Things to have


Foraging for food.  (Food, fun and exercise)

Foraging for medicinal herbs.  (Medicines, fun and exercise)

Foraging for edible mushrooms.  (Food, fun and exercise)



1. Shoe and boot laces – yes, you could use leather laces but why not stock some?

2. Fence posts – entirely too handy not just for fencing but for gardening

3. Barbed wire and chicken wire fencing

4. Cloth diapers – handy for so many things other than the obvious

5. Manual egg/batter beaters – whisks work, but the old-fashioned egg beater is hard to beat

6. Hoyle’s rule book for card games – lots and lots of entertainment in one simple book

7. Dice and dice games rulebooks – as above

8. Goggles – safety ones

9. A way to figure calendars into the future

10. Solar powered fencing – even if you don’t have livestock now, you may have it later. And it can be used as a “first line of defense” or used for parts for other uses

11. Canes – there will come a time when they are needed. Adjustable ones are better

12. Plant pots for starting seedlings. You’ll want various sizes

13. Metal rulers – because they last much longer. Different sizes

14. Rain gauge – for keeping track of rainfall

15. Barometer and something that tells you how to use it to get an idea of the weather

16. Candle molds and a double boiler for melting wax

17. Diaper pins – handy not only for the obvious but for securing lots of things

18. Kits to fix garden hoses – because you can stock 10 hoses but what happens when they break?

19. Cheesecloth – useful not just for cheese for all sorts of canning needs

20. Pea shellers, corn huskers, apple peelers and corers, etc. – all those “yankee tools” that our grandparents had but we no longer use.

21. Mimeograph machine and supplies – IF you can find one.

22. Chalk and blackboards. Blackboard paint isn’t a bad idea either

23. Goo remover aka Goo Gone

24. Eyeglass repair kits – they make handy little ones

25. Canoe – if you live near water or an inflatable raft if you’re not that close. If you get a canoe/raft, consider getting the big Duluth packs that outfitters use – they are waterproof (sorta) and good for packing

26. Oars/paddles – even if you don’t have one of the above, they can be handy for improvised rafts

27. Tire chains – if you live where it snows…

28. Swim goggles – not so much for recreational swimming, but for any time you might need to go into the water for whatever reason

29. Life preservers – if you need them, you need them

30. Reflectors and reflective tape

31. Pregnancy kits – I never see this on prepping lists, but it seems so basic… you want to know if you are so you can make sure to eat right, etc.

32. Neck and ankle braces

33. Canning funnel and jar lifter – often listed, but cannot have enough of these, in metal

34. Pack saddle for horses/mules

35. Liquid Smoke flavoring – my spouse swears by this stuff for nice flavoring

36. Powdered lemon and lime juice – an excellent way to store Vitamin C

37. Songbooks and simple instruments – for entertainment

38. Powdered buttermilk – useful for cooking

39. ClearJel canning starch – for canning pie fillings

40. Pet veterinary supplies – basic wound care is a must

41. Bottle corks of various sizes – for when you lose that bottle lid

42. Room thermometers

43. Bags/cloth to use to bag flowers for seed pollination

44. Clothesline and wooden clothespins

45. Clothes baskets that are actual baskets – they last longer and can be repaired

46. An inflatable kiddie pool – thousands of uses (okay, maybe I exaggerate, but useful nevertheless)

47. Lighter flints for refillable lighters

48. Fountain pens, inkwells and powdered ink – those Bic pens you stockpiled will run out eventually

49. UV window film – to help keep houses cool

50. Mailboxes – metal for all sorts of caches and other storage uses

51. Small paintbrushes – handy for many many things besides just painting

52. Pet carriers – one for each pet

53. Canvas shopping bags – handy for so many things

54. Posthole digger, manual – but try to get all your fencing done before … these things SUCK to use

55. Stovetop waffle makers

56. Wind vane

57. Spare glass bottles of various sizes

58. Mop wringer

59. Manual juicers – glass or metal will hold up better than the cheap plastic ones

60. Measuring cups – metal with engraved markings. Painted on markings will disappear with time

61. Measuring spoons – metal with engraved markings. The commonly used plastic ones with painted on markings will break and fade

62. Jar openers – the type that lets you get leverage on the lid

63. Stovetop popcorn popper – ‘cuz if the SHTF and the grid goes down, so does the microwave popcorn you have in the pantry

64. Leather punch and knife

65. Disposable ear plugs

66. Mechanical pencils and spare pencil lead – see above about pens. Pencil lead takes up a lot less space than traditional pencils

