Stockpiling is a major concept in prepping and is the easiest way to get through a temporary collapse scenario. These doomsday prepper gear lists will give you an idea of the supplies you will need to get you through a temporary collapse.
The exact things you stockpile will differ for different people. You want to stockpile things that you normally use, especially perishables. Don’t forget about the special needs of others in your family, including any infants, pets, elderly, and disabled people.
Where to Store Your Stock
For those who own larger properties, this won’t be much of an issue.
If you have a smaller living space, you have to get a bit more creative, but you’ll be surprised how much “dead space” there is under beds and inside closets. You can also create shelving to make use of wall space.
There are other things to consider besides space, such as shelf life and access. You’ll need to store some things under certain conditions. You’ll also need to have easier access to perishables so you can rotate them as needed.
Finally, you’ll need to hide some (or most) of your stocks, in case the government or looters want to take them. Leave some poorly hidden as decoys, and keep more secret caches on and/or off your property. You can also create secret rooms, hide stuff in the walls, etc.
It’s a good idea to store similar things together for organization. If you have many different areas, use a prepper gear box to store each type of thing and keep a survivalist prepper checklist of where you put what. For example, you might put canned foods in the kitchen pantry, and spare batteries and lighting supplies under the bed.
Do not keep records of any hidden stocks.
Doomsday Prepper Lists
These prepper supply lists are divided into several major focus areas.
If you are stockpiling supplies for a set amount of time, say three weeks, you’ll have to figure out how much you need to store.
Write a pepper supplies list of what you need to get for the timeframe you are prepping for, and build up supplies in each area evenly. This will prevent you from overstocking in any one area. Having a year’s supply of batteries, for example, is great, but not if you only have food for a week.
You may already have a good idea of how much your family consumes, but your doomsday prepper food list is likely to be different, since you will not stock perishables. Remember to take that into account.
The foods you stock should have the following characteristics:
- Easy to prepare (minimal cooking needed).
- High in calories and nutrients.
- Long shelf life.
- Things you like to eat (or at least can tolerate).
When considering stocking a certain food that you don’t usually eat, test it out a few times before buying it in bulk.
Start your prepper food supplies with a base of staples (wheat, rice, beans, fats/oils), and supplement them with canned/packaged foods. Basic spices and condiments are a good idea, and so are multivitamins.
Mylar bags are good for long-term storage of staples (wheat, rice, beans, flour, pasta, etc.). Fill each one with a single food type, throw in some oxygen absorbers (do not use desiccants with food), squeeze out as much air as you can, and then seal it. Store the mylar bag of food inside a sealed bucket, and you’re done. Depending on what you’re storing, this will keep your food edible for a long time. White rice, for example, can keep for 10+ years.
Here is a video of the process:
Store your buckets in a cool, dry spot and throw some mothballs around the storage area.
The average person needs about four liters (one-gallon) of water a day to cover their drinking, cooking, and sanitation needs.
Keeping clear, two-liter water bottles in the freezer is a good start. This is a source of clean drinking water, will help keep the freezer colder for longer, and you can reuse the bottles for SODIS purification.
Two-liter PET soda bottles are what you want to use. Clean them well before refilling them with drinking water. Other types (such as milk or juice bottles) may be less durable and/or cause bacterial growth, while if you use anything bigger than two liters, SODIS may not work properly. Anything is okay.
Larger containers, like water bricks, are good for bulk storage, especially if you can stack them.
When the disaster is predicted, fill up your bathtubs and other containers with water. Your bathtubs will leak over time. Prevent this with a large bathtub water bladder (a WaterBOB). The WaterBOB will also keep the water cleaner than your bathtub, since it is sealed.
Energy plays a big part in our modern lifestyles, and many people would not last long without it.
This chapter discusses things we use that rely on energy/electricity to run, including lighting, heating, cooling, communication, and entertainment.
Solar-powered appliances are good but not 100% reliable (you need the sun), and hand-cranked appliances aren’t worth the effort. Batteries are reliable and work when you need them to, assuming they haven’t run out.
