30 Survival Items You Forgot to Buy

Fergus Mason
By Fergus Mason November 12, 2016 01:03

30 Survival Items You Forgot to Buy

You’ve got ten years’ worth of ammunition, your truck is equipped to go anywhere, the medical kit puts some small hospitals to shame and Delta Force are looking enviously at your night vision equipment. The basement is full of stockpiled food and the kitchen has all the gear you’ll need to dehydrate or can plenty more. You’re all ready to survive civil disorder, the collapse of society and the end of the world as we know it.

Or are you?

The chances are your emergency supplies cover the basics properly, but miss out a few essentials – and some other items that you could probably get by without, but will make your life after the apocalypse a lot easier and more pleasant. Here are 30 useful survival items you probably forgot to buy.

1. Paper plates

These are cheap and don’t take much storage space. They also avoid having to waste valuable water on unnecessary washing up.

2. Pencils and paper/notebooks

Paper is vital when you want to leave messages, keep records of remaining supplies, make a task list or just write the story of what’s happening. Pencils are more reliable than pens, and won’t unexpectedly run out at the worst possible moment.

3. Local maps

We’re all used to pulling up electronic mapping on our computers or phones, and navigating by GPS. You can’t rely on those in even a minor disaster, and in a major collapse they definitely won’t last long. Paper maps never fail and don’t need power.

4. Shoe and boot laces

The bets boots aren’t much good if you can’t lace them up, and working knots through eyelets gets boring in a hurry. Plus you can always find uses for some strong cord. And remember: Longer laces can be cut to length; shorter ones can’t be stretched.

5.  Sewing kit

You might have a small one around the house, but how long will it last when you have to mend – or even make – all your clothes? Stock up on strong, all-purpose thread and a few packs of needles.

eyeglass-repair-kit6. Glasses repair kit

If you wear glasses you need a spare pair, but also make sure you have some extra screws, other small parts and the tools to fit them.

7. Duct tape

This is basically a miracle substance. It can be used for all kinds of projects and repairs, and you can never have enough of it in your supplies. Don’t have any? Get some. Bought a few rolls already? Buy some more!

Related: 26 Practical Survival Uses for Duct Tape

8. Hand sanitizer

Washing your hands is essential, but it also uses water. Most of the time a dollop of hand sanitizer will do the job just fine.

9. Ear plugs

If you’re hunting with a firearm, you need ear defense. There’s nothing macho about damaging your hearing with repeated muzzle blasts – especially when you’re dependent on your own senses for food and security.

10. Plastic sheet

Heavy duty plastic sheet has almost as many uses as duct tape. Fix a leaking roof, patch up broken windows, line a tank for water storage or leather tanning… it’s incredibly versatile, and very cheap.

11. Tarps

Plastic sheet is great, but sometimes it’s not enough. Tarps can stand more abuse, they can provide shade if you’re working (or relaxing) outside, and eyelets make them easy to tie down over your stuff.

Related: 3 Quick Shelters (The Last One is Invisible!)

12. Mechanical clocks

In a long-term SHTF situation, electric clocks will start to put a real dent in your supply of AA batteries. A lot of them aren’t EMP-resistant, either. Good old-fashioned wind-up clocks are a lot more dependable.

13. Cable ties

Neater than duct tape, faster than glue; cable ties are an excellent way of quickly securing things, and good ones are incredibly strong. Get a variety of sizes, but big ones are most useful – they can be cut down if necessary.

14. Bungee cords

The bigger, reusable version of cable ties. These are great for securing loads on your vehicle or making temporary repairs.

15. Steel mesh

You can buy this in A4 sheets and it has lots of uses. Straining oil or rendered fat are obvious ones. It can also be used to make small Faraday cages.

16. Plywood

I don’t know what you need this for. Neither do you – but if the SHTF you’ll need it for something. A few sheets of quarter and half inch ply can be used for repairs, building projects and any other job that needs a tough, easily worked material.

17. French press

Without electricity your fancy coffee maker is an expensive doorstop. But as long as you have a French press, and a fire to boil water on, you can enjoy real coffee.

mylar-blankets18. Mylar blankets

These are the things you find in survival kits or being handed out at the end of a marathon. They’re great for preserving body heat in an emergency – but they have lots of other uses too. They’re strong, waterproof and reflect both heat and light.

