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12 Overlooked Items No One Includes In Their Preps (But Should)

12 Overlooked Items No One Includes In Their Preps (But Should)

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No matter how much thought and effort we put into preparing for the unknown, there’s always something we’re likely to forget. We fail to stock up on this, we put off buying that, or we neglect preparing things we think we’ll never use in a disaster situation.

Following is a list of things we often overlook when preparing for a natural or man-made disaster – or even a time when the power is simply out for a few days or weeks. You wouldn’t normally find them in the usual survivalist lists because they’re not urgently needed. But in a major, long-term collapse when business is down and most goods and services aren’t on the market (or maybe there WON’T be any market at all), these are the things you’ll wish you had stocked up on – regular, ordinary things that usually wear out in a few years or factory-made stuff that’s impossible to make yourself.

If you have the means, get them now while you still can and while you’re still able to choose the kind you want. Many of them can be bartered if needed, so it won’t hurt to have several extra pieces in your cache.

1. Boots. Get sturdy, good-quality boots that you can use for a variety of purposes and in different terrain. While shoes – and boots for that matter – are highly specialized these days, you can opt for hybrids. Hybrids are durable enough for hiking, but versatile and comfy enough for gardening, walking downtown and even pedaling short distances. They’ll just be your back-up anyway, something you can resort to if your current pair breaks down.

2. Eyewear. Do you wear glasses? Get an extra pair of your prescription glasses or several pairs of contact lenses (a few dozen if they’re disposable) so you won’t be visually challenged if you break or lose your existing pair. Extra sunglasses are good to have, too, if you’re out in the sun a lot.

12 Overlooked Items No One Includes In Their Preps (But Should)

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3. Bicycle. If your car breaks down or runs out of gas, you’ll have to pedal to town or to your nearest neighbor for help. Consider attaching a basket or a trailer for hauling supplies. Get spare tubes, too, along with an extra pump.

4. Basic hand tools. These are critical if a disaster strikes and the grid goes down. Expect to have to do some repairs or minor projects by manual labor. You already know the essentials: hammer, screwdrivers, drills, pliers, wrenches, crowbar, a saw. If you already have them, make sure they’re in good shape. Throw in a couple of knives, scissors, can openers and nails of various sizes. If you do a lot of homesteading you know how indispensable gardening tools and supplies are, from axes to gloves to wheelbarrows.

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If you already have them, make sure they’re in good shape. Throw in a couple of knives, scissors, can openers and nails of various sizes. If you do a lot of homesteading you know how indispensable gardening tools and supplies are, from axes to gloves to wheelbarrows.

5. Raw building materials. Homesteaders usually have these in their sheds already but suburban dwellers likely still run to Home Depot for such things as plywood and PVC pipes. These are essential for building, repairing and reinforcing. If you have the space, consider storing lumber of different sizes, galvanized iron sheets, a few steel bars, chicken wire, and maybe even some bags of concrete. It also wouldn’t hurt to stock up on sealants, heavy duty glue, lubricants and ropes.

12 Overlooked Items No One Includes In Their Preps (But Should)

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6. Lightbulbs. If you’re off the grid and able to produce your own power through solar or other means, you’re still going to need these.

7. Snow and rain gear. You may not be living in a region prone to hurricanes and blizzards, but with today’s erratic weather you’ll need clothes for extremely cold and wet weather.

8. Underwear. If you have young children, you know how fast they outgrow these. For us adults, it just gets uncomfortable when those undies get a little too loose and worn. They might be great for sleeping, but what about outdoors when you need to be doing a lot of physical activity? Nothing beats a snug fit. Include a dozen pairs of thick socks, too.

9. Maps in hard copy. In a grid-down scenario, you won’t have the Internet or your phone’s GPS to guide you. Get a road map of your city, state and region. Get a topographical map of your retreat area. Search online for useful info that your map doesn’t have yet. Mark important locations you’ll want to remember in the future, such as water sources, bike trails, high elevation areas, etc.

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If disaster strikes and you’re still able to monitor the news, maps can help you track problems like storms, wildfires and chemical plant accidents in reference to your area. You can print online maps out for use and likely find very specific maps that show water tables, logging roads, gas pipes, fishing lakes, railroads, contour lines and the like. Laminate your maps so they’re waterproof.

10. Grain mill. Something to consider if you’re planning on doing extensive gardening. If you can grow your own grains, peanuts, beans and even seeds from which to derive oils (sunflower, grapes, even moringa), why not invest in a grinder? You can save money by baking your own bread or even just grinding store-bought coffee or cocoa beans. There are manual and electric types, and convertible ones. Many are for home use but some are heavy-duty enough for a small business.

11. Dental health. No, you don’t want an impacted wisdom tooth or cavity-ridden molars causing you pain in a disaster scenario. Rotten, aching teeth are not only painful but can create dangerous infections. If you don’t have a dentist in your prep group, take care of dental problems now rather than suffer the consequences later. Meanwhile, be diligent with your dental care regimen to keep those pearly whites healthy: regular brushing, flossing and proper nutrition.