Stock enough batteries to run all your important stuff three times over. Store them in a dry, cool/room temperature place out of direct sunlight. Don’t store them in equipment (except obvious cases, such as in a bedroom flashlight), as they will slowly trickle energy and can cause corrosion.
Standardizing your equipment so it all takes the same type of batteries makes things a lot easier, and means you can mix and match in an emergency. Choose a common type of battery, like AA or AAA.
Rechargeable batteries are good, but remember that you need electricity to charge them. A solar charger is a good way to do that when the grid is down.
A 4KW generator is enough to run most small appliances directly from the generator. You need 10+ KW to run an average-sized household
Generators come with a few downsides. The noise they make makes you a target for thieves. They also need fuel, engine oil, and maintenance to keep them going.
If you decide to get a generator for emergency use, start it at least once a month and keep it somewhere well ventilated.
You can use your vehicle as an improvised generator for small appliances, such as a portable fridge or a laptop.
Attach an 800-watt inverter directly to your car battery with jumper cables, then plug your device into the inverter.
Smaller inverters can also power small appliances depending on their consumption.
You don’t even need the car to do this, just the DC battery. However, running the car keeps the battery charged (but consumes fuel).
There are many types of fuels you can stockpile depending on your needs. Store as much of the type you need as you can within safety and legal limits.
Use fuel stabilizers where applicable and adopt a dating and rotating system for them.
Some fuels to consider are:
Keep the following things together in a “lighting kit”:
- Flashlights (mag lights, headlamps) and spare batteries.
- Candles (slow-burning “survival” candles)
- Stormproof matches.
Solar path lights will charge during the day, so you can bring them in at night.
In unexpected outages, night lights plugged into the wall sockets will come on when the power fails. This will allow you to see well enough to grab your lighting kit.
You can improvise oil lamps using anything that’s fireproof and has a small depression, such as a ceramic saucer. Don’t use metal, as it will burn you. Pour a little oil (or anything that is slow-burning) and add a string wick.
If you’re outdoors, wrap cloth around a long stick and soak it in flammable liquid to make an improvised torch.
The best way to heat a home without consuming too much energy is to start with good insulation, especially in the floor. Install weather stripping and thermal curtains (thick blankets will work).
In a well-insulated home, if you cook inside, the heat generated may be enough to keep the house warm throughout the night, depending on your climate.
A few thermal solar panels work well if you get enough sunlight.
If that is not enough, heat the person using layered clothing and blankets, as opposed to trying to heat the whole house.
If you will use a heater of some sort, choose one room to heat and have everyone gather in it. Ensure it is ventilated.
Some heating options include:
The basis of efficient cooling is like that of heating. Use cooling curtains (survival blankets with the shiny side facing out, for example) and ventilation.
- Cook outdoors.
- Cool the person using manual, solar, or battery-operated fans and water.
Keeping in touch with each other and the outside world is important for long-term survival.
Small battery-operated shortwave radios that can receive AM/FM are cheap and use very little energy. Tune into local and national radio stations every other day to listen for any useful information.
Cell phone emergency alerts are available in most countries and will warn you of any natural disasters.
When you and your family members are contacting each other during times of disaster, text messages are more likely to get through.
Once the grid is down, you can use walkie-talkies tuned into personal radio stations. They’re not secure and their range is short, but they’re easy to use. You can switch channels regularly if you are worried about security. Let everyone know beforehand how often and which channels to switch to.
Get more information here:
Other radio services (such as, GMRS, MURS, or HAM) require you to have a license and/or training .
To access the internet in off-grid scenarios, you need to rely on cell phone signal, satellite internet, or wireless internet service provider (WISP). In a collapse scenario, it’s unlikely these things will work either.
As long as you have a phone signal and a data plan, you can turn your phone into a hotspot, buy a dedicated hotspot, or use the internet directly from your phone.
If you live in an area where the cell phone signal is poor, you can use a signal booster (cell phone repeater). For it to work, you need at least a little reception and electricity.