19. PVC pipe

Like plywood, this has too many uses to name. It can be used for plumbing extensions or repairs, turned into containers or become the framing for a shelter. Get one and two-inch diameter, and an assortment of bends and fittings.

20. Aluminum foil

Another multi-purpose material. It’s reflective, can be used to tweak antennas and has a whole load of cooking uses. Traveling light? Aluminum foil can make a pot for boiling water, and you can wrap food in it to cook in the embers.

21. Safety pins

Make quick clothing repairs, attach small gear to yourself or your bug-out bag, hang up wet clothes or even turn into improvised fish hooks – safety pins have dozens of uses. Get assorted sizes.

22. Landline phone

An old-fashioned phone will keep working if the power goes out. Modern cordless and VOIP ones will instantly die. Pick up an old one on ebay or at a yard sale, and keep it in the closet for emergencies.

23. Fire extinguisher

Fires are best dealt with before they have time to grow – and that’s even more important if civilization has collapsed and taken the fire brigade with it. Dry powder extinguishers are best in the kitchen or workshop – they can be used on electrical fires.

24. Fire blanket

An extinguisher is a one-shot solution, and in an SHTF scenario you’ll struggle to replace or recharge it once it’s been used. A fire blanket will reliably smother small fires, and can also be used on stove fires. Keep the extinguisher for when it’s really needed.

25. Dust masks

You don’t want to be inhaling dust or fumes when the medical system has broken down. Masks can also give some protection against smoke inhalation and even nuclear fallout. Make sure they’re NIOSH N95 standard.

26. WD40

A great all-purpose lubricant that’s invaluable for maintenance, repairs or resurrecting old machinery. A few cans of this is essential.

27. Survival books

Unless you’re an expert on edible wild plants, a couple of reference books are very useful. You’ll be able to identify what’s safe to eat and what isn’t, without any risky guesswork.

28. Other books

Even after the disintegration of society you’ll have some spare time. Books are a good way to pass it even if there’s no power. Pick up cheap paperbacks at yard sales or charity stores – you don’t need great literature, just something to keep you occupied.

29. Toys and games

If you have children they’ll need distracted. Pick up some toys and games that don’t rely on power or batteries. Board games are always good, so get a couple of family classics like Monopoly.

30. Playing cards

Yes, another way to pass some time. Get a book of popular card games too – you can learn some new ones.

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Fergus Mason
By Fergus Mason November 12, 2016 01:03
Write a comment


  1. Beginner Surviver November 13, 23:52

    We already have all this. We have had all of this for 50+ years. If you can’t live everyday as if it were survival, you won’t make it in a survival situation. Better start to LIVE SURVIVAL now if you are serious about making it in life, much less a crisis.

    Reply to this comment
    • Skip November 14, 02:01

      I agree with you 100%. We too have all these items and have had them and used them for years. I think we old timers (Elders are what the Native Americans call us) are as prepared if not better prepared, than most of our younger preppers. I try to help and guide them as much as possible.

      Reply to this comment
  2. Shastagal November 14, 02:54

    Agree, we have all these items and still add to the stores occasionally when a good price entices…always good for barter.

    Lots of folks have stored flour and grain mills but haven’t seen yeast blocks on anyone’s list yet. Can always work with sourdough starter but yeast adds an ease to making bread. And jet sealed, dry and low oxygen levels it keeps a long time. Likewise baking soda and baking powder are rarely on lists.

    Reply to this comment
  3. Lewis November 14, 03:11

    Ten years back, your advice to keep a landline phone handy was good advice. These days the major phone companies are bailing out of copper wire landlines as fast as they can scramble. AT&T practically forced my landline over to a VOIP hookup when I was “upgraded” to fiber-carried UVerse. So when my internet goes down, so does my formerly-landline phone. In some states, Verizon has issued orders that any technician who tries to repair a copper land line will be fired. That’s how badly the majors want to switch to much cheaper (but highly EMP vulnerable) VOIP phone connections. So you need to research alternative communication methods for grid-down events, whether short or long term.

