The Top 50 Non-Food Stockpile Necessities

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Author of Be Ready for Anything and Bloom Where You’re Planted online course

Let’s be honest.

When you think about a stockpile, the first thing that comes to mind is food, right?

Preppers are well-known for having a stash of long-term food to sustain them through anything from a winter storm that leaves them stranded for a week to the end of the world, but there’s a lot more to a good stockpile than edible items.  Think about the things you use on a regular basis that you purchase from the store. Personal hygiene items, school supplies, cleaning supplies – the list goes on and on of consumable goods that you use without really thinking about it.

Ever since my kids were little, I’ve always kept a stockpile of these types of goods. And there have been occasions in my life that I was very grateful to have them on hand.  When I was unemployed for a few months, I didn’t have to run to the store to get day-to-day items, nor did I have to do without. I was able to simply go shopping in the pantry and meet my family’s needs. Because of this, we survived a stressful situation without the added stress of not having the things we needed to live comfortably.

How to get a good deal on non-food stockpile items

Shopping for non-food stockpile items is much like shopping for your grocery stockpile. It’s essential that you get the best deal you can. If the deal is really epic, sometimes I stock up on brands that we don’t really use so that I have some items on hand for a friend who may have fallen on hard times. A gift of health-and-beauty supplies would be very welcome to someone who has lost a job or otherwise fallen on hard times.

  • Watch the flyers. Sometimes these types of items are loss-leaders, which means the store will be selling them at a loss in the hope that you’ll buy some of their more overpriced merchandise.
  • Buy in bulk. Sometimes you can get a good deal by purchasing items in quantity. Places like Costco, Amazon, and Winco often sell non-food supplies in packs of 3, 6, or 24.  Be sure to do the math and confirm that you’re really saving money, though. Sometimes they can be tricky.
  • Hit the dollar store or clearance store.  I get lots of great stuff at our local Grocery Outlet, part of a chain. They sell lots more than groceries and often have organic brands of health and beauty aids for a fraction of the price that the boutique stores charge. The dollar store can also be a good source for certain items. Take care not to get something of terrible quality that won’t really work, though.
  • Clip coupons. If you’re a coupon-er, good deals can often be found on high quality, name brand items.

Add these items to your non-food stockpile

Your expanded stockpile will save you time, money, and stress. When you have a well-provisioned home, you can meet most situations with aplomb. Scenarios that would have other people scrambling to provide the basic necessities for their family will hardly register as a blip on your radar.

You can click the links to find reasonably priced options for some items.

  1. Soap (At the time of publication this was less than 50 cents per bar)
  2. Laundry products (or the ingredients to make your own)
  3. Shampoo and Conditioner
  4. Disposable razors
  5. Band-Aids
  6. First Aid supplies
  7. Calamine lotion
  8. Dish soap
  9. Feminine hygiene items
  10. Toilet paper
  11. Paper towels
  12. Baby wipes (even if you don’t have a baby!)
  13. Shower gel
  14. Cosmetics if you use them
  15. Coconut oil (This is SO multipurpose!)
  16. Peroxide (The dollar store and Wal-Mart usually have the best prices for this.)
  17. Rubbing alcohol (The dollar store and Wal-Mart usually have the best prices for this, too.)
  18. Hand sanitizer
  19. Bleach
  20. White vinegar
  21. Cleaning supplies
  22. Garbage bags
  23. Kitty litter (for emergency sanitation)
  24. Pet food
  25. Flea and tick medication for pets
  26. Essential oils
  27. Lotion and moisturizer
  28. Sunscreen
  29. Extra filters and parts for your water filtration device
  30. Spare parts for important equipment like canners or tools
  31. Matches
  32. Lighters (These were 33 cents apiece at the time of publication)
  33. Long-burning candles
  34. Batteries (This is a great deal)
  35. Stationary/school/office supplies
  36. Lip balm
  37. Toothbrushes and toothpaste
  38. Sewing/mending supplies
  39. Hair elastics (ask any female with long hair how necessary these are! In a pinch, I’ve been known to use a zip-tie to keep my hair back)
  40. Over-the-counter remedies for common ailments like heartburn, nausea, congestion, coughing, and pain relief
  41. Insect repellant
  42. Deodorant (We usually use homemade or an expensive natural brand, but I still keep this on hand.)
  43. Duct tape
  44. Paper plates and disposable cutlery (in the event of a water shortage)
  45. Tin foil (good for more than hats)
  46. Ziplock bags in a variety of sizes
  47. Cotton balls and cotton swabs
  48. Hardware like nails and screws for emergency repairs
  49. Vitamins
  50. Ammo…duh!!!

What non-food items do you store?

Do you also have a stockpile of non-food items? What do you keep on hand?  Share in the comments section below.

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Daisy Luther

Daisy Luther is a coffee-swigging, globe-trotting blogger. She is the founder and publisher of three websites.  1) The Organic Prepper, which is about current events, preparedness, self-reliance, and the pursuit of liberty on her website, 2)  The Frugalite, a website with thrifty tips and solutions to help people get a handle on their personal finances without feeling deprived, and 3), an aggregate site where you can find links to all the most important news for those who wish to be prepared. She is widely republished across alternative media and  Daisy is the best-selling author of 5 traditionally published books and runs a small digital publishing company with PDF guides, printables, and courses. You can find her on FacebookPinterest, Gab, MeWe, Parler, Instagram, and Twitter.