Satellite internet or WISP are your final options. Both are expensive for what you get, but may be the only things available.
In a grid-down scenario, there will be enough work to keep you busy during the day. For recreation you will need to go old-school. Think cards, board games, books, sports, etc.
Health and Hygiene
Poor health and hygiene can quickly lead to illness, and in an austere situation, even the common cold can lead to death.
At a minimum, stockpile the following:
- Anti-bacterial soap.
- Toothbrushes, toothpaste, and dental floss.
- Toilet paper.
- Sanitary products.
- First aid supplies.
- Personal aids and medications (glasses, diabetes medication, etc.)
- Antibiotics (consider veterinary meds as a substitute).
- Heavy-duty garbage bags.
In a collapse situation, you won’t be able to rely on hospitals, ambulances, pharmacies, or any other medical services. Stockpile prepper medical supplies and learn basic medical skills now, while you still can.
A wilderness first aid (WFA) course will equip you with the knowledge of how to handle most medical emergencies. Going more in-depth than a WFA is great, but at the very least, you need to know basic first aid.
Knowing some proven home remedies will also be invaluable.
It is important to fix any injuries as soon as possible, no matter how small they are. In austere situations, small things can become big problems fast.
For more information on wilderness medicine, check out Wilderness and Travel Medicine:
When society breaks down, people will start doing things they normally wouldn’t in order to survive.
Keep safe by increasing your passive home security, as well as by being prepared to actively defend your family and belongings.
Don’t Be a Target
Keep your prepping actions a secret from anyone outside of your household, and even from them if they are not responsible enough to keep the secret (young kids, for example).
When things start to go bad, actively make your home unattractive to would-be scavengers and thieves. Minimize signs of food, water, and energy. If your home is the only one with lights and/or the smell of cooking, you will get visitors.
If the situation calls for it, consider creating signs of disease and/or death, such as quarantine signs.
Having decent security now will make it easier for you to enhance it in troubled times. It will also make you less of a target for everyday criminals. Here are some things to consider:
- Solid doors.
- Motion-sensor lighting.
- Clearing blind spots in your front and back yard.
- Reinforced windows and sliding doors.
- A nightly security routine (checking locks, etc.).
- A guard dog.
- An alarm system.
- A neighborhood watch.
- Hiding spots for valuables, in the walls or other hard-to-find locations.
- A safe room.
Maintenance and Tools
- An axe.
- Gardening shears.
- A hand drill.
- A hand saw and saw horses.
- A hammer and framing nails.
- A screwdriver and three-inch galvanized steel deck screws.
- A staple gun and half-inch staples.
- Tarps (10mm thick, 10 x 12 inch and 6 x 8 inch, with sturdy eyelets).
- Plastic sheeting.
- Plywood (3/4 inch thick).
- Quick clamps.
- Ladder (tall enough to reach your roof).
- Duct tape and electrical tape.
- Gorilla glue, liquid nails, and a caulking gun.
- 3-in-1 oil/WD40.
- Rope and cordage (550 mil-spec paracord).
- Personal protective equipment (gloves, safety glasses, etc.).
Bug Out Bag Checklist
The best bug out bag (BOB) is a single bag of supplies you can quickly grab and go when needed. It’s basically a store of prepper survival gear with at least several days of provisions. The ultimate bug out bag must provide you with water, food, shelter/warmth, fire, rescue, health, and security. Many items in it will be of a general nature, but when you pack it, also consider likely events in your area. This way, no matter what the emergency, you can grab your BOB (if it is safe to do so) and bug out.
Everyone in your household, including your pets, should have their own bug out bag contents, and they should keep it somewhere easy to access in case of an emergency. Keeping your bug out gear under the bed or next to the nightstand are excellent options.
Assign responsibility for pets, infants, etc. and their BOBs. Do it now, so there is no confusion when an emergency arises.
When deciding what to put in a bug out bag, the exact contents will depend on what you’re comfortable using and what events you feel are most likely to happen. You can also add some personal and/or comfort items if you have the room and weight tolerance (you may have to carry it all day, every day). Your urban bug out bag itself must be comfortable and sturdy.