    Reply to this comment
    • Ne-ne March 27, 04:00

      Yes, I too was forced over to the VOIP by FiOS. I wanted to keep my Cooper line not the VOIP — power down – internet goes out, so does the phone.
      This crap is fine and dandy with the government; sad sad state of affairs we have in our country anymore.

      Reply to this comment
  4. DDS November 14, 03:42

    If you are really trying to plan for a very long time (5+ years), one thing I have never seen on one of these lists is bolts of cloth. An antique tredal sewing machine and the knowledge to use it will be a great home business.

    Reply to this comment
    • Ruth November 14, 13:34

      Most sewing machines now can be used without power. Just have to turn the wheel that is electricity powered by hand! It is slower but it does work just fine!

      Reply to this comment
    • JJ November 14, 17:04

      Most give away to charity old clothes. I cut in blocks and save for rags for hundreds of uses when TSHTF.

      Reply to this comment
    • headhunter April 22, 14:53

      If you have a treble, it is important to get it cleaned and gone over so it will function. Replacing the drive belt is good.

      Reply to this comment
  5. j.r. guerra in south tx. November 14, 12:26

    Galvanized welded wire fabric. Good for making trap enclosures, small animal (ie. rabbit) cages and keeping vermin out.

    Besides WD40, regular 3-1 oil is good too. WD40 displaces water, but lubrication is very short term. WD40 in fact becomes sticky rather than slippery.

    Reply to this comment
    • lucy November 19, 03:47

      Is galvanized welded wire fabric the same thing as hardware cloth?

      Reply to this comment
      • Dragon November 21, 10:40

        no hardware cloth is thinner and weaker the welded wire is much thicker and is about as thick as pencil lead where hardware cloth which comes in several varieties thin wire woven and galvanized, and then there is chicken wire which is thin wire that is twisted

        Reply to this comment
    • TJ December 12, 23:19

      3 in 1 oil is vegetable based. Breaks down and gums up easily. Doesn’t cope well with higher temperatures or demanding applications. Skip it altogether. Go for plain old 30 weight, non-detergent motor oil for general use. An old fashion oil can makes it easy to dispense. WD 40 is good for a thousand uses beyond lubrication. Much of it evaporates because much of it is a carrier for the lube and is meant to evaporate. Grease is a great thing to have too but it freezes. Have some graphite powder for low temp applications (guns).

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck March 28, 03:07

        If you want light weight oil such as for lubing your fishing reel or guns or sewing machine, 10 wt or if you can find it 5 wt. non-detergent motor oil is just dandy. Lacking that, go on line and buy machine oil. You can buy it in SAE weights but I think you might have to buy a gallon at a time. A gallon of 10 wt. machine oil for your fishing rods will last unto the seventh generation. It comes in metal can, so if you protect the outsides from rust, the can will last unto the seventh generation too.

        Reply to this comment
  6. PatrickM November 14, 17:02

    Plywood. You should have enough, along with the lumber,screws and nails, to build a privy, a smoker, and window coverings.

    Reply to this comment
  7. Prem November 18, 20:20

    I also still have a spinning wheel in my cellar, just in case

    Reply to this comment
  8. PNW November 20, 02:07

    Soap box time….

    Keeping an analog phone around actually has little function. Since O’Scamma Banana allowed the Communications Act of 1947 to be ‘abortionized’, we, as in you-me-and a dog named Boo, will have no other means of communications besides the toy ‘smart phones’ when TSHTF. That also goes along with ‘his’ allowing the VHF AND UHF television channels to be ‘sold’ to cell phone providers. Have any idea of what that means? It means when ‘the internet’ goes down there will be NO ability to make a telephone call OR get information of what is going on using ‘normal’ means. Another case of “we” loose.

    Back to the subject at hand…..mechanical ‘clocks’: Have any reading this tried looking for non-battery clocks/watches? They have tripled in price in the last two years. Get one!

    Maps……Join AAA and get them, for the time being, free. The cost of joining is less than the cost to get all the maps you need. And don’t get just the maps for your neighborhood. Get ’em all!

    Cable ties…..Mil Spec versions are VERY expensive. Several places have ‘generic’ ties fairly cheap. Get twice what you think you might need because they are half the quality.

