems
Sure, stockpiling water is a no-brainer, but what happens when your supply runs low? Water purification tablets, filters, or even a makeshift distillation system can turn questionable water sources into life-saving hydration. It’s not just about having water; it’s about ensuring it’s safe to drink.
13. Maps and Compass
In an age where GPS reigns supreme, many forget the old-school navigation tools: maps and compasses. In a major disaster where GPS satellites might be unreliable or your electronic devices are dead, these analog tools can be your guide. Knowing how to read a map and use a compass is a skill that can literally save your life when you’re trying to find your way to safety or resources.
14. Insect Repellent and Netting
Often overlooked, insect repellent and netting can greatly improve post-disaster living conditions, especially in areas prone to mosquitoes and other pests. Diseases carried by insects can turn a bad situation into a dire one. Simple netting can provide protection while sleeping, and repellents can keep the bugs at bay during the day.
Let’s face facts, ok? If there’s no television, no Netflix, and no Internet, many people are going to resort to other forms of entertainment. A good supply of condoms will prevent another Baby Boom. Plus, condoms have other uses, such as water bladders, building slingshots, and several other things. Really, though, save them for their intended purpose.
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