12. Bible/inspirational books. Probably the least prioritized but the most helpful for one’s spiritual and emotional health. Having a book that inspires and brings you peace can be very useful when things become really dire. And reading can provide a healthy distraction and a break from the troubles that come with a disaster.

What would you add to this list? Share your ideas in the section below:

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  1. Careful of the concrete and glue. Good stuff to have but glue will harden even if the bottle is ‘sealed’.

    Concrete will pick up the surrounding moisture and start to do it’s thing too.

    As far as the tools, make sure you have files and stones to sharpen them with – it makes like with tools far easier and safer. Of course now is the time to learn how to use them all and not when the turds have hit the spinning blades.

    • Pine resin and ash makes for a great glue that you can keep on a stick and heat up and use when needed.

      • Survival Uses for Pine Resin

        Pine resin or pitch is the secretion from pine trees caused by cuts in the tree trunk or from broken limbs. The trees secrete the resin to seal up any cuts or damage to the tree. If you find yourself lost or stranded in a wilderness environment one of the best-case scenarios is that there are pine trees in the area. Pine resin exposed to the air will harden/crystallize but it can be softened for use by heating. Native Americans used the pine resin for medicinal purposes. Typically, the resin was chewed on, but it can be made into a beverage by mixing with water and is thought to help with stomach ulcers and more particularly with rheumatoid arthritis.

        The medicinal benefits of pine resin have not be verified by modern medical experts

        Used To Waterproof Shoes and Other Material

        Pine resin is essentially impervious to water so it can be used to treat objects to make them resistant to the damages caused by moisture. It can be used to seal seams, repair breaks/holes in boats, shoes and structures to prevent water leaks. In a survival situation, you may have to repair holes in boots, shoes and shelters. You can also use the resin to waterproof the lower half of your hiking shoes or boots.

        The resin must be heated to liquid form so it can be applied to the material. Avoid heating the resin in a shallow container over an open flame because the flames from the fire can easily ignite the resin, which is highly flammable. Let the fire burn down to coals before heating the pitch. Find a short green stick and repeatedly strike one end to create bristles in the wood, (paintbrush) or chew on the end to break the fibers apart so they can be used to apply the pitch. Use the resin to repair holes in canvas and heavy nylon. Lay the material flat where the rip or seam is exposed. Once the resin is heated to liquid form, apply using the fibrous end of the stick.

        Pine Resin Glue

        Warm the resin to liquid form and while the resin is heating, crumble some charcoal from the fire as fine as possible. Once the resin is ready, remove it from the heat and stir in the powdered charcoal. The amount of charcoal added should be about one-third as compared to the volume of pitch. Find a solid stick with a blunt end and dip repeatedly in the mixture to form a ball of pitch on the end. You may need two sticks. This is how the glue is stored until needed. The glue will harden and to use heat until pliable.

        Use the glue to form fishhooks, repair the soles of shoes and use to repair holes in water containers. Use the glue to apply feathers to homemade arrows or allow hardening on the ends of fishing/hunting spears to prevent splintering. Glue in a survival situation has unlimited uses.

        Treat Wounds

        Some claim that pine resin has healing/antibacterial properties. This may be so but the fact is that the resin once applied to a cut or scrape will inhibit the growth of bacteria because it denies the bacteria the moisture it needs to survive. Because of its very sticky nature, resin can be applied directly to a bleeding cut to help stem the flow of blood and close the wound up similar to stitching. Some survival experts use pine pitch in place of super glue to seal up cuts. Leave the resin in place, and reapply as needed. There have been reported cases where serious bleeding wounds have been stemmed using pine resin. Use the resin to treat burns, abscesses and blisters.

        Fire Starting

        Pine resin is flammable and can be used to help start a fire in damp conditions. You may find yourself in a situation where all of the available wood is damp but this does not mean you have to go without a fire.

        Find some hardened pine resin and some pine sticks/branches. Split the sticks and look for streaks of resin in the wood. Use magnesium shavings and a flint bar or you can use a Ferro rod to ignite the pitch. Lay some dried pine needles near the pitch and ignite the pitch. It will burn like a candle long enough to dry the needles out and you can begin adding small pieces of the pine which even if somewhat damp in the middle will burn because of the resin. Once you have, a sizable flame established you could then begin drying out other wood.

        Illumination and Heat

        You can use pine resin to create a lamp. Find a stone with a depression or use a clamshell or any type of shell that can be filled with resin or use a cupped shaped piece of bark. You will also need material for a wick. Use some twisted cloth or even dried moss. Fill the depression with the pitch and lay the wick material on top. You ignite the wick first, which will in turn ignite the resin. The resin will burn like a candle and you can feed it more resin to maintain the flame once ignited.