    Not mentioned……wire. Wire nuts. Crimp lugs. Fill a 5-gallon bucket and seal it.

    Forget the WD-40. It is 98% fish oil and it evaporates. Get Lithium grease. As many spray cans as possible. It is far better than WD-40.

    Aluminum foil……get only heavy duty. And as much as you can afford.

    Uses for PVC pipe……fishing poles. Along with ‘extra’ fishing line, multiple strengths, lotsa hooks, and wine corks for floats.

    Paper plates…….I refuse to get the ‘pretty ones’. I get the huge packages and blow off the fancy.

    Tarps……camouflage only.

    Eating utensils……got to the dollar store, etc., and get two or three more sets of cheap knifes/forks/spoons. And NOT plastic.

    Nails, drywall screws, more nails, more screws. ‘Nuff said.

    DO NOT throw away old jeans. KEEP THEM! They probably will be needed.

    Bicycle tire pump and tire plugs.

    And on, and on, and……….

    Reply to this comment
    • Dragon November 21, 10:48

      on the lubricants do NOT forgo WD40, it is not just a lubricant, it is a water displacement (Hence WD) and penetrant. Spray Lithium is not nor does the lithium penetrate any surfaces to help remove rust, bad spark plug wires arcing out? spray them with WD, real oils would ruin them, WD will remove the moisture and stop the arcing enough for the engine to start.

      Reply to this comment
      • Dragon November 21, 10:50

        one other thing, ALL true landline connections to the Phone company are analog Everyone, right up to their repeater where they all are converted to optical so YES an old analog phone WILL Work.

        Reply to this comment
        • Barbara November 24, 19:12

          Yes, land line phones still work. We kept/keep them in place to contact family outside of our State during hurricanes. We report everyday we are all ok, that person reports to rest of family. Last hurricane we were without electricity for 17 days.

          Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck May 25, 02:34

        But if the end of the world involves an EMP or a CME, spraying WD40 on spark plug wires will be an exercise in futility. A single gallon of WD-40 should provide all the water dispersant you will need for the next 100 years.

        I would buy penetrating oil and machine oil. A gallon of 10 weight machine oil should last at least one lifetime and the same for a gallon of penetrating oil which is much better for freeing up rusted fasteners than WD-40. Ten weight machine oil is suitable for oiling any machinery other than power driven machinery where you need heavier oil to keep it from being flung off. Rifles, pistols, fishing reels, any place metal rubs on metal ten weight machine oil will work. For bicycle chains and other parts moved by mechanical means, 30 or 40 weight machine oil would be quite adequate.

        Reply to this comment
  9. PNW November 20, 02:09

    Let me add………cell phones will only work as long as the batteries at the cell towers, and the links to/from, work. Which, if we/you, are lucky might be 24 hours.

    Reply to this comment
    • DarkStar July 4, 04:32

      That’s why I bought a 28 watt, four panel solar charger that can charge three devices at a time. My phone, my power vault, and my 12″ tablet. I don’t care about the internet we won’t have and the phone probably won’t work for phone calls either. What I want is the information that I have stored on them, some (not all!) of my survival books, medicinal herb journals and notes I’ve made myself over the years of practice and use. The solar charger was under $60.00 including shipping and works like a charm, charging all three items in short order. I am in the process of moving a lot of this material to portable hard drives and storing them in Faraday bags but will still need the devices to read them on. I also purchased a solar battery charger for rechargeable batteries in the most common sizes and it’s one of the best purchases I’ve made. Works like a charm!

      Reply to this comment
  10. Lucy December 2, 04:55

    Interesting observations about cell phones/landlines. After Katrina, it was 3 weeks before the landlines were functional (in the Gulfport area), but 3 MONTHS for the cell phone towers to be restored! The hurricane winds blew them down. Similar problems after Superstorm Sandy, but I don’t know how long it took.

    Reply to this comment
    • Tom Jackson January 25, 01:13

      Good to know. I need to learn more about the aftermath of Katrina. My National Guard son was down there and said that generators and ice were the two big items that people wanted.