67. Folding cloth camping chairs – entirely too useful and easy to store

68. Microscope and slides

69. Old time photographic equipment – could be a new business!

70. Manual typewriter

71. Paper cutter

72. Manual hair clippers – human and animal

73. Steam juicers – stovetop variety

74. Slingshot and ammo

75. Hard hats

76. Sewing measuring tapes

77. Velcro

78. Sewing patterns – better to have them now … especially easy to sew shirts/pants/coats/outerwear

79. Window insulation foam – for keeping warm

80. Disguised safes – the “fake book” kinds

81. Nicorette gum and quit smoking supplies

82. Tomato powder – another good way to store Vitamin C

83. Citric acid, pectin, alum and Pickle Crisp for canning

84. Straight or safety razor for male shaving

85. Rennet tablets for cheese-making

86. Veterinary wrap – useful for not just animals, but people too

87. Autoclave or something that functions like one

88. Dental mirror

89. Walkers and toilet risers for the elderly and don’t forget bedpans

90. Carry yokes – the old fashioned water carrying yokes

91. CLR cleaner – or other lime/deposit/etc remover

92. Locks – combination, keyed, and other types as needed

93. Moth balls, cedar balls, and smelling salts

94. China markers/grease pencils – these are great for marking containers with what is in them

95. Safety vests

96. Fly paper – stores decently and is really handy. Researching a way to make this stuff is also probably a good idea

97. Foam camping pads for under sleeping bags

98. Winter scarves, gloves, mittens – its easy to forget these when it’s not winter

99. Wind up clocks – how else are you going to keep time if the grid goes down?

100. Tow strap for vehicles

101. Black and brown paint – useful for camoflage, hiding things, and making makeshift showers plus a myriad of other uses.

101 things that you probably already own but will not want to overlook in a SHTF situation. Some of these things you may own, but may not be “longlasting” varieties – perhaps you want to invest in ones that will last when you next purchase them?

1. Hot pads – Replace any worn out or not very thick ones. Mitts are probably best

2. Matches –

3. Playing cards

4. Scissors – heavy duty ones that can be re-sharpened would be best

5. Sewing needles, thread, thimbles, and pins – never ever have too many of these

6. Pet leashes – get good quality leather leashes and collars – easier to repair

7. Pet bowls – metal ones will last longer

8. Shoe laces

9. Garden hoses – good quality ones are best

10. Garden trowels and hand shovels – again – high quality metal ones are best

11. Hand axe

12. Ratchet set

13. Allen wrench

14. Spools of twine

15. Cargo straps

16. Duct tape – obviously you can’t have too much of this!

17. Hammer – is yours in good shape?

18. Screwdrivers – did you buy a cheap set or good quality drop forged steel ones?

19. Flyswatters

20. Bottle openers – thick metal is best

21. Manual can openers – don’t go cheap with this

22. Dish clothes – heavy cloth that will last is best

23. Corkscrew

24. Brooms – are yours good quality straw or cheap plastic? Are they in good shape?

25. Straws – they make glass reusable straws, these would not be bad to have on hand

26. Ice chests

27. Kitchen timers

28. Rubber bands

29. Safety pins

30. Magnifying glasses

31. Mortar and pestle

32. Staples and stapler

33. Life preservers

34. Garden hose nozzles – brass will last longest

35. Fingernail brushes – sanitation will be important

36. Key chains

37. Hair rubber bands and barrettes

38. Erasers

39. Garden sprayer

40. Outdoor thermometers

41. Folding chairs

42. Hangers – wire will last a lot longer than plastic. Wood is also good

43. Ice scrapers

44. Wall hooks

45. Windshield wiper blades

46. Aluminum foil

47. Safety pins – heavy duty

48. Eyedroppers of various sizes

49. Bobby pins

50. Rulers – metal will last longest

51. Three-in-one oil

52. Cargo straps

53. Nails, screws, bolts – making these by hand is a royal pain in the posterior.

54. Wheelbarrow – get a good quality metal or heavy duty plastic one

55. Twist ties – those bread/package ties will be useful – store them, don’t throw them away

56. Plastic bags – bread, ziplock, etc.

57. Maps – road atlases, road maps, etc.

58. Cotton balls – make excellent tinder as well as a thousand and one uses around the house

59. Note pads

60. Indelible markers (i.e. Sharpies)

61. Mechanical pencils

62. Dental floss

63. Pitchers – metal preferred

64. Goo remover (Goo-be-gone)

65. Scouring pads

66. Flower pots – various sizes

67. Vegetable peeler

68. Newspaper, old – keeping at least a couple of weeks old ones won’t ever hurt

69. Insect repellant

70. Sunscreen and aloe gel for when the sunscreen doesn’t work

71. Spare buttons

72. Nail clippers – both human and pet

73. Candle holders – metal or glass ones will last longer than plastic

74. Baby supplies – bottles, blankets, clothes, etc. If you’re like me, you still have baby stuff tucked away in your storerooms – even if you don’t have a baby after SHTF, you can always trade the stuff…..

75. Bicycles – are yours all set for hard use?

76. Metal garbage cans

77. Binoculars

78. Cloth napkins

79. Paper clips – not only useful for their normal function, but handy for other uses

80. Cold and hot packs – those lovely rubber bags

81. Lip balm

82. Utility knives – the kind that take the disposable blades or razor blades

83. Extension cords – indoor and outdoor

84. Air mattresses or cots – chances are good you’re going to have guests – where are they going to sleep?

85. Bay leaves – not just a spice, but useful to repel insects

86. Cellophane tape dispenser and tape – get a heavy duty one

87. Paper bags and manila envelopes – handy for storing things

88. Rubber boots

89. Knitting needles – learn to knit! It’s a great survival skill

90. Toothpicks

91. Kitchen utensils – you want metal ones or wooden, not plastic.

92. Barometer

93. Duffle bags – waterproof and with shoulder straps are best

94. Spare pill bottles – keep old prescription bottles

95. Tabasco sauce – along with other such condiments

96. All those takeout condiment packets – make great barter items as well as being generally handy

97. Bag clips –

98. Solar calculators

99. Board games

100. Dust pans – metal will last longer

101. Carmex (or other medicated lip balm)

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