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  • Excellent list!!!

    A couple extra items I keep stocked are

    food grade Diatomaceous earth – MANY uses – including insect control for garden and home, deworm dogs, cats and people (if needed). Just keep it dry and it will store indefinitely. I keep it stored in 5 gallon buckets and Rubbermaid storage bins.

    Pool Shock – so I can make my own bleach in the future

    • I have a couple of things to add:
      roll of nylon string
      Activated charcoal from pet store to filter water
      Smith’s Abrasives 50364 hunting-knife-sharpeners has the following:
      FIRE Starter with twice the spark
      Compass, signal whistle and LED light
      Tapered diamond rod
      Carbine blades quickley set the edge
      Fire starter with twice the spark; Compass; Signal whistle; LED light
      Tapered diamond rod for sharpening serrations and gut hooks
      Carbide blades quickly set the edge; Ceramic finishing slot
      Preset sharpening angles provide guaranteed results
      Premium abrasive components for sharper cutting edge
      Magnifying glass size credit card when matches run out
      6 inch pieces of copper romex electrical wire. The copper kills microbes in a glass of water or canteen in 10 minutes. Powerfull system shock.
      Last but not least is 4 quart pressure cooker cooks with little water or smell!

    • Pool shock is not so great as it breaks down after opening the original packaging. I know this because I bought pool shock to add to some 300 gal water tanks to kill off algae and slime molds in the tank. I re-sealed the baggie with packing tape. 3 months later I go to use the rest of the pool shock and it had somehow gone fully inert. It didn’t even smell like chlorine anymore.

      So the point of this is if you are going to use pool shock for chlorine/ bleach in SHTF scenario (I do same!) then try and get single-use baggies. I think they might sell those at pool stores and not just Walmart outdoors section.

      • Pyra,

        Good point! The pool shock that I purchased came in small packages. So far, the packages are still sealed and in good condition.

        I have it stored in a Rubbermaid type container in the basement on top of some wood shelves. It stays cool and stable temperature year round.

      • Wow! I didn’t know that pool shock would break down! Thanks for the info! I have a big bag of it, but now will look for smaller packages!

  • Great article!

    I stockpile paper plates and bowls, and plastic utensils, for emergencies when we don’t have running water, even though I do not use them on a weekly basis. Also, I’ve been adding small propane canisters for the Coleman stove, for emergency cooking.

  • I’m unable to garden so I have time and the inclination to make many of the above items. I’ve either made or currently make the following from bulk ingredients. .. 1,2,3,8,9,10,11,12,13,21,27,28,33, 36,39,40,41 & 42.

    I’m in the kitchen a lot!
    Y’all keep preppin!

    • That’s awesome! So, for you, stocking the supplies to make these items would be the backbone of your non-food stockpile. 🙂

  • Fast Orange hand cleaner! Bill Sardi has an article online about using that to remove the oils from poison ivy. Poison ivy is pure eeevil.

    Plus, if you have to fix something messy and mechanical, it gets the grease off better than soap or Lava. There’s always that.

    I need to get some in those small packets though. Do they make those?

    Also, put Ivarest on the same line as Calamine. Get both. Calamine is The Best for itch weed, I hate itch weed.

    We recently replaced a 12 pack of toilet paper we purchased last year, couldn’t believe how much lighter and smaller the new 12 pack was compared to the others we had left. You wouldn’t even have noticed otherwise without comparing them side by side. Even on sale, I bet we paid more. We felt kind of ripped off.

    #50 was funny.

    • @ H……make your own orange cleaner! Purchase bulk pumice …

      dump it in a tub type container and pour orange Ajax dish soap over it. Stir, add 1/2 tsp. Orange essential oil and 1 tsp olive oil. Stir….scoop out about 1 tsp when you need to scrub up!

      Hesperidin is a natural histamine blocker and we use it for poison ivy rash with EXCELLENT results. Works for allergies and asthma as well.
      Hope this helps!

      • Try the homeopathic “Rhus Tox” for poison ivy. It made me immune to it as well.
        IF you live in the country and know where to find a plant called “Sweet fern”, that makes an excellent remedy. Just make a tea and daub it on. You can even dry the plant by hanging it upside sown in a paper bag and use the dries leaves for the tea.

    • Ever notice, 12 oz in a pound of bacon,smaller cans of coffee, smaller cereal, smaller potato chips. Give you smaller amounts for the same or close to same price
      I noticed it about a year ago. Check it out next time you go grocery shopping, read the labels.

    • You can store organic brown rice this way, but no matter how you store it, the shelf life is much shorter of that of white rice because the bran in the brown rice contains oils that become rancid over time. In completely optimal conditions (absence of oxygen, cool temps, no exposure to light) brown rice can be expected to last 1-2 years.

      • Very true. Brown rice will not last more than 3 yrs. I had some sealed in plastic buckets and after 4 yrs was all mottled and light colored. Not dark brown anymore. The nutrition had gone. I only store white rice now and will last about 20 yrs if sealed in plastic buckets. I didn’t have oxygen absorbors so i used Diatamacious earth to kill any bugs in it.

