Most Overlooked Preps for Long Emergencies

When it comes to being prepared, there is a lot to think about. Generally, it is worthwhile to look at some important items that are often overlooked in the quest to build-up your stock of bullets, beans, and band-aids.

Some of you may have read my writing over the years at Backdoor Survival and other websites. My time spent conversing with a wide audience, and dealing with a ton of feedback, highlighted the fact that there are people who scoff at the idea of putting back basics like sheets for your bed or hygiene items beyond a bottle of soap, and a toothbrush or toothpaste. The truly successful prep from the mindset of doing without many things we take for granted that increase their chances of survival.

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Prepping doesn’t have to be about depriving yourself of practically everything. While I fully support and recommend prioritizing what preps you stockpile, I also think you need to go beyond food, medicine, water, and ammo.

This list may seem like a lot, but the good news is that you can buy these things a little at a time. In fact, a lot of them are well under $20.

Parasite and Fungus Kit

In some climates, parasites and fungi are more prolific. During emergencies, they can become more of a problem no matter where you live.

Hookworms and pinworms were a lot more common among kids and adults. Even now, pinworms are common enough in children that they sell the treatment at most any drug store.

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Fungi that cause ringworm, athlete’s foot, and candidiasis thrive in hot and moist environments. Since it can be harder to keep clean during difficult times, these problems arise more often among the general population.

A few years ago, I put together a kit for these problems. Most items on this list can be found either via Amazon or any drug store with a halfway decent selection. Other items have to be purchased via a site that sells animal meds.

I am not a medical professional. Perform your own research. Any of these items that you choose to use is at your own risk. Some of these things are only meant to be used during a very long emergency when no medical help is available.
Parasites

Pyrantel Pamoate – This is often sold as Reece’s Pinworm Treatment. The cost is much higher than buying a large generic bottle of Pyrantel Pamoate. The difference is one is labeled for people, and one is not. The choice is up to you. I keep some of both because we have many animals that need to stay parasite free too.

Tapeworm Medication – This is something that you should never take unless you are sure someone has a tapeworm or if you have tried Pyrantel Pamoate and it did not work.

Fungus

Lotrimin Cream or a generic equivalent of Clotrizamapole Ointment – the label says it’s for jock itch, but you’ll be surprised how useful it is for keeping your feet and toenails healthy.

Yeast Infection Treatments – This cream can be used to treat athlete’s foot, jock itch, or any candida surface infection.

Diflucan Tablets – This is the same drug that doctors prescribe for yeast infections, particularly ones that don’t go away with creams and suppositories. I hate taking these, but they work when no other treatment will. They make me feel dizzy and out of it, so I make sure to take them before going to bed.

Hygiene and Bathroom Needs

It is a lot more exciting to stock up on food and ammo than it is to think about washing your face and brushing your teeth. The truth is that during a long emergency, hygiene matters a lot. Even if you have antibiotics, you don't want to use them unless you have to. Good hygiene prevents serious infection, illness, and long-lasting disease.

Fact is, before our modern times and readily available drugs, simple problems like a tooth infection killed people.

Here is a shortlist of items that you should have on hand. Most of these are items that you use all the time anyway, so you’ll have plenty of reasons to use them in the future.

  • Toothbrushes
  • Toothpaste
  • Inexpensive wash clothes. Some microfiber cloths are nice because they dry out fast.
  • Wet Wipes or Baby Wipes. A few of these are nice, but don’t go overboard and try to store thousands.
  • Soap that everyone can use. Dr. Bronnor’s Baby Castille is a good choice if you have family members with sensitive skin. The Peppermint version or Tea Tree are nice because each has extra antibacterial properties. I used the Peppermint version as a flea and tick shampoo for pets too.
  • Feminine Hygiene Products

Clothing

Socks

It is hard to have too many socks. A few packs of inexpensive athletic socks and a few more specialized selections, like wool socks, are recommended. We buy the big packs of cotton crew socks that fit a wide range of sizes. Over the last few years, a lot of brands have started producing polyester socks or blends, so if you want pure cotton be sure to look closely at descriptions. Synthetics and wool have their advantages if you are concerned about them getting wet under cold conditions.

If you know anyone that served in the military, specifically an infantry unit, they will tell you dry socks and dry feet are critical to survival. Constantly wet or sweaty feet can lead to extreme pain and worse. Consider keeping some foot powder on hand too.

