Given the state of the world in 2021, with supply chains in disarray and an uncertainty of what the future holds, preparing for the worst-case scenario appears prudent.
In addition to food and supplies that everyone should be prepping, having a Bug Out Bag that can be quickly picked up on the way out the door during a SHTF scenario is common sense.
When packing a Bug Out Bag, consider what food and supplies are necessary for 48 hours in a survival situation. Obtaining the survival gear can be as simple as stocking up on basic, multipurpose items from The Dollar Tree.
The Dollar Tree has everything required for basic preparation, all within a limited budget. In all reality, there is no reason to buy an overpriced Bug Out Bag created by “survival experts” that has all the bells and whistles when something simple will do.
The Dollar Tree has all the essential survival gear like emergency supplies, canned food, necessary electronics like flashlights, and water. So grab your soon-to-be Bug Out Bag, or if in a pinch, buy a backpack at The Dollar Tree and fill it with survival gear that offers mobile preparedness.
Dollar Tree Emergency Supplies
The Dollar Tree has an emergency supply section that has basic survival gear. Some of the inventory includes plastic bottles of water, toilet paper, canned food, a can opener, paracord, lighters, candles, flashlights, batteries, tools, first aid kits, hand sanitizer, large trash bags, hygiene products, bleach, and pet food.
Water supplies are often the most overlooked aspect of preparedness. Since water is required to remain hydrated, necessary for cooking, and for cleaning, stocking up on plastic bottles of water is a no-brainer. A Bug Out Bag also should have a bottle of water at a minimum, although any more than that becomes too heavy to carry.
Related: Does Water Really Expire?
Anyone in a survival situation will have to find a clean water source and should add a small bottle of bleach into their Bug Out Bag to treat any water they come across if they don’t have the opportunity to start a fire and boil water. Somewhere between 8 drops of bleach per gallon of clear water and 16 drops of bleach per gallon of cloudy water is enough to purify water if left to sit for 30 minutes.
While bleach sterilization is great in a pinch, boiled water is the best water purifying option so buy a small metal pot that can be used to boil water and cook food.
A roll of toilet paper and hygiene products like a toothbrush, floss, toothpaste, soap, and deodorant are nice to have in a backpack as they don’t take up too much space.
Floss can serve a number of use cases, like doubling as a fishing line.
Canned Food Items
A large stock of canned food items is the mainstay of any serious prepper, along with dry food like rice and beans that can be stored for years.
Sealed bags of crackers, pistachios, cashews, almonds, and peanuts are great sources of quick, healthy calories.
In a Bug Out Bag, a couple of cans of tuna, crackers, and packets of nuts provide the necessary protein during a SHTF scenario.
Pet owners also have to consider packing enough pet food to keep their companions happy.
A source of fire is absolutely essential during a survival situation so including lighters, matches, and candles into a Bug Out Bag ensures that starting a fire won’t be overly difficult.
Related: How to Make Firebricks and Wood Stove Logs for Free!
Additionally, stock up on a small bottle of alcohol-based hand sanitizer or vaseline and cotton balls to create vaseline glazed cotton balls that can serve as a fire starter.
Although out of stock at the moment, likely due to unprecedented demand from preppers, the Fancy Heat Canned Fuel is the simplest way to cook on the go.
This is a necessary item to include in a backpack, as it has so many potential uses. Paracord is essential in securing survival shelters, setting up animal traps, and scaling dangerous terrain.
First Aid Kit
The Dollar Tree offers a First Aid Kit that is small enough to fit into a Bug Out Bag and will be handy if needed.
The First Aid Kit includes bandages, antibiotic ointment, rubbing alcohol, cotton swabs, pain relief medication, medical tape, and gauze pads.
Also, consider adding Hydrocortisone cream to the First Aid Kit.
Related: DIY Dollar Store First Aid Kit
Basic tools like pliers, knives, a flashlight, and batteries can all be found at The Dollar Tree and should be incorporated into a backpack.
In addition to a fixed blade knife, The Dollar Tree also offers both 8-in-1 and 4-in-1 pocket knives.