    • I don’t store brown rice anymore. Lasts about 3-5 yrs whereas white will last 25 years if sealed good in plastic bins. After 3 yrs my brown rice was edible, but lighter in color and i’m sure the nutrients were mostly gone. I only stock white rice now and am pleased that it lasts over 20 yrs from what i have read anyway. Dry pasta should last more than ten yrs. I ate my y2k pasta that was 14 yrs old and it was perfectly fine. Had it stored in plastic bins. The can tuna and can sardines were 14 yrs old too. Tasted fine, but was mushy. I ate half and gave other half to cats. This was my y3k stocks. I don’t buy/stock tuna anymore cause too expensive. Used to get 4 cans for a dollar for the sardines. Now it’s over a dollar a can. You can’t go wrong with white rice tho! In spring and summer can add wild greens from your yard….if you don’t mow that is.

  • I would add fly strips/traps to the list. There are cheap, easy to store, and can deal with pesky flys, termites, etc really quickly, without sprays.

    • I love those cheap fly strips….but i had some that were over a year old and not good….could not unravel…was dry. But maybe if stored correctly would be ok? How to store them?

  • Epsom salt. Multipurpose and wonderful for just about any injury
    Coloidal silver–for injuries, illness and water purification
    Light bulbs
    Safety pins
    Coffee filters–lots of uses
    Homeopathic Arnica tablets–no home should be without it
    Homeopathic Aconitum–if you have children prone to croup, it’s a life-saver. Literally.

    • Saftey pins are great, but the ones they sell now in stores are real cheap, thin and dont work good. Where to get the better old fashioned ones? I once had an old catalog i think it might have been Sportmens, but not sure, got some old saftey pins from way back in 1940’s…they were the BEST…very strong and lasted forever. I gave some away and now i am sorry i did that. How can we find GOOD strong pins? Can we do a search? How will we know they are good and not the cheap thin ones?

    • A use for coffee filters that is rarely mentioned is as toilet paper. I tried it just to see how well it would work and then stocked up on loads of it. The filters aren’t soft like toilet paper, but in a pinch you’ll be happy to have them. If thinking about using them for this purpose makes you queasy, you can put on a rubber glove first (another item to stock). Coffee filters are much cheaper and lighter than toilet paper and take up much less storage space.

      • That’s really a good idea that never entered my mind till now. Other non-food items would be propane in case you have the Mr. Heater heaters for winter. When the power goes out, and there is no fireplace, and you can’t use your central head then what? Mr. Heater will keep you with some heat. 2 canisters last about 7-8 hrs. on low. Also portable potty’s will be necessary when you can’t flush your toilet. The baby wipes will be good for person cleaning under arms, face, down below, whatever when you have no running water coming from the faucets.

        What about lanterns for lighting as well as a slew of candles in the glass containers (less chance of fire that way).
        Extra blankets, socks and winter pajamas in case your weather gets cold.
        Good to have the Coleman Propane cooking stove for cooking in case you live where there is all electric for cooking. Propane stoves (gas stoves) are better and less expensive, but if you run out of that propane, you can use the small 2 burner propane stoves as an emergency way to cook.
        A percolator for morning coffee when you electric one doesn’t work.
        That’s all I can come up with for now. 20 year shelf life food is also an access b/c it will last along time, but you will need a source of water for the cooking.

  • Pool Salt. It’s cheap food grade canning salt. It can be used for salt licks and you can make your own bleach. Just cut two strips of metal off an old salt-chlorinator cell and hook up 1 strip to the + and one to the – of a 9v battery. Dip the anode and cathode in a salt water solution.

  • Eye glass repair kit (or two)
    Also, a denture repair kit.

    Hearing aid batteries. Neither of us use hearing aids, but my Mom does. Wouldn’t want to spend a lot of time having to yell at her!

    I shop re-sale shops for things like candles. I can usually find some that have never been unwrapped for 25 cents, or less.

  • After Christmas the big box stores close out their holiday themed plastic tablecloths. I stock up on large ones usually for under a buck a piece. Be patient, the price usually comes down over time. These have a million uses. A disposable plumbing tarp, picnic tablecloths, use it turned upside down instead of a blanket for watching fireworks, and we just used one for carving pumpkins. Who cares what the design on it looks like. We have tarps but these mini tarps come in really handy. I also stock dental floss and iron on patches.

    Your list is a good resource. I enjoy reading the suggestions from your like-minded readers as well.

  • thank you for this list and also the great added items in the comments…Im kinda new to prepping I would buy stuff put it up and not add anything for a few months…Im taking care of my mom full time since my dad passed away in April and have decided we NEED to start prepping seriously especially since my husband works away from home hes a truck driver & my worst fear is SHTF while hes away & him not getting home to Us…Hes getting a well stocked get home at all cost backpack for Christmas and Im buying prepper stuff for my kids who are all adults and mom for Christmas … Were doing this right this time because we cant afford to put it off any longer eventually something bad will happen and I want us to be ready….Thank You for all the good info on your blog Im excited to get started prepping & look forward to reading all the past post

