38 Things Every Prepper Should Stockpile That Aren’t Water, Food, or Weapons

This list extends beyond the basic survival trio of water, food, and weapons. It’s a given that we need to stock up on water, food, and a way to defend ourselves and what we have. But what other things will you need in a survival situation? 

None of us truly knows what TEOTWAWKI will really look like, although most of us have theories we think most likely. But whatever the situation is, there are certain supplies that it just makes sense to have on hand, aside from the obvious trio I mentioned above. 

1. Pain Relief 

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Managing pain is crucial in any emergency. Stock up on various pain relievers to ensure comfort and functionality during difficult times.

  • Aspirin: Beyond easing headaches, aspirin has numerous benefits, including topical application for stings and potential heart attack mitigation. However, consult a healthcare professional before starting any new medication regimen.
  • Benzocaine: Keep a topical oral anesthetic like Hurricaine gel for immediate relief from mouth discomfort. This 20% benzocaine solution is effective and comes in a palatable wild cherry flavor.
  • Ibuprofen: Known commercially as Advil or Motrin, ibuprofen is essential for its pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Lidocaine: Opt for a fast-acting, odorless cream like Aspercreme, which contains 4% Lidocaine to numb pain without causing irritation.

2. Baking Soda

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

A staple since ancient times, baking soda is indispensable for more than just baking. Its versatility makes it a crucial item to have on hand for various practical applications beyond the kitchen. You can use it as a leavening agent, to make cleaning products, as a deodorizer, for personal hygiene, including deodorants and hair washing, and medicinally, too.

3. Unscented Bleach

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

In an emergency scenario, bleach is an important component of your stockpile. It’s essential for cleaning and sanitizing. You can use it to purify water, clean wounds, and as pest control, too. Just make sure you learn how to use it safely for each different scenario so you don’t do more harm than good. 

4.  Freezer Bags

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Freezer bags, known for their durability, are a prepper’s ally, extending beyond just freezing food. They’re invaluable for portioning and preserving food, especially during hard times like a great depression or personal financial struggles. Keep an eye out for sales to stock up on these pricier essentials. In a bug-out situation, these bags protect your gear from moisture and can be used to collect food and water.

5. BIC Lighters

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

A reliable BIC lighter is invaluable for starting fires and much more. They are compact, affordable, and can be a crucial bartering tool in survival situations. Remember, a generator might draw unwanted attention, but a stockpile of lighters is discreet and universally useful. You trade them, use them on the move when you need to start a fire away from your base, and you’ve always got room in your pack for an extra couple.

6. Borax

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Borax, a natural mineral, is a powerhouse in any prepper’s stockpile. Beyond its well-known laundry-boosting capabilities, Borax serves multiple functions in a survival context, from disinfecting surfaces to pest control. Its versatility extends into gardening and even as an ingredient in homemade cleaners. Ensure you understand the myriad ways Borax can support your survival strategies beyond just keeping your clothes fresh.

7. Laundry Detergent

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

A reliable supply of laundry detergent is non-negotiable for maintaining cleanliness and hygiene during extended crises. Knowing how to concoct your own detergent, particularly from simple ingredients like Zote Soap, can be a game-changer in scenarios where traditional supplies run low. Stockpiling commercial laundry detergents alongside materials for homemade alternatives ensures you’re prepared to keep your clothes clean, no matter the circumstances.

8. Buckets and Lids

Photo Credit: Shutterstock.

For any well-prepared homestead, having a sufficient supply of food-grade buckets with secure lids is non-negotiable. These containers are indispensable for storing freeze-dried foods, grains, and other essentials. Opt for buckets with gamma seal lids to ensure your stock remains fresh and is easily accessible. Remember, not all plastics are safe for food storage, so avoid the common blue buckets found at hardware stores; they’re not suited for storing anything you plan to consume.

Food-grade buckets also come in handy for collecting water or harvests. Use non-food-grade buckets for grey water or other non-consumable needs, such as laundry or sanitation.

9. Can and Lid Openers

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The last thing you want during an emergency is to be unable to access your supplies. Durable can openers, especially military can openers, are crucial for getting into canned goods. They have a few other uses, too, ranging from cleaning your nails to a makeshift screwdriver. Since these tools can break or wear out, stocking up on backups is wise. Familiarize yourself with their operation to ensure you’re never left struggling to open a meal.

