One of the most common questions that I am asked and most frequently searched terms on the internet as it relates to Doomsday prepping is some variation of, “What supplies do I need” or “How should I start preparing?”
Just like anything else we have talked about, ask 10 different people and you are going to get 10 different answers.
There are a million different lists out there. None of them are wrong and none of them are right.
What you have to decide is what is right for you and your family. It will also greatly depend upon your budget, and whether or not you want to stockpile supplies quickly, or start small and stockpile over time.
Initially, I thought about categorizing this section by Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced, but quite honestly, regardless of your skill and knowledge level, we all need the same types of supplies. Again, it depends upon your budget.
Remember, you can’t carry all this stuff at one time anyway.
Also, work with your close friends and neighbors and begin prepping together. You can split some of these items up among the group and just focus on particular items that you will be responsible for.
I think the best way to break this down is by relevant categories: Food, Water, Tools, Shelter, and First Aid. While I could include many other categories, it can get overwhelming. So, I am going to do my best to include some of those items in these larger categories.
For example, I am going to include clothing in the Shelter category and I am going to include things like weapons and cooking utensils in the Tools Category.
As you begin identifying items on this list, it’s important to keep in mind that the quantity of supplies you are stocking is going to depend upon what type of “event” you are preparing for.
If you are preparing for things like a hurricane, tornado, or earthquake then the amount of supplies you need may range from a few days to a few weeks.
If you are more concerned with the larger scale global events or financial collapse, then you may want to consider a range from a few weeks to a few months.
Sound good? Ok, here we go!
Focus on non-perishable foods or foods with longer shelf lives. Also, you will want to focus on foods that are higher in calories and carbohydrates for energy. Depending on the “event” you will need a lot of energy.
Another thing to consider is storing some spices. Just because you are in survival mode doesn’t mean your food can’t taste good!
While it is a good idea and best practice to begin storing food slowly, what I found is that one of the quickest ways for beginners to start prepping is by starting with pre-packaged meals.
You can gain a little piece of mind very quickly and with very little money by immediately starting with a 3 or 6 month supply of food.
From there you can start building out your food supply.
- Protein bars and protein drinks
- Canned or dehydrated meats (Tuna, Beef Jerky, etc.)
- Lard and Coconut Oil
- Cereals high in carbs such as shredded wheat, Cheerios, Grape Nuts
- Instant Oat Meal
- White rice
- Any kind of Pasta
- Canned Vegetables
- Canned Fruits
- Waxed Cheese (can last up to 25 years)
- Mixed Nuts
- Honey (Lasts forever, high in sugar and can be used as an antibiotic)
- MRE (My personal preference…Pre-packaged Meals Ready to Eat)
- Long shelf life
- Easy to store
- Tastes pretty darn good
- Freeze Dried Food (Expensive, but saves time and extremely long shelf life)
This one seems obvious, but there are some other things to consider outside of just bottled water or jugs of water. Your water will not only be used for drinking, but for cooking and cleaning as well. You can begin buy picking up an extra case or gallon of water every time yo go to the grocery store and just stacking it in the corner of your garage or pantry.
There are also options on the market for larger water storage tanks that provide a much quicker stockpile of water. Either way, you will need more water than you think!
- Bottled water/Jugs of water
- 20-30 gallons per person per month
- A family of 4 will need 240-480 gallons
- Water filtration device
- Water purification/treatment tablets or drops
- Water testing kit (You will want to test water for impurities)
- Method of carrying water (5 Gallon jugs)
Most of us already have all of the basics in our garages or small tool boxes in our apartments or condos. Things like wrenches, screwdrivers, hammers, nails, and screws are probably already taken care of. If not, then you will want to just start with the basics.
The following list contains more specialized items that will certainly come in handy, even though you may not fully be able to visualize a use for them today.
- Maps and compass
- Paracord (I recommend 550 Paracord)
- Bungee cord
- Tie downs/ratchet straps
- Heavy duty work gloves
- Zip ties
- Bolt cutters
- Small generator with extra fuel
- High powered flashlights and lanterns
- Head lamps
- Lots of batteries of all sizes (rechargeable when possible)
- Heavy duty survival knife
- Small hatchet/machete
- Firearms of your choice with cleaning supplies
- Holsters for handguns and rifle slings for rifles
- Duct tape
- Fire starting material (Matches, lighters, flints)
- Camping stove, propane,
- Can opener
- Small pot/pans
- Cooking utensils
- Things for entertainment will help you keep your sanity
- Cards and card games
- Board games
- Balls to throw back and forth
Cover and Shelter
The main focus staying warm (or cool) and dry. Only you know what type of climate you live in, so you will know what is best for you depending on the season.
- Several tarps/plastic sheeting
- Camping tents/popup shelters
- Warm outdoor clothing (warm socks, gloves, head covers, etc.)
- Dri fit/moisture wicking clothing
- Heavy duty boots and rain boots
- Ponchos or large trash bags
- Hand warmer packets
The tendency for most of us is to think about first aid items in terms of treating illness and injury. Remember, you may exposed to the elements which means exposure to the sun, mosquitos, flees, ticks, spiders and God knows what else.
As important as it is to treat injury and illness, the best defense is to try and remain healthy and strong in the first place.
- Multi vitamins
- Bug Spray
- Lip balm
- Lots of band aids/Bandages/wraps
- Dental floss
- Cotton balls/gauze pads
- Rubbing alcohol/peroxide
Again, please know that this is in no way intended to be an all inclusive, comprehensive list. My intentions here are to simply help you begin thinking about starting your collection of supplies, or adding to them.
My very first purchase was just an extra case of bottled water from my local Costco when I went to buy some dog food and laundry detergent.
My next consideration was the pre-packaged MRE that I shared above, and now I just purchase extra items here and there every time I visit the grocery store.
What are your thoughts? What are some of the items you would recommend to this community of people who are just beginning to prepare, or looking to add to their existing supplies?
Please feel free to leave comments, questions, feedback, or any of your best practices.
Thanks for reading!