This list by necessity is very basic, and I am not claiming to cover every contingency or even a specific common threat in your area. I have weighted this list in general order of importance to let you hit the important things first and go from there, but depending on your locale and situation some elements may be more important or less. This is a guide; use your head and common sense.

When you find out your buddy or mentor has months and months worth of food, water, medical supplies, tools, weapons and more it is easy to get discouraged before you even begin. This is a mistake. No matter where you are and how much or little you have to work with you can take steps right now, today, to improve your situation over the masses who don’t care or cannot be bothered to do the same.
Below are two Prepper Supplies Checklist resources.   The first is a free PDF of the original 17-page preppers supplies checklist. Over the years, I’ve collected feedback on how to improve the list and compiled the updated preppers supplies checklist into a book. The book is a 35-page “Preparedness Plan Workbook”.  There are 9 categories of preparedness that are covered:  Water, Food, Warmth, Light, First Aid, Hygiene, Communication, Financial, and Protection/Hunting. The Food & Water Checklists include formulas to determine how much of each you will need depending on the size of your family/group.
Prepping isn’t just for the zombie apocalypse. I live in costal New England and you can bet that there will be at least two or three situations where you won’t have power or won’t be able to get to the store for a while. Blizzards, hurricanes, etc. Also personal crises like losing a job or unexpected car repairs can leave you looking at zero food budget. Always good to have emergency rations to live off of until things return to normal.

There are a lot of items on the market right now for alternative toilets and instructions on how to build your own septic trench. It is suggested that you look at your own situation and see what would be the best option for yourself and your family. Not all families’ situations are the same so it is best to be prepared for any emergency. Read our article on how to build your own outhouse and be prepared to live off the grid.
Contrary to what a lot of people think, the most important thing you need to survive a disaster is water. The body can go weeks without food but only a few days without water. And once you start getting dehydrated, there goes your energy levels, your clear-headedness, and your ability to make rational decisions.   You will need this gear to ensure your supply of water:

But women like Jennifer aren’t preparing for a currency collapse, biowarfare pandemic, or any of the other fantastical global crises that have made America’s prepper subculture synonymous with bunkers, bitcoin, and Infowars conspiracy theories. Instead, they view prepping as a lifestyle — one that has very little to do with defending their territory from hostile invaders and everything to do with the more quotidian business of providing for your family and running a home.
We all know how important clean water is to our survival, and if you’re planning on bugging in at home, something like this is a definite advantage in cases where water supplies may get contaminated during a SHTF-type situation. Yes, you can try to boil water consistently to purify it, but if you have the money to invest into prepper gear that will help you out in the long-term, this is an obvious way to go with your money. APEC makes and manufactures these in the good ol’ USA – they’re high quality, and are pretty much the only brand worth talking about when it comes to reverse osmosis filters; immense value for money in my opinion. If you don’t think these will ever be necessary, you only have to look as far as Flint, Michigan for a cautionary tale.

But women like Jennifer aren’t preparing for a currency collapse, biowarfare pandemic, or any of the other fantastical global crises that have made America’s prepper subculture synonymous with bunkers, bitcoin, and Infowars conspiracy theories. Instead, they view prepping as a lifestyle — one that has very little to do with defending their territory from hostile invaders and everything to do with the more quotidian business of providing for your family and running a home.


Survivalists' concerns and preparations have changed over the years. During the 1970s, fears were economic collapse, hyperinflation, and famine. Preparations included food storage and survival retreats in the country which could be farmed. Some survivalists stockpiled precious metals and barterable goods (such as common-caliber ammunition) because they assumed that paper currency would become worthless. During the early 1980s, nuclear war became a common fear, and some survivalists constructed fallout shelters.

To be truthful, my initial goal with this article was to respond to readers who were just getting started and wanted a shopping list of things to buy for their food storage pantry.  I also wanted to compile a checklist that more experienced preppers could use to compare what they had to what they needed.  My goal can pretty much be summed up by saying that I wanted to write about getting started with food storage the easy way.  No frills, no fluff – just a common sense list of food items to get you started.
I think there are stages to prepping. The first stage is awareness. Maybe you experience a major hurricane and have to drive around town freaking out because you don’t have enough bottled water. You think, “Never again.” So you purchase realistic items for your area. The second stage is when you come to realize how much stuff you will actually need and you go out and purchase those items. The third stage is when you realize that no matter how much stuff you have stocked up, it will eventually run out in a grid down situation. That leads to the fourth stage–skills. Do you know how to garden when your life and the lives of your family depend on it? Do you know how to trap and hunt? Can you tell the difference between edible plants and poisonous plants? Do you have a trade like carpentry, plumbing, engineering, canning, bushcraft, herbal medicine? The sixth and final stage (and I am just making this up off the top of my head) is when you realize that no matter how many skills you have, you can’t make it alone. You begin to look for a community.
Trauma Kit- Items to treat serious trauma and injuries. Nasal airways, occlusive dressings, decompression needles, IV lines and solution, splints, suture kit etc. You must have appropriate skills to utilize these items without causing more harm. If you lack those skills, there is a chance that someone in your group or a good Samaritan might, and having these things on hand may make the difference between life and death.
After 9/11, my dad filled a duffel bag with some energy bars, a couple gallons of water, some penicillin, and a map. Amid scaremongering headlines about imminent anthrax and “dirty bomb” attacks in the city, he wanted to have some supplies on hand in case we needed to get out of Brooklyn fast. Were he to assemble such a bag today, he’d likely stumble on a number of companies promising a more wholesale brand of disaster preparedness: a box full of shelf-stable freeze-dried meals, to be revived from their dessicated state with the addition of boiled water.
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