    • It is way past time to prep. I would suggest that people who are not prepped do so Tomorrow!! At least try and get a months worth of food for your family. At least one month. Most serious preppers have anywhere from 3-6-12 months of food prepped. I would say a minimum of three months, but to start off have at least a one month supply. Then slowly add on to that whatever you can afford. I would start with rice and beans. Dry beans. Rice you can get a Walmart or large market a ten lb bag for about $7 . First get plenty of rice and dry beans. The beans would cost more unless you can go to a Sams or Costco. I don’t have those here in the country so i go to a
      Menonite store and buy a 20 lb bag of rice for i think $12, beans too there in bulk are cheap. But at least start somewhere. In a pinch stock up on ramon noodles, those and the rice and beans will fill up the belly so you are not hungry.
      Later if you have more money you need protein, Spam or Treat are good and can chicken. Should last way more than ten yrs. Get a few bags of sugar and get cheap kool aid stuff at Aldies or Savelot. The tuna is loaded with mercury so i don’t suggest it. The sardines are great, but i don;t buy cuz too expensive. A can now costs a dollar whereas ten yrs ago i got 4 cans for a dollar! By the way i ate up all my y2k food…the pasta was 14 years old….sealed in buckets….very good and edible. Oh yeah stock up on pasta too when on sale but seal in plastic buckets or totes. Maybe put duck tape around the edges so bugs can’t get in the totes.My y2k sardines was 14 yrs old too , edible, but very mushy. Not sure how much nutrition left in it. Buy eggs when cheap, scramble cook, then put in food dryer and dry to a powder and seal in glass jars. This is all off the top of my head. Someone else can add more.

  • For poison ivy, I’ve used Fels-Naptha soap, but the best stuff is jewelweed, which is often right beside the poison ivy. You can use the stem and leaves. I bruise it, cover it in some water and let it wilt (you can also heat it up to speed things up a bit, but let things cool down before using). Once it’s wilted, drape the wilted plant on the poison ivy spot. INSTANT stop to the itch. I take the soak water and make ice cubes from it, label them “Jewelweed ice cubes” and put in a zippy bag in the freezer. If I need one in the off-season, I use a cube.

    If i’m out of cubes or can’t find jewelweed, I use peppermint essential oil with a carrier oil (usually grapeseed oil). Apply to area and wait a few minutes. The itch stops and the dermatitis leaves.

    To add to your list, I keep a few bottles of witch hazel on hand, too, besides alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. Very handy astringent.

    • We use plaintain herbal tincture for all insect bites and stings, Makes poison oak/ivy rash go down quickly. I leave a few leaves in the tincture to use for applicators, and just brush it over the area, saturate area , wait a few min and do again, repeat until reddness goes, usually 5-6 x over min.

  • I have also stored the following: needles, thread, needle threaders, reading glasses – various strengths (from the dollar store), buttons, hook & eyes, elastic, tape measurers, velcro, straight pins, hair pins, safety pins – various sizes, pocket knives, notebooks, pencils, pencil sharpeners, aspirin, hair brushes, combs, old candles – from garage sales, metal tins – used for keeping critters out of whatever, baggies – various sizes, empty bread wrappers and the plastic clips on them, plastic bags, paper bags, clothes line, wooden clothes pins, tarps, decks of cards, books on card games, gardening tools, gardening & work gloves, a variety of kids games, sports items – soccer balls, baseballs, bats, mitts, hand pumps and needles for inflating balls. There’s a ton more I want to get, but I have to pace myself with my finances.

  • 1, 2, 3, 5,6, 7, 8, 12, 18, 20, 21, 25, 27, 28, 36, 40, 41, 42; I have created substitutes for. I grow my own culinary herbs and some spices plus some peppers and tomatoes. Then with what I can make from these, I barter.
    38 I have a cache fabric and the needed threats etc enough to replace, mend or make worn out clothing.
    39 I have learned how to sub for elastic bands
    44 I have a substitute for paper and disposable cutlery
    For so many of the above list, I have learned how to make using culinary herbs and spices which I now make my own cooking blends and use for medicinal purposes too. They also work for insect repellant, allergies, UTIs and the beauty treatments I use regularly.
    I have silver blanks which I can and do use for keeping water drinkable for when the filters run out. Plus am now learning how to make my own charcoal for medical and clean water purposes. I also make my own vinegar which is my primary clean agent for over 10 years now.
    No bleach or chlorine here, not only is it toxic to the environment but some in my family are allergic to it.
    For many things we think we need, we can find alternatives if/when we choose to be open to the possibilities. Keep doing these lists and your blog. They inspire me to do what I am doing so I can teach others.

    • Dee,
      Can you please explain what a
      silver bank is to purify water? I never heard of that.

    • I have silver blanks which I can and do use for keeping water drinkable for when the filters run out. ”

      I always thought silver dollars would work.
      How do you use the silver blanks ?

  • Communication could be a big plus in a disaster. Amazon has Baofeng UV-5R radios for less than $30.
    Depending on how they are programmed, they can be used as a HAM radio (read questions and answers on the Amazon page…you need a license except in a disaster situation), weather radio, or Wilkie talkie.
    There are YouTube videos on how to program them or you can buy a programming cable (that didn’t work for me). Read about FCC restrictions for broadcasting, except in an emergency. I keep mine in metal boxes (Faraday cage ) in case of EMP or CME (sunspot). If you’re wondering about that last sentence…read “One Second After” by William Forstchen.

  • Way too much excess on this list. I could find a way to eliminate the majority of this stuff and live fine. Ditch the American suburban mentality and embrace the long-term survivalist. Thinking minimally is really key here. Shelter, water, fire, food, and family/friends. Nobody can survive by themselves without all of these for very long. If things really get bad you’ll have to let go of modern conveniences altogether. If you’re a woman this means dirty hair, broken nails, and probably the worst – menstruating without tampons. If you’re a man this means growing a beard, smelling like body odor, chafing, and working with your hands and an aching back. It all really boils down to relearning lost wisdom of how to live without running to the big box store and filling up your cart before everyone else empties the shelves. Get some good books about foraging wild edibles, natural health and hygiene, homesteading, and hunting. You’ll thank yourself for the time invested to mastering self-sufficiency.