10. Seasoned Wood and Tinder

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

A reliable source of warmth is critical for survival, particularly in colder climates. Adding seasoned wood and commercial fire starters like Duraflame to your stockpile can provide peace of mind and ensure you’re prepared for the coldest months. Collecting and storing wood is a process that requires foresight; if you’re new to prepping, you might need to start with wood seasoned by others as you build your own supply.

11. Charcoal

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Charcoal is a must-have for cooking food when you might not have electricity or gas. It’s great because you can store it easily and it doesn’t go bad. Make sure to keep your charcoal dry so it’s ready to use whenever you need it, whether for heating up a meal or keeping warm.

12. Lighter Fluid

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Lighter fluid is super handy for getting a fire started fast. It’s perfect for those times when you need to cook or get warm quickly. Just remember, lighter fluid is flammable, so store it safely and use it carefully to avoid any accidents.

13. Matches

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Matches are crucial for anyone preparing for uncertain times. They’re the simple answer to starting a fire, whether for cooking, warmth, or signaling for help. Having plenty of matches on hand means you’re ready to light a stove, lantern, or campfire without hassle.  Stocking up on different kinds of matches, including waterproof and windproof options, is smart. They take up little space but offer a lot in terms of preparedness and peace of mind. In survival situations, being able to start a fire can make all the difference.

14. Cotton Balls and Ear Swabs

Cotton Balls
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Cotton balls and ear swabs are versatile tools in both first aid and daily tasks. They’re essential for applying ointments and creams, but their use extends to gun cleaning, pest control with peppermint oil, and as fuel or tinder for fires. 

Cotton balls dipped in petroleum jelly or wax can act as efficient fire starters or sustain a flame for a compact light source. However, exercise caution and avoid using cotton swabs within the ear canal to prevent injury; instead, use hydrogen peroxide drops for ear care.

15. Garbage Bags

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

In times of crisis, garbage bags become increasingly important. From managing waste to handling the deceased, you’ll find you need a lot of trash bags. Buy thick, durable garbage bags in bulk to save money.

16. Rubber Gloves

Image Credit: Shutterstock.


Dishwashing gloves provide a barrier against cuts and infections. In a situation where medical help might not be readily available, preventing injuries is key. Gloves can also protect your hands from harsh cleaners, helping to keep your skin from becoming irritated or damaged.

17. Scrubbers for Tough Messes

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Scrubbers are invaluable for tackling tough messes that dish soap alone can’t handle. From burned pans to filthy surfaces, having a variety of scrubbers means you can clean effectively without wasting water or damaging your items. They’re small, easy to store, and can be the difference between a pot that’s ruined and one that’s ready for its next use. Stock up on disposable scrubbers so you can safely scrub and sanitize a surface, then get rid of the now-filthy scrubber.

18. Duct Tape

duct tape
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Duct tape is a prepper’s Swiss Army knife. It has so many uses in a survival situation that it’s difficult to imagine anyone not wanting to lay away a big supply of it. Duct tape can do so much, from makeshift repairs to emergency medical applications. Its strength and versatility make it invaluable for sealing, repairing, and even crafting temporary solutions to unexpected problems.

19. Cable Ties

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Cable ties should have a permanent spot in your bug-out bag. Beyond securing gear and makeshift repairs, their utility extends to emergency automotive fixes and even as impromptu tourniquets.

20. Super Glue

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Super glue is a crucial tool for maintaining gear integrity and ensuring the longevity of essential items. Its strong adhesive properties make it perfect for repairing everything from footwear to plastic items, proving its worth time and again in survival scenarios. You can also get medical-grade super glue that’s handy for closing minor, clean wounds in an emergency scenario.

21. Facial Tissues

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

While toilet paper is a staple in any stockpile, don’t overlook the gentleness of facial tissues. Their softness provides comfort during colds or flu, contributing to overall well-being and preventing the spread of illness, especially crucial in times of pandemic.

