In the face of uncertainty, being well-prepared gives you at least some degree of control and security. The thought of a societal collapse, while extreme, prompts us to consider how we might endure without the conveniences of our current lifestyle. Here’s a list of 20 essential items that could prove indispensable in such a scenario. This guide isn’t about succumbing to fear but embracing preparedness and resilience.
1. Water Purification Equipment
Having clean water is absolutely critical for survival. You might find yourself in a situation where the only water available is questionable at best. This is where water purification tablets and portable filters come into play.
They can transform risky water sources into safe, drinkable water. Remember, the body’s need for water is relentless, and without it, survival time is drastically reduced. Always ensure you have a way to make any water safe to drink.
2. A Solid First-Aid Kit
Never underestimate the power of a comprehensive first-aid kit. More than just bandages and painkillers, your first aid supplies should help you be prepared for any medical situation that might arise. Stock up on everything from antibiotics to antiseptic creams.
In times when professional medical help may not be accessible, your ability to treat wounds and manage illnesses quickly and effectively could save lives, including your own.
3. Storable Food Supplies
Having a stash of non-perishable food is your best bet for long-term survival. Focus on stockpiling items like canned vegetables, protein-packed dried beans, and energy bars. These foods will be your lifeline when fresh produce and meats are out of reach. Ensure your stockpile is varied and plentiful to maintain nutrition and morale during tough times.
4. Reliable Shelter
Securing a form of shelter that can withstand the elements and provide safety is a top priority. Whether it’s a sturdy tent capable of keeping you dry and warm, or the materials and know-how to construct a makeshift shelter, your living space needs to provide security and a degree of comfort. Adequate shelter not only shields you from harsh weather but also offers a place to rest, plan, and keep your supplies safe.
5. Versatile Tools
The value of a reliable, strong, but lightweight multi-tool or pocketknife cannot be overstated in a survival scenario. These tools are essential for a variety of tasks, from cutting and repairing to building and defending. A good quality tool can be the difference between making do and thriving. Whether you’re opening cans, fixing gear, or preparing a shelter, ensure your toolkit is up to the challenge and easily accessible.
6. Light Sources
When the lights go out, having a reliable headlamp or flashlight becomes critical. It’s all about keeping safe and being able to see where you’re going once the sun sets. Consider solar-powered or crank-operated lights; they’re sustainable and won’t leave you in the dark when batteries are scarce. Lighting is about visibility, safety, and comfort in the darkness.
7. Navigation Aids
Imagine needing to navigate without your phone’s GPS. That’s where a good old-fashioned compass and waterproof maps come in handy. They’re your best friends for staying on course in an unfamiliar or changed landscape. Learning to use these tools effectively can turn a potentially disorienting situation into a manageable adventure. Always have them within reach for when technology can’t help.
8. Fire Starters
Fire is a fundamental survival element. It provides warmth, cooks food, and signals for help. Make sure you’re equipped with reliable methods to start one, be it matches, lighters, or flint and steel. The capacity to quickly start a fire can drastically improve your situation, offering warmth during cold nights and a means to prepare food and purify water.
9. Strong Rope or Paracord
The usefulness of a sturdy rope or paracord is limitless in survival scenarios. Whether you’re constructing a shelter, securing equipment, fishing, or improvising a splint, having a strong line is a must. Its flexibility and strength make it indispensable for everyday tasks and unexpected challenges.
10. Stay Informed with a Radio
In a world without the internet or cell service, a battery-powered or crank radio becomes your link to the rest of the world. Listening to updates and staying informed about what’s happening can make all the difference. As well as keeping up with the news, having a working radio helps you feel connected rather than isolated, no matter where you are.
11. A Solar Charger
A solar charger ensures that your essential gadgets, like phones for communication or radios for updates, stay operational. In situations where conventional electricity is a memory, being able to harness the power of the sun to keep your devices running is invaluable. It helps you maintain a lifeline to the world and ensures you have access to help and information.
12. Arm Yourself with Knowledge
Knowledge is power, especially in survival situations. Having access to survival manuals, first-aid guides, and even books for entertainment can keep you informed, prepared, and mentally sharp. These resources can teach you essential skills, offer comfort, and even help maintain a sense of community through shared reading and activities.
13. The Right Clothing
Dressing appropriately in durable clothing and shoes is essential for facing harsh conditions and challenging terrains. Also, think about personal protective gear like gloves and masks, depending on the environment you’re in and the situations you’re facing. The right attire is about survival as much as comfort, keeping you safe from the elements and potential hazards around you.