    • for example, if you know how to make your own soap, it can be used for body soap, laundry, dishes, toothpaste, cleaning, etc. just store two ingredients lye and oil (or learn how to render your own fat and make your own lye)

    • This is a very good item to have. No one else has recommended this item. And a condom has multiple uses ex:keeping items dry in your pocket or pack. Emergency water container,separating medications,herbs,spices,etc. Just try to get natural without any added gels inside. And don’t forget those with latex allergies.

  • Great lists. I love lists. And with all that is going on in the world right now, I’ve returned to my lists again even though I think we’re good. I noticed a few items I’ve stocked that might be of use for others.

    1.Caffeine tablets – I know my coffee will someday run out and there may be a need to be awake and alert for long periods of time, depending on how far down the rabbit hole society descends. If anyone has a good idea about coffee, please let me know. I can’t afford the fancy freeze dried from prepper sites, but what about instant? Will that last? Aldi’s Instant is better than Taster’s Choice, IMHO.

    2. Animal Health – wormers, fungicides, blue anti-fly spray for animal wounds, and vaccinations. At farm supply stores, you can often get your dog and cat annual shots. They’re in a locked cabinet, but you don’t need a prescription. Also, my vet understands the situation and allows me a small supply of animal tranquilizers and high end antibiotics.

    3. Animal litter – I get free sawdust from a local cabinet maker for the henhouse. I stock a lot of straw whenever I can get it cheap (rarely). Old hay bales, the big round kind, can be cut into with a chain saw and used for bedding. Much cheaper than straw and often free. Just don’t use any that is moldy.

    4. 40-pound Salt blocks and bags of lime – also at the farm store. Lime for your latrine and for animal housing floors, graves. Read up on it though.

    5. Joint support wraps, often available at resale stores, garage sales. “Vet Wrap” to bind up sprains, keep wound dressings in place. Use duct tape in a pinch, but it doesn’t breathe, whereas Vet Wrap does.

    6. Rubber bands and twisty ties.

    • Pam,
      Tasters Choice instant coffee is the only coffee that I have seen advertised as Freeze Dried. Not sure on any of the other brands, though. Did a little experiment a year ago. Bought a jar of it and another brand and put it in the lower pantry, tried it couple of months ago. It still tasted good with out the bitter after taste of the other brand I put down there. Hope this helps

      • New rubber bands have a “moist” texture. You want to retain that. Keep the bands tightly sealed in a plastic bag with a minimal amount of air in the bag. When you need to get some rubber bands for use, pull out what is needed and tightly reseal. Treat it almost like a food. Once the bands dry, they don’t last long. Keep them in original condition and they can last years. I had some easily last over 10 years.

  • Heirloom seeds, also seeds for sprouting to give you quick, fresh greens. Alcohol – for pain (physical and more) and bartering, over the counter pain meds, emergency tooth filling, flashlights and oil lamps with extra oil, herbal antibiotics, bentonite clay (many uses), coconut oil (even more uses), baking soda, vinegar, water containers. I’ve added a manual pump to my well,cause if the power goes out, no water can be pumped.

  • Menstrual cup…then you never have to buy tampons again… use the $’s saved for prepping. Mine was less than $40 at the health food store and I’ve been using it for 11 years so far. Cloth pads are great too, really soft.

  • I store baking soda, gentian violet/mercurochrome and wool. Extra tin openers and medicinal droppers. I save and collect empty coffee and cocoa tins and cover them with nice paper and printed labels. They make great containers to store dried herbs and foods that you have dried. Thanks for the great article and it will be very helpful to new preppers

  • From Venezuela: Add Loctite or Krazy glue, toothpaste, antifungal and antiparasitic antibiotics, toilet paper, sanitary towels.

  • Cloth diapers and wraps. Clothespins, washboard and wringer arrangements for laundry. The commercial mop bucket with the wringer for the mop serves well for laundry use. Just squeeze to wring out.

  • When you freeze rice for a few days after you take it out of the freezer does it go bad if you stick it in mylar bags and plastic food grade buckets. The same for flour. Sorry I’m a newbie

    • No, it doesn’t go bad as quickly. The reason you’re putting it in the freezer is to kill off any bugs that might be lurking in your grains. Rice will last a very long time, but after a year or two, flour will begin to go rancid, so keep this in mind when putting back supplies. This is the reason a lot of people use wheat berries for storage, then grind them when needed. They last far longer. 🙂 Ask away! We’re all here to help each other!

      • All types of dried seaweeds for natural iodine nutrition, for thyroid health. Processed white rice is stripped of the vitamin b one. It may help to have the b vitamin group as a supplement to balance nutriion needs. Hope this helps.

  • Everything looks like it has been covered,but one more thing people may want to add to this list is nicotine gum.I read if you have a bad toothache chew the gum just to moisten it,than press down on tooth and it relieves the pain.Have never tried it however but do have it for emergency purposes.

  • I don’t see flashlights or candles. A good head lamp is handing when you need to use both hands while working in the dark. You need light, especially in the winter.

    If you live in any environment that gets below freezing, you need some kind of heat. A wood or coal stove is one of the best, but is expensive especially if you live in a climate that doesn’t get cold much. You can get a oil, kerosene, or propane heater that can be used to heat one room in an emergency. Even a blue flame propane stove can help you heat a room or other small space. Make sure it is blue flame and rated for indoor use.