22. Fever Reducers and Electrolytes

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

In any emergency kit, fever reducers are non-negotiable. Products like Children’s Advil offer relief from fevers and minor pains, ensuring you can manage symptoms of colds, flu, and more. Always consult with a healthcare provider to choose the right medication for your needs. Additionally, stocking up on electrolytes like Pedialyte is vital for maintaining hydration and overall health, particularly during illness or when access to clean water might be compromised.

23. Hand Sanitizers

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Water conservation during droughts or maintaining hygiene during pandemics makes hand sanitizers indispensable. They’re also practical for cleaning hands after handling raw meat. Consider learning to make your own hand sanitizer to ensure you’re never without this crucial item.

24. Hydrogen Peroxide

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Beyond its role in first aid, hydrogen peroxide serves in water purification and as a non-toxic cleaner for kitchen tools. Familiarize yourself with its many applications to fully leverage its benefits in your preparedness strategy.

25. Lamp Oil, Candle Wax, and Wicks

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Preparing for extended power outages involves mastering candle and lamp making. Stocking up on beeswax, known for its clean, smokeless burn and air-purifying properties, alongside lamp-making supplies, is wise. Learning these skills ensures you can maintain light and warmth, even when old-world supplies run low.

26. Lip Balm, Lotions, and Creams

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Maintaining skin health is crucial, especially in arid climates or when water is scarce. Affordable finds like lip balm and cocoa butter creams from dollar stores can make a big difference. Petroleum-based lip balms, such as Chapstick, double as emergency fire starters, adding another layer of utility to your stockpile.

27. Lysol

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

In times of health crises, such as the flu or more severe threats like the Coronavirus, Lysol becomes an indispensable ally. Its effectiveness against viruses and bacteria keeps your living area sanitized, also proving useful against pests like lice which can become problematic under stressed conditions.

28. Water Purification Tablets

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Ensuring your water is safe from harmful microorganisms is critical. Water purification tablets like Aquatabs are an efficient and portable solution for transforming water from uncertain sources into safe, drinkable water, vital for survival. Never be tempted to use pool chemicals to purify drinking water. Make sure you stock up on purification tabs and life straws, and learn other safe methods of water purification.

29. Disposable Tableware

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Using paper cups, plates, and bowls saves precious water resources and provides a sanitary way of consuming meals, which is especially important during extended off-grid situations. Don’t forget to stock up on plastic utensils to reduce water usage further and maintain hygiene.

30. Paracord

strong paracord
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Paracord, short for parachute cord, is a lightweight nylon rope originally used in parachutes, but its strength and flexibility make it indispensable for preppers. Beyond tying down equipment, paracord can be woven into survival bracelets, lanyards, and belts, offering a handy rope at a moment’s notice. 

Its inner strands can be pulled out for fishing lines, sewing threads, or emergency sutures. Whether you’re securing a shelter, repairing gear, or making a tourniquet, paracord’s versatility is unmatched. Learning to knot and weave paracord can also provide a calming pastime, honing skills that could be crucial in a pinch.

31. Propane and Propane Tanks

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Propane is a vital energy source for both cooking and heating, especially when traditional power sources are unavailable. Portable and relatively safe to store, propane can fuel stoves, lanterns, and heaters, making it a cornerstone of any preparedness plan. Investing in several propane tanks ensures a ready supply of fuel for various needs, from preparing hot meals to maintaining warmth in cold weather. 

32. Personal Hygiene Products

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Maintaining personal cleanliness is vital, even in survival situations. Stock up on mouthwash, shampoo, soap, and deodorant to ensure comfort and health, conserving water with products like no-rinse wipes and solar showers.

33. Nails, Bolts, Screws, and Sewing Materials

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Having a comprehensive collection of nails, bolts, and screws is crucial for anyone looking to stay prepared. These simple yet indispensable items become the backbone of repair and reconstruction efforts in any survival situation. Whether it’s mending a broken fence, securing loose boards on your shelter, or constructing new tools and structures, these fasteners are essential. It’s wise to stock various sizes and types to ensure you’re prepared for any repair job.