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Shoes

It always surprises me how many people do not have shoes appropriate for manual labor or walking more than a short distance. Living on a farm means we have to have boots that can take a beating and have a good tread to avoid falls. I watch out for sales and Amazon Warehouse deals. I always stay at least one pair of boots ahead. Having a new pair put away makes a lot of sense and helps hedge against price increases to some degree.

Even if you live in sandals a lot of the year, you should at least keep a pair of hot weather military-style boots or hiking boots just in case.

If you have kids, then buy a size or two anticipating their growth spurts, and store them. You can always adjust the size of adult or kid shoes somewhat by keeping some insoles on hand.

Other clothing:

  • Packs of inexpensive t-shirts
  • Several pairs of blue jeans (Before COVID, I shopped at Goodwill. I still use those same jeans. I could buy them for around $6 each, and they last for years.
  • Rain gear
  • Clothing appropriate for your region. Extra warm undergarments in colder regions, for example.

Shoe Repair and Maintenance Supplies

Getting the longest life out of shoes may become more important during hard times. Here is what you need for a basic shoe kit.
  • Shoe Goo
  • Mink Oil
  • Sno Seal
  • Brush and Rags
  • Extra shoe and boot laces in various lengths

Entertainment and Morale Supplies

It sure is easy to get caught up with all the essentials when prepping and forget to take care of your mental health.

Everyone needs something to stay entertained to take the edge off once in a while. Books, craft supplies, SD cards with music and a method to play them, like an e-reader, are all examples of things that can help you keep a more positive mindset during uncertain times.

Those with children need to consider their entertainment needs and mental health too. A small treat or toy can make a big difference during a bad situation. I suggest everyone keep a plastic tote filled with “morale supplies.” Let kids and teens have some say in what goes in it, but consider a few surprises too!

Communication and Information

  • Shortwave or HAM Radios
  • Walkie Talkies
  • Emergency Radios
  • Paper
  • Pens
  • Pencils
A ham operator’s license requires some studying, but it is fairly easy to get. Even kids have passed ham radio exams. There are different levels of certifications depending on what you want to do. Of course, during a long emergency, it is unlikely anyone will enforce licensing laws.

Walkie Talkie radios are good to have as well. If you have a larger property, they can be great for communication between family members. No license is required, and you can buy them in quantity for a good price.

Do not scoff at some good old-fashioned paper, pens, and pencils for jotting down notes and making lists. If you are like me and enjoy writing, these supplies can double as entertainment.

Small Battery Banks

Keeping small devices like cell phones, e-readers, and tablets is fairly easy with small battery banks. Jackery is a brand I use, but there are a ton of generic brands that are fine too.

Power Centers

Even just a little backup power can make a big difference. Power centers have become a lot more affordable and lightweight. Older people living on their own can benefit from a small lithium battery power center rather than the heavier lead-acid versions.

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I have featured Jackery power centers in the past. I support this brand because we have used them for years with zero problems, and they have an excellent warranty.

Solar Panels

Solar panels come in many sizes and weights. Portable, lightweight panels used to be very expensive. Now you can get panels that weigh just a few pounds and offer hundreds of watts of power generation. Folding panels are great for those that are short on storage space too.

Extra Chargers and Cables

USB cables and chargers may seem plentiful now, but that should not stop you from stashing a few.

Batteries

Rechargeable batteries do not last forever. They only have so many cycles in them. Over the years, we learned not all rechargeables are the same. Tenergy seems to be the most reliable when it comes to holding a charge.

I also suggest having some non-rechargeables. Sometimes it is nice to have batteries with a full capacity that won’t lose a charge if left in a flashlight or other device.

Animal Feed and Pet Supplies

A lot of people keep a month’s worth of food for themselves, but overlook putting back food and supplies for their pets or livestock. I am not saying these folks don't care about their animals, it’s just not top-of-mind. The most likely scenario is that people will share their food with their pets, because the four-legged friends are part of the family. This means the human food runs out faster.

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If you are short on space and just have a cat or a small dog or two, you can buy freeze-dried pet foods with a very long shelf life. They don’t take up much space at all. This is not necessarily a good idea for people with large dogs or a lot of them because of the high cost.

During the pandemic, even those with a lot of financial resources had difficulty finding pet foods at times.

Some dog food keeps better than others. Fancy dog foods that lack preservatives and those that are grain-free do not have the shelf life of less expensive foods. Unless your pet is very sensitive, you may want several types of dog food. If you feed fancy formulas, then put back a few months’ worth, and then keep some with better shelf life for longer emergencies. Purina Dog Chow is an example of a brand that is not fancy and keeps well. Diamond Naturals has an excellent shelf life when stored in the plastic bag it comes in. It is corn, soy, and wheat-free.