  • Nail clippers and emery boards! Cracked or uneven nails drive me nuts, so I have hit the Dollar Store for lots of these! I’m sure that in a bad situation, professional manicures won’t be high on my to-do lists!

  • Body lotion, face lotion and face, toothpaste and dental floss (which is strong and can be used for a variety of things)

  • Engine oil and filters for your vehicles! Look in to the old “toilet paper” oil filter canisters from the ’60’s! They loved those at the time! Oil can be bartered if necessary!
    Tire repair kits, air compressor, etc!

  • Sissors!
    Nail clippers. ‘
    Knife sharpener.
    Empty pop and juice bottles for water storage.
    Bleach tablets to make bleach (Amazon)
    Just now Costco has Mt. House on sale for members.
    Amazon also has wooden disposable cutlery by the hundred pack. After use these can be kindling for fires. No waste!
    Worm bin makes soil and worm fertilizer.
    Bear spray for intruders
    Seeds. Garden tools.
    Raised beds and covers.
    Diatomaceous earth for so many uses.
    Mouse and rat traps.

  • I keep a large supply of mason jars and accessories for canning; lids, cheesecloth, food funnels, grippers etc. I also use the jars for sprouting. This seems to be fastest most nutritious way to get homegrown food. Great topic today.

  • Hi Daisy- petroleum jelly is useful for so many things- baby fannies, chapped skin and lips, fire starters on a cotton ball, lubricant when you run out of WD40, just so many things- and cheap. As you have mentioned before- Fels Naptha or Zout bars for laundry use, Epsom salt(magnesium) is very inexpensive and uses vary from medicinal to agricultural, hand tools- buy them, use them and get familiar with them. I save heavy plastic containers for possible future use- such as vinegar or laundry soap jugs. Just a few different ideas. 🙂

  • One of my favorite articles of yours, Daisy! So glad you reposted it. Water wipes are the best baby wipes in my experience – natural, mild and worth the money. Wet Ones Sensitive antibacterial wipes are also great in the canisters and little packets! I get both on Amazon at fair prices. I usually buy other toiletries (shampoo, soap) on sale at CVS and make out well with Extra Bucks!

    • Water wipes is a brand (for those who may not know) and are available at Walmart. For those who participate in Ibotta cash back app – a rebate is available right now.
      All the major brands and even store brands come in Natural formulas these days for those who may have sensitive skin.

  • I have stored heirloom seeds; canning jars, lids, and rings; cloth baby diapers, diaper pins, and diaper covers; toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, and dental repair kits; kitchen wipes; cheesemaking supplies; soapmaking supplies; lots of meds for the animals.

  • Silver gel , liquid silver immune support 12ppm , silver throat lozenges
    made by activiz. These are made with nano silver. NOT collidal silver. We have been using these 3 products for over 3 years. Look for these when they are on sale.
    The liquid silver last time I ordered it is good through 2020.

    Water bottles and water pitchers I buy from the jimbakkershow when on sale.

    Carl Palmer who makes these does an extreme filtration, also a Ph, water bottle
    The extreme filters you can use for well water, or tap water.

    Last week on the jimbakkershow the extreme water bottles were on sale for $ 10.
    They will filter up to 100 gallons of water, equivalent to 3,200 bottles of water you buy from the store.
    ALL OF THE WATER YOU BUY has contaminants in it. They also had the PH
    water bottles on sale.

    Also use the water pitchers. We filter all our well water through these. None of your water is safe anymore no matter where you live. We have been using these for over 2 years. I always take a water bottle with me whenever I go away.

    You can literally fill these bottles up from a creek , lake and these will filter the water.
    Carl came up with a water bottle that takes out radiation after the Japan earthquake.
    These water bottles have been sent to Japan and Malaysia and probably some other countries.
    Carl Palmer is also a guest on the jimbakkershow off and on. Also so is Frank Davis who
    makes the silver sol products.
    If you go on the jimbakkershow website, you might be able to get the last shows that these
    2 different products were talked about.

    Between using the silver products and the water bottles I have not been sick in a year and a half.
    I live in Michigan and we have a nuclear plant 40 miles away. Also Flint Mi has been in the news
    with the water contamination. I heard that Carl Palmer has been working with them.

    These are MUST HAVE products

  • A good starting list…there are many more things that in the event of long term STHF would become “essential” though.

    But I wanted to comment on shampoo and hair bands..while these both have other uses than their intended so are useful to have, in a real long term SHTF situation I would advise everyone to get rid of long hair…men and women. Shave it down to a military crew cut style for everyone. This is not only much easier to keep hygenic, needs much less water to wash and also wont harbor bugs so much. It is also much safer as it wont get caught in machinery, catch fire accidentally or be used as a weapon against you.

    The little things can save your life.

    Just my tuppence worth.

  • No matter how well you package pool shock (even leaving it in the original bag inside a zipper bag, inside Tupperware, inside… etc) DO NOT STORE IT NEXT TO METAL OBJECTS. The WILL rust.

  • Gandpa’s Pine Tar Soap, during bug season, showering with it repels ticks, flees and chiggers. Sadly, it doesn’t work on mosquitoes. I add Citronella essential oils to cover that pest.
    Also, spray, leave in hair conditioner last much longer than the traditional hair conditioner.