The 8-in-1 pocket knife has a scissors, knife, Phillips screwdriver, can opener, bottle opener, nail file, flat screwdriver, and a corkscrew.
Also, include an X-Acto knife, available at The Dollar Tree, as it offers an infinite number of use cases.
Ponchos and Large Trash Bags
Ponchos and large trash bags take up very little space, but have so many use cases during a survival situation, like doubling as a tarp for a survival shelter and keeping a Bug Out Bag dry when it is raining.
Being prepared for the weather, whatever it may bring makes a survival situation bearable, even in the worst conditions. Since winter is near, add winter clothes like hats and gloves, as hyperthermia is a threat when in the wilderness.
Last but not least, stock up on duct tape from The Dollar Tree, as it ensures that one can do almost anything, in any situation, if they have a roll of duct tape handy. In order to fit duct tape into the bag, roll out a copious amount over an empty roll of toilet paper and flatten it out.
Being prepared is more of a mindset than anything else. While it takes a trained eye to visualize everyday items as survival gear, anyone can be prepared for a survival situation even if they are on a limited budget.
With the ominous start to the decade, many people are waking up to the reality where basic preparation doesn’t seem like a fringe movement, but rather the only logical way forward.
At the most basic level, buying $1 survival gear from The Dollar Tree is simply smart preparation that could save your life.
You may also like:
How To Camouflage Yourself In A Survival Situation
10 Medical Supplies You Need To Stockpile Before It’s Too Late (Video)
How To Prepare Your Car In Case You Have To Live In It
10 Cast Iron Cooking Mistakes You Need To Stop Making Right Now
Have you ever given thought why products that are more expensive at other stores are “cheaper” at the Dollar Store?
Lately the phrase is “Maff is Raycesst” but bear with me here please.
Smaller cans, close to expiring foods that real stores will not carry, watered down dish soaps and such. USED to be Excess Stock from bigger stores but the Sock Puppets “Supply Chain Disruptions” seems to have “Cured” that.
Also SHOP AROUND. More often than not I can buy better canned foods and MORE Bandages (for example) for the same price once you figure out HOW MANY Band-Aids (and their sizes) per dollar spent. Duct Tape that doesn’t stick well isn’t a GOOD Deal at a dollar a tiny roll. Just saying.
Items that fail to meet Walmart’s standards get repacked and sent here. Yes, Walmart has standards and is quite ruthless to suppliers that fail them. Not the best quality but to Walmart standards.
Now if I was somehow trapped in a Blue City going crazy I would try to go first to Walmart to get my Aweshit gear, then maybe Dollar store as I attempted to get home.
Anybody interested in my get home aweshit shopping list?
I agree that most of the things on this list would fail you as soon as ya tried to use it. I do think the floss and tooth brushes are ok in an emergency . At my dollar tree, ya have to look at ALL labels of canned foods. Most are from China. Caveat emptor.
Make your own medical kit, it will be miles ahead of what ya woild buy already assembled, I believe.
I’m interested in the Aweshit list.
I don’t disagree Michael, however, if we look, read, pay attention there are some good deals. Of course the Dollar Store prices there inventory as it does for a reason. A lot of non-perishable i.e. Tupperware and Rubbermaid containers, cheap but usable cooking utensils, paper plates are a bargain but I wouldn’t get food, paper towels or dish soap. The dish soap is worthless. Buyers always need to be aware… sometimes though much more aware.
Why not paper towels? Just wondering….I find them really useful in quick floor cleanups….
Rm p, paper towels are ok i just found i use at least twice as many as some other brands. Perhaps the price makes up for that.
I have been using their dish soap for many years. It is thick and works perfectly. I even water it down considerably to make it last further. So, I don’t understand your putdown of their dish soap. Maybe your particular store sells a different brand. Mine is called Ultra Dluxe or Oxy-Ultra Deluxe. I also use their LA’s Totally Awesome laundry detergent very succesfully.