14. Sewing Kit
Don’t underestimate the power of a sewing kit. It helps you prolong the life of your gear and clothing, which in turn conserves your resources.
15. Pet Supplies
Our pets rely on us, especially in tough times. Having supplies like portable water bowls, leashes, and any necessary medications is essential. My pets are family members who provide comfort and companionship. And, depending on the situation, could have practical roles to play, too. Ensuring their well-being is as important as my own.
16. Spare Supplies to Barter
In a scenario where money might not hold its usual value, having items to barter can be a lifeline. Tools, batteries, even seeds can become currency. Think about what others might need and stock up on those items. Being prepared to trade could secure you the essentials that you might run out of.
Starting with a variety of seeds is the first step towards food independence. Whether you’re growing vegetables for sustenance or flowers for morale, seeds represent hope and a path to self-sufficiency. Plus, knowing how to grow your own food is empowering and essential for long-term survival.
18. Fishing Gear
Protein can become scarce, and having basic fishing gear like lines, hooks, and sinkers can provide a sustainable food source.
19. Wind-Up or Solar-Powered Watch
Keeping track of time is essential for planning, navigation, and maintaining a routine. A durable, wind-up, or solar-powered watch eliminates the need for batteries, ensuring you always have access to the time.
20. Portable Greenhouse Materials
For those committed to growing their own food, having portable greenhouse materials like clear plastic sheeting and flexible piping can extend growing seasons and protect plants from harsh conditions. This can be critical for ensuring a year-round food supply in varying climates.
31 Ways to Boost Home Security: How to Fortify Your Fortress and Deter Burglars
We sadly live in a society where it’s all too common for criminals to want to take what we’ve worked hard to get. The results of a break-in are traumatic, too. Beyond just losing your stuff. Victims often feel violated, anxious, and unsafe, sometimes for years after the event.
Prevention is the best way to stay safe. And, while you shouldn’t have to turn your home into a fortress, that’s the stark reality of our world. But you can take plenty of simple steps to deter burglars and ensure your home is less attractive to would-be thieves.
25 Winter Foraging Foods to Save Money on Your Grocery Bill
With food prices going up by 15% from October 2021 to October 2023, finding ways to cut down your grocery bills is more important than ever. Winter foraging is an awesome way to add to your pantry for free. Yes, you get free food in the form of wild edibles, but it’s also fun for the whole family, gets you moving, and reconnects you with nature.
Even though foraging in winter seems hard compared to the bounty of late summer, there’s still plenty out there if you know where to look. Plus, if things do go south, you need to know how to get wild foods to survive when there are no old-world supplies to access.
23 Smart Ways to Preserve Food
Preserving food is an art as much as it is a science, tapping into our ancestral roots and addressing modern needs. Whether you’re looking to avoid waste, prepare for leaner times, or simply enjoy the fruits of your labor year-round, these 23 smart methods will guide you through. I’m a huge fan of preserving things I find on sale, gluts of produce from my homestead, or produce I’ve bartered with someone else.
Katy Willis is a writer, lifelong homesteader, and master herbalist, master gardener, and canine nutritionist. Katy is a preparedness expert and modern homesteader practicing everyday preparedness, sustainability, and a holistic lifestyle.
She knows how important it is to be prepared for whatever life throws at you, because you just never know what's coming. And preparedness helps you give your family the best chance to thrive in any situation.
Katy is passionate about living naturally, growing food, keeping livestock, foraging, and making and using herbal remedies. Katy is an experienced herbalist and a member of the CMA (Complementary Medical Association).
Her preparedness skills go beyond just being "ready", she's ready to survive the initial disaster, and thrive afterward, too. She grows 100% organic food on roughly 15 acres and raises goats, chickens, and ducks. She also lovingly tends her orchard, where she grows many different fruit trees. And, because she likes to know exactly what she's feeding her family, she's a seasoned from-scratch cook and gluten-free baker.
Katy teaches foraging and environmental education classes, too, including self-sufficient living, modern homesteading, seed saving, and organic vegetable gardening.
Katy helps others learn forgotten skills, including basic survival skills and self-reliance.
She's been published on sites such as MSN, Angi, Home Advisor, Family Handyman, Wealth of Geeks, Readers Digest, and more.