      Reply to this comment
  11. Moriah December 3, 00:34

    I’m reading through this list at everything (minus the clock-always wanted one though, maybe soon!) thinking “wait, there’s actually people who DONT use this stuff all the time?!” Those poor, sad people.

    Reply to this comment
    • Moriah December 3, 00:36

      Ps (I’m only 26 but grew up believing, and still believe, that I was born in the wrong generation. Country life is the only life for me.

      Reply to this comment
  12. Rob December 13, 12:10

    Non seated bleach is a good thing to have it is cheaper to go to a pool place and get the chlorine from their and dilute it 2 parts water to one part bleach .it can be used to sanitize cooking untincles pots pans and making water safe to drink

    Reply to this comment
    • DarkStar July 4, 04:38

      Once commercial bleach is opened it is only good for about 6 months and then it degrades to mostly water. You’re much better off using pool shock and mix as directed. Make sure you get the pure stuff at 60% chlorine and not the stuff with all the added chemicals and a lower percentage of chlorine.

      Reply to this comment
  13. Marcuserious December 14, 19:04

    Alcohol should be on the list also. Applications are: medical sanitizer, fire starter, barter item, & socializing. When purchased at the liquor store, the higher %alcohol content is better. You don’t need to get the denatured stuff, it is dangerous to the uneducated user.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck April 20, 04:41

      Alcohol to be used as a disinfectant needs to be greater than 60%. You can buy 30%, 60% and 95% at most drugstores. 95% is more expensive but has more uses than the lower percentages. If you are buying drinking alcohol as opposed to rubbing alcohol, ie., booze, it has to be greater than 120 proof to be usable as a disinfectant.

      Reply to this comment
      • Graywolf12 July 24, 13:23

        120 proof = 60%. Proof is 2X the percent. I agree you should not use less than 120 proof as a disinfectant.

        Reply to this comment
        • left coast chuck March 28, 03:17

          In bygone days, the big advantage with using alcohol to wash out wounds was that the alcohol probably started out at a much higher proof than was being used to wash the wound and was still sterile versus the available water which most definitely was not sterile and probably was infectious. Washing with whiskey might not kill the germs but would wash out the wound and not introduce more germs. Washing with water would only replace germs already in the wound with new more vigorous germs.

          I’m not an expert on “white lightening” but I suspect that the reason it was reputed to be “white lightening” was because it probably comes from the still close to 180 proof or 90% alcohol and would be a stiff drink. It could then be cut with water which is done in the whiskey industry to reduce the proof because tax is paid on the percentage of alcohol in the whiskey.

          Reply to this comment
  14. Tom Jackson January 25, 01:23

    I really liked this list. I had to look up what a French Press is. I think my drip-o-lator will work fine. I’d suggest in the sewing area to have an awl and heavy thread/twine. Also, extra toothbrushes and hair brushes for those ill-prepared who happen to join you. My landline phone is on fiber now so I have some good two-way radios. An expensive HD antenna for your TV if you can power it. I’m going to try to get some old mechanical clocks and maybe some watches. Thanks for the article. It is good to know about this overlooked items.

    Reply to this comment
  15. left coast chuck April 20, 04:43

    Tom, hate to rain on your parade, but if there is an EMP or CME event there will be no television, I don’t care how expensive your HD antenna is. After the fuel for whatever generating system the station uses, runs out, the TV stations will go off the air. That assumes that they were able to survive the electrical hit in the first place.

    Reply to this comment
  16. Lisa April 21, 21:25

    No electricity, no internet. How about all those e-books on survival. I don’t buy anything that isn’t an actual in-hand book. Oh yes, how to’s on gardening, animal husbandry, farming etc. I’m building a library on small scale farming.

    Reply to this comment
    • DarkStar July 4, 04:40

      Lisa, look at my reply to PNW about the solar charger I bought for just that reason. Not all my books are on my tablet but a large percentage are. With Faraday bags etc. that information can be preserved.

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck May 25, 02:21

        Until the electronic device dies as all electronic devices will eventually. There are copies of the Gutenberg bible still in existence. It was printed sometime in the 16th century, so it has been around close to 500 years. Your electronic device won’t last anywhere near 500 years. Ink on paper is real. Electronic 1s and 0s are ephemeral.

        Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck May 25, 02:27

        Until the device gives up the ghost. Every electrical device has a limited lifetime. Copies of the Gutenberg bible, printed in the mid-16th century are still legible. That’s close to 500 years old. Your tablet will never last even 100 years. Ink on paper is real. 1s and 0s are ephemeral. If you want your descendants to have the benefit of the knowledge that you have accumulated, you will need ink on paper to pass on to them.

        Reply to this comment
  17. Don July 14, 23:46

    This is one of the best articles that you have had. Thanks for all the comments. I’m 70 and thought I knew it all but some of it schooled me.

    Reply to this comment
  18. LORED December 27, 05:36

    In case of EMP should happen, will solar panels work?

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck March 28, 03:24

      According to various experts I have read, the solar panels themselves should survive. It is the ancillary equipment that will be burned out and need to be replaced or removed and protected.

      Reply to this comment
      • left coast chuck March 28, 03:28

        Actually, there are so many variable that come into play that perhaps a more realistic answer should be “maybe, but nobody knows for sure.

        Perhaps not the answer you sought. My advice would be to have backups for the ancillary equipment, the lines, the regulator, the batteries should be okay unless they are hooked to a long line. So best practices is to have spares for all the parts except the panels themselves and have the spare parts stored in an adequate Faraday cage.

        Reply to this comment
  19. Frank March 26, 18:24

    There are a lot of good ideas and rather observant individuals commenting. I think to sum it all up, the key to prepping is to think of what you will need to accomplish tasks and what you will need to clean, maintain and repair your working gear and machinery. I don’t see any reason to limit ourselves to WD-40 at the exclusion of say “3 in one oil” or graphite or gun lubricants. If you have need for a specific product and it’s the best for your needs then I say buy it. The general or more universal items are staples. Your duct tape, super glue, etc., are good, but if you require something special then it should be in your stockpiles. It’s important to know what and why you’re buying certain things and what their able to do for you.

    A prepper or survivalist doesn’t just survive because they stash a ton of stuff, but because they buy and store or stockpile what they need and whatever they might need to achieve their goals. We fall back on older technology when appropriate, we use items designed for the military, for camping, for survival or we even collect mundane everyday things that by design or construction will work under the conditions we might face. We also adapt, repurpose and even modify or build our own gear. You don’t have to be a wilderness expert, an engineer or a gourmet chef, but you should have the essentials and know how to use them. Nobody taught me how to fry an egg, but I watched and got out a pan, butter and eggs and practiced. Most of us can do more than we think and can still learn new skills and methods.

    Reply to this comment
    • left coast chuck March 28, 03:23

      One of my favorite sayings is “You learn something every day if you’re not careful.”

      In reality, you should be trying to learn something every day. You should force yourself to try a new route to work, see if there is not a different way to drive nails from the way you have been doing it for the last 50 years. There may not be, but doing the research on it should teach you at least a better technique.

      In an EOTW scenario, we are going to be faced with numerous different situations that we have never faced before and whether we survive or not depends on how well we can adapt to new circumstances. Various animals die out because they can’t adapt. The coyote thrives because he is highly adaptable to new circumstances.

      Reply to this comment
  20. gramma May 15, 15:45

    As far as having to make clothes go forget it.
    Go garage saling and pick them up. If you have growing children this is an excellant way to buy a couple sizes larger pack them away along with shoes winter boots, coats, toys, games, books.
    Great and cost efficient way to stock up on many items
    you may need. I have found all kinds of useful items at garage sales, and use them instead of buying new.
    Also adult coats, That way if zippers break you will have another one. garage sales are a great way to go to stock up on many things.

