It can get tricky trying to figure out what you’ll be missing most when the shit really hits the fan. Quite a while back, I brought up 10 Things You’ll Regret Not Having Enough of When the SHTF, and when I asked what kinds of things you guys would miss most, an overwhelming number of you started listing items that – truth be told – I’d miss one heck of a lot too.
Now, like last time, this isn’t an exhaustive list of course. There are a crazy amount of items that would be helpful to stockpile, or at least have one or two of, in case TEOTWAWKI does actually arrive. And of course you never want to be caught without a food stockpile of long-expiry date foods. This is just a small list of a few of those things you’d really miss having around once the SHTF in a big way.
Things You’d Wish You Had More Of If TEOTWAWKI Came Along
It’s TEOTWAWKI: no internet. What the hell do you do when you need to figure out x, y, and z now? Of course you should have some knowledge about pretty much all the things you’d need to know after TEOTWAWKI prior to the shit hitting the fan, but knowing everything is impossible and there’s bound to be something you forgot or never got around to learning for some reason or another. Having that dusty old medical book that’s been on your bookshelf for ages, or a photograph handy-man tutorial book, or even a list of all edible plants in your area is likely to finally come in handy in this case.
2. Plastic Bags
I know it might sound silly but there are infinitely many uses for plastic bags, and if you haven’t got enough in your stockpile, chances are you’re really going to miss having them around. I stockpile these in a number of sizes, some with zip locks some without, some thicker and more sturdy than others. Definitely the kind of thing you can never really have enough of.
We definitely have a great number of these stocked up, so it wasn’t on our mind when we mentioned 10 things you’d miss in a SHTF situation. That being said, if we weren’t the type to collect knives to test out and use, knives would certainly be very high up on the list of gear we’d miss sorely in a TEOTWAWKI situation. Make sure you’ve got enough of these to last you years! There are plenty of high quality ones for affordable prices (in the under $20 & under $30 region even). No reason not to have enough knives (with extras in case you misplace some) at home.
4. Solar Powered Lights
No power for lighting? No problem. Not with solar powered lights. Yes, you can have a fire to illuminate a space, but if you’re bugging in rather than bugging out, you’re going to want some of these around for the house and garden. There’s not much of a reason to take a pass on getting a hold of some solar powered lights, especially considering how affordable they are nowadays. And while you technically don’t need them, they really would come in very useful in a TEOTWAWKI situation.
A source of illumination that doesn’t need to have its batteries changed or charged externally is a good idea to keep in spades in my books. Why? If you’re constantly charging flashlight batteries after flashlight batteries and forget or don’t have time to do it one day, you’ll be out of luck; unless you have these on you as back up. Also, you might need those extra solar power charged batteries for things other than illumination; things like radios, for instance.
Having some solar powered lighting options so you don’t always have to use a flashlight monopolizing your battery power is a great option, especially considering how many different types of solar powered lights are available: from string lights, to path lights, to motion sensor lights, or even something like the portable Luci lamp. It has the added benefit of being able to help you beef up your security, as you’ll be able to see anyone who steps onto your property in the dead of night.
5. Duct Tape
We’ve all seen those articles that float around the web teaching you yet another cool way to use duct tape. It’s probably one of the most versatile items you could ever possibly own, and because of that, you honestly could never have too much. Keep your options open by grabbing a bunch of this for your stockpile.
Convenient as hell, especially the high quality ones (thinking of the high-end Leathermans here). You can skip the scissors, knives, and screwdrivers technically if you’ve got a good solid one of these. Would of course be better to have all of the kinds of tools you might need on hand as well, but as a back up, good multi-tools are worth their weight in gold.
7. Water Filters
I don’t even need to describe why these are great investments for SHTF situations. Many of them last a damn long time, and while some are better than others for travelling with (particularly the Lifestraw & the Sawyer Mini), while some are better than others for their ability to also simultaneously carry water (the Lifestraw Go & the Sawyer Water Bottle & Filter, for example), they are all really reasonably priced and so having a wide variety is no problem. They’ll be invaluable in a TEOTWAWKI situation, where diarrhea can be a big problem.