        To use as a heat source place a metal container that has plenty of air holes in it over the ignited pitch. The metal container will absorb the heat and conduct to the surrounding area. This method will not heat a large area but will warm hands and feet in an emergency.


        In most cases, you will find damaged pine trees/broken limbs that have secreted resin. It is recommended that you first look for damaged and fallen limbs before you purposely cut into a pine tree to harvest the resin. If you have to damage the tree do it in a small area on one side of the tree only. Only take as much as you need, you must allow some resin to remain on the tree so it can protect the cut to prevent boring insect from destroying the tree.

  2. I made the mistake of not even thinking of prepping when my grandfather passed away and we went through all his stuff. He had made in USA hand tools that I wish I had kept. The cheap Chinese hand tools are so irritating , breaking so easily. I guess you could go to estate sales and look for real USA tools…

  3. For those of us who have dogs, also remember to have supplies, such as food and chew toys stashed as well! Even if they have full bellies, they will eventually get bored, and probably be stressed in a disaster scenario, so will resort to chewing on what ever is handy. Better a toy than your shoes…

  4. If you keep printer ink cartridges on hand, you might not want to have too many ahead. I made that mistake and when I needed some ink, the ink had “expired.” Don’t know if all printers and ink are like mine, or not. I wasted a lot of money as I couldn’t use the expired ink and had to dispose of the ink cartridges that had never been used.

  5. Great article! For non-food items, I try to think of what I might need, but I couldn’t make, like scissors and needles. As far as the grain mill., those are hugely expensive for my budget. I do know of someone who watched the auction companies and found a commercial one for less than a new home one. It had a small external motor and belt. They decided it would be perfect with a bike for power instead. If you can’t afford much lumber, try calling around the lumberyards that the builders use (not the big box ones) and ask for “cull” lumber. I bought enough to build a 40×50 barn for less than $700. You never know what you will get, but I got an entire pallet of 2x4s that were special ordered by a builder to be 10’4″ and they accidently cut them at 104″. Bad for them, great for me. I got over $800 worth of 2x4s for $100. I just had to haul it. Much of it is longer boards that have a split or chipped end. I have some 2x10s 24 ft long that have a break so they “only” have 23 ft that’s usable. If you think you will build a log or stone room to add to your bug-out or bug-in location, it’s really hard to do with just logs. Especially when you really need the additional room asap. Having some metal roofing or shingles would also be good if you don’t want to split your own wood shingles.

  6. My wish list. Oil mill press. Meat grinder. Cheese press. Food mill. Corse & fine grain mill. 3 different sized stainless processing pots. Tortilla press. Fermentation crocks. Green bean frencher. Steamer juicer. Sausage stuffer. Cotton string (for candle wicks). Soap mold. Veggie slicer. Re-usable canning lids. Already purchased; hot water canner. Canning kit. 23 quart pressure canner. Personal research library. Camp eq. 8 shoe boxes of seeds. But still so much to learn and prep for!!

  7. The first thing you need to do is decide what you can live Without!! Then work around it. Cheese press? Espresso maker? A mill? Really? Think a lot of bleach and salt, solid basic firearms and food stockpiles…..cheese press? You are all gonna die with that mentality. ..

  8. Many good suggestions here and other places. Often overlooked is Vapor rub. Good for aches & congestion, but also good to mask stink re: no garbage pickup, death.

  9. Instead of bleach which loses strength and uses lots of room consider using pool shock aka Calcium Hypochlorite. a 1lb bag can treat up to 10,000 gallons of water and can be made in small batches. A 1lb bag costs less than $4.
    I would also consider solar lights since you can charge them up during the day and use them at night instead of candles which has there own risks of using. You probably could rig them to charge rechargeable batteries during the day.
    Sawmill label is a grate alternative to store bought and much cheaper. A sawmill 2×4 for instance is much lager than a store bought one so that can be a plus or minus. However they are much cheaper. For a chicken coup for example you might be able to get sawmill slabs for free if you know someone with a sawmill or getting wood sawed.
    As far as salt, go to a farm store such as tractor supply and you can get 50lb bags of crushed salt for less than 10 dollars.

  10. I have never seen anyone add a boat to their prepper list. Even after all the floods we’ve had over the recent few years, no one adds boats. Inflatable or otherwise.

  11. I like having a distraction, like a deck of cards or a toy that you can squeeze and make the eyes bulge out of its head. These items are great for kids too.

  12. I would add sponges they can be wet with any type of water to provide replacement for toilet paper they can be rinsed repeatedly and dont need to be that sanitary to provide a cleaning of ones posterior. much more critical is the child who is sore from having a raw sore because they must be carried for they cant walk baby powder isnt needed because corn starch will ease the pain and is also used in cooking. the Romans used a sponge on a stick rinsed it off and carried it with them. when a young one is in pain they also cry which makes others short tempered if trying to sleep. a different view from Grampa

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