I agree with you on much of that. I shop Dollar Tree occasionally but find that what you are getting for the dollar is not always a bargain. I compare the cost per unit with other stores. When you break it down to cost per oz or each you do find that other stores like Costco, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Target, etc are cheaper. The quality of what you are getting is important to look at.too. Some things are fine from the Tree. Check Target and Walmart Clearance displays to find discounted items. Best advice is comparison shop to make sure you are getting the best deal and good quality. On food items buy one and try it. If it tastes good then buy more. I hate to buy a bunch of canned goods only to find that it is nearly impossible to choke down the contents. Check out local auctions for opportunities to pick up bargains. I picked up a $499 Cold Steel knife, new in the box, for $15. Auctions are also a good place to find camping gear and tools for bargain prices. When at auctions know the value of what you are bidding on so you don’t get lost in the bidding and spend too much.
Well, maybe and maybe not! I have shopped DT for years and find it remarkably good stuff if you watch the expiration dates, check the country of mfg, and do the math on cost vs quantity. Most of the items, food and drug related, in your so called #1 store brands, come from all over the face of the Earth. So to say that DT is no good or down play its value to Preppers of their merchandise is totally relevant to the many the persons knowledge and background shopping there. Check the product descriptions, Bleach, butane lighters, rope, all sorts of aluminum kitchen goods, and so much more that are #1 goods equal to any other store you can find. You just have to be smart and buy what you need to fill a gap in your supply stash.
I agree, many of these items can be found elsewhere for less; people simply have no idea what they pay for stuff. There are still some values to be had at the $1.25 Tree. 😀
Damn, I like that!
In all honesty, this would be a last resort option. I would not otherwise bet my life on anything iffy from any big box store be it a 99 Cents, Walmart or a Dollar Store. It is always best to search out the best and buy the best what one can afford. Save up if you need to make a vital purchase. That way, you are not only familiar with the parameters of the tools with which you are working, but experiencing less distress! There is a good reason why there is no Walmart here in the city. Most people are too smart to buy there when there are so many other better options available to them!
I suppose if you’re on a limited income this might be a ok starter store…. Or making smaller Get home Bag items.. I was Leary and heard horror stories of the motor oils they have.
Maybe Gunny Hiway will come and tell us more about how he works at one after his lengthy stay in the Marine core.
MadFab step 1. What is the situation? How far from home OR a trusted safe place? Weather? Snow vs rain vs flooding all present different issues. What do you have in your possession?
Ask those folks trapped on I95 during that Snow Storm. BTW NOT A SURPRISE, known Storm.
I WONDER if anyone in that trapped group LEARNED anything, like maybe a bag with a set of seasonal clothes and shoes? Maybe a blanket, some bags of nuts, maybe bottle or 3 of water? Even maybe keeping the cars gas tank over 3/4 full?
Just how far into SHTF are you? Burn Loot Murder at your hotel? Is the power still on? Credit card still works for now?
Do you have transportation? Is your shoes and clothes suitable for the trip? Are YOU healthy enough for the effort? Do you have a map?
So far I’ve pointed out several factors YOU CAN control.
If you drove to this place you had options you could have for an emergency bugout. If you flew the TSA really limited you aweshit planning.
For example because of a family emergency I had to drive through Boston. I was not happy about being more than a days ride with my folding bike from home. I was even less happy about being in a self defense limited state AND city. I had maps so I could reroute around bad areas, water and water filter, camouflage shelter and such to get home. A quiet exit if my ability to drive home was my base plan.
MAPS also gives me driving options if situation makes direct routes unavailable. GPS is nice, cellphone mapping can and often fails away from cities and highways.
Getting long post.
More later if you want.
1/2 tank of fuel is empty in my household and has been for 40 years.
Same here. I drive school bus and we are not allowed to go below half a tank. Half a tank = empty
And sometimes GPS just flat out lies to you. I have related st least two times on this list about a huge lie by GPS on a simple drive from San Bernardino to Blythe, CA. Get on I-10 and drive east, staying on I-10 until you see the sign that say “Blythe City Limits”. GPS would have routed us through Joshua Tree, Yucca Valley and 29 Palms. Most assuredly a roundabout route. Cross country and in rural areas I stick with those old fashions tho ha called maps.
GPS is okay for city driving where most of the time you can find someone who knows how to get from here to there.