    Reply to this comment
  21. Allen May 20, 04:49

    A lot of these items sound great but before you go out and buy and stock pile them. Think of where you are, if your a city person. How are you going to protect it and yourself from the hundred of thousands of looters that will develop as supplies dwindle. If you have to or intend to bug out you won’t be able to take half this stuff with you. Bugging out will have to be limited to what you can carry on your back. At least until your car runs out of gas. Pay attention to how much you can carrie and what is important to you within that limit. If you are lucky to have a bug out place. On that you can depend on with help of other members. Then all the above would be nice to have already there. Note on that is you probably wont spend much time there when things are ok thus prepare it for long term storage. plywood and other lumber is fine to have but not stored right could start becoming rotten only good for fire wood. Nails and screws can rust up pretty fast on you, as well as most metal objects you have, Books I’ve been to places where the weather caused moisture inside of storage places. Book pages got molded and glued together, in a matter of months.Long story short Bug out place good but plan for long term storage prepping against the elements as well. No bug out place restrict what you by and save to what you can carry. Go on a few camping trip for a week at a time or more see what you can and can not do with or without. Knowing this can be more important than anything else you read or hear about. I personnel can carry 80 lbs back pack but am limited to how fast I can move and how far per day. I’m sure when I get older that weight will change. If you have kids how much can they carry and how far and fast for leaving the big city.

    Reply to this comment
  22. Sammie C May 28, 19:38

    I’m trying to figure out a small faraday cage type box. Does this sound workable? I have a med size wooden wine box. I’ve lined it with mylar bags and metal tape I’ve then put a smaller styrofoam cooler in it and then put my radieos etc inside in mylar bags that I’ve sealed with the same metal type tape. All this is inside a “safe room” with 12 concrete walls floor and ceiling. Good idea or have I totally missed the whole idea. Please help me out on this .

    Reply to this comment
    • Tom June 28, 20:43

      No the equipment must be stored in a sealed ferrous metal container with no holes, to withstand a E1 pulse.
      Sealed with metal touching metal. You could line the whole safe room with sheet metal, ferrous or steel
      as long as you weld the seams and corners see
      TM 5-690
      to be super sealed put a sealed box in the sealed safety room.

      Reply to this comment
  23. Allen May 28, 22:37

    Sammie C Other than for comfort I don’t think you need the styrofoam as much as the metal tape. But it is nice. One way of testing it and styrofoam may make it hard to do this test for it absorbs sound. I heard this somewhere., Get a radio turn it on and put it on a good strange station signal, place it inside your box if the box if it blocks all radio waves so you can’t hear it. It will mostly block everything else. To take it one step farther if you want to go that far. Put some Alex Selzer and submerge it for a period of time you built it so you pick the time take it out and see if the Alex Selzer fizzed. If not your box is water tight and may even withstand flooding.

    Reply to this comment
  24. Techqn June 11, 21:32

    Ha! I actually have all these things!
    Because we used to entertain with backyard bbqs all the time I have tons of plates, cups and cutlery left over from that and the house boat trips, as well as camping.,Trash bags galore too. And because hubby is a slight hoarder and refuses to throw many things away the rest is locked in. Luckily he has a 5k sqft shop to store much of it in.
    Funny, when I got new freezers and fridges for the garage he kept the old ones to make both smokers and faraday cages out of them.
    Yes I even have my old percolator coffee maker & the french press I got for my wedding (that I never use). I bought a hand crank coffee grinder to go with my pepper and salt grinder when I bought the hand crank radio one day.
    I have saved all my safety pins and got extras to go with grandmas massive sewing kit of which I added much more too….along with a travel sewing kit.
    I have all the cable ties/zip ties (even Velcro ones) since I work in IT and need cable mgmt items. Aluminum foil in HUGE supply (like the ones from Costco) since I bake and cook so much in large quantities and hate to be without.
    The old regular phones are in the back closet, for if the power goes out and the cordless wont work so that’s set. Along with the Mylar blankets in 20 packs, hand warmers (got as gift) all the kids old cards and games.The PVC, lumber, tarps and mesh from expansion projects is there as well.
    So it’s nice to know that as I read this, I have all the items (including basics like WD40 for all the squeaks and fixes needed around the house).
    Awesome, thanks for the list and for reminding me I am on track, or ahead of the game.

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  25. Allen June 12, 02:46

    Short comment here I just saw a move this week about after a nuclear explosion. People in a bunker and how they dealt with being there might want to watch it. “THE DIVIDE. I don’t think most people would act this way but I’m sure some would and that could make a big difference.

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    • diane August 24, 21:10

      hand/feet warmers bad/useless after about a year. the chemical reaction won’t begin. have heard that these, even used, can still be used as fire starters. anybody?

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