Once you have put your survival bug out bag together, ensure you rotate the perishables bug out bag items every few months.
Here is a basic prepper gear list of items to consider including as your bug out bag essentials:
- Cash (small bills).
- Knife (steel).
- One liter of water (minimum).
- Water filter (portable/hiking style).
- Food (long-lasting and ready to eat; think energy bars, trail mix, multivitamins, and electrolyte mixes).
- A spare set of clothing.
- Emergency blanket.
- Poncho (transparent white is best).
- Ferro rod.
- Flashlight (headlamp).
- Shortwave radio with AM/FM (battery-operated and compact).
- GPS-capable cell phone (with SIM card and charger; a cheap “burner” phone is ideal).
- First aid kit (with antibiotics).
- Toiletries (essentials).
- Sewing kit.
- Duct tape.
- Paracord (5m).
- Weapon and ammo (if legal).
- Notebook and pens/pencils.
- Plastic bags.
- Photocopies of important documents.
- Swimming goggles.
- P100 mask with an air vent.
- Special-needs items.
- Comfort toys/blankets.
It is a good idea to get a cage for your pet and train him/her to sleep in it. That way, it will be comfortable for him/her to stay in when you need to leave in a hurry. Keep his/her BOB on top of the cage.
If you don’t want to make your own BOB, you can buy pre-made bug out bags here.
Gather all the following documentation. Keep the originals in a fireproof safe (or some other secure place) and tell your family its location. Photocopy everything and keep the photocopies in your BOB. Ensure you keep everything current.
- Your will.
- Your powers of attorney.
- Emergency/important contacts (numbers and addresses).
- Your passport (or other ID if you don’t have one).
- Insurance information.
- Proof of residence (utility bill).
- Access to finances (do not keep a photocopy of this in your BOB).
- Personal info sheet and recording.
A personal info sheet is a single sheet that will aid rescuers in finding and/or identifying you. Each family member should handwrite their own info sheet and make an audio recording of the information. This is so rescuers will have writing and voice samples.
Each sheet/recording should include the following:
- Place of birth.
- Date of birth.
- Phone number.
- Physical Description (including specific identifiers like tattoos or birthmarks).
- Prescriptions (eyes, medication).
- Instructions for prescriptions.
- Vehicle (color, type, license plate number).
- School/work address and contacts.
- The contact details of closest friends/relatives.
You can store additional doomsday prepper supplies in your car. Keep them in the trunk for security, except for the last two items, which you’ll need to have handy in case of an emergency.
- Additional food, water, flashlights, and batteries.
- Recovery and repair supplies.
- Entertainment (books, cards, laptops, etc.).
- A small fire extinguisher.
- A glass-breaker.
Do not put your personal BOBs in the trunk. Keep them within reach in case you need to leave your car in a hurry.
Even if you expect the collapse scenario to be short-lived or for it to end soon, you must start and continue to conserve (ration) your doomsday prepper supplies. You never know how long a bad situation will last, no matter what others tell you.
First, try to get what you can by other methods (scavenging, foraging, etc.) and use your stocks to supplement what you find.
Use funnels to avoid spilling liquids. Label them by use and keep them separated to avoid cross-contamination. You don’t want to accidentally use your kerosene funnel for water, for example.
Rotation will prevent your perishable stocks from going bad. Food is the main concern, but this practice also applies to medicines, fuel, batteries, etc.
Use the “first in, first out” concept. This means that whatever you bought the longest ago will get used and replaced by the latest things you buy.
This will also force you to store things you actually use, which is what you want.
This book is a must-have in your disaster survival kit,
because the information will save your life!
Basic Prepper List Conclusion
No matter how much you stockpile, your resources will eventually run out. If you want to survive in a long-term collapse scenario, you’ll have to become self-sustainable. Hopefully, your stockpiles will be large enough to see you though until you can do that.
But you don’t need to (nor should you) wait for a collapse in order to start. For instructional projects, please visit:
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