  • I have to disagree with stocking too many of some of the items on your list because they have limited shelf lives. This includes Hydrogen Peroxide, Bleach, Sunscreen, and Vitamins. Baby wipes and similar “wipes” will also dry up after a while and be useless. If you plan to rotate your non-food items like you do your food items, then stockpiling some of these limited lifespan items could still make sense, but if you plan to put them away somewhere and forget about them, you’re just wasting your money. I also think I could survive without Shower Gel, Lotions and Moisturizers, and Hair Elastics (I’m bald!!).

  • SO I’m 75 years old and have never in my life used hand sanitizer or shower gel (whatever that is). I have never used essential oils (not sure what the are. WD40?), peroxide or lotion and mositurizer. Never used makeup, cotton balls/swabs or hair conditioner. How are these things important?

  • Item: liquid laundry detergent. This article was an eye-opener for me about Proctor & Gamble developing a liquid laundry detergent that works just fine in cold water:

    There is about a 90% savings in energy by not having to heat up the wash water first. You win whether you’re firing up your washing machine or using a muscle powered manual washing system. This is especially significant during a long term power outage.

    So stock up on that liquid laundry detergent — NOT the powdered stuff.

    Item: batteries. As much as possible, try to accumulate your gadgetry that can run well with Nimh rechargeable batteries. Some brands are better than others, but even the worst of them are rated for at least 500 recharges. And there are plenty of chargers on the market that work from either house current or solar energy. That’s a win/win even under the worst of conditions.

    Item: bleach. Very useful, but with a short half life. That means it loses half its strength in about 6 months, so write the date of purchase on every bleach container you buy.

    Item: denatured alcohol and kerosene. Both store indefinitely, and both can easily power cookers designed for them. Also, they can both be stored and used indoors, without the leakage, fire hazard and home insurance problems that come with butane or propane. Such storable fuels can easily cover your cooking needs on the roughly 1/3rd of the year when the sun is hidden so your solar cookers don’t work. It’s easy to look up how many sunny days each year you have at your latitude on the internet.


  • I’m somewhat of a germaphobe so when I was doing an inventory on my preps one day (not too long after I first started prepping), I realized that I actually had a very large stock of cleaning and personal hygiene products but very little food! I figured if I wanted to survive long enough to use the cleaning and personal hygiene products I should begin stockpiling food also. I had a good laugh at myself!

  • I’ve started buying brown paper lunch sacks to help store and dry herbs. Easier than hanging some of the smaller stuff, in my opinion. DIY books are needed, too! Especially the wild foraging/medicinal herb books! You would be amazed what can save your life in your own yard!


  • Shoestrings in many sizes; many types of twine, in addition to paracord. Extra Batteries in all sizes; flashlights & headlamps; I think that’s all I can think of at this moment!

  • I stockpile COLOR! Paints, colored pencils, fabric dyes, weird nail polish. Morale booster, empowering to make something in my environment seem different. Can also use nail polish for marking auto part positions during repairs.

    Also…mousetraps. :-/

    Decide before you shop if you are spending your money and space for quality or quantity.

    Write the purchase date on your non-food-preps so you can gauge how fast you use them, and how long they stay useful to you. Elastics, adhesives (like feminine stick-on products), and non-petroleum oils oxidize faster than I would like. Plastic containers have limited lives too. The soap inside might be fine, but the squeeze container will go brittle and crack over time.

  • 1) Toothpicks
    2) Q-tips
    3) Baking Soda
    4) Everclear (190-proof)
    5) Shop rags/cheap washcloths (for personal wipe rags)
    6) Wooden pencils
    7) Notebooks/theme books/tablets/legal pads
    8) Sharpies
    9) Bandanas
    10) Rat traps
    11) Clothespins
    12) Hairpins
    13) Sewing needles
    14) Specialty sewing needles
    15) Safety pins
    16) Safety diaper pins
    17) Baby/toddler rubber pants/diaper covers
    18) Fels-Naptha laundry soap
    19) Stainless steel pots/stock pots (for cleaning)
    20) Cotton dish towels
    21) Lava soap
    22) Shoe & boot laces
    23) Bachelor buttons/jeans buttons
    24) Fly swatters
    25) Mosquito netting
    26) Screen door/window screen netting
    27) Socks
    28) Gloves
    29) Silicone caulk
    30) Gorilla tape
    31) Electrical tape
    32) Sheet plastic
    33) Tattler canning lids
    34) Side-cut can openers
    35) Wax paper
    36) Parchment paper
    37) Freezer paper & tape
    38) Zip-lock freezer bags
    39) Plastic buckets (2-gallon to 7-gallons) & lids
    40) Reading glasses (various powers)
    41) Magnifying glasses
    42) Plenty of supplies for any and all useful hobbies one has (sewing, mechanic, computer, etc.)

    There are hundreds more items that might be useful, but one person cannot have them all. Do consider keeping (as opposed to buying) highly items that you get during daily life that often have great utility when other options are not available.
    1) Empty bread bags (great for bread, but excellent as liners in boots)
    2) Bread bag clips (to seal bags, but can be used to color-code items)
    3) Twist ties (dozens of uses)
    4) Desiccant sachets (heat them up a bit in an over and they will again pull moisture)
    5) Pill bottles (another item with hundreds of uses)
    6) Paper shopping bags (many uses, especially those with handles)
    7) Plastic shopping bags (again, many uses but keep well away from small children)
    8) Certain kitty-litter buckets (plastic buckets, square or rectangular, that can be used to store many things without taking up as much space as round plastic buckets)
    9) Steel food cans opened with a side-cutting opener (clean well) (some, though you can get overloaded with them quickly (the lids will sit back on the can nicely, and if a wooden knob is added they can be used as part of emergency cooking kits)
    10) 2-liter soda bottles – clean well and dry completely and can be used for storing some types of foods. Keep in dark, cool places, protected from rodents

    Again, dozens of additional items can be retained and used for things other than their intended use.

