I’ve no doubt you’ve already put together an impressive stockpile of gear, but after reflecting on the last 12 months with our survival group, we got together over the weekend for a bit of a debrief. And what came up was pretty shocking. We’d tasked each member to consider three extra things they were missing from their preps, and as we ran through what each of us believe we could have been better prepared for, I wanted to share the findings with you. Because now’s the perfect time to add these items to your preps.
More backup fuel
Once a crisis hits you’re not going to be able to fill up at your local gas station. Because every man and his dog will be there doing the exact same thing. It’ll waste precious time you might need to evacuate, and that’s if you’re able to get any in the first place. It’s better to keep and store at least 2 to 3 months’ worth of fuel on your property. Or better yet, invest in a large fuel storage tank and keep it filled so you can last for months and months.
More canning equipment
It’s only this last year we’ve taken canning seriously, but having the supplies on hand for each new season is a must. The glasses are tough and shouldn’t break if you’re careful, but I’ve noticed more and more of our lids needing replacement. If you’re hoping to can and store your own produce, make sure you’ve got more than enough canning equipment to last you throughout a longer-term crisis without needing to buy more.
More powdered milk
Now I’m a big fan of fresh milk, but powdered milk is a shelf-stable option that usually packs a best-by date about 12 to 18 months out. But according to the USDA, they say you can store sealed powdered milk indefinitely, and that it’s probably still good for 2 to 10 years after the best-by date. Using it in everything from cooking to your coffee, having more powdered milk on hand is definitely a good thing.
More toilet paper
Despite the humor of the situation, the toilet paper shortages earlier in the year highlight a key concern in society. Normal people simply aren’t prepared. Stock up on the key items you believe you’ll need now, and also consider viable alternatives if it’s not possible again to find a commodity like toilet paper. We recently installed a water bidet in the bathroom, and while it took some getting used to, we’re no longer concerned with our toilet paper supply.
More kid’s entertainment
If you’ve got children you’ve probably faced this at some point in the last year. When everyone is home, out of school, and there’s nothing to do, kids get bored fast. Think about activities, toys, projects, games and anything else that may help to keep them stimulated. Since the pandemic we’ve bought books on science experiments, musical instruments, and cupboard after cupboard of paints and craft supplies to keep them occupied.
More do-it-yourself supplies
When a quick run to the hardware store isn’t an option, consider if you’ve got enough tools, equipment and materials on hand for your home and any future projects. You may not have the means to repair say your roof if a branch has broken through, but you can certainly patch up the hole if you’ve got tarps and plywood on hand. Oh, and make sure you’ve got old-school manual tools too, not just the electric. You may not have the power to run them.
More books and guides
We’ve not yet had a crisis that’s knocked out the internet, but if 2020 taught us anything it’s the importance of being prepared. Stocking up on knowledge as you build your survival library is a good thing, and one that can be done relatively inexpensively if you’re browsing thrift shops and library book sales. Consider guides on do-it-yourself home repairs, plumbing and electronics, and hobbies from making beer to hunting and preserving meat.
More medical supplies
There is a lot under this category, from antibiotics to sanitizing cleaners, but I think it’s important you consider investing in more medical supplies. The hospitals are still overwhelmed, even now, and in the next pandemic who knows how bad it will get. Being able to provide even a basic level of medical treatment at home could mean the difference between life or death, so ensure you’ve got everything you could possibly need, on hand.
More non-electric gear
It sometimes feels like everything in our house is running on power. We’ve been making a conscious effort to cut-back on devices that run on power, replacing everything we can that runs on power. We’ve bought a French Press instead of our electric coffee maker, replaced clocks with pendulum versions, and are using more and more manual kitchen appliances like mixers and grinders when we cook, and even a vintage sewing machine.
More splurge items
Finally, and it should go without saying but it’s important you’re considering your well-being during a crisis. The last pandemic saw spikes in depression, anxiety and fear. Being able to treat yourself when you need a quick pick-me-up is smart too. I’ve got many vices, but having things like whiskey, chocolate and other treats and candies on hand are a welcome boost when all you’ve been eating is rice and beans. It’s ok to splurge during a crisis. Oh, and remember to stock up on ammo, and ways to keep your firearms in close reach, just in case you ever need to defend yourself - you'll want your gun at your fingertips.
Looking back over what was missing from our preps, it’s clear we’ve got a little work to do to include a few more things that we hadn’t fully considered we’d need in a real crisis. It’s no mistake we didn’t have this sorted the first-time round, the key is to learn from the practical experience we’ve just made it through, and be better prepared for next time. What is it that your stockpile needs?