Rice and beans also stretch out your dog food supply. Consider storing a few extra bags of pintos and rice for man’s best friend.

Don’t forget flea and tick medications. Permethrin concentrate is shelf-stable and can be mixed into a spray for use on pets and livestock. Pyrethrin is the organic equivalent.

Non-Lethal Weapons

If you can avoid using lethal force, it is usually for the best. The term nonlethal refers to weapons that have a lower risk of killing someone. Though they can be fatal if used with enough force or used on someone with an underlying medical condition. Less than lethal is a more accurate term but not the term that is typically used.
  • Pepper Spray or Gel
  • Tasers
  • Bludgeons like a baseball bat, club or a hammer

Tools

The type of tools you need depends on your situation, but everyone should have a basic household tool kit. You can purchase an all-in-one kit for most basic repairs. I highly suggest adding a cordless drill as well.

If you put together your own basic kit, I recommend the following tools at the bare minimum:

  • Hammer
  • Phillips and flathead screwdrivers
  • Metric and standard sockets and socket wrench
  • Cordless drill and batteries
  • Allen head wrench set
Farm and Garden Hand Tools

I realize that some live in more urban settings where they cannot store nor have the need for a lot of farm tools. At the same time, a good entrenching or folding shovel is recommended. If you live in a rural or semi-rural setting, then you should consider a more extensive selection:

  • Shovel
  • Hoe
  • Rake
  • Smaller gardening tools such as a trowel and hand rake.
What other preps do you think get overlooked?

 

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://peakprosperity.com/most-overlooked-preps-for-long-emergencies/

2 inch spring clamps, bar clamps, rope and cable, a “come-along” or ratchet tensioner, all good things to have if a tornado tears off half your roof.

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After 2020’s toilet paper shortage I found an alternative, just in case.
Amazon.com: In My Bathroom | BUTT BUDDY Go - Portable Handheld Bidet & Fresh Water Bottle Sprayer (Perfect for Home, Travel, Outdoors | Retractable Nozzle, Soft-Squeeze Plastic, Large Volume | Carry Bag Included) : Baby

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Zip ties!
can never have enough of these… and the big ones can be used as hand cuffs if needed to detain someone…

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Based upon that list, I am pretty well set. The only thing that I don’t have is a heavy duty back up battery.

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Rechargeable batteries do not last forever
Edison nickel-iron cells do. I am led to believe that some of the nickel-iron cells built in Edison's time as traction batteries still work. They have the further advantage in that they are considered "old fashioned" and not valued. It is true that one wouldn't use them to power a mono-wheel, but to my mind they are ideal for bulk power. Another advantage is that you shouldn't put a solar controller between them and your solar panels. The loaded voltage of solar panels is 17V. And the12V Ni-Fe battery set's ideal voltage is 17V. Just put a fuse in the circuit and you are good to go. Tesla's Powerwall and their ilk might have a "Modern" cachet, but they develop bridges between their cathode and anodes. Unless you are up to speed with electronic repair, I would avoid them. Way too complicated.
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My top long term preps: pain meds (and other medicine, vitamins, and supplements), a first aid kit, guns and ammo, a water filter, rice and beans, an electric bicycle, cash, Bitcoin, fire starter, extra clothes and shoes, toiletries, batteries, solar panels, a manual generator, gas generator, oil and oil filters, natural gas, a wood stove, an axe, electric generator, syphon kit, flashlights, tools, extension cords, books, backup electronics, a gate, metal barred windows, and a plan.
If I could only choose one item it would be guns and ammo.

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Alkaline batteries are not created equal. Duracell are the worst brand on the market when it comes to leaking. Cheap Chinese generic cells are better.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sH6GqGOOoVw
“you wouldn’t want to put a copper top Duracell in anything that you wouldn’t want to destroy”