LCC: I’ve seen more of town than I like when using it. Mostly, I wait till I’m close to where I need to be, then no sight seeing trips for it to find the route with less traffic. Fuel wise, traffic or not, the more direct, the better. niio
Bing and Google maps steered my family 10 miles away from my house when they came for a visit, GPS likewise. We do not live in the boonies, just off a busy highway near downtown. When my husband was sick, I had to direct EMS to the house by phone (landline).
My car preps are basic but ready for a 72 hour event. Except for water, it gets so damn cold here in Wisconsin that any water you try to keep with you gets frozen within hours of the vehicle not running. Any ideas short of loading it on the way out the door would be appreciated.
Same problem here in MN Rick. I’ve just decided to keep cases of bottled water at the ready. Tossing it in the car takes an extra couple minutes. Not much else we can do.
Yup, I am in northern Maine and laugh every time I see someone post you have to keep water in your car at all times. I can freeze up here from Sept through May sometimes. I keep cases stacked by the back door, and a couple of bottles in the sling bag I carry whenever I leave the house or at least the property. I keep a spare pistol, ammo, Trauma kit, and all sorts of useful things in it, so a couple of water bottles in the side mesh pockets, don’t really add enough weight that the walk to the truck makes a difference, and if I have to carry it for a while it will be worth it.
After 15 yrs of living in MN I would fully agree with “water storage freezing” as a hurdle – so I recommend coming at it from the other direction. In the winters of MN & WI there will 99% probability be snow on the ground or frozen ice on the lakes. I used to carry in my car two metal containers, MULTIPLE fire starting and making materials and water purifying supplies (both pills & bleach). An axe and shovel for harvesting ice. All of which where nonparishable and never froze. You go find the frozen water and make it drinkable! Best of luck!
Brrrr good suggestions but worst case is a no snow frozen situation. Making it a point to carry with you a couple of bottles of water every time you get in the car is better.
BTW I am Not saying not to have a shovel, GI canteen cup. And fire gear for Many reasons (shovel self defense in Boston maybe?).
From Wisconsin too, The frozen bottle could be melted using a pot and a small little heater thing they use for hot dishes.
Not the worst thing to do.
I keep my water and some of my chocolate in a smaller ice chest in my cars.
We certainly don’t get your cold weather here , but we just had some freezing Temps and 16 inches of snow.
Maybe try wrapping individual in newspaper?
Sandi place bottles of water inside coolers helps a lot
I too carry water in a styrofoam ice chest. It ameliorates wide temp swings. Try it. I keep water in 1-liter bottles in the ice chest. It takes longer for more water to freeze.
The only problem you have with frozen water is bursting bottles. If you remove some of the water, it wont matter if the bottle freezes. If it is that cold, you will have the heater going full blast. Put a couple of frozen bottles next to the heater vent that vents to the floor. By the time you are ready to drink you will have enough water thawed (predictive changed thawed to tazed. That might work too) for a drink. More than just two of you, thaw more bottles.
If you are traveling by shank’s mare, have each one in your party put a bottle of frozen water between your shirt and your coat. Steady walking in icy weather will have you warming up and thawing the water shortly.
Experiment put a 500ml bottle of water, a 1 liter bottle and a 2-liter bottle water in your ice chest securely sealed in a plastic bag in case one of them bursts. Leave them in your car wherever you usually store your car on one of the colder night of the year and see how they are in the morning.
If the bottles haven’t burst, you are golden. There is nothing damaged by frozen water and thawing it. It only takes a little creative thinking.
Store an ice pick with your water supplies. Chipped up ice will melt faster than block ice. If you store water in a metal container like an old military canteen, you can use the exhaust manifold to thaw the ice.
I would once more point out that creative thinking is the most important quality to surviving. Saying,”Oh, crap! The water is frozen” and stopping there is not going to assist you in surviving. I would never let a simple, minor annoyance like the possibility of water freezing or getting hot by sitting in my car prevent me from carrying what I consider adequate water supply, especially if bugging out by motor vehicle.
Minnesota too…Howdy neighbor!
Sandi Place bottles of water inside coolers
Mix some sugar and salt into the jug and keep it in a big plastic bag in a Cooly tote.