Sewing materials complement this set by addressing the need for fabric repair and clothing maintenance. Thread, needles, buttons, and patches can extend the life of garments and gear, keeping you warm and protected. In the absence of readily available new clothing, the ability to mend tears or replace missing buttons becomes invaluable. Additionally, sewing skills can be used to create essential items like bags or shelters from available materials, enhancing your adaptability and resilience.

34. Steel Wool

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Steel wool is not just for scrubbing; paired with a 9-volt battery, it’s an effective fire starter. It has a range of other uses, too, from rodent control to sharpening scissors.

35. Toilet Paper

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

The importance of toilet paper in maintaining sanitation and personal comfort cannot be overstressed. It’s one of those everyday essentials that becomes critically important in times of crisis. Stockpiling enough toilet paper ensures that hygiene standards are upheld, preventing the spread of diseases and infections. Beyond its primary use, toilet paper can serve multiple purposes, such as acting as a fire starter or as a temporary bandage in emergencies. Ensuring you have a sufficient supply keeps morale high by preserving a sense of normalcy and dignity during challenging times.

36. Toothbrushes and Toothpaste

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Maintaining dental hygiene is vital, not just for health but also for comfort and wellbeing. Toothbrushes and toothpaste are key components of this. Neglecting oral care can lead to dental issues, which can turn into severe problems when professional dental care is unavailable. 

Stocking up on toothbrushes, one for each family member every three months, and ample toothpaste can prevent these issues. And, like toilet paper, these items can contribute to a feeling of normalcy and routine, which is invaluable in maintaining morale and mental health during prolonged periods of survival or crisis situations. 

37. Petroleum Jelly

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Petroleum jelly, often known by the brand name Vaseline, is a simple yet incredibly versatile product that should be a staple in every stockpile. Its primary use is for protecting skin, especially in harsh or dry conditions. It creates a barrier that locks in moisture, helping to heal cuts, scrapes, and burns, and prevents windburn and chapping. This protection is crucial when access to medical supplies might be limited.

Beyond skin care, petroleum jelly can be a lifesaver in survival scenarios. When mixed with cotton balls, it becomes an effective fire starter. The jelly accelerates the burning process, making it easier to start a fire in damp conditions or when quick warmth is needed.

38. Writing Instruments

Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Pens, pencils, and paper become luxury items off the grid but are essential for education, morale, and documentation. Imagine trying to navigate a prolonged situation without the means to jot down thoughts, communicate with others, or educate the littles. The value of these basic tools becomes immeasurable.

A Sharpie pen becomes particularly important for organizing supplies. With its permanent ink, it’s ideal for labeling food expiration dates, personal items, or emergency instructions.

Equally important is a manual pencil sharpener, a seemingly mundane item that serves dual purposes. It keeps pencils ready for writing and can be a resourceful way to create fine tinder from twigs for easy fire starting.

Why I Didn’t Include Food, Water, and Weapons

closeup of a hunting rifle with bullet and magazine
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

It’s really simple. I’ve covered these topics extensively, especially weapons. And I’m being gracious and assuming most of us are reasonably smart. So we know that we need the obvious three things: sustenance, hydration, and a means to defend ourselves (or obtain more food).

If you want to read about decent hunting rifles, you can do so here.

I’ve also covered popular concealed-carry handguns here.

And last, but by no means least, I’ve gone over the best hunting rifle cartridges here.

20 Crucial Supplies for Surviving a Societal Collapse

glass of water
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

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.

14 Essential Canned Goods for Your Emergency Pantry

selection of canned goods
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

I firmly believe in keeping a well-stocked emergency pantry. While fresh food is ideal, in a survival situation, we may not be that lucky. So, for my family, even though we grow a lot of our own food, canned goods play a crucial role in emergency preparedness. They offer a reliable source of nutrition when access to fresh produce may be limited. The goods you stockpile should be affordable, easy to store, and full of nutrition.

Best Regions in the U.S. to Escape to When Society Collapses

Alaska skyline
Image Credit: Shutterstock.

Choosing a refuge in the event of societal collapse involves weighing the pros and cons of each location against your personal preparedness goals and abilities. Whether you’re drawn to the solitude of the desert or the protective heights of the mountains, the key is finding a place that offers safety and the opportunity for growth and renewal.

+ posts

Leave a Comment