Have You Considered Spare Parts for Your Preps?

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by Erica N.

Originally Published at Living Life in Rural Iowa

One of the most overlooked parts of most people’s preparations is spare parts for the equipment they plan to use in an emergency or a crisis. We all like to think we are covered when we have the actual items in our possession, but what if they break? What if the power source runs out? When you know you could have fixed the problem with a simple spare part, you will get pretty frustrated pretty fast.

What spare parts should you have on hand? That depends on your equipment and what you plan to use it for. Your list could look different from mine because we might have different items. The items mentioned in this post are general items. Most of these things are basic items and would be able to fix or repair your broken-down item. I am also thinking about needing to recharge or refuel items because your generator or camp stove will be worthless if you run out of fuel.
Batteries are always a must. While having hand-cranked flashlights and radios are great, most emergency equipment works better and faster with batteries. I would keep a lot of batteries in sorts of sizes. Most battery powered objects take either AA, AAA, C, D, and 9-volt batteries. I keep mine in a storage container similar to this. You could keep multiples of these storage containers in the house, garage, shop, and wherever you may need to use them. If you need specialty batteries, I would make a list of those and pick those batteries up the next time shopping. For specialty batteries, I would keep them near the object that takes them so you aren’t hunting them down in an emergency.
With so much technology and solar power these days, chargers and charging cords have become a must. I personally do not get rid of an old charger or charging cords until I absolutely know it will not work for a device in the home. A lot of charging cords work for multiple items. I would test the cords periodically and dispose of the ones that do not work or cannot be fixed.

Extra fuel cans are a must to have on hand. Some may not consider them a spare part, but you will regret not having enough fuel on hand when a situation happens. I would keep your fuel cans full and rotate the fuel every 3-6 months. I would also keep a fuel stabilizer either in the fuel or have it on hand to keep the fuel from going stale. I would also keep extra propane cylinders on hand and full in one-pound and twenty-pound cylinders. Propane does not go bad. If you have kerosene heaters or cookers, keep some kerosene on hand too. Likewise, if you have a propane or butane torch, you will need extra cylinders on hand.

Other items to keep on hand:

  • Extra screws of all sizes
  • Scrap Lumber to fix broken doors, frames, and windows
  • Hitch pins, cotter pins, clevis pins, and lynchpins
  • O-rings and rubber gaskets of all sizes
  • Snap rings
  • Wiring Kit (for autos) and/or an Electrical Repair Kit
  • Light Bulbs for your flashlights and regular lights
  • Sewing and Mending Kit

Like I said before, you might consider other spare parts essential for your preps. You might want to keep spare parts for:

  • Your vehicle (bug-out or daily driver)
  • Generator(s)
  • Camper, ATVs, and boats
  • Tractor or Semi (if you have one or more)
  • Guns, Bows, and other weapons
  • Water filtering systems
  • Tillers, Snowblowers, Lawn Mowers, and other such equipment
  • Log Splitters, Wood Chippers, Chainsaws, and Trimmers
  • Wood stoves, Cookstoves, Grills, and other cookers
  • Any other equipment you have that is not listed
Without sounding dire, these items could be the difference between life and death. If you have these spare parts on hand, you could be living a much easier life than if you did not. However, having spare parts on hand will not do you a lot of good if you don’t know how to fix or repair something in the first place. So you should be working on your skills and learning how to repair your own equipment.

What else would you add to this list?

About the Author

Erica writes about preparedness, homesteading, frugality, parenting, and life in general at her blog, Living Life in Rural Iowa. A mom of four who has survived divorce, poverty, kids going to college, and teenagers! Always keen to learn more about what she writes about. Someday will write a book!

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7 Responses

  1. This goes along with the art of fabrication, having that ability to take something like a piece of scrap metal, wood or whatever and turn it into what you need. There are these small Maker Community places but are technically a business. For example “The Tech Shop” is located in the South Bay Area of California but I’m sure this is catching on in other places. They are a sort of co-op type of place where you can have access to tools and equipment that would cost you a lot of money and most of us don’t have a shop garage to store all these things either. It’s a very cool idea where they also offer courses on many different topics: wood working, welding, electronics, etc. but also to teach people how to use the equipment safely. If you don’t have access to such a place then some junior colleges also teach such things let alone trade schools.

  2. Or just come to my house; the men in this family have saved every screw, nut, bolt, nail, and cotter pin since the beginning of time! Lol Seriously, a really good article. I would recommend gaskets & other replaceable parts for pressure canners, belts for any thing that uses them, and about a million zip ties.

  3. Good start.
    I do a lot of canning. It would be good to have any parts of canners that are necessary for proper functioning. Such as gaskets and pressure gages.

    And what about supplies to mend shoes? Perhaps someone can recommend the proper goo to reattach a shoe;s sole or stop the stitching from unraveling.

    Door repair kit? Extra screens, weather stripping, extra door knob. Yes, I know, a door knob? We had a non-functioning knob on a room with only one door. We would have been stuck inside and unable to take off the hinges.

  4. Keep an extra roll of screen to replace screens on your windows. When the electricity is not working, you will want to open your windows. Periodically, inspect your screens. You want to keep out mosquitos and other insects.

    Be aware of mosquitos, ticks, etc. when working outside. They can carry diseases. I was recently bitten by a mosquito infected with Chikungunya Virus. Symptoms include fever, very sore and aching joints which are supposed to last only 5-7 days. Picking up a gallon of milk or opening a jar of jelly is painful.

  5. Every time I do a project that needs a few screws or a different type of nail. I always buy a LOT more than I need, so I have a nice selection of fasteners for odd jobs when things go sideways.

    Definitely agree on the need for batteries. I have lots of alkaline cells in all the usual sizes AAA, AA, C, D, and 9 volt. Plus I have a bunch of NiMH rechargeable batteries in AA and 9v along with adapters to turn AA into D cells. And following the old adage of 2 is 1 and 1 is none, I have a selection of solar chargers to keep the NiMH cells charged up for years (assuming we have enough sunlight…)

    For the generator, I keep spare oil and air filters, plus enough oil on hand to change it a number of times without resupply. But I don’t keep other spare parts, since if things are bad enough I need more than 1000 hours of generator time, I’ll be falling back to my next layer of preps….and trying to keep quiet on how well I’m prepared!

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