It is now the 1.25 tree. Soon to have $2 and $5 items. Sooo. That’s over.
I purchased a 3# can of Kirkland brand coffee yesterday at the local Costco for $12.99. Six weeks ago and for sometime precessions great time that same can of coffee was $9.99. That is a 30% price increase. I may be compelled to reuse my coffee grounds.
Make sure you lay them out on a baking sheet in the sun to dry. Nothing like mold in your coffee.
LCC: Old timers used to boil them till nothing was left. Last summer, as soon as I saw they had snow in the cafe tals we stocked up. Coffee, tea, cocoa, and vanilla. Mexico’s groves seem to be fine, but shipping all over now. niio
Use caution when you buy stuff from “Dollar Stores”. Back around 2004, I used to investigate counterfeit products in Southern Ontario, Canada. We mostly worked on fake medications and car and airplane parts, but we went into “dollar stores” and their suppliers a few times. Don’t buy anything electrical from those places – over and over we found incredibly dangerous power bars and extension cords that would catch fire after being plugged in, with fake UL/CSA stickers. In other products, we found toys coated with lead paint, foods labeled as “Product of New Brunswick – inspected by Agriculture Canada” that were actually from the Middle East or China, with labels removed, and new fake ones put on. From talking to my American counterparts, I know the situation in the USA is no different. Paper products are generally safe, but we heard rumours of things like counterfeit chocolate bars, juice, and on and on. Almost all of it from back alley Chinese factories with zero hygiene.
I’ve got a mountain of food, water, and gear put away, and none of it is from a “dollar”-type store. How ironic would it be to survive TEOTWAKI, and then die of poisoning from some cheap canned vegetables while you’re patting yourself on the back for your planning and preparation.
the products are not what you think and the ingredients as artificial as they can get
designed in labs to last and not get old or deteriorate
that s is the cheep product line in dollar tree and wallmart
if you want to live , not get the cancers , illness designed in your food chain
you must research the ingredients and find the best value at the best product
Rule : pay for what you get and you get what you pay for
the fewer the list of ingredients the better value , not the price
learn to add , subtract , multiply , and divide quantities are not real
big containers dont mean more , just deceptive to the eye
remember you become what you eat
chemicals, pills, dirt , garbage etc.
if you read the lables and research the product things are not always written so you understand the lable , just written to get thru the fda or who ever is in charge
does no good to survive just to have all the desease , that is just a waste
live smart , eat smart , do what is the best for your health
remember : doctors are for sick care , not fix or cure
and shots are for feel good , and RMR not your health
FYI, The Dollar Store is now The $1.25 Store.
I read warm clothes…good idea unless it’s July!…Speaking of July if you plan to walk the fringes at Dusk, put bug spray in the bug out bag or at a minimum essential oils that deter the blood sucking mosquitos! I’m not keen on a blood sacrifice nightly 🙂
In addition blood sucking insects too frequently leave you with a bigger souvenir than just a red, itchy, swelling on your skin. Things like encephalitis, dengue fever, West Nile fever, malaria which contrary to scientific medical consensus is caused by a pathogen injected into your bloodstream by the violating mosquito, not bad air as postulated by the majority of leading medical experts. Sorry, I could t avoid that political jibe at Fauci and Friends.
LCC: And filaria maggots. Arizona has 2 types of mosquitoes that do that. Flies bite, too, and can carry a lot. Fleas can carry tape worms. niio
I guess that shows how often I go to Dollar Tree. I had no idea it had become the $1.25 + store. Fortunately, we have been stockpiling foods, medical supplies and other necessary items for some time now, and have them mostly packed in ready-to-go format.
Dollar stores in general are not good bargains. But, some things are fine. Hunts products are usually less than half as in a grocery store. Other things, as well, as long as they’re not made in China. niio
Do not think you are safe with a first aid kit that small! Buy a box of gauze, a few rolls of stretch wrapping gauze, some bandaids in various shapes and sizes including jumbo, a large pressure dressing, disinfectant (I highly recommend BZK) and a splint. That will get you much further than 20 1” long bandaids l, some gauze that won’t stretch and alcohol wipes!