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Clearly, the last two years have shown you can never have too much ammunition for your firearms. Prices easily tripled and that’s if you could even get any since shortages were everywhere. Many first time gun buyers since 2020 have barely been able to get 20 or 50 rounds for their first self defense gun. That would not be a good feeling. Prices lately have fallen and availability is rising but we’re not out of the woods or back to “normal” yet.
How much ammunition should you have? That’s highly debatable but perhaps you should have enough for training purposes for two years plus the ammunition you’d actually need in a “crisis.” Defining that requires you define “training” and “crisis.” One hundred (100) rounds per month of training ammunition seems to me like a decent baseline for someone who is not employed in a job requiring carrying a firearm daily. So that would be at least 2,400 rounds of training ammunition per person per gun (for two years). Carry ammunition would vary a lot by type of gun (handgun, shotgun, or rifle) and your definition of “crisis” (foreign invasion, civil war, crime in a near collapse of the rule of law, high crime like in some places even today).
You are not likely to fire many rounds of handgun ammunition in a foreign invasion or civil war. Those crises require a rifle; a handgun is nearly useless. You are also unlikely to survive many close range life threatening situations with a handgun. How many times can you prevail in gun fights at ranges of three to 75 feet before someone gets you, no matter how skilled you are? Five or ten? Most self defense shootings require firing 3 rounds or less, so you might do well for two years to have a mere 100-200 rounds of the high performance handgun ammunition you normally carry.
Rifle ammunition needs in a foreign invasion, civil war or societal collapse scenario would be nearly infinite, as long as you didn’t get killed before you could use them or share them with others on your side. The sky’s the limit. For home and personal defense very few rounds would be needed to fire, though you’d always want to have available four 30-round magazines just in case (120 rounds of carry ammunition). That would be a minimal amount to carry into each rifle vs. rifle encounter. Training ammunition fired out of a high velocity rifle in a pinch would make a decent substitute for expensive top of the line carry ammunition.
The shotgun is for close encounters: buckshot out to about 75 feet and slugs out to about 100 yards. Again, just like handguns, how many of those life threatening relatively close range encounters could you be expected to win and live through? Five or ten? How many rounds would you need to win those encounters? Five or ten each? Remember: the main cause of reloading is missing.
None of these calculations include needs for hunting to provide food in a crisis. That’s a separate issue I won’t attempt to address since I’m not a hunter. However, I do have thousands of rounds of .22LR for small game and hundreds of rounds of 30.06 for deer and such. Just in case. You never know.
So here are my suggested ammunition stockpiles for each type of weapon and each type of use in order to survive a two year crisis of unknown dimensions. These numbers are for each weapon and each person so armed. YMMV.
Handgun training: 2,400 rounds.
Handgun carry: 200 rounds.
Rifle training: 2,400 rounds.
Rifle carry: 120 rounds per battle.
Shotgun training: 1,200 rounds.
Shotgun carry: 120 rounds (split 60/60 between slug and buckshot).
All that being said, I personally entered the dark year of 2020 with considerably more ammunition than that listed above. I have plenty to use for training and self defense carry, and have had enough to give and sell to friends and family. The skyrocketing prices and spotty availability have had no impact on me. I have slept soundly without having to shop around to fill gaps in my supplies. Currently, I’m waiting for prices to get back to “normal” before replenishing what I’ve used for training. However, if President Brandon does something to stimulate another buying frenzy I’ll just replenish without waiting.
“Happy Hunger Games! And may the odds be ever in your favor.”

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Arthur,
Back in 1968, Nicholas, the largest wine dealer in France, converted all of its electric fork trucks from Lead-Acid to Ni-Fe batteries. I know because I was responsible for adapting the electronic speed controllers to operate with a terminal voltage that varied with charge level. If those fork trucks are still running, I imagine they are operating with the same batteries. Low tech, but eternal.

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I couldn’t agree more with thc0655. His estimates and reasoning are spot-on.
“A handgun is nothing but a tool to help you fight your way back to your rifle”
Nobody is going to survive multiple handgun gunfights. You are simply not that good.
On the other hand, a skilled sniper or rifleman can survive many battles and consequently needs more ammo.
All I can add to thc0655 analysis is that your defensive weapons should ideally be chambered in common calibers. Standard NATO ammo is 5.56 x 45 (.223 Rem), 7.62 x 51 (.308 Win), and 9mm Luger. These will always be available to be recovered from deceased enemy combatants.
Reloading is a valuable skill which can recycle cartridge cases many times. So stocking up on powder, primers and bullets can make more sense than buying commercial ammo. Not to mention that reloaded ammo is often more accurate that the commercial stuff.

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Good luck finding primers…

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Youve got to have seeds to grow food. Gardens dont work without them. Seed saving is an important practice that everyone should be doing right now.
Beyond that, and since THC already mentioned ammo, I’d suggest a broad fork. Turning over a new garden plot without a motorized tiller is balls. If youve ever done it the old fashioned way with a spade and hoe, you know what I mean. The only manual solution that I have ever found is a good broad fork, which is like a manual tiller. The best ones are made by a company called “Treadlite”, get the one with the steel handle. An indispensable tool for the food growing survivor.