Whether you’re using them yourself or not, condoms can be excellent to stockpile for trading purposes during TEOTWAWKI. Small and compact, and certainly desirable to many, they also have a slew of uses in case you get stuck without specific items in your stockpile. For example, they can be used to create tourniquets, to carry water from one location to another, to start fires – many things you should be able to do with other items in your kit, but it doesn’t hurt to have the ability to do these kinds of things with this item as well.
9. Caulk, Glue, Expandable Foam
Doesn’t matter if you’re a handy-man type or not, without these and other basic hardware essentials, you’re not going to have an easy time patching up any problems post-TEOTWAWKI. Do yourself a favour and stock up prior.
10. Knife Sharpener
Knives get dull – it’s a fact of life. And if you’re trying to stay as prepared as possible, keeping your knives sharp is an important part of the process. Preferably, you’d invest in and teach yourself to use the kind of sharpener that would be able to sharpen knives, scissors, axes, tomahawks, and pretty much any other edged object you could have in your possession – problem is, these sharpeners need electricity, and so if you’re not completely off the grid for that, you’ll likely run into problems.
So stones, hand sharpeners, or manual knife sharpeners are the way to go for most, even though they won’t do as well of a job. Hell, even if you had a fully off-the-grid electrical system working for you, you’d likely want to get non-electricity dependent knife sharpeners as back up, just in case anything happened or you needed to bug out for some time. Your options are pretty wide open. DMT stones, the cheapest option, require a little skill to master, but are certainly easy to get used to with enough practice. Then there are hand sharpeners like the Lansky Blademedic and the Smith’s PP1 Pocket Pal Sharpener. Nowhere near as good as manual sharpening systems, but will certainly do in a pinch. Manual sharpeners range from the relatively inexpensive Spyderco Sharpmaker, to the fully loaded Wicked Edge/Edge Pro systems. Worth an investment if you’re interested in keeping your knives hair-shaving sharp with no electricity.
Which items would you miss if TEOTWAWKI came along?
Let me know in the comments which of these items you’d miss the most, and if there are any items you’d miss way more than these.
Anything you forgot to add to your gear stockpile that you’ll now be going out to buy?
Any items you really recommend others getting a hold of?
Drop a line below.
John T Macf Mood says
I’m surprised I either missed it’s mention or NOBODY mentioned it, but a means of starting a fire without matches or a lighter. Hmmm, Fire good!
Cook wild game
Sanitize filtered water
Keep from freezing to death
Signal for help
Smoke out game hiding in cave(s) or burrows
And the list goes on.
As well, “accalia” I totally agree with, a dog, preferably of the hound family, is exceptionally good at helping hunt for food and warning you of approaching dangers if you’re asleep.. And they can, if kept pest free (meds for your dogs!) are good to keep warm with if you’re stranded in a TEOTWAWKI situation, are good to share warmth with when it turns cold. Their body temp is higher than humans, so we get the best of that bargain. That’s where the rockers, “Three Dog Night” got their name. During the Dark Ages, the families would bring in one, two, or THREE DOGS, depending on how cold it got outside.
debbie downer says
Caulk tubes, unopened have a definite shelf life, as they harden with age. Many chemical-related substances degrade with time. Caulk stays good for about a year, maybe two.
Elise Xavier says
Thanks for the heads up, “debbie” ;).
IF youre bugged out–mosquito netting, blankets, tarps, good boots, and if you have a canine partner–lots of dog food! (which could also have multiple uses as well!) manual can opener, charcoal for water purification, chains, rope, wire., as well as materials for making traps……and medicines! namely-antibiotics and pain releivers
Elise Xavier says
Mosquito netting is one thing I always forget about. Can be so handy!
To extend the life of your knife, have a piece of smooth leather mounted on a board. Strop the blade which restores the edge but doesn’t take as much metal off.
Elise Xavier says
Thomas does this a lot in his spare time – finds it relaxing. Good suggestion. :)
Aspirin or Advil
and more PLASTIC BAGS!
The day after the Haitian earthquake, some local people started a collection. These are the things I donated, because I know from personal experience how much they are needed after a catastrophe.
Elise Xavier says
Good on you for donating! And yes, certainly these are all the kinds of things they would be in great need of. Thanks for dropping by with a comment!
Joe Blow says
If you play a musical instrument, you’ll want those supplies as well. For instance, guitar strings. For me it’s saxophone reeds.
Elise Xavier says
These are great suggestions! As well as spare eye glasses for those of us who need them to do more than just read!