In addition, do your best to assure that those products were not manufactured in some 3rd world country as someone else pointed out, you don’t want to be congratulating yourself for being prepared to only induce pathogens into your body by using contaminated bandages or “antiseptic fluid.” from some country where sanitation is a vague theory.
That is a decent point, I am sure based on the location of most dollar stores are in what they call food deserts. Basicly a area nobody wants to build a grocery store because its either to high in crime or in the middle of nowhere.
I think you could put together some stuff but if you are making it home the “cold weather might become a issue because i doubt they sell good clothes to stay warm.
Good thread comments:-)
Here’s the scenario for you, tell me your actions to get home. You’re some 200 miles from home.
If I was unprepared by flying TSA, the airline lost my bags, credit system down, grid wonky.
Is that SHTF enough?
I’m wearing decent shoes and clothes. I try to have a dollar per mile cash on hand. I am healthy.
So your get home budget is 250 dollars.
So far a Super Walmart and a Dollar Store is accepting cash only. Folks haven’t gotten ugly yet.
I’d think time is of the essence before Folks start acting out.
What do you buy and plan to get home.
Actually after sleeping on this one, I have a revision to the scenario.
200 +/- miles, I would have driven, just like I did going to the family emergency south of Boston. Getting on a airplane now adays is a lot like getting on the FEMA Bus, Not Recommended.
And knowing the weather IF like this weekend’s EXPECTED Major Snowstorm was brewing, I’d have sent my concerns and support over the internet and NOT Gone. Even business is conducted over ZOOM and such when bad weather is expected.
So thus the weather would not have been an issue getting home and just social troubles and lack of gasoline resupply due to grid power issues.
Since I do not allow my gasoline to get less than 50% and I keep a folding bicycle with gear aboard the car would be used until #1 I got home, #2 had to be abandoned and the bicycle and stealth run back home. Even with ample gasoline in your tank for NORMAL Driving Home, roadblocks, accidents, and such might force you to secondary travel arrangements.
SO, to Mis-Quote Samuel Jackson’s credit card ad “What’s in your traveling kit?”
A gun, ammo, knife, and jerky, water carrying container, blanket, a few very basic survival items. What good is money if SHTF really happens?
Perhaps a roll of silver coins – intrinsic value.
Coins, definitely. But, money has an intrinsic value. Paper cash will be a memory of the past. It has a value, even if only toilet paper 🙂 niio
Stay on main routes because stranger equal enemy. What are you carrying? Buy a good knife, a cheap bicycle, and dried food. Get a small bottle of bleach to sterilize water, and if need be, cleanse wounds. A cane is a great self-defense weapon if you know how to use it. niio
I think this thread has segued off the topic a bit. I think All would agree, the Dollar Tree is a very viable outlet for obtaining certain things, IF we use common sense. Everyone and every situation is different. “Your mileage may vary”, right?
I think it was a WELL written article, offering up a lot of common sense and suggestions, not mandates. If you don’t like it……shop somewhere else.
As a side note…….I found out about how bad duct tape can be. Theirs wouldn’t even stick to itself! I had to laugh.
Two or three scenarios here.
Dollar stores are for spot items that you need immediately and can’t bargain elsewhere.
About those items – for ‘bugging in’ scenario, you should get what you need for the best price while you still can.
For bugging out, depends on your situation and location.
Canned food is HEAVY.
3 days worth not too bad but more than that for getting home or bugging out, you can expend more calories that you get from that food.
Best is dry type foods and make sure you know how to get water and purify it.
Some kind of metal container to boil water. Pantyhose to prefilter water (and other uses). 2 ways to make fire.
Again this is all dependent upon your situation, location, and climates you expect.
i guess the myth of “bugging out is going to be more true” so don’t plan on bugging out
The only thing I buy at the $1+ stores these days is mylar balloons (I cannot really think of any use for them except gifts and decorations). I used to buy sample soaps, antiperspirant, and such for our backpacking at the $1 places.
However, our local pharmacy now has CRAZY coupon sales. Sample size mouthwash, deodorant, etc are less there. And the quality is better.