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A good book is seed savers. Make sure the seeds are not hybrids…never know what you will get.

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Add to that list ear plugs and a scope in case your not that skilled in shooting. and if you like dogs…they are good at knowing who is around and can tell if someone entered your house when you were out…

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I have recently purchased a year or two worth of vehicle maintenance items like oil filter, oil, antifreeze and break fluid. I also plan on collecting break pads. My husband is a mechanic and can do the maintenance, but only if the supplies are available.
 

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I luurve, the sensuous, if not Sexual pulsing of a Belgian 7.62 SLR, the Taker of Life.
However, reality check. The dear thing is too high-tech. Consider the Fenris. Here, let Joerg Sprave show you it’s features.
https://youtu.be/BF_OuEba3a4

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An extra set of strings.

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A bow saw is a necessity for cutting firewood when gas for chainsaws is unavailable. A large one will fell a tree of significant diameter. A splitting axe or maul and wedges too.
butane lighters and matches.
also some more primitive fire starting technology, like flint and steel, and some practice with it. Not having fire is no way to live.
I picked up an old school drill, the manual kind, at an antique store for less than ten dollars—about five years ago. An old Stanley planer too.
on footwear, really good boots—once the norm and now either rare or stupid pricey—are a must. I got some Redwing Iron Rangers and they have impressed me a lot after three years of HEAVY use and one re-sole. Problem is they aren’t a true Goodyear welt. A local boot repair will have difficulty working on them when the sole wears out. I looked at Thursday Boots, and they have a model similar to Iron Ranger but I think it has a true Goodyear welt. These boots, being made like they were over a century ago, can be re-soled multiple times and last perhaps a decade—if properly cared for.
Beeswax! Have beeswax to make waterproofing for footwear and other things. Find a bee keeper and buy the comb and process it yourself. Cheaper by far.
Plenty of rope of various diameters—and get a good book on knotting and splicing. Good to have a block and tackle outfit. At least a couple of pulleys.
A grain mill. I got a Victoria grinding mill for about $42. Tin-plated cast iron. Made in Colombia. Totally pleased. Not super fine—sifting after triple-grinding will make good enough bread flour. I’ve ground brown rice as a hot cereal. Good stuff.
Corn at the feed store is $11/50lbs. Recleaned corn, whatever that means. But it will make the base for dog food. You can grind it coarse and add meat scraps, eggs, sweet potatoes, assorted veggie discards, slaughter byproducts, and some vitamins—and keep your beloved frontline patrol well fed. I figure the corn will make decent cornbread as well.
I bought several cases of hard red wheat from the LDS (Mormon) Store. Shelf life of 30 years. $36/case—6 cans #10 size. 5.5lbs/can.
Veterinary Betadine is available at feed stores.
Duct tape.
A car’s alternator mounted on a plank and turned with a belt connecting it to a bicycle’s rear rim will produce twelve volts.
A colloidal silver generator—a must. Especially in this bio-warfare thing we’re living. And a nebulizer to get silver to the lungs. Need distilled water and maybe a still to make your own.
A good air rifle. Cheap to shoot. Quiet. Accurate. Small game getter. Squirrels may NOT eat my figs nor rabbits my peas. Also drives off larger nuisance wildlife non-lethally.
Tarps. Heavy duty ones. And para cord.
Rat poison—and a device to put it in so your pets won’t get into it.
Roach traps.
Bifenthrin for bug control. Even against termites. An infestation of mites or insects can make a house unlivable. Again, at the feed store. There are also some new innovations in mosquito control there last time I went. That’s a big deal.
Ok. That’s my two cents worth.
Wishing you all success.

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I have some experience in life without societal support from my past as an offshore cruiser (42" sailboat, trans-Pacific, three crew.) We did an extensive amount of planning beforehand but I learned that a few surprising items were essential. 1) an effective soap. Everyone used Dawn but I have since switched to Castille. 2) an effective toolkit. Find simple tools that are stainless and dont need power. If you can"t find what you need in stainless, then keep them oiled. 3) Betadine. Never leave home (or shore) without it. We had carried an emergency kit of expensive topical antibiotics and nothing worked as well as Betadine. 3) a sewing machine. I bought a simple 1950’s model that would either work with power or a hand crank. Not only could I make repairs but I could adapt and create whatever we needed to wear.

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