    Just my opinion.

  • Alcohol, Bandages, Clothespins, Dry Bags, Epsom salts, Electric tape, Fire extinguishers, Gas, Headlamps, Ice packs, Jingle bells(for fences to alert on security),Kitty Litter, Listerine(kills fungus), Multi-use tools(Leatherman), Needles (sewing), Openers(can),Paper, Q-Tips, Rope (tying fence, laundry line), Spray bottles,Threads (extra strength, all purpose, clear), Utility knives/extra blades,Variety of bandages/band-aids, WD-40, Xtra Extension cords,Yellow jacket spray, and Zippers.

  • Items I didn’t see mentioned above

    A kitchen countertop grain mill, crankable by hand or motor. Being able to store whole grains, beans or nuts and turn the first two into quick-cooking flour is a tremendous time and energy saver. The nuts category can produce nut butters on demand …even if you have to clean up the mill mess afterward, The difference with bean flour is being able to make it edible after only 3 minutes in boiling water — compared to hours of soaking plus cooking time for whole beans. My favorite is the Country Living grain mill with the optional bean augur. Once I handmade a longer oak cranking arm (for about a 15 inch cranking radius) than what the factory supplied, I could create sizeable quantities of bean flour even during a very long term power outage — and the energy needed to cook for bean flour became almost negligible whether stored, propane, wood, wood pellets, butane, kerosene, Coleman white gas, or solar was handy and/or paid for.

    I saw solar cookers barely mentioned above. There are easily over a hundred different designs of solar cookers (whether DIY or at retail) to learn about and decide which kinds to make or acquire. They typically fall into such categories such as box ovens (such as the Sun Oven or the Tulsi oven), parabolics, double wall vacuum tubes. Fresnel lens, panel cookers (such as the All Season Solar Cooker or the Copenhagen solar cooker [via DIY or retail], umbrella designs, etc. Some are huge and not very portable. Others are easily takedown and have traveled the world. Some even have electrical backup for use at night or when the sun is clouded over — those are called hybrids, made both in the US and in India. One hybrid in India (the Tulsi) is even issued to some units of their army — with camo paint that doesn’t appear on the models for civilians. The advantages of using solar cooking include conservation of stored cooking fuels (including electric power bills), nutritional benefits from using slow cooking recipes, and the ability to perfect one’s solar cooking skills even when the sun is not available (at night or during cloud-overs) via the hybrid models. The advantage of having solar cooking capability during a long term power outage is obvious.

    There’s another criteria in selecting cookpots not yet mentioned. The greater the variety of heat sources usable to you, the fewer pieces of cookware you need to own — or be able to bring with you during travel. One favorite example to make that point is a Hawkins-made steel pressure cooker (rated for induction cooking) with a strongly magnet attracting bottom. That makes it usable on even an induction stove/burner as well as ordinary stoves, portable camping stoves, camp fires, or even via solar heat if you apply flat black paint to the outside to absorb the sun light.

    I’ve stopped using aluminum cookware and aluminum foil as recent articles are revealing research about aluminum as an occasional cause of dementia … and I’d prefer that my bad jokes be produced honestly instead.

    Other miscellaneous observations

    Both alcohol-based hand sanitizer and Sharpies make convenient fire starters in combination with cotton balls.

    Duct tape (whether Gorilla brand or some other) leaves a sticky residue once removed from anything you want to leave clean. Painter’s masking tape is a better choice with the same duct tape advantages without leaving that sticky goo behind.

    Dollar Tree carries a book-page size Fresnel lens simply labeled as a page magnifier. It is a far more powerful fire starter than the little credit card size versions that fit in your wallet. It will produce results in questionable light long before the credit card sizes “might”.

    Also I didn’t see any mention of a signal mirror (with a center hole for sun alignment/aiming), a signal whistle, an orange colored T-shirt (which can make an excellent help-me flag, or a shemagh (a 4-foot square piece of fabric typically used in the Middle East for very many health and safety purposes — per a recent article posted by Daisy on TOP).


  • Since I had a lot of hand sanitizer around I tried it as an underarm deodorant. Works! Kills germs and that is what makes the stink.
    Hair tie backs(do not know the correct name) are better than rubber bands in some cases. I find them when on my walks, just put in sealed plastic bag for 2 weeks before using in hair because head lice might be hiding on them.

  • I used to think batteries were a great idea, I was wrong.
    I had a stock of around 300 aaa and 250 aa batteries.rayovac and another brand delco
    They were *supposed* to last years in storage.
    Still every time I check them I have to pick out the leakers and clean the multiple containers they are kept in.
    Also many are just dead, completely useless, I have thrown out about 1/3 because they are useless/

    I now purchase, or have purchased lots of energizer max because they are not supposed to leak and the claim is they will last up to 10 years in storage…
    “supposed to” I’ll see and i have a couple hundred of these and have located 1 leaking AAA.

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