Stockpiling survival items before the SHTF will prevent you from being among the panicked hordes of the unprepared. Waiting in line to pay price-gouging amounts for both common everyday items and crucial supplies would not only be costly and time consuming, but also potentially dangerous.
Knowing what you need before you need it is the key to spending money only on what you actually need – and not finding empty shelves in place of the necessary items.
The great run on toilet paper of 2020 due to Covid-19 is but one recent history example we should all keep in mind when organizing our prepping budget.
There are many natural or simple ways to live without toilet paper, but this rush to manic stockpiling clearly illustrates just how quickly items will disappear from stores and how rapidly price increases occur, during an emergency.
There were also more vital items that could no longer be found locally or in online stores during Covid, as well. Anyone who was seeking rubbing alcohol or everyday cleaning supplies was surely left disappointed.
Another Great Depression, a second pandemic, or a power grid down emergency could be looming on the horizon, with the duration of any given disaster situation entirely unknown.
Regardless of the reason which prompts an SHTF scenario, the basic stockpiling of item needs remains the same.
There will be three things immediately in short supply during a SHTF scenario: food, potable water, and medical supplies.
Purchasing and learning how to use the most advanced type of medical supplies that you can afford, might just save your life one day.
While all preppers stockpile Band-Aids, rubbing alcohol, medical gloves, peroxide, and other common first aid kit items, go several steps beyond and purchase other legally available medical preps such as syringes, medical grade staples, needle and thread for stitching up a wound, IV bag and supplies, non-prescription medication and natural herbal alternatives, wheelchair, supplies to set a cast, as well as surgical and dental tools.
Even if the folks in your tribe do not know how to use surgical or dental tools, someone in your area may but not have access to their supplies and be willing to barter their services in exchange for food, water, or shelter.
Distilled White Vinegar
Vinegar is one of the best multipurpose and shelf stable survival items you can stockpile before a SHTF event.
Not only can you use it to preserve food, distilled white vinegar is also a wonderful natural disinfectant.
You can use it to make your own cleaning products to help both rid and prevent germs.
Related: 50 Survival Uses For Vinegar
In addition to being used to can food to preserve it, distilled white vinegar can be added to regular milk to turn it into buttermilk for baking and cooking.
Rubbing distilled white vinegar directly onto the skin will help deter flies, mosquitos, and chiggers from biting you. While it stings, distilled white vinegar also helps to relieve the discomfort and itchy feeling after being stung or bitten by an insect.
Gently dabbing distilled white vinegar onto a sunburn will sting for a few moments, but may then soothe the sun burnt skin and help prevent it from blistering.
Even if you do not use a wood stove or fireplace now in your daily life, you must prepare for a time when cooking and heating may only be feasible with an open fire.
Freshly cut firewood is far less desirable than seasoned firewood that has had time to dry and cure.
During an SHTF situation you should never rely upon the ability to get professional medical help. The possibility of calling 911 or making an appointment to see your regular doctor quite likely will not be an option.
Carrier oils such as olive oil, coconut oil, arnica oil, almond oil, and even vegetable oil have been used in herbal remedies for centuries.
With a stockpile of carrier oils you can make salves, ointments, lotions, deodorant, poultices, and liniments.
This common laundry product also has a plethora of uses during a SHTF scenario – ones far more important keeping your whites white.
Bleach is a powerful disinfectant that can kill germs and help to keep household surfaces truly clean to prevent the spread of infections and disease.
Bleach has also been sparingly and carefully used to purify water during an emergency scenario.
You should have at least one generator and a stockpile of fuel to run it. Ideally, purchasing a generator that runs on a combination of gasoline, diesel, and propane would give you more options to stockpile fuel in a multi-purpose plan for use on other vehicles and mechanical devices at your survival retreat.
Being able to make your own biodiesel fuel to create a sustainable flow of fuel, is also wise. Solar generators also provide a sustainable source of power during a SHTF situation.
Preserving the food that you grow or barter for will help prevent you and your loved ones from starving during a long-term disaster.
While Mason jars and rings are reusable, lids are not. You will also need a jar lifter, magnetic ring lifter, and seasonings.
Manual Kitchen Tools
Stockpiling manual kitchen appliances (can openers, potato masher, grain grinder, mandolin, whisks, egg beaters and the like) will allow you to keep on preparing food even if plugging a gadget into the wall will no longer produce results.
Emergency Lighting Supplies
Stockpile portable light sources such as candles, flashlights (and ample batteries) , solar powered landscaping lights, oil lamps, wicks, mantles, and lanterns.
Prepare to light your own path not just with flashlights and batteries, but also with a more old-fashioned approach.
A composting commode, a 5-gallon bucket with a toilet seat on it, or even a properly created old-fashioned outhouse will provide the members of your household with a sanity place to use the bathroom.
If you are a rural prepper odds are that you have a well.
When the power goes out you will no longer be able to flush the toilet once the water pressure in the well bladder has been used – unless you have a generator to power the well or a manual dipper.
Suburban and urban folks also should not depend on modern municipal utilities to continue working weeks, if not mere days, into an emergency scenario. Human waste improperly disposed of creates insanitary conditions that will not only attract rodents but can breed disease.
All of the guns that you have already stockpiled will become fairly useless hunks of metal once you use all of the ammunition that has also been diligently tucked away.
Stockpile reloading supplies and learn how to reload your own ammunition so you can continue to protect yourself and hunt for meat during an SHTF event.
There are dozens if not hundreds of uses for duct tape, but inside your home and during a bugout scenario.
Duct tape can be used to turn a trash bag into an emergency shelter, to temporarily fix a leaky pipe, a pair of worn out boots, and to repair a whole in a flotation device.
Stockpiling communications devices to receive and even send information with the outside world will help you keep as up to date as possible of potential dangers coming your way.
It will also help you to make contact with loved ones, and to be aware of what were once mundane natural weather issues that could greatly impact your safety in a world without first responders to call for help.
Stockpile and learn how to use and maintain a solar powered emergency radio, 2-way radios, CB radio, or a HAM radio. Store the radio equipment as well as supplies and tools to operate and repair the radio in a Faraday cage to protect them from possible EMP exposure.
Seeds And Manual Gardening Supplies
Stockpile heirloom seeds that can be stored properly and remain viable to get you through the next growing season – when you can collect and save another round of seeds from your harvested garden crops.
Even if you have a diesel powered tractor and the ability to create your own biodiesel fuel, stockpile manual gardening tools.
This way you will you have a dependable and durable manner in which to cultivate vegetable crops and medicinal herbs to make your own remedies.
When stockpiling crucial and necessary supplies in preparation for a SHTF scenario, remember the highly accurate survival motto: one is none and two is one.
Possessing on a few bottles of peroxide and a couple packets of seeds will not increase your odds of being a survivor.
Reference and Self-Reliance Books
Unless you are blessed to be the one person who knows everything about everything, or have a huge survival tribe with experts in the most vital aspects of self-reliance living, stockpile books that can help you accomplish essential tasks.
Creating a prepper library covering topics such as: butchering, herbalism, foraging, auto mechanics, alternative power, gun repair, gardening, livestock husbandry, for example, would offer knowledge and skill building that will be necessary during a long-term disaster.
Once you have adequate knowledge to mastery of a given subject, cross-train others in your family or group.
Create an SHTF preps stockpiling list with your family or survival group to both determine what you need and how much of each item will likely be necessary during a disaster of varying duration.
Keep an inventory of your items, even the ones that are almost permanently shelf stable so when an item is used, passes a reasonable expiration date, or becomes broken, you can quickly make plans to replace it.