If you’re a prepper, you know it’s important to prep for multiple scenarios. You should definitely have a bug-out bag ready to go if you need to leave your home, and you should always have proper survival gear if you’re out in the wilderness. But prepping for being stuck at home is just as important, and may be more likely than other emergency situations.
In a pandemic, natural disaster, an extended power outage or beyond, it’s important to have the supplies you need to survive if you have to hunker down. It’s widely known that stockpiling at least a decent amount of non-perishable food is a good idea, but what else should you include in your stockpile?
This list is for all non-food items that you’d need a decent amount stored up to truly be prepared. Here’s a list of non-food essentials you should keep in bulk supply:
- Water: In any form (or multiple ones), make sure you have extra water. Bottles, gallons — even water filters. Keep several water filters just in case.
- Medicine: This goes across the board for any type of medicine, but make sure you have extra pain relievers, decongestants, cough drops, flu medicine, and more. If you predict an emergency is coming in advance, try to get several months worth of any prescription medication as well.
- Paper products: This includes anything disposable you may use. Toilet paper, paper towels, paper plates, and actual paper to write on or use for fires. Make sure you have lots.
- Pet food/products: It’s not just you who needs supplies to be prepared! Keep an extra few months of pet food, kitty litter or bedding, and various medications your pet may need. They’re family too.
- Feminine products: If forgotten about, this would make for a very terrible length of time. Yes, you could likely make do, but don’t underestimate how quickly you can go through your hygiene products. Remember to plan accordingly if you have multiple people to consider.
- Alcohol: Not only would some extra alcohol lying around help pass the time or possibly ease some stress, but it can also be used for lots of other purposes. Make your own hand sanitizer or disinfectant or even use it to numb the pain if you’re injured and need some sort of homemade medical attention. If anything, you can always use it as a tradable good, too.
- Batteries: Most people have a battery drawer already, but make sure to stock up on various kinds so you can power all sorts of useful gadgets or tools you may have.
- Fire starters/fuel: It’s good to have various options here, just in case. We’d recommend some staples like propane for a camping stove, BIC lighters, lighter fluid, tinder, wood, and charcoal. Fire is a necessity if you’re without power, both for heat and for cooking. Get enough supplies and options to feel comfortable if one way doesn’t end up working or malfunctions for some reason.
- Candles and flashlights: The long-lasting candles are what you’d want. And really, any form of light is worth stocking up on. That means candles, flashlights, or even lanterns.
- Baby products: Don’t forget to stock lots of diapers or invest in some reusable cloth ones instead. Any sort of baby food or formula is also a necessity.
- Cleaner/disinfectant: Anything you’d need to sanitize surfaces and keep yourself from getting sick, you want. And one usually just won’t do. You need cleaners and disinfectants in bulk, including wipes, sprays, and bleach.
- Seeds: In the slight chance that our society collapses and grocery stores are closed indefinitely, you should have a variety of seeds to start a garden. Your stockpile will only get you so far, so having a source of food is a necessity. Read our previous article on why heirloom seeds are best for more information.
- Soap: It’s obvious that everything should be cleaned, not just your surfaces. Including a bulk supply of soap for hand washing and showering, dish soap, and laundry soap/detergent is a must.
- Tarps: Tarps can be a multi-purpose tool for lots of situations. They’re waterproof, they can help hold things together, and they can help transport individuals or objects.
- Duct tape and hardware: Having a variety of hardware is definitely of importance. If you’re faced with a leak or repair, you’ll likely have to address it yourself. Stocking up on things like duct tape, nails, screws, and more makes it more likely you’ll be able to fix the smaller problems yourself. While most of us don’t have bigger, professional equipment or resources, having enough of the basics can help you get by. You probably won’t need tools themselves in bulk, but the hardware? Definitely.
If you make sure to have these essentials in your stockpile, you’ll be much more prepared for a survival scenario. A stockpile will be the difference between struggling to survive and being able to provide for yourself when you’re unable to rely on outside help or resources.
While this list is a great starter for bulk supplies (or supplies you’ll at least need multiples of), don’t forget to stockpile single items you might